Month: November 2013
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“Coming Around” by Thomas John Carlisle
And Jonah Stalked
to his shaded seat
and waited for God
to come around
to his way of thinking.
And God is still waiting
for a host of Jonah’s
in their comfortable houses
to come around
to his way of loving
Every year about this time, the whole country goes gift buying crazy.
That’s the way we do things around here at this time of the year.
I hate going to the mall.
I don’t even like going to the mall when it’s not the Christmas season. I swear, there’s some supernatural life sucking force at the mall. As soon as I get there, all my life force just gets sucked out of me and I have to find a Starbucks and take a seat.
So you can bet that I’ve made a conscious effort not to go anywhere near the mall right now. It’s crawling with crazy people. I know. My wife’s already been out there a couple of times.
She’s not one of the crazy ones. She’s confirmed that everyone else is crazy out there.
And without much thought, most of us Christ-followers follow right along getting busy making lists and making shopping trips.
That’s just the way we do things around here at this time of the year.
I am all for gift giving, because it’s one of the few times during the year where we’re forced to focus on people beyond ourselves, and I think that’s good. But I wonder if, in all our busy-ness, our gift-buying, our list-making, Christmas party attending frenzy, we’ve ever considered what God might want for Christmas? I wonder if that thought has even ever crossed our mind?
What do you think God might want for Christmas?
What is something God might need?
What do you think would make the heart of God leap with joy this Christmas?
If we take this – giving God a gift for Christmas – seriously, it just might totally change how we look at Christmas. It just may totally change our lives and someone else’s life too as we consider what God might want for Christmas.
So before things get much crazier with the shopping and the making of lists, won’t you take some time to sit with God and consider what he might want for Christmas?
It just may make this Christmas the most wonderful Christmas ever.
Merry Christmas Jesus!
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“We all go six feet deep in the ground. The grave is a problem. So is sin. Jesus came down in the flesh and solved both of them. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.” – Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty”
There’s a story told, from Civil War days before American slaves were freed, about a northerner who went to a slave auction and purchased a young slave girl. As they walked away from the auction, the man turned to the girl and told her, “You’re free.”
With amazement she responded, “You mean, I’m free to do whatever I want?”
“Yes,” he said.
“And to say whatever I want to say?”
“And to be whatever I want to be?”
“And go wherever I want to go?”
“Yes,” he answered with a smile. “You’re free to go anywhere you’d like.”
She looked at him intently and replied, “Then I’ll go with you.”
And so with us.
That is discipleship.
Who better to follow than the One who saves us.
I am a dad to four kids. That means I’ve done my fair share of helping out my kids with their “Show and Tell” projects.
As you know, the point of show and tell projects are for kids to pick out an object from home to bring to their classrooms to show their classmates and to talk about the significance of those objects.
I can’t think of a better description of what evangelism and the proclamation of the gospel is supposed to be like than “Show and Tell.”
Jesus gave the church the greatest “Show and Tell” mission when he said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before others so that when they see your good works they will glorify your Father in heaven.”
The problem in many of our churches is that, in time, we have become experts of good words. What’s missing in too many of our contexts are the good deeds.
I love what Bryan Meyers says. He says, “We want to so live and serve that people ask the questions to which Jesus is the answer. Why are you so kind? Why are you so committed to serve us? Why do you choose to suffer with us?”
You see, there is no such thing as the good news that is devoid of good deeds. The good news is predicated on real and tangible good deeds and good realities.
Tim Dearborn says, “When the needs of the world are irrelevant to the church, the church becomes totally irrelevant to the world.”
Our world is hurting. Our world needs what only Christ can provide. So, how are we participating with God to solve the problems and hurts of our communities?
Show and tell.
Let your light so shine before others that when they see our good deeds they will glorify the Father in heaven.
Show and tell.
The devastation of the storms in the Philippines.
The tornado in Illinois.
The crimes in our cities.
The families breaking apart.
The people fighting disease.
Whew! It’s enough to wonder if anyone’s in control.
Take a moment. Take a deep breath. And remember…God is in control.
Nothing happening today is catching God off guard.
God is not panicking because of the violence, the broken homes, the broken hearts.
God, in his perfect sovereignty knew at this particular time, our family, our spouse, our children, our church, our community would need God to intervene. So God created you with your exact gifts, your particular talents, your particular abilities and temperament for your particular place in life so that he can meet those needs through you.
Just let that sink in.
Because you and I are uniquely gifted and because we have been uniquely fashioned, there is a ministry and service that only you and I can do with God’s help. Should you or I choose not to serve God, there will be a hole left by our absence that can never be replaced.
Only you can do what you were created to do.
Here’s what this means: The church is only fully vital, fully vigorous when every Christ-follower engages and serves Christ through their lives.
Simply put, if you don’t bring it, it won’t be brought!
Rick Warren, in his book, “Purpose Driven Life” says it like this:
We don’t realize how truly unique each of us is. DNA molecules can unite in an infinite number of ways. The number is 10 to the 2,400,000,000th power. That number is the likelihood that you’d every find somebody just like you. If you were to write that number with each zero being one inch wide, you’d need a strip of paper 37,000 miles long!
When God made you, He broke the mold. There has never been, and never will be, anyone exactly like you.
Christian! Engage! Serve! Give God your service and let God change the world through you!
Now, think on that!
Here’s what we strive to do and be…
- We practice grace. No one’s perfect here. That’s why we all belong here.
- We’re not building “monuments” to the Little Church. We will invest our money, time, and talents to making a difference in Lakewood and the surrounding areas.
- We value the intergenerational nature of the Little Church. Families are intergenerational in nature. Therefore, we value doing life together.
- This is our city. We’re all in this together. That’s why we can all choose to make our city a better place.
- These are our people. The only requirement that we have for being a part of the Little Church is that you are breathing. If you’re not, we’ll call 911 for you.
- We are open and will submit to the truths God reveals to us through his Scripture.
- We appreciate excellence. We will do our best in our service to God, to our community, and to one another.
- We are all on a journey together to live into God’s best for us. We would love the honor of journeying with you.