All posts tagged: purpose

Priority One: What’s Important Now?

Over the past week I have been down in Orlando, FL attending a large national training conference based around Police / SWAT leadership & operations. The seminars and topics vary, but throughout, I have noticed it all filters down to the art of this: the ability to interpret rapidly flowing information which can change instantly, make a decision, and act. It has been a blessing to hear from some of the top minds in the nation and listen to wisdom forged in adversity. These men care enough to share their hard gained experiences, including the mistakes, bad decisions, and the hard results that accompany them. What’s painfully clear is the “human factor” always exists, everywhere, with everyone, and in all aspects of life. To a point, we can lessen the gap with training and tools and mindset, but we can never completely close it. Many believe this gap is where “chance” exists… I prefer to believe it’s better suited for grace. Throughout the week, Christ was speaking to me, almost at a whisper, “I am …

Questioning Your Purpose? Get a New Perspective.

Our purpose in life seems to be a question everyone at some time in their life must ask. While it’s a great question, I think the answer people are looking for is not right. Or perhaps we are looking at the question wrong.  Melissa and I sure were 3 years ago. One Wednesday night when our church still met at the chicken farms, Melissa texted me to come to the preschool area of our facility. This was the first time she told me about Hailey. Oh, how to describe Hailey? She has an infectious smile, and a carefree attitude that surpasses reason. She’s also been through a lot more than I could ever image. Hailey had just entered into the foster system and was staying with Melissa and Steven Beam.  But I remember my Melissa, in her own way, basically telling me we would be adopting Hailey. It took me a little longer to get used to the idea of adoption, but I finally understood what we needed to do. We signed up to start …

What Question Does Jesus Have For You?

Have you ever asked a question for the purpose of teaching a lesson? Maybe you ask, “How many slices of pizza did you eat?” because you know your child is about to get sick. Or maybe, “Why do you think it turned out that way?” because you want your friend to think of making a better choice in the future. Jesus was the wisest question asker and often His questions would cut deep to the core issues at hand. In John 21:15 Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter if he agape loved him, which refers to the highest form of love, a selfless love which puts others first. This question would have cut deep for Peter because he knows earlier he had denied even knowing Jesus. Peter responds saying he phileo loves Jesus, or another way of putting it is he loves Jesus like a brother. And Jesus responds by telling him to feed His lambs. Jesus doesn’t allow Peter off the hook …

New Patches For Old Mistakes or New Creations?

Legacy: consequence, effect, by-product, result, repercussion There are a lot of men who creep Into the world to eat and sleep, And know no reason why they’re born Save only to consume the corn, Devour the cattle, bread and fish, And leave behind an empty dish; And if their tombstones, when they die, Were not to flatter or to lie, There’s nothing better can be said Than that they’ve eaten up their bread, Drunk up their drink, and gone to bed. -Author Unknown What will be the by-product of your life? What ripples will you make in the pond? When you leave this world, what will the record say about the 1.75 cubic feet of space you used up every day for 25, 50, 75 years or more? What will be the repercussion of your life? No matter what stage of life you are living out, now is the time to make mid-course corrections. Jesus, in response to the Pharisees’ criticism about not practicing religion the proper way, said, “…who would patch old clothing with …

What Motivates You Day In and Day Out?

The dictionary defines motivation as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” Paul in Philippians 1:21-24 defines motivation as this: For me, to live is Christ, but to die is gain. If i am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. I am torn between the two. I desire to be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is necessary that I remain in the body. Paul’s motivation is Christ and nothing else. Paul also says later in Philippians 3 that he considers all his accolades “worthless because of what Christ has done.” This is strong! Paul’s motivation is deep, strong, and convicting. Paul understood the cost; he understood what Christ had done for him, the weight of it, and how what Christ did effected and still effects eternity and the now! Paul wanted to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. The more Paul pursued Christ, the more Christ became his motivation. It’s a cycle, a sanctifying …

Are You Moved to Action and Love?

