Monday, February 16, 2015

Will I Really Care?

In this contemporary culture so many things seem to flash onto the screen demanding my attention.  Every day each of us seems to be captured by images and posts and quotes that consume much of our time.  The quick witted marketing guru has tapped into the simple, short attention span at the base level of every human on social media.  The picture and post title often times have nothing to do with the real story, yet you and I both fall prey to the ploy to get us just to stop by even for a brief moment to view the pic or post.

Over and over we give our attention to these meaningless stories about things that will never impact our lives in any way.  Nor will our attention or involvement in that brief moment impact the lives of those we are reading about.  This is a reality of the day and time we live in and yet it is not a reality that we must allow to rob us of the real joys of this life!

We read in James chapter four our lives appear as only a mist, here one moment and gone the next!  This reality changes everything when we consider how we will linger as this brief mist in this world. What are the things that really matter for these few moments I call my life?  Where will I invest my time and resources, knowing it will all be over very soon?  What does the Lord have for me to do with these few moments in time that He has granted me to walk this journey and show His love?

In the end of this life, WILL I REALLY CARE about that cute dog and cat playing in someone's house that somehow captured the eyes of millions of viewers one day last week?  WILL I REALLY CARE about the latest story about the incredible new pill that will make my life all perfect?  WILL I REALLY CARE about the ten most unbelievable photographs from this century?

Or...will I REALLY CARE about the neighbor who lives two doors down who does not know Jesus?  Will I REALLY CARE for the members of my small group who are going through a tough time with losing a family member or sickness in the family?  Will I REALLY CARE for the children going hungry in a village in Guatemala where food is all around them yet, they are too poor to even be able to buy simple provisions?  Will I REALLY CARE for those friends of mine who have moved to another context to serve and show and share the Gospel?  Will I REALLY CARE for those precious children under my roof and how I am the example of the Father's love to them every day we live together?

I want my life to really matter for the brief moment that I am here in this world.  I believe most of you reading this feel that same way right now.  Let us challenge one another not to sit by another day and watch the videos and read the stories of meaningless stuff happening all around us while we flounder in the pool of popular culture.  Let us join our hearts and our hands in genuinely CARING for each other and showing that we are HIS DISCIPLES by the way we love one another!  Let us get together and address those needs of our small groups, families in our churches, friends and co-workers with real tangible expressions of His kindness that draws us all to a place of repentance.  Lets commit to pray and plan together to journey to our brothers and sisters in other contexts to help them share and show the Gospel while caring for and loving on them a part of the Body in need!  Let us join our resources together to build a house, feed a village, dig a well, teach a child, preach a message, play a game, visit the sick, care for the orphans and meet the needs of the widows.  Join me this year by committing right now to go to the people around us who need that loving touch from the Father that comes through our hands and our feet.  Lets reach our world with the truth of the Gospel and teach His Word to everyone we meet so that His ways and His salvation is known in every land and every nation!  Please join me as we REALLY CARE together!
In His Grip,

Monday, February 9, 2015


TRUST is a very unique thing.  All of us need it and all of us need to build it with others.  Every part of our relational life is built on this primary building block of life.  We all trust something.  In this day and time many things have captured our minds and hearts in ways that seem to offer us something to TRUST!

Every single day each none of us is faced with decisions about what or who we will TRUST.  The marketing gurus all seek to prove that we can TRUST their product or service.  Politicians continually strive to tell us we can TRUST them.  Friends do things that either build TRUST or tears it down.  Family members work at maintaining TRUST and building TRUST with age and maturity.  Every one of us deals with TRUST every day.  Think about it...Are you sitting down right now?  You are demonstrating TRUST.  You knew that was coming!

If you and I want to start our year off RIGHT we need to develop healthy was of building trust with others and developing TRUST in others.  Uniquely, all across the globe people offer TRUST without requiring qualifications.  As you walk into this new year will you consider how TRUSTworthy you are?  How much TRUST do you have in others?  What things do you place your TRUST in that may be the wrong things?  Where is your TRUST?

The US currency states that we as a country TRUST in GOD!  Now we all know the weakness of that truth in every occasion.  Yet, there is some truth to this statement.  TRUST originates from God.  It was God who created the garden and allowed Adam and Eve to rule over all creation.  Think about it, God created everything in a perfectly unified relationship with everything else and handed that over to two created beings to manage and rule.  TRUST is not only begun with God, but it also finds its development in Him.  Abraham was called to, "go to a land I will show you..."  That was a relationship of TRUST that began at one point and then grew with developmental steps of faith and relationship.  God also is the power behind TRUST.  remember Peter stepping out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water!  The very steps of this bold disciple were sustained by God Himself as Peter walked on the water.  However, what happened after a few short steps demonstrates the fact that God is also the one who can restore TRUST.  It was the mighty hand of God that reached out and lifted Peter out of the water and brought salvation.  Jesus is daily restoring our TRUST in God through miracles and actions that we cannot explain any other way except that God Himself intervened.

