Welcome Y'all

Hopefully the name of this blog speaks for itself. I envision it being one of humor, exhortation, random musings, theological discussion, sports, and things that impact my life and could bless yours. Sometimes it might be a verse or a funny story, a sports score that has me up in arms or a profound truth that has hit me. I pray you find your visit here blessing your heart.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Holiness and Facebook: Mutual Exclusion?

Did you know that this month, the users of Facebook have numbered beyond 600 MILLION?

Did you know that these users spend over 700 BILLION minutes PER MONTH?

Did you know that the average user creates about 90 pieces of content every month?

Did you know that there are over 30 BILLION pieces of information (Photos, posts, web links, news stories, etc.) shared each month?

Did you know that over 50% of Facebook Users log on every day and thereby reading, deciphering, hiding, pondering and/or deleting (OH, the horror!) your posts.  

Have YOU truly thought about how much impact YOU are having in lives that YOU touch?

I appreciate Mark Zuckerberg, just from the little I know about him which is to say, I know he created Facebook.  That's about it.  I did not see the movie and I have not researched his life on Wikipedia.  The appreciation comes strictly from the fact that he was smart enough and resourceful enough to provide for people a platform or forum in which to be heard.  People who would never have gotten that chance to be heard now have hundreds of "friends" that will listen/(read) what runs through the mind and life of this one person.  

Times 600 Million. 

As a Christian, we are called to be holy or "set apart".  It is not a request.  It is a command.  We are to be holy as Christ is holy.  Christ was different.  That means that I am to be different.  We are to be in the world and not of the world.  

But you already know all this....

...Don't you?

And, since we do, in fact, know this, WHY is it that we as Christians, write, post, complain, jeer, humiliate, gripe, and bellyache no differently than those who do not follow a sovereign God and Savior?
I get it.  Seriously.  Life is hard.  Absolutely it is.  Everyone has problems in life and you can always find someone who has a way better set-up than you do.... But the converse is also true.....You will always be able to find someone with a significantly worse set-up than you could imagine.  I could make a list for you of my irritations, frustrations, problems and concerns and though it would make for entertaining reading for some, they are very real to me.  I bet you could make your own list....

...Probably WAY longer than mine. 


...that doesn't negate what God has commanded us to do.  We are still called to be holy and set apart from the rest of the world.  Not just on Sundays, everyday.  

Not just when we see church friends in the foyer
.... but also when we are stuck in traffic with strangers.
Not just when we invite neighbors over for a meal
.... but also when we "friend" someone new on Facebook.
Not just when we are writing our Sunday School lessons
... but also when we are writing 140 character text messages.
And not only when we are sharing with the Lord in prayer
...but also when we are sharing with friends on Facebook. 

People, whether you want to or not, you are having an impact.  In fact, you are not just having an impact.  You are MAKING an impact.  Depending on your name, you hold clout in different spheres of influence.  If you're name is Steve Jobs, you have tremendous impact on all Apple users of the world, either positive or negative.  If your name is Ron Howard, you have tremendous impact on the film/TV industry either positive or negative.  If your name is Mom, you have tremendous impact on your family, either positive or negative.

If your name is Christian, YOU have tremendous impact on the world either positive or negative.  
Are you set apart?  Do you look like the world in the midst of the world?  Would anybody say you're different in either your actions, reactions, words, opinions, or posts on Facebook?

They should.  If they are not, is it their fault for not noticing ....
... or your fault for blending in?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tik Tok

As I have begun another year of full time ministry, it hits me regularly how some people don't really "get it".  I understand that because at some time in my life many years ago, I really didn't "get it" all the way either.  To some it probably sounds like a lot of excuses to not have a 8-5 job, perhaps overtones of laziness.  To others, I would imagine it sounds like immaturity -  as in "when are you going to join us here in reality and quit living in fantasy world?"  To others, perhaps you "get it" but it not for you in any way, shape or form.

Although I have believed since I was young that the Lord had called me into ministry for a later time, I think that down deep I wondered if it would really happen for me.  Is this truly what God has called me to do or is this something that I really think I want to do?

Anybody struggle with that?

What I found is that the timing of when He brought me into ministry was way later than I ever thought.  So much later and when I was so far into a completely different career, I thought I must have been mistaken in my younger years thinking that God had called me.  It took a while to see that my "desert" experiences were truly pertinent preparation times for this season that has arrived.

