“Who Wants To Be A Celebrity…..Me, Me, Pick Me”!

NOT ME, don’t pick me, no way, I’m a true “christian”, a selfless, praise deferring, servant of Christ, deserving of nothing, a sinful, wretched complete failure with out Him.

……..read that sentence again!

…………………..one more time!!

Now tell me, in complete honesty that it makes you wanna stand up and shout aloud,

I SERVE THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, THE ONE TRUE GOD, THE IMMORTAL, WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR ME, WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU, WHO ROSE TO LIVE AGAIN AND IS LIVING INSIDE OF ME AND WANTS TO LIVE INSIDE OF YOU………….ETC. ETC. ETC.

Does it?

Truthfully??

NOT ME, nope, it makes me wanna crawl in a hole, cover my head and beg God not to be mad at me, not to see me for my disgusting fleshly desires, not to be disappointed in my feeble attempt at life, not to push me back down any time I look up at Him in an attempt to take joy in who “I could be in Him”.

I’m sitting here (oddly enough as I just stopped for a moment and realized what song was playing – “Sinking Deep” by Hillsong Young & Free) and as I write this I have a ridiculous amount of emotion going on. I’ll admit, a small part could be because at times I do feel like that wretched sinful failure, and I fight daily to overcome my daily habits and shortcomings, but more so because as I scan through social media platforms, listen to conversation, read blogs, articles, opinions, news reports, blah blah blah, and all I see is a society of us who though we claim to be selfless, only talk about ourselves, our horrible day, our problems, our issues and so on. And when we do talk about others, we “talk about others”, we find the ones we disagree with and highlight them, we find our adversaries and point ’em out as if we were building our own little armies and we were recruiting as many as we could. We stand on mountain tops claiming the “truth” which if we just took a moment to really think through it all might find that “our” “truth” might not come from the Source but might actually come from our own selfish, praise absorbing, desire to be validated and accepted among our peers or those we aim to please.

Or maybe that was just my way of letting off steam, maybe the strongest emotion inside right now is the one that asks, “is that the God that I serve”? Is he this giant tyrant in the sky that has His thumb on the back of my head making sure I don’t take more than I deserve, because He wants to constantly remind me that I’m just a tiny little worthless creation of His and the ONLY reason I get to live is because He sent His Son to die for me, and that was all because He is gracious and merciful…..and kind…..and loving…..

Wow……..does any of this make any sense to you??

Ya me neither…..

Wait I wasn’t talking about the writing above 🙂 I was talking about the culture we’ve created.

Whether it be our attack on the world and it’s sinful ways (which is definitely the best way to win them to Christ and show that He truly does represent love and mercy and grace….I’ll stop there)

Or our attack on other denominations, ideology, theology etc (oh sorry I mean our defending the truth with a Christlike “I flipped tables over” type of anger, and comments that surely would have come from His mouth if He were here today)

Or just our attack on the next door neighbor who should never have been given children (might wanna take that up with the real Pro Creator, or think the many mistakes we’ve made that just happened to luckily not have a consequence)

Or the coworker who is a loser

The family member who’s an idiot

The politician who should be just like me, cause I’d surely make ALL the right decisions

The Celebrity who should as well…….

Is there a solution to all this? Surely! Are there any fine lines within any of this context? Absolutely!

Well, what are they??

Well as far as the fine lines, you’ll have to interpret on your own and see where there was some sarcasm, and maybe some unnecessary editorial commenting and determine your own approach.

But a solution?

Love God. Love People.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”. 1 Corinthains 13:4-7

Loving God, takes really knowing Him, finding who He truly is, trying a perspective that is not our own that would lead us to a place of understanding what’s behind the words He’s given us. AND, how He really feels about us.

Loving people, is a bit different, but, we can start by just doing our best to follow the scriptures interpretation…..that’d be something new.

Whether we are that Christian who is in the very first sentence on this page, a seeker of the knowledge of Christ and His Word and just desires the truth, or one of the “inbetweeners” who struggles with identity and surety like many of us, in the end, when all is said and done, we will all be judged the same, by the same judge, in the same way!

How bout instead of fighting a fight that has already been won, and defending the very One that needs no defender, why don’t we just represent the One who loves us more than our imagination, who desires to spend time with us, who actually “celebrates” us.

ce·leb·ri·ty

noun \sə-ˈle-brə-tē\

:  the state of being “celebrated”

Bb

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“I Love The Osteens”!

