Sunday, September 27, 2009


Are you on Facebook? How many friends do you have? As you open that profile page and scroll down to check, let me ask you another question; of all those friends, how many of them do you actually chat with on a regular basis? Be honest here, you and I both know that if you have 100 friends, you talk to less than 10 of them regularly, unless of course you are a teenager.

Seriously, less than ten percent is a for real number. I have written about your sphere of influence before but this is so much different. I have come to understand something recently and that is that I cannot spend enough time being in relationship with others. If you have 100 friends on Facebook, find a way to chat with 25 a week. Of course that seems audacious at the moment but it is a challenge.

What I want you to think about are all of the challenges you face on a daily basis. Specifics are not important at the moment, just think of all the times you feel bent out of shape, or upset, or frustrated, or ready for a break, or tired or even pissed off. There are more of course, but think of something else; there are a pool of people out there that you know, that go through the same things you do every day. When you feel challenged, there are 25 people (at least) near you who are feeling challenged too.

Now take the bold step, reach out and talk to someone. There are so many ways to connect with people these days. Phone call, text, email, IMchat, Skype, snail mail, in person…need I say more? Share your challenges and invite others to share theirs. What you will find is that by doing so you have opened a vein that allows others to be relational with you.

What is relational? What is it like to have a relationship? Being relational is simply having a connection to someone or something. Being in a relationship is regular connection with someone or something. When you open up to others and chat with them about your challenges and listen to theirs, you begin to take steps toward a relationship. Keep making that connection regularly and there you have it!

Sure it takes time and commitment, but you haven’t heard the best part yet. When we connect with others relationally, that is on a regular basis, our needs are met as well. We have a chance to share our challenges, our hurts, our triumphs and our lives with people who quite possibly share common ideals.

Unfortunately, here is what usually happens…we make preconceived notions about certain people based on limited information and we refuse to make a connection. We shut off the very idea of talking or chatting with someone because they don’t think like we do, or at least we believe that to be true. When we fail to talk to others because of passing judgment, we are literally silencing a voice in our life, shutting off an opportunity to share, eliminating a connection.

Don’t be that guy, don’t buy that nonsense. Take chances by reaching out to others and give them the time of day to talk. Meet someone for coffee once a week, chat people up on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, just start talking…more importantly, start connecting.

My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Changing ways

How exactly do we change our ways? It has been said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or 21 days to break an old habit. Either way, it takes time to change your ways. If our ways are wrong, it takes time, focus and an honest determination on our part to change what we do or how we act, whether for the positive or negative.
In making a change, first we must examine what it is that needs changing. Is it our hair color, our clothing style, our vehicle, our choice in music, an addictive drug, a bad influence in our life such as a person or a place? It could be one or many of those things and so many more than that. Maybe it’s our political view, or our world outlook, or our financial behavior. Examining your life is the first step in making changes to it.

Upon taking a closer look are there things in your life that need to be modified, changed, added or deleted? Most likely the answer is yes. For some people the answer is simply a desire to pray more, or drive their car less, or eat more fiber. Modest to liberal change in your life is something that scares a lot of people, especially those who are happy where they are, especially for those who think they have it all together.

So let’s start with a simple yet complex question (if that sounds like an oxymoron then good). What would your life look like if your #1 priority was Matthew 22:36-40?

36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

If you set into your day with the goal and primary focus of loving God first and then your neighbor as yourself, would there be a noticeable difference in your day?

Imagine that you hold no grudges, no contempt for another human being. Imagine that you look for only the good in others and look past the bad, learning to forgive inadequacies and failures. Imagine for just one moment that you could be friends with every single person you came into contact with for the rest of your life. Seems a tad absurd I know but why? Why does it have to be?

If you set out to be the best you can be to every person you came in contact with every single day, you might die from exhaustion, right? Our society tells us we should feel sorry for ourselves for not having everything we want. We are taught at a young age by marketing that not having it all is a failure. So we must all be failures by that bar, we have all fallen short…hmmm, where have I heard that before?

If we look closely at our lives in light of the kingdom, we have also failed, we will never measure up; we could never deserve anything better than the failure that this world has to offer us. But unlike the trappings of this world, we have a way out of this failed place, this failed life and His name is Jesus. There is nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, that this world can offer you to fix your failures or shortcomings. By the standards of this world, you will always fall short and will never “have it all”.

Bringing this back around to where we started, we have such short sighted vision regarding eternity that we hurt those closest to us because of our greed for the things of this earth. When we live in light of this world, we serve another master and its name is materialization. The enemy is all too happy to help you serve that multi-headed monster.

If you live your life in light of eternity, your life will take on a whole new meaning, one filled with telling others about what you know, about the love you have inside.

Think of it this way, when you get a new pair of shoes or a new car, you can’t wait to show it off. You even go out of your way to tell your friends and even people you don’t know about what’s new, just in case they didn’t notice. When Christ is at the center of your life you should do exactly the same thing, you should be so excited to tell others about what’s new in your life, from an eternal perspective.

This is the great commission, go and make disciples of all nations… (Matthew 28:19). He didn’t commission us to go and make strangers. He didn’t command us to go and make enemies. He didn’t command to go and blow bubbles!!! We have been called to GO and MAKE disciples.


1. a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower


1. a group of persons authoritatively charged with particular functions

2. the condition of being placed under special authoritative responsibility or charge.

We have been charged with a special responsibility to go (GET OUT THERE) and tell (SCREAM IT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS).

We need more Jesus freaks…count me in.