When we think about our church, different pictures probably come to mind. Maybe the time you got baptized in front of our family comes to mind. Maybe you think about Andrew Hicks standing on his toes as he strums his guitar. Maybe you see the faces of those in your small group. Maybe your nose curls a little as you think of the smell of Wunder Way sneaking into the lobby. I hope when you think of the church, you also think of passion, compassion, love, and unity. The Greek word for passion means suffering, an undergoing, an enduring. In light of this definition, think how that impacts the picture of “The Passion of Christ.” It’s odd to think of the church in this way: suffering, enduring pain. You might not be struggling or in pain, but your brother or sister next to you most likely is. Compassion in the Greek means to be moved, to meet. As a church, we are called to love our neighbor, meeting and loving them where they are. Is …

Together Let’s Act like the Church

In the midst of a pivotable scene in the famous Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot,” Charlotte tells Benjamin Martin, “You have done nothing to be ashamed of.” Martin’s somber response was, “I have done nothing.  And for that I am ashamed.” I recently read through the book of Acts. So much ground is covered in those 28 chapters as we see the original disciples taking the torch and pressing forward with Jesus’ call “to go.” (see Matthew 28:19) In Acts, we learn of the courage and intentional acts of these men and women. (No wonder the book is called “Acts.”)  Peter and John were called into the streets of Jerusalem and it’s courts.  Stephen was called to stand his ground against the mob. Ananias was called to have compassion on an enemy. Paul was called to boldly take the message of Christ into the outside world, which would be us. It is sobering to contemplate what might be today, had these people not acted on their calling.  The privilege I have of attending and participating …

Love Does Alongside the Greatest Visionary

Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found.  I’ve found it’s the small things.  Everyday deeds by ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. – Gandalf, Lord of the Rings Earlier this weekend Christine and I did a family devotional with the kids titled “Sandcastles & Monuments.” We decorated rocks with markers, depicting how God has shown Himself to us in our lives.  Gabby drew a rainbow on one rock and waters parting on another.  Tyler drew a fireball coming down from the sky (go figure) and the Cross. It struck me how the kids so easily reached for these “monuments” in history where God acted, where God demonstrated that love does. The rainbow – His promise to Noah The Red Sea parting – His deliverance of the Israelites The fireball from heaven – His support of Elijah The Cross – His willingness to go any length to save us Throughout the Bible, we see God works through and alongside people. …

Are You Doing It For The Win?

If you’re not first, you’re last. – Ricky Bobby Who would have thought Will Ferrell could offer such poignant insight into our current culture?  In the movie Talladega Nights Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell’s character, is obsessed with winning his races.  So much so he routinely wrecks his car in the pursuit of first place.  Now, in the real world such a racer would be fired immediately for his reckless behavior, but in the context of this movie, he is adored by the fans. Ravi Zacharias coined this phrase from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s writing, “At first art would imitate life, then life would imitate art, and finally, that life would draw the very reason for its existence from arts.” The world we live in idealizes winners and those who win are the people with the most stuff, the best stuff, and the biggest stuff.  Winners have the corner offices, the most friends, and receive the highest accolades.  In the world we live in, those things matter.  But to Christians, those things are to mean nothing. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know …

This Week For Sunday: Limiting God

I’m not a man, I cannot lie, I know the plans, for your life, So, I’m asking you to dream again, believe again… And take the limits off of me… No, I’m not a man, I cannot lie, Know the plans I have for you, they’re my design, So, I’m asking you to hope again and trust again, And take the limits off of me… I love this beautiful and compelling song by Israel Houghton.  It is written and sung from God’s perspective imploring us to “Release him in our lives to accomplish what he has promised.”  It is a sobering thought that we can actually limit God’s plan in our lives by our attitude.  If we give way to fear, doubt, complacency or apathy in our lives, we “bind” the Lord’s ability to work in us and for us.  It is basically impossible to reach our potential when we allow our lives to be governed by any of these emotions. The Lord constantly reminds us that as daunting as life can be sometimes, He holds our present …