Archive for August, 2013

Just Thoughts

I feel like I should piggyback on the whole idea of fit that I blogged about last night. AS I said, it is an area that has really been on my mind lately. As in, How do I fit into my church? What purpose am I serving? How well am i serving that purpose? While some may disagree, I don’t necessarily see myself as a church leader either. The way i see it, I am merely doing whatever I am asked to do, by whomever happens to ask me to do it. Isn’t that what any effective church member would do? In my eyes, that’s the way it should be if it isn’t.  That’s the way that I have always operated, and while my pride sometimes rises up and wants to be recognized with acclaim or a title, it’s easier and easier to beat that back by the strength of God.

I think that I am understanding now that ministry is not for the church. It’s for the marketplace, or where we live, do our business, exist. You may call it the world. Thus, the fit that I have been seeking so horribly over the last few years, this “ministry” that I have chased for so long, is realized when I am obedient outside of the church. Now, all of this is stuff that I have known in my mind for so long, but it is beginning to translate into my heart in a tangible way. The good thing about this is that I don’t have to feel as if I have to earn accolades and approval from man, nor do I have to feel like what I do in church is some kind of job interview. There is a liberty in realizing that my ministry may not fit inside of my church, but it fits in the world because of the training that I have received IN the church. It is just as paul writes, that the 5 fold ministry was given unto men for the equipping of the saints. We aren’t equipped so that we can do things within 4 walls. We are equipped to be world changers once the church dismisses.

So, I may be different. You may be different. We may not fit in any traditional sense inside of a church, but that does not diminish the need fro us to be IN the church. In fact, it increases the need for us to be developed by Godly leadership. Only then can our true fit be realized.

So, if you are like me and feel “different” about your place…my advice is simply this..

GET IN the four walls, so that you can GET OUT of the four walls, and GET ACTIVE in changing the world.

Be blessed.

 

 

Change Your Sound pt 2

How many times do we live our lives in position to receive what God has for us? We say that we are waiting on Heaven to move for us, but God is waiting on us to place ourselves into position. We position ourselves through obedience in little things.

Matt 18:19- if two of you agree about anything on earth, it will be done by my Father in heaven.

2 chron 7:14- if my people who are called by my name would humble themselves……then I will heal their land.

Mark 2:22- no one pours new wine into an old wineskins….No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.

You can’t take a new experience with God and place it in your old routine. If we do the same thing everyday, we will have the same result. We must make changes. You can’t put a new sound in a new attitude. A new season can’t come without some new changes accompanying it. Newness requires newness.

Something has to change if you want something to change.

1 Cor. 1:27- but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things of the world to shame the strong;the lowly things of the world and the despised things – and the lowly things that are…..

People should look at your life and the way you have changed and say, ” that HAS to be God.”

The problem with the American church is we have built the church to look good to people, but not to God.

Psalm 114:1-2 – when Israel went out of Egypt. The house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.

This means that God’s spirit and presence is found where the praises are! All Christians are His dominion, but praise is where God chooses to dwell!

Psalms 22:3- but thou art holy, O Lord, that inhabit the praises of Israel.

This means that when we praise Him, we build Him a throne. Bigger praise= bigger throne!

Change Your Sound

Mark 2:22- and no one pours new wine into an old wine skin. Otherwise the wine would burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.

This verse is a metaphor for our lives. We can not receive newness from God into our old lives. We must be made new. We must become fresh now, so that God can pour His newness into us. We keep waiting on God to make a move. God is waiting on us to prepare ourselves first.

Sometimes church is the last one to let go of old things. We hold onto traditions, living inside of time warps. But we must crave something new. We can not get stuck in a rut. God is waiting on us to make a move.

-God will not pour out something new into our spirits until we have prepared ourselves to receive it. You can’t put a new move of God into an old tradition.

Ps 33:3, 51:10- these scriptures command us to sing a new song.

1 Cor. 1:25-28- for the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom…..but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…..

Faith makes you ignore what your physical eyes see, instead of trusting them. You have to see in the spirit before it happens.

Your miracle starts with what you hear and choose to see in your spirit, long before you see it with your natural eyes,

Being Mercy Brokers

Luke 10:30-37

“I’m not even sure that Jesus would be in church if he were in this world today, cause he said that he would leave the 99 to seek after the one.” – Glenn Burris

1. Mercy is compassion in action. Mercy is not a feeling or emotion. It’s not being sympathetic.

2. Mercy will cost you something. If it doesn’t cost you anything, then it probably isn’t mercy.

3. Mercy is doing without expecting a return.

Just Middling Thoughts

Officially my teaching career is 8 days old, but I can’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my professional life. That statement comes with a bit of a caveat however, because I am working through a line of thought that has me a bit troubled, I must admit. You who have followed this blog from the beginning know my story, probably a bit more well than you would prefer too. Thing is, almost 12 years ago, God called me to preach, but it felt like something bigger than just preaching. So in the time since, I have always had in the back of my mind that my primary job would be as a Pastor, shepherding a flock, much like my uncle and others that I have looked up too. Now though, I am really having thoughts about that call. I used to separate my callings. I felt like my spiritual calling was a different thing than my professional calling. call it a separation of church and state, if you will. I figured that while they may occasionally bleed over into one another, they were still two very separate things. Now though, now that I know what it feels like to be operating in my gifts, I can see very clearly that there is something much bigger at work here.