VICTORIA OSTEEN AND FAMILY

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart……….AND love your neighbor as yourself”! – Luke 10:27

For sake of time, and too be honest, more so just trusting that we all know what the context of “neighbor” was, we’ll just assume that we all agree in fact that loving the Osteens as well as any one else we agree or disagree with is within our own interpretation of who God said to love, whether they be a brother or sister or, a “Samaritan”!

So, “loving” should push us towards patience, kindness and long-suffering, and, push us away from dishonoring others or keeping a record of “wrongs”, and, it might just hope and maybe, protect………just maybe!

UNLESS we believe our job to warn, reveal and point out is FAR greater than one of the TWO things that Jesus left us with……and left with the idea that ALL other things were subject to these two things. OR maybe we believe we don’t have enough people attacking christianity today???

Delete the 1st four paragraphs and just think on this:

What if by chance “the ones” we think are “diluting” the gospel are just doing what God has called THEM to do?

Not possible??

Maybe it is…..

Maybe it’s not…..

Maybe it’s what they’re saying…..

Maybe it’s what they’re not saying…..

Maybe it’s not what they’re saying but rather what they’re not saying…..

Maybe it doesn’t matter and they’re wrong, they’ve always been wrong and they’re still wrong…..

Maybe…..

However, if they’re NOT, that possible chance that they’re NOT wrong, just imagine standing before God and Him saying something like this:

“You attacked the ones who I told to go in MY name, you spoke against the works of MY hands, you called them cultic, you said that it was in NO WAY of Me or MY spirit and that it was the words of a fool”!!!!!

“Well done my good and faithful servant”!

Hmm…..

I may or may not agree with some of the things that have been said, but, I will not be that guy!!

I got enough in me to worry about…..

Bb

What do you value MORE than God?

This post is just a teaser of more to come……

(even though that sounded ridiculous, it’s true…..ridiculously true)

BUT, here are a few questions to ask ourselves in preparation…..

(if you trust that maybe something IS to come)

Do we have things in life that we value more than God?

Do we actually have to ask ourselves that question?

Do we spend our time on anything, ANYTHING, more than we spend it on God?

Do we spend our $$$$$ on anything, ANYTHING, more than we spend it on God?

Is there anything in our lives that are worth more to us than God?

Is there a way we can prove that there isn’t?

Is our everyday life filled with many more things than God?

Is our everyday life filled with any ONE thing more than God?

Might it be possible that those things, that thing, is what makes us who we are?

Might it be possible that, that very thing, those very things are the very reason God made us who we are?

Might it be possible that the things we value so much are the very reason we should value HIM?

Might it be possible that the time, $$$$$, efforts, etc. we spend on the many things (or one thing) other than God isn’t a bad thing but actually the bad thing is that we do it with out the realization that HE is why they even exist, making it the very reason we should value HIM in them, not necessarily extract them from our lives?????

Confused? Nah, just think on ’em for a bit if you would…..

This Generation is in need of something that changes their idea of what is and isn’t valuable, why the value exists, and how valuable that truth really is behind just that…..

Stay tuned…..

To Be Continued…..

Bb

How to get the MOST out of your team!

If you read this title the way a majority would, you would see a side of those words that was never meant to be so…..

You probably read “How to use your team to it’s fullest”!

Which doesn’t SOUND all that bad but in our minds, the definition, would mean……”drain your team of all they have, that’s what they’re there for”!

I may be wrong, God knows I’m definitely wrong about you, cause you would never do that, I would never do that right???

No, we wouldn’t, or at least, we would never mean to…..

And the truth is, when we get a glimpse of our own actions going in that direction, we pray for an intervention, “God help me change this”!!!

The bigger truth is that, our culture seems to have built a system that uses people for everything they got, till they ain’t got no more…..

And if you look at it from a fulfillment point of view, most of us, WANT to use everything we have and go to the grave with nothing left to give right???

Absolutely, how many books, quote’s, messages, challenges have you heard lately that say just that…..

However, and a HUGE however, is, “is it our job as leaders, managers, directors, etc. etc. to make sure someone else does that”, OR is it our job to make sure we, ourselves, me, you, I the ONE and only someone that we are completely responsible for does?

