Category Archives: Other Stuff

What If I Don’t Like Church?

I know people who believe in Jesus but aren’t plugged in to a local church.  They’re just not into it.

They like Jesus, but not church.

I love the church, and it bothers me that people would like Christ…but not the body of Christ.  Don’t the two go together?

Well, what if that’s the problem.  What if the church has become something other than what God intended it to be?  What if it has morphed into a something very different than how it started out.

Well, what if they could go back and see it in its infancy?  What if they could see it as it started out, and see what God intended for it to be?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could show them that?

Well, it turns out you can.

Scripture

Luke was a doctor who wrote…wait for it…the Gospel of…Luke.  But, he also wrote a book we know as the Acts of the Apostles, or Acts for short.  It turns out these are really one big book.  Acts picks up where Luke stops.  Luke is about the life of Jesus.  Acts is about the  early church.  When you read these two books together, a pattern emerges:

What Jesus does, the early church does.

Jesus fed the poor.  The early church fed the poor.

Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God.  The early church proclaimed the kingdom.

And, on and on we could go.

The early church mirrored the life of Jesus.  His life formed their life, personally and communally.

So much so, that outsiders even called them by his name…they called them “Christ followers” or “Christians.”

So, here’s the challenge:

Go back and read the Acts of the Apostles (right after you’ve finished with Luke).  And, then ask yourself…what was this group called “The Way” all about?

Did they carry out Jesus’ mission of love and compassion?

Did they embody his message of resurrection and new life?

Did they bring about a revolutionary change in the world?

The Way

So, if you’re reading this and you’re one of those people that isn’t plugged in to a local church, then I’m not here to judge you, but I want to ask you this.  What if you could be a part of revolutionary group like you read about in Acts?  What if you could find a group like that?

Well, then I challenge you to look for that group in your community.  Look for a group that looks like Jesus.

And, if there’s not one…why don’t you form one?

Well, now if you’re reading this and you are a part of a church, then let me challenge you.  Is your church a lot like what you read about in Acts?  Is it a lot like what you read about in Luke?  If not, then I challenge you to look back to the reason we’re doing all of this.  Look back to Jesus, and focus on him.  And, see just how much like him we can become.  Because, guess what…he’s what it’s all about.

How to Win at Sports and Life…White Men Can Jump

I’m going to tell you how to make your week better.  If you read this post, and follow the simple suggestion, you will be more productive at work, home, and play.  You will be more focused, more relaxed, and just better at what you do.  Want to know how?

It start with sports.  What is it they say about white men and basketball?  White men can’t jump.

So, if you take a group of white men and tell them you’re going to give them a test that measures their innate athletics ability, what do you think the results would be?

Now, what if you took a group of white men and told them you’re going to give them a test that measure their sports strategic thinking.  How do you think that might affect the results?

Which group do you think did better?

You guessed it.  It was the one that was told they were measuring their sports strategic thinking.  Why?

The stories we tell ourselves matter.

Here’s something you should tell yourself today:

 I have worth. God loved me so much that he sent his Son to die for me, John 3:16.

I have hope.  God is working all things out together for good for them that love him, Romans 8:28.

I have security.  No one can pluck me out of his hand, John 10.

I am more than a conqueror through him that loved me, Romans 8:37.

So, tell yourself a positive, uplifiting, empowering story of worth, hope, and security this week.   And, you can be more than a conqueror.

Just ask this kid.

 

 

Finding God In the Begging Place (I Samuel 1)

When you really want something what should you do?

What about if it seems to take longer than you had thought it would?

What if you were always the good looking one, always the chosen one, and then the one thing you want…seems to elude you?

I can imagine what Hannah was feeling….not because I’m a woman.  Not because I’m in a polygamous situation.  Certainly not because I want to get pregnant (ha).

I’m can imagine it because I’ve had it pretty good.

Hannah probably did too.  She was most likely the first wife of Elkanah.  He had another wife, but he probably only married again in order to have kids.  Hannah was the favored wife (I Samuel 1:5).  She was most likely beautiful, powerful, and had most anything she wanted.  But, there was something she wanted that she didn’t have.  She just wanted a son.  This went on for years.

Have you ever had something you wanted….more than wanted…something you could just give sweat blood and tears for….and you didn’t get it right when you wanted it?  I certainly can relate to that.  I’d like to have a wonderful wife.  I’d like to give back to the world in a way that is much more than what I’m currently doing.  Sometimes I’m tempted to settle.  I’m tempted to give up on the dreams that I have in my heart for good.

How about you?

Is there a good thing you’ve been wanted to do for years…and it just hasn’t panned out?

Is there a dream that you’ve had in your heart.that just won’t go away?

Maybe it’s a book.

Maybe it’s a godly relationship.

Maybe it’s a child.

Maybe it’s a ministry.

And, it just eats at your heart.  You lie down and night and think about it.  You get up and it’s there.   All day long it’s in the back of your mind.

You’re tempted to give up.  You’re tempted to throw in the towel…

Well, let me tell you this…Hannah didn’t.  At a time when others were giving up and giving in…she was getting down…down on her knees in prayer.  She was praying so hard, the man of God thought she was drunk.  Now, let me ask you this…when you feel like giving in…have you ever thought of praying so hard people might think you’re out of control?  Have you ever thought about seeking God so much that people just don’t get it.  Maybe that’s what God is shaping in you right now.  Maybe he wants to give birth to your dream, but it’s going to take going to the begging place.  Maybe it’s going to take getting to the place that your dream isn’t about you…it’s about giving birth to something that you turn over to God.

That’s what Hannah did.  She begged and she prayed…and she wanted that son…but her dream wasn’t just for her…it was about birthing into the world just what God would use to bring about his Plan and his Mission….for you see when she went to her begging place, the man of God heard her, and he said,

“Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.”  I Samuel 1:17.

This woman who couldn’t do anything but pray…she had her burden removed.  She had her dream come true.  And, her sad face turned to joy.  She ate. She went her way…and then she did something that is hard to say…but a joy to write…she gave her son to the Lord.  She gave her dream away.  God gave her her dream…and she gave it back to him.

Her dream was a son…but could she ever imagine what role he would play…in the shaping of the nation…in the anointing of the great King of Israel…and finally in the pathway to the Messiah?  Would she know that he would pave the way for something that you and I are doing today…studying about him…in a book called after his own name?  You can’t imagine what God can do with you when you are willing to do for God, willing to go to the place of prayer…willing to rise from the ashes to serve with impunity and total abandon…willing to go to the begging place.

Are you ready?

Is it time for you to go to the begging place?

Is it time for you to give your dream to God?

He will birth in you a new thing.