Archive for February, 2011

How Can I Benefit You?

February 28th, 2011

This weekend I was kicked back watching some TV with sick boy.  It was mostly the same stuff T.U.F.F Puppy, Sponge Bob,  crazy kid movies from the past, yesterday a LEGO movie.  We are big fans of LEGO in our house, so that just tickled our fancy!

It had the usually LEGO humor, but also provided a little bit of motivation for today’s blog.  At one point where the Indiana Jones looking mini fig from the future was attempting to teach the King from the past some new tricks with his magic sword, the dude gets a little frustrated.  It was then when the talking rhino dude said “Remember, he is not here for you, you are here for him!”

That stuck me as profound, and interestingly enough later in the day, I heard the same theme in a movie I watched that I will blog about later this week ( I think).  In that movie, a certain individual was attempted to determine why this co worker was frustrating him so much and his wife said something like – “you need to figure out why you were brought to him, not why he was brought to you.”

So, today, think about all of those around you, and consider this whole concept – they are not there for you, you are there for them.  Be a blessing.  My company used to make the call center folks answer the phone by saying “How can I benefit you?”.  Some of my co-workers would make fun of that a little bit – as it is a little bit corny – especially since we are a “benefits company”.  However, the message is plain, and good and true.  When you interact with people today, think about that – how can you benefit them?

1Christ encourages you, and his love comforts you. God’s Spirit unites you, and you are concerned for others. 2Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person. 3Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. 4Care about them as much as you care about yourselves Philippians 2:1-4 (Contemporary English Version)

They are not here for you, you are here for them!

The Gospel According to Ackbar

February 25th, 2011

I few weeks ago, I picked up this sweet woot shirt.  Most Star Wars fans will get the reference right off.  If you are not then listen up – thats Admiral Ackbar who, when the rebel alliance is attacking the death star ( the cheese), makes the famous line that for some reason is so ridiculed.  When he realized his squadrons are in trouble he shouts out “It’s a trap!”

I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about ol’ Ackbar, and his infamous warning.  For it seems that we find ourselves most of time in the position of the the X wing fighter pilots.  Think about those guys – heading in for what appears to be treasure and true victory.  Hey look, no defense, hey look, a helpless little Death Star just waiting for us to take it over.  Could life get any better?

Yep that’s us.  Oh what could it hurt?  Sure I need more money – look it’s just there for the taking.  One look, one touch, one taste.  Whoo hoo, we are in like Flynn!  oops…

Fortunately, we have words similar to the Admiral to remind us what is going on.  First there are the words of James crying out “Trap, Trap”

14We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. James 1:14 (CEV)

oh those temptations.  like cheese on a mouse trap, like the Death Star without any defense.  Next we see Paul writing to Timothy, instructing him to warn people of the traps that are blinding them as he says.”It’s a trap”, the devil’s tricks and mirages are just traps! Pull up Pull Up..”

and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, 2 Timothy 2:26 (NIV)

Finally, in the theme of Ackbar are the words of the Christ himself reminding us of how careless living can lead us right into a trap.

33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Luke 21:33-35 (NIV)

So today, heed the warning of Ackbar and remember that some of the things of life may look great, but really “It’s a trap!”

Pull Up! Pull Up!

Romans Redo

February 24th, 2011

This past weekend I was also reminded of my of my favorite passages of scripture in the entire Bible – Romans 12.

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV

It’s such an encouragement to live a life that follows God. Not to show how good we can be. Not to earn one single thing. But in view of the mercy of God! An old preacher friend of mine used to say if you see a Therefore, find out what it’s there for. So take a peek back in Romans 11

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36

Live for him today, not to earn, not to prove, but because of what he has given us – which is well – everything you have.

Severe Weather Week

February 23rd, 2011

It’s Severe Weather Week in Tennessee!  Yes, a week to have severe weather.  Well, actually it’s severe weather awareness week.  Apparently, most states have a week or two designated for this sort of thing.  You can find our more from our friends at NOAA.  On a tangent, isn’t it interesting that our government’s weather agency is named after the dude who survived the world wide flood event – Noah?  Back to SWAW (Severe Weather Awareness Week).  This week is set up to educate about Lightning and tornadoes and the like.  Today in Tennessee at 9:30 there is a state wide Tornado Drill – so watch out for that!

And then, while you are thinking about the power of severe weather, take a moment to remember its creator.  First of all, is so amazing that the creator established such a diverse weather system, and that we can actually predict it with some reasonableness.  That design alone is magnificent.  But then consider the power and force that is packed into the extreme weather we see.  It is really awe inspiring to watch and study this things.  But even more awe inspiring is that the creator has control of this type of stuff and can control it whenever he wants, for instance, Moses crossing the Red Sea, or the storm calming after Jonah was thrown overboard or  the Christ and the storm:

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:39-41 (New International Version, ©2010)

I hope you participate in SWAW, and learn more about the powerful forces of nature that surround us, but also take some time to thank the creator and praise him for his magnificent creation.

14 “Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God’s wonders.
15 Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
17 You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
18 can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze? Job 37 (NIV)

What Would James Do

February 22nd, 2011

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to spend my time in Gatlinburg with over 11,000 teenagers and their chaperons at a fantastic conference. During on the sessions, there was a fantastic comedian named Michael Jr.  This is a very funny man who has a great love for his creator.

Anyway, during his show, one of his joke sets is about the whole WWJD thing.  But he talks about Jesus’ brother – James, and spins a few very funny stories about James growing up with Jesus asking the question What Would James Do?

So, I thought I would take a look myself.  However, at first I had to find a bible that still had the book of James in it – as I have been known to tear those pages out of the bible since they are so difficult and penetrating.

Take a look at this.

12 In everything you say and do, remember that you will be judged by the law that makes people free.13 So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment. James 2:12-13 New Century Version (NCV)

Taking nothing from Michael Jr’s comedy, which is outstanding, I think we have found what James would do – and it is to live a life that reflects the mercy we have been given from the Creator of the world through the forgiveness of our mistakes.  James reminds us to show mercy to others in the same way we have been shown mercy.  That’s whats James would do – ’nuff said…..