Monday, September 24, 2012

Do You Really Know?

For the past few weeks we've been doing a little something at Drink Deep (our sr. high program) called "Google What You Believe". It's the idea of discovering what is true by looking it up for yourself in the Bible. There are verses all over the room about a certain topic and students look up the verses and try to figure out what those verses have to do with a certain topic.

Last week there were verses about Christ's life, His death and resurrection. And in our discussion at the end I asked a question I really hadn't planned on. Everyone knows the Easter story but before that night, who had actually read the story for themselves? Maybe 30% of students there...

It got me thinking, as in really thinking hard, do most people who call themselves disciples of Christ even know what or who they are following? Do we take what the pastor says on Sunday as good enough to learn about our loving God and that's it? How can anyone really know who God is and about His love if the only knowledge they have of His love is through a holy game of telephone (remember that game? Someone starts with a message, you relay through about 10 people and then see what it turns into at the end, usually nothing like what it started like)?

The question on my mind is do people really know who Christ is? Do they know what happened? What He taught? How He died? How He rose again? What's important to Him, especially if they aren't taking the time to read those things for themselves but instead living with just the abbreviated version I heard last Easter?

I would hope we take the time to read things in the Bible for ourselves, to see if what we believe is really true or something we picked up playing telephone...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Knowledge Unearned

A few weeks ago we talked about wisdom in our morning worship gatherings at Fishers UMC. And it sparked some conversations I had outside of Sunday morning, which got me to thinking a little more about where we are as a society.

It seems we have a lot of people lacking in wisdom. I always heard the definition of knowledge and wisdom and knowledge having the information and wisdom knowing how to use that information. With all of our advances in technology we know have limitless knowledge. Google has changed our lives forever, we don't have to end conversations with "I don't know" and more. We can look it up and learn. So if we have all this knowledge, why does it seem like wisdom has gone down instead of up like our knowledge?

All I can think of is this. It's unearned knowledge. Before, if I wanted to know something, I had to seek it out. I had to look it up. I had to go to the library and research. I had to earn that knowledge, I had to work for it. Now, I hit a couple buttons, wait impatiently for a few seconds and Bam, I have the knowledge. I didn't earn it. Do you notice how people treat things they have had to work to earn differently than those given?

To have true wisdom in our current state we have to make a shift. Before wisdom came as a by-product of the work for the knowledge. Now we have to be more intentional on using that knowledge wisely. For a good story to get you thinking on this, read I Kings chapter 3. It was knowledge and wisdom given, and how it was used.

Let's seek to be wise with the knowledge given to us.


Monday, September 10, 2012

There's A Difference Between Returning To Your Roots And Returning To Your Past

What a long title. Anyway...

I've been reading Onward by Howard Schultz. Great book. Talking a lot about the changes Starbucks made a few years ago, the thought behind them and what it took to implement them. And in this book I've noticed a theme. There is a difference between your roots and your past.

Your roots are the history that defines you. What made you into you. The things that are important in your history. Your past is what you've done. Sometimes those intersect but many times we end up fighting for our past and forgetting the roots of why we did it.

For example, say your family has the roots of a family Christmas bonding time, decorating the tree. And every year you've made a string of popcorn to go on the tree, but now you have a child who is allergic to popcorn. Some people would still fight to put popcorn on their tree, thinking that is their roots. It's not. The family bonding time over decorating the tree is your roots, and by keeping something you've done in the past you are actually losing the roots behind it. "We'll decorate while you sit over there away from the tree..."

Sometimes we have to put away the past to keep our roots, and that can be especially hard if the two get clouded together. So when it comes to your faith, what is important to you? What are your roots? And what things in your past are you holding on to that are actually stopping you from returning to your tree roots in Christ?

Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. (Colossians 2:7a, CEV)


Monday, September 03, 2012


Every once in a while a theme seems to prop up in my life. This week it's been self-evaluation. I was asked to write an article of things I learned in ministry, I have a review with my pastor next week, I talked with a youth pastor new to the area and we talked about why we do what we do and starting next week we're going to be doing a series at Drink Deep in which people will have to do a little evaluation of what they believe and why.

It's funny how so often we are scared of self-evaluation. We might see something we don't like. It's hard. We have to be honest when we've been holding up a mask for so long. But I've learned something watching those "Kitchen Impossible" and "Hotel Impossible" type shows; people who don't evaluate what they're doing very slowly lose their standards, forget their goals, and eventually end up in a hole that seems impossible to dig out of. If a hotel would have evaluated it's books and been honest with themselves when they started losing a few hundred dollars, they probably wouldn't have ended up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

So don't be scared, take a shot at it. Evaluate how you;re doing, in your faith, your work, your family. The only person you have to answer to is you. But be careful, you might find yourself challenged to do something with what you learned...

Good luck.