Friday, October 22, 2010

First Haircut...

Our Daughter got her first haircut this week, she made it through mostly without complaint and she looks like a cute little baby again. We got the first curl to save in a little chrome box to give to her and show her children. We had the video camera, the cell phone video, and lots of pictures - typical parents!

I sensed a bit of irony while video & pictures was taken. Ways to share Christ are everywhere if we just look and take note. Remember the Joy of Salvation that believers in Jesus share. There was a time when it was so important to us that we made notes, took mental pictures and made it a point to talk about it. It is a Milestone in our lives. We wanted people to know and share in that joy. What happens after the Celebration time?

Sometimes, believers don't share Christ with those who need to know about Him most. We don't go where the greatest need is; we get caught in our Christian Bubbles, and before long the influence we had on the world is diminished because all of our time is spent with Christians. We influence other Christians for discipleship purposes...but ask yourself when was the last time you shared Scripture with someone outside of the church walls? When was the last time you went out of your way and out of your comfort zone to invite someone to church - a place that is supposed to excite us and give us strength? I received the greatest gift ever given through God in Christ Jesus and I catch myself many times - passing over opportunities to talk about how He changed my life.

The irony is immense in Christian circles. I will gladly post a video of my child's first haircut, most people get a smile and some good memories, but i hesitate to talk publically about Him and how our lives have been changed? May it never be! 
Galatians 1:6-10
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Sometimes, we make too much of things done in Christ's name - for instance: programs, concerts, stores filled with stickers, keychains, applications and even candy ABOUT Christ, and we feel good about using and buying these things, but then do no actual witnessing to people using the tools available. Sometimes our business is dictated by our faith too: like...Our hairdresser & her husband are a wonderful Christian couple, our photographer and her husband are also solid Christians, the people who work on our cars are Christian, the places we shop are many times Christian owners, and I promote them, but I have to ask myself am I promoting the Gospel & Christ during my week among the world?

If we leave out the Savior, then we are using Him for our own gain. To do so is a perversion of the Gospel. Are we serving and loving Him or using and abusing Him? Most of us would say that we do not preach health & wealth. But am I promoting that with "preaching it"? I want to see changed lives and sometimes I don’t, so I have to ask these questions. You should too.

Romans 1:16 says, 16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

The Gospel is not just for those raised in church. It is for EVERYONE who will believe - You have the most influence on the people you know. Not your ministers, not your SS teacher, You.
Make a big deal out of Jesus - He is the reason for any celebrations that we have in this life.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why We Do What We Do

This week for the past 5 years has been a busy one. I am involved in the CONNECT Youth Rally in Union City, TN. In cooperation with at least seven other churches, the Baptist Association, and the Tennessee Baptist Convention, we pool our efforts and yes, even finances to bring together an annual budget of $20,000 dollars, Nationally known talent, and music for CONNECT.

It is fascinating to see it all come together, but one of my favorite parts is being backstage at the Obion County Fairgrounds and praying as we pull the cord and start the engine. People pouring out their hearts to God who makes it all possible. It all comes down to placing it in the Lord's Hands. We did all we could, working hard to set up 9 different regional School Assemblies to invite and cast the seed. We tried to be "all things to all men" for four days so we might reach some. However, on Wednesday night at Go Time, there's nothing left to plan - just turn it all over to God Almighty.

God delivered as He always does. I want to Praise Him for the 18 new souls that now Profess Jesus as Lord! It never gets old seeing the tears of brokenness. I remember my own brokenness, I remember the new life & status He bestowed. As I stood in the Counseling Building, I prayed, "Lord, lead me to someone..." God is good; Like a magnet, He connected me with three people that I could listen to and offer some wisdom to. The West Tn CONNECT Youth Rally is WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. It is lots of work, but To God Be The Glory for the things He has done!