3 Things! Clever right? I’m really talking about 3 things that I learned from the scriptures surrounding Luke 2:52.
“41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Fathers house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
I know, I know you have read this a thousand times and probably have already come to these 3 things I’m about to share with you. But lend me your time and allow me to share with you what God is currently showing me in my life. I find these 3 things character changing for all of us.
1) Jesus amazed them at his understanding.
Jesus’ understanding was well past his years. Through studying and I’m sure constant communication with the Father, he knew exactly what steps he needed to take. How is your communication going? Have you talked to your heavenly father recently to see what it is he has for you today?
2) Jesus knew he had to be in his Fathers house.
Jesus at 12 years old knew he had to be about his fathers business. He was focused on what was already laid out before him. Some of us at a much more mature age than 12, notice I didn’t call you old, but it might be time to face the facts we are old and still acting without a clue. Time to focus on what it is that God has designed for us, and that we need to be about his business and in his house.
3) Jesus knowing his Fathers business still obeyed his mother.
This is the biggest for me, here we have a 12 year old soon to be sacrificed for all of our wrong doing. He is asking amazing questions, he has astonished people, all the while being at an age some would consider immature he knew the next steps in his life and STILL obeys his mother even though she is not totally grasping what the Father has in store. Amazing! How often do we get wrapped up in the fact that we have to be about this or about that, that we think is more important instead of obeying Gods law, obeying those in authority over us and so on.
Gut check time! We have the example here set before us of not only our Lord and Savior but of a 12 year old boy who walked through this life just as we currently are. What can we learn from these 3 things, these 3 concepts on how we can live closer with God and in obedience to Him.
Bonus time; When Mary answered and said why have you treated us like this we have been anxiously searching for you, when you break that down into 20th century parent talk it means “We gonna whoop that tail when we get home”. Ha! If you’re a parent you would understand that thought, 3 days without your child, oh no, somethings going down when you get home!
Starting a segment that I’ve seen done and its time for me to join in. ”Funny thursday” is what I will affectionately call it. Today’s Video is from a very funny commercial. Enjoy!
I said this, something I thought I would never say, or just angry parents would say it. That’s enough I said to Sage during one of her songs. I love her songs, I really do but they all seem to have a skip in the record and repeat the same bit over and over. I’m not exaggerating when I say she was on verse 30 when I finally said (calmly I might add) That’s enough. However I want to blog a little bit about what God is working on me about, and thats about what is enough?
Isn’t it funny that with things like money, talent, time and so on we always wish we had just a little more. Just a little more money and things would loosen up some. Just a little bit more talent and I really could do something with my life. Just a little bit more time and I can be more productive. Okay so I’m the only one that battles this,,,,,, didn’t think so. For me its always been a little bit more, I’ve needed a little bit more to survive, I’ve needed a little bit more to make it through but as a Christian I need to believe and have faith that what I do have is truly enough. Thats so hard to say, thats so hard to trust God with that what I do have is enough because He has given it to us. What am I saying? I’m saying YOU, ME, WE have enough. We have everything we need and until we realize that and live in that moment, we will never know or even have MORE than enough. No more than enough is not a fairy tale that only wealthy people on top of it all live in, but it’s a life that we all can see if for this time and these moments we realize what we have is enough.
So heres the challenge today, this week, and until you have your breakthrough. Be a good steward of what you do have, watch over your finances, talent, time and so on closely. Don’t let the thief steal your money because you didn’t plan well, don’t let the every day task still your talents and the time you had to practice to be better, and don’t let the non important things in your life take a lead roll on your task list.
This is up to me, this is up to you to make what we have enough so that when more comes its not just what we needed but its MORE than enough.
You ever watch those movies where there is an alternate ending, they never show those in the movie theater, they always wait till DVD so you can pay for them first off but also so you can have the control. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could watch those in the theater instead of waiting, almost as if we could get it right the first time. Now let me tell you two separate stories and then we will decide about the ending together, I wont force it on you as the movie theater does. But you might want to buy a soda and popcorn, and don’t forget the tooth picks, I mean really who eats popcorn without toothpicks.
First, There is a person who lives a pretty good life, has focus on the goals they have set for themselves, has desires to see things happen and ultimately be someone in life. This person is a Christian, they follow Jesus and mostly live by the rules. You see I say mostly because there are times in this person life they fail, A LOT. This person knows no one is perfect therefor they are not perfect but they try their best. See this person has things that still bother them, they still battle with telling then entire truth, but no worries, they knew what they were talking about so it’s okay. They also battle with being someone that you can count on but there are numerous times that they are not on time and do not follow through with the tasks that they asked for, but again this is all okay because in their heart they feel they are someone of their word. Not to mention the BIG sin. You see we all have it, just because this person asked Jesus into their heart doesn’t mean what troubled them before will not trouble them again. They battle this monster on a daily basis and at times fall victim to it. The shame they feel is at times to much to bare and if people found out about it they would never want to show their face anywhere again. Feeling guilty but yet receiving forgiveness they move on, they forget it happened and continue on with life. Of course this person deals with other things as well, judging, attitude problems, bitterness, guilt, shame, and other stuff we have yet to mention, but they understand its a process this thing called Christianity so they are okay with where their at spiritually and they move on.
