YOU CAN’T HANDLE DEEPER!!

You don’t want deeper:
YOU CAN’T HANDLE DEEPER!

cropped-deep-water-1Can you hear Jack Nicholson in, “A Few Good Men,” screaming at Tom Cruise in the courtroom as you read that? No? Read it again, I’ll wait.

I bet you did that time.

“The church is a mile wide and half an inch deep.”

Does that sound familiar to you?

How many times have I heard someone say that the church in America needs to go deeper? Seriously, this is not new, I have heard this since 1977; the year I surrendered my life to Jesus.

Delirious the band had a song out a while back that began, “I want to go deeper, but I don’t know how to swim.”
What a great lyric, right?

What did Jesus tell us?

I hear people describe deep as theological and somewhat complicated, and yet it was my Jesus that said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt 29-30 NKJV

My yoke is easy and My burden is light? What is it that I am being told here? Jesus went out of his way, all the way from the throne room of God almighty as a matter of fact, to make things simple and uncomplicated.

My YOKE = my interpretation of Scripture

My BURDEN = my expectation of living it out.

It would be very much like Jesus saying today, “Hey, come learn from me where we will keep it simple stupid.” KISS.

Did Jesus say, “We need to go deeper?”

There are stories upon stories, interactions upon interactions, recorded even as primary sources in the Bible. These people were there, yet I cannot find one instance of Jesus “Going Deeper.” I cannot find one time that Jesus waxed theologically eloquent to be perceived as deep, intellectual, educated or even holier than thou. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus came 2,000 years ago and stood against the “Spiritually Elite” of the day, and we dive into the shallow end of the spiritual pool trying to make it “look deep” so we can become the very elite Jesus lined out? Trust me, I have met people that believe they are spiritually elite. Before you say “Not me,” take a good look at your attitude. What about your actions? I’m not ranting, I am challenging you just like I challenge me. We are so easy on ourselves and so hard on others aren’t we?

Jesus kept it simple and avoided “Deep;” Love God, love people as yourselves he said. It isn’t complicated but it can be hard.

Wrestle with it

So I’m wrestling with what it is that people are saying when they say we need to go deeper. I think it has to do with becoming more “Biblically literate.” I would be a big advocate of that. (But Sunday mornings are not for your Pastor to put you through Bible College because you don’t want to quit your job, sell everything and go yourself.) As people dive into their bibles, however, instead of taking Jesus’ yoke, people make up a new yoke all on their own because it fits the narrative they want to follow. They make their own Jesus and accessorize him like a Barbi Doll: God wants me happy, God wants me wealthy, God says my sin is ok. God is a Calvinist, God is an Armenianist. We have to be Jews to be Christians. It goes on and on.

Really, Prosperity?

It is very sad when people tell me “affluence is a sign, the proof, of the favor of God.” What a lie. Surely all good gifts come down from the father of lights. Truly I believe that. What of the Christians around the world that die every day at the hands of heathens andindex_barometer001pagans though? They die in poor, third world countries, martyred, are they hated of God? Prosperity is wonderful, but as an indicator of God’s favor it is a poor theological barometer. Some of the wealthiest people in the world are not Christians, are they more loved by God than me? Does not the enemy appear as an Angel of light? Doesn’t he exist to distract us and lead us astray? Wouldn’t he be most successful if he were to do that with sparkly, shiny baubles and prosperity?

Name Names

Honestly, I do not believe that most of the people crying out for a “Deeper Church” really know what they are asking for. Let’s wade in just a bit. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28 to go into all the world and make disciples. Now let’s go deeper. Name the disciples that you have made since you personally have come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Name the people that you have poured into and drawn close to Christ with and then baptized or attended their baptism. See what I mean, if you cannot name names, then I am telling you that you can’t handle going deeper. Surely Jesus is still doing what he was doing when he commanded his actual disciples to make disciples. Right? Why would he take up residence in you just to stop doing the very thing he came to earth to do? No, no he wouldn’t.

Jesus commanded us to give a cup of cold water to those that need it. When was the last time you did that? Feed the hungry rather than explain to your children that they just givingneed to get jobs? Sound familiar? Give your cloak to someone who needs it? Sell everything you have and give to the poor then hit the road and tell people about Jesus? No?

