Archive

Archive for July, 2010

Monday Response – July 26th

Sunday’s worship time was great! I was really moved by one of the songs we sang which spoke of giving up everything to God. That is sometimes really difficult. In Sunday School, we spoke about that a little. It’s easy to give up the big things in life, but not always so easy to give up the everyday things.

As I was reading through Revelation 7, I was moved by how people worship. Scott’s point about sometimes you may just need to be on your knees with your face down in the dirt really hit home. All too often I want to keep my issues to myself and not give them up to God, but when I come to Him in worship, I need to give everything to Him. If I don’t then I am not truly worshipping.

God wants so much more for us than we allow ourselves to have. The freedom that is found only in Him is unlike anything else we could find. So, what is your response to Him today? What will you do beginning today to bring everything to God and not hold anything back?

It’s time to get off our horse and follow Him. The final verse in chapter 7v18 really says it all for me. “For the lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Are you letting Him lead you this week? That’s all you have to ask.

I just had another growth spurt!

Let me just put your minds at rest…I am no taller than I was yesterday. As I was listening to the radio yesterday, I heard someone talk about spiritual growth spurts. I thought the idea was really fantastic and wanted to write on it. Anyways, I’ve been challenged with the idea because sometimes I can go for months and months without any noticeable growth spurts. It’s a long road and when I am not actively growing, what am I doing?

How bout you? When was your last growth spurt?

As I read through scripture, I see a lot of people experience this. I see people making realizations or coming to an understanding of how God is working in their life. One of my favorites is the crowd at Pentecost in which Peter is addressing. It says of the crowd, “they were cut to the heart”. This was not some outward growth, but it was inward. It was a spurt. They understood something about their condition that was unknown minutes before.

Later on, Paul gives us insight into the work that is happening inside him. He says, “But whatevver was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more., I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for who sake I have lost all things.”(Phil. 3:7,8) Again, there is something happening within these people that is drawing them closer and closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is God teaching you? Are you on the verge of a growth spurt? How will that change things for you?

Think about how God is working inside you. He’s in the midst of a glorious upgrade. He is drawing you and I toward Him, and whether you knew it or not, you can’t get closer to Him without change. It’s time to grow!

the dilemma with VBS

This week is VBS otherwise known as Vacation Bible School. It’s one of the few opportunities during the year when I get to be around hundreds of kids, watching them play, learn about the Bible, participate in crafts, and have a good time! VBS is always so much fun.

I think one of the main reasons I love VBS now is becuase my own VBS experience was less then memorable. I seem to remember only attending VBS one year and even then the focus was on the stuff you do and not so much on God. This is one of the main things I appreciate about it!  I see kids from the church, kids from other churches and kids from no church here all learning together about God and His love for us.

The dilemma that VBS creates though is many kids get so excited about what they are learning. This is how kids are, present something in a fun, hands-on kind of way and they can’t get enough. Kids don’t know how to leave their fun in one place though. They bring it home with them. Fortunately when many of these kids come home, they have parents who share in their joys. They have parents who can encourage their learning of the Bible, and help them through their questions. Unfortunately, a few kids go home to parents who aren’t encouraging their new found knowledge of scripture. In fact, some parents are finding that their child knows more about scripture than they do.

My heart goes out to these kids. They come home all built up with excitement only to be stomped on when their parents can’t relate to what they are learning.

I had a background similar to this. I was dropped off at Sunday School, VBS, and all the activities, but when I came home, I was never asked about what I was learning nor was I encouraged in my own spiritual growth. It turned into a routine and therefore religion began to grow, while my faith slowly drifted away. My prayer for these kids is that they may find a place where their faith is encouraged and they have parents who would join with them in growing together.

I pray that these kids would remember back on this VBS as one where God came alive to them and faith became a real thing!

Monday response – July 19th

Sunday services bring a lot to the table. One thing that I find from each service is that worship should bring some kind of response. Beginning today, I am creating an opportunity for a Monday response.

I have found so often that a missed opportunity to respond to God can create a hole that needs to be filled. If God is calling you to get plugged into a support system, but you avoid the call, the void will become even greater throughout the week.

So ask yourself, what were you prompted to do as a result of yesterday’s service? Have you found a place to plug in yet? Are you needing to serve as an act of worship? Do you need to sing a new song? Whatever it is, God is calling. It’s up to us to pick up the phone and answer. If you need a place to plug in, so that you may draw closer to God through fellowship, community, prayer,  and study, now is your time. Don’t avoid God’s call to a greater life in Him.

