Thursday, September 29, 2011

Perhaps Missing the Basics

So the other day I am sitting under our swingset on the built in picnic table with my kids. We were having a good ol’ picnic style lunch on potentially one of the last warm days of the season. I unwrapped two Lunchables…the Capri Suns and some veggies. The whole time I am doing this they were just going to town on it all. As I was watching them eat and laugh I began to think that we as Christians could learn a lot from children. The cliché thing to talk about right now would be laughing, not taking life seriously but for me the biggest one is to simply have faith.

My kids will often times remind me when they are hungry. They also know that all they have to do is ask and it requires ZERO faith on their part that we will actually have something for them. It may not be exactly what they want but they will get something to eat. They fully rely on Tracy and I to take care of them. All they need to do is ask and know we will supply their needs.

I am reminded in Matthew 6:25-27,34(NIV) states “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Us as Christians can be SO good at pointing out the sin in others or talk about issues that are so far-fetched I wonder if we even believe what we are talking about. For that matter we are great at even talking about lifestyles others live or moral standards other people have because they don’t line up with our biased Christian life. Personally I think the biggest area a Christian struggles in BAR NONE is to “not worry about tomorrow.”

It seems we are wired to worry. We worry about current events, end times, our daily lives, money, retirement, kids future, what movie we will see, etc. I would not be so naïve as to say we ought not to plan a bit. What I would say though is we ought to quit worrying so much. If you and I fully trust God….I mean really trust God beyond what any cliché might say…then we need to let God take care of us. I do not think we have the right as a Christian to talk about others until we get the fundamental basics down in our own life. Personally I like the motto of some of my guy church friends that say, "it is what it is."

Do we love God? Do we trust God? Then don’t worry. Do be dumb, but don’t worry. Remember in the past all of the times God has come through for you? I think he will do it again. My kids have no need to worry about whether or not they will eat, have clothes or a home to live in. I literally want them to go through life being wise but having fun while letting me take care of them until they can take care of themselves. I pray that at that point they will return the favor when they become married and have children. Worry can stifle us and hold us in complete bondage if we let it. Trust in God.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Halloween Series (said in Vincent Price voice)

It has been awhile since my last blog…pretty much the only reason is that I have had nothing to say. However, there are a few things that I am excited to talk about now. The first would be the, October series we announced last Sunday at Radiant Fellowship. You see many churches and Christians will do everything under the sun at Halloween and label it as “harvest party” or “candy carnival” or "Harvest Carnival" or other things. We have decided to just call it what it is…a Halloween series. Our outreach during trick or treating will simply be called a Halloween party (complete with bon-fire...have you looked up the origin of bon-fires? Perhaps we should call them "Harvest fires"?).

I recall serving in a church where if you even printed on orange paper during the month of October it would be frowned upon. This was simply silly. There are all kinds of arguments one could make that if you do a Halloween party than you are worshiping the devil. Let me share with you a note from a lady at our church in her 50’s that I got the other day after we unveiled the series.

“I really like your take on Halloween. For years we did Halloween Barns for the church we went to. One of my Baptist friends asked why I was worshiping the devil. I just said they must know more about devil worship then me, cause I was giving the kids a safe place to dress up in costumes to play while getting food for the food pantry, and just what does devil worship look like? So we are looking forward to your Oct series.”

This gives me great hope as we will be reaching many people with this series that the church may tend to run and hide from. Each week is the title of a classic rock song and I will be sharing a message that parallels it doused with scripture (I threw that last bit in there for those who like mention me in their church messages). The worship team will be playing each song before I speak…it is going to be a great time of deep study and the avid music lover will really dig it.

Week 1: California Dreaming….Topic: Letting go of the past.

Week 2: Shooting Star…Topic: Dealing with casualties of life.

Week 3: Enter Sandman…Guest speaker Mike Barden

Week 4: Sound of Silence…Hearing God when it is quiet

Week 5: Welcome to My Nightmare (title of the series): ….Guest Speaker Pastor Bob Beeman.