Who belongs to who?

Minor confessions lead to major change.
This summer’s sermon series is The Minors.  We are taking a journey through the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament.  These men spoke faithful words into desperate times. 
Desperate times caused by disobedient people.  There is no greater weakness in the human condition than our inability or unwillingness to acknowledge the desperation is most often caused by our own decisions.  Ultimately this was the spiritual condition that the Minor Prophets spoke into.
God’s People had committed idolatry (worshiping false gods) over and over again.  They continued to return to this sin because they believed they could get what they wanted from these gods.
God had established a covenant with his people spoke of in 2 Chronicles 7:12-22.  God reminds the Nation of Israel they are “his people called by His name.” 
We belong to God.  The spiritual condition that leads to idolatry is one we all struggle with…control.  We do not want to belong to God.  We want a god that belongs to us.  This way we are in control of right and wrong and good and bad.
Returning to God from a place of personal pride and idolatry requires humility, prayer, relational restoration, and repentance.  God promises that he will hear us and that he will healus both personally and corporately…if we will return to Him.
What minor confession, today, will prevent a major catastrophe tomorrow?
Who will you confess to and with?  To God?  With brothers and sisters in Christ?
Will you find accountability and hope in Christ and His Church?

Monday Insight 5.20.13

Parents just don’t understand!
These are the lyrics of a popular song from my teen years.  So many young people feel this way.  Parents often feel this way.  They think they understand.  I mean after all they have been there before, but it has been a long time and times have changed.
Today I want to give you a little encouragement and challenging on Biblical parenting from Ephesians 6:1-4
The call of parenting is to bring up.
You are not raising a child.  You have a child.  You are raising an adult.
We must bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Instruction is the principles from our lips.
Training is the practices of our lives.
There is nothing more exasperating for a child than to have parents that the principles of their lips do match the practices of their lives.  If you profess to follow Christ but do not practice the commandments of Christ, it confuses, discourages, and exasperates your children.
So, there is a great question I want you to ponder.
If your children obey every word you say this week, what will they do that honors Jesus Christ other than obey you?

Ending the Silence

I have been in blog