See, because of what we’ve been trained to do and learn-ed to do, we expect the same from those around us, especially when we have an authority over them (how easy is that) EVEN in good intent, for their own good, we push and drive, and “encourage” to give 1000%, to go till you can’t go no more…..

All most ALL the time, with good intent…..

Well, 

To put into words and simply come up with a solution for this is not easy, I DON’T HAVE all the words or the solution at hand, BUT, I do know that I’ve been on both sides of this coin, and I HAVE failed in both cases, and I will say, I do my best to make it not so NOW, no matter what the climate or DNA of the organization that God has allowed me to be a part of, effective leadership comes from effective influence, and effective influence comes with a heart of pure intent, one that seeks God’s heart for all that’s intended…..

“How to get the most out of your team”?? You decide, make your choice on how to lead, shepherd, direct, encourage, but make sure to do it with an intent to “love on” and care for as a true shepherd needs to, and know, always know, that those that are appreciated, truly appreciated, will love to do what they do, for the one they report to, and will have a true understanding of the One we all “report to”!!

Bb

“God can use Miley too”!

Genesis 50:20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

While it may be true, many young people are seeing what our media is promoting and following in the foot steps of our pop culture examples, it is also true that through some of these situations (like the one we saw this past weekend and continue to see through many media sources) are being turned through other media sources (blogs, posts, comments, interviews, etc.) for mercy and a true heart of what it is to be a christian.

Are we saying that God intended this?

Maybe, maybe not, that’s a whole other discussion on pre-determination that we don’t need to get into here and now…..

But the fact that He knows what will and won’t happen and can and will use it for His glory is absolutely a sure thing!

Though the enemy is at work and doing his best to lie, kill and destroy, we serve the one who already holds the victory…..

Is God using Miley for His good…..you tell me?

Has there been an influx of media from christians that at first thought, disgusted and outraged, attacked, judged and voiced there opinion?

Yes!!!

Has there been a follow up of media from christians that have mercifully promoted prayer and a heart for not only her but the rest of our young people that are “acting out” from whatever the case may be and giving them the grace and mercy they should receive?

Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!

Some of “us” who felt the former have found our hearts to join the latter…..

Is Miley and many others still affecting many in a negative way?

Yes!!!

Is our response as christians affecting many in a way that could shape how our generation is viewed to the world?

Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!

Is God possibly using this, Miley, and more to rise up a culture that reflects Jesus and how he would respond?

I believe so…..

How bout you, what do you believe???

Bb

Here’s a friend of mines response that has caught the hearts of many:

http://jarridwilson.com/an-open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/

13 Reasons why “Singing songs is such a small part of our worship”!

Because:

1. Most of us only do it once a week, twice if we’re “real churcheez”…..

2. Most of us who only do it once a week go to a church that relegates it to 17 minutes (not knocking, I COMPLETELY understand the parking issues)…..

3. Most of us who only do it twice a week don’t appreciate the midweek worship team so we really only do it once a week (see number 2)…..

4. 4 of our 17 minutes is a top 40 opener so “the reality is”, 13 minutes of our week is spent singing in worship (if we fall into the number 1 or 2 category)…..

5. Some of us can’t sing at all, and are afraid that “Simon” is sitting next to us so you won’t catch us even trying, giving us our own category (see number 6)…..

-it’s starting to get serious

6. Some of us don’t ever sing songs as worship…..

7. worship is a lifestyle (see number 8)…..

8. If worship is a lifestyle and “singing songs” is such an important part of it than very few are really worshipping, and those few are doing it very seldom…..

9. If that is true than there’s a book (or an app if you don’t like carrying that leather thing) that says “the rocks would be crying out”…..

10. Rocks aren’t singing…..

–uhoh

11.  Prayer is also a form of worship, and the app (or GIANT leather relic) says “pray without ceasing”, giving the notion that we should probably be praying more than singing…..

12. There are way too many other forms of worship that are constant in our everyday lives like actions, re-actions, routines, habits, etc. etc. etc…..

13. See numbers 1-12…..

 

Just to throw in some clarity, here is just a bit about the word “worship”…..

 

Worship*       (wər-shəp)

noun

1. reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence

2. extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

verb

1. to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power

2. to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion

 

*The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning, worship, honor shown to an object, which has been also described in history as “worthiness or worth-ship”—to give, at its simplest, worth to something

 

Bb

 

Should the “RELIGIOUS” be allowed back in the church?

