Archive for February, 2009

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Things I’m learning

February 26, 2009

You know that feeling you get when you are standing on the ocean in a couple inches of water, and the wave is heading back out to sea, and thousands of grains of sand are leaving from the bottom of your feet so fast that you feel like you constantly need to readjust and compensate?  Ya, that’s what life feels like right now.  Can you relate??

As a result, I  have been on a HEAVY learning curve this year. 

Here are some highlights of things I’m learning or relearning.

 

*God’s ways are higher than my ways.  A lot higher.

*Money is overrated. God’s provision isn’t.

*I truly am not alone. 

*Family is a precious gift, and absolutely, positively, has to come first.

*I actually can stick to a healthy lifestyle for longer than a week.

*The new 5 year plan for business’s, churches etc, is now more like 90 days.

*Leading is easy.  Leading well is one of the hardest things in the world.

*Don’t take anything for granted, tomorrow everything can change.

 

What’s one thing you have learned or relearned this year you could put in a sentence?

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The game of sorry

February 18, 2009

(devo for this week at Sunset)

For Christmas my daughter received the game Sorry. I don’t know if you have played this game, but it is one step above Candy Land in the world of board games that can drive adults crazy.

We have played somewhere in the range of 75 times. I know this because we have a running log on how many times each of us has won. I am in second place with 25 wins. (I am not proud of this stat J)

It’s a game I am really looking forward to stopping, forever. Once Macy grows out of it I will burn it so Ava doesn’t even know it exists. Some games are just not met to be played, and that one has outworn its welcome.

I play other games, with God, games that are not meant to be played. He’ll tell me either through His Word or through His spirit to stop an action, thought, or behavior. Rather than just obeying Him completely, I’ll play a sorry game of seeing how much of one or all three of the action, thought or behavior I can manage and still be “good enough”. The result is always the same; pain, hurt, destruction.

The freedom, the joy, of complete obedience to God, so far outweighs the game playing that each time I wonder how I got sucked in again. But 1 Pet 5:8 says, “Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

When our enemy finds us playing the game, he is happy, because he has us right where he wants us, and he will either destroy us or by the grace of God we will stop playing, and fully surrender.

Where in your life have you bought the lie, settled for another game of Sorry, and not fully surrendered?

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Give Me Your Eyes

February 13, 2009

 

A leader walks a fine balance between what is good for the church to hear and what he needs to protect them from. I feel compelled to write at a level that comes up to the line today.

I believe our church is bleeding right now.

*I say that in part from just an obvious no duh at the state of our economy, and how it has rocked so many people in our community. I couldn’t begin to tell you all the stories I have heard lately, where the overwhelming theme is people are shaken up, uncertain, dealing with loss of jobs, potential loss of jobs, bankruptcy etc.

*I say it from the fact of honestly in my life time I personally have never seen more marriages in trouble, ending, near the brink, or on life support.

*I say it from the fact that there is a massive amount of turnover at this church. Massive. We have recently started using a system here called F1, that tracks attendance, members etc, and the truth is that while Sunset has a big front door, it has a huge back door. If the church is a family, a community, this one keeps getting new dad’s, new mom’s, new brothers and sister’s, and losing precious old ones.

There has been a lot of talk lately among the leaders here, about this back door, about this reality.

I think one of the reasons we have a huge back door, is we don’t care for each other. And let me start with me. The two main reasons I don’t care for others well, is because of my own laziness, and my own selfishness. I battle these two things in my ministry when it comes to loving others more than anything else. The job, the tasks, can easily, without a lot of thought, become the main thing, and people fall through the cracks and become 2nd on the list. But I suspect I’m not alone. We are a church that talks a lot about wanting to reach out, love those outside our walls, to reach out into our community. I don’t think we can do that till we really start loving our own.

This weekend we are singing a song called, “Give me Your Eyes”.

The chorus reads

Give me Your eyes for just one second

Give me Your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted

The ones that are far beyond my reach

Give me your heart for the ones forgotten

Give me your eyes so I can see

I’m convinced that should I continue to work at a church this is one of the main things God is going to continue to refine in me over the years, the importance of people.

What about you? If you are like me, sometimes the immensity of the need, of the hurt and void that exists in this community, overwhelms me and causes me to do nothing. But what if we started small, with one person, this week, who we let God prompt us to reach out to in some small way? To let them know we are thinking about them, and that we care?

Give us Your eyes Lord.

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T shirt slogans

February 9, 2009

On Sunday my wife showed me a web site that you could submit slogans to and if they pick your slogan you would be paid $500. 

I read some of the slogans, and it got my brain churning, so I wrote a few of my own, and they just started flowing.  So far I have not won a dime. 🙂

*I hate shirts with writing on them

*This shirt was half off so I put it back on

*Imagine your business advertised here

*I am a very private person, quit reading my thoughts 

*I am a test of the emergency broadcast system

*I pose for National Geographic

*I’m not pitting out, my deodorant is runny

*I’m easy to read

*Plumbing: It’s not all it’s cracked up to be

*In case you’re wondering, yes this shirt is scratch and sniff

Got any good slogans floating in your head?

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Jesus > everything

February 5, 2009

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From the earliest age, we learn that things, everything, has value. We learn that that toy is better than that other one. We learn the 5 is greater than 4. We learn that this behavior serves us better than that one. We learn that friends are worth more than money. Some things hold more value or worth than others, and we begin to live our lives around those things we have determined to have greater value.

There is a phrase gripping my heart today, struggling to push all other thoughts aside. I feel the spiritual battle taking place in full force even as I attempt to write about it.

Nothing is worth more than Jesus.

Nothing.

What does nothing include?

Everything else.

Everything.

The question is, what are you and I by our actions, and with our heart, doing and thinking to contradict that statement?

What goes on a list of everything? Well, here are a few things.

Your job. Your career. Your money. Your talent. Your accomplishments. Your habits. Your addictions. Your pleasures. Your crutches. Your reputation. Your friends. Your family. Your well being. Your plans. Your desires. Winning. Being right. Being liked. Being appreciated. Being respected. Being loved by others. Being understood.

Judas knew Jesus. He spent time with Him. He heard His claims, saw His acts. But his value judgment got out of whack. He took a gamble that something else was worth more than Jesus, and was left feeling so empty, he took his own life.

I have a feeling so many of us know this. We know it in our minds. But it gets crowded out, we lose our grip on its truth, we begin to get distracted, by our own things we value, and by the lie, from our enemy, that something else, anything else, is worth more than Him.

Fight. For the truth. Fight for what you know is truth. Fight for Jesus being worth everything.

Church, without Jesus, is meaningless, empty religion.

Life without Jesus, is empty, void of meaning, dry.

Nothing. Is worth more. Than Jesus.

Nothing.