Random thoughts about life today – some of these could be blog entries, but I don’t have the time right now!
We have received an offer to buy our house! This is good but the downside is I don’t really know where we will live when we sell it! We have options – which is always a great thing! In fact another set of friends told us this week we could move in with them for a while if we need to/want to/need a change of scenery! Now if I could only secure that “job”!
Christ followers are not the same as “Christians”. This explanation will take a long time so I won’t write here but will leave the thought out there that one requires ongoing action while the other somehow has only implied an action.
My wife is amazing! She has continually worked while being less than 100% since January 2, 2012! Her massage therapy business can be hard on her physically but she has been determined to work through this. I am lucky she chose me!
We had two neat desserts this week! Cyndi made individual apple cobblers one night that were amazing! Last night we had fresh strawberries with whipped cream on fresh cake! Again, I am one lucky man!
Looking for work is not as easy as it seems – even with internet job boards. I would love to find a way to make the job search more meaningful for people and make the search more responsive.
Knowing we won’t be at our next community group meeting has me already feeling a little blue. I really enjoy the opportunity to experience life with our small group! Preparing for that group each weed has been a good outlet for me!
What has been on your mind this week?
So this week I celebrated another of my own birthdays. 52 of them have come now!
As I reflect on life so very often, I am amazed at the value we place on certain things! Whether it’s days we commemorate, items we desire, jobs we wish we had, relationships that would be the best, apartments that have all the luxuries, cars that are just cool, people whose lives we are jealous of, etc., we seem to not be content!
Contentment is not about having everything we want in material things or in relationships. Contentment comes through our state of mind. Understanding where we are and knowing that our value doesn’t rest in what we own or who we hang out with. Rather our value as a person is much more than that and as a Christ follower, I am assured of His love for me. No matter what.
My immediate goal is to be more conscious of the fact that God loves me and to act like it!
Does God really care who wins a football game?
I remember a lesson I heard from Andy Stanley about prayer. Andy questioned whether God really was going to answer the prayer of the little league parent who prayed for his son/daughter to knock in the winning run, or whether God was going to answer the prayer of the basketball player to sink the winning free throw, or whether God would answer the prayer of _________________ (you fill in the blank).
With all the hype about Tim Tebow and his faith, I know that any blog, tweet, comment or conversation that isn’t 100% behind Tebow will be viewed as anti Tebow or anti God or anti faith or anti….. but here goes:
God doesn’t care if the Denver Broncos win any more games. God doesn’t care if Tim Tebow wins any more games. I’m willing to bet anyone right now that there are other Christ followers in the National Football League besides Tebow. I’ll bet there are Christ followers in other professional and collegiate sports that simply choose to tell others about Jesus in a different manner! I’m glad that Tim Tebow is a Christian. While I don’t understand why people think his manner of professing his faith is the way to go about it, I’ll let you be the one to determine your own opinions. I do know that many of the Tebow fans who love his walk don’t emulate it – just cheer him on.
What God cares about is your personal relationship with Him.
I hope the lives of all Christ followers are different enough for non believers to want to know more about Jesus.
Cyndi and I have participated in community groups (small group Bible studies/discussion groups) for a number of years. I think we both feel that church and our faith is best lived out in small groups. Worship services are fantastic – we both love them! But authenticity among fellow believers is best when the surroundings are more intimate and the level of trust is high among the participants.
When we first began a small group at our home, our hopes were high. Hopes that through weekly gatherings, we could develop a sense of community among friends that would transcend the artificial Christianity that is prevalent in churches across America. What we discovered was that people have a tough time being real with each other. I think in part that fear is based on our on shortcomings. “What will people think of me if I tell them how I really act or talk or think?” What I learned in that first community group is that it is tough to find community with people who don’t want it! As our relationship with Christ grew, Cyndi and I were challenged to make changes in our lives – changes that demonstrated our walk with God! As we acted on that developing relationship, some of our community began drifting away – distancing themselves from us!
For the past 11 months, Cyndi and I have commuted weekly from Inverness to Tallahassee to lead another community group and attend City Church. It’s been a sacrifice that could only have been accomplished with God. We have travelled over 16,000 miles and spent thousands of dollars on gas and food. But what I have realized most recently is that God has used us in this group in an incredible way. Not our leadership but simply our obedience to Him. Listening and acting on what He has called us to do has had an incredible impact on a number of people – mostly those who we share our lives with each week in community.
I told our group last night that as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, let’s reflect on what we are really thankful for. Let’s not just say the words that others expect us to say. I am thankful for our community group and the opportunity I have each week to invest in their lives and to let them invest in ours.
Community is important. I hope you find a spot in one where you can be real and allow others to support you too.
Each Monday night, Cyndi and I lead a small group discussion group – a Community Group that delves deeper into the weekly message from Dean Inserra at City Church. As a group we honestly address issues that we face in our daily lives. Issues about faith, forgiveness, holiness, salvation, redemption, sharing our faith, living out our faith and generally what it means to be a real Christ follower.
Last night was another good time with some people who are really committed to Christ. One couple brought a friend – Michele. Michele will leave next week for a two year long mission to Hungary with the International Mission Board. I tend to ask a lot of questions and Michele intrigued me – so you can guess the rest!
Michele will spend her time building relationships with college students and members of the community she will live in. Her goals will be to disciple believers and lead them to a point of facilitating comm;unity groups when she leaves in a few years.
Although Michele will be paid to do this, aren’t each of us as Christ followers charged to dod the exact same thing? Isn’t our primary goal as a follower of Christ to share his love and glory with others? Doesn’t Jesus Christ himself leave us with a charge to go throughout all nations and teach others about Him?
I’m excited for Michele! She is embrking on an adventure that is beyond cool to me! I challenged our group to pray for Michele. I know I will.
As we closed our time together, Michele’s friends asked me to share a little of our story with Michele. While I look at our life and our actions as doing what God has called us to do, others seem to look at it with a different view. When I quit my job and began commuting 200 miles one way each week to facilitate this group and to offer my skill sets and knowledge to City Church, I did what I heard God telling me to do. He was in fact answering a prayer I’ve prayed for a very long time. I’ve begged God to let me be a part of a big movement of His. He is answering that right now! God is working through City Church in Tallahassee in a remarkable way! And I get to be a small part of it!
God has blessed us in so many ways. Last night I was reminded of the people He has surrounded us with and that may be the biggest blessing of all!
Guilty or not guilty. Justice served or not. Once again, “Christians” across this nation have proven they are no different in their reactions than non-Christians. This bothers me and I think this is a great example of whether people who profess to be “Christians” are true followers of Him or merely fans of Him.
Claiming to be a Christian is easy. Being a true Christ Follower is not. Throughout Christ’s teachings, He tells us how difficult it is and will be. Today’s church has and continues to pretend it is easy to be a Christ Follower. Raise your hand. Sign this form. Say this prayer. Poof you’re a christian. Not.
Die to yourself. Love others. Obey His teachings. Much harder and not as popular. Obviously why so many choose to be a fan and not a follower.
You can justify your words and your actions as to why you say and do what you do. At the end of the day, Christ Followers are to be different. Not because we are perfect but because we are trying to do and follow what Christ teaches us and that in itself is different than how the world acts.
Be angry. Be mad. Be outraged. But don’t spew hatred and vile things on facebook, twitter, your blog or even while talking to others. Remember, the same Christ who died for you died for Casey Anthony.