Thursday, January 28, 2010

Disappearing Act

Ladies and Gentlemen! Children of all ages! Sit back and enjoy my greatest trick ever! I call it, "The Disappearing Christian!"....

I'm sorry...WHAT?!?

Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But stop and think about it for a minute. Can Christians disappear? Can we seem 'invisible' to some people? I think we can....

Let's see if Jesus disappears in this scene: After calling Matthew to "follow Him", Jesus goes to his house to have dinner. But Jesus and Matthew weren't the only ones there. Scripture tells us that He dined with tax collectors and "sinners". The Pharisees were confused as to why Jesus was eating with such people. When Jesus heard this, His reply was this: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick....For I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners" Matthew 9:13.

So many times, I think we tend to blend in or "disappear" among people. We aren't called to trust in Jesus and then spend the rest of our lives hanging out around all the other Christians. We have been commissioned to go out into the world, making disciples. You don't make a disciple out of someone who has the same mission as you. This means that we have to go out to places that we may "stick out". People need to know by our attitudes, our speech and our actions, that we are different... that we are "visible" Christians.

Do you need a magician to make you "reappear"???

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Had A Bad Day

Have you ever had one of those "bad days"? You know, the ones where you have no idea what you are doing here or what your purpose in life is? Well, I have and I did... yesterday. I guess it started at work. I'm not totally in love with my job. I sometimes wonder why my life is the way it is. Why can't my life be different? Why can't I have the same things everyone else has (not that I'm envious.) Why am I sometimes ashamed of some the stuff I'm going through? And the more I think about this stuff, the angrier and more frustrated I become. It drives me absolutely crazy. And I hate being in a bad mood when I come home from work because it seems like I take it out on Nikki and our poor dogs a lot of the time. (Sorry guys! I still love you!)

I read a church sign one time that said "If God puts you on hold, don't hang up." I'm reminded of an episode of one of my favorite TV shows, "Friends", where one of the characters stays on the phone for several days because, "'re call is very important to us!" All you want to do is get on with your life but it seems like you'll never get out of your "holding" pattern. All you want to do is ask God, "What exactly are you doing? Why am I where I am? Is what I'm doing really helping to further Your kingdom? Why do you still have me on hold?"

As I was thinking about this yesterday, a still small voice reminded me of Adam and Eve. Before the garden incident, they were naked and unashamed. They didn't have to hide from anyone. (Well, the only other person around was God and He created them that way). But then, they had a bad reaction to a red, delicious apple. They realized that they were naked and hid... from God.

What are you ashamed of? Sometimes things in our lives don't make sense and some things we're not proud of them. But God gives us this verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5." God very clearly speaks to us in that verse. Trust in Him, and don't try to understand. We most likely never will understand. And even though that is a tough lesson to learn, it's OK! God knows what He's doing and He will use us the way He made us to be used!

Now, I can rest until Tuesday...then it's back to work!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's Not About You

"It's not about you." It's been a while since I've read it, but I believe that those four little words are the first four words of Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life. They should start prefacing the Bible with those four words, too! It's not about you... it's about God! (Okay, that was seven words!)

I am currently reading a book called I Can't See God...'Cause I'm In The Way. Today's chapter was about how we look at how Scripture is relevent to our lives today. Take, for example, 1 Samuel 17... the story of and unlikely hero, David and his adversary, Goliath. Let's start with Mr. Superhero, David. What was that? David wasn't a superhero? I'm sorry, I just thought... I mean, when I've read it before, that's always how I saw him. And what about Goliath? It's just rude to actually prepare to fight a little boy with a slingshot. I mean, come on. You can't be serious? But isn't that your typical underdog story?

But whose story is it, really? I think that sometimes we look at what's in the foreground of Scripture in an effort to apply it to our lives. Sure, David had confidence that the Lord was going to deliver this giant into his hands. And of course, God does want us to take that away from the put all of our confidence in Him. But the real hero here was God, not David! He had this from the beginning. He knew what the outcome of this fight was going to be even if David believed it or not.

So keep that in mind the next time you are reading a passage of Scripture that seems to make absolutely no sense whatsoever and seems to have no relevance to your life. Look at it from God's point-of-view. I believe that God gives us these passages so that we are reminded that "it's not about us"... It's ALL about Him!

Monday, January 4, 2010

While I'm Waiting...

OK, I'll admit it... some movies make me cry. Especially Fireproof, which is really where the title of my blog came from. It is actually a song by a guy named John Waller. You should be able to listen to it on the main page of my blog (it's over to the right!)

Are you waiting on something? Is there something that you don't have and that you want that everyone else around you seems to be able to get with no problem at all? Well, for me, that would be a child... It seems so hard sometimes when you want something so badly and it never comes. It's hard to wait on the Lord.

I was reading in a book today about prayer and how sometimes you don't feel like praying specifically for something because God already knows what you want. You don't want to "pester" Him with prayers because He is already aware of your desires. The author gave the reference of Luke 18: 2-5: "...yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming, she will wear me out." Does this mean that I will ever wear God out with my comtinued prayers for a child? No! It is just a demonstration of how God wants us to come to Him with specific needs and desires.

So, back to the song... The chorus says it all: "While I'm waiting, I will serve you , while I'm waiting, I will trust you!" If you've been waiting on something that never seems to come, just remember to keep bringing your prayers to the feet of Jesus no matter how long it takes. And always serve Him and trust Him, no matter what the outcome is!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Mirror Image

Here I am at Day 2... So far, so good! I've done my daily Bible reading. Instead of the standard Bible reading schedule, which I've attempted several times (and unfortunately, failed), I came across one that lists the Bible passages in order chronologically. It is worth a try! Now it should read like a story instead of jumping back and forth! I'm really excited about it although right now, I'm still in Genesis. But it's always good to re-read passages. As a matter of fact, I read something yesterday that I thought was very interesting. Imagine, my first day back in the Word and God has already revealed something to me. The verse I read was simply this:

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21.

Adam and Eve had just sinned and realized that they were, in fact, naked. So what does God do? "Let there be clothes"? No, I don't think so. An animal had to die. A sacrifice had to be made so that they would have something to wear. This small passage of Scripture is like a mirror image of God's plan. He knew that eventually He was going to have to send His own son into the world to rescue sinners like you and me...

...Lord, I thank You for sending Your only son to die on a cross so that I may spend eternity with You...

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Brand New Start

Let's start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start! (Yes, I did watch The Sound of Music over the Christmas break)! Today is January 1, the first day of the first month of the year. A lot of firsts, huh? That's what I hope this blog will become... the first time I start a project and stick with it. Nikki and I recently watched Julie & Julia in which the main character cooked her way through a Julia Childs cookbook in one year and committed to write a blog about it every single day. I guess I'm in a way hoping that this will be similar. Maybe not every day, but enough that it can still be considered a blog!

What are some of the "firsts" you want to see this year? To hold your first child? (That one's mine!) A first time reading all the way through the Bible? (Also mine!) Whatever it is, just know that if we go to God first, that He will be able to help us achieve these "firsts" in our lives! Please join with me as we go to our Father in prayer and ask that He will bless us this year and that He will guide us on our ways to finally exeperience our "firsts"!