ARE YOU EVEN CHRISTIAN?

ARE YOU EVEN CHRISTIAN?

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking a thought. It has been a thought of mine for quite a while and so I’m going to put it right here for you to wrestle with. You don’t have to agree with me, I’m ok with that. Civility says we can disagree and still be friends; it used to say that any way.

Noah was a man that that God came to and asked to build a boat, a very big boat. A boat that saved the world as we know it, if you believe the story; and I do. As you think about what God did in the life of Noah, whom he considered a righteous man at the time, it was a bit irrational to those around him. It had never rained upon the earth. There was no large body of water nearby that we are aware of. The very concept of a “boat” was new, weird, odd, unheralded, or crazy. 120 years worth of crazy depending upon how you understand the story. So God asked Noah to do something that from the outside was very, very “not rational.” Made no sense. It was a bad financial decision. The list could go on and on.

IRRATIONAL

What about a guy named Abram? Seriously. This guy, a pagan by any understanding of the story, was living his life and claims that God came to him and told him to up and move. The invitation was to come and follow me [God] and I will show you a land that I am going to give to you and your family, which is going to become a great nation and will bless all the nations of the earth. Wow. Not rational. Not rational you ask? No, not rational. At the time this guy is 75 years of age, his wife is 65 and they have no children what so ever. Abram’s wife had been barren, infertile, unblessed with children for 65 years. Where is this nation going to come from, and where did you say we were going?

NOT RATIONAL

These are the stories over and over again that show up in the Bible. The Bible that the Christian church claims as their manifesto, their sacred book, their direct word from God himself, this book is full of these stories to the point where it is the norm. It is super normal in the Bible that God asks people to do things they cannot do, things that make no sense, things that cost everything, things that will have the community around them making fun of them.

upside-downThe Kingdom of God Is not of this world. The Kingdom of God does not do things the way this world does them. In this world we think things through, make a plan, save up store up and then claw our way up to the top. This world is a “Me first and you get the leftovers” sort of society. Smart, godly, Christian, people will do the smart, financially fiscal thing that makes the most sense in today’s world. That’s what we teach. This is probably why we don’t see an awful lot of people going into missions. I’m not saying we don’t see some people making missions their life.

 

“If all you ever hear is your god telling you to do rational, reasonable things, you probably need an introduction to God and to the Bible.”

IRRATIONAL PRIORITIES

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that we are to make the Kingdom of God the main priority in our lives. Jesus says that if we seek that Kingdom first, all the things that pagans run after; clothes and food and homes and such will be provided by the king himself. The church, the real church, has been called to run after God and his mission. The Christians, the real Christians, have been called to bring the Kingdom of God to bear upon this world. God’s plan for my life is that I make known the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that I love the people that God loves without getting all entrenched in this world. My investments should reflect Kingdom values. My relationships should reflect Kingdom values. My entertainment choices: Movies, music, shows, should all reflect Kingdom values. If my goal is focused on saving, protecting, and or gaining for me and mine, then I’m fooling myself about even being a Christian. God only wants my heart, which gives him everything.

IRRATIONAL SAVIOR

Jesus made 120-180 gallons of wine out of water at a wedding once. Just because he said so.
Jesus spit on the ground and made mud to put on the blind man’s eyes. That’s how he healed him.
Jesus told a man to sell everything he had, give to the poor and then to come and follow Jesus.
Jesus told one of his followers to walk out across the lake on top of the water.
Jesus forgave a man’s sins and in doing so, healed the man.
Jesus didn’t condemn a naked woman caught in the bed of a married man, even though his “Law” said to stone her to death.
Jesus ate in the homes of sinners and drank their wine. People called him a drunkard.
Jesus cast out demons on a regular basis.
Jesus went to “church” weekly, as was his custom.
Jesus died for sins he never committed, for people that rejected him and didn’t care about him.
God raised Jesus from the dead.

 

IF YOU BELIEVE, WHY DON’T YOU STILL DO IT?

Do you believe these things really happened or are they just stories to you?

Think about it for a moment. Do you really, honestly, with all your heart, believe that Jesus did and said these things to you and I and the world of today?

Why doesn’t it compel you to do irrational things that make no sense to spiritually anemic, or spiritually dead people? Does Jesus live inside you? Why isn’t he doing through you what he did in your Bible?

“When you realize that God never seems to ask YOU to take a ridiculous RISK, you’ll realize that you aren’t following God at all.”

All Jesus asked us to do was change the world one person at a time. “Go into all the world” he said, “and make disciples.” Before he said that, he let us know that he was sending his Holy Spirit, the Counselor, to teach us all things AND to remind us of everything Jesus said to us.