Go and Do the Doing

You aren’t even serious about going deeper are you? (I have met some that are) But let’s just be serious here, you can’t handle deeper if you won’t even do the simple and obvious. To people that cry out against the church I say, it is time to get over your self, get off your pew, or chair, and show us you are serious. You want the church to go deeper? Jesus made going deeper doing the doing. Go do it. He didn’t make it about knowledge, but love, and love is a verb. Plant a church with the people you have led to the Lord.

Jesus said, we do. That is the Jesus definition of Deep

You want to go deeper? I really do think it is a good idea. Let’s try this, take time each day to read Jesus words in the Bible; you pick the version. Then, when you see that Jesus saysimg_8534to do something, make it a part of your prayer life and your serving life and your giving life to DO IT. Watch what happens when that begins to take place in the lives of the church.

 

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CUT IT, BURN IT, POUR IT OUT

DO IT

I had the opportunity today to be out and about in some of my favorite spots. I over heard a man say that there was something he would like but he was still negotiating with his wife about the purchase. Let’s admit it, some of us have to spend much time gently convincing our spouse that what we WANT is actually a NEED. It doesn’t always work. Not motorcycles however, those are prescribed for men by God. In any case, I heard the Lord very quickly let me know that I had the ability in the moment to meet this person’s want; so I did. Why?

Jesus doesn’t want my latte’

We are doing kind of an “anti-Lent” on the way to Easter here at our church. We aren’t Lent-haters, I promise. With a little bit of study, you can see that Lent is really an extra biblical church activity. I struggle with Lent a lot because I really don’t see how letting go of my coffee habit is going to somehow connect me to the sufferings of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion. I already cannot fathom his depth of pain and suffering, I don’t think he wants my latte’.

What we are doing instead is looking at four things that Jesus DID do all along his way to the cross. He invited people to follow him, he invited people to give, he invited people to serve, and he invited people to celebrate.

Lamb of GodSacrifice

This week is all about Giving, specifically, sacrifice. Do we ever sacrifice? In biblical days they knew what that meant. You grab a sheep, a goat, a jar of grain, some herbs or spices, maybe even a child or some other livestock and you bring it to the temple and leave it there in the hands of the priest. You gave it to God. It was cut up, burnt, poured out, cast outside, gone. That means you went without it. It cost something, and it hurt a little bit to do that.

Going without

The truth is, I used to think of sacrifice as giving, but not the other part, the going-without-because-you-gave-it-away part. Sacrifice means I don’t have something any more. So if I sacrifice money, then I cannot spend it. I don’t have it. A guy once said, “You can only spend money once.” What a genius. I say that because not everyone I know (certainly not me a while ago) believed that. Sacrifice means that you are going to do without something. In this case so that you can give it to God, or someone in need, or want.

Not just money

Sacrifice is not always just about money. You can sacrifice your pride, your time, your energy, your love, your dreams, your desires, your attitude, there are a lot of things you can sacrifice. When you do sacrifice them, you don’t get to use them again. Think about time. If I were to sacrifice my money, I could earn a little more to make up for it. But, if I sacrifice my time, I can never get it back. When I stop what I am doing and love on someone by spending time or working for them, I can never get that time back again. I let it go, I gave it away as an act of worship.

“PRODIGAL”

Sacrifice isn’t always only for desperate people. We are not called to only help or give to people who are destitute. Sometimes we need to be like God and remember that he described himself as lavish. The story of the “Prodigal” in the Bible is actually a story of a “Prodigal” father, not a prodigal son. The lavish, wanton, ridiculous love of the father that took the boy back was the focus of the message. I don’t know why people always focus on the boy, he isn’t the context of the metaphor. The sacrificial LOVE of the Father is the message, the point of why “who-so-ever-will” may come.

The life that Jesus came to give you and I, according to John 10:10 is described in the Greek word, “Perssisos”. Look it up.

 

What sacrifice do you bring to God this year at Easter? Who do you sacrifice for intentionally to love God?

 

Think about it.

TRASH, they say your children are TRASH?

We live in a time where babies are not considered living beings until they actually come out of the womb and breath air. Even then some have been reported as having been “dispatched” after being born alive. Then the same government that allows for human children to be cut to pieces to be removed from their mothers womb, or, to be removed and reported as dead so that they can be harvested and sold for profit like a bad Frankenstein movie. Trash. The government wants you to believe they are nothing but yesterday’s trash to be taken to the curb so that Planned Parenthood can collect them and use them for profit. Truly we live in a disposable society when our babies can be seen as refuse. Then again, most of our lives are “instant” and going 100 miles an hour.

