Monthly Archives: October 2010

Blog Action Day 2010

I sat down to have dinner last night with my kids.  My wife was hanging out with some girlfriends.  I was preparing to make some chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese.  Healthy, I know.  I grabbed a pot from the cabinet, walked to the sink and turned on the faucet.  Clean water poured into the pot.  I started boiling it for the noodles.  We sat down to eat and we were all thirsty.  I grabbed four cups from the cupboard, placed some ice cubes (frozen, clean water) in the cups and filled them with clean drinking water from our sink.  We enjoyed our nutritious meal and moved on with our evening.  Most of the dishes were taken to the sink by my children.  They’re good, I know.  I turned on some hot water at our sink to rinse the plates.  Then I filled our dishwasher with the dirty dishes.  This is a machine that will spit out, clean water, at a scalding hot temperature to clean your dishes for you.  Before long it was dark and time for bed.  Upstairs we went.  Clothes were stripped all over the floor and children were making their way to the bathroom.  Clean water flowed to give my children showers.  Each put on their pajamas and stood by the sink.  They turned on the water and brushed their teeth in clean water.  If I haven’t made my point clear, there is no shortage of clean water in our house.

My guess is there’s no shortage of clean water in your house either.

Hopefully, you are feeling somewhat uneasy about where I’m going with this.  And you should feel uneasy about it.  Want to know why?  Because while you’re going through water like there’s no tomorrow, roughly 38,000 children under the age of 5, die every week because they don’t have clean water.

There, now you know.  You don’t have an excuse anymore.  You can’t hide behind the story that you didn’t know that was going on.  You can’t pretend the issue doesn’t exist.  You can’t look at your own five year old without seeing the face of a child who will not make it through tonight because they simply don’t have clean water.

When Jesus walked on the earth, he shared an illustration about the end of time.  All of humanity will stand before God, the Creator of humanity.  And while we stand there, Jesus will talk to us.  He will say to some, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink” (Matthew 25:34, 35 NLT).  I don’t claim to be a scholar, but it seems that God places a pretty high priority on giving water to people who are thirsty.

But it isn’t just water that so many people need.  It is our highest priority on earth to love and serve people the way Jesus did.  And often times this comes in the form of a cup of water.  Yet this very opportunity presented itself to Jesus as well.  In John 4 Jesus met a woman who was getting water from a well.  But Jesus knew more about her than she realized.  Her true need went beyond the water.  It went into need something much deeper.  Water was good, but she needed a Savior.  Jesus shared with her some teachings about this very idea.  And it was during this conversation that Jesus identified Himself as living water.

Yes, people need water!

Yes, it is our responsibility to provide it!

Even more, it is this generation’s great burden!

But ultimately, humanity needs a Savior.  The Savior we need is the One who not only taught us to love and serve people, but will also ask us about how we did it when we meet Him some day.

As the Bible is closing out in the book of Revelation, we are given a beautiful scene of heaven.  And in Revelation 22:17 we read these words, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’  Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’  Let anyone who is thirsty come.  Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”

Are you thirsty?

Are you giving a cup of water in the name of Jesus?

Because the One who is faithful (Jesus) to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  And we say, “Come.  Lord Jesus, come.”

So, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and help quench someone’s thirst.

For more information on Blog Action Day, please visit their website.  Have questions about Jesus?  I would love to hear from you.

Blog Action Day 2010


My Church!

A few years ago, I had a “revelation” while reading 1 Samuel 15.  I ran across a post I had written a little over a year ago on YouVersion, talking about some of my thoughts on this eye-opening experience.  I don’t know where you are in ministry, if you are in ministry at all or if you have never struggled with the same thoughts I have, but I wanted to repost my thoughts from that experience on my blog.  I hope that if you have ever struggled with some of the same questions I have, this will be helpful to you in your life and ministry.

I am a pastor at a church. I want my church to grow. I want my church to impact our community. I want to lead my people to greater realms of spiritual growth. I want to make an impact on the world. I want people to see my church and say, “Man, he sure has that church on the move.”

Then I read 1 Samuel 15 today. From my ecclesiological perspective, the church is the Kingdom of God. Now whether you take that stance or not is a topic for another day. As I read this chapter some very interesting things came screaming off my screen, right into my face. Namely, it’s not “my” church.