 

I can’t really explain what i mean any better than that, except to say that it kind of comes down to fit. I have had issues with fit my whole life. I have wanted to feel like I fit somewhere, that God would show somebody someplace where I would be of most good to the Body. Lord knows that i admit my failings freely…the times that I have been jealous of someone else’s ministry or calling. But I recognize that it all falls back to my own feelings of inferiority and pride.

But what if, God HAS shown someone someplace where I can be of the most good to the Body of Christ? What if that person was my Principal and not necessarily my Pastor? What if that place where I fit is not within 4 concrete walls, but walking along halls with kids who have no idea that God loves them, except that I show them how much I care? What if when God called me to Pastor, it was to a flock like this? What if when God told me that I would start something, plant something, that it was seeds in these moldable hearts that I encounter everyday? Ministry in the marketplace. Taking Jesus to hearts who either know Him, don’t know Him, or don’t want to know Him.  I must admit that this is quite a shift in my thinking, and I’m not diminishing a need to the organized body in the church. However, this is causing me to think about my role at church in a different way. I don’t quite know what that way is right now, but something is happening inside of me. A new sound is going forth, and God is leading me into something that hits every area of my life. I feel some kind of fulfillment coming soon…the kind of fulfillment that includes both church AND state, because in my life they are one in the same.

Maybe I’m not supposed to fit at church, because to fit would mean that I’m comfortable, and I KNOW that my comfort is of no concern to my Christ.

All I know for sure is that I need to pay close attention to God in this season. As I have prayed that He would make my role in my church clear, I believe that He is really about to. And as i have prayed that He would place me where He wants me to affect change for His glory, I believe that He has placed me there; in a profession where His glory can be seen brightly and joyfully.

I’m sure that none of this makes any sense at all, but as with all of my blog posts, be blessed until next time, fam.

Quick Blurb

I was just checking in here and I saw a message from WordPress that I have been blogging here for 3 years. It just said Happy Anniversary. It really made me stop and think about everything that has happened in 3 years.

I started blogging because at the time, we were reading “A Heart Ablaze” by John Bevere in our men’s group. The book was having such a profound effect on me, that I just needed somewhere to put my thoughts. Over that time, it has become a personal record of sorts. I share my joys and my pains. i share my faith, which is at the root of everything that I post here. I share my tribulations and my trials, how I fail God’s tests, and when I have some measure of victory. I have openly talked about my desire to preach, which has become more a desire to serve. I have questioned God’s plans and desires for my life. I have wondered aloud if I actually have a place, and where that place is.

I guess the point of it all is this- I don’t try to be someone that I’m not. 3 years ago, I had no idea that such an humbling and breaking was about to happen in my life. It has been scary, but it’s also been wonderful. For those of you who have subscribed to this blog, or even if you just read it in passing, I pray that something that I have said either here, or on my first blog, “A Heart Ablaze”, has stirred something for Christ. I pray that you don’t make my mistakes; that you don’t harbor my doubts. Above all though, I pray that some part of you is closer to God as a result of the words and emotions that I have shared here.

And while I never began blogging to gain readership. I thank you for reading. Most of all though, I thank God for growing me, stretching me, and preparing me for whatever is next in this life.

I love you all. God bless you.

 

 

I’m a Survivor: Is Your Mind Made Up?

Job 1:1-3;6- there was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and he was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. He had 10 children and vast possessions. He was the richest. Of all the people of the East. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before The Lord, and Satan also came among them. And The Lord said to Satan, “from where do you come.”

True greatness is not measured by possessions, but rather by what you have inside of you. Job did not come from wealthy beginnings. He made wise decisions and put God first, thus God blessed everything that he did.

Matt 7:13-14- enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

You can’t reach heaven by following after the crowd. Job decided to cling to what was good and shunned what was evil. Job walked in favor, but understood that what he had did not make him. He understood that his source for everything was God. The sooner we take on n attitude of clinging to the goodness of God and shunning evil, the sooner we can walk in God’s favor.

Two things determine what we will become in life:
1. Our decisions
2. Our response to God

God lets us decide how we will live. He gave us a choice.

We have the power to make our own choices, but our choices have the power to make us.

Ecc 12:1- remember now your creator in the days of youth, before the difficult days come,

We cannot choose the environment we are born into, but we can choose our reaction and our response.

You don’t wait till you’re in the middle of a storm to make your decision to follow Christ. How you respond to Him now will determine how you handle your battle or storm.