We Have Drive-Thru’s For That!!

We have a Drive-thru for food because we do not have time to cook meals and to some degree, we are losing the skills necessary to cook meals.Drive Thru
We have a drive through for coffee and donuts because we don’t have time for breakfast; we want to sleep more.

We have a Drive-thru to pick up our prescriptions because getting out of the car Drive thru pandemic screeningand walking into the store takes too much time. This is a “Drive-thru for Pandemic screening” because we can’t be bothered to get out of our cars to save our own lives.

Abortion and Planned Parenthood has become our “Drive-thru” for taking care of a bad decision to have a fun night. And before you jump mad and tell me they provide other services beside abortion, killing innocent children is not acceptable just because they provide services that are provided through other more reputable avenues. Get a grip if that is your argument.

TRASH

Trash is what is left over when we buy something that needs to be in an overly decorated package. A package that we might not buy without all the frilly, artsy, Fast foo dtrashpackage that makes us believe we “Need” it.

You open up your Big Mac and have to do something with the wrapper. The fries are great, they have a 15-minute lifespan, but then you have to throw way the little Fry-cup. Then you down your supersized drink that you didn’t need and you are left with trash: a waxed cup with a plastic lid. Now I’m not just picking on one restaurant, go to the grocery and you end up with groceries in plastic bags. Then everything you bought at the grocery is wrapped in a container that was designed to hold food for long periods of time.

It’s Still Here

So, when we eat, play, buy, sell, we create more and more trash that we just throw away without regard for it. We are creating so much trash that we just throw away, or put it to the curb without any thought about it at all. It goes somewhere. It goes to thedumps dump. The dump is a property that is set aside and managed by a company, but it soon is a mountain, very quickly it becomes a mountain. When I go to Columbus from Central Kentucky I see a dump like I am describing on the side of the highway. You can actually smell it before you ever get to it depending on the day. It is where the trash goes. Monitoring wells, trucks, bulldozers, earthmovers, EPA, all of this plays into us tossing our trash into the wastebasket: we have created a culture that has a disposable, throw away, mindset. If it is leftover or unwanted, it is trash.

Freedom from consequences, not choice

That very mindset is what allows our culture to apply this to children. We don’t want the responsibility. Let’s admit it, the Planned Parenthood’s admissions on the videos posted on Social Media, is the proof that they truly believe that our unborn children are trash: Disposable refuse, left over from a high-speed lifestyle lived because we have to do more faster. It is also because we do not want the consequences of our actions.

We want to discard our bad, unhealthy choices,Trash at the curb like fast-food trash. We do not want to “See” the consequences; we want to believe it isn’t ours to deal with. We want to believe that we are not accountable for the leftovers of our decisions. Just like the trash we put out on Thursday night, we want someone else to haul our bad choices away and dispose of them so we do not have to deal with them. Pretty soon we will be driving by the piles of consequences and it will stink and it will break our hearts and ruin the landscape of our lives.

Cash for Trash

We have an opportunity. We are raising support for the “Pregnancy Help Center of Richmond Kentucky” to purchase and set up an Ultrasound Clinic. When we started pushing this, they needed $13,000 more dollars; they are down to $8,000. So, we are signing up to clean the byways around Richmond: Barnesmill, Tatescreek and Ultrasoundothers. We will pick up the trash and turn it into cash for the Pregnancy Help Center. We will gather at the Vineyard at 9am on October 17th and go out for 3-4 hours depending upon the number of people. We can raise $2000 in that amount of time if we all work together. That will take the PHC need down to $6,000. We can have this paid for before Christmas of this year, I know we can. We can show the world that our children, unborn children, are not trash. God is in the business of turning broken lives that the world has marginalized into Children of the King. Through giving your time on October 17th, you can show the world that they can call these children trash, but we see them as viable, living, loving human beings: PEOPLE that deserve a chance to be something other than parts for the body mill called Planned Parenthood. People that deserve the same chance the parents aborting them had.

Do You Have an Hour or Two For Our Children?

If you can give an hour or two or three or even four on October 17th, join us and help us help our children and their parents. Let us know you will be there by calling 859 779 5615 and leaving your contact information. Then, when you have signed up, show up. Let’s not talk about it; let’s do something about it.

You can donate your self

You can also donate to this cause by following the link below:
http://www.phccares.org/#!operation-ultrasound/csop