You’ve been nominated! …for what?!

Posted: August 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts, Spirituality | 7 Comments »

A few weeks ago, Tom Allen was ordained as our assistant pastor, and something that was said has challenged me.  Pastor Kirk briefly mentioned that the church does not promote someone, or nominate them for a position so that they can do a “work.”  They promote or nominate people who are already doing the “work” into the appropriate position.

Basically, they do not ask someone to be a deacon simply because he desires to be one, but because his is already doing the work of a deacon, and so the position is appropriate for him.

Sounds logical enough, right?

So I had to ask myself, “Self, if you were to be nominated for a position in our church (real or not), which would it be?”

Well the cards are in, and it’s a mixed bag.

-    I could teach a parenting class as I have five children who I think are turning out well
-    I could help with kids ministry for the same reason
-    I have some experience with youth ministry, so I could help there
-    I could be the church book reviewer, as I love to read and I write reviews for Thomas Nelson, Bethany House, and Tyndale Publishers

Here’s where it gets dicey:

-    I could be asked to be the church critic.  I have a lot of opinions about what is being done right, and what I think is being done incorrect or needs improvement
-    I could be the church mooch as I am quick to take advantage of the various ministries in the church, but rarely give money to the church or volunteer
-    I could be the church gossip, as I sometimes share my opinions of others with friends instead of keeping them to myself

We’ve all heard “There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect church,’” often in reference to someone or something we don’t like, but it’s time to see that we’re the reason it’s not.  The change has to start with me.  Revival starts with me.  Raising Godly children is my responsibility, not the churches.

So I encourage you to ask the question as well, “If you were to be nominated for a position in your church (real or not), which would it be?” Then ask God to help make the necessary changes in your own life.

 


Giving through my blogs

Posted: June 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: aka My Jesus, Book Reviews, It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts, Political, Random, Spirituality, Videos, Writing | No Comments »

You have probably noticed there are some advertisements on my blog, and they are there for good reason: to give.  Originally, I opened an Amazon Associate account to help pay for my hosting and domains, but I don’t want to profit from what I write here.

So I am giving it away.  So, if you like to buy from Amazon, please stop here first and click through one of my book links, then search for what you want at Amazon and 4%-6% of you purchase will go toward the charity listed for that month!

Starting March 2011, all proceeds from my blogs (www.CRMooney.com and www.christianwriterscorner.wordpress.com) will be given to a different ministry or cause.  I will be posting a capture of my earnings and receipt of the giving for accountability.  There is a two month pay cycle, so the receipt won’t show until I have been paid, and the money given.

Also, please feel free to click through to the different organizations and see if you would like to donate on your own!

To see what’s been given so far, click the “giving” tab at the upper right of the blog, or click here to go to the Giving page.

 

 

 


It Hurts So Good 13 – We don’t believe when…

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good | No Comments »

I ran into this quote today from Dallas Willard:

“We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it.  We believe something when we act as if it were true.”

That hurts.  I find myself reading, saying, and writing a lot, but what am I doing?  All of my activity should result in action.  So in the words of Toby Keith I need, “A Little Less Talk And A Lot More Action!”

 


Do You See What I See?

Posted: April 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, My Thoughts, Spirituality, Videos | 7 Comments »

For my 30th birthday, my awesome wife Beth got us tickets to see the Yankees play their next to last game in the old Yankee Stadium.  It was an epic pitching duel which the Yanks lost to the Blue Jays in fourteen innings.  It wasn’t my first time to the Big Apple, but is was Beth’s.  We stayed at the Hyatt next to Grand Central Station.  I won’t soon forget the site as we pulled on to 42nd Street, and not because of the towering buildings and gaudy lighting on every store front.

Before we made our right turn, there was a Rolls Royce in front of us, and a homeless man sleeping on the curb, only a few feet away.  Two lives on opposite ends of the spectrum of life  There was a brief moment, where my heart broke from him, but then I had Beth take a picture of the Rolls in front of us, and we were on our way.  He was “just” another homeless man in New York.

It was easy to dismiss him, because all I saw was a man sleeping next to the road.  We took a picture of him too.

This Sunday, we attended my father in law’s church, Grace Community in Theresa, and he said something that reminded me of this man.  He talked about how sometimes we see only a snapshot of a person’s life, where they are now,  and we judge or condemn them.  You know, the types, the drunks, the addicts, the gossips, those angry at life and others, the bullies (yes adults can bully too), we classify them, then dismiss them.