My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Philippians 1:27-30

There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for Him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.
Are you ready to suffer? My answer to that is no. Not because I disrespect the sovereignty of my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, but in short I am an American and I am used to getting my way and having what I want, when I want it. Suffering only comes when my favorite TV show is a repeat, or when my internet connection is slow. I don’t suffer really, I just whine a lot.
Jesus himself said ...”Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Seriously though, as thought provoking as that is, we really aren’t cut out for suffering here in America, I don’t care what you say. Persecution here?! Give me a break. We get mad if we have to wait too long in the drive-thru for our lunch, we couldn’t handle persecution because of Him; we would topple instantly.

America is quite honestly the single greatest mission field in the world. And here is something else that might shock you. The ones in need the most are not the homeless and the lost, they are the ones whose self righteousness has taken over like the cancer it truly is. Just turn on the radio or the TV. Listen to these people who call themselves loving Christians as they decry the things that are taking place in our country.

When the Christians of this country learn to truly suffer for Him, they will understand the gift in the suffering. Until then we will lay around in our overweight and unsatisfied states until something better comes along.
My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


If you are following the news in any way then you know that America is deeply divided regarding several key issues at the moment.

Number one: health care. One way or another, you have been affected by the health care system. Even the staunchest of conservative Republicans that I know admit that there is a real issue in this country and we need to do something. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, or if you’re a real pansy and you like to sit on the fence, you have an opinion. This is no minor issue and the effects of this outcome will shape our country for generations to come.

Number two: the economy. Nearly 18 months before George Bush left office, we were seeing the first signs of a downturn in our national economy. For 17 of those months, the president and his office denied there was a problem and only in the last month of his presidency (in December of 2008) did he admit that we were in trouble economically and had been for over a year. Everyone reading this has been affected, no one is exempt from this recession. While things are beginning to soften up for the first time in nearly two years, we have a long road out to a strong national economy.

Number three: Sarah Palin. Mrs. Palin left office recently for unofficial reasons, but most speculate that she will be making a run for the presidency in 2012. Mrs. Palin entered the public view in a big way last summer when John McCain dubbed her to be his running mate. A lot has transpired since then and there is some speculation as to why Mrs. Palin really left the office of governor of Alaska. Either way, and however you feel about her, this woman is going to be in our homes and on our TV’s for many years.

Number four: the war on terrorism. Since last November, very little time has been spent talking about the war on terror. It could be that once George Bush was out of office, the 72% of Americans that disapproved of his running of the country felt there would be change. It could also be that the 66% of the American people who elected Barack Obama felt that he would quickly end the war as he suggested he would during his campaign. Today the war rages on but in a diminished light. Here in America we have bigger concerns (see the top three) and losing a few thousand more troops seems so minor.

I recognize that there have been many things that have divided us as a people throughout the history of this country. We fought a Civil War for four years over a single issue but in the end we saw the end of slavery and a massive move that shaped us into the united superpower that we have become. While there have certainly been major eras in this country, the reconstruction era that followed the Civil War was memorable in America. However, what followed that era is one of the darker periods in this country, regarding segregation and the idea of separate but equal treatment for those of color.

During our storied history we have often dealt with the issue of economy; just think of the Great Depression. We have dealt with health care as an issue, think of the 80’s and Medicare. We have dealt with Terrorism as well; when the British came here in the 1770s they were by very nature terrorists and sought to kill all those who were deemed traitors.

There have always been great debates in this country about a multitude of beliefs, opinions and views. We are such a varied group of ethnicities in this country that we have changed the landscape of what it means to be native. While that does not change a relative view point, it does present challenges to the citizens of this nation. We struggle with holding true to nationalism when we have tendencies toward other countries where we have a heritage. We argue about what it means to be a patriot but we forget about the sacrifices that some have made to get here and the ties that still bind back to a foreign nation.

With that in mind, the issues we face here are not unlike the issues of other nations. In the grip of certain conflicts we need to look outside of our own country and recognize that our neighbors are dealing with all the same problems. We could make an attempt to work together with our fellow earth mates but we tend to get so wrapped up in our own little problems that we often forget that anyone outside this country really matters.

This is the crux of the matter, the heart of what I am getting at when I talk about Americanism. Truthfully, we are not alone in this; there are other countries that suffer from the same effect. What sets us apart from other nations though, is the pretentious way we look at those outside our country. When you think of Afghanistan what is the first image that comes to mind? How about Russia? Africa? I have my own images that come to mind when those countries are mentioned but my views are most likely different than yours, or at least enough so that I conjure up different notions of our neighbors than most do.

I tire of the same rhetoric that I hear from those around me regarding their love for this country. Regardless of their political affiliation or their religious ties, love of country seems to rank a little higher on the priority list than it seems it should. I’m not suggesting we should not love the country in which we live, but when we do so in a way that condemns the views and beliefs and opinions of others, we are guilty of many things which can be summed up as hatred.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are hundreds of organizations that contribute to the needs of thousands of people all across this globe. There are churches that send missionaries to build orphanages and bring medical supplies and water to impoverished regions all across the earth. But for the vast majority of those who live here, we want to make sure that our freedoms and rights are untouched. We want our food fast and our internet faster. We want our lifestyle not to be hampered by sticky messes like apartheid, or aids epidemics that kill by the millions.

This is no mere rant that looks at the materialism of this great country, although we certainly deal with that disease as well. Instead, this is more about the air of moral, ethical, technological and economic advantages that we hold above any other place on earth. It’s more than the pretentiousness that I mentioned above, it is more than being aloof to our neighbors, it is more than thinking less of some third world country. This is Americanism and it should be called what it is; a disease of the soul.

My life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.