Tag Archives: Francis Chan

15 Questions!

Questions And Answers!

In the message yesterday, I challenged everyone with the scripture from 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” To help you do this I shared 15 Questions! Several of you have asked for a copy of the questions.  These questions grew out of my reading “Crazy Love!”  by Francis Chan.  Specifically out of chapters 4 and 5.  I hope the questions help you to do some self-examination and that the examination helps you to focus on and grow your love for God, His Church and others!

The Questions:

1.  Have you convinced yourself that attending church is enough?

2.  Are you willing to give money as long as it does not mess with your standard of living?

3.  Do you choose what is popular over what is right when in conflict?

4.  Do you want to be saved from your sin or from the penalty of your sin?

5.  Are you watching others do things for God, but never joining in?

6.  Do you share your faith?

7.  Are you comparing yourself to the world to find spiritual satisfaction?

8.  Do you allow Jesus to have all of your life or do you just give Him a part?

9.  Is there a limit to your service?  (Time, money, energy!)

10.  What do you spend most of your time thinking about:  Life here on earth or life there in Heaven?

11.  Do you allow guilt to move you closer to God or farther away?

12.  Are you more interested in how far you can go and it not be sin?

13.  Do you play it safe and fail to take risks for the Kingdom?

14.  Can you see that there is room for growth and improvement in your life?

15.  Are you willing to take the steps?

Take some time to really think through these questions.  I know that I have a lot of work to do.  I am looking forward to what God can do with me and through me as I work on some of this stuff.  I am praying for you and I ask you to please pray for me.  Remember:  We can do this for God’s glory and everyone’s blessing!

Funerals!

Live Like You Were Dying!

Funerals! I have attended a lot of funerals lately.  It is an almost continual reminder to me that we are always headed out of this life and into the next, which the Bible teaches is eternal!  A few weeks ago, I was reading “Crazy Love!” by Francis Chan and he hit me with this thought:  Have you ever noticed how really good and special the dead are made to sound at most funerals.

Preacher Talk! We preachers get up and focus on their positive qualities and if we are honest, sometimes accentuate and even puff up the positive, while ignoring  the negative.  We usually end up making people sound much better than they really were!  The funerals that I love to share at, are the ones where I just get to tell it like it is and it is all positive, because the person had experienced God’s love and it changed their life and so they were able to express that love back to God and others with a life that had been changed from the inside – out!

It all got me to thinking about that poem by Linda Ellis – How Do You Live Your Dash!

“I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.  He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning… to the end.  He noted that first came her date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. (1934-1998)

For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth…  and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.  For it matters not, how much we won; the cars…the house…the cash, what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.. are there things you’d like to change?  For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.  If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never done before.  If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile.  Remembering that this special dash might only last a while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read with your life’s actions to rehash…  would you be proud of the things they said about how you spent your dash?”

A Different Life! How would our lives be different – if we really got up every day determined to make our dash count?  How would our lives be different – if we worked to live a life that made the job of the preacher of our funeral easy?  I don’t want anyone to have to make up anything or exaggerate at my funeral!  I want to live a life that honors and brings glory to God!  I want to love the One Who love me!  I want to experience His crazy and amazing love and I want to express His crazy and amazing love through the living of my life!  I’ve got some work to do!  See ya!

My Blessing!

My Grace!

I Am Blessed! I just wanted to take a moment to share with you one of my extra special blessings!  I am blessed with a wonderful family.  Any of you that know me, know how important my three girls are to me.  Joy – my Bride, Grace and Hope – my Princesses!  God has taught me so much though these relationships and has brought me more blessings than I can count.

Bed Time! Sunday night when I was getting ready to go to bed, Joy and I were having one of those conversations where we rehash the day and she told me a couple of things about my daughter Gracie that really worked on me in a good way.

Sunday Morning! Earlier in the day I had preached a message called “Crazy In Love!” which focused on the crazy and amazing love that God loves us with.  I had explained to the congregation that the Holy Spirit had started showing me some things about my relationship with God that I had never really considered and believed these things could challenge and change all of our lives.

Good Is The Enemy Of Great! I have always thought that I had a pretty good relationship with God, but then one day while reading the “Crazy Love!” book by Francis Chan, I heard a song by Beyonce called “Crazy In Love!” and as I listened to the lyrics, she was explaining this intense love that she had that was driving her crazy in a good way.  I could not help, but to think about how love can make you do some crazy things and I started to think about the crazy love that God has for me and how I could and should have a crazy love back toward Him.

On The Front Row! My daughter listened to me explain this on Sunday morning during our worship time and she watched the video where Francis Chan goes into even greater detail.  (The video can be found here:  http://juststopandthink.com/)  When I finished the message and invitation, I explained that we had copies of Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love!”  book in the back for purchase if anyone would like their own copy.

Take An Envelope! There was one other thing that I challenged our church to do on this day.  I challenged them to take an envelope from the back and bring back a love gift to God for His Church the next week, because we had missed the week before due to snow and ice and the budget was tight!

My Blessing! What my daughter did that was so amazing to me – is she listened and obeyed!  She listened to her Dad the pastor and did what he was asking/telling her to do.  She believes in God and she believes in me!  My nine year old daughter went to the back of the church and bought a book – I still don’t know where she got the money!  And she went and got an envelope to bring a love gift back to God!

On Her Own! She did not ask anybody.  She just did it!  And as I lay in bed Sunday night thinking about her faithfulness to God and submission to me as her Pastor, it was a very humbling and moving experience for me.  When I asked her about it later she said:  “It just made sense and sounded like something that I would be interested in!”

My Lesson! She listened to her Dad, she trusted her Dad and she followed her Dad’s lead.  God has given us leaders to help us to get to a very special place in our relationship with Him and I am thankful to my daughter for reminding me that I am one of those leaders!  It may not mean much to you, but it means more than words can say to me!  It is so amazing to think about where God would take us, if we would just innocently and trustingly follow the lead He provides!