World Changers

30 07 2009

It’s fascinating to me to think about the role of the church in relationto this world. Some people see ‘church’as a location. Others see it as a meeting that takes place on a weekly basis. Still others think of it as a man made institution or community group. Those who are heavily religious look at the church astheee power tool for manipulation or self-righteous bigotry. But there church is nome of these things. The church has been beat described a ‘the hope of the world!’ It is quite literally the ‘ekklesia’ (in Greek), or’the called out ones’ in our modern day English. Butcalled out of what? According to the apostle Peter, the church is that group of people who have been called out of darkness and into the liht of Christ. There church is a living, loving, culturally relevant organism built of people who have put their faith in Jesus. And our primary roles to play are to honor God and change our world with the love of Christ. If church isore about YOU than it is OTHERS than your understanding of the church is off base. I encourage you to rethink your definition of this great movement that Jeaus created…and see if you are living out your calling of being a world changer and voice of hope! And if you’re not – then begin today!

A Dangerous Prayer!

8 07 2009

Here’s a prayer I am asking my congregation to consider praying on a daily basis to help us discover better opportunities to share of faith in Christ with others. It’s simple but powerful. I adapted this prayer from a recent blog I found from Mark Batterson (pastor of National Community Church). Maybe you should join us in praying this prayer as well!

“Lord, I pray for an opportunity to share my faith with someone in some way. It’s not up to me to decide who or when or where. But I know why. Because you love them and want a relationship with them. So Lord, surprise me with opportunities to share my faith.

Forgive me for trying to do your job for you. You are the one who convicts of sin. You are the one who draws people to yourself, but help me do my part as I become salt and light.

Help me see those opportunities to react compassionately and listen patiently and even to speak kindly to others. And, through my words and my actions, help me plant seeds of love in the lives of others. Give me boldness when it’s time to speak. Give me restraint when it’s time to listen. Give me words to say. But more importantly, give me ears to hear.

Lord, help me be sensitive to the prompting of your Holy Spirit so I can see the divine appointments you send my way. Help me not to be afraid of questions I cannot answer. Help me not to be afraid of people’s reactions or rejections.

Lord, help me preach the gospel every day, when necessary, with words. In Jesus name, amen!”

Life Before Cell Phones

2 07 2009

CB RadioDoes anyone remember the CB Radio?

This is something that brings back such fond memories for me. Now, let me say right up front…I do wish to go back to a CB styled life, but I do love the memories.

It happened today. I was reading a book and something I read really challenged me. It was as if the author was speaking right to me…and almost without thinking, I responded (in my head): 10-4! Now, for the record – I didn’t say it aloud. I didn’t talk to myself…that RARELY happens! 🙂

However, with just the thought of those numbers 10-4 came a flood of emotions and thought. And I was reminded of those times as a kid where we would be on vacation and Daddy would let me sit up front and talk on his CB Radio to all of the truckers and the other vacationers on the road. It was so much fun. With a CB (unlike a cell phone), everyone has a “handle” or a “call name” – and mine was “Little Bear”. Daddy’s was “Big Bear”. I have always wanted to be just like him. Well, all of those thoughts and emotions caused me to google the phrase “10-4” and along with it, I found a lot more codes that CBers use. I thought you might enjoy them. — Over!

10-1 = Receiving poorly
10-2 = Receiving well
10-3 = Stop transmitting
10-4 = Message received
10-5 = Relay message to _____
10-6 = Busy, please stand by
10-7 = Out of service, leaving the air
10-8 = In service, subject to call
10-9 = Repeat message
10-10 = Transmission completed, standing by
10-11 = Talking too rapidly
10-12 = Visitors present
10-13 = Advise Weather/Road conditions
10-16 = Make pick up at _____
10-17 = Urgent business
10-18 = Anything for us?
10-19 = Nothing for you, return to base
10-20 = My location is _____
10-21 = Call by telephone
10-22 = Report in person to
10-23 = Stand by

Well, there were many more…but I think that’s enough. Over and out! 🙂

Thinking About Freedom…

2 07 2009

atari_4th_largeAlright, if my math is correct – this week marks the 233rd Independence Day Celebration for America! It was on July the 4th in 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this coming Saturday will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues (and in my case – a huge fish fry with all the fixin’s). I recently discovered a website which indicated that potato salad and potato chips are the most popular food items found at Fourth of July picnics across the nation ( That same site also noted that in 2007, we imported $217 million dollars worth of fireworks. I think the majority of that money was spent by my neighbors (as they love to shoot off their fireworks).

Well, we have come a long way as a nation. Freedom! There’s nothing like it. But I thought I’d add one quote from one of our greatest presidents – Abraham Lincoln. Let this comment stick with you today…and consider the ramifications of it. He said,

“We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation. But we have fogotten God.” – Abraham Lincoln

Let’s put first things first…and celebrate God’s goodness to us! Blessings.

Sticking Close!

1 07 2009

Vineyard_in_MontoneOkay, so I thought I might share a bit of my own devotion today.  In John 15:1-8 1 Jesus says,

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  John 15:1-8 1 (NIV)

Now, let me just make a quick observation from this passage. Here it is — Jesus used the phrase, “Remain in Me!” – not once, but 5 times! Now, as far as communication goes…anything that is repeated or emphasized again and again is always key (or central) to the message being shared.

It’s fascinating to me to see how directly and with almost a sense of abandonment that Jesus does this. His is so in the face of those around Him…and it is without hesitation that He makes His point clear.

He states the most important thought here again and again. He says, “Remain in Me!” Now, if you get nothing else out of this post – get this…Jesus wants you to emphatically understand the importance of sticking close to Him!

I’m sure this seems obvious – but here’s what I got out of this. First, this is so important to our daily living…because the the vine is always the source of everything needed to not only survive, but thrive. And secondly, because all fruit has it’s beginning in the source!

Everything good that we long to produce in our lives will only come from the source…the vine — Jesus!

Think on these things!