Friday, August 31, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
- First is surround yourself with people who bring joy. ie., "therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, . . ." (v.1a)
- Second, stay on task, ie., "let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (v.1c)
- Third, strip down to the essentials. ie., "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. . ." (v.1b)
- Fourth, stay focused on Jesus, ie., "let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scoring it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (v.2)
- Fifth, stick with it. "Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (v.3)
Which one do you need to do? For me I need to do more of the first one, I need to surround myself with people who bring joy. Life can get pretty serious. I need people who will laugh with me and yes even at me sometimes, so I can guard my joy in the journey.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Don’t tell me you don’t do that, because I bet you do. Truth is, we only have the moment. I love that about Abraham. Look at what he said in response to God’s call to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.” Genesis 22:1 Look at that again. He said, “Here I am” or in other words he was saying to God, “I am here in the present listening to whatever you want me to do at this moment.” The moment is all we have. Don’t let the successes of the past or the fear of the future keep you from living in the now!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I told him I asked somebody else that same question the other day. Interestingly enough, he had a similar church experience. He said he was looking for a church where the leadership could be trusted. His wife said she wanted a church that was interested in doing things for people in the community. She also said she wanted a church where the "talk" was rooted in Scripture, but was helpful for her every day life. I know you're not my barber but if I could survey you, what would you say? What kind of church are you looking for?
Monday, August 20, 2007
Well that’s the way it was for us last Friday when we decided to take a road trip to
Six weeks ago we started a road trip of sorts. I resigned from a job without knowing where I was going next. (I’ve already told my kids not to do this, but it’s what we felt “called” to do.) Nevertheless we’re not much further now than where we were six weeks ago, partly because there have been so many detours or distractions. Sometimes I think it’s my fault we’re not making any progress. Other times I think the detours or distractions are there by appointment. I am reminded of what I read recently in Deuteronomy 8:2, “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” Detours then are tests, tests that God brings along our way to humble us and to reveal what is in our heart.
That’s what I think the detours on our road trip last week were about. They were a test, a test to humble us and to see what's in our heart. I wonder if we "passed"? More importantly I wonder if I'm passing the bigger test of handling the detours of life?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This weekend we traveled from
wife asked if I was afraid for them. The answer I'm afraid is "yes". But then I'm a parent and being a parent you'll supposed to worry. Nevertheless I am excited for them. I'm excited because they are doing in so many ways is what I'm afraid to do. Not that I am ready into move to an area like their's but that I want to live a life of courage like theirs.
Too many of us I'm afraid, are paralyzed from doing something that even borders on risk. Yet I have come to realize, everything is risky. Even staying home can be hazardous to your health. You can stay home in bed-but that may make you one of the half-million Americans who require emergency room treatment each year for injuries sustained while falling out of bed. You can cover your windows-but that may make you
one of the ten people a year who accidentally hang themselves on the cords of venetian blinds. Again everything is risky.
For me God is calling me to "get out of the boat". That's not just risky but ruthless. Ruthless Trust is the title of a book by Brennan Manning. It's a book my wife and I read to each other on the way down to
trying to walk on water. What I need as Manning says, "is a fresh conversion, a fresh conversion from mistrust to trust- a conversion that must be renewed daily" and is rooted in the unfaltering love of God and the irreversible forgiveness of Jesus Christ. After all my son is now the new Neighborhood Crime Watch captain!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Anyway each episode was about 30 minutes so what we would do is when they asked the question, "are we there yet?" we would tell them how long it was in terms of how many more stories we had to listen to. So if it was an hour we would say, "just two more stories" or if it was an hour and a half we would say, "just three more stories" etc. . . Here's my point. In life there are two kinds of people. Those who enjoy the journey and those who just want to get there. I tend to fall on the side of enjoying the journey. Maybe it's because I can't speed without feeling guilty but no matter what I try to find joy in the journey. (I do get impatient when gas station stops take more than time than it would have taken ust to stop somewhere and eat because everyone has to go to the bathroom and get a hand full of snacks!)
What I have learned or am learning again is that most of life is spent on the road and not at our destination. I mean we spent five or six days working so we can enjoy one or two days off. We spend fifty weeks at work so we can enjoy two weeks of vacation. Or worse, we spent 35 or 40 years working so we can enjoy 5 to 15 years in retirement! Something is not right. If we wait to find joy until the weekend, vacation or retirement, we are not going to have much fun at all. The majority of our life will be spend enduring and not enjoying.
I think the same thing is true in our spiritual lives. Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10b NIV) Joy for the Christ follower is not meant for us to experience only in heaven, but while we are still here on earth. Satan, our enemy wants to rob us of our joy, don't let him do it. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10a NIV)