Monday, August 26, 2013

Producing Light

When I was a kid we sang a song in Sunday School about "this little light of mine". You held up your index finger which represented your little light. In one verse, you even cupped your other hand and put it over your finger representing how easy it is to hide your light.

The problem I realized as I got older, this song teaches me I have a little light. I'm just a tiny light in the greater scheme of things and only shine a little. After all, according to the song I can put a bowl over the light and snuff it out.

Except we're not supposed to be a little light.

"If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light." (Jesus speaking in Luke 11:36, NLT)

We're not meant to be a small light. Our whole lives are to be a floodlight. Have you ever passed a night construction crew working under those floodlights? There is so much light under them it looks like they're working in the middle of the day! That is what God intended our lives to be, not a tiny little light, but our entire lives shining with everything within us lighting the way for people to see Jesus in all that we do.

Go Shine!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Are You Artistic?

The real answer is "yes", everyone is artistic. We may not all paint (my best work is by numbers), but everyone has an artistic side, be it music, design, photography, writing, everyone has the ability to be artistic.

However, we see that as secondary. First is education or job or some other hobby. "When I have time I will create something." Here's the scary part. In many lives art defines success.

Robert Root-Bernstein at the Michigan State University did a study of Nobel Prize winners and members of the National Academy of Sciences and found these people all had several arts related hobbies. All. It allowed them to think differently. He even went on to say measuring someone's aptitude in arts and music is more predictive of career success, more so than grades, IQ, achievement or any other standard of measure.

Why bring that up? Two reasons. I work with students and I want them to succeed. Helping them get involved in arts may be a big part of that. The other reason, look at the history of the church. The art, the sculptures, icons, music, art has always been a huge part of faith and the church. And it seems to be diminishing. Yes, we still have music on Sundays, but how many people are singing? What about works of art? The imagery that was so prevalent hundreds of years ago?

So here's a challenge: to help find God and better ourselves, let's try doing a little more art. We may be surprised what we come up with!


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Wrong Focus

In my reading a lot lately, I've stumbled upon something. Have you ever noticed that a couple of times when Jesus tells the disciples He is going to die for them they begin to argue about which one of them is the greatest?

Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.”They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.

After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. (Mark 9:30-34, NLT)

For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.
Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. (Luke 22:22-24, NLT)

That last one, that's during the Last Supper! Jesus is about to being a night of suffering and is trying to tell His friends this, and instead they're arguing about which one of them is the top dog.

Let's not serve to be the best or the most noticed or for any sort of recognition, let's serve and love Christ and others simply because that's what we should do. It should be its own reward.


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Genovese Syndrome

Last night at Drink Deep we talked about being a magnetic ministry, helping people stick and wanting new people to be invovled. The big key to this is everyone being involved, it's not one person's job to be friendly, it's everyone's. It's not just one person's job to invite new people, it's everyone's. But the problem is when something is given to everyone to do, it doesn't generally get done. Why? Genovese Syndrome.

Here's where the term comes from. In 1964 a woman named Kitty Genovese came home one night and was attacked by a man with a knife. She screamed and yelled and the neighbors all stuck their heads out the windows and yelled and scared the guy away. At least 38 people. But no one called the police, no one helped Kitty. So she lay there, until the guy came back and attacked here again. Again she screamed, people heard, saw and made noise, and again the guy left. And again, no one did anything. When he came back the third time he killed her.

Why did no one do anything? Because they all thought someone else would do it. The great Chicago fire, people watched for 15 minutes before someone asked, "Has anyone called the fire department?" Everyone thought someone else would do it. When it comes to being welcoming and friendly at church (or wherever you're involved), everyone has a responsibility to do it.

There's two ways to look at something that is everyone's job. Since everyone is doing it, someone will cover it, or, this is my job that everyone needs to be doing. Which one do you go for?

BTW, I see this a lot with evangelism. Jesus asked all Christians to go out and share the gospel, and since there's so many Christians, someone will do it. Or is it my job that everyone else should be doing too? Something to think about.