Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Monday, September 26, 2016

We Must Be Christocentric

In our culture today you won't get much backlash if you talk about God.

Some of you are thinking, "Yeah, right"  But stay with me.  Our culture has little problem with God, if fact, our culture accepts much talk about God.  However, bring Jesus into the conversation and you get a different reaction.

Jesus divides people.

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn
'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law
a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'" Matthew 10:34-36

This does not mean that Jesus did not come to bring people from every race, tribe and tongue; but it does mean that the person of Jesus will divide people.

The church today must be Christocentric rather than Theocentric (Christ centered rather than God the Father centric).  Not because the person of the Son is more important than the other two persons of the Trinity, but because Jesus is what sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world.

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word..."  Hebrews 1: 1-3a

Jesus is God.  He is the EXACT representation of His being.  He IS the radiance of God's glory.

When we speak of God many will find common ground, or so they think, because "we all worship the same God."  But when we speak of Jesus we say that only a God who is Jesus is God.  All other gods are false.  This is highly offensive to the world, but absolutely essential to Christianity.  So, if someone says they worship the same God as you, ask them if Jesus is God.  If they say "No" then you are not worshipping the same God/god; they are worshipping a false god.

The book of Hebrews invites us to make Jesus supreme (because He is).  It invites us to hold fast to all that Jesus is.  We Christians must take up this call.  We must be Christocentric.

Take time to read Hebrews chapter one.  And as you speak of your faith speak of Jesus today.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Glory of Infertility

Yesterday in church my pastor said something that landed on me like a ton of bricks.  My pastor is dealing with Crohn's Disease and he had a bad week.  Toward the end of his sermon on Matthew 5:11-16 he said, "I don't want to waste Crohn's."

That line was like an arrow to my heart.

My wife Christine and I have been trying since December of 2014 to have a baby.  Both of us are sick of waiting.  We've done multiple tests, taken drugs and done procedures, some of which she's written about before.  But here we are approaching two years later and nothing has changed.  And this situation is why what my pastor said bothered me in such a great way.

I don't want to waste infertility.

I don't want to waste infertility.  This MUST shine and glorify God.  If He is the light of the world and we are the light of the world then He must shine in us through infertility.  If everything works for my good and His glory then infertility must, too.

I don't want to waste infertility.

I can't let my experience be only grumbling.  Will we grumble to God about this?  Absolutely.  Where else can we go with our trouble?  But I refuse to only grumble about this.  Is infertility in and of itself a good thing?  I don't think so, but I know that God is up to something grand.

There must be glory in infertility.

I don't know how but I trust that when I look back on this it will be like flipping a cross stitch over from back to front.  I trust that God not only knows what He's doing but that what He's doing will be glorious.

I trust that if and when Christine gets pregnant it will be with OUR child planned for us from before creation.  I trust that when we adopt we will adopt OUR child planned for us from eternity before eternity.

I trust that God sees our tears, hears our groans and feels our pain YET loves us enough to give us only the best.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  I know this and hold on to this.

This doesn't mean we'll stop trying.  This doesn't mean each month's cruel negative announcement doesn't deeply hurt.  But this does mean that I don't want to look back at this period of infertility and realize I wasted it.  I, by the grace of God, will live, either in this life or the next, to experience the glory of our infertility.

I don't want to waste infertility.  Please pray that Christine and I won't waste it today.

* We feel no ill will toward you who are pregnant.  Please celebrate if you are.
* If you are dealing with infertility, know you aren't alone.  It's not something talked much about but 1 in 8 couples deal with it. 
* If you're experiencing infertility and can't find the ability to trust God in it most days, welcome to the club.  This post was written on one of my good days.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Going to Work With Dad- A Repost

Here's a post from four years ago.

Going to Work with Dad

A short story:

Today Tommy woke up excited.  Today he didn't have to go to school.

But that wasn't why he was excited.

Today Tommy woke up excited because he got to go to work with his dad.

Tommy's dad called the school secretary on Monday to tell her that Tommy would not be in class with Mrs. Meiers on Friday.  And today is Friday and Tommy is excited.

Tommy woke up excited and sprang out of bed.  Without his mother's nagging he shot up and went straight to the bathroom to shower.  After showering he brushed his teeth, without being begged to do it.  After brushing his teeth, Tommy put on his work clothes including the jeans with the carpenter's hook for his hammer.  Tommy was ready and excited to go to work.

When Tommy's dad got to the front door to leave he didn't have to yell for Tommy because Tommy was there with his shoes on and half a Pop Tart in his hand and the other half in his mouth.  Tommy was ready and excited to go to work.

So, Tommy and his dad walked out to the driveway where Tommy's dad's big F-250 truck awaited.  Tommy climbed into the passenger side which was no easy task for a young guy Tommy's size.  Tommy then quickly put on his seat belt and sat ready and excited to go work.

As Tommy and his dad drove to the worksite, Tommy looked out his window down at the little Prius and Civic next to them at the red light stop.  Tommy felt like a big man on his way to work.

Once they reached the worksite Tommy and his dad got out of the truck.  Tommy was ready and excited to work.  They went straight to work and Tommy's dad handed him a hammer, which Tommy promptly slid into the carpenter's hook in his jeans.  It was finally time for Tommy to do some real carpentry work.

Tommy's dad started several nails into the board and said, "Alright, I need you to finish hammering these nails into the board.  This is a very important job."

Tommy pulled his hammer out of his carpenter's hook in his jeans and approached the first nail.

"Clap" "Whack" "Clunk" "Whack" "Clap" "Dunk" "Dunk" "Dunk" "Whack" "Dink" "Whack"

Tommy's hammer hit the board just as many times as it hit the head of the nail and when it did hit the nail the nail bent to the side and Tommy had to straighten it and whack it again.  The board had little hammer halos surrounding the nail Tommy had just driven into it.

"Good work, buddy!" said Tommy's dad as he continued to keep a close eye on Tommy.

Tommy beamed.  He was ready and excited to keep working with dad.  And guess what?  Tommy's dad let him work with him all day.  And even as Tommy worked he was ready and excited to work with his dad again on another day.

Could Tommy's dad have gotten the work done faster without Tommy?  Did he need Tommy's help to get the job done?

We all know the answers to those questions, but to Tommy it doesn't matter because he got to go to work with his dad.

It's the same way with us and God.  He allows us to go to work with Him even though He could do it faster and better and even though He doesn't need us to get the job done.  The question is, are you ready and excited to go to work with Dad?

Be ready and excited to go to work with Dad today.