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Archive for May, 2009

No Cheese Here

How many times have you walked out of a worship service and thought, “Well, at least it was entertaining.”?  I don’t have the Bible memorized, but I don’t know of a place in scripture where God said anything like, “Come to me and be entertained.”

Now don’t get me wrong, church should be the highlight of our week – in fact, I think it should even be fun (maybe this won’t get me fired).  But if church is not real then it is not pleasing to God.  Our goal in worship should always be to please God.  I believe we do this when we present a worship opportunity for folks to focus on the creator and experience God’s presence.  This cannot be forced but the opportunity can be offered.

It grieves me when I here of churches using gimmicks to get folks through the doors.  I have been in a few services that I walked out and thought, “Man, that was just cheesy! Am I  so shallow in my faith that it takes something like that to get me here?”

I am committed to the fact that we are going to make our church a “cheese free zone.” I pray that God will grow us to be deeply rooted and that everything we do will be authentic and meaningful.  God expects nothing less and neither should we.

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Renewed Focus

We are back from two days at Plains Baptist Assembly and a church staff retreat.  It was a great time!  The retreat did a lot of things for us and for me personally, but two primary things it did was give us time to regroup and draw closer to each other as a staff and closer to our maker.

The other thing it did was to help me  renew my focus.  God is at work all around me. There are so many good things to plug into but whatever we decide to involve ourselves in has to be moving us closer to Jesus and being like him in the way we live – the way we talk, the way we work, the way  we love.

I am so excited that God has put me here, now, in this place!  I believe with all my being that God is waiting on us – on me – to bring a fresh wind, a renewal of his people – a new Great Awakening!  I want to be a part of it.

Come Lord Jesus, Come!

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Staff Retreat

We are off to a staff retreat this morning and we will return tomorrow evening.  I pray that God will use this time to help us clarify our goals and strategy for the coming months.  I am looking forward to the time away with our staff.  It will be good to be in a different environment together.

I am asking for a favor today.  Please pray for us as we meet and search out God’s will for our particular ministries and our church.

As always – thanks for reading!

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God is Dependable

Just when we thought spring was here . . .  I am in Canyon, TX today and tomorrow helping my brother with a building project.  Last night when I got here it was 92 degrees.  This morning it is in the low 50’s with a blustery north wind coming in at about 40 miles per hour sustained!  Weather in Texas is not always very dependable.  In fact, it is downright frustrating some of the time.

Thankfully, we can always depend on God, his grace and his mercy.  It is the same everyday – the same today as it was yesterday and the day before that.

I pray that your weekend is full of rest and God’s dependable love and grace.

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I was reminded today in reading this about the mustard seed, that God works through our willingness, not our abilities.  God can take what little we have to offer and change the world.  My problem is that I often allow myself to have visions of melodramatic grandeur.  I think to myself, “God can really use me to do great things.”  So I sit around waiting for something huge but miss the little opportunities along the way.

Is it possible that in spite of all the gifts and talents God has given us, it is through our insignificance that God does the best work?  I suppose it is really an issue of submission and obedience.  The smallest act of Christian love can spark untold change.  We just have to be willing to submit to the fact that maybe, just maybe, God has called us to be a little less significant than we think.  

What do you think?

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Looking for God

Yesterday, I talked about the fact that in our rush, we often miss God at work.  I want you to know that God challenged me yesterday to look for him in my day to day activities.  In reflecting on the day, I had a conversation with a person whose grandfather has been in the hospital for a few weeks and is now out and doing better.  It may be a small thing, but had  I not stopped to talk to her, I would have missed this visible working of God in our lives.

In a conversation with another person, I was told that God has really been working in the life of one individual in our church as a result of our last mission trip.  He is convinced that taking his family on a mission trip is the best use of vacation he has ever experienced.  Wow!  God is at work!  (and you say – “Well – duh.”)

But after all of the reflection, the biggest thing I learned yesterday is that I have done a terrible job of conditioning myself to look for God in my daily life.  It was difficult for me to find God working – and not because he is not working all around me but difficult because I am not accustomed to looking.  I am even more resolved to look for God today!

How is God working in and around your life today?

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The Monday Rush

It’s Monday!  I woke up late and realized all the things I had to do today and immediately began the panic.  But the coolest thing happened before I even got my feet to the floor.  It was as if God spoke to me – no, God did speak to me – and said, “It is in your rush that you miss my best work.”  

Wow!  How true is that!  I get so busy doing “my thing” – rushing kids to school, getting to the office to do “ministry” that I rarely just slow down enough to be sensitive to God’s working all around me.  In that moment this morning, I became overwhelmed with peace and a renewed commitment to look for God today and seek to get involved where God is already at work.

May you slow down and look for God’s best work today – and everyday!

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