Perspective not Presumption

A good word from a good friend…

Perspective not Presumption.

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Why are Christians Afraid To Witness?

Why are we so intimidated when it comes to sharing the Gospel? Are we afraid that it will ruin friendships? Relationships with co-workers? Are we afraid we might get asked a question and not have the answer? Are we afraid of the moniker of “Jesus Freak”?

Take a few minutes and watch the video of Penn (one half of the comedic magician duo Penn and Teller) telling a story about a man sharing the Gospel with him after one of his performances. Penn is a self-proclaimed atheist and believes vehemently that there is no God. Watch his response to this man sharing Christ with him.

Were you as surprised as me? Penn was touched by this man’s genuine care and love. He was moved by the fact this man would risk ridicule to witness to him (and trust me, if you’ve ever seen a performance by Penn and Teller, there’s no doubt there was a risk Penn might try to make a comedy routine at this fellow’s expense). I am sure Penn’s response to this man would have been different if this guy was holding a picket sign telling him to repent with a bull horn.

And I was blown away by his question, “How much do you have to hate some one NOT to proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone when you believe that everlasting life is possible and to not tell them that…”. Wow. Camp on that question for a moment. I was seriously convicted by Penn’s response.

So I ask the question again… Why are we so reluctant to witness to people? When we share the Gospel in authentic love, we should trust God enough that the person hearing will receive our words in the manner intended. And we must trust God enough that He will do the work of His will in the heart of the person hearing His Good News.

One thing is for sure, God was glorified in this man’s obedience, courage and genuine love for his fellow man.

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A life well-lived

“What is the measure of a life well lived?”  These words have been rolling, tumbling, pacing, crashing around in my mind for the past few days.  I have a good deal of time to ponder and meditate on many things as I work around the church moving from place to place … setting up rooms, changing a light bulb, painting a door frame, inspecting a fire extinguisher, sweeping away cobwebs, changing out full vacuum bags.  But I digress… The question this song poses is a great one: “What is the measure of a life well lived?”  How would you answer this question?  The group that sings these words is called DOWNHERE.  The song is entitled, “Little is Much.”  (If you aren’t familiar with this group, I would commend them to you.)

I like the emphasis of their answer as they pose this great question in their song:

What is the measure of a life well lived?
If all I can offer seems too small to give…
This is a song for the weaker, the poorer
And so-called failures.

Little is much when God’s in it -
And no one can fathom the plans He holds.
Little is much when God’s in it -
He changes the world with the seeds we sow
Little is much, little is much…
Who feels tired and under-qualified?
Who feels deserted, and hung out to dry?
This is a song for the broken, the beat-up
And so-called losers.

Consider a Kingdom in the smallest seed…
Consider that giants fall to stones and slings…
Consider a child in a manger…
Consider the story isn’t over…
What can be done with what you still have?

Perhaps turning 41 and being unemployed for several months primed my heart for a song like this.  Perhaps it’s having 3 sons who are turning into men and beginning to ask important life questions that pricked my mind when those words first came through my ear buds.  Perhaps it is a desire like most people who breathe to want to know that our lives make a difference.  Perhaps it is just an inability to discern the finite plans of a fallen and fouled up man as the shadow of an infinite and sovereign God conceals what He is trying to see.  Whatever the reason, the question bears considering:  “What is the measure of a life well lived?”

My guess is that it is the measure by which all lives are measured… the life of Christ in us – the hope of glory.

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“…The First Thing I’d Do…”

When signing the Freedom of Choice Act is the first thing a presidential candidate would do if elected, in my humble opinion, I think we’re in trouble.  As I think back to the course of debates and interviews this election cycle, it seems as if moral issues like abortion have become less relevant and important.  I’m very grateful for fellow believers like Randy Alcorn who remind us why this particular moral issue deserves as great a hearing as fiscal agendas.  The following is a link to an article on Randy’s blog.  I’d encourage you to check it out.

Not Cool: Obama’s Pro-abortion Stance, and Christians enabling him

Decide as you wish about which candidate you will vote … just keep in mind, there are millions of yet unborn who are wanting that same privilege someday.

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Happy Reformation Day!

It may be Halloween…but October 31 is also Reformation Day. On this day in 1517 a monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Thesis to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. Luther was challenging what he saw as abuses in the selling of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. Many think that by nailing his thesis to the doors of the church Luther was calling for a schism in the church. Actually his protest was not that nefarious. He was actually participating in the method of how issues were discussed in the day – sort of like blogging in the 1500′s. He intended his protest to reform the church not to split it. The result was the birth of the Protestant movement.

If you’d like to learn more about Luther, here’s a link to a great biography. If reading isn’t your thing there’s a movie out that does a pretty good job of summing up Luther’s life as a monk and his role in the reformation.

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I’m sporting a “Luther is my homeboy” t-shirt and wishing folks a “Happy Reformation day”!

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Made me sit up and go… “hmmm.”

Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness. It’s not just your sin that separates you from God; your righteousness does as well. Because, when you are convinced you are righteous, you don’t seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can be found only in Jesus Christ.

Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow (page 22)

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His alone…

Is this the reality out of which I live?

I am His by purchase and I am His by conquest; I am His by donation and I am His by election; I am His by covenant and I am His by marriage; I am wholly His; I am peculiarly His; I am universally His; I am eternally His.

Once I was a slave but now I am a son; once I was dead but now I am alive; once I was darkness but now I am light in the Lord; once I was a child of wrath, an heir of hell, but now I am an heir of heaven; once I was Satan’s bond-servant but now I am God’s freeman; once I was under the spirit of bondage but now I am under the Spirit of adoption that seals up to me the remission of my sins, the justification of my person and the salvation of my soul.”

- Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth

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