We are not alone; he is with us IF we are surrendered to him. Love he said, love the people into the Kingdom of Heaven. “”Each one reach one,” it’s not political, it’s not economical, and I can promise you it is certainly not RATIONAL. Get out of your comfort zone, you cubicle, your hometown and the plan that you have FOR your life. RISK it all for the Kingdom of Heaven and watch what God does IN your life.

 

 

 

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DONATING TO THE PATRIOTS, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND???

new_england_paitriotsNEW ENGLAND BY BIRTH, FAN BY….. WELL, BY BIRTH.

I have to admit to being a big fan of the Patriots. I’m from New England of course I’m a fan. So much so that I take a lot of crap from my sister Laura Beth (Dallas fan, go figure) that I won’t name so I can protect her privacy. I was a fan back in the days when we wore bags on our heads but still screamed and cheered for the team. I had a slight romantic interlude with the Cincinnati Bengals when I lived in Ohio and Icky Woods was playing, but alas, those kinds of relationship just don’t last.

MY ISSUE WITH DEFLATEGATEdeflate ring

Tom Brady under-inflates the footballs, gets vilified, Aaron Rogers admits that he over-inflates the footballs nothing? (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/01/20/aaron-rodgers-likes-his-footballs-overinflated/) My issue isn’t the gross, world changing, life threatening sin of the deflation, it’s the NFL’s disproportionate response to the sins of it’s players. So let me say, “Roger Goodell, get a grip man.” There, now back to what I really want to talk about.

 THE ARTICLE

I saw an article this morning that I feel I need to speak into; fans are sending money to the Patriots to pay the million-dollar fine, come on, really? The Kraft family needs US, you and I, to pony up 1 million dollars, the Kraft family? Robert Kraft’s net worth listed at Forbes is as such: 4.3 BILLION DOLLARS!! More than half of that number comes from the New England Patriot franchise: 2.6 Billion!!     http://www.forbes.com/profile/robert-kraft/ How could you possibly, even, kind of, conceive a little , that this ENTERTAINMENT franchise needs or deserves your donation dollars?

Robert KraftI’M NOT SPEAKING AGAINST THE KRAFT FAMILY

I don’t know Robert and his family. I wouldn’t mind having them in for Sunday dinner, maybe have them stop by the church and worship with us and then come home, it would be cool. But you and I don’t have clue how much he, his family, or his organizations donate to the care and ministry from the tons of requests they must get. Clearly they have done a lot of good. No, I’m not talking about them, that’s none of our business. I’m talking to all the fire breathing, club swinging, rock throwing, out of focused folks and media that think this deflation was some kind of historic, world altering, “Jesus is coming back to deal with it” event, that either needs to be kept alive or, the fines that need to be paid for by donations. Donations.

PERSPECTIVENEPAL2

So to all you fans that feel the need to pay $175 or so a ticket to sit with the pigeons at Foxboro (it’s on my bucket list) and then send free money to the Patriot franchise to pay the debt, you all know there was another earthquake in Nepal right? That’s two this month. Someone tell Roger Goodell if he wants the NFL to make a difference, then demand that the 1 million dollar fine be sent to a legitimate, responsible, accountable ministry/ organization that is working in Nepal.

Cry for nigeriaNEPAL REVISITED

A couple weeks ago there was an earthquake that killed thousands of people and now this week another one has killed hundreds. People’s lives have been shattered by loss of family, loss of friends, loss of communities, loss of homes, loss of infrastructure, loss of means, food, water, transportation, jobs, the list is unimaginable for us in the west. This is just one natural disaster. There are more things facing life on this planet that deserve at least a tithe, a tenth, a portion of the attention that has been given to this absurd, entertainment driven, travesty upon the hearts of NFL fans around the world.

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that in America alone in 2012 according to childwelfare.gov, over 1600 children died from abuse and neglect? How does that compare to the more than 2,000 souls that died January 15 at the hand of Boko Harem? Where was/is the proportionate outcry? This wasn’t air out of a football; this was lives, men, women and children, lost. You don’t have to send millions, but where is the outcry?

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

What does it say when entertainment in America gets this kind of worldwide publicity and outrage, while the children around you get neglected or killed? I realize that we need a break from the negativity in the news, even the sports news. The media is as sensational and as negative and shocking as they can be, as the ever were, but let’s find some positivity, even in our own lives to post and talk about.

You want to make a difference in Nepal, check out this group of people:

http://winnipegcentrevineyard.com/nepal-earthquake-high-mountain-villages-update/

Let’s give some proportionate attention and donations to people making a difference, and doing good, and getting no trophies for doing it.

Let’s lift up the needs of organizations where your donations will actually make real difference.

Pick your favorite organization and donate your monies to them. The NE Patriots don’t need your money to pay their entertainment fine they have plenty. What they don’t have, they will make.

Pick your favorite community organization and donate your time to them. Start with just 5 hours this week.

Choose to change the world.