Monday, February 23, 2009

I Love My Lips

The lips of the godly speak helpful words,but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words. Proverbs 10:32 NLT

I was absolutely shocked at the response yesterday the very simple card we handed out at the end of our services. It was just a plain white card with a huge pair of red lips on it. Yet the response was great. Many people wanted to know where they could get more of the cards and, of course, many men and women wanted to get more of them for their spouse.

So why the big response?

We used the cards as a reminder that the words we use should show the power of love. In the third part of our series, Power of Love, we talked about how the words we use tell how we love. If we are going to be the kind of lovers that God wants us to be, we need to learn how to control our mouth. The card is just a simple reminder to only speak words that will spread love, not hate, pain, and destruction.

I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised. We all need help in this part of our life. We all use words to hurt sometimes. We all say things we shouldn't say. We all speak without thinking. So a simple reminder to put a "filter on our fountain" is a really great tool.

So What? How are you doing today with the words you have spoken? Are you using words that are spreading love or are you using words that are causing pain and strife? Work hard this week at thinking before you speak and choosing your words carefully. And remember, sometimes it's not what you say but how you say it that makes all the difference.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bueller, Bueller

I had the awesome privilege of going to hear Ben Stein speak last night. I have always thought he was a very funny man, especially in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. And the quiz show Win Ben Stein's Money won 7 Emmy Awards. His latest major project was a movie titled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It is a movie about scientists and others who have dared to speak out against Darwinism and for Intelligent Design and therefore have been "expelled" from the scientific world (that's the Doug Pruitt synopsis and is by no means intended to be a complete review or commentary on the movie).

But last night I saw the real Ben Stein.

Ben Stein is a brilliant man. He was a speech writer for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He has written a ton of books, is a commentator on many news shows, and knows more about our country, government, and politics than most people on the planet. He spoke eloquently and intelligently about our country's current economic crisis and other current issues facing our country. He often quoted Jesus' teaching from the so-called Sermon on the Mount. He alluded to his personal belief in God and the Bible and spoke with passion about his dear friend Richard Nixon. He told the overflow crowd (I sat on the floor in the aisle) that the present crises that America is facing are the result of the moral breakdown of our society and that unless there is a restoration of God to public life, we will only see our great nation continue to decline.

Ben Stein loves life, this country, and the people with whom he has built relationships.

Why would I devote an entire post to Ben Stein? Because I think he has something that we all need. That something is passion. Not the erotic, worldly, Valentine's Day stuff. But the stuff that makes you stand up, speak up, and step up. The passion that ignites something deep within you that cannot be extinguished. Ben Stein not only knows what he believes, but he knows why he believes it and he knows how to communicate it.

So What? John 1:1-5 (NLT)
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

If we truly believe that Jesus is who He says He is and who the Bible says He is, we cannot allow the things of this world to extinguish it in our lives. We must allow the Truth to flow out of us like a great light that expels the darkness. We must passionately, not abrasively, share that light with others.

Let love be your highest goal! 1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT

Ben Stein is not the boring Economics teacher from that famous movie scene. He is letting his passion for what he believes flow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sick as a Dog, But Lovin' Anyway

Funny phrase. Not sure where it came from nor am I real sure just how sick dogs get. In fact, I have seen dogs throw up, sniff it, ingest it, then just move on. But I digress...

I spent Saturday in bed. All day. Except when I was "running" to the bathroom. I went from freezing to sweating. From thinking I was going to spew to thinking I was feeling better. From sound asleep to wide awake. From pretty comfortable to hurting all over. I have always thought it would be awesome to spend a whole day in bed, just not sick in bed.

I struggled through yesterday as we kicked off our new series, "The Power of Love." What an amazing day. We had the biggest crowd we have ever had and the response to the message has been incredible. I am so excited about what I believe God is going to do in and through us as we seek to show His love to others. Learning to be the kind of lovers He wants us to be is going to radically change our lives as individuals and as a church and community.

Love is so much more than some emotion that we celebrate on Valentine's Day. It is so much more than a goofy feeling we get. It is so much more than a relationship with another person. Love is all of that plus the God powered ability to share His love with others. It is not something we just say. It is something we actually do.

So What? I want to invite you to join me on this journey of love. A journey that I believe is going to not only improve our walk with God, but will impact our relationships in such a way that we will not be able to live the way we have always lived. Everything about our life will change for the better and as a result we will experience love the way God meant it to be: Full, Fun, and Powerful.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Finish

How bout them Steelers!

The Steelers pulled it off in dramatic fashion. Big Ben (the Pittsburgh quarterback) was amazing in that final drive as he avoided the rush and what appeared to be certain tackles. His incredibly strong arm and accuracy were just what his team needed to get the win.

And what about Santonio Holmes? Talk about strong hands. And what kid has not pretended to make that play while playing in the back yard? We let our imigination take us to the big game. Time running out. A throw to the sideline. Make the catch and keep both feet in bounds to win the championship. Nothing short of outstanding!

So What? You have the opportunity today to make an amazing play. You have the opportunity to show God's love in a way that only you can. Sure, you won't get a fancy ring or a championsip hat or shirt for it. But you will receive honor from God for making the play. So be creative. Look for an opportunity and take advantage of it. Because the fact is, the game is almost over. Time is running out. When the ball gets thrown your way, will you make the catch? Show God's love to someone today. You'll be a champion on God's team.

BTW...Though I am a Steelers fan, I am also a Kurt Warner fan, the quarterback for Arizona. I know this will upset some of you Steelers fans, but I really would have loved to see Warner take his team down the field with 30 seconds left and score the winning touchdown. He is not only a fantastic football player, but also a great guy and an outspoken follower of Christ. I am glad he had a good game and hope nothing but the best for him and his family.