I don’t know about you but I know I’ve had many conversations in which the only thing we agreed on was that neither of us were “religious”!

“I have a relationship, not a religion”!

“That’s religious, it’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship”!!

“She DEFINITELY has a religious spirit”!!!

“THEY give us a bad name, the religious people…….like *Jack Christianmanson”!!!!

*If your name is Jack Christianmanson than I’m sorry….one because I wasn’t talking about you specifically I promise, and two because, wow, Christianmanson??

“That’s a religious spirit and we don’t want it in OUR church”!!!!!

Come on, the majority of us have said similar things in the past…

Right?? No??

Really, it’s not hard to be honest on this one.

Exactly!! Yes!!

Well, lets take a look at what the word actually means…..

 

Religious

adjective \ri-ˈli-jəs\

1. relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity      <a religious person> <religious attitudes>

2. of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances <joined a religious order>

3. a: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

b: fervent, zealous

 

Just, one more time, take a look at that definition, just one more time…..

Here’s a quick breakdown of what I get out of it:

I want to always, conscientiously, faithfully, or maybe I should say “religiously” be “manifesting faithful devotion” to the “reality” and “deity” of my religious beliefs, of my christianity, of my Savior…..AND definitely want to be fervent and zealous” about it!

OH, AND, what made me think any different in the past???

If this is anything close to what you get out of it than maybe we have something here.

There’s a lot of stuff going around right now about why this generation is leaving church.

There’s a lot of great people out there that don’t like our not so great church.

There’s a lot of US that aren’t very disciplined in our “religion”, our “relationship” with Christ!

You might have a great church and don’t fall into this not so great accusation but if you have a church that is not “religious” and would bite back at any one using the word to describe them than maybe, just maybe it’s not as great as you’ve thought, or maybe, it is great but could be greater by allowing ONE thing back in.

ONE thing that might just grab the attention of a generation that’s tired of watching our shows, and our attempts at recreating their favorite concert or event, and our “relationship” with an image that has become just a “homeboy”! It might just attract that generation that is and has been desiring to put a fervent zealous faithful devoted mindset (that YES has been passionately turned in the wrong direction) on something real that has real traditions, real liturgy, and real religious people that stand for them at all costs.

Just maybe…..

Bb

The Stone Caster Pastor….

Let’s just start by saying this post will not be about casting stones at those who we think don’t do it our way, that’s not the intention at all.

If it was, than we might as well just stand in a big group and start throwing boulders straight up in the air cause we’d all be guilty!

Come to think of it, we probably all share a bit of guilt in this subject anyhow…..don’t we???

I’ll admit, when I don’t agree with something I find my way of criticism (making it seem very Jesus like in a loving way of course) and make a judgement based on maybe a statement, an action, a life decision, a relationship, a way about things…..you name it!

We all do……some to higher degree than others, but we all do, or have….maybe just once.

So then, how do we determine our role between John 8 and 1 Corinthians 5?

“Judge not for ye shall be judged…..”

vs.

“Remove the wicked man from among yourselves…..”

To some that’s a simple matter…..

To others the simplicity is that the one who believes that it’s simple is the “stone caster”!

Matthew 18 seems to be simple and very proper, but not to the one who is in sin…..

being approached,

feeling the need to defend,

in turn pointing out the accusers sins,

cause we all have em, right??

……………….??

The point is, it’s not an easy subject, at least not to the majority of us who aren’t all knowing.

We all have to make our choice when each situation presents itself on how to love and yet stand in our faith, how to love so much that we don’t want to see our brother fall…..and each one of us will be accountable for it, so my suggestion to myself and anyone feeling like this would be…..”I’m gonna work on ME, and if I ever feel so compelled by God that I can’t shake it, I’ll find a way to love someone so strong that they’ll have a hard time not seeing my heart”!

Ya, I like that, that’s what I’ll be working on…..

BUT, what about…..

…..what about from our platform, what about when the church next door or the leader down the street doesn’t line up with what we believe, going as far as to say “they are not biblical”, essentially saying, “if you’re not for me, you’re against me”, what about that kind of “stone casting”, it IS happening you know, and HAS happened since the church began?????

What about that kind of “stone casting”?

Well, we can say our opinions, our judgements, throw out plenty of arguments based on, or against, but instead, let’s end with this thought…..

