Almost (Saved)

Posted: June 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality, Videos | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I heard this spoken word (poem) recently and it so moved me, I wanted to share it with you. It’s about the biggest oxymoron know to man: “almost-saved.”

I hope it messes with your soul the way it has mine.


Watering Weeds

Posted: June 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

watering weedsThe kids and I worked in the garden today, and they all took turns watering our little vegetable sprouts. My instructions were clear: only water where the plants grow and not in between the rows where the weeds grow.

The kids were concerned that we hadn’t watered the garden good enough.

We came inside for ice cream cones and before long, the sky darkened and it began to rain. I said, “See, God’s watering it now, and he knows what he’s doing. However, we only watered our plants.”

Laila, our oldest and quick to wit, said, “Are you saying that we did a better job than God?”

I knew I was beat. Subconsciously I implied exactly that. But my spirit knew better and I replied, “No honey, I’m saying that God cares about the weeds too.”


Emancipated, But Are You Free?

Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

freedom_shackles_chains_Few words have changed the course of American history like “emancipate.” It’s very utterance stirs images of black families being freed from bondage.

I can see entire families who have just received the news colliding in the middle of a field with crazed enthusiasm greater than the celebration pile at the end of a sports championship win. Decades of struggle, toil, and beatings finally come to an end. The fruit of their labor could now be their own.

But for some it was not so. When the Union won and President Lincoln enforced the Emancipation Proclamation, some slave owners were less than honest. Since slaves weren’t taught to read, some owners told their slaves not that they were free, but that it meant that they could no longer be sold to a new master. This was incredible news to them as it meant their families would no longer be split up and sold to other masters. They could all serve the one master together.

Some worked for years for their old masters before they found out that all along they were truly free to walk off the plantation and make their own way in life.

This Sunday at church, we sang the song “Break Every Chain” by Jesus Culture. The main words of the chorus are:

There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain

In singing these words, I couldn’t help but think about the freedom that Jesus’ death and resurrection purchased for all mankind. However, a harsh master, the Father of Lies has intentionally misrepresented it to us – and some have believed him.

I cannot imagine what it was like to be a slave in the early years of our great country. The humiliation, degradation, and utter emotional and physical devastation that they underwent is unsurpassed in even my imagination.

But I do know what it means to be hopeless and a slave to sin. I know the weight of those chains well. I know what it means to serve the Master of Deception. The wounds of his whip and the scars of his shackles remain.

But when I put my faith in Christ, I am no longer a slave to sin. He gave me the right to walk away from sin and never serve its master again. But I fear so many times I look down and see my broken chains and loosed shackles and just stand there. Maybe it’s that after so many years of bondage I don’t know what freedom even means and the Father of lies says, “Yes Chris, you are free. You can be holy and still work for me on the side. You can raise your hands in worship to God on Sunday morning and lower His standards for you in worship to me on Sunday evening.”

Instead of running for the hills with my freedom papers in hand, I choose to stay and work for the same hard master. I believe my old, harsh master’s words over God’s.

Maybe it’s that I’ve restricted the definition of freedom as only a release from bondage and not also as the permission to move toward liberty. Is it possible that I’ve watered down the regenerating power of God in my life as only the power to abstain from sin and not as the authority to be righteous and holy.

Corporately, as a church, have we done the same and in so given ourselves, by an abuse of grace, a way to serve our old master? Have we manipulated freedom’s definition to hold tight to unholy habits that satisfy our flesh yet defile our spirits?

I know I’ve asked more questions than answered, but look hard at your life, and I will mine. We must look in the mirror and ask the hard questions and not be afraid of the answers. We must examine ourselves regularly to see if we are still in the faith, or out of it. And do so humbly allowing God to confront us where we are wrong and submit ourselves to His correction.

Remember, Jesus’ death was a contract. We’ve been emancipated. We are free, because whoever the Son sets free, is free indeed!


Motivational Monday: Famous Failures

Posted: October 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Motivation, Videos, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Famous FailureI know, you’re probably thinking, “How can ‘famous failures’ be motivational?”

