Monday, March 25, 2013

Our New Vacuum Sucks

It's all in the wording isn't it... is that title a good thing or a bad thing...

It's a good thing. Lorie and I received a vacuum for a wedding present years ago, and it has finally passed on to Silicon Heaven where all the calculators go when they die. So Lorie and I asked around and ended up getting a decent vacuum.

But here's the rub, we didn't realize how filthy our floors were until we got the new vacuum. We did one room and had to empty the dirt trap (we blame the bunny). It so shocked us we went into crazy cleaning vacuuming mode and did every room in the house. The amount of dirt that thing sucked our of our carpet, it was disgusting.

We quickly realized the difference between thinking things were clean and knowing things were clean. It's kind of like on Hotel Impossible when the owners think their hotel rooms are clean, and then Anthony comes in and shows them what it means to be "really" clean.

Spiritually, we can do the same thing. We can be "clean", or so we think. But we get complacent, we do the same things, we're using the same old vacuum. It's not until we try something new, let someone else speak into our lives, raise the standards of our soul, put more effort into getting to know God that we realize how dirty we were before.

So the question is, would you rather use an old vacuum and think you're clean or spend what you need to on a new vacuum and do the work to "know" you're clean?

You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of Life. ~ Philippians 2:15b-16a (LB)


Monday, March 18, 2013

Do We Live In A Den Of Lies?

I read an interesting article the other day. It stated that on average we are lied to 200 times a day. 200! That means we are lied to about every five minutes of our waking lives. I thought that was outrageous until I watched a set of commericals...

But let's face it, truth isn't high on our priority list anymore. As communication becomes more antonymous (over the internet, text messages, even those commercials), there is less personal integrity attached to the message. If the other person doesn't know who we really are, or they're not in front of us, it makes it that much easier to bend the truth just a little.

No wonder people are skeptical of everything in today's world! Every five minutes they're being lied to! And then, even crazier, they hear a story about God, becoming man, giving His life for us, all so we could spend eternity with Him. How incredibly unbelievable does that sound? How much more does it become just another lie when it is nothing but an anonymous message with no relationship behind it?

Easter is coming up, the one day we celebrate this monumental event. And many people are wondering about it. But who do you think they will believe more, an anonymous message over the internet about how God loves them, an evangelist they've never met on television, or someone they know and trust like... you?

Share this story with people, and don't do it from a distance. We have the greatest truth the world has ever known and we are going to remember it on Easter Sunday. After all, as we heard at Fishers UMC yesterday, Jesus isn't just the way to the Father, or even just life, He's also Truth. (John 14:6).

And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God—what a gift!—and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life. ~ I John 5:20 (MSG)

Monday, March 11, 2013

When People Outweigh Your Passion

At Drink Deep we are talking about failure and how to handle it well, and during the first week we focused a lot on the fact you fail if you don't try. The only true failure is quitting. In our discussion that night we asked why students have quit things they have been involved in, band, drama, etc.

What was a little surprising is very few quit something because of the actual thing. They knew what they were getting, the expectations were not too much, and most times they still loved whatever it was they were doing when they quit. So why quit? Because of the people involved.

Almost every story was about someone involved, a teammate, someone else in the play, gnawing away at them until they just had to quit. A few times it was the leader/coach, but generally it was the people around them, the ones at their level. And I pushed on this because it saddened me to think students would quit something they are gifted at, maybe even something God created them for, because of how others made them feel. That is where this quote came out:

"It happens when people outweigh your passion."

Awesome quote, and scary at the same time. How often does our passion get outweighed by someone else? How often do we quit something we love because of those around us, or worse yet, someone else quits because of us? When it comes to our faith and being disciples of Christ, are we making sure we have enough passion so people can't ever outweigh it and cause us to quit?

There are some things that in the grand scheme of life are unimportant, but there are other areas that will affect us long after this life is over and done with. We need to be fueling our passion for those things so that no matter what happens (because sometimes things get rough no matter how much you love it) we are able to endure whatever it is that steals our passion. We can't afford to go bankrupt with our passion for God, it can have eternal consequences...

Psalm 40:11 ~ Now GOD, don’t hold out on me, don’t hold back Your passion. Your love and truth are all that keeps me together. (MSG)


Sunday, March 03, 2013

Are You Honest With Where You Are At?

Lately I've been on a kick watching shows and reading books about how to make things better. I know I shouldn't enjoy watching Chef Ramsey yell at people, but the accent makes it all better.

But something I've noticed in common with all these resources and the examples they use, everyone has a false view of where they are at.

The cooking shows, they rate their food a 10 when it's really a 2. The business who thinks it's overhead costs are 30% when really they are 62%. The company that believes they are the top seller in the market when really they are number 4. There's even a clip of Jeff Daniels (I think it's from "Newsroom") that's been floating around the Internet where someone asks reporters why America is the best country in the world and only Daniel's character has the courage to say "it's not" and start quoting statistics.

The simple fact is if you don't know the truth about where you are you can't really improve. Why would you, especially if you think things are going great when in reality they are not?

I read this verse the other day. I've read it before but one word stuck out this time:

Mark 2:17 ~ When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (NLT)

It's that word "think". People who "think" they are righteous. When you know you're sick, you ask for a doctor. When you "think" you are well, even if in reality you are hurt and wounded, if you "think" you are well you won't go to the doctor.

How many of us have really taken an honest look at where we are at spiritually? Yeah, it's going to be messy and maybe even a little hurtful, but when was the last time we really examined our hearts to see where we are with Christ?

Of course, we could just "think" we're righteous. How did that work out for the religious people Jesus was talking to?