Thank You! May 10th, 2013
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
My family and I have been so very blessed by our church living out this verse! The past 3-4 weeks have been challenging to say the least. In the midst of this challenging season, we’ve experienced the love and care of so many of our ACC family. Things like a phone call, txt, note, or card to let us know that you’re praying for us have lifted our spirits and reminded us that we’re not alone in this. A home-cooked meal and a brief visit have kept us well-fed and provided much needed interaction with good friends. People generously giving of their time and energy to help Lisa with our kids have made it possible for me to return to my ministry here at church. Some have helped research car seats, provided gifts, gone shopping for us, and the list goes on and on. As I write this post, I’m overwhelmed! Thank you!
The verse above mentions the “law of Christ”. That’s a reference to John 13:34 where Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” In the next verse, Jesus says the result of this kind of love is that the world will know that we are his disciples. As you’ve helped carry our burden, you’ve expressed love in tangible ways and given our world a testimony of the power of the Gospel.
Well done church! Thank you for loving and caring for my family!
Augustine Nailed It! May 7th, 2013
“If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. “– St. Augustine
Truth: God’s word is not a smorgasbord where you pick and choose.
Truth: As we approach God’s word it stands to judge us – not vice-versa.
May God give each of us the mindset and attitude of James 1:27
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
Dealing with Mistakes April 12th, 2013
I was invited to speak at a retreat this weekend. The retreat is for graduating ministry majors from Trinity International University. The topic: what you need to know as you transition into full time vocational ministry. It’s such an honor to be asked to speak and I’m excited about the opportunity to share from my experience.
One of the things I will be sharing is about dealing with mistakes. We all make mistakes…whether it’s in our professional life, our daily family life, or in our friendships, we can count on making mistakes. I believe the key to dealing with mistakes is how you respond. Proverbs 28:13 says ““He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy”. There’s some great wisdom here!
Consider the following negative response to making a mistake:
- Lie about it. While most of us would agree that lying is bad, what about those times when we know we could get away with it?
- Make excuses. Shift the blame, point the finger at someone else rather than taking responsibility for your mistake.
These ways of “concealing” a mistake lead to all sorts of problems. Lying erodes trust…even little lies! Making excuses may get you off the hook, but it sends the message that you lack personal responsibility.
Now, Consider the following positive response to making a mistake:
- Fess up quickly. Instead of trying to cover it up, or waiting to be found out, deal with it head on.
- Humbly accept responsibility. Instead of trying to get off the hook, take the necessary steps to fix the situation.
These ways of responding to the mistake lead to resolution and restored relationships. Dealing with it head on and taking responsibility demonstrate true character. Doing so sends the message that we care about the fact that we’ve made a mistake and how it impacts others. There may be a storm to weather, but it will likely be better than if we tried to conceal it and got caught. In my experience dealing with mistakes in these positive ways builds trust and endears you to others. You never lose when you apologize!
THE MOST UNLIKELY PEOPLE March 25th, 2013
Just this afternoon while I was running some errands, I was listening to WMBI on my car radio. I happened to hear someone being interviewed – and what they shared really challenged me.
This person was telling about his upbringing. His mom and dad divorced when he was very young. He lived with his mom and would see his dad on weekends. They were a family, both before and after the divorce, that never went to church or had much of anything to do with religion. Now they were a fractured family, struggling in every way.
Then a remarkable thing happened; a neighbor invited his mom and him to church. Looking back, he remarked that his mom would be the last person you would expect to be interested in going to church. But she was interested. They went to church and heard a fantastic message about a God who loves them. His mother gave her life to Christ that day and amazing change took place. So much so, that his dad noticed. To make a long story short, eventually his dad also crossed the line of faith – and his parents ended up getting remarried to each other!
It was then that this little boy realized true Christianity works! It makes a difference! It’s not just a tradition, or boring rituals, but a real, dynamic relationship with God that brings forgiveness, meaning, and healing.
As I thought about this cool story, I was convicted by the idea that there are people I write off from ever inviting to church. I make superficial judgments about them, and determine in my own mind that there’s no way they would say yes. Inviting them would be a waste of time. (How foolish!)
The truth is that you never know what is going on inside a person’s heart. Sometimes all that is needed is a simple invitation to church, even to the most unlikely people. You just never know what God is going to do!
As we approach Easter Sunday, who do you intend to invite? Be sure not to write off anybody – you never know what might happen. You can be sure they will hear a message about a God who loves them!
See you on Sunday!