Monday, February 27, 2017

Who Pays For It?

The Big Bang Theory had an interesting story line last week. One of the characters has all of their bills paid for by their father (must be nice) and his friends were bugging him asking about it. There was this sense of ignorant bliss in which questions were not welcome, they didn't know how much their bills were, the bills were just magically paid and that was that.

I wish this story wasn't so funny, but it is because of how many people actually live like this. I know of college students who just had their credit cards paid for them, they had no idea how much they were spending or what things really cost.

And I also see this sometimes in students. After all, when they get to do things like go on a mission trip for free, what does the cost matter? This is a conversation Liz and I have had a couple of times, what the cost of trips or events should be. And the number we come up with usually has a factor most don't think of, what do we charge so that there is still value to what we are doing? If it's free, students didn't put anything into it, they show up late, they may just cancel (after all, it's no charge so cancelling doesn't cost anything), etc. Part of realizing the value of something comes with paying for it.

Maybe this is part of the reason Christ gave us the responsibility of the church. He left it all to us, we spread the gospel, feed the hungry, lead the worship, it's all up to us. But that also means we need to pay for it, He also left that up to us.

For the next few weeks WATER (our sr. high students) will be looking at all that God has "Entrusted" us with and our responsibilities that go with that. We hope if you're in grades 9-12 you can be a part of that, but even if you're not, you could start the conversations. If this is God's church and we want to do all these amazing things for God's people, who pays for it...?

(instead of a single Bible verse I read a story the other day that is great if you want one to read. In I Chronicles 29 David is asks the people for supplies for his son to build the Temple. They get so much it can't be counted! Great story).


Monday, February 20, 2017


Do you want to know the easiest way to adjust something, to take something that we should hate and learn to love it (or the other way around)?

A little bit at a time.

Walking into a room with different lighting teaches us this. If we are outside in the bright sunlight and come into a dark room at first it's black. We can't see anything. Give it a few minutes. After that we start to make out shapes, then things become clearer, then we start seeing things we missed altogether just a few seconds ago.

Our eyes adjust slowly. But by the time they are done, the clarity is amazing.

This is how sin creeps into our life. Very few people wake up one day and decide to be angry at the world, but they lose a little joy and treat people a little worse every day and soon they have changed without realizing it. Likewise, if you want to improve, say change your diet, cutting all sugar and only eating salad will shock your system. But if you cut a little sugar each day, eat a few more vegetables each day...

We have to be conscious of this. We need to realize when we are slipping a little bit and stop it right away, letting it go will just cause us to adjust and soon we slip again. Likewise, we need to pay attention to what we want to change and do a little at a time.

You'll be surprised how quickly this can change us.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Why Are Roses More Expensive Tomorrow?

Of course we all know the answer, it's Valentine's Day. And roses are just more expensive that day because more people want to send roses, meaning people who sell roses know they can sell them for more.

Don't be fooled, it's not supply, it's demand. The companies know they will sell more roses, they stock-pile more of them. Very few places are going to run out of roses tomorrow. Some will even have extras they sell super cheap on Wednesday. It's just the demand. We're going to want roses more tomorrow than we will on any other day of the year.

And because of that, we will put in extra efforts. Call more places. Pay more money. Go pick them up if we need to. Suddenly we want it more so we will work harder to get it.

Here's my question, how hard are you willing to work to get to know Jesus better? It's funny, if I run a mission trip for students they are willing to pay a lot of money, do lots of extra work, give up a week of their time, they will put in extra effort to serve others. But if I try to get some students to serve here in town on a Saturday very few will show up. They will put in the effort for a mission trip because they know they will see Jesus where they aren't sure they will on a day at home.

But what if we have it backwards? What if we put in that same effort for the little things, would we see Jesus then? Would we see Him more? Would we see Him better?

If we all bought roses every day the prices would change. If we all put in the effort to find Jesus every day would how we see Jesus change?


Monday, February 06, 2017

How Would You Act If You Met Jesus?

Sorry it's been a few weeks, I was on vacation at the happiest place on earth.

If you don't think Disney World really is the happiest place on earth, you've never been there with my three-year-old daughter. She was so happy it was crazy. Rode her first roller coaster. Ate way too many french fries. But the real reason, she met all her "friends".

What I mean by that is almost every single Disney character you could meet. The Fab Five, Olaf, Chip 'n Dale, and a whole lot of princesses (and a queen).

One meeting I will always remember was Merida. Our daughter was ecstatic. She ran up and jumped up and down. And Merida was one of the few who crouched down to her level. Merida understood almost every single exited, crazy, three-year-old lisp sounding word, and she was actually interested. They cuddled. Merida kissed her forehead. She wanted to keep our daughter. In that moment our daughter was meeting a true princess she never knew she could meet and that princess absolutely loved her back.

I started to wonder what it would be like if people expected to meet Jesus like that, if they even showed up to our worship gatherings looking for Jesus like that. Jumping up and down, excited to see Him, talking to Him knowing they were heard, understood, and listened to, hugged, kissed, loved. If instead of seeing Sunday morning as a meet and greet with a young lady dressed as a princess we saw it as my daughter saw it, totally real and completely life changing.

How would you act if you knew you were meeting Jesus?