Stop Picking Stupid Fights!
September 19, 2008, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Church, LOVE, Pop Culture | Tags: , , ,

I just read a major news story on Fox News and I just have to say a couple of sentences about it. When will mainline denominations learn to just love each other! How can we love people that don’t know Christ when we can’t even love our own brothers and sisters in Christ! No wonder the non-churched want nothing to do with us. If the mainline denominations want to know why they are in decline and are not reaching people they only need to look at themselves and their own stupid “self-righteous” things they do! Stop focusing on the NON-ESSENTIALS and start loving people. How will they recognize us? By our love for each other! Love Christ and love others and stop picking stupid fights with each other!


Toyota Camry Vs. Hummer H1
July 29, 2008, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Church, Pop Culture | Tags: , , , , ,

I am a crazy car freak. What is happening right now in the American Automotive industry is nothing short than auto history in the making. Four dollar a gallon gas has changed the automotive history here in the United States forever. US consumers have enjoyed cheap gas forever which has fueled American’s taste for big cars, big trucks, big SUVs, everything with four wheels has been big, big, big. The auto industry as a whole has known that the party would end eventually but they were not quite sure when. Detroit’s big three wanted to ride the wave as long as they could and blindly turn away from the inevitable end of cheap gas here in the US. So instead of investing in the development of smaller more fuel-efficient cars they kept investing in the big trucks and SUVs which brought big fat profits. So here is the deal, the wave finally broke and washed out and Detroit’s big three are left high and dry standing on a surf board on a sand dune acting like they are hanging ten.

As a result of their lack of planning and foresight, the US auto industry is swimming drowning in red ink, scrambling to produce some smaller more fuel-efficient cars that Americans now want like never before. Last month for the first time in over thirty years the top two selling vehicles in the industry were not the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado, full-size pick-ups. In fact the F-150 and Silverado were number 5 and 6 respectfully. Number 1 was the Honda Civic, number 2 was the Toyota Corolla followed by the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. This is literally like the fall of the Berlin Wall in the auto industry.

The catalyst to all of this market shake up in the auto industry is none other than 4 dollar a gallon gas. American’s appetite for large fuel-inefficient cars has changed over night. Why am I going over all of this? Well this can be a great example for the church as a whole. The church has been riding the wave for many years of plenty of people attending church on Sundays, because that’s just what people were expected to do. Just like cheap gas will never return, the hoards of people that automatically attend church will never happen again either. Just as Detroit is scrambling to make more fuel-efficient cars to make the most of 4 dollar a gallon gas, the church should scramble to attract people that don’t have a relationship with Christ. The church should stop building the proverbial 10 miles to the gallon SUVs when gas is 4 dollars a gallon. People are hurting and want answers. The church has the answer, it’s Christ. We just need to deliver Him in a “Toyota Camry” instead of a “Hummer H1”.

July 26, 2008, 10:03 am
Filed under: LOVE, Personal | Tags: , , , , ,

I know that Saturdays are horrible blog stat days. No one reads blogs on Saturday so that might be the best time to write an introspective kind of blog of whatever is on my mind or not. Oh well, I’m going to write it anyway. This morning I am sitting at my desk in my office just thinking about expectations. Let me stop right here and just apologize to all the guys for not coming out to play football with you today. I promise I will make it out to play with you guys but I feel I need to  get in a little better shape (code for losing a few more pounds, which is happening) before I feel I can play without looking like a total fool as I carry my fat butt around. Alright then, I was talking about, expectations.

Just like I couldn’t meet the guys expectations today as they were wanting me to come play some football, a lot of times we have trouble meeting peoples’ expectations. Just as we miss expectations a lot of times, we also place expectations on people a lot of times and don’t even realize we are doing it.

Most of the time I expect people to do the right thing. I expect this or that of churched people. I expect this or that of un-churched people. I expect this or that of people that report to me for whatever the occasion is. It is also expected that we perform with responsible actions in our jobs, our marriages, our relationships, on and on etc.. Expectations, expectations, expectations.

