Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We often sing the song in church or you hear it on the radio the song “Friend of God”. How incredible and awesome it is that we can call the creator of the universe and everything our friend! I know for myself however I take this for granted a lot of times. I was reading the intro to the book of Acts in my copy of Eugene Peterson’s The Message when some things really stood out to me. To sum it up it says that we are not to be mere spectators or fans of Jesus. I think about this in comparison to sports and all of the baseball players that I have been a fan of and enjoyed watching them play. I’m their fan, I am a spectator, but definitely not their friend. I haven’t even met them. I believe we need to go beyond being in awe of God (which we must be in awe of God) and actually develop that friendship. I think a great example of this is in Acts 4:12-14 when Peter and John addressed the leaders after being put in jail “They (the religious leaders) couldn’t take their eyes off them – Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus…” The leaders understood that their ability to preach with boldness came because they were companions of Jesus! I believe this is something we should consider when we think about our fears of sharing the gospel with the lost. I know for myself personally that I want others to recognize me as a companion of Jesus. So I am challenging myself as well as you- Are we merely fans or spectators of Jesus, or his companion?
Monday, February 15, 2010
Dave Ramsey came to Athens this past Friday. It’s always neat when someone big comes to the small town. With my background in finance and continued enjoyment of the subject I was excited to go because I had never heard him speak live. The thing is that he didn’t speak on finances, which at first seems crazy. Since he was speaking in part for the Leadership McMinn program here in McMinn County, leadership was the topic he covered. Of course Dave is an incredible speaker and even entertainer at times and this time was no different. Knowing that Dave is a Christian financial advisor and uses Biblical principles it also comes as no surprise that he would do the same when talking about leadership. I was excited to hear him take it to a different level than I had ever heard him on his radio show or videos. He quoted scripture several times during his talk. He talked about the success that his company had when through a turn of events (definitely orchestrated by God) he ended up being promoted on 60 Minutes and Oprah Winfrey in the matter of two weeks, which brought an incredible amount of success. With this his team of about 300 went crazy, and some thought the success came overnight. He had to teach them that the success wasn’t overnight, but was from 15 years of hard work. He gave the following formula to gain unstoppable momentum that will lead to success whether it is in business or personally:
(F + I / T ) (G) = Unstoppable Momentum
Here is what each letter stood for
F- Focus: it’s important to maintain focus. You can’t make decisions based on fear and greed causes you to lose focus.
I- Intensity: You must have intensity and energy
T- Time: it takes time to become a success. He talked about professional athletes and musicians and how they may have natural talent they still log many hours practicing at what they do. It takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert at it!
G- God: he actually said this was a “CAPITAL BIG G”. When you multiply by the infinity that God is, you are capable of much more.
So in a nutshell the formula is “Focused Intensity over Time multiplied by the infinite God leads to Unstoppable Momentum. Pretty awesome thought!
A more detailed post on this can be found on Ben Finch's Photography Blog.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One of my favorite sayings growing up was “the truth hurts”. I’m not really sure why but I remember listing it as such in my “about me” entry for my senior yearbook. I’m not sure that it was something I enjoyed saying, but must have said it a lot (I don’t really remember b/c I’ve seemed to block out a portion of my life during that time). The reality is, the truth does hurt sometimes. I know that I try to keep my mouth shut a lot because I know that I might not present my convictions in the best critical way. I was reminded of how truth from God hurts those who oppose or reject Him. I know this from experience when preaching a tough message that steps on toes and the result is the rejection of it and a negative response back where someone attempts to be hurtful to me. We see this too in what I think is a very sad portion of scripture in John 6. It’s a lengthy chapter at 71 verses but well worth the read. We see in this passage the miracle of Jesus feeding 5000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish! We read that without much thought these days but what a miracle. After this time Jesus teaches that He is the bread of life, that He alone can fulfill your every need. Jesus told them that He is the way to a relationship with God. He tells the people what is probably the most critical information in life for them to know and what do they do? They reject it because they didn’t like it. It wasn’t what they wanted to hear. You can read in verse 66 that many quit following Him at this time. Why? Because the truth hurt. As long as your not living for Jesus then the truth that He is all you need is not going to settle well with you. This is why I’ve also quoted frequently over the past year that “the gospel is offensive to those who reject it”. Consider for a moment if you are offended by the thought of being completely sold out for Christ. If so then my prayer is that your heart would soften and turn toward God.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I know I have already had two entries lately that spoke about the song lyrics that say “Here I am, ready to give up my life for the One!” On a side note in case anybody care what the song is it’s Here I Am by Michael W. Smith (bet you saw that coming). One more thought I have on these lyrics is this: What if God not only called you to give up your life by serving Him (which He calls everyone to do), but what if He called you to actually give up your life as a martyr? Something that we would definitely want to be able to do if we ever faced such a time, but truthfully what would you do? What if you knew that God was calling you to be a martyr for Him? Would you still love and serve Him the same or would you abandon Him in hopes of a different way? I don’t want to come off as saying that I would be very excited and thrilled if I knew that this was coming my way, but I hope that I am close enough to God to be willing to do this if possible. Especially if it meant that someone else became a follower of Jesus as a result of my life. Just something to chew on today.