Monthly Archives: December 2007

Interesting Perspectives

I found this video by the late Rich Mullins on Youtube and I thought it was so good. 

Here is a quote from the video.  It’s the last part of it. 

“Jesus said, ‘Whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it unto me.’ And this is what I’ve come to think. If I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers, but they’re just wrong. They’re not bad they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.”  –Rich Mullins

What a perspective!! 

Let me know what you think.


Passion for the Strugglers

All of us at some point have struggled with things in the Christian walk.  Some are struggling right now as they read this blog.  Struggling with sin–struggling with the world–struggling with the church–struggling with family, and the list could go on and on. 

We all have passion for the struggler no matter what he or she is struggling with.  But lately God has inundated my life with people struggling with the church in various ways.  People have come to me in their battle with churches–churches who just don’t get it when it comes to the real reasons God created the church in the first place.  The people God has placed in my path have especially been struggling with the battle between traditionalism and real world ministry.  There are other ways of putting that, but for now I hope you understand what I’m talking about.

There are many who read this blog who have struggled in and through this same struggle (boy I’m using the word “struggle” a lot).  I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  I don’t even know all the questions yet, but I have tried to help these wonderful people through it because I’ve struggled through it.  I can’t tell you how much of a blessing it has been to come out of that flavor of legalism and judgemental conservativism and I want to help others get there too.

I have found that one of the scary things about coming out of this kind of thinking has been the fear of losing “fellowship” with the church we’ve always known.  It’s been tough to lose friendships and brothers and sisters in this battle.  It was the hardest thing.  I don’t mean that people, for the most part, have been cruel to me, but I just miss the friendship things we use to do.

Even harder than this is the family (I mean blood kin) struggles.  There are family members who put such pressure on anyone who wants to leave that way of thinking that many of the strugglers would rather spend their lives in the old way than fight it.

I mentioned the idea that churches didn’t even know the real reasons we exist and were created in the first place.  I believe that the church exists to Love God, Love Others, and Serve. That was the mission of Jesus.  Most, if not all, of the things we fight over have very little to do with these three issues.  “Love God, Love Others, and Serve” has become out motto at Creekside.  Now we don’t even pretend that we’ve got it all figured out, but as we let God lead us down this path, it’s been awesome to see the love that exists in this place.  I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in 2008 with us. 

I just pray for the struggler.  I pray for relief that is only found in trusting Jesus and His way.  You may be one of those strugglers today.  You may have struggled through it.  No matter where you are, as you comment on this blog, give us your insights on where the church ought to be.  How is God leading your church family?  I what ways could you offer hope to the strugglers?  How are you struggling?  

As I end this blog I want to thank all of you who have helped me see the way of the Lord through grace and mercy rather than rules and regulations.  What a freedom you have given me and a hope that is not based in my abilities, but His!!  For those of you at Creekside who read this, thanks for your allowing me and Ellen to struggle through it and learn.  It’s been a wonderful ride so far.  Just think what God can do through us.  God bless you all.

Hope In The Midst of Dispair

I just finished reading Scott Owning’s Blog From Prague that Steve Puckett sent to me.  What an incredible read this is!!  It makes me think of this Christmas season in a whole new light.  I invite you to read it as well. 

Having hope in the midst of pain and suffering is really a beautiful picture of the Christmas story.  I was brought up to believe that this time of year was certainly not the time to talk about the birth of Christ.  I have learned better and know that it really doesn’t matter when we talk about the His birth, but why not live in the moment and magnify Jesus when the world might be listening more than any other time of year?

Yet all of this being true, this reading has helped me see the Christmas story from a whole new perspective.  Owing uses the book of Revelation to show how that Jesus’ story may be more clearly seen in the face of pain and suffering.  We have so commercialized Christmas that it seems that Jesus and His story has been completely put on the back burner.  People all around us are in the middle of pain and suffering and some of theme don’t even know it.  Marriages are hurting, people are sick and dying, unemployment, alcoholism, and the list could go on and on.  Spiritual death seems to be the order of the day.  Yet, we must see that the Christmas story is most deeply felt in the time of despair.

