Monthly Archives: February 2007

Christian Passions: Resource Investment

The fifth of the Christian passions is “resource investment.”  George Barna describes resource investment in the following way.  “Because we own nothing ing this life, it is best to wisely invest the resources we manage for the One who is the true owner of all things.  The first Christians defined communal living through their sacrificial sharing of everything they had.  Note that the Scriptures specifically tell us that they shared ‘everything’ with those in need, and that they used the variety of resources at their disposal–money, food, clothing, housing, relationships, influence, skills, time–for the benefit of all believers.” (Revolution 24)

How true, how true!  The Book says, (Acts 2:44-47 NCV) “All the believers were together and shared everything. {45} They would sell their land and the things they owned and then divide the money and give it to anyone who needed it. {46} The believers met together in the Temple every day. They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts. {47} They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers.” 

When I read that passage and even the whole book I get this feeling of community like I never seen since, at least in my world.  Somone has said that they did this out of necessity because of the great numbers in Jerusalem at the time.  I’m sure there is some practical validity to that statement, but I believe there is are deeper reasons than that. 

1. They were full of the Holy Spirit.  Being full of the Spirit creates desires in people to do some pretty outlandish things.  They seemed to suddenly have no regard for their own personal comfort, but sold all and divided it equally.  WOW!

2. Jesus had been with them and the two greatest commands that He taught them were now firmly planted in their minds through the power of the Spirit.  Remember the fruits of the Spirit begin with LOVE and they were demonstrating this with one another.

Would it not be awesome for us to bring within the Christian community again a great desire for loving people in this kind of way?  People would stop focusing on bigger buildings and greater programs.  The world would see Christians taking care of each other and the communities around them like never before.  The world could be turned upside down again for the truth of the gospel.  Christians would stop fighting each other in order to serve each other and those who are not yet Christians. 

God help us to be that kind of people for His glory and the building up of the kingdom.


Christian Passions: Servanthood

“Love is more than a feeling; it is a tangible reality when it is shared with other people through acts of selfless service. The early church fostered the notion that serving other people was the best means of demonstrating the example that Jesus had set for them.” ( Revolution 23- 24)

How true this is!! Serving one another began right at the outset of the kingdom. In Acts 2 we learn how that people considered others much more important that themselves. This happened in some extravagant ways. One of which was the fact that they sold all of their possessions and gave to each other equally. This not only show the power of God in them, but the love of Jesus and concern for each other over the concern for “stuff.”

I believe that serving others is one of the keys, if not the greatest one, to getting the message of Jesus into their hearts. It’s an extremely old quote that still rings true that says, “people don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” People are not “prospects for conversion” or trophies that we place on the mantel of evangelism. People away from Christ need only one thing–the love of Jesus to reside in them as Lord, Savior, and King! Serving them is the beginning of getting Him into them.

Great News!!

Just a quick weekend blog to let everyone know that Danielle’s EEG went great!  The doctor told us that there were just two very small “spikes” on the test.  That means two relatively insignificant episodes of seizure.  The last one she had there were numerous “spikes.”  The doctor told here that she was doing well and that we were going to leave the meds right where they were hoping that this was the right combination for Danielle.  She wanted to see her back in JULY!  We are just praying that we don’t have any more before then.

Thanks for all of your prayers.  Praise God for this good news!!

Sleep Deprived EEG

We are about to leave for a doctor’s visit with Danielle.  this has been scheduled for a while.  She is to have a “sleep-deprived” EEG.  They will put electrodes on her head and look at her brain waves to try and pinpoint the place where most of her seizure activity is taking place.  Please pray that this will give us more answers into how she needs to be treated.  I will give a report when we get back.  God bless you all.

My Valentine

valentine.jpgLast night Ellen and I shared a meal together at the Red Lobster.  I’m always cutting up with people and as we were leaving there were two young ladies working the front seating customers.  After a few silly jokes about going out in the cold, one of them said, “At least you have a Valentine, we have to stay here and work.”  

She was right!!  I do have a Valentine.  Ellen and I have celebrated every Valentine’s Day since 1984.  That’s 23 if your counting.  Every one of them have been special.  We’ve been through thick and thin together and my love for her has grown more and more each day.  I just wanted to spend today’s blog in honor of her.

She is always there for me.  For those who know me, you know that’s not always easy.  She is my mentor, confidant, and best friend.  She knows my deepest thoughts, concerns, loves, and failures.  She is a wonderful mom to our four children.  I thank God everyday for her and the love that we share.

Some years ago on one of our wedding anniversaries, I wrote a poem about our love.  Love is a strange thing.  If is it nurtured and cared for it just keeps on growing.  I just thought I loved her the day we married (and I did), but today that love is deeper and more meaningful.  I wanted to share that poem in honor of her today.

Years Ago

Years ago I thought I knew
What our love really meant.
My heart pounded with joy with
Every moment that we spent.

We talked, we smiled and
Time seemed to stand still.
A time I haven’t forgotten
And know I never will.

Our love that day was strong.
I wondered how it could grow.
But my wonder has been fulfilled
Since those years ago.

You see I love you love more now
Than I could have imagined then.
For I know your heart and beauty
Not only outward, but deep within.

So as we celebrate this time in our lives,
Let us thank our God above.
For bringing us together years ago.
And showing us about true love.

Christian Passions: Intentional Spiritual Growth

Being intentional is something that we sometimes forget about when it concerns our walk with Christ. We just allow ourselves to go on “automatic” and expect ourselves to line up with ourselves and with God. Part of being passionate for God is turning our haphazard ways of following Jesus into intentional ways. That is, Christianity must be lived “on purpose” or with purpose. The Christians of the New Testament book of Acts from the beginning of their walk for Christ employed the principles of Jesus in that walk. From the outset of the church they were seeking a deeper spirituality as individuals and as a group. They had a love that superseded anything that was selfish and gave up themselves for others.

Their life was a daily walk in the spiritual realm. They acknowledged the power of the Holy Spirit through miracles, prayer, fasting, and in the way they treated one another.

They placed their faith at the center of their lives and their sense of meaning, purpose, and direction came from their connection to God and His commands. He was the most important thing in their lives and they were not ashamed to tell it, walk it, and live it.

Our goal ought the be the same. No, we won’t look the same as they, or even do some of the things they did–that’s not the point. The point here is that we need to be more intentional in our spiritual growth as we live for Him each day.

Christian Passions: God Conversation

Just as Jesus pursues us in relationship and desires to be with us, we are called to share His love with those who have not yet understood it or embraced it.  It is natural to talk about and promote things that excite us.  Nothing should excite us more than the realization that God Himself loves us, wants an intimate relationship with us, and allows us to invite others into that sacred relationship with Him. 

Everything that the first disciples did led people into conversation about God.  Their preaching, talking with one another, the miracles, and prayer all gave them the opportunity to talk about God and this new-found relationship.  They talked about Him being the source of all the power that they possessed in the Holy Spirit and the joy that was inside them to the point that people were drawn to Jesus through them.

We need more and more to be talking God into our world.  The indictment for my own life is that if people are not curious about my walk with the Lord enough to ask about it and desire it, then am I really living it?  I think that’s a good question.