It’s simple; because I’ve failed. Miserably. I’m writing a book and at times I just want to take my laptop and through it through the window. I repeatedly set writing goals and miss them.

But you know, I just can’t quit on it. There’s something that burns deep inside me to get the words on the page. I have a message buried in the marrow of my bones, and though it aches when I try to extract it, it must come out.

Our youth pastor Joe Gilchrist preached at church yesterday and shared a list of famous people who appeared to be complete failures before they found their way to success. And I loved it. Not in a morbid way where I said, “Ha! You suck too!” but where I could say, “Wow, they overcame so much more than I have to. With God’s strength, I can do this.”

So I found a video with some of these “famous failures” and I hope it motivates you to keep on keeping on.


Hearers only?

Posted: October 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I listen to a lot of teaching material and sermons at work. Many of these are from YouTube and the video plays in the background while I work (they are not a visible distraction). When I need to get up, I pause them, and I have noticed a trend.

Here are two screen captures that I took of recent YouTube teachings. One is a seminar by Jim Rohn, and incredible personal development guru. The other is a sermon at a church. Can you tell me which photo belongs to which teaching? (I blanked out their eyes for privacy)

If you couldn’t guess, the left picture is the sermon, the right is the seminar. There is a distinct difference in the two. In the sermon picture, the attendees are observing the teaching and committing it to mental memory.

The people attending the seminar are participating and writing down the information so they can go over it again later.

Given the different level of participation in the teachings, which group is more committed to the topic at hand?

Which would you say is the group simply hearing?

Which do you think are more likely act on the information they are receiving not just that day, but weeks, months, or years down the road?

Which are you?

 


If I Were The Devil

Posted: March 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality, Videos | 2 Comments »

This audio/video is a bit by legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on  April 3, 1965. Wow if he didn’t hit the nail on the head.

If you want the transcript:

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.”   To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”.  In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and  thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If  I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

 


Do You Believe? Prove It.

Posted: January 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts, Spirituality, Videos | 3 Comments »

I say I believe in God, that I believe in Jesus His son. I say that I believe so much that I would give my life for what I believe in, but do I really?

I ran across this video by Francis Chan and it made me really think. Do I truly believe, or are the words, “I believe” the answer I give myself so I don’t have to ask myself the hard questions? And if I do believe, what evidence is there in my life? If I took my “belief” out of my life, would there be a difference? Would anyone be able to tell?

If the answer is no, then I have some decisions to make.


It Hurts So Good 15 – That’s What I Thought Too

Posted: December 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Giving, It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts | 1 Comment »

So I have recently taken over managing the gumball machines and kiddy rides at our local mall and today I received my first check.  I pulled it out of the envelope and smiled and then thought about how I’m making 10% of the machine’s take, and how little that is compared to the 90% CTM makes. Imagine what I could do if I made the 90%!

Then God whispered to me, “That’s what I thought too.” Ow, that hurts so good.


Everything the Light Touches

Posted: September 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts | 1 Comment »

I was watching some show with my family and the preview came on for The Lion King 3D, and I immediately tuned out.  I’ve seen the commercial a few times and the kids all start begging, “Dad, can we go see it?”

This time, as I checked my cell phone for anything remotely interesting, I heard something that I can’t let go of.

The scene is Mufasa sitting with Simba overlooking the plains, and Mufasa (Simba’s dad and leader of the pride) says to his boy, “Look Simba, everything the light touches is our kingdom.”

Immediately I felt the Holy Spirit  say, “Hey mooney,  you are to be God’s light to the world, and EVERYTHING the Light touches belongs to my kingdom.”

So go! Let God’s love shine through you today so His kingdom will expand!

 

 

 


It Hurts So Good 14 – It Starts at Home

Posted: August 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good | No Comments »

“What I’m seeing is that the problem isn’t just what’s happening in the church, the problem is what isn’t happening in Christian homes.” ~ “Divided the Movie

I heard this a week ago, and it really hit me that I need to change the way some things are done at home.  This quote is pretty much the only thing I gleaned from “Divided the Movie,” an exposé on how the modern youth group is not biblical. I agree with the quote I posted, not with the thesis of this film.