Reverend Reversed

Scripted words, pen made of gold

Yearns for greatness and lips to be bold,

Lead, design, plan and devote

Believes he holds a song, a beautiful note

Humble in approach, a posture to grow

Pen and paper in hand, mind open to know

Kings invest, and coaches impart

But do they really know what lies in his heart?

He strives and toils, and hustles and slogs

Everyone sees, he’s working hard as a dog

The sweat looks clean, presentation pristine

Look closer, not everything is what it seems

He’s got to let up and let in

Ease up, back up and trust Him

The Holy Ghost who rewrites all plots

New songs, new minds, new lots

Gifted words, heart made of gold

Yearns for Christ and His story be told

Serve, give and devote

Heaven’s tune, living out every note

Humble in approach, a posture to grow

Knees on the floor, it’s no longer a show

He still grapples and struggles, he’s in the fight

Now it’s his family who will see the light

Life is not about the call it’s not about the post

Does he reflect Jesus to his family the most?

Changed and transformed, no longer rehearsed

This is the reverend who has been reversed

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Talking With Your Hands And The Angry Guy At the Grocery Line

I just got home from our ‘LifeGroup’ (its a smorgasbord of people, different walks of life, sharing life together, building community, centered on Christ and making a difference). A few things happened there tonight, I have to share.

  1. A Man Was Honest.
  2. Women Cried.
  3. We all Laughed.
  4. We Can’t Wait to See What Happens Next

Good thing these things didn’t happen subsequent from one another.

We’ve been talking about the Holy Spirit the last four weeks, and tonight’s session we asked the question ‘Why Do You Want Him?” (the Holy Spirit, He’s a person not a force). The purpose for tonight was to honestly ponder that question, so many people want to treat God as a genie in a bottle and not as who He truly is, the Creator of the Universe, the Lover of our Souls and the Perfecter of our Faith, to name just a few. But God has much more for us, He wants a continual dialog with us, a relationship, courtship, full on surrender to Him and His will. Allowing us to be empowered by the Spirit to do some cool stuff.

Tonight, something cool happened.

A Man Was Honest

A man risked it and shared openly about the pain we had caused him (we [the men] forgot about him, during a tough time), needless to say, he almost left our ‘church’. I am so thankful he didn’t. God used him powerfully tonight to show us (the men) how to not just have convenient friendships. ‘If it benefits me, I’ll be there for you!’

Women Cried

On the other side of the room we could hear sporadic moments of sorrow and crying from the women who sat on the floor sharing and praying. I don’t know the details of what was spoken. But I believe the Holy Spirit orchestrated the same thing for the women as He did for the men. Women shared, sadness seen and heard and listened.

Here’s what I think we learned:

  • Through listening to another’s pain and being able to sit there with them (not necessarily having answers), just existing with them in their pain… that person begins to heal. THIS IS HUGE!!
  • As these people begin to heal together momentum begins to happen and the family of God will grow. “I was transformed because of what God did through this group of people!!” “COME AND SEE!”
  • Community is defined by something much more eternal than a group gathering to talk about hummus and TO’s deal with the Hawks. God exists in community; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because He is, so are we!

We All Laughed

It’s not just about the cry tests. Powerful, but we are not there to feel sorry for ourselves or to dwell solely on our past. So we laugh with one another and enjoy each other’s company. It’s so life-giving. The Spirit has a way of allowing us to be passionate about Him in a way that it brings glory to Jesus in so many ways, even if it makes us talk with our hands and hug people. THAT’S SO AWESOME!

We Can’t Wait To See What Happens Next

Not just next week, but next month and next year and next time I’m in line at the grocery store and the guy in front of me is angry at life and the Holy Spirit prompts me to pray for him and his family instead of judge him for his outward actions.

ps. there are some inside jokes here that you’d know if you were with us the last few weeks.

Enemy BFF

1 Samuel 27 – David chooses to bed in the land of his people’s enemy, Philistine country. This decision comes from a fear of safety from the hand of Saul. His actions cause David and his men to become obligated to do things out of sync with their faith.

Observations

A. David chose his safety from Saul to be with his country’s enemy, minimizing God’s strength.

B. Through the process he compromised his truest character and purpose in life, king over Israel.

C. In his venture to seek safety over God’s will, David was contracted to commit actions that betrayed his character and reputation. (v. 11, 12)

Applications

A. For us, even when faced with an endless opposition such as David faced with Saul, we are challenged to stay true to God and His Word, maintaining faith that He will not leave us or forsake us.

James 4:4 says “Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” 

[This isn’t saying to unfriend everyone on Facebook who doesn’t go to church with you]. This means that in order to protect yourself, we don’t behave in ways that contradict our faith. We remain faithful that He is in control and knows the way for us.

B. We learn from David’s actions that even the greatest men and women of God sometimes make mistakes, but because of God’s great grace and promises, He still restores His people; reconciles and redeems us. Let’s continue to pursue this God of mercy and granter of life and purpose! 

Prayer

Thank you Jesus that you restore and redeem, thank you for your sacrifice on the cross and thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to guide us and protect us and strengthen us through great peril. Help us to honor you in all we say, think and do even when we cannot see all that you see and even when faced with circumstances that look too big for us to handle. Amen.

Refreshing Sweetness

Philippians 1:11

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

 Observation / Application

There is fruit in our salvation. I like that they call it fruit. Fruit is usually sweet and tasty. Its refreshing and often a treat. Unaltered, fruit is fantastic the way it is, I’m glad this is the word picture Paul used to express what God does in us as we truly walk as followers of Christ.

The Fruit of our Salvation is the ‘Righteous character’. What is that? This tasty, refreshing, sweet taste we leave in people’s mouths is a character produced as we walk out our lives with Jesus.

As we live this out, we bring much glory to God and because of it people will be attracted to Him. Refreshing Sweetness.

I love how Eugene Peterson puts it in his paraphrased, devotional interpretation of Scriptures:

“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” [MSG 1:9-11]

Prayer 

Jesus, help me to live this out. Help me to allow life’s pressures to create in me a character that is sweet and tasty to those that live around me; my wife and family and the people I entrusted to lead. Amen.