In our minds we have to eventually learn how to deal with expectations. We need to learn how accept when people don’t meet ours and even accept when we don’t meet our own. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that living a life of mediocrity is the best life to live. In fact improving ourselves and living a life of excellence is a great thing. I believe that Christ gives us the ability to live a more excellent life, a life of abundance (i.e. read John 3:16).

With the abundant life also comes freedom. Freedom from the expectation trap. The only standard that means anything is God’s standard. If we are striving to be more like Christ then we are truly living in an abundant life, free from expectations. Not expectations from God but expectations from others. The only expectation that God has is to live a life in the pursuit of Christ. God realizes that many times we fall short of being like Christ but the expectation from Him is not that we get it right all the time. The expectation from God is that we keep trying. Unlike people who place expectations on results (me included), God places expectation on our efforts.

When we do or say something that is not Christ-like, it is not that particular action or deed that Christ focuses on. It is what we do after we have failed that Christ is concerned about. Because Christ’s grace already covers for us when we mess up. God’s grace is like the insurance policy that fixes the car when we hit someone. After the accident the car is repaired like new so that we can drive again. So God’s expectation isn’t focused on the “damage” to the car, it’s focused on us “driving”again. Not just driving but driving better. Just like Pastor Byron talked about on Sunday. Accepting Christ is not just a one time act that allows us to live however we want or “sin” and not care about the consequences. A true walk with Christ is pursuing Him and trying to do better the “next” time. So the insurance or “grace” not only allows us to drive again but to become a better driver or “Christ-follower” in the process.

The effort to be more like Christ is the expectation of our Lord and in that pursuit there is true freedom from “people’s” expectations. I will never be able to meet everyone’s expectations and not everyone will always meet up with mine. In fact I might not even meet my own expectations but the important thing is that we do not get caught in the expectation trap because the only thing that is found there is a feeling of defeat. So the only expectations that really matter are those from God because grace is a ladder out of the pit of defeat and the willingness to climb onto the ladder is the victory of an expectation met!

Love God, Love Others
April 10, 2008, 10:57 am
Filed under: Church, LOVE, Personal | Tags: , , , ,

Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. ‘This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; Everything in God’s law and the Prophets hangs from them.

Why do we as Christians have to be reminded over and over about love? Jesus said that loving God and loving others is the MOST important thing, above everything else. You would think that what Christ said is the most important thing to do would be the most important thing that we as Christians would do? Sadly to say this is not the priority in many Christian’s lives.

Before you think I am getting on my “high horse” I will be the first to admit that I don’t always get this right. Sometimes loving others is very difficult but Christ gave us some practical help. Jesus said to love others as you love yourself. For me, loving myself comes natural and for most people I think this is true. Just look at our lifestyles. We try to provide everything comfortable and good for ourselves. We provide ourselves with the best food, housing, cars, clothes and toys that our incomes will allow. I think that pretty much classifies each of us in the “loving ourselves” category. No matter our income we make the most of what we have to make our lives comfortable. We love ourselves.

That leads me to this. Do we always want the best for other people? I know many times I don’t and I see others that don’t as well. Either we have a lot of people that hate themselves or we have a lot of Christians that are just plain walking in disobedience to God by their actions and deeds to other people.

The Bible tells us that non-Christ followers will know us by our love for one another. Well you know what? A lot of times non-Christ followers can not recognize us as Christians because of the loveless actions shown between us and the total disregard for Christ’s command to love. And let me say if we are not showing love to one another then we are definitely not showing love to non-Christ followers. Our lack of love for each other also shows our lack of love for God. It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?

So here is my admonishment to all C3ers out there and myself, let’s get the greatest commandment from God to us down, let’s love God first and love others as we love ourselves. This is definitely a central theme at C3. Let’s remember it and practice it. Because LOVE DEFINITELY WINS!