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Doubt and Wisdom

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

When in doubt, simply take a step…a morally ‘right’ step.  Eventually you’ll get where you want to go.  If not, then at least you still did the ‘right’ thing. 

Either way, you’re successful.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

My Life Has a Plan

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Psalm 80

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up like every two hours?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

If money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches?j

These are funny…and I’ll bet you can come up with more. Do you ever think about the questions Mary, the mother of Jesus, asked? ……..we’re making a quick transition now.

There’s no direct writings about this, but I’m sure she knew of the Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah. I’m sure she realized the importance of the child she was carrying when escaping to Egypt when the local leader wanted all baby boys murdered. I’m sure she was asking questions knowing that the two year old she was potty training was REALLY the Son of God. When He was actually teaching the rabbis in temple school, I’m sure she was wondering about the rumors of what He would become. Joseph had to be looking into the Scriptures to see what this boy under his care was all about. I would guess there wasn’t much talk about it when the “subject” came up.

I wonder what Mary thought of when she would hear Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist calling Him the Lamb of God. She knew what a “Lamb of God” was. It was the sacrifice for the sins of a family! I’m sure she was asking questions.

I wonder if she ever thought of the story of Abraham and Isaac. I’m positive she knew the story of her ancestor Abraham. I wonder if she ever thought she might be in a similar place to Abraham…she wasn’t the Father…but she was the momma. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. Was she going to have to see her son Jesus in the same position? I’m sure she and her husband asked those questions.

There was a ‘plan of life’ that Jesus was following. I’m sure there were logical people who were following Jesus…some were disciples. Others may have been the women who were following. One might have been Mary. If God’s son was here with us, among us, then there must be a purpose and an ‘end game.’ What was it? I’m sure Mary knew in her heart where this was going. He was the Lamb. Lambs are killed for the purpose of forgiveness. He was perfect. He was unlike any child she was familiar with. He didn’t back down to danger or high risk. He was making those in authority upset. There were rumors of arrest and death to shut this person, her son, up.

We see so many people in this life lost as if without purpose or a plan. I just watched a John Maxwell video clip about successful people. He said that the first thing he notices about successful people is that they know what they’re here for. He said that there are two important days in a successful person’s life. One…when they were born. Two…when they figured out why.

Follow me here…we’re going to use a line of logic. If Jesus was born to die for us so we could live and be servants in a great Kingdom, then what’s that say about us? If we are servants in God’s Kingdom, then what’s that say about our daily life? If God provides us a daily life, do you think there are things, everyday, that He wants us to pray about or do? If there are things that God wants us to do every day, do we have purpose? I’m starting to let that sink into my being. Where ever I am or whatever I’m doing, I have a purpose. It might be the little thing I said to the telemarketer on the phone. It might have been the smile I gave to the gal in the Taco Bell drive through. It might be the sincere asking of “How has your day been?” to my daughter when she gets off the bus. It might be the prayer I said during lunch time for a friend.

I’m convinced that Life is not random. Do random things happen in life? Yes, but my plan of my life is not random. I have the purpose and plan of living a daily life so God is seen by many people.

Mary, I personally believe, knew this about her son Jesus. Yes, I believe it broke her heart. Yes, I believe she stayed awake at night with nightmares about what ‘might’ happen to her son. Yes, I believe that she was torn apart when the arrest took place. But I also think that Mary might be running around Heaven pointing to Jesus and telling people, “That’s my son…I’m so proud of Him. He’s also my savior.” When she was finally face to face before God, I’m sure that God said, “Well done servant.”

A leader has plans for followers. God is our leader and He really wants to say to us, “Well done servant.” As leaders, can we point to our Leader everyday so that other people see their plan in the story?

For Kids – I would just continue to tell the Easter story as we head into the big week. Next week is Palm Sunday…when Jesus entered Jerusalem with a huge party that drove the authorities nuts. Here are some different links I found that might help you with this one.

Parents will be watching the video which will take them from the beating of Jesus up to just before the cross is raised with Him on it. The focus is on how Mary felt through all of this…realizing that Jesus’ life really did have a plan and the plan was for all of us.

