Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Day of March

March has been a good month for me. I don't know about you, but other than the up and down weather, I have certainly enjoyed the past few weeks. Preaching has been fun, but not the best. I have enjoyed our sermon series of Jesus' last words from the Cross. I certainly have much room for improvement in my preaching. The longer I communicate, the more I fail to remember that preaching really is an art form. This means that it is fluid/changing and should not be static. I am still learning, and I hope to stay on this journey. The college mission trips seemed to be meaningful for all who participated. I am very thankful to have gone to Greece and count it a blessing to have grown so much during the trip. I want to speak to two other "lessons from Greece" later on in the blog, but won't at this point. Julie and I have really had a great month. We are in our best season of marriage yet. She is my best friend and for that I am so very grateful. She is on her way back from Mississippi today. She has been visiting her family and having a great to time with her sister's kids. We have great families and we love them so much. I still miss ya Pop!!

Life Lesson One...
Prayer is a conversation. I really forget this much of the time. I get off into the business of my day and stop talking to God... then I realize it is nearly midnight and I need to talk with Him. This is poor on my part and short-sighted. I want to talk with Jesus throughout the day, not just when I need something from Him or I'm in pinch. I really need to spend some time just hanging out with Jesus and intentionally involving Him in my day... Maybe you do too...

Life Lesson Two...
I realized in Greece that people just want to have a conversation. People want to chat. In fact I need to chat with my friends and others that I bump into. I spoke with many people in Greece and I don't think that I was once turned down... I carried on a conversation with people for nearly hour on several occasions and had the best time. I was able to share my faith with a couple of young professionals from Athens. This happened in the midst of conversation... There is power in words you know... spoken words... written words... the Word. I believe, one of God's greatest gifts to us is CONVERSATION.

Here's some homework:
a. start having a conversation with God - involve Jesus in your day.
b. look for someone to share a conversation with - intentionally hangout with someone.

Your life will be enriched and more than likely changed. I promise!! Mine was...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Culture Connections

What is the normal rhythm of your life? Is there a normal rhythm to your days? Have you ever thought that God has a rhythm for our lives? I believe God cares about the very days we live and each moment that makes up these various days. This means that God gives notice as to how we spend the minutes that make up the moments of the days we live on this earth. Now that is something to think about. So I ask myself... Am I living in a rhythm that pleases God? Am I aware of His rhythm for my life? Am I aware of His rhythm in this world? Am I connected and in step with His rhythm?

While in Greece, our team was intentionally trying to be aware of how God was moving in a culture most of us had never been in before. It is challenging to consider the pattern of God's movement in our own context(GSU - Statesboro-USA), but even more challenging to consider the movement of God in whole other country.

How do we connect with a culture that seemingly cares little for the God we worship. It seems to me that it begins with being attentive to God, His character, and His consistent ways of acting. This means we must get to know God. It may appear to be simplistic but I truly believe that it is true. We must journey with God and get to know Him intimately.

Jesus said the greatest commandment is this...

"To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
Matthew 22:37

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A World Apart

Over the next few postings I will reflect on my recent trip to Greece. I had wonderful time over in history rich Athens, Greece. I was amazed at all I experienced during our 10 day exploration of this ancient land. The people of Greece are a delight and the country is beautiful. There is part of me still in Athens, the experience was so rich I would like to still be over in the country. It was one of the best m-experiences I have ever been a part of. Sharing the love of Christ with people this past week, radically changed me in various ways.

Why do we have travel nearly 10, 000 miles to live with a sense of urgency? Why must we leave for a week in order for God to teach us truths we have heard over and over? Why does it seem that we care so little for the people in our own back yard?

These questions as well as a plethora of others come to mind when I consider the impact of this past week...

Lord I am thankful
I am not sure why
But I am so very blessed
By Your ever present hand
On my life
Help me live anew
Give me courage
Strengthen my resolve
And patience to listen for You
Amen and Amen

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We are in the midst of Lent. Have you thought about what you will give up during this part of the Christian calendar? How can you give up something that will enable you to draw closer to the Lord? Give thanks...

What does Christ mean to you?

I ran across a great quote the other day from Blaise Pascal that made me stop and think about what Christ truly means to me...
"Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves only by Jesus Christ. We know life and death only through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is our life, nor our death, nor God, nor ourselves."

So what is Christ to you?

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." Thomas Paine
Let us remember during this season of celebrating our Faith, that Christ suffered for our freedom and we stand on the shoulders of many great men and women of faith.

Press the Pause Button

Has your life spun out of control within the first 2 months of the year? Have you had time to breathe lately? Let me ask you to do something... stop right now and close your eyes. Take 3 deep breaths. Take these three breaths with purpose and allow your lungs to fill completely. Studies have shown that we rarely take deep breaths, in fact most people use only a fraction of their lung capacity.

The same is true of our lives. There should be a natural breathing to our days. This will enable us to live in the peace and rest of Christ rather than the frantic life our world offers. Jesus said if we would come to Him that we would find rest... Lately, have you found rest or have you found yourself busier than ever? If you have not found rest, let me suggest, you just might have missed Jesus somewhere along the way?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Night Thoughts

Anger? Who said I am angry?

Do you have a problem with Anger? A good indication may be what happens when you stump your toe. This may not be the best indicator, but I am sure that there are times that you "stump your toe" and something is blurted out that you wish you could take back. The truth is, life often presents us with circumstances that bring out the true character we are made of. In my life anger does not seem to be a problem, but I do get frustrated. I get to various points in my life where I just get frustrated about an issue... the issue may be at work... the issue may be with Julie and me... the issue may be with a sin that trips me up routinely...
How do you handle moments in your life when you are dealt a bad hand? Do you get angry or do you handle the situation with mature grace? Does anger and/or bitterness keep you from moving to a new place in your life spiritually? How can you and I move beyond the place we are spiritually in our lives... For some it is dealing with the anger that is controlling them.

What does it mean for us to give a "prostitute a party?"

Our pastor, Dr. Waters, asked us today to consider what it means for FBC to give a prostitute a party? I am considering this and I am not sure what it looks like, but It seems to me that it means that our lives and ministry will look a lot different than they do right now. I loved this sermon and it has pushed me to reconsider the way I am living... am I being salt in the world?

On Shaky Ground?

A friend of mine just the other day was talking about the state of the economy and he said that times like these reminded him of Hebrews 12 when it talks about things being shaken. The things of this world will be shaken and the things that cannot be shaken will remain. This world and all it's stuff will pass away, but things of God will not be shaken.

One Final Word

I have a continued passion to reach college students. I continue to be reminded of this deep need in our community. I love serving our church and I am thankful for a church that encourages us to think outside the box. I am not completely how this is supposed to look, but the truth is there are thousands of students that are not being reached by any church or ministry... How can we begin to reach the thousands of students that are at our doorstep? I am becoming more and more convinced that what we are presently doing is not enough and sense that we may need to make changes in order to reach out to these students... GSU states that in 8-10 years that 25 thousand students will be here crawling around Statesboro. Are we positioning ourselves to reach them? Are we ready to step boldly into a new future? Will we make changes that are necessary or just continue maintaining our present level of ministry? We will either take charge of the situation and position ourselves for the future or we will stand by and do nothing. Please pray that we will sense God's direction as we prepare to reach more students both now and and in the near future.