Archive for October, 2009

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iron sharpens iron

October 29, 2009

I got home last from last weekend exhausted and exhilarated. I had just spent two days in Hume Lake California at a men’s conference, and I was definitely on a spiritual high and a physical low. I had taken a lot of footage of the trip, and was anxious to make a video, and finally got around to it on Wed night. It took me about 4 hours. I was learning a new program, had messed it up more than once, etc etc. I finally got it all done, posted it everywhere I could, and then the next morning (today actually), showed it to my wife Allison.

 About 2 minutes in there was a part on the video where I had been insensitive, and basically was making fun of someone I didn’t know on the airplane. She took one look at it and said you have to take this down. This crosses the line and maybe if you weren’t a pastor or in ministry, maybe (but probably not even then) this would be ok, but you are and it’s not.

 I knew she was right, immediately. I pouted though as I deleted it off the places I had posted, realizing I would have to do yet another edit of the video. The reality is I am proud of her, grateful for her, and for people in my life who call it like they see it, and help me think outside myself and make me better.

 I could tell you similar stories of the people I work with at Sunset, taking the time and care to point something out to me that has sharpened me and that I needed to hear. It’s part of what I LOVE about the church body as a whole, and you and I need that in our lives, need friends like that. God in His process of refining us, often uses the people around us to do the refining. If you’re like me sometimes the first reaction is defensive or less than warm and grateful, but at the end of the day I’ll take loving constructive criticism over surface relationships every time.

 Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

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Jump

October 23, 2009

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I have very fond memories of rock jumping in my teenage years. My favorite spot was in Sandy on the Bull Run River. My friend Brian Remsburg had a Christmas tree farm near there, and he showed us an awesome spot on the river near the dam.

We had to hike about a mile down the river, passing 2 or 3 other medium sized jumps until we got to the big daddy of them all. We called it “the cliff”. Climbing to the top was a challenge. It basically felt like rock climbing it was such a steep ascent. On the top where we would jump was a tree growing out from the side of the cliff that provided about a 1 foot platform to stand on. I remember standing a LONG time there the first few jumps, trying to gain the courage needed to let go of the tree and leap out into nothing. The trick to the jump, was that you couldn’t just sort of jump. The cliff wasn’t straight down, it came out a few feet in the middle, so you had to jump out enough to clear that hump in the middle. And of course if you were a guy, like any good jump you had to remember to keep your legs close together when you hit the water. 🙂

Luke 14:28-30

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

Jesus is challenging His disciples to pick up their cross and follow Him. In that time people that were carrying their crosses were on their way to be crucified. So a challenge like that was not a half hearted sort of maybe if you feel like it proposal. This was all in, this was be ready to die for your devotion to Jesus. This invitation was to a full on jump.

I think the danger for someone like me that has known Christ their whole life, is that when I was young I didn’t even know what it meant to count the cost. I just knew I loved Jesus and that He loved me.

Sometimes today though I feel like if you saw me, I have jumped off the cliff, but I didn’t jump quite far enough, and I am clinging to the base of that tree, legs dangling, scared out of my mind. I long to jump all the way off, with reckless abandon. At times I am confused when that longing doesn’t transfer into action, or frustrated with myself when it feels like I am still just content to remain up on by the tree instead of living the adventure of a surrendered life.

Jesus, while I still can jump, teach me to jump all the way for You.”