Archive for February, 2011

It’s Time to Clean That Mess Up

Have you ever noticed how junky your garage can get? Now, I know that some of you actually use your garage for parking and manage to keep it in pristine condition…but let’s be honest, most of us just use it to store our junk. And over time, the law of entropy takes effect, and our garages get more and more cluttered and messy.

Well, my wife and I took some time this week and tried to clean up our garage a bit. There’s still more to be done…we tend to be pack-rats. But, we did our seasonal cleanup.

So, here’s what I’m thinking. In the same way that our garages tend to get junkified over time, sometimes our lives get cluttered and disorganized. By nature, we lose focus on where we should be headed and what we should be doing. Perhaps, its time to take an inventory of your life and consider plotting a new direction. Have you been watching a little too much TV lately? Has it been a while since you were enriched by a good book? When was the last time you learned something? Have you been spending a little too much time on Facebook (gasp)?

Just something to think about. Maybe it’s time to clean that mess up.

Grammer…Wait, that’s not right

My wife found this video today, and since I’m a teacher, I found it to be real really funny true. I hope you can appreciate it as much as I did.  And, by the way, these guys have several good videos.  Check ’em out.

“We Need Your Help” (Colossians 4:2-6)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at my church.  I enjoy having the opportunity to communicate God’s Word to people in a way that applies to life.  My effort is always to make it clear what the Bible is calling people to do.

The title of this message was “We Need Your Help.”  It reviews the two requests that Paul makes of the people of Collosae in Colossians 4:2-6. Paul is out in the trenches of ministry, and he is asking for them to support his mission of taking the Gospel to the world (see the outline below).  He wants the people to support the mission (1) with their prayer life and (2) with their public life.

Today, the same requests may be made to the people of God in our churches. We need help.  We need people to pray diligently and deliberately for the spread of the Gospel.  We need people to support the mission in their public life by the things that they say (communication) and the things that they do (conduct).  If we are going to impact our communities with the truth of the Gospel, we are going to need help from everyone who claims to be a Christ follower.

For those interested, here is the bare bones outline. The illustrations are missing, but perhaps this outline will be helpful to some of you.

1. Support the Mission with Your Prayer Life.

– We Must Pray Diligently.
“Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert…” (4:2)

– We Must Pray Deliberately.

1. Pray for the Communicators who Preach the Gospel
“pray for us, too” (4:3a)

2. Pray for Chances to Preach the Gospel (4:3b)
“pray…that God may open a door”

3. Pray for Clarity in the Preaching of the Gospel (4:4)
“Pray that I may make it known as I should”

2. Support the Mission with Your Public Life.

– Our Conduct Must Be Godly.
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders” (4:5)

– Our Communication Must Be Gracious.
Let your speech always be gracious” (4:6)

The Super Bowl Taught Me Something

Well, not so much the Super Bowl (as in the game itself). But, I learned something from Christina Aguilera’s singing of the National Anthem and the Black Eyed Peas halftime performance.  I’m a firm believer in two things: 1) you can learn from anything/anyone, and 2) it’s best to learn from the experiences of others (I’d rather learn from someone else’s mistakes than have to make them myself).  So, here’s what I learned from Super Bowl XLV.

1. Stuff Happens
Despite our best efforts, some times bad things happen.

Certainly, Christina Aguilera practiced the National Anthem before the game. She has even sung multiple times before, and yet she messed up the lyrics at the Super Bowl.  Undoubtedly, the Black Eyed Peas rehearsed for the halftime show, and yet they still had audio issues (poorly mixed and/or mic problems) and a portion of the stage didn’t light up like it was supposed to (the “V” in LOVE).

For us, some times despite our best efforts, stuff happens.  We lose our job, our car breaks down, someone in the family gets sick, our project gets cancelled…you know what I’m saying.  Stuff happens.  It’s part of life.

2. Keep Going
Don’t stop even when bad stuff happens!

Although things didn’t go as planned during the National Anthem or the halftime show, the performers had to keep going.  They couldn’t just give up and stop the show.  Could you imagine what that would’ve been like? Christina calling it quites in the middle of the song and walking off stage…nope, that can’t happen, she had to keep going.

For us, we have to remember, don’t quit!  (This is a link to my favorite poem of all time). You have to keep going.

3. Get Help
Be willing to accept help from others when you need it.

The trending topics on Twitter seem to show that many people feel that Usher (and/or Slash) saved the halftime performance.  Usher stepped in at just the right moment and bailed out the show.

Sometimes, we’ve got to lay down our pride and accept help when we need it… whether it’s in the form of a person lending a helping hand or financial  or physical resources that are offered to us.  Everyone needs help eventually, and when we need it, we should accept it graciously, knowing that some day we will be called upon to help someone else.

4. Finish Strong
Even if you mess up along the way, make sure you finish strong.

Despite messing up in the middle of the song, Christina Aguilera managed to belt out that final line “Home of the BRAAAAVE!”  She finished strong.

We need to do that to regardless of the difficulties that come our way.  Pull it together, take a deep breath, and finish strong.  What’s happened in the past is done.  There’s no changing it, but we can finish well.  So, let’s do it!

So that’s what I learned from the Super Bowl.
Did you learn anything?

Also, stayed tuned as I post in a few days how these same principles were at work in the people of God in the book of Exodus.

May The Force Be With You (via Volkswagen)

Here’s a cute little clip.  It’s not spiritual or anything, but it’ll probably make most dad’s smile.  It’s a commercial for Volkswagen, and though I’m not a VW guy, I did enjoy this ad.  Why?  Because I have a son who would do just this. Watch and enjoy (especially if you know my son).

(Via ChurchCrunch)