Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GRABBING SOME AIR!

IT'S A FANTASTIC FEIT TO WATCH A FAST BREAK during a basketball game, where the player is zooming down the court unimpeded, he leaps through the air does a 360 degree rotation and slams the ball through the hoop. the crowd goes wild! Even those cheering for the other team love the action. His time is the air almost seems as though he's flying.

I'm presently reading Dr. Henry Cloud's book, Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships and Being  Ridiculously in Charge. In his book he writes of using the three executive function of the brain. To me it's like grabbing air.  When we put these to use, we are more free to pull off that amazing "bringing-it-home slam dunk.

Grabbing AIR:
A -- Attention. Giving attention to the task at hand.
 I -- Inhibiting. Removing that which hinders moving forward.
R -- Remembering. Recalling things that will move us forward.

So, ready to grab some AIR?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

REMOVING THE BAR

with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek, or maybe not . . .

GIVEN THE DIRTH OF WORKERS FOR MINISTRY within the walls of the church, and given the increasingly common need to lower-the-bar, I suggest that we remove the bar altogether!

Wouldn't be so much easier, and less guilt producing, if we would just let anyone apply for any needed position? Seems to me we don't seek to fully uphold the Apostle Paul's admonitions to Timothy and Titus, (1 Timothy 3:1-12; 2 Timothy 2:1-26; Titus 1:5-9) never-mention-the-fact it's God's Word.

OK, so let's just take the easy road . . .whadduyasay?

Want some thought-provoking reading? Try Martin Bucer's 1538 little book, Concerning the Care of Souls.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

LENT: A GREAT TIME FOR A SABBAITCAL

HERE I AM WRITING WHAT MAY BE MY LAST BLOG FOR AWHILE. I am embarking upon a 3-month sabbatical of renewal and restoration. 

What better time to take this journey of reconnecting with God, with my family, and with the person God has created and called me to be, than Lent?

I pray that you, too, will take this time leading to the Passion of our Lord to reconnect with Him, the Lover of your soul.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FOR GOODNESS SAKE

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: nutrilover)
BEING GOOD ALL THE TIME IS TIRING! Truthfully, it’s not always that productive either. You try to be good, do the right thing, say the right thing and no matter how hard you try to be good, some people just will not accept it. For goodness sake, what do these people want?

Over the past few weeks we have been plucking the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and this week we grasp at the fruit of, yes, that’s correct, goodness.

I think the reason that being good is so difficult for us is that it goes against our very nature. Now, I know some will disagree with me, but I think man (and that includes woman, too) has a basic tendency toward badness.  Let’s call it the old sin nature. Sure, we have our moments where goodness wins out, but as the Good Book says, “The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness upon the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined as consistently and totally evil.” (Genesis 6:5)  And we have had lots of years to perfect evil to an art form.

But, here is the good news concerning goodness, we can choose to act good. We do not have to settle for being bad, we can take the steps to respond by the very strength that the Holy Spirit supplies.  It’s not by mistake that these fruit are called the fruit of the Spirit, they belong to God, and when we choose to submit our will to His then His fruit can be developed within us.

Therefore, let us submit our will to His today. Let us respond to the admonition of Scripture that declares, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belongs to the family of believers.”  (Galatians 5:9-10)


I guess goodness begins at home.
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Sunday, February 09, 2014

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDESS

I SAY DOWN WITH RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS! I say up with purposefully planned gracious acts of loving kindness! 

Over the past few weeks we have been walking through Galatians 5:22-23. Our journey through the Fruit of the Spirit has included such things as love, joy, peace and patience. Today we focus upon kindness. Kindness is a fruit that demands action. Whereas I can say I love someone on the other side of the planet without be involved in their lives, when it comes to being kind it must be proven forth by action.

The action may come in the form of words of encouragement, or in giving up a seat on a crowded bus. It may be exhibited by washing the dishes or sitting silently next to a grieving friend. It can be expressed through the giving of an unexpected gift or a much needed hug and kiss. Kindness very rarely happens through the silence of doing nothing. Kindness is love in action.

Kindness is what is given even when it has not been earned. When it comes to God’s kindness, it is not without design that the word loving is often attached to it.  I want to encourage you to show loving kindness to everyone you meet this week. A big task? Sure, but consider the kindness that was shown to us when we deserved it the least.

