Posts Tagged: "Church"

How I Became A Pothead

I went from attending a private Christian school to a public middle school in the 8th grade.

Suddenly I was the “new kid” at school.

I didn’t already have friends at my new school—I didn’t know people there (yet).

Soon, some pot-smoking skateboarders welcomed me, included me, and wanted me to be part of their group.

I wasn’t a big pot-smoker at that time… Read More

Your Church Is Better

Your church is better than mine

And I’m good with that.

To me, better isn’t the issue anyway. We’re different. I think we should be.

My church doesn’t do everything well, and it can’t.

The “my _______ is better than your _______” feels like a sassy elementary school yard conversation, don’t you think?

I can’t imagine how that type of comparison honors our Father… Read More

Getting Your Jollies & Spilling Your Seed (PG-13)

I’ve seen some strange things in church under the label of being spiritual…

Shaking, moaning, crunching, roaring, shrieking, interpretive dancing—and the list goes on and on.

Generally speaking, whoever was participating in the weirdness really seemed to enjoy themselves.

It was good for them and they got their jollies from it.

But it didn’t produce new life…

People who don’t know Jesus weren’t being drawn to Him as a result of the antics.

In fact, it had the opposite effect.

It scared them, repelled them, and confirmed what they were already thinking: “this isn’t for me.”

I know this is crude, but I call these church antics “spiritual masturbation.”

Here’s what I mean: you had a good time and it felt good—but no new life came about as a result of the activity.

You got your jollies off and you spilled your seed.

The Bible actually talks about this.

A woman named Tamar had a husband who died before they were able to have children together. According to Jewish law, her husband’s brother should marry her and give her children. Onan (the brother-in-law) married her and slept with her, BUT…

“Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with her, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child…” (Genesis 38.9)

What a slime-ball!

Onan was a selfish jerk—he got his jollies off and spilled his seed.

He had a good time, but he also prevented the possibility of new life.

And God was extremely displeased with Onan…

“The Lord considered it evil.” (Genesis 38.10)

onan spills seed

Think about it: churches that are full of Onans will cease to exist.

It’s not about “what feels good to me” or experiencing some kind of spiritual ecstasy.

It’s about producing fruit, bringing about new life, and growing God’s family.

I don’t want to be a jolly-chaser or seed-spiller.

I want to be a life-producer.

How about you?

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TO DO

—Consider this evidence (or fruit) of the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives:

“The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5.22, 23)

 

Not Everyone Makes It Over

Not everyone makes it over.

Some prefer the safety of the familiar—Rueben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh chose to live on the East side of the Jordan rather than crossing over into the Promised Land.

Some want to go back.

Some find a new direction and go that way.

The point is—not everyone makes it over.

This happens in church life too.

We’re not where we used to be and we haven’t arrived… we’re somewhere in between.

We’re in this place of the “crossover.”

The crossover speaks of moving forward, advancing, following God and reaching out for what’s ahead.

It’s a place of adventure and new experiences.

And, not everyone makes it over.

Some prefer the safety of the familiar.

Some want to go back.

Some find a new direction and go that way.

At our church, we believe “There’s Grace For That.”

When Christians go from one church to another, they’re still Christians. And breaking ties with one local church doesn’t mean breaking ties with the Savior.

From a Kingdom perspective, it’s not a loss. We’re all still part of the same big Kingdom.

Of course we’re excited about what God is doing here in this place.

We believe our greatest days are still before us.

We want everyone to join us on the journey…

Yet we know, not everyone makes it over.

And we’re OK with that.

 

Leadership Insights From Daniel

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I love the story of Daniel – a young man of faith who is given leadership opportunities in a foreign land. Daniel rises to the challenge, leads with excellence and is promoted. The other young leaders become jealous and start looking for some “dirt” on Daniel… they find nothing, and realize the only way to get Daniel is to go after his faith.

Daniel 6
1 Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province.
2 The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests.
3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.
4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.
5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.”

Leadership insights from Daniel –

He was a capable leader and had great ability.

He was without fault – there was nothing to condemn or criticize.

He was faithful – always responsible & completely trustworthy.

The only grounds for accusation was in connection with the rules of his religion.

All of the church leadership scandals that I know of have nothing to do with faith or the “rules of our religion.” Rather, they are about things that even the world considers bad (stealing money, taking someone else’s wife, lying, etc.).

God’s church deserves quality leaders… leaders like Daniel – leaders who are capable and have great ability, leaders who are without fault, leaders who cannot be condemned or criticized, leaders who are faithful, leaders who are responsible, and leaders who are completely trustworthy.

Let’s be leaders like Daniel!