December 15, 2010

Today, there is hope. As long as we have breath, we have hope. Nothing is over until it is over. So don’t lose hope. Let’s all keep hope alive. Let’s not lose heart or lose our way or lose our dreams or lose our joy. It may be awful around us but it doesn’t have to be awful inside us. It may be a disaster all around, but it doesn’t have to be disaster inside.

There is joy to be had and joy to be shared. There is a smile that needs to crease your face. There is the opportunity to find optimism in a pessimistic world. There is the opportunity to do good even when good has not been done to you. There is the opportunity to forgive even when it’s not merited. Hope can come on the wings of so many opportunities. Don’t lose hope. Gear yourself up with it. Your smile is the star on your own Christmas tree. So light it up. And hope!

Where am i

December 1, 2010

I am sitting in the waiting area of a doctors office waiting for my brother to get checked out. Reading a book on Kindle. thinking about all kinds of stuff. Heavy stuff. So I guess I will mind dump here on some of itt.

Health. I am unhealthy. seeing sickness in this room makes think I need to get me act together. not a fan of anything healthy but it’s time to radically change. But will I?

Church. I tweeter yesterday about church and being committed to being there. Its not just about being in church. It’s about being church. It’s about being Biblical. It’s about being committed to the Gospel with others. It’s about growing old together and sharing and hugging necks in tough times. Its not a convenience store where you go when you need something. It’s not an event where you go when it’s convenient and when it’s appealing. It’s about sharing gifts and receiving gifts. It’s about celebrating Jesus. It’s about forgiving and being forgiving. It’s the vehicle God created to accomplish His mission on the earth.

Important. What’s important seems to shift with time. Finances seem important until you are sitting in a funeral. Concern for your kids behavior seems really important until you see some other kid act way worse. Getting what you want seems important until you hear about someone on the edge of eviction from their house What is important are people. I need to remember love is the trump card. I play that card and everything else loses importance. What I care and worry about is minimal in light of my relationships with others.

Blogging. Haven’t been too faithful with it lately. not sure why. I have lots to say. But lately I kind of feel like I need to reserve my thoughts and not spill them all. People read things sometimes differently than I intend. Not bad necessarily but different.

Spell check. I stopped learning how to spell. Auto correct keeps me from growing in that area.

Why It’s GREAT To Be A Guy

November 1, 2010

Not sure where I got this, but I read this Sunday morning in church a few weeks ago about

Why It’s GREAT To Be A Guy…

– Your last name stays put.

– The garage is all yours.

– Wedding plans take care of themselves.

– You can be president.

– You can wear a white shirt to a water park.

– Car mechanics tell you the truth.

– You don’t care if someone notices your new haircut.

– The world is your urinal.

– You never have to drive to another gas station because this one’s just too icky.

– Wrinkles add character.

– Wedding Dress $2000; Tux rental $100.

– The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.

– New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

– Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with: “So, notice anything different?”

– One mood, all the time.

Thinking about Church

October 4, 2010

Tonight, like every Sunday night, I think about church, our church, Legacy. And every week, I invariably think about two sides of our church. I am not pulling any punches on this post. But I won’t reveal everything I am thinking either. But these are my thoughts and I own them. And I am praying through this very adamantly. So here goes.

FAITHFUL PEOPLE. Thank you Jesus for the faithful in our church. We have a solid group of people who will flat out be there if at all possible, will give faithfully financially, will serve their butts off, and will not quit, give up, give in or gife out. They just get it. Like our worship team. Every Sunday morning, they are there at 8:00 am getting ready to bring worship. Like the hospitality team that get all the stuff ready. Guys like John Kent who works ridiculous hours and will be in church unless he is working. Girls like Jennet who work the graveyard shift at 911 and will be there unless she just can’t. People like John Vela who brought in 200 plus cans to the food pantry. Like Wayne who stayed up most of the night making sure we had great brisket to eat today at the picnic. Like all the people that work in the kids ministry, invisibly, so our kids will learn about Jesus and will grow up with a relationship with Christ, not just an idea of who He is. Like so many who give faithfully, tithing, even though they may even be in financial struggles. Like Wendy who tries to get people signed up for hospitality and food. And when people just won’t sign up, she just goes out and buys the stuff, making sure things are covered. Like Kandy who picks up so much slack it’s not even funny. Like David and Cheri and Brian and Amanda and Chad and Rebecca and Shannon who help lead this church despite frustrations and challenges. I am sure I left some people out. But we have some amazingly faithful people in our church and I am sorry if I just didn’t mention you. But I couldn’t be more inspired to see you faithfully serve Jesus and serve Legacy. It is faithfulness in action and I think it blesses the heart of God Himself!  So thank you all so much for your faithfulness. AMAZING PEOPLE!

MIA’s – I believe people who just don’t show up and don’t give financially and don’t serve are not only hurting our church but are hurting themselves. I am hearing the frustrations of the faithful. The questions I hear most often are:
“Why don’t people get to church”
“Why don’t people give faithfully”
“Why don’t more people respond and sign up”
“Why don’t more people serve”
The fact is, we need every person to reach our God given potential as a church. And not getting to church when you can hurts our momentum. Not giving faithfully handcuffs our efforts to support international missions, and it cripples our ability to do outreach. We have an excellent outreach plan that is sitting “up on cinder blocks because we can’t afford the wheels” to roll it out. We have ministries that need help, hands, volunteers. So some of the faithful are getting stretched too thin. Scripturally, there are so many verses that point to the importance of church in the eyes of Christ. Yet sadly, the priority is not church. For me personally, the two most frustrating things as a pastor are people that don’t make church a priority and people that do not give faithfully to the ministry of the church. And when I have to spend my time figuring out how to manage ministry and how to make ends meet as a church, it keeps me from spending more time on our future, our present spiritual challenges, and our vision and strategies. The best thing to happen as you read this is that you not get frustrated with what I am saying or get offended, but evaluate your own position and make changes if need be. I believe in you. I believe God wants you to thrust yourself more fully into the flow of the church and experience God’s blessings as a result. And when you aren’t here, aren’t giving, aren’t serving, I definitely feel it and miss you and your contribution!

