Thursday, September 30, 2010

All for His glory

A few days ago, I received an email from a former student.  Now I'm honored that they even remember me, but this email was different.  This email was asking about spiritual issues.  They want to serve the church, but they don't want to serve in the church.  This question isn't anything new.  Many people think about this.  It isn't about working in the church, it is about working for the church...for the betterment of the Kingdom of God.  Romans 11:36 states, "For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!  Amen."  Simply stated, we exist to exhibit God, to display His glory.  It doesn't matter where you work or what job you do.  It doesn't matter if you are a doctor, working in retail, flipping burgers...If you follow Jesus and you are doing what you do in His name, then it is no longer secular work; it's sacred (Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell)  We are all working for the glory of God.  We are all working for the church.  We are all working for the Lord.  So my doesn't matter what job you have.  It doesn't matter where you work.  Do it for the glory of God.  Do it for the right reasons and you are working for His kingdom.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Passion Starts With Us

I was recently reading the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.  While reading this, you can see the passion in the heart of the Samaritan.  Passion? Perhaps that is where we need to start? Do you have a passion to help people? We should. I think it is that easy to start being a good Samaritan.
Just recently I read an article online from Good magazine that said, “The global problems are larger than before, but our capacity to meet them is larger still.” The author is right. Think about what the 12 disciples did with what little they had. In contrast think about the size of the church today and the means that we have of Internet, cars, phones, money, goods and services. Can we be doing more? I think we could and should. I recently read that if the Big 8 (the biggest 8 countries in the world) gave 1% more of their budgets to global poverty, we could end it in the entire world. Think about the size of these countries’ budgets and how little 1% might be. We are capable of what no other band of people can do: unite in love and passion to help bring reconciliation to every heart, soul, and corner of the world. Is it as easy as just starting?  Passion?  It has to begin with us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is a process

I've heard farmers say, “We can’t make the seed grow, we can only be sure the soil is ready for the seed. God is the only one who can make the seed grow.” Those farmers are sharp sometimes. In 1 Corinthians we are reminded that spiritual growth is a process. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul calls believers God’s children, God’s field, and God’s building.

We are God’s children, claimed so in the waters of our baptism. Our faith walk is a process. Sometimes we think that we have completed our journey We feel that we have gone as far as we can. We sometimes feel that after confirmation, we have completed our walk, but just as babies need the right environments to grow physically, people need the right environment to grow spiritually. That’s where the church can come in.

We are God’s field. Fields do not bear fruit or crops on command. Trust me, I'm trying to grow tomatoes. They blossom in process, and to do so properly, they need the right environment and nutrients. This can happen for us in church.

We are God’s building, God’s spiritual house if you will. God first built us. Then God redeemed us with his own blood. Next, God moved in. That’s right, God took up residence, God filled up every drawer. And guess what? God isn’t done! God continually works on us. God is constantly rearranging the furniture, challenging our ideas, thoughts, and opinions. We never do arrive. This continual work is inevitable. It is a lifelong process.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Word is Today

I spend a lot of time reading scripture and really taking a good close look at the meaning behind it. I have always been taught to take time and read the scripture. This is something I took to heart on in college and have continued to do so. But lately, certain passages or stories grab me and won't let go. The bible becomes living and active in me. Rob Bell states it best in his book "Velvet Elvis". He says, "Inspired words have a way of getting under our skin and taking on a life of their own. They work on us. We started out reading them, but they end up reading us." How true. The word of God is reading me...reading us.

God has a knack of making sure we hear, read, see just those things that we need. Scripture is more than just words. Scripture is about today...the now! It is our job to not just read it, but to embrace it has living and active. Scripture gives us strength. It give us meaning and direction. It is more than just a history book, it is the meaning to the events. So really take the time to read scripture. Read it at its fullest. Read it and take it in. The Word is living and active. The Word will happen. Today!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I was told the other day to PUSH, when it came to my prayer life. Never heard of it! But it stands for "pray until something happens." What a great acronym! It reminds me how important it is to stay in contact with God. Between the words pray, prayer, praying, and prayed the word appears 512 times in the Bible. Do you think our Creator wants us to stay in contact with him? Just like it is important for a vine to stay connected to the main branch so it can be nourished and fed, so we also need to stay connected to God. When we do this, Jesus reminds us that it is easy to produce fruit (If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…John 15).
What would a church looked like that immersed itself in prayer? Think about the possibilities! Our God wants a relationship with us. As we enter into our fall season pray! Pray for our ministry. Pray that we continue to touch people's lives. Pray for our ministry to flourish and grow. Pray that we will follow the Spirit's guidance wherever that may be. Pray for our leaders, for our staff, for our kids, and for our community. When we do, we will most certainly see the fruits of the Spirit, and we will then be able to rejoice and give thanks to our most gracious and loving God!