TRUST is at the core of every fiber of our being as we walk daily dependent upon a loving God who offers to us mercy and grace through this journey of faith.  This year as you walk into the circumstances of the daily grind, will you consider the TRUST we have in the One who saves us and sustains us.  And then, as we are humbled by our utter dependence on the Father for the daily life He offers us, seek to build TRUST with others for the sake of His great name.

All over the globe people live daily in a world dominated by fear, shame, conflict and struggles.  Every person on this planet is seeking intimacy, dignity, community and success.  You and I have the most life-altering truth residing within our very heart that needs to get out.  How do we share this amazing truth?  We demonstrate the greatness of our God by offering TRUST to those who come across our path for the sake of His glory.  The relationship we have with our Father is supposed to be coming out in every relationship we have with others in our lives.  It is through this amazing thing called TRUST that we will see transformation.  As you and I TRUST God to do this amazing work of sanctification within our hearts He will show His greatness through you to those who are seeking Him.

So, just as the picture at the top of the page shows, will you jump into His arms with full TRUST and reliance on Him as a witness of His great love and a testimony of His grace.  Wrap your arms around Him and know that He will carry you.  Hold on tightly to Him and know He will not drop you.  Live this life to the fullest with passion and excitement because you can TRUST Him.  Remember when you can't seem to TRUST His hand, you TRUST His heart!  He will use you this year to impact other people's lives.  He will transform lives and heal sickness and restore hope.  He will use you to touch a life and be touched as you TRUST Him!  TRUST Him to help you reach this world and teach His Word!

In His Grip,

Monday, February 2, 2015


So may times we hear this cry from someone after a crisis or accident has taken place.  Every one of us will respond to that request when faced with an urgent need in someone"s life we know.  The needs of our friends and our family are always on our hearts and minds.  When we see the needs we respond and HELP.

As you enter this new year, look at those people around you who are your friends and family to assist and HELP.  However, can you also ask the Lord to show the needs of those around you that you do not see so easily?  The needs around us are enormous.  The desperate lives that cross our paths everyday are more numerous than we can actually count.  The Lord is intentionally bringing people into our paths regularly for the purpose of our lives impacting theirs.  Do you see these opportunities for ministry or are the things of this world or the busyness of the daily grind hindering you from seeing them?

We have all been in a place of need in our lives.  I recall January 29, 2005 watching our house go up in flames and being completely helpless.  There was nothing I could do to save the house or the things in the house.  I simply had to trust God's sovereign plan and say "Blessed be the name of the Lord."  However, this helplessness extended beyond the event of the fire itself.  The following hours were a blur.  The real need in our lives was not even something we could determine on our own.  This was an hour of need in our lives.  HELP was what we needed.  HELP is what we got!

The hours and days that followed our fire were times of trusting others to HELP us in many ways we were not prepared to allow people to HELP.  We needed so much HELP and had to depend on others for so many things.  The work the Lord had to do on my heart to allow so much HELP to be accepted was a huge challenge for me.

Often times when others are in need of HELP, they will struggle with allowing others to offer assistance to them.  Yet, many times the circumstances are such that they must accept the HELP when it is offered simply to make it through the struggle.  How many times do people around us wrestle with the overwhelming needs in their lives and struggle through difficult times of need simply because we do not offer to HELP?

This year, we as the Body of Christ need to look around us more often for the needs.  We need to pay closer attention to the people who cross our paths and their needs to see the ways that we can HELP.  We need to be focused on the needs of others around us and be the community of faith to those struggling, hurting, over-burdened and weighed down with the desperate need for HELP.  We need to become known for being the first to HELP!

Will you ask the Lord to increase your sensitivity to those around you this year?  Will you seek to know and understand the needs of those people who cross your path?  Will you strive to become a person known for responding to need with HELP?  This year you can start RIGHT by RENEWing your commitment to Him, INVESTing your time, resources and energy, GOing to those people and places the Lord directs you to serve and share and show the Gospel and you can HELP those around you as a real expression of the Body of Christ loving the community you have been planted within.  How will the Lord use you this year?  What are you willing to adjust in your life in order that your ways will match His ways?  How will you Reach the world and Teach the Word this year?

In His Grip,