How Did I Get Here!

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

You know you are in deep trouble when…

* The stewardess on your American Airlines flight tells you NOT to fasten your seatbelt.

* Your accountant’s letter of resignation is postmarked Panama.

* You have to hitch hike to the bank to make your late car payment.

* The little league puts you on waivers.

* Your suggestion box starts ticking.

* Your secretary tells you the FBI is on line 1, the DEA is on line 2, and CBS is on line 3.

* You see the cruise captain running toward the railing wearing a life jacket.

* They pay your wages out of petty cash.

* A black cat crosses you path and drops dead.

* You take an assertiveness training course and you’re afraid to tell your wife.

* Your pacemaker has only a thirty day guarantee.

* The candles on your cake set off your smoke alarm.

* The pest exterminator crawls under your house and never comes out.

So how many of you have ever found yourself in a spot that you didn’t want to be, and then wondered how you got there. It might be with your job. It might be with your debt. It might be with your health. It might be with a hobbie…or lack of one. It might be with a relationship. Whatever it might be, you got there and would really like to know how. The other thing you want to know is how to get out of it and get back to what you really wanted in the first place.

I ask that you read the scripture reference Steve is preaching from this weak as I’m only going to make references to it rather than retell the storyline.

Jacob found himself in a place that he didn’t intend to be. A bunch of things happened in a seemingly short amount of time that led his family name to be questioned. It seems as though he is wondering if he actually made the right decision surrounding events involving his daughter. His sons seemed to be caught up in a violent and vengeful reaction that was planned without his knowledge. He could have made many decisions at this point. He could have reacted to his sons and his daughter in many different ways. He could have … well, you fill in the blanks. We all might have had different emotional drives if in the same situation. I know I would have. I’m sorry to say that I might have been out of line with legalities too. It is also alluded to that his family and servants have walked away from believing in the one true God. They are worshipping idols. I’m not sure how, but Jacob does make a choice. He listened to God’s whisper.

Do you ever have that whisper in your ear or in your heart? You know, the whisper you get when you know you’re in a jam. The one you get when you’ve done something wrong, or about to do something wrong. That whisper that you get when you lay down at night and are contemplating the realities of the day, the ones you don’t want to remember. Jacob heard. Jacob obeyed…and for good reason.

Jacob’s response to all of this is, “I’m going to Bethel to build an altar to God, the one who answered me in my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

While in Atlanta a couple weeks ago, I heard a church leader from D.C. speak of something he does to help him when he gets those feelings of, “How in the world did I get here?” He went back to Illinois, where he grew up, took a photographer with him, and traveled to the farming area where he was walking one day in the past. This was the place where God spoke some very significant words to him. It was the place where he heard God in a big and changing way. The photographer snapped a shot of the field and blew it up to poster size, framed it. Mark Batterson now has this framed picture hanging right behind his desk in his office. You know the rest of the story. It’s his reminder of God’s direction for life.

Author and church leader Andy Stanley wrote a book titled, The Principle of the Path. He said that we all end up in places where we did not intend to be. But, no matter where we end up, it started with us beginning down a path and staying on it. Sure, there are exit signs along the way, decisions we probably should have made, but at the end, it was the path we chose to follow. If the path I’m on leads me to eat 5 Snickers Bars a day and drink 5 Dr. Peppers a day, then we can all figure out where that path is going to take me. If you don’t put effort into relationships around you that are important, that path will lead somewhere…probably a place you don’t want to go. Jacob listened to God’s voice and stopped. He then chose a path that would lead he and his family and his household to a place different than where they were currently headed. He went back to where He met God in a big way.

Have you ever gone back to where you met God? Have you ever heard God asking you to take some time to stop and rethink what you’re doing? It might be that you’re hearing God whisper, “…you’re on the wrong path. Come back to me and let me help you start over again.” As one of my favorite groups of spiritual teachers say, “God is the God of second chances” (Veggie Tales – Jonah and the Big Fish). Jacob was beginning to know just how big God’s forgiveness and grace is. We can know too.

Categories: trust Tags: , , , , ,
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