Even Jesus’ birth was surrounded in despair.  His life was full of it.  He not only suffered in His death, but He suffered in His life.  Yet He overcame by the power of His blood and through the resurrection!!

When our lives are full of pain and despair, there is only one way to look and that’s up.  The people of the book of Revelation were killed for their testimony and yet the book is about them overcoming by the blood of the Lamb–the same Lamb who has overcome for us.  What a message of hope!!  I hope this Christmas through my preaching, teaching, and my life to bring hope into the midst of despair for others.

Back To School

I remember bragging to my children one day that “I will never have to go back to school in my life!”  This of course came after their moaning and groaning about school.  It was probably test day or the first day back after a long vacation when they said that.  I never groaned about school.  OUCH!  Was that a lightning bolt?!!

If you were to judge by the last several days you would think I had gone back to school.  Brandon had to revise a research paper and guess who got to help.  Yep, that’s me…the English whiz–ha!.  Of all the things I struggled with in high school, English was not one of them.  Therefore, I had to brush up on the old MLA Style of Writing Handbook and help him with his revision.  I just hope WE get a good grade.  I even went with him to turn it in.  I was quite proud.

The last several weeks we have been studying History as well.  Danielle has what I would consider the most important test of her high school days tomorrow.  It’s her graduation exam.  I think it’s about the most unfair rule in school to have to pass this silly exam.  Basically a student can have a 4.0 in all of their course work and fail the graduation exam and not walk the stage to receive a diploma.  That really stinks.  Just to let you know the pressure, Danielle has this and one more chance in March, should she fail, to take this test and pass it.

Danielle has struggled for several years now with taking tests.  Most of them are written in “scan-tron” format.  You know the tests where you have multiple choice answers and a card with hundreds of lines of dots to blacken.  Since she began having seizures, Danielle has trouble with those lines.  And you guessed it—the grad exam is in scan-tron format.  It almost has to have something to do with her seizures because before that she was A-B Honor Roll.

She has studied until her brain is about to fall out.  I gave her a mock test today.  She missed only 10 out of 112 questions.  That’s awesome.  She has already passed Reading, Math, Science, and English.  History is the final hurdle. 

I got home tonight and asked her how the studying was coming.  Mom said, “She has about had it.  We’ve studied all we are going to for this test.”  Danielle replied, “Yep, dad, I’m leaving it in God’s hands.”  I think those are great hands in which to leave her, don’t you?  I also am proud to hear my senior in high school make that kind of faith remark.

One other side note to this story.  Tonight one of our elders came by the house to pray with Danielle about the test.  I think that is a true shepherd.  How blessed we are to be at Creekside!

I ask you (as if I had to ask) my blog family to please pray for Danielle tomorrow.  She begins the testing at about 8:30AM on Friday, December 7.  Some of you may not read this until after that.  If so pray for the results.  We won’t know until January 4th.  That’s a long wait.  Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts and prayers.

Long Time A Bloggin’

I guess I could offer up excuses like we’ve been battling the cold bug at our house for the past 3 weeks.  I could talk about the busy life we have at school with our kids in band and basketball.  I could even talk about business at church.  All excuses, but pretty true as to why I haven’t blogged in a while. 

We have had a terrible bug going through our family.  It got so bad that my son, who has escaped it so far, would come home and go straight to his room just avoid contact.  He wouldn’t even join hands with us while we prayed.  Who could blame him after seeing all of the rest of us sniffle and cough so bad?  I think Tabitha brought it home from the day care center she works for.  Ellen followed her with it and then me, Danielle, and Britney.  Yucky stuff!!

I’m excited to tell you that lately God has been putting into our lives people who need Jesus and are ready to hear about Him.  There’s nothing more exciting than witnessing people seek after God and a real relationship with Him and other Christians.  I’ve always believed that when there are willing seekers and people willing to be Jesus to them God can bring them together.  I pray that we continue having open hearts and doors at Creekside and get to continue to see the hand of God in our lives.