Monday, August 28, 2006

Manic Monday

The Bangles . . .Susanna Hoffs "Just another manic Monday; wish it was Sunday, 'cause that's my fun day; my I don't have to run day."
As have stated previously here, Monday is not always the best day of the week for those in my calling. It is usually a day that you wished you were a bookseller at B&N, or a golf pro somewhere, or something. But Mondays are a time to really draw near to the Lord, for the enemy is close at hand -- seeking to discourage anything great that may have happened yesterday. Sadly i see in folks a certain sadness, a lack of joy. Is it because they have lost a view of the purpose for which they were created, or haven't found it (or been found) to begin with? Why are we SO caught up in the things of the earth? Why don't we think on those things that are edifying and good and noble and lovely? Instead we focus so narrowly on what it is that upsets me today, and we dwell on it, and we chew on it like a piece of grisley meat, instead of just swallowing it or spitting it out and moving on. Why don't we seek to be at peace with all men, even it means getting our pride stepped on? Why don't we practice agape love? Why are we self-centered and self-loving? Why are we not consumed with God's mission and more consumed with my agenda? Why are we disobedient to Christ's COMMAND to love one another? Are we really children of God -- read and meditate on 1 John -- or children of the devil? If a person with no knowledge of Christ could listen to us, could read our thoughts, would they be drawn to Christ Jesus or would they be repelled from us and Christ? If this was our last day on earth (and certainly could be), if our next breath we breathed the air of heaven and werelooking Christ Jesus in the face, would He be pleased with our thoughts, with our actions, with the way we had spent the time He loaned to us? Do we make the MOST of every moment He grants us? What will we be remembered for -- by those who have no claim on our love -- not by our close family and circle of friends? Do we love the Lord our God with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength? Our neighbors as we love we ourselves? IS our aim and purpose in life to see HIM glorified and magnified all over the world?
These are just some things to consider as we close a Monday. May we consider them the next time we want to wallow in self-pity, the next time we want to get angry at a brother or sister, the next time we want to gripe, backbite, and gossip, the next time we want to sin and disobey our Father and God. We may not wake up, how shall we greet the morning?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Anniversary, Baby

August 20 marks a significant day in my life -- my anniversary. Twelve years ago today the long love of my life were united in the presence of God and witnesses. What a ride it has been! R is such an integral part of my life, for so long, I simply cannot imagine life without her presence. She is truly a remarkable woman - untiring in her devotion to family. I above all men am truly blessed of God to have such a help-meet and friend.
I realize it has been quite awhile since the last entry -- but time slips by and is gone before you can do all you intend. For instance, last Sunday morning I received a call from a church member that a gentleman had been carried to the hospital with an apparent heart attack. I went to the hospital to see his wife and son, and he had not made it -- at 43 years of age his earthly life had ended. Talk about a wake up call. The service that day was marked with a sense of urgency unlike any other I can recall. In light of such things as that, blogging really loses its significance for me. Now, it is the following Sunday and the children are resting, and thus I have a minute to record and express.
Tonight I am speaking from Matthew 6:1-4, and I am amazed at the utter truth that Jesus spoke. Ultimately we serve/seek to please ourselves or God. Many folks choose the former. There are so many people who refer to themselves as followers of Jesus Christ but have no intention of living their lives to please Him. Look out of any window and one will see countless folks who will say that they just cannot make it to church -- for sundry reasons - but then you see them everywhere -- serving/pleasing themselves. Jesus in this passage makes us think: am I really being selfless with such-and-such a deed, or am I really desiring the praise of my neighbors which will make me feel validated? Again, who are you serving, pleasing? Some folks give to the poor, and can't wait to tell you about it. Jesus says don't even tell yourself what you've done -- let God keep the records, He does anyway and He takes care of the reward.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gone A Spell

It has been quite awhile since the last entry, but that's OK with me . . . unlike some in the blogosphere, this is not THAT important. However, it is fun to express one's self, so here goes. We have been out of town for a break, a change of scenery, a change of pace. The oldest starts school next week, R will soon be concentrating on a new venture, and Z . . . well Z is Z.
As I read more and more, there seems to be a desire on the part of many to "just get along" and never deal with the hard issues; on the other hand there are those who seem to refuse to obey the teaching of the Lord Jesus when He said "speak the truth . . . in love." Why is this so hard? Probably because we all battle sin and the sin nature. Its like we can't disagree without being disagreeable, and then thiose who just want to get along get all bent out of shape by the former. On and on it goes, and there is little to no peace and the lost continue to careen to hell while we play our parlor games in the blogosphere and in the press. (I speak of Southern Baptist life and the religious world in general.)
On a positive note, our church is showing the Jesus film this week and seeking to draw awareness to the Jesus DVD project for our county -- getting the film into every household at the cost of $3.25 per household. We showed it last night in the sanctuary on the big screen and seemed to have a good response. I never see the movie that I am not touched at the great love of the Savior. I also am convicted by the COMMAND from the Lord to carry the good news to every creature, and think I/we could do so much more, with much more urgency and passion. Joyfully rescuing our neighbors from hell . . . may this be my/our mission.
Glenn left this weekend after serving us 9/10 weeks as our youth minister, and he did a tremendous job. He truly was an answer to prayer. He was extremely dedicated to his task. I predict that Glenn will go far in the Lord's service -- with his brillance and work ethic. We will be glad to say "I knew him when . . . " Godspeed Glenn.
There are lots of folks in our faith community that need our prayers - some on prayer list and some not. Please pray, be fervent in prayer, God works as His people pray, and prayer changes us as we get more and more into His presence, and as we lift our brothers and sisters up we love them more and more. AS the Lord brings folks into remembrance may we stop then and there and lift them up to the throne of grace.
Finally in this closing thought - - - rejoice in the Lord!