Here is a link to a simple form you can fill out to get plugged in: http://www.thirdcitychristian.org/index.cfm?i=5501&mid=26&fid=522

Or feel free to call the church office! Now is your time!

Happy Friday!

Well, its Friday! The week is winding down and it’s time to enjoy the weekend! Here is a video that cheered me up, I hope it does the same for you! Have a great weekend!

Categories: Uncategorized

Til death do us part

Till death do us part.

More and more we’ve turned this from a vow to an ultimatum. One thing our culture does not like is ultimatums. This could explain the skyrocketing divorce rate. We enjoy options. Being tied down to one person is a thing of the past. At least that is what popular television, magazines, and modern culture would have you believe. Even the shows that do show steady marriages are made into a mockery. Everybody Loves Raymond and the Simpson’s are among the decreasing number of shows that display a marriage of one woman and one man. The problem is that these shows are meant to make you laugh. They’re sitcoms. Really, do good marriages exist anymore?

Even in our own reality there is plenty of details which could be the makings of the next sitcom. Some of our marriages even have the making of the next Lifetime movie that ends in tragedy. I’ve seen shows that encourage multiple relationships and even other shows that tempt couples with other men or women in extracurricular relationships.

Regardless how you look at it, marriages are in shambles all across the nation. According to the 2007 figures from the CDC,  there are on average 250 marriages per hour in this country, we also see 102 divorces per hour. That is nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. There are fewer and fewer marriages every year, while the divorce rate is on a steady rise.

What does this mean for the church?  For too long now, couples inside and outside the church aren’t investing into their marriage. We are working more and more hours and have more activities than ever before. What about you? When was the last time you took time out  for your own marriage. I’m not talking about going to a movie together or going grocery shopping. I am talking about some serious investing.

I think we can all agree that we do have busy schedules. Think about this, how much time do you spend with your spouse without interruption (kids, telephone, internet, work, tv, etc.) One on one time with your spouse is what you need. Now, how much time to spend with other married couples without interruption? I am guessing not too much.

So, what lengths would you go to in order to make sure that your marriage is getting the investment it needs and to stay off the divorce rate statistic? Do you want to end up as one of the 102 couples that end up in divorce each hour? The odds are in your not actively investing in your marriage, when things get tough, they’ll take longer and longer to get better.

Take the time now to invest in your marriage. Third City has many opportunities for you. Take a look at the list below and find one that suits you.

LIFE Groups for couples
Home Builders by Family Life
Weekend to Remember Getaway
Adult Ed courses:  Love & Respect, Sacred Marriage
Marriage Counseling
Date Nights

Any of the above suggestions are sure to give you what you need for a healthy marriage. Now is the time to invest in your marriage. Don’t wait till its too late. No one is exempt from those stats, just make sure you are doing what you need to do now to ensure a great marriage for years till come. Bring back the covenant that you make before God when you said, “Till death do us part.”.

It’s Monday: What does worship look like today?

For too many protestant, faith driven people, Sunday marks the end of weekly worship. We throw all of our eggs into this basket. It’s our day of rest, and by rest I mean, let’s get all the yard work done. It’s our day of service, and by service I mean let’s help in the nursery at church. It’s our day of prayer, and by prayer I mean just sit quietly while the preacher is closing in prayer. It’s our day of sacraments, and by sacraments I mean lets down the the little biscuit and juice cause I didn’t get breakfast this morning. It’s our day of worship and by worship I mean stand up, sing two songs, sit down and sing two songs.

Does this routine sound familiar? If it does, than you’re not alone. There are a lot of people today who carry on like this week to week. Packing our Sunday’s with a “checklist from God” doesn’t mean that God likes what we are doing.

Scott made a great comment last week regarding worship. He said, “worship has been going on for eternity, we are merely joining in.” While our worship may all too often hinge on a our calendar, worship exists as long as God exists.

So, it’s Monday. What does worship look like today?

Worship today is being thankful for your first breath. It’s praising God for the rain! Worship is letting a coworker have the last cup of coffee in the pot. Worship is listening to a friend who is in a hard time. Worship is joining with your LIFE group to pray with and encourage one another. Worship is sharing a devotional time with your family before bed. Worship is needing God.

Worship can be so many things. I read this quote last night from AW Tozer, which I just love. He says, “God doesn’t need anything nevertheless He wants worshipers.” Next time you try to stuff your Sunday with all your worship, remember, you have six more days that God is wanting your worship.

Categories: Worship Tags: , , ,