I have gone to conferences. I have listened to honored and powerful speakers tell their stories of success. I have read their books. I have bought their CD or DVD material. I have downloaded their .pdf’s. I have done everything I can to emulate and practice the very things these other highly successful pastors are practicing. Maybe if I can do it just like them, my church will have the same impact in the world and on our community.

Then my church doesn’t grow that week. Nobody comes to know Christ that day. I take another row of chairs out of our auditorium because so many people are gone and that extra row just makes us look more empty. I get depressed because I can’t seem to get the church going. There is no momentum. I’m doing just what the big guys said. I am doing all the things they suggest. I have read all the books. And nothing. Not a single good result in sight. What is wrong with me?

What I have missed is something that I should not have missed. “My” church isn’t on the move because I have forgotten to obey God. I am making lots of sacrifices. I am working hard. I am burning myself out. But I am doing it all for naught, when God is not involved. I have sacrificed at the altar of mega-church (not that mega-churches are bad, in fact most of them are amazing and full of great people). I have sacrificed at the altar of the “next big thing.” I have sacrificed my relationship with God for that of a book written by a mere human being. I have missed the point.

It is better for me to obey God. It is better for me to know God. It is better for God and me to be on the same page. I need to get into the same rhythm as God and that’s when amazing things will happen. If I don’t, maybe God will remove “my” kingdom from me. Maybe, just maybe, I need to realize that it’s not my kingdom at all. I’m just a temporary steward of it.

God, forgive me for leaving You out of my plans!

Forgive me for assuming You bless my efforts!

Forgive me for trying to do it on my own!

Does this apply to everyday life outside of ministry?

How does this principle (revelation) change the way you view your life?

Or does it at all?

Social Media Fast

Facebook.  Twitter.  Foursquare.  Yammer.  Tumblr.  LinkedIn.  XING.  Meetup.  MySpace.  And that’s just a start.  Social media is huge in our world.  In fact, it has changed hSocial Media Mapow we communicate, meet people, share photos and even do business.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have taken a break from all of it.  I logged off of Facebook.  I gave up tweeting.  I didn’t even yam on yammer.  In fact, I’m pretty sure no one even knew where I was because I cut Foursquare out of my life.  No blogs were written.  I deleted the apps off of my phone.  I literally went on a social media fast.  I had a very specific goal in mind.  There was something missing in my life.  All of the social media stuff had just become noise for me.  Time was being wasted.  And to top it off, I wasn’t hearing from the most important “social connection” in my life.  So I want to tell you a little about what I learned during my social media fast.

I would give you an accurate time frame, but honestly, I’m not sure what that time frame is.  What I can honestly say is, that this has been going on way too long.  So in the following examples, just insert “way too long” as a time frame.

For (time frame), I could tell you what the latest YouTube fad video was.  But I couldn’t tell you what God was up to.

For (time frame), I could tell you what was going on in many parts of the world.  But I couldn’t tell you how God was working in my world.

For (time frame), I could point you to blogs, websites and resources all over the net.  But I couldn’t point you what God was saying.

My goal was to get my priorities back in the right place.  I replaced all of my social media time, with time with God.  Instead of updating my status, I spent some time hearing from God.  And something amazing happened.  I began hearing from God in fresh ways.  Everything began to change for me.  Things were much clearer.  I began to have a very clear sense of the things I had to do as a campus pastor.  It was one of the best things I have ever done, spiritually speaking.

I’m convinced that we can fast from more than just food.  Fasting is a spiritual practice where we give something up in order to hear from and get closer to God’s will for our life.  For me, it was fasting from social media that is just what I needed.  My last update on social media was September 15th.  My fast began on the 13th.  I updated on the 15th to simply say that God was already showing up in a big way.  And what a great three weeks it has been.

So what did I learn?

  1. I don’t need social media to survive.
  2. I need God to survive.
  3. Social media is fun, but it’s not life.
  4. Time is precious and how I spend it needs to be watched, closely.
  5. God speaks to us when we are as intentional about listening to Him as we are about spending time on Facebook.

Many of you may be wondering; will I be back to social media?  The answer to that question is, “Yes.”  I will be back to social media.  But I will be back with a much clearer perspective on how and when to use it.  I will have a plan in place to make sure it doesn’t take over my life.  So for those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Foursquare, you don’t have to fear.  I’ll be back soon.

So, that brings us to you.

Do you think we need a social media fast?

Have you ever taken one?

What did you learn?

Are you going to take one now?

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