Are you experiencing the "desert"?  Are you seeking Him with all of your heart to find yourself in a pit in the middle of the sand albeit nowhere near where you thought you would be?  I totally understand that perception and potential reality.

But God has not forgotten you.

Those plans that He has for you were dreamt up before the foundations of the world and He hasn't forgotten them.  He has just been waiting on you to get here so He could show you exactly what His spectacular plans are for your life RIGHT NOW.  I'm willing to bet that He is not readily going to show what will happen 20 years down the road but He wants you to know the plans for today.  Once He reveals His plan for you today, you have a choice.  Will you embrace what He has for you today or are you running so far ahead of Him that you miss your preparation for tomorrow's adventure?  God's timing is never late and if you are not living your long-time dream today, who is to say you will not be living it next week?  God is the same yesterday, today and forever and that means He is as faithful today as He was yesterday and He will be tomorrow.  Faithful to what?  Faithful to you and his plan for you.

And may I say from my experience thus far, even though it is a long time dream and one that you might spend 30 years preparing for, things don't go always according to my plan.  Let's face it, God's goal for me is not my happiness and definitely not my comfort but my holiness and sanctification.  I just don't think that I honestly see deeply abiding holiness coming from things that always go my way without complication.  It is hard work and difficult choices and maintaining priorities and lots of sacrifice.  But, may I also say that it is the most satisfying thing that I have done in my life.  I love sharing the knowledge that I have of Christ with others.  I love what God does with my average amount of giftings in a group of people hungry to hear Truth.  I am humbled that for whatever reason and for however long, He has chosen me to walk this road.  I think that if I had received what I so often prayed for exactly when I wanted it, I would not be as satisfied.  I would not be as willing to work with zeal.  I would not be as grateful for each opportunity.  I probably would have quit prematurely, if I was honest with you and myself.  It seems that God knows best with regards to the timing of His plan for us.  He knows best with regards to the timing of His plan for you.

Maybe this brand new year finds you waiting expectantly for something the Lord has already planned to bring your way - a new job, a long awaited spouse, children, healing, more patience, loyal girlfriends.... Maybe January is your month for receiving these things you have been diligent in praying for.  Maybe it will be February.  Or maybe it will be next February.  Whatever the case, God is intimately aware of you and your needs and your dreams.  He has chosen some specific experiences for you this year, some sweet and more than likely some not-so-sweet.  Whatever His plan for you in 2011, it will be the perfect plan for your life at this juncture in time.

I wear a watch almost religiously.  I don't think about it much except when I fear I am going to be late.... which is almost everyday.  I almost see the watch as a curse because it is a constant reminder that time is marching on and sometimes I am not ready for what a moment in the future might bring.  I have to get prepared now for what I have to do later.  Let's try this in 2011:  Let's pay attention to time this year.  Notice the hands on your watch as they continuously circle the dial.  As those seconds turn to minutes and those minutes to hours, hours to days, weeks and months, don't mistake the hands for just a metal mechanism.

Those are the hands of God..... lovingly allowing every moment to come into your life at the perfect time.  With it, it brings the promise of faithfulness from One who loves you enough to wait for your holiness.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Can. Not. Believe. It.

It seems like it should still be in the 90's to me.  The other day, I wrote the date on my check as 12/28/19__.  Seriously.  19__???  Where have the last 11 years gone?  And why am I still writing checks?

Lots of beautiful things happened over the last 12 months in my life.  So many ministry opportunities, life experiences, difficult times and wonderful travels both domestic and internationally that have deeply impacted my life.  (Plus, I got a Kindle for Christmas which my right shoulder sincerely appreciates as it was close to having major damage due to my excessive love of books and the need to always tote them with me.  So, THANK YOU, Santa!)

The truth is, life is so full of unexpected surprises.  Some stand out.  Some make you want to sit down.  Some bring out squeals of delight and some bring cries for help.  This year, I feel certain there will be more of these unexpected surprises.  I expect my life to be changed, if not by circumstances, for sure by the way I handle these surprises.  ".....Lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."  (Prov. 3:5-6)  How much I choose to trust in God's Word and not my human logic or feelings will directly impact how I will assess the upcoming year.  I have so many goals and dreams for this year.  I know not if these goals will be achieved or dreams materialized but I have decided, it is not ultimately about the destination.  It is primarily about the journey.

What will your journey look like?  More than likely, it will not look anything like you anticipate.  God is funny like that.  He has His own plans.  If you're like me, you've got your own plans.

Whose plans will you adhere to in 2011?