Monday, February 25, 2013

When People Outweigh Your Passion

Last night we started our series "How To Be A Failure" with WATER (sr. high). Lots of discussion, lots of talk about what failure is and what failure is not.

But I noticed something in the small group discussions that caught my attention. One of the main points of the night was true failure is giving up, as long as you keep trying you're not a failure. So the conversation took a turn to why people quit clubs, sports, etc. And the number one reason? People.

Almost everyone had a story of them quitting something they liked because of the people there. The people were mean, rude, didn't get along with them, whatever it was. But it saddened me that the most common reason for quitting was the people around them. But then Logan said something quite profound:

"It's when people outweigh your passion."

That's a good thought. What things are there in your life that you are passionate about? And at what point do the people involved outweigh your passion for whatever it is?

When it comes to faith and Christ, how many times have people outweighed your passion? You wanted to be involved in service but you stayed away because of the people involved? You enjoy Sunday morning worship but you thought you may run into someone you're not getting along with so you stay home? You want to share the gospel but you're worried about what someone may think of say?

It seems the problem is we need enough passion to outweigh the people. So what are you doing to fuel your passion? In your journey of faith, are you feeding your passion, serving, loving, learning more about who God is, spending time with Him, doing all the things to fuel your spiritual passion so that no matter who ends up in your path your passion will outweigh the person?

Keep your passion for God, our relationship with Him is not something we can afford to quit.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Okay For Me But Not For You

The other day I was reading in Matthew 27, the story of Christ's crucifixion, the Last Supper, etc. and a story in there caught my attention. I've read it many times, but for some reason a piece of it just stuck out at me.

The story goes that Judas was approached by the religious leaders of the day to betray Christ, and to do so he was paid 30 pieces of silver. He is called out at the Last Supper, meets up with Jesus and the gang in the Garden of Gethsemane and kisses Jesus on the cheek telling the soldiers who to arrest. But later he feels some remorse and goes back to the religious leaders wanting to give them the money back.

Now here's where my attention was piqued. The religious leaders say "no", they don't take the money. Judas throws down the money anyway and goes and hangs himself. That I remembered, but it was what the priests did with the money that caught my attention.

The leading priests picked up the coins. "It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury," they said, "since it was payment for murder." (Matthew 27:6, NLT)
Now hold on a minute, it was okay for them to take money from the Treasury and use it to pay for murder, but to take it back on that same murder, unacceptable? Really?!

It got me thinking, do we do that in our faith with people around us? Actions or thoughts that are wrong for them, but okay for us. My favorite one in college was music, I couldn't listen to non-Christian rock because it was bad and ungodly, but the person telling me this could listen to secular country because, well, they liked country.

Maybe if we held ourselves to the standard we hold others, and offer others the benefit of the doubt we offer ourselves we would all get along a lot better.


Monday, February 11, 2013

You Lose When You Stop Trying

It's a quote I saw last week (and used at Drink Deep last night). It's a really good one (thanks Jeanne Mayo).

This is an attitude I wish I could just force on people. Too often we think we've failed. In reality, we've done nothing but taken a step back. Take that old famous quote "the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step", it tells us that to get something done, you have to start. Okay, but what if at mile marker 223 there's a rock in the road, an obstacle to go around, or even worse, you walk backwards a little. Do you stop the journey because you've suddenly failed?

No, you regroup and move forward. The journey isn't a failure until you stop walking. And that's so true of our spiritual lives, sometimes we hit walls, we make mistakes, we even go backwards. But that's not failure, that's life. Giving up would be failing.

In two weeks Drink Deep will be doing a series on what failure really is and how to overcome perceived failure. We hope you can make it!


Monday, February 04, 2013

Popping Seedlings

Anyone else enjoying this weather? I hate it. Don't get me wrong, I like 60 degrees, I like 20 degrees. What I don't like is them back-to-back in less than 24 hours.

In the midst of this weather I saw Mr. Yakey (he runs a tree farm as well as helping out at the church) and I asked him if this weather affected the trees, it's playing havoc on our bulbs, I wondered how the trees are faring. What he told me was interesting. The mature trees, this does nothing. But the seedlings, this crazy weather affects them. The heavy rain gets down in the ground with their tiny root sack then the cold freezes that water pushing up on the sapling making it literally pop out of the ground. He has a fun week of staking down hundreds of seedlings, putting force on them so they stay firmly encased in dirt.

So here's my question, spiritually, how are your roots doing? Are they strong enough to endure the emotional and spiritual changes in weather? Or do you pop out of the ground, pop out of your faith when that happens? Or an even better question, do you have someone who is helping you grow as a Christian, someone who you let stake you into the ground?

Colossians 2:7 ~ Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all He has done. (LB)