Monday, January 30, 2017
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Do you want to succeed in your first church? Do you want your first year to become 50 years in ministry? Then, look no further...
1. Whatever you do, don't keep things the same. People love variety and change. You were hired to bring that change. Change the service time, service order, and service elements. Sing all new sings, select a new Bible translation, and nod your head apologetically for all the years the church existed prior to your arrival.
2. Run with the horses. Only the Puritans ministered to hurting sheep, and where are they now? Dead, that's right. If you want a thriving ministry, book deal, and expanding platform, find the smartest, wealthiest, most gifted young adults and spend all your waking hours with them.
3. Copy the clothing, mannerisms, and styles of TED Talk speakers. The world listens to these people, and if you want the world to listen to you, it's about time you humbled yourself and put on a new self.
4. Keep your people busy. The reason sports teams excel is because they never rest. If you want to be a Next Level Church, you can't let your people sit on the bench. The Sabbath might have flown in the first century, but we're in the 21st century and it's high octane ministry or extinction.
5. You must nail social media. Martin Luther might have spent 3 hours praying before his day of ministry started, but that was at the dawn of printing. We're in the digital age, and to digital our souls must go. Spend those 3 hours planning your strategic engagement with Instaface, MySnap, and Pintawitter. Your people don't want you to visit them or pray for them. They want a witty pastor, mocking worldly ideas and worldly people on social media.
So get to it...seriously, now, don't pause, pray, reflect or contemplate. The devil's busy. Shouldn't we follow his example and get busy too?
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
My 5 reasons:
1) I want to read things that have been proven by time to be worth reading.
2) I get sucked into drama that distracts me from the drama that deserves my attention (my wife, my kids, my friends, my family, my church). I don't want my kids to have to ask me to turn off my phone.
3) I worship at the idol of fame, and too often that idol takes the form of social media. Why do I care so much? A wise man once said, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you." The wisest man, Jesus, said, "It's better to rip off a sinful thing, arm, eye, in your life than to go to hell with it still there."
4) I looked at Facebook for 2 hours total between Jan-October 2016. I was more productive, less distracted, and better relationally. I came back to it fully for 2 months and I got addicted to "it" again quickly. I'm not even sure what "it" is, but whatever "it" is, "it" has taken my affections away from Jesus. And affections for Jesus are the sweetest things in the world.
5) This will help my prayer life. I said I wanted to be on Facebook to see how my friends and family were doing to pray for them. Turns out, I spend more time scrolling and less time praying. Hopefully, if the scrolling is absent, I'll just do the praying regarding the many concerns I receive in more personal ways.
More spiritual people than me use this tool effectively. God bless you and may God use you on a medium that ate my lunch. If others are like me, feel free to join the club.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you hope to maintain contact with me. We'll figure out a way to share personal information.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
God is willing to destroy us and our false desires in order to save us.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The grace of God exposes His true nature.
"What are you talking about, Laura? That's crazy! Wait a minute, how would you not know you had a daughter?"
"Turns out, three years ago the doctor performing my abortion at 35 weeks, didn't actually abort the fetus, but took the thing and put it up for adoption, unbeknownst to me."
"No way. What a lying, SOB. That's got to be illegal."
"Oh, you think that is bad, the adoptive family just died in a massive car crash, and it turns out there isn't any extended family willing to take her. The state just called me because they pieced the whole story together and want to know if I want her back."
"Have you considered utilizing Protocol 45?"
"You bet I have. To think I was lied to and am now put in this position; it's so unfair. Protocol 45 seems like the only option. Otherwise, I'll live my whole life wondering what happened to that girl."
"Yeah, talk about emotionally draining. That's why they implemented Protocol 45. Children can really suck our careers and finances. The last report says a kid costs almost a half a million dollars to raise. The state knew our future depends on Protocol 45. Otherwise our choice and freedom are at risk."
"And to think, Protocol 45 almost got overturned by the Supreme Court last year. It would have cost our country millions to care for and raise all those unwanted kids. Think of what we might lose if tax dollars went to these unwanted organisms? We'd lose our rights to education, health care, and unemployment subsidies. And for what?"
"So, how does it work?"
"Well, I just tell the state I'll take her. Then, I go to a clinic and they euthanize her right there. I hear it's totally painless. They even have fun games and beautiful colors everywhere so the children end their lives so happy. It's such a relief to know how safe and humane this will be."
"Yeah, it's perfect. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. You had nothing to do with this, and then boom, such a burden put on your neck. You shouldn't have had to deal with this in the first place. That do-gooder doctor needs his own trip to Protocol 45."
"Yeah, too bad, he's over 10 years old, huh?"
"Someday, we'll figure out how to go after these haters of freedom and life."
Ways to respond:
We have maimed our friends, hurt our loved ones, and caused others to suffer because we wanted things.
Psalm 139: For you created my inmost being;
Thursday, January 05, 2017
And since my heart, life, family, friends, community, church, and world are all broken, I will not rest until God fixes as much as possible.
To neglect the brokenness is to await destruction.
Or as John Owen (1616-1683) once noted, "Be killing sin or sin will be killing you."