Archive for August, 2015

A Simple Faith

In yesterday’s post I mused about the beginning of school and how children have a special place in the heart of Jesus.  I quoted Mark 10 in which we see a beautiful picture of Jesus’s compassion.  As I have reflected further on that text, something Jesus said has continued to stay with me.  In verse 15, Jesus makes a subtle but enormous statement.  He says, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”   

Like a little child.

Jesus didn’t say, “Once you have matured and have a real grasp on theology and the workings of God, then you can receive the kingdom.”  He didn’t say, “As soon as you prove yourself with selfless acts and serve on 14 committees in the synagogue and teach a class in Sabbath school, then you will be worthy.”

He said we must receive the kingdom of God like a little child.

Children aren’t usually worried about adult stuff.  Their eyes are wide as they take in all that is going on.  Their innocence is moving.  Their hopes and dreams are in tact, still vibrant with passion and excitement.  The world has yet to steal them away.  They aren’t concerned about tomorrow – they simply trust.

When the world tells you it doesn’t work that way, relax and believe.

When your mind says, “I just have to figure this stuff out,” simply trust.

Even in the midst of the stress of life, rest with confidence in God’s arms.

Whatever life throws at you today, remember that God is in control.  What is going on may not make sense – today . . . but that never means God is not present. God will never leave you nor will you ever be forsaken!

S I M P L Y     T R U S T

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Here we are . . . another beginning to a new school year.  This summer has been a whirlwind of milestones in the lives of my children – and family.  In the last three weeks, my oldest son graduated college from Texas Tech University (and is now completely employable by the way) and my youngest headed off to begin his college career.  Today he starts his classes at my alma mater – Hardin-Simmons University.  My middle son will begin classes at Texas A & M Corpus Christi on Wednesday.

So – here we are – milestones . . . new beginnings.

As each new school year begins, I think back to those days when I walked my boys through the parking lot, holding hands to protect them from the craziness that is school drop off.  I remember the looks on their faces – a mixture of excitement and full on fear.  I remember walking away trying not to make eye contact with any other adults thinking that somehow they would not see the tears on my face.  I remember getting back to the car and just sitting, trying to collect myself and praying.  I prayed for their teachers.  I prayed for them to have an amazing day.  I prayed that God would be with them since I couldn’t.

So when we get to the beginning of a new school year, I remember those days.  Then I am reminded that my boys still need God to be with them in the same ways they did way back then.

If you are in the throws of the beginning of a new school year take heart, God will see your little ones through – and you as well.

Jesus had a special place in his heart for kids – and he still does.  Mark 10 gives a vivid picture:

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

He took them in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.  He still does!  What a beautiful picture!

Father in heaven.  Today marks another milestone in the lives of our children (and when we are honest with ourselves – our own lives as well).  Please protect our kids and offer peace to parents.  Put people in their lives that help them grow in their understanding and maturity.  Please walk beside their teachers and administrators as they give their lives to make the lives of our kids better.  Through all of it, grow them into the adults you created them to be and never stop drawing them to yourself.   Amen

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A Real Community

Here is your chance.  This Sunday we will be discussing the importance real community and I want to hear from you.  How would you define community?

When I think of community – particularly as it pertains to the family of God, ideas such as unity, common purpose, love, grace, selflessness and hope all come to mind.

But as I refine my thoughts on the subject, I am asking God to inspire you to share your thoughts with me.

If I am going to stand before God’s people and describe God’s idea of community, I think it is only fitting to hear what God’s family thinks.

Let me hear from you.

You can reply here or if you want your thoughts to be more confidential feel free to email me at brian@firstcorpus.org.

I appreciate your prayerful responses.

Blessings on your day.

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I don’t know if it’s because I am the pastor or that they are just being nice, but one of our church league basketball teams has allowed me to be part of the squad.  We have had three games so far and they have humored me and allowed me on to the court to see some playing time.Basket Ball Hoop

To say I’m a baller from way back would be overstating the situation just a bit.  I played in high school and then was on an intramural team in college each year.  But since getting on the court at Baylor during my doctoral studies and tearing my ACL two years in a row, I have not really played.

But wanting to get to know some guys in a different setting and desperately needing exercise, I signed up to play.  So far, I have managed to stay injury free and other than feeling a bit guilty for taking up a slot that a real player could have had, I am having a blast.

But the experience has taught me a couple of things.

The first is – I am out of shape!  I have not seen a video of myself, but I imagine it looks and sounds something similar to a water buffalo lumbering down the court.

I had a conversation with a person yesterday who talked about body memory – the idea that once we have done things on a regular basis, our bodies remember how to do it without much intensional thought – thus the old saying, “It’s like riding a bike.”  While I agree that my body remembers what to do, the conditioning is not there to actually do it.  Being able to perform well takes conditioning and practice.  At one time, I held the percentage record for free throws in my high school.  Last night I was 0 for 2.  It takes work and while we may know what to do and even remember what it was like to have the ability, if we are not conditioned, then the performance will show it.

The second lesson I learned is that people are not always who they lead us to believe.  When one teammate from the other team has to turn to another teammate to ask what church team he is on, it is a good clue he may not be a part of the church he is representing in the church league.  Don’t get me wrong, the guys were good guys (and extremely good from outside the 3 point line) but their language was not a great presentation of the church they represented.

This experience has shown me of two things:

  1.  We represent Jesus and our actions matter.
  2. Our conditioning is crucial.

As I have thought about these epiphanies, I am reminded that we are called as believers to represent the one true king.  People are watching.  They know when our actions (and words) don’t line up with what we say we believe.  We must always remember that our actions matter.  And we also need to remember that if we are going to represent Jesus effectively, we must be conditioned.  We must practice.  We must prepare daily to be the example of love and compassion, of hope and peace.  This ability does not happen by accident.  This ability takes work – it takes time – time in God’s word, time in prayer and time spent listening.

God wants to make an impact in this world through you and through me but we have to be ready each day to go out and live what we profess to believe!

Now . . . where is that knee brace?

Be a blessing!

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