Monday, June 26, 2017

Changing God To Make Me Happy

I read this other day:

Much of our difficulty as seeing Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. - A.W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God"

This is honestly something that drives me crazy. If we really saw God as a real Person would we try to do this? Imagine marrying someone (which is an example often used of our relationship with God) and instead of learning who they are, instead constantly making them to be someone they are not in your head. How long would it be before the relationship breaks down? How quick would a therapist be able to pinpoint "you're not happy because you don't actually know your spouse, you only know who you want them to be and they aren't that"?

Yet when it comes to God I've heard many times who Jesus is "to me" or "my Jesus isn't like that". Well, He's not your Jesus. If He's a real person, He is who is no matter what you believe. So if you really want to be happy, learn who He is and work around that.

Changing who you think God is to fit your world will never work. Learn who Christ is and who you are to Him and move forward from there. That will bring true happiness.


Monday, June 19, 2017

"Do Unto Others..."

I heard a great story the other day. Someone I know was telling me about an experience they had when they were in a church youth group almost 40 years ago. The group had gone skating and this person ripped their pants. When the youth leader found out they took this person home to get a new pair of pants and got them back to the skating party, no one knew what happened and this person got to enjoy the party.

The real part of that story that hit me was their description after. This was something I remember from church. This is something that made me feel special. This is something I will never forget.

When Jesus walked the earth, this is how He did real ministry. Taking time to talk alone with a woman at a well. Playing with children when others see them as a bother. Sitting and simply having a meal with someone. Jesus took time to do these seemingly little things that made so much of a difference we remember them two thousand years later. And they are the things that still make a difference in our lives today when someone does them for us.

Maybe it's time to update the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Maybe instead of it meaning "be nice" we need to take it up a notch. What would make you feel special? What would make you feel loved? What would make you actually see and feel Jesus in someone else?

Imagine what our world, our church, our families would look like if we lived out that Golden Rule...


Monday, June 12, 2017

The VBS Experience

We are in full VBS mode in our church this week. And although that's fantastic one of the reasons I love VBS is we go all out decorating.

Yes, decorating. It's not something I usually get excited about, but I do here. Why? Because at our church VBS is a full blast to the senses experience. It's not just sit and hear about Jesus, it's do, see, hear, be fully immersed in who Jesus is.

And I think the real reason I love it is because we seem to fade that out of our lives as we get older. Learning about Jesus becomes just that, sit back and listen. Where Jesus is at a physical well holding water we talk about this. When Jesus grabs a handful of grapes to demonstrate our connectedness to Him we read about it. Who Jesus feeds bread to we listen, nod our heads, and enjoy.

Maybe the reason Jesus is more real to children than adults has nothing to do with their maturity of faith but more so how we show Jesus in our lives...


Monday, June 05, 2017

Maybe President Trump Saying "No" to Paris Was A Good Thing...

Hear me out, please...

I'm not saying we shouldn't be doing all we can to ensure the survival of our planet. I'm the guy who started paper recycling in my school system at ten years old. I 100% think America should have been in the Paris Accord.

But something interesting happened when President Trump said "no". People I have never seen care about the environment are suddenly interested and vowing to change their lifestyle. Businesses decide to follow the new standards even if the government won't enforce them. Donations in the millions are being made to cover what America would have pledged to the global cause.

None of this would have happened if President Trump said "yes".

If he has said "yes" things would have gone on as normal, few people would have cared, and many would try to get out of following these new regulations. Now, the country is fighting for it. By saying "no" it forced the rest of us to say "yes" and step up and take accountability for it.

Maybe this is part of the reason God allows bad things to happen or even flat out says "no" to us at times. If He just said "yes" would we live as if it were important? I read a book the other day where the author made the point if Jesus didn't leave for heaven, would we be even more apathetic than we are now, just expecting Jesus to take care of it all? Instead of being Jesus for people we would step back and simply point them to Jesus and have remove ourselves there?

Sometimes others saying "no" is a good thing, it forces us to live "yes".