Life in a Lazy boy

July 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

lazyboy

Imagine you have a lazy boy chair at home with an awesome cup holder and the push out foot rest. The chair is worn in nicely and even contours perfectly to your butt. You are so content with your coke in hand as you watch your Tv. Nothing is getting you out of that chair. God says “it’s time to go out and tell somebody about jesus” but you have become complacent and immovable in your contentment. 

CONTENTMENT Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.  – however this can breed complacency and apathy. 
Our imbalanced contentment becomes a justification for not being concerned about the lost.
Are you that person?

Maybe you are sitting in that chair and it is a nice chair, but you just can’t ever get comfortable. God hears your grumbling and instead of bringing judgement on you He gives mercy and grace. God supplies you with a brand new leather chair with a built in iPad! You sit in it and love it for about a week. You begin to complain and grumble again.

“There is no cup holder in this one and I want the old one back!”

God says, “tell somebody about Jesus” but you can’t hear him because you are too busy not recognizing that you are where God wants you and you would rather complain. Are you that person?

DISCONTENTMENT: Unhappy with everything – breeds contention and grumbling.
Our imbalanced discontentment isolates us from God’s Goodness and mercy. Instead of wanting more of the BREAD OF LIFE we want more of food that does not satisfy.
Are you that person?

When someone in the Scriptures submitted their life to Christ…it was complete and total surrender and not “submission based on convenience.” It is a selfless walk.
We are told to find our life and live it to the fullest we must lose our life first. (Matthew 10:30)

So if both Contentment & Discontentment can lead to things not of God, how should we operate?

Apostle Paul said: “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:11)

Another option…A HOLY DISCONTENT – You have learned to be content in whatever circumstances, but You are also ready and waiting as you shadow God closely. While you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you. Complacency and grumbling pull you away from the character of God’s grace.

There you are in that lazy boy. It’s nice and it has the butt contour. It has a few tears in it, the cup holder has lost it’s form and can no longer hold your coke can. You are enjoying the comfort of what God has given you and not complaining about a few springs poking through. You are sitting at the edge relaxed, but ready to leap if God calls you. You can hear His voice and you are not stuck.

“The man, who is deeply discontented with himself, is probably growing fast into the full likeness of Christ.” – Spurgeon 

THRILL your hearts with the CLOSENESS of the love of God. 

Bright Sadness

June 26, 2014 — Leave a comment
Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 3.02.11 PMre-posted from my facebook because I don’t want to forget God’s goodness

Some weeks are bright and some weeks are sad.
This week, walking as a pastor and friend, has been what can only be described as a bright sadness.

With new life and loved ones who pass…
with friends wrecked with addiction and others coming out of the water in baptism with new freedom.
Seeing some walk away from God and others who were asleep finally wake up to the wonder of The Lord.
Seeing relationships torn apart and others making new covenants with a ring.

There is one thing I know: 
MY HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Psalm 103:1

NIV Read Easy Bible Review

This black Italian Duo-Tone™ NIV ReadEasy Bible brings readability and portability together in one neat, sophisticated package. Whether at church, in the coffee shop, or trekking around the globe, this handy-sized Bible is the perfect companion. Its convenient size makes it easy to keep the timeless truth of God’s Word at hand in any situation.

I have over the years switched almost exclusively over to the ipad and iphone using youversion for my bible. I love having every version and resource at my finger tips. This is pretty odd if you know me though. I love books. I love paper. I love the smell of books and can’t read an ebook because I just miss the feel of a book in my hands.

I saw booklookblogger site was looking for reviews on this bible so, being a long time NIV fan, I requested it. It is a really nice bible with smooth leather. It is thin and not bulky, but isnt the super slim edition due to its “read easy” feature. The text is huge in this book which is nice to preach from because I am a few feet from the book.

It boast a layflat design, but it only seemed to lay flat when it was open to the middle. I was preaching on Ephesians and couldn’t get it to stay open which rendered it frustrating and not usable.

While I know it’s the hipster thing to do, I really am loving the ESV. I forgot a bout the differences.

I wish it had more room in the margins for study and writing.

I go back and forth between ESV and NIV and would recommend this bible to anybody, but especially those who will require the larger print.

As far as the content goes: ITS AMAZING!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from BookLookBloggers to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

wonderEvery time my wife and I take our four kids to a hotel, the first thing they do is run around to every room and explore. They jump on the beds, check out all the cool things, play with the hair dryer (even though we have one at home) and gawk at the outdated TV. They love to explore new things and are in a state of wonder when we go to new places. It is actually pretty cool to watch them flutter around discovering amazing treasures.

Matthew 18:3 says “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”

Children live in wonder. Where anything is possible. Remember those days? The days when grabbing an old towel and wrapping it around our neck instantly turned us into superman and we were able to fly. When our toys came to life… When our playroom became an amphitheater and moms cooking pots were our drum set begging to be played for a sold out crowd.

Being adults makes us jaded and hard over time and we lose the wonder. The grace and mercy of God started well before we thought and it goes on forever. Because of Jesus and his great mercy we are adopted orphans of God. We now have access and can approach with boldness the King of kings. Such mystery and wonder and yet our calloused souls forget all about it.

Imagine God is like that hotel… We race around and go from room to room and learn more about Him. We explore in excitement, share our findings and discover God had planned greater things than we imagined. In a normal hotel, once all the rooms have been explored the fun is over, but With God the rooms are never ending.”

Job 11:7-9 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”

Every time we think we have God figured out another door in the “hotel” opens. May we NEVER lose the wonder.

Seeking Allah, Finding JesusA Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
By: Nabeel Qureshi

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi is a former devout Muslim who was convinced of the truth of the Gospel through historical reasoning and a spiritual search for God. Since his conversion, he has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating.

I have always been intrigued by other faiths and their journey and practice. Even more so I have been excited to read accounts of people who have found the hope of Christ on their journey.

About 2 years ago I discovered a show out of Canada called “Little Mosque on the Prairie”. It was a cute show about Muslims who are stuck having to share a place of worship with Christians. While I know it was a sitcom, it gave me such an appreciation an interest in the faith of the Muslim community. Watching the characters in both faiths interact and have to learn how to coexist was pretty eye-opening to me.

Because of this it was a pleasure to receive this book to review. I have heard stories of Muslims having a dream and meeting Jesus and then getting saved before, but this was different. Nabeel takes us on a journey of real seeking and battling thru mindset shifts and seeking REAL truths that his heart was longing for.

How fitting that “case for Christ” writer, Lee Strobel writes the forward in this pretty amazing journey of faith.

This book as a great read. For the last year I have been co-teaching a mens bible study through the book of acts and this book as been really helpful to get into the head of an eastern mindset. I recommend this book to those in Islam culture who are seeking and for those in the Christian faith to learn how to speak, pray and give grace to those who believe differently.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from BookLookBloggers to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”