Friday, February 27, 2009

Help! My Waistline Is Being Sabotaged

I did it! I have successfully made the switch from regular soda to the diet variety, thanks to the tolerable taste of the Coke-Zero line. I have been pleased with myself, having maintained a weight that is 10 pounds less than what I weighed at the beginning of the year. I had been trying to eat sensibly - sticking with one serving at meals. Then it appeared!

What is it, you ask? It seems that Grace Fellowship's food ministry had a surplus of cookie dough and chocolate milk (which would have expired before our next distribution date). Some of this has found its way into our refrigerator and freezer.

Arrrgh! Big problem! I love eating cookie dough. I know that it is in the fridge, beckoning to me with it's gooey goodness. I realize that Robin brought it home to make cookies, but as of this minute, all 10 pounds of it remains in it's irresistible raw form.

The books I'm currently reading deal with the issues of leading a disciplined life. I have been challenged like I have never been challenged as I read them. There is so much room for improvement in that area of my life. I need to be more disciplined with my time - with God, my family, my friends and my calling. But just like the cookie dough, there is always someone or something beckoning to me - distracting me from the good things that I listed. I have found that the more I give in, the more behind and undisciplined I become.

There comes a time in life when you just have to, either, say no or not now to some things. Right now, I need to say, "no" to the cookie dough! My waistline depends on it.

In what part of your life do you need to be more disciplined?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Message Misers In A Dark World

This morning, in my devotions, I was reading about the time when Jesus was telling the parable about the lamp on a stand in Luke, chapter 8. He warns the disciples against keeping what they heard about the Gospel to themselves. He taught generosity and the radical sharing of the Gospel. I like how The Message paraphrase puts it. - "Generosity begets generosity, but stinginess impoverishes. "

Sometimes, if we are not careful, we can get miserly about the Gospel that has been entrusted to us. It's easy to sit in the pew and be content with status-quo in our churches. However, that's not what we are called to do. We are called to so much more.

Each person in local church is meant to be a catalyst for change in the community in which God has placed that church. How the church body accomplishes that task is not nearly as important as accomplishing the task.

Are you being a message miser or a message giver? There are thousands of people who walk in darkness, waiting for the light in the message you have been called to deliver.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sandwich - Creating Margins and Empowering People

It's been called the sandwich generation and Robin and I are card-carrying members. Our days, currently, consist of getting the kids on the bus, working/ministry and then getting back home or to the hospital/nursing home to care for my aging parents. Is it OK to admit when I am tired?
One of my biggest faults and struggles in life is in the area of creating margins, in which I live my life. I always feel like a failure as a son, if I'm not meeting my parents' every need. I feel like I fail as a husband and father because when I'm tending to my parents, I can't always be with my wife and kids. Oh yeah, throw a printing job, the ministry and college student in there for good measure. When I focus on one, the other is left lacking.
However, I am learning. Last Sunday, I was blessed when someone wanted to inform me of how they were planning to proceed with a ministry they had been both called to and, subsequently, placed in leadership of. They knew that I was running close to the margin in that area of my life and just wanted to keep me, "In-The-Loop" without requiring anything from me. Talk about a breath of fresh air. They allowed me that space to say, I can't but I know that you can! Double blessing!
I think one of the largest failings in ministry is when we fail to empower people and give them opportunity to serve within their gifts and talents. This person, who was so gracious to me on Sunday, has such gifting and I can prayerfully and confidently send him to that particular ministry with a proverbial pat on the back and a, "Atta Boy - Go get 'em!".
One of the greatest blessings of serving such a great God is found in the fact that we don't have to know it all, or do it all. The far greater good comes from the fellowship of learning from each other and watching God develop skills within the church body. There is a saying that says, " Less is more." I think that when we place margins in our life we accomplish so much more.
Now, if I could only get this post to have some margin between the paragraphs :(

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Many Hands

This morning, Robin and I arrived at the church with a full day ahead of us. No sooner than we had walked in the door when people started showing up and offering their help. In a matter of hours we had completed the major tasks of the day, allowing me to focus on some administrative projects.

God is really up to something. He is adding to our number daily. Gifted and talented people are joining us in the ministries at Grace Fellowship. Often, we just have to step back and say a prayer of thanks to God.

I believe that God intends for each person of the church to minister in his Kingdom. Not only does it advance the Kingdom but makes the journey a real blast!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Back to the Blog

Wow! It's been nearly two weeks since I blogged. My faithful reader, reminded me that I needed to blog, so...

God is awesome! Robin and I just had an awesome weekend that we spent with 30 other couples . Robin and I had the privilege of speaking and facilitating at Grace Fellowship's marriage conference. It was amazing to watch God touch hearts, mend marriages and restore families. We had prayed that God would do these things, but the way he did, surpassed anything we could have ever imagined.

Divorces cancelled, a divorce that is turning into a marriage again, tears, laughter, hugs, kisses and smiles! God is able to take nothing and turn it into something beautiful. There is nothing he cannot do when people yield their hearts to him.
I'm still smiling.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Being Ahead While Thinking You're Behind

A friend of mine said something today that really stuck with me. I guess it struck me as it did because I had just been thinking along the same line earlier this morning. I was remembering reading about the Apostle Paul and how he was a tent-maker. His livelihood did not come from the ministry. He even went on to say that he (paraphrased) earned his way and was not a burden to the churches.

With that still fresh in my mind, my friend (a fellow minister) was expressing his congratulations, as my wife had a job interview today and will begin working at a local Christian bookstore on Monday. This is a tremendous blessing because it takes two secular incomes to keep the Kidd family afloat and in the ministry. But what struck me, specifically, was when my friend expressed his belief that there will be an increasing number of tent-maker ministers in the days to come. At first, I thought, that doesn't sound like faith, but as I pondered his statement, I came to realize that while God has promised to take care of us, he has never said how he will take care of us. Perhaps, that provision will come, increasingly, disguised as a job outside of vocational ministry.

If that will be the case, and I do not know if it will be, I guess already having a job is just another one of God's many blessings.
You know something? I really believe God has this whole thing called life under control. I'll be chewing on this one for a while...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Got Faith?

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear . Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31 NIV (See Also Matthew 6:33)
Have you ever been tempted to question God and ask him if you are where he wants you to be? You know, those times when you are in a battle and doubts and fears arise.
With our employer cutbacks, money has been tight and Robin and I were concerned about our bills this month. This morning, the telephone rang. Robin answered it and talked with someone who said that God had told them to pay our van payment this month! I do not think this person even knew we had a van payment. Thank You God!
God's provision never ceases to amaze me. Even though I still get concerned, I think that concern gets less and less severe each time God provides. That's how we grow in faith. We look back and can say that, "God met me there!" Then we can look at the obstacle in front of us and declare that, "God will meet me here!"
If we continue to put God and his Kingdom first in our lives, God will do the rest. How do I know? He says so in his Word and I have faith to believe it! Got Faith?