One day, those of us who God has ALLOWED to stand on a platform, will stand before God and will account for all our mistakes, and just by chance what if our casting at the other platform was wrong, just what if we were wrong, and He says, if He says, if we’ve given Him reason to say…..”I was doing so much work through so, and so, or, My Spirit was in this and that, and you called it a work of My enemy, an evil thing being done, a “cult like movement”……THAT WAS ME, MY SON & MY SPIRIT…..well done my good and faithful servant”!

Bb

“We CAN & WILL claim revival”!

It’s a widely debated subject, that everyone has an opinion on, BUT, wants to be a part of, “revival”.

A reviving of epic proportion, a God centered, Holy Spirit started, “true revival”.

But what in the world does that mean?? Does it mean that as long as supernatural miracles and healing are taking place than we can sound the alarm, let the bells ring and hope that the line out the door causes traffic and sightseers to stop in their tracks and get saved on the spot?? Is that the criteria??

Well, let’s start with the definition of the word revival…..

Re-vi-val   n.

restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.

Hmmm, sounds pretty much like what we aspire to do every Sunday in the majority of the modern church, no?

Sounds like what we pray for in our preservice meetings…

Sounds like the goal for the last small group we attended…

Sounds like what we center around in our creative meetings…

Sounds like what we praise in our staff meetings…

Sounds like what every christian hopes for when they wake up in the morning…

Sounds like revival is happening in more ways than we thought.

You might be looking for the one towards the top of the post and too be completely honest, I’d like to see those things on a CONSTANT basis too, but too be even more honest, the supernatural work of The Lord is evident in far too many ways for us to negate them and only awe at the documented healing or “UNdocumented” testimony……..how bout the atheist turning to Christ, or the marriage on the brink of divorce that reconciles, or the depression of life long struggle slowly dissolving through His love, or etc. etc. etc. THOSE things are what ARE happening and truly are by the definition of the word, “revival”.

Together instead of debating what “true revival” means to us, lets proclaim that we CAN & WILL continue to be the extension of He who restores, strengthens and opens eyes and maintain what is reviving constantly in the lives of ourselves and those around us in our homes, our families, schools,  jobs, churches and more.

Bb

“I’m a parent & I don’t know everything”

One of the most used phrases by us as parents about the “youngins” is “kids think they know everything”, say it how you will but the concept is still the same.

What we DON’T use most is “I’m a parent and I DON’T know everything”!

As a parent of 2 teenage daughters AND 2 little ones, I’m finding out that phrase is oh so true and more so, I don’t quite know as much as I even thought I did.

With the girls, 15 & 16,  the 2 things that I do know is that “there are things I should have expected” and “no 2 kids are alike”!

Why didn’t I expect them to experience some of the things that I did? Or did I but not prepare?

Why didn’t I expect them to respond differently than I EVER imagined? Or did I, but didn’t prepare for it?

I do know this, what worked for me as a teenager might not work for them.

I do know this and forgive me for being the honest one but what worked for you as a parent might not work for me as a parent, and vice versa.

I do know that the word of God and prayer are the best ways to find what WILL work, used in LOVE and presented as Jesus would as best as possible (the harder part).

The one thing that I am learning is that when they make mistakes or bad decisions and it comes time to determine correction/discipline I have 3 things that come to mind first. The Past. The Present. The Future. Not just theirs but mine. What did I do at their age, What has it made me now or how has it affected me now, and the same for the future, AND how is it gonna affect me as their parent in the future. And the same, what have they done in the past, continue to do now, and how will it affect their future…….ALSO what has happened to bring them to those mistakes/bad decisions, what continues to happen and what can I do to help make sure it doesn’t continue to go on. I’m continually praying, reading and seeking advice from others on how to work through these things. I don’t have all the answers and don’t ever wanna be “that parent”.

As far as the little ones, 1 & 4, “HOW IN THE WORLD DID I FORGET HOW TO DO THIS”, 🙂 I can only laugh at myself and think “man am I 20 years old again?

I didn’t forget everything, I have learned a ton but sometimes it sure feels like I’m a brand new parent with them. (see above “no 2 kids are alike”)

“I’m a parent & I don’t know everything”! But I do know that I think long and hard in every situation and am REALLY trying hard not to just react!

Feel free to share your advice, learn-ed tactics and wisdom, “I wanna be better”…………

Bb

Family & kids