Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday's Word...STUCK...1/30/13

Ever felt like this?

Ever feel like you're heading the right direction, but you can't seem to get there? You feel like you are going where you should, but something doesn't add up or feel right? 

If you're a parent you've probably been on both sides of the issue. Your child is learning to drive; you offer advice only to be told "I've got this...take it easy!" Your toddler wants a big kid cup for the first time and, as you're trying to show them how to be careful, they spill the chocolate milk all over themselves and the floor.

You want to show your supervisor how good you are, ignoring the counsel of others, and fail as a result. 

As a Christian, when faced with challenges, we try to "fix-it" on our own. We even talk with friends and seek their advice. We take matters into our own hands. Then when everything is crumbling around us, when we can't seem to make any advances forward we throw up our hands in frustration and cry out to God and ask "Why?" 

It's the age-old question: "Why do we always approach the One who can handle everything as a last resort?"  

I know I do this all the time. I'm a "fixer." I have a strong feeling you do this too. It never works. Not like it's supposed to. Never.

It's not until we let our master take the stick and lead us through that we will find the answers we are looking for. James 4 has something for you and I today:

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)

What would it look like for you and I to "submit," "come near," and "humble" ourselves? I think we would find ourselves running into walls over and over again wondering why things aren't working out the way we thought. 

What "sticks" do you need to give to your Master?

Becoming Rooted,

(video via laughing squid)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday's Mention...1/28/13

My goal in blogging has never been to talk about my kids all the time. I'm making an exemption today.

My mention this week goes to Grayson, my 5-year old son. We were headed into Wendy's for lunch after he got out of school. I was headed to the line to order and I looked back and didn't see Grayson. Finally, I spotted him. He was back holding the door for an elderly woman who was struggling to get in the door with her walker. 

I didn't even pay attention to the woman, let alone think about holding the door. In his innocent, selfless mind, he saw a woman in need and did what he could to help her. 

It's so cool to see the hands and feet of Christ in your child. I'm very proud today...not because of anything I did, but because of who Christ is already shaping him to be. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Five...1/25/13

Well, it's icy and slippery out, but there's nothing slippery about this week's Five. Wait...what does that even mean? I was trying to be clever and that just sounded ridiculous. Sorry about that. Here we go:

1. Favorite Tweet (via @andystanley)
"Attention Shoppers: I WANT is better than I OWE. Un-met wants are easier to live with than Un-paid bills."

2. Favorite thoughts on Family -  (via - Dave Stone, Southeast Christian)
"The great preacher Vance Havner, known for his incisive one-liners, said, “A rut is nothing but a grave with both ends kicked out.”  If you want to get your family laughing, you’ve got to get out of that rut. Be spontaneous.  Change things up." 

Check out the full article called: Spontaneity, seriously, check it out!

3. Favorite "Really? It's come to this? Picture - (via laughing squid)

4. Favorite "People Are Awesome Video"

5. Favorite Stop-Motion Video (via Visual News)
This video was made of a bunch of photos of these little cutouts. Who has time for this stuff? And how do you ever generate an income doing it? 

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An update on Rolf...1/23/12

At the end of August, I posted a special request about a boy named Rolf. You can see the post here

I got an update this afternoon and thought I'd pass it along to you:

He is here in St. Louis right now, he is waiting for a phone call from the hospital in Port au Prince. As soon as they call he will go to Port au Prince and than on to Santiago. They do not have a heart surgeon in Santiago so they just wait for visiting medical teams to come through. 
But on a side note, Rolf's mom has been so happy to have a sponsor in the states that has raised money for her son. The visas and passports alone cost $1,000 American. She thought that she was going to have to pay that herself and so she got a job in Port au Prince to start working on that debt. So even though he has not had surgery yet, you and your friends have been such a blessing in paying for the visas and passports needed to stay in the Dominican. They are so, so thankful.

So, he's still waiting but he's closer to the medical attention that he needs. Already a difference has been made in this family's life as a result of the obedience of God's people.  Again, I applaud McCall Turpin for her efforts to saving this young boy's life. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday's Mention...1/21/13

The first of today's mentions is yet another follow-up from last weeks mention of the transformation I witnessed at the Marion Adjustment Center. You can read about it here.

  • I went back yesterday afternoon to worship with the inmates. Their faces were still glowing from their new found freedom in Christ. I had the opportunity to take part in the baptisms of 10 inmates yesterday afternoon. Amazing.

  • Yesterday morning was great.
    • "Give Me Jesus" - I want to have that attitude in my life. I want nothing else to matter, just give me Jesus!
    • Max Sutton's on.

  • I love my small group. We're in the middle of a Kyle Idleman study called "gods at war" and it is powerful. Great discussions and great friendships. If you're not in a group, you're missing out. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Five...1/18/13

It's been a while, but here it is; your weekly dose of random (but often valuable) things that caught my eye this week.