The second story is much like the first. The person in this story also has accepted Jesus into their life and desires to be like Him each day. This person also falls short in so many areas. They seem to be someone that doesn’t tell the whole truth but expects us to believe them, or understand why it didn’t happen exactly as they say. Because of this we are starting to lose trust in them. This person also has a hard time following through on things they are supposed to do and they are always late for events, its almost become a joke with their friends and now we don’t even bother asking them to over see things. This person also battles sin, and I mean lots of it. They trust in us so we listen, they are open and transparent so we hear their entire life story and to be honest we have lost respect for them. At first it was not a whole lot but now we almost don’t even respect them at all and wonder if their salvation is real because how can they act like that and be a Christian. Did I mention they have way to many issues to mention and make this blog readable.
These two stories are not very different, the people in them are very similar. They both battle certain sins, they both fall short in their eyes and both fight each day to become more like Jesus. The difference however, the change in the story and the alternate ending is that in one there seems to be a lot of built in grace and in the other because of their actions they have forced us to act differently and to be painfully honest, because of their actions it forces us to act less Christ like. You see the person in the first story is US. Its you, and its me and its how we handle our issues and our short comings. And the person in the second story is someone else, could be our family or friends or someone that we know. The problem is that we are holding them to a higher standard than us, and sadly enough judging them by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. I think its time to change the ending in the second story, I think its time to afford to them the same grace that we long so much for in our own lives.
They’re watching you!
They’re watching your every move, they are listening to what you have to say and they are checking out your follow through. They want to know where you put your money because as the old adage goes “show me your checkbook, I’ll show you your heart”. They want to see how we interact with each other, how we interact with them, with strangers, with guest.
NO, not big brother. People outside the church. These people are watching everything we do and some are looking for us to make the wrong move so they will have excuses but there are also those looking for us to give them an invite, a look, a sign of welcome.
Your choices are simple. I know you like the fact that I said ‘your’ instead of ‘our’ choices because one person does not act for all of us, instead we each have to make our own choice, and follow through on that.
- Choice #1 Be HAPPY
- Easy enough choice, right?
- Choice #2 Be AVAILABLE
- In church, out of church, in conversation and so on.
- Choice #3 Be THANKFUL
- Follow up is a great way to show thankfulness
This is not denomination specific, this isn’t even ministry specific. This is for everyone in every environment and in every situation. No doubt however the church should be leading the way, we should not be behind the curve but instead creating it. We should be the example for everything but most of all accepting those that are far from Christ because if it were not for amazing grace we would be in the same position. It is because of that grace that no matter your distance from God or your relationship with Him that we all ARE in the same situation. In need of it. So remember when things are good or when they are bad that ‘They’re watching you’ and what to see if you’re for real.
You see I have done reviews before where there were not many good things to say but as the old adage goes, “If you have nothing nice to say than do not say anything at all.” Although there have been books that I have read that have left me with very few nice things to say this book has blown the doors off of my expectations and I am excited to share it with you.
There are several books that I hold in high regard and remember to read every year or so and this is one that I will be keeping in circulation. From what I know of the author, Perry Noble, I think he would punch me in my throat if I read it that often because as good as the book is, it is more about doing, it’s more about action. The goal is for us to get out there and get to work. It is not all about taking the best notes, reading and rereading, thinking and rethinking.
You see Perry does not mince words, here. This is not your average, you can do anything you want to in life if you apply yourself kind of story, it is quite the opposite. Perry calls out the notion that we can do whatever we want if we try hard enough and explains it in a way that helps the reader to understand that it’s a lie that we have been taught but hopefully not one that we will continue to believe.
God has made each of us for specific purposes, something that we can be great at. If we are not performing in that area then we are left thinking ‘what is it all about’ or ‘there has got to be more than this.’ Perry helps take us from that beginning step by pointing out the necessity of recognizing that we need more, moving us past all of our excuses and into action.
As much as this book is about action it does indeed help with a process to get you from ‘there has to be more’, to ‘our past,’ to ‘moving on,’ to ‘taking your next step,’ to ‘not doing life alone’ and finally to ‘hanging on to your fork.’ You will get that last part when you read it.
To merely select one memorable quote from this book does not do it justice but if I had to choose one that impacted me greatly it would be, “The key to living a meaningful life is to focus not on what we want but rather on who Jesus is and what He wants for us”. This for me sums it up. He expresses how important it is to stop doing life and reacting to life the way you feel is right, to get the things you feel you need. Start living life the way Jesus wants you to, start acting and reacting in a way that would please Jesus. This statement does not mean you are to just shut up and live a life for Jesus but it says in order to find TRUE meaning, you must live it His way and in return you will be fulfilled.
