Friday, September 25, 2009
I'm currently reading a book for school called Living the Spirit Formed Life by Jack Hayford. In it, Hayford writes about how God will take everything that we are and shape it into what we can be and what he wants us to be. God will also create in us whatever we lack and is needed.
Is it really that simple? If we keep trying, God will make us into a pillar? I'm one to try too hard. Especially when it comes to my spiritual growth. Trying is good and needed, but when I fail, I'm very hard on myself, as if growth won't happen because I failed.
My part is to keep trying and let God do the rest. Guess what? He will!
Are you trying to hard - Let GOd
Friday, September 18, 2009
Someone once told me that you have to throw a lot of spaghetti against a wall before some of it will begin to stick. I've found that statement to be extremely accurate.
Part of the ministry to marriages that I'm blessed to be involved in includes a weekly e-letter/devotional on marriage and family topics. That statement prompted me to set a goal to get that e-letter into as many homes, ministering to as many marriages, as possible. I have pursued this goal for over two years and have recently switched to a distributor as my personal e-mail provider would no longer allow for the weekly volume. I was excited. I thought, just maybe, I was accomplishing that goal.
However, I'm still human and with that excitement, I fear, came a little bit of pride. Yeah, I was a little "puffed up". God has a funny way of bringing me back down whenever that happens.
Among the many features and benefits of using a e-mail distributor comes a tracking tool that tells me who opens and reads the e-letter that week. Let's just say, I was humbled when I realized that over 80% of the spaghetti that I've been throwing is not sticking to the wall. 80% of the e-letters are never opened or read. (Cue the sound of a balloon deflating)
So, I've been examining my heart and, more importantly, asking God to examine it. Is gaining a large following of readers the true purpose for my writing ministry? Or, does my reason for writing stem from obedience to the one who called me to write?
I'm still going to keep throwing spaghetti. The change I am choosing to make is to allow God to determine where it lands and, ultimately, where it sticks.
Are you more concerned with where the spaghetti you're throwing sticks or that you're simply obedient and keep throwing it?
Monday, September 14, 2009
"The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding ; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'
(Mark 4:11-12 NIV)
I love this cat character named Roger from the movie, Open Season 2. As I was watching this scene - again and again on youtube, I began thinking about how much this scene reminds me of the times when I dreaded speaking something into the life of someone who just seems to never get it. If you have ever felt that way, guess what? Jesus felt that same frustration - he even asked his disciples one time, "Are you still so dull?" But the key is, he then went on to explain something yet again to them.
"Let us not become weary in doing good , for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal 6:9 NIV) Ours is a message that is too important to quit on. We have to keep living it, speaking it and even writing it until people do "get it". It's important because IT will change their lives.
Who do you need to speak life into? Who is within your sphere of influence that hasn't gotten it yet? Or. What is it that God is using someone to speak to you about? We're either a Stanley or a Roger. we need to both speak and listen to really "Get It."
Friday, September 11, 2009
He said at one time in his ministry, the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart and told him that he had become, "a Full-time pastor and a part-time follower of Christ."
Wow. I pray that I will always guard against that being a reality in my life and ministry. Examining myself, I can see signs of that starting from time to time. I believe it is a matter of focus. If my focus isn't on Christ then I am in danger of becoming a "Part-time follower"
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"To be a great leader or even a great Christian, our public persona must match our private life. " - Dave Swanson
Wow. Talk about being authentic. One thing about leadership conferences, I always realize how small I am and how far I need to go in Christ.
Friday, September 4, 2009
We live in a touch society. Computer screens, MP3 players, cell phones and many other gadgets respond to a simple touch. However, when it comes to people, too often we display a "do not touch" attitude. "I'm too busy, I don't know them", or worse, "I don't care" - are all responses that are indicative of our social society.
Guess what? As Christians, we need to make time, get to know "them" and we better care! The world needs Jesus and we are all God has to work with.
Jesus wasn't afraid to touch the sick or to let the sick touch Him. Who are we touching for Christ? Who are we allowing to touch us for Christ? Just as the entire World needs to know the reality of a loving Savior, we need to be touched by Godly mentors to sharpen us spiritually.
I'm grateful that there were Christians who made the time, got to know me and cared about me enough to touch my life for Christ!
Touch someones life today!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
For some reason, the thought occurred to me that they both bloomed in the desert!
I spend a good deal of time in spiritual/emotional deserts - family tradition. I've learned that for something to grow in the desert, that something has to have a strong will, a drive to thrive and much perseverance.
Deserts have their purpose, in them we don't find luxuries. Instead, we develop characteristics that make us stronger.
If we allow God to strengthen and instruct us in the desert places of our lives, think about how much stronger we will be and how the greater potential for his power to work through our lives.
Are you blooming?