At one time we were foolish and disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kids of passions and pleasures. . . . But when the kindness and love of God, our Savior appeared He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. (Titus 3:3-5)

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Monday, February 03, 2014

A PATIENT PATIENT

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...
A patient having his blood pressure taken by a physician. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I GUESS YOU COULD CONSIDER THIS A RANT, so please forgive any pain or discomfort I may cause, in other words, please be patient with me. Being patient, that’s the issue! (And our next Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22) Why is it that when I show up on time (if not even early) for a scheduled doctor’s appointment I have to wait anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour after my scheduled appointment time? But, if I am but five minutes late to check-in I am glared at and questioned regarding my inability to be on time? Go figure!

I suppose the lesson for me is to become a patient patient. I need to learn to be on time, wait my turn, and know that hopefully soon I will hear my name called, followed by those long-awaited words, “The doctor will see you now.” I know that the doctor is busy, and he has other patients that he is seeking to care for, I just need to be patient.

This lesson from the doctor’s office plays well in my mind when I think about my relationship with the Great Physician of our souls.  I come running in with some new ailment I need the Lord to fix and it seems from my vantage point that I need to sign-in, sit down and be patient. Honestly, I don’t like those days.


What I have come to discover though is that the very act of being patient before the Lord develops within me the patience that the Lord desires for me to possess. Patience, like so many of the other virtues, only comes through development. Patience comes as we learn to be the patient patient. This fruit of the Spirit does not bud, bloom, and produce a delectable fruit overnight, but when we patiently allow it to develop it brings forth the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11) A fruit that is pleasing to the Lord, and that makes it all worth the wait.
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Friday, January 31, 2014

TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE!

FOR THOSE NOT ATTUNED TO THE TRANSFORMER’S SAGA,  I keep this intro really simple (If you’re a Transformers aficionado, please forgive my overly simplified introduction.)

Transformers can look like ordinary machines, cars, planes, trucks, and when needed they transform into robots, for lack of a better term.  They have personalities fitting with both of their transformed states and since they take the form of everyday vehicles you never know if you’re near one.  The other aspect of the Transformers is that some are here to help, and some are here to destroy, and you really can’t tell who’s who until they transform into their “real” selves.  As the byline goes, “there’s more than meets the eye.”

The Bible tells us that we are to be transformed (Romans 12:1-2) and that transformation comes from 1) presenting ourselves to God as living sacrifices 2) by not being conformed to the world and, 3) by the renewing of our mind.  The renewing of our mind comes through being saturated with and submissive to the Word of God, the Scriptures.

The Word of God, coupled with the work of the Holy Spirit, can bring about a transformation in our lives as Christians and as the Church of Jesus Christ. Sadly, too many of those who consider themselves followers of Jesus are not seeing their lives transformed and thus cannot be used to be transformative in the lives of those around them, including family and friends. Thus, I believe it is of critical and vital importance that if we are going to live transformed and transformative lives it is imperative that we are in the Word of God on a daily basis. Tragically, many who call Jesus Lord and God are not doing so. Consider these simple statistics verified by the American Bible Society about our weekly Bible reading habits:
  • About 19%  read their Bible four or more times
  • Another 40%  opened their Bible once or twice, and
  • 41% didn’t open or access a Bible even once in the past week; not a paper Bible, not YouVersion on their iPhone.  Not once.
This is information relating to those who go to church and consider themselves Christians. Is it any wonder why we often feel so defeated, depressed and without direction?  It is why I am determined to preach and teach the Word of God and why we are heading off into a new study in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, which I have entitled, “Living the Transformed Life.”  

I believe that this study, coupled with our adult electives on Sunday morning, and our Bible studies throughout the week, can help us be transformed transformers. It is my prayer that as we study and apply God’s Word in our lives, we will become the living sacrifices that will prove forth the good and perfect will of God.  It is my prayer that we will become, more than meets the eye. That deep within us the Word of God and the Holy Spirit will transform ordinary people into an extraordinary force that He will use to help change our families, our neighborhoods, our country and even the uttermost parts of our world (Acts 1:8.)

If you’re still reading this Pondering, here’s a little fun incentive with which I am going to challenge us. I want you to join me in becoming charter members in Club 8. Club 8 will be open to those who memorize the entire chapter of Romans 8 during our time in this sermon series. It’s quite a task, but it’s a chapter jammed full with what it means to be a transformed transformer.  Once you have it memorized and can recite it to me I will make you a charter card carrying member in Club 8.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not some other swag that comes with membership in this exclusive club. Up for the challenge? Come on and join the fun.  The best part of course, is you’ll be hiding God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11) and that is reward enough in itself.

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