I will end with this, READ IT. Not only should you purchase this book today but move it to the top of your must read list and allow this book to sink in. If you don’t Perry will punch you in the throat, okay not really but a funny enough thought, right? wwww.unleashbook.com/buy Give it a chance.
Didn’t you hate hearing those words when you were playing games growing up? I did. No matter the game, whether it was tag, kick ball, hide and seek or anything else, if one person didn’t like it or tried to find a loophole they would scream out “doesn’t count”. I felt this same check in my spirit about an issue in my own life and I would venture to say that you have at one time or another yourself.
Servant hood. Not long ago I was asked to help another pastor on staff with some manual labor, rearranging things, moving stuff around and back to the way it was. I have to be honest; my first response was complete aggravation. I felt used, I felt like I could have done 100 other things that were more important than what he was asking of me. Right then is when it happened. “Doesn’t count”. I heard it in my spirit and I knew exactly what it meant. It doesn’t matter if you can physically do something what matters is if you can complete it with a right spirit.
Okay, follow me here. If we truly love God, then loving His people is just a result of loving Him, right? Love itself is a verb, we learned that from DC Talk, or was it our English classes. John 13:14 says, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” What other reason do you need? Jesus showed us the way to serve and being a servant as a result, we should serve.
You know what I mean we have all been there this is not a lonely island; but now that it has been established that it happens to all of us what’s the fix, what’s the way out of “doesn’t count”. Don’t play, no I’m only kidding, always play, always help and look to help others because in this long run called ministry its not about me, or you, but about God. When we feel that check in our spirit we need to ask for forgiveness, adjust our outlook knowing that serving God may come in many different styles and today this is it, and finish strong.
This is what I need to remember and this is what I need to know: How I help someone matters because if I help someone thinking that my own agenda is of greater importance then the call becomes void and, “Doesn’t count.”
This question was posed yesterday, Is it okay to ask why? Of course I wanted to follow it up with why, or why not? But I didn’t I actually sat there and heard the story of someone who is going through something pretty difficult ask that question. Is it okay to ask WHY? I got to think about it for a bit but this is my answer.
YES, it’s okay to ask why. I see it as more of an informational question then I do as a why in the world would this happen to me. I mean of course the person is wondering why but purely through a need to know information lens.
I also think so due to the fact that I have a 3 year old daughter whose favorite word/question right now (you’ve guessed it) is WHY? At times this question makes you realize why some species eat their young. But if you sit back and think about it between the first why, and the 35th time she asks why, she is really just trying to learn. I know that she will never truly grasp the entire reason for an answer to her question why. I know that not only because she continues to ask why but because of how she is processing things. The need for her to know why is as simple and innocent as the question from my friend when things are going rough, why? Why does this need to happen, or why is this happening already.
This not only is an okay question to ask but it’s a great question to ask because this opens up the dialogue that Jesus so desires from us. Asking a question means that we are open and available to an answer. It allows God the open door to discuss in His way, why this or that is happening.
So when you are wondering something today, don’t hesitate but ask, ask God WHY!
The Background of someones life or situation is usually something that we have little to no information about unless you happen to run into someone who you have just met and they explain their life story to you, oh never happened to you, it has to me. The idea of this post is not about those people though its about the actions and reactions of individuals that sometimes we don’t like or understand.
Last week I was at kids camp. This is an event that I will never sacrifice because I have seen the fruit from it, I have seen the kids lives changed, I have met the adults who were called to different areas of ministry from kids camp. It’s so powerful! Last week however when you work long days and get little sleep and then have to be around 250 plus people that are under the same pressures of that week somethings come out. Follow me through this point if you would.
As I’m watching the interactions of chaperones and their kids I see that one female chaperone is a little rough around the edges. Being a sanguine this comes by no surprise because if it’s not fun and uplifting it’s usually rough around the edges. However the way that she is talking to one of her campers is rough. I find out later that it’s her daughter but for a couple days I have seen this chaperone though not really out of line or abusive at all, she is still short and grumpy which is never to far from others due to the circumstances I have explained earlier. The final night at camp she explains to me how happy she was with the way camp had gone and about how surprised she was with the entire week. This was her first time and this was a new church she was involved with and she had come with. She explained how recently her husband had gone through a loss of a job and had finally found some work and about how she had recently been let go due to integrity that caused others to look bad, she went on to explain that once she got back home from camp she was leaving to be with her dying father.
This story though it sounds extreme is also true and for many people may be similar. Life is hard and it takes not exceptions to who you are or even who you know. We know that this is where having a relationship with Christ is important and for us thats our sanity. Its all we have when tough times hit us between the eyes. But through all of this, this post was not about that female chaperone, its about you. You and I have the choice of how to interact with each other regardless of how someone may come across. It would have been easy for me to catch an attitude with the way this chaperone acted, but I didn’t. Its easy to be defensive when someone acts rude, but the point is to take a minute, relax then react with love and grace. We all need it!