Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Check out this video.
I think dominoes falling like that is one of the coolest things ever. I have never had the patience to make a very long line of dominoes but I love watching them fall like that.
Change leads to change. When we invest in others and people see the change in us they are attracted to the change. They begin to change and often times invest in others also who begin to change and are noticed by others who are attracted to the change and then begin to change...you get the picture. Dominoes.
I had a discussion yesterday with someone about this very subject. He began telling me about the people in his work place and the changes that he is seeing in them as he has tried to invest in them. Most have responded in a way that he hoped for and even expected. Some have not. One in particular has not fully accepted the gift but is still very interested and still comes to this person with her problems. Even though she knows where he will get his advice, she still comes to him. Even though she is not ready to accept it, she is drawn to the wisdom, peace, grace, and acceptance he has found in Christ. It is attractive.
If you ever line up a few dominoes and then cause them to fall, you will do it again. You will probably spend quite a bit of time on it. It tends to be somewhat addictive. So it is with investing yourself and keeping the change.
BTW...someone has to start the dominoes falling. Let the change begin.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I was reminded this week of the power of encouragement and the faithfulness of God.
Ever have one of those days, meetings, sermons, where when you left you thought it really stunk? Like no one got anything out of it? Like it was a huge waste of time and if you ever do anything like that again no one will show up and you should probably just quit now and cut your losses?
I never have but some of you may have...just kidding. Happens to me often. I know it is the enemy trying to discourage me and get me to quit. So I have to rely on God's promises and faithfulness.
Here's what happens. You have one of those times that you feel like really stunk and then later that night you get an email from someone who was at the meeting and they tell you how God spoke to them and how they can't wait to come to the next one. Or the next day you get a note in the mail saying that the message was just what they needed to hear and that God is really working in their life and they thank you for being obedient. Or, since you thought the teaching was so elementary and simple that surely no one got anything out of it, someone comes up to you and tells you just how awesome it is to hear the truth communicated in a way that every one can understand and apply. I love that.
So here is the deal. Today, send a note, an email, an e-card, make a phone call, stop by a cubicle, whatever, and encourage someone. Tell them how well you think they are doing and how it is impacting your life. Nothing fancy. Nothing long. Just a quick, "Hey great job on that. I really appreciate you. I am looking forward to what is next." Or something like that. Not only will that little investment help that person, but you will feel like you have really done something worthwhile...because you have. It could also be God's way of letting that person know that they are truly doing what He wants them to do. Lots of dividends there.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 NLT
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
What an investment. What dividends. What excitement.
This week we had the opportunity to sign up for an investment opportunity. There were many different opportunities to invest in, each with their own risk and rewards. The cool part is, tons of people took the risk and made the investment.
One of the values we hold on to is serving. We believe that every one should serve and can find an opportunity to serve. If that is what we believe then we should be making those opportunities available. It's not enough to just talk about serving, we have to do it. So this weekend we put our faith into action.
It's amazing to see and feel the excitement that so many people have now that they have committed to these investment opportunities. I have to believe that the dividends are going to come in quickly and fully. We are going to see God do things that we can not even imagine. We are going to see lives changed. We are going to see families changed. We are going to see communities changed. We are going to be changed ourselves.
Look out. We are investing in lives and eternity.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Happy and peaceful. Those are the two words that will forever describe Margaret to me.
I preached the first funeral ever at Midtowne Church this morning. Not my first funeral but the first one at Midtowne. It was awesome.
Now I know that saying a funeral was awesome seems a little strange but if you knew this family. you would understand. Paul told the church at Thessalonica that they should not grieve as people who have no hope and that is the message the the Hollis family held on to today and will for the weeks to come.
Margaret was a great lady. She was strong, loving, outspoken, talented, and faithful. Most of all, she loved people, her family, her church, and he God. Last Thursday night I had the awesome privilege of spending some time alone with Margaret. During our short visit we talked about her life and mostly her eternity. She clearly and confidently told me that she was not afraid at all but had peace because she knew that she had God's love through Jesus in her and that she would spend eternity in Heaven. Just two days later, God decided it was time for her to come home and she went.
Today we celebrated her life, her legacy, and her love. A love that stemmed from the love she found in God through Jesus. A love that she shared with all those around her. A love that we should all practice every day of our life.
It was the first. I'm sure it won't be the last. I pray that it will help us all find and experience God's Best for our life.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Monday, April 7, 2008
It just skipped and bounced right through. Unbelievable damage right next to no damage at all. Minor injuries but no deaths. Homes damaged, some destroyed. Lives changed forever. Opportunities for impact now available.
"What do you need?" That's what I asked the Office of Emergency Management person Friday. They were getting things together and were not sure of any immediate needs so I left my number. They have mentioned the flooding damage in Haskell and we are in the process of assessing the needs there to see what we can do.
It is truly amazing the power of those storms. It is amazing to see the destruction and how random it is. It is amazing that God spared so many and that things were not worse than they are. We count our blessings but pray for those who are affected. I look forward to the opportunities to serve those affected by the storms and truly show them God's love in practical ways. We actually get to DO church and not just say we are a church.
It's time to invest ourselves and see the changes God will make.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
OK. I know that. Maybe I am a little impatient. Maybe I am setting my hopes too high. Maybe I am expecting too much. Or am I?
That comment came from a friend at lunch yesterday as I told him about some of my concerns at Midtowne. There are things I am wanting to do, see happen, and participate in but they don't seem to be coming together. As I mentioned some of this the reality check statement jolted me back into 2008.
When this thing started on January 6, I really didn't know what to expect. And quite honestly it has been incredible. God has done amazing things in only three months. But I want more. I so desire to see people reach their potential. I have a passion for helping people "find and experience God's Best for their life." I long to see families changed by the love of God and a community impacted with mercy and grace. So maybe I need to be more patient.
Here is what I read in my time alone with God this morning. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Galatians 3:3 NLT
We are only 3 months old. We started this thing in the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We will continue in the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I will submit to Him and His timing, not my own. I hope you will join me today in whatever it is that God is leading you to do and allow Him to lead. Funny, it's always better that way anyway.