Monday, February 24, 2014

The Importance Of Hockey

Yesterday Canada played in the Gold Medal game of the 2014 Olympics (and won, way to go boys!) And many of my friends and family watched it. But here's the interesting thing, due to the game being played in Russia, for some parts of Canada the game happened as early as 4:00 in the morning. 4am! And yet, they watched it. My friends from high school had a party at 6:30, and people came over, it was crowded, to watch the game. There were law changes made so bars could open at 4:30 so some people I know could go to watch the game at 5:00. These people all got up, got ready, many went out or even entertained to watch a hockey game before the sun came up. And yet, going to church at 11:00am is too early... For many, the question is why. Why is it someone can get up for a hockey game but not for church. The answer is simple. Hockey is more meaningful than church. I know that sounds horrible, I don't like it, but it's obviously the truth. To many people a game is more important than worship together with the family of God. If something is important to someone, they find a way to make it happen even if that means planning a 6:00am party. The real question is why is hockey more meaningful to someone than spending time with God and His people. Is it because they don't know who God is and that He loves them? Who's responsibility is it then, them to find out or the church to help them learn that? Is it because Sunday worship isn't as life-changing for them as a hockey game? Again, is that their fault for not being invested? Maybe. Is it the church's fault for not being welcoming and helping them get plugged in to the family of God? Maybe. But again, isn't that something we can all help to change? The even bigger question is are we going to accept this or do what we can to change it? Someone likes hockey more than Jesus, that's just the situation. Are we going to do the hard work of loving them into knowing Jesus, coming to church not to be served but to serve others so they can experience that love here, are we going to purposely invite people into our lives, our Bible Studies, our ministries, our whatever it is so church changes from "that thing I need to do every couple of Sundays" to "that thing I want and need and will even DVR a hockey game and watch it later so I can be a part"? By the way, I had some friends watch the game at 5:00 and still go to church after. Now that's commitment! Do what you can to be the change. T

Monday, February 17, 2014

We're Right By Following Wisdom

Have you ever noticed that following Jesus means everyone thinks you're wrong? I get into this one all the time with music. If I only listen to Christian music, I'm a fanatic. But if I listen to other music I'm judged for listen to secular/heathen music. (I got into a great conversation with someone telling me how any music that is not defined as Christian leads people to hell. I told them my dad plays non-Christian music for a living and they told me he must be going to hell. But when I asked how "She'll be comin' 'round the mountain" and "If you're happy and you know it" were so horrible the backpedaling began.) The simply truth is, people will always find some way to pick you apart and pull you down, no matter how you live. Even Jesus had this problem... and He's Jesus! "For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” (Luke 7:33-35 NLT) The same people judged Jesus and John into a no-win situation. But Jesus said we are shown right by how we live our lives, not in a single action. Are our lives pursuing and following wisdom? Following Jesus and becoming His disciples? Instead of focusing on the little things like how much we eat we should be focusing on the bigger actions, do we love others, are we telling people about Jesus, are we serving and caring and showing hospitality everyday in our actions? That's what will prove us right with God. Maybe we need to shift our focus onto the big things, or even better, off of the little things others do and onto bettering ourselves. T

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fractions of a Second...

I love the Olympics. Maybe it's my love of sport and getting to see so many different "games" performed by so many athletes from all countries of the world, but I love it. And one reason I know is, everything is so close. These are the best athletes in the world. Not the best of a state of a few million, not the best of a country of a few hundred million (if they're big), but these are the best handful of people out of a possible 7 billion participants. When you get people of that caliber together, everything is going to be close. Many of the games are now measured in thousandths of a second. That is how close these games are. So now, every little thing makes a difference. Your knees perfectly bent, your balance exact, how hard you sweep the ice in front of a curling rock, all the little things come into play (and if you know me, I'm obsessed with miniscule). The tiniest detail can be the difference between gold and silver, or gold and going home empty handed. Four years of training comes down to 1/1000th of a second. The reality is, our lives are the same way. It's not defined by the big things, it's defined by the little. How hard to we train spiritually? Like it's the Olympics or like we're watching the Olympics? Because that training helps us do the little more we need. Taking the few seconds to talk about Jesus, taking a little more effort to serve, realizing that something as small as treating someone with the dignity of a smile can spread the Gospel in ways we may never see. How can we better ourselves spiritually so that we are ready when we need to be just fractions of a second more like Christ? T

Monday, February 03, 2014

What's The Goal?

A few months ago I watched this on TV, and was thoroughly impressed.

Here's why I like it so much. Because she knew her goal.

Put the ball in the hole.

The other guy, he would never throw that way. Why? It looked stupid. On national television. So instead he threw like a man, and got beat by a girl, on national television. She didn't care what she looked like, she was focused on doing the job in front of her.

I had the same thing happen to me in college. At a team hockey practice they invited all the students to participate in a challenge to shoot 10 pucks at a net that was mostly covered with a few holes. The person who scored the most won gold tickets to an Edmonton Oilers game. While everyone wound up and shot real hard, looking cool for the girls, I lightly slid the puck on the ice toward the bottom right corner. They got to show everyone how hard they could shoot. I got to sit in the 12th row of a game where Georges Laraque scored his only hat trick (he only had 8 goals all year), and was so close to the bench I could hear the LA Kings players swearing about it.

Both times the question was asked, do I do things the proper way and look cool, or do I risk looking stupid to win. Sometimes we hold back from doing something amazing because we're scared of how it will come across. What if we lived lives of worship and didn't worry about how it would look? What if we told people about the love of Jesus instead of worrying about what we look like? What if we served, prayed and lived in such a way that knowing Christ was the goal, no matter how it looked? Amazing things might happen...