Then he spoke of God, who is not bound by time, and has known them from the womb.  He knows why they are addicts, drunks, etc.  He saw the beatings they received as children, the rejection through their youth, and the release from life that came, even if for a moment when they chose their type of escape: drugs, sex, or otherwise.

Then I heard God asking me, “Chris, when you look at the world around you, do you see what I see?  Do you see the pain, the hurt, the agony that shaped their lives to this point?   Do you see why I had to send my Son, so that they could be free?”

Then he asked, “So why don’t you tell them?  Why don’t you love on them?”

And I didn’t have an answer, and that sucks.

 

 


It Hurts So Good 12 – 7 Days a Weak

Posted: March 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good | No Comments »

I heard this this quote today:

“Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”  ~Allen E Vartlett

Wow.  I needed that punch in the gut today.  ‘Casue sometimes, it hurts so good.


It Hurts So Good 11 – Your “Better Life”

Posted: February 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality | No Comments »

Jesus isn’t an accessory added to your “better life”, He replaces your life with His.


It Hurts So Good – 10

Posted: January 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality | No Comments »

I was reading in James 2 today, and ran into this little ditty:

“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (vs 18-19)

Wow!  If I have faith in God, but it does not lead to me actually obeying, and doing what He says, my faith is dead, and equal to that of demons.  Ouch, that hurts so good.

Here is the entire passage, James 2:14-26 (NIV)

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. “


Vaccination by Damon Thompson

Posted: January 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality | 1 Comment »

Here is an audio clip from Damon Thompson about how some of us are vaccinated with God instead of infected.  In other words, we have enough that we aren’t in danger of spreading the Gospel to anyone else.

Damon Thompson – Vaccination


It Hurts So Good – 9

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good | 1 Comment »

Here is a painful thought.  Sunday, Sept. 26, my time at church + devotions + other “religious” affects = 2.5 hours. My time watching football = 4 hours.  Who is really Lord of my life?


Am I really your friend?

Posted: September 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: It Hurts So Good, Spirituality | 10 Comments »

If you asked me to describe myself, I would say I’m a good dad, a hard worker, and funny (OK, maybe not the last one).  I love God, I love my family.  I honestly cannot think of one person who would say they hate me.  I am generally a friendly person and will go out of my way to get along with people.   In short, I’m a “nice guy.” (This is going somewhere, please just follow me for a minute.)

I have worked very hard at living in such a way that I can call everyone I know a friend, not an enemy.  I try to follow the teachings of Christ and love people how I feel He would; overlooking faults when I can, taking the low road to keep the peace.  I attend church regularly with my family and we give to people in need when we can, sometimes when we can’t.

For many years, I have felt good about this.  Like God, I have said, “It is good.”

I fear however that I have missed the mark.  No, I have missed the entire target.

When I talk with others, I hear things like, “You’re on the right track Mooney, keep it up.”  “You’re a great man of God.”  And I feel good about it.  It makes me feel good about me, and where I am at with God.  Then I go home and read my Bible, and get a completely different feeling; one of being so far away, on the wrong road even.

In Revelation 21:7-8, John tells us about the new Jerusalem that awaits God’s people.  Then he writes these words:

“He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

I read this and thought, “I’m in!”  Holy Spirit prompted me to read it again, so I did. He who overcomes inherits, YES!  I felt to read it again, and again, and again.  What is it God? What am I missing? I’m no murderer, no adulterer, and no warlock, what’s the deal?  I’m the nice guy, right?

Then it hit me.  I am in the list.  God!  How could it be?  It didn’t take even a single moment longer, and I knew.  I’m not anywhere near the end of the list, but the very first one: the cowardly.

How?  It hurts, but here we go.  It’s because I really don’t love anyone like Jesus does.  Maybe the closest I get is in loving my wife and kids, but she could tell you I still have a way to go.  Other than them, there may not be a single soul.  My interpretation of “loving people” is wrong; fiery lake and burning sulfur wrong.

All this time I have valued the relationship more than the actual person.  I have so not wanted to offend others at the risk of losing a friend, that I have neglected the one thing that matters, their soul.  I have kept silent while hoarding the gift of eternal life.  This is not how Jesus loved at all.  He gave his very life so that we could have eternal life, I can barely open my mouth to offer it to those I claim to love.

There’s something deep inside me that won’t let me live this way any longer, and I won’t.  There is a lost and dying world, and if I claim to follow Christ, then I must tell others.

Here is a poem from an unbeliever to his “Christian” friend.

My Friend – by D.J. Higgins

My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you friend and trusted you
But now I learned, now it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you friend in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend

How many of our friends and family know that we are a Christians? Do we love them enough to tell them why you live life the way we do? Why we believe?

Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38).