Archive for November, 2008

Six Things God Has Taught Me This Year

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2008 by gospel2live

My daughter Olivia tagged me in her blog post with the same title.  In blog culture, that means I need to respond with a post of my own.  It is a good question for all of us to ponder frequently and even to share our thoughts on, so I’ll do it.  But the REAL reason I am doing it is because my little girl asked me to!

1.  If you are a visionary person, you need to be very careful about who, when, and how much of your vision you share publicly.  You also need to make it very clear when you are brainstorming versus when you are sharing actual plans of action!
2.  I need to practice disciplines of abstinence (fasting, silence, solitude, etc.) more consistently.  (And not just during deer season!!!)
3.  God is giving me a deeper understanding of the absolute ugliness of pride, self-righteousness, and all forms of idolatry — including materialism, gluttony and lust.  For our churches to faithfully proclaim the Gospel, we must preach the horror of the sins that we are most prone to and not just the ones we see in others outside the church.
4.  I do not adequately appreciate God’s kindness to me in a faithful wife, children who fear the Lord, and loyal and loving friends.
5.  Duck hunting from a kayak is a lot of fun.  
6.  There are people of all age, gender, and station in life who earnestly desire to live lives of eternal significance for the sake of Jesus, but they don’t really know where to start.  I think that God wants me to focus on equipping, training and launching them.
Even as I wrote this, I realize how little time or thought I give to this question on any kind of regular basis.  Perhaps number 7 would be that I need to pay more attention to the lessons God is trying to teach me this year….

Celebrating Citizenship

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2008 by gospel2live

Today, the 2008 election campaigns are over.  There are very few people that I know who have not been emotionally effected by the outcomes.  A quick glance at facebook profiles of my friends can illuminate who is ecstatic and who is depressed.  

For some, the elections were a sign of great hope that changes are coming that will usher us into a new era of enlightenment where all our troubles will be miraculously melted away.  A new day is dawning and it will be bright and clean with great promise for the future.  There will be fairness, compassion and perhaps even world peace!
For others (I am a white evangelical who hangs out with a lot of white evangelicals!), there is a heavy spirit of doom and gloom that has descended along with the election results.  The way some of these friends are reacting, you would think that not only will abortion rights be expanded, but that there will be death squads dispatched to throw young infants into the nearest river; that the only way anyone will be able to get a marriage license anymore is if they can prove they are of the same gender; or that Sharia law will be in place before the end of the next year.  The end is nigh — stock the root cellar and buy as much ammo as you can get your hands on!
I, however, want to take this opportunity to CELEBRATE my citizenship.  Colossians 1:13-14 states, “He (God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  While it is certainly a physical blessing to be an American citizen, my American citizenship is NOT what I take my pride or comfort in.  My primary citizenship is not to a nation of this world (which will one day pass away!), but I have been transferred to a citizenship in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ that will NEVER pass away!  Since Jesus Christ has made it possible for God’s righteous wrath to be removed from me by being my substitute, bearing the punishment for my sin on the cross, I have now been reconciled to God the Father and transferred into the kingdom of his Son.  I am no longer an American citizen who holds the Christian faith, but a Christian citizen who is sent as an ambassador to America.  (See 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
So, if you are a democrat, remember that it is much easier to blame someone else (George Bush!) for difficult and complex problems, than it is to actually fix problems and govern.  You will have no excuses now for being unable to accomplish all the utopian dreams that you have been promising to the country if you could only get your way.  Prepare to be disappointed by your leaders — for the greater the power that is held by men, the greater the corruption that normally follows.
And if you are a republican, understand that your leaders lost badly largely because they had sold out to corruption when they held power.  In 1994, they surged to an unprecedented measure of control — much like the democrats did last night.  However, once they tasted the perks and privilege of holding power, they abandoned their principles, broke their promises (like term limits!), and increased the size of the government that they set out to make much smaller and more efficient!  This doesn’t even touch on the 15 or so major moral corruption scandals that various national republicans found themselves involved in over the past few years.
Let me close by quoting Philippians 3:20-21 — “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”  Jesus is the King of all kings and the Lord of all Lords!  That will never change.  I pray that you will find the peace and joy that comes from yielding your life and allegiance to King Jesus, before the day comes when all his enemies will be made a footstool under his feet!  Do not trust in democrats.  Do not trust in republicans.  Trust in King Jesus!