Archive for May, 2012



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I’ve often been asked “How do I know I’ve been “called” to missions.”  My answer: ” We are all called! ”  But, for the sake of a more thorough and precise answer, I  humbly submit the following…

You KNOW you are called to the mission field if:

20. You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that support your “native” language’s alphabet.
19. You feel you need to move after you’ve lived in the same place for a month.
18. You have a name in at least two different languages, and it’s not the same one.
17. You don’t think that two hours is a long sermon.
16. You forget and haggle with the Walmart checkout girl for a lower price.
15. You refer to gravel roads as highways.
14. Fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal to you.
13. You know how to pack.
12. Your favorite cologne fragrances are “Skin so Soft” and citronella.
11. You sort your friends by continent.
10. You do your devotions in another language.
9. You slap someone for complaining in line at a fast FOOD joint.
8. You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
7. You can cut grass with a machete, but can’t start a lawnmower.
6. You watch nature documentaries, and think about how good that animal would taste if it were fried.
5. You consider a city 500 km away to be “very close”.
4. You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
3. You read National Geographic and recognize someone.
2. You speak two languages, but can’t spell in either.
1. You can’t answer the question, “Where do you call home?”

I hope that clears things up.

“Holy Envy”

I’m in the middle of preparing messages for this summer. I don’t know about most speakers but I always come to a task like this with a healthy fear and a little trepidation.
Am I meeting the needs of the people who will be in front of me?
Am I being sympathetic and empathetic?
Am I “rightly dividing the word”?
Of course, there are always the questions like “Is this going to be relevant, interesting, and am I going to hit it out of the park?”
While all of these concerns are valid, I’ve begun to realize that I will never get the right answers until I ask right questions.

“…out of the the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Luke 6:45

Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of many talented preachers and teachers. I found myself impressed by (and a little envious of) their style, their exegesis of Scripture, and the beautiful way that words flow from their lips “like butter”. But something became clear to me amidst some of these audiences. Our hearts were not being move. Our intellects were being stimulated and we were entertained but, there was no real inspiration. Why?
It,s because we need a little aspiration in the heart before there can be inspiration.
The messages that have always inspired me are those from speakers whose LIVES preach and their lips only “play catch up”. Because of their example, not just their words, I’m compelled by a little “holy envy”.  I want some of their lives to be reflected in me so I eagerly absorb as much from them as I can during that short period of time called “the message”. That kind of speaker must, within him, carry two ingredients: authenticity and passion. Without those two things we run the risk of accomplishing, not inspiration but, mere clever manipulation, which produces nothing in the life of a believer.
I want to be a man that is REAL with the people I’m entrusted to instruct and I want only to speak about the things that I strive to “flesh out” in my own life.
If I AM an inspiration then the rest is easy.

I’m praying that this will be a summer of inspiration for all of us.

The Death of a Saint

The death of the Saint

 

The room was crowded; people were talking laughing and sharing great stories. Yes, there were a lot of tears as well, but standing there amidst a concert of joy and sorrow there was an overwhelming “peace that passes all understanding”. This was the third funeral of an awesome Christian friend that I had to attend or officiate in the last month. So, it goes without saying, I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic of death and eternity lately. In one eulogy I heard the curious Scripture of the psalmist “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of his faithful servants.” Psalm 116:15. As I sat there in my mind began to wander and ponder (as it often does) on why the death of the saint is so precious to God.

Death is a tragic thing no matter when or why it happens so I don’t think God was saying he enjoys watching someone die. I think the focus of that Scripture is not “the death” but the emphasis is on “one of his faithful servants”. And so, with that in mind, I began to search for what I could glean from the death of these faithful servants.

Here are a few simple  thoughts about a “precious death”.

1. A life of integrity means a death with no regrets.

2. The life of a true disciple is an abundant life that can be celebrated at the end.

3. With heaven as your final destination and Christ as your focus, a person can go through many trials, failures, and pain and still be an incredible success in life.

4. Relationships built on God’s plan are filled with joy and in the end… w with no “unfinished business”.

5. Death is a gift given to us by God so that we might escape this “Earth suit” that continues to draw us away by the desires of our flesh.

6. The “peace that passes understanding” can only be experienced by those we leave behind if the destination of our “passing” is understood.

 

It’s a beautiful thing when someone’s life AND death is such a catalyst for us to live a better life.

Thanks guys, I’ll see you soon.

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