1. Favorite...hmm, not sure how to label this:

2. Favorite "No Way!" Picture: (There is a leopard in this image)

3. Favorite "Life Hacks" article...this could change your life. (via BoredPanda)

**Is this fair? Comment your thoughts!

5. Favorite explanation. (via Jon Acuff)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday's Word...Lessons Learned in the Strangest Places...1/16/13

Lessons Learned in the Strangest Places

Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV) reads, 

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

If you read Monday's Mention this week (click here if you didn't) you know that I had the opportunity to spend three days with some of the inmates at the prison in Marion County. This passage makes me think about something one of the inmates said on the last day. He said:

"People say I should be proud of who I am in Christ,
but I'm proud of who Christ is in me!

Did you catch that? It's a slight distinction, but it's a powerful one. We often think about all the things that we do as Christian. We are proud of our accomplishments, our changed attitudes and behaviors, and our good deeds. As you re-read this passage from Ephesians you can see very powerfully where the change comes from. Where is the power? "God...made us alive with Christ." "God raised us up with Christ." "this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." We, too often, place the emphasis of our faith, and the change it's brought about, on ourselves. Look again, where is the "you" in this passage? "dead in your transgressions," "followed the ways of the world," "gratifying the cravings of our flesh." Our life-change without the power of God in Christ leaves us dead. Without hope. 

However, add the power of God in Christ and EVERYTHING changes. We're alive. We're new creations. We're changed by God to do good works. 

An unexpected lesson for sure. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

There are a bunch of free men in prison today!

Monday's Mention...1/14/13

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend three days in prison. No...not like that. I was with a team of men that led a program called R.E.C. (Residents Encounter Christ) at the Marion Adjustment Center. It's a part of the Emmaus community. Here are my "Mentions" for this Monday:

  • I saw a man who has been in prison for 30 years and had never stepped into the chapel (his reason: it was a joke, had never heard about God, and never prayed before, stand before a group of 40 of his peers and admit that he was the fool all along. He accepted Christ on Saturday. Sunday morning he stood up and led a public prayer. Wow!

  • I saw a man who had been in a white supremacist group stand before his peers and apologize for his hatred and who was brought to tears by coming face to face with the love of Christ.

  • I saw men enter that chapel on Friday stone-faced and cold and saw them leave Sunday afternoon with weights of sin, guilt, and shame lifted off of them. They left there with smiles on their faces and the love of Christ in their hearts.

During my time to speak, I reminded the men that Christ didn't come to make bad people good, he came to make His people free. 

God set some prisoners free this weekend! That is certainly worth a mention.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday's Word...1/9/13

I took last week off from blogging. I had the opportunity to spend a week with a group of our college/young adults at Passion Conference 2013. Our group joined up with 60,000 other students from, literally, all over the world. 

To say the least, it was a tremendous week filled with great worship, solid teaching, and an opportunity to join forces with thousands of people to make the name of Jesus known. Below is a little taste of the worship from the last session. It's Chris Tomlin's new song called "God's Great Dance Floor." (The video is shaky primarily because the place was LITERALLY rocking!)

One of the coolest moments of the week was when 60,000 people exited the convention center in silence (at midnight) to make their way to the international plaza outside the Georgia Dome. There the 60,000 raised their voices to "shine a light" on the human slavery issue. Right now, there are more people in slavery (forced labor, trafficking, and sex slavery) than every before in human history. 27 Million People. 27 MILLION. It's mind-blowing. 

That's what a candlelight vigil of 60,000 looks like. 

Here's a news clip from one of the local new agencies. It also garnered national news coverage as well from several organizations.

My takeaway from the week? 

Jesus is true, Jesus is faithful, Jesus is enough. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Attention Men! 1/8/13

Tuesday, January 29th! 

Calling all Men! It's time for the annual Wild Game Feed at Southeast Christian Church! We will leave the church parking lot at 3:45 PM and return around 10:30 PM! 

The cost of the tickets is $16.

Sign up today. Space is very limited! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday's Mention...1/7/13

This past week was so full of "mentions" that I can't even begin to process them all. I went with 12 college students to Passion Conference in Atlanta with 60,000 other young adults. I came home and we had two baptisms Sunday and celebrated Joe's 10th anniversary! I'll unpack Passion Conference later, but I wanted to celebrate a little more. 

Joe Hatchett came to Campbellsville Christian Church after I had been here about 2 1/2 years. I was still wet behind the ears and Joe and Kathy took us under their wing. They became surrogate parents to Kari Jo and I in the early years of our marriage and through starting a family. 

I think to often we all take Joe for granted. I cannot begin to say enough about what Joe has taught me, how he has counseled me, and shown me what a man of integrity looks like. Joe's love of God's Word is second to none. His heart for God's children and his desire to see them become what God has called them to be is both encouraging and challenging. I am a better minister because of his influence in my life. 

I thank God for allowing me to spend the last ten years serving alongside Joe and Kathy Hatchett.