Sunday, October 16, 2016

Weekend Wanderings

Fall has come on us here in the sunny South. The weather is cooler and the leaves are beginning to change color. The campaign ad season is almost over. Someone will be elected President. But, Jesus is still King. I think it would be good if his followers kept that in mind.

On to the good stuff:

Bonnie Petroschuk on fear.
Good post from Daniel Darling.
Listening to Dylan.
Good article on a controversial subject.

Good question.
Faithful and fit.
Good ideas for post-election healing.
Good post from John Frye.
Election revelations.

Life is more.
Good post from Bob Edwards.
Steve Brown on freedom.
Fred Smith asks a question.
Jared Wilson on loving our neighbor.

Letter to Jesus.
Political Christianity.
Provocative post from Keith Giles.
No disclaimers.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Blast From the Past: Dreaming Again. Or Not

This was first posted on July 23, 2008. Nothing has changed.

Most of my life I've heard that God wants us to "dream big", "attempt great things for God, expect great things from God", and desire to be "greatly used". Well, I've dreamed big dreams and I've asked God to let me do great things for him. And, guess what? *crickets chirping*

That's right. Nothing has come of those dreams. In fact, most of them have crashed and burned. The dreams have ranged from competing in the Olympics (or at least getting to the Trials), to coaching college basketball and building a program that would be among the best in the country and having a ministry that would deeply impact the campus. I've even dreamed of of helping plant a church that would touch my community and advance the community. I've followed the advice of Christian motivational speakers and asked God to give me his dream for me, and I really believed he had done this.

I have come to the point in my life where I am done with dreaming. I believe that God does give some big dreams and big things to do for the Kingdom. I don't believe that I'm one of those people. Through my reading (Bible, blogs, and books), praying, and thinking, I've come to believe that God has called me to simply be a follower of Jesus. He is telling me to not worry about where the road is going to go, or what I am going to do along the journey. When I ask, he just says, "You'll find out". There were a lot of followers of Jesus in the 1st century that didn't make it into the New Testament or any of the writings of the time, but they were faithful to what God called them to do. That's what the Father is calling me to be. And, I'm okay with that.

I've often described my walk with God as a journey on the back roads. One of the things about the back roads is that they are away from the crowds, away from the spotlight. Back roads are not the places to do great things or become famous. They are places where a traveler can slow down and get to know their companions, where those you encounter are more likely to give and accept anything that is needed.

So, I'll continue following my Teacher and Friend down the back roads (and sometimes along narrow trails). There's a lot to see along the way and many interesting people to meet. And at the end, I look forward to the Father saying, "Welcome home".

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Weekend Wanderings

Today is a good day to stay indoors. It's rainy and windy as we deal with the weather on the very fringes of Hurricane Matthew. We don't have the issues that the folks on the coast do. They will have a lot of cleaning up to do and a lot of recovering. Pray for those who have lost property or loved ones. In other news, there are thirty one days till the political ads end.

On to the links:

Steve Brown on living missional.
Matt Johnson is encouraging.
Fred Smith has some wise words.
Jordan Harrell on being a friend.
Evidently, we've been had.

Dangers of over parenting.
Losing control.
Kindness and lending.
Idol of suffering.
Thought provoking post.

This is pretty cool.
These are interesting.
This is a shame.
Good post from Jared Wilson.
This seems right to me.

This could change a lot!
Great story!
Matt Tebbe on leadership.
This looks like fun!
Frank Viola asks a question.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

This is the fifth post in the series.

 Kindness is a term that describes how God has looked on us and treated us in Titus 3:4-5. He had compassion on us and showed us kindness through Jesus.

The Hebrew word "chesed" describes a kindness that is loyal and loving in the book of Ruth. It is more than just a feeling of love. It is a term of action, of doing good to those who don't necessarily have any claim on us. It is the way people treat little children, with compassion and tenderness.

As the Spirit grows kindness in us, we become people who are loving in our actions toward others. We become more compassionate, not just in our hearts, but also in our hands. Kindness can take many forms. It can mean giving a gift, making a meal, spending time with one who is grieving, listening to someone who is going through a hard time. It can mean forgiving someone and restoring a relationship. It can be simply being available. Any thing we can do to show love to another.

May the Spirit produce an increasing crop of kindness in us.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Friday, September 30, 2016

Ten Years Ago, Part 2

It was a beautiful early Fall day, and my dad and I had travelled down to the Charleston, SC area to watch his grandson, my nephew, play soccer. My mom had passed away thirty-three days earlier. I didn't really want to be gone from home that day but drove him down because he really wanted to go.

I'm glad I went, because that day would be the last time I would see my father in this life. During halftime of the soccer game, while my niece and I were coming back from the concession stand, my dad suffered a massive heart attack and died. Paramedics tried to revive him, but he was gone and suddenly I was without both of my parents. I truly believe that Dad died of a broken heart.

Here it is, ten years later, and so much of that day and the ones immediately following are still pretty fresh in my memory. I had lost my hero, the one I looked up to even when I was angry with him. Even though there were things we didn't see eye-to-eye on, I still loved him and knew that he loved me. I see a great deal of my dad in me and even though I didn't get the handyman gene,(that skipped me and went straight to Josh) I did inherit enough stubbornness to at least try. Sometimes I'm successful!

Over the past ten years, I've become more and more comfortable in my own skin, as my father was comfortable in his. I look back with satisfaction at the ways I am like him. It's in those ways, now that I understand better, that I saw Jesus in my dad. Hopefully the same is true with me.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

This is the fourth in the series.

The fourth fruit of the Spirit is patience. Depending on the translation, it is rendered patience, forbearance, or long suffering. I think any of those work, depending on our situation.

Patience is the idea of bearing up under some type of load, whether it's waiting for something, bearing with another person, or staying strong in the midst of trials. As we live in community with others, there are plenty of opportunities to show forbearance in our dealings with one another.

We also need patience as we wait for something we are praying for. As hard as it may be we must remember that God's timing is not like ours. As Aslan told Lucy, "I call all times soon." When we take the long view, we can see that our Father is never late.

As we walk in step with the Spirit, we become more patient with others, with ourselves, and with God.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekend Wanderings

Today we commemorate a day of tragedy. Fifteen years ago, our country came under attack as planes flew into the twin towers in NY, the Pentagon in DC, and a field in PA. Where were you when you heard the news?

Here are the links of the week:

One of those days we've all had.
An epidemic we don't often think about.
Something for the introverts.
Ten tastiest fast foods.

Good question.
A free bowl of oatmeal.
This is a great story.
This is not surprising.
This looks like a great idea!

Bob Edwards on justice.
Ten observations.
It's okay to be wrong.
Scot McKnight on charity.
The life God is in.

Frank Viola on faith.
Letters from the front.
5 smartphone myths.
Good post from Tiffany Childs.

Have a blessed week!