We are trying to build a church that we all can get excited about. And we are trying to build a Christ centered church where we believe Jesus is pleased with how we serve, how we minister, how we worship, and how we grow in discipleship. We are not trying to build a comfortable place where participation and commitment and sacrifice are for the 20%. It’s time to step up. It’s time to gear up. And it’s time for all of us to come alongside the faithful who are carrying more of the load than they need to. It starts with me. It starts with you. No more excuses. We need you to get into the life and flow of Legacy Fellowship and be counted faithful so we can further the advancement of the cause of Christ in our lives and the lives of others. And if this email hasn’t offended you, I hope to see you Wednesday night at 6:00 pm for prayer or Sunday morning at 10:00 am for worship.

Trusty steed

September 30, 2010

So I go to pick up my daughter and I hear some noise. Whirring whining kind of noise. Then a couple of clunks. Then I lose power steering and power brakes. I am thinking I got this cuz I grew up in the era of manual everything. but the old steed wasn’t having. Apparently the battery goes out quick so the steed relies on a pacemaker to keep going. so it dies. My son comes to get his sid and take her home. But I have to be with the steed when aaa comes to tow. So here I sit sweating and waiting. Did I mention we justade the last payment.

Saturday Suppositions

September 25, 2010

I am writing today. That in and of itself is a bit unusual. Seems I am writing all the time, and blogging just gets a trunk seat. So, this morning, I am writing a few things on my mind. You probably will not find any good in it, so you have your disclaimer.

– The Facebook owner gave Newark $100 million dollars. The city is pondering what to do with it. Maybe it’s just me but wouldn’t it have been a bit wiser to specifically target projects that would help the whole city? Giving money to a city without limitations or expectations is kind of careless. I am guessing that the money will be used to build something rather than fix/help/restore. The gift is amazing and speaks highly of the giver. Not knocking that. Just think maybe some accountability for that gift would have been a good idea.

– The exploits of Lohan and Hilton and their drug escapages seems to get tons of press. What doesn’t get press is how many people, in that exact situation, would have still been in jail. I am amazed at how much grace they receive. Japan, though, was not interested in giving Hilton grace and rejected her entrance to their country. I continually sit in amazement at all that goes on in our world.

– A Cincinnatti Reds player threw 105 mile an hour pitch. Holy cow that’s fast. Arnoldis Chapman threw 25 pitches in total last night, all of them over 100 mph. Are you kidding me? That is insance. Good for him.

– Sometimes prayer is all we have. And sometimes prayer is saying nothing but just letting God be God and trusting Him to sort everything out. I find I want so much to fix things and help people. And I find God needs me, at times, to not try and fix things I can’t fix and not help people I can’t help. That is a continually disturbing reality.

– I am so thankful for my new office chair. I am blessed. It’s not a ridiculously expensive chair. I got it with reward points. $120 chair cost me around $15 actual out of pocket cash. But it’s just so much more comfy.

– Pride is really cheap and easy to come by. Humility is expensive and difficult to gather. And it takes a lot of courage and, well humility, to put off pride. I will let you know when I get that all figured out.

– My wife is truly amazing. I have a front row seat watching her continually pursue the calling of God on her life. And I also fully understand that part of her job is to help me with humility. I mean that in a good way, for the most part!!

– Are you still reading. If so, please let me know if I can help you or pray for you. Seriously. Let me know.

Daily Devotional 2 Timothy 2

September 22, 2010

God’s Word-2 Timothy 2

1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.   2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.   3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.   4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.   5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.   6 The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.   7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.   8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,   9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.   10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.   11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.   12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.   13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.   14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

My Thought

Paul tells Timothy to take the things he was told by Paul and give them to faithful men. The order of how Paul instructs here is important. Give the task to faithful me so that they can teach others. Unfaithful people are obviously not to be given responsibility.

If you look up faithful or unfaithful in the Bible, you will see this word all through the Bible. It is huge in the eyes of God. God rewards faithfulness. He does not reward unfaithfulness. Faithfulness is in the very nature of God. It is one of His most endearing traits. God is so faithful to us. He is so committed to us. And He expects faithfulness out of those He wants to bless.

To teach God’s word, then, a person must be faithful. Faithful in what? Faithful with the responsibilities. Faithful with discipleship. Faithful with friends and family. Faithful in prayer. Faithful to keep his or her word. Faithful. In essence, if a person is faithful with everything else, they will be faithful with God’s word and the ministry of God. And when God looks upon a person and calls them faithful, that person has arrived at a place of pleasing God. After all, the root word for faithfulness is faith!

Your Questions

1.  In what ways are you faithful?

2.  In what ways are you unfaithful?

3.  Do you think you are able to be trusted with teaching Gods word?

4.  Do you think you are able to be taught Gods word?