Whatcha Gonna Do?

What’ cha Gonna Do Brother?

I want more!  It’s not more of the American Dream I want, I ‘ve had more than enough of that.  I want more of Jesus, more of God and more of the Spirit.  I want more of the supernatural, unexplainable, wonder-working power of my Creator.

I have discovered and I am discovering that real pleasure, happiness and fulfillment flow into and through this life and the next as we learn to surrender to God’s purposes.  And I think the trade we need to make, is a trade worth making.

Here’s a question to think about:  “Are you willing to let go of comfort and satisfaction, so that you can grab hold of risk and adventure?”  This is the trade we have to make, if we want to share in and experience the supernatural.  God’s desire is that we love Him so much that we will make the trade.  God wants us to love one another and others so much, that we will go to extremes to be there for one another.  This trade is the ultimate expression of love – His love for us and our love for Him.

There is a greater vision for each of us to live our lives for.  I can think of no greater vision than the vision of giving my life to the high and holy calling of God revealed in the pages of our Holy Bibles – to live my life, not for self, but for others!

This vision is about so much more than keeping a church alive, simply for the sake of existence.  This is about so much more than going through the motions of ministry, just so we can say we did.  We need to stop making excuses for ourselves and we need to stop providing excuses for others.

Who screwed this up anyway?  Most people will tell you:  “I love Jesus, but not the church.” or “I believe in God, but can’t stand religion.”  Church is not a building.  Church is people.  And if church is messed up, it is because we people have messed it up.  And we people need to get right with our Creator and figure this out!

A big part of our problem is that we use all of the wrong measurements.  We’ve allowed it to become about money, numbers, size or prestige.  Church is about people, hearts, spirits and souls.  May God help us figure this out and allow His Spirit to flow.

Another problem is we have a messed up view of God.  Most of us view God as a benevolent being who is there to bail us out when we can’t bail ourselves out.  Others view God as an egotistical judge, who is just waiting to slap us down for our weak disobedience.  God is the origination, creator and center of everything.  It does not really matter if you accept it or not.  Your acceptance or non-acceptance does not change the reality.  It may change your reality, but it does not change reality.

We need to fix our view of God.  This is not so easy, because the world is continually playing with the way we see and understand things.  To fix our view of God is a continual work in progress.  We can do this.  We need to do this.  So let me ask you a question:  Whatcha Gonna Do?

Memorial Day For Me!

Memorial Day is an annually observed federal holiday in the United States, which is held on the last Monday of May.  It is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Some see it as the beginning of summer vacation or a good excuses to grill out, go to the lake or just enjoy a good time.

There is certainly nothing wrong with summer vacation, grilling out, going to the lake or enjoying a good time, and I believe that Memorial Day is a great day to do just that. But there were three things that grabbed me as I headed into this Memorial Day and I wanted to take just a moment to share them with you my friends.

Ike!

The first thing was a movie I watched about General Dwight D. (Ike) Eisenhower, highlighting his service as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe where he was charged with the task of planning and carrying out the allied assault – code-named “Operation Overlord”  on the coast of Normandy, which would allow for the liberation of western Europe and the invasion of Germany.

I have had the privilege of being pastor and friend to several senior adult men who were a part of the D-Day Normandy Landings that happened on June 6, 1944 and remember from every one of our conversations the bravery and patriotism that I heard in their voices as I listened to their stories and the stories of their fallen brothers.

This movie and those conversations reminded me of all the lives that have been so willingly given, so that I/we might enjoy the freedoms that we so often take for granted.

The second thing that got to me, was conversations with some of my breakfast buddies.  They are the still living heroes from Europe, France, Germany, Korea, Vietnam and The Gulf!  They are normal everyday men and women who fear God, love their country and enjoy life.  Almost every one of them know and served with others who gave their lives and each of them was willing to give their lives if necessary.

Along with these friends are a number of younger friends, some have been in my children and youth ministries, some have been a part of my church family.  These young men and women are serving all over the world and with the same attitude of sacrifice as those who have gone before.  I can’t help but think of them and pray for their safety.

The third thing that got me was a simple cartoon.  A cartoon of a little boy asking his Dad how much the Memorial Day cookout cost?  Here it is:

Simple And Powerfully True!

Stop today and think about those who gave and those who give, so that we might enjoy the freedom to enjoy this great place we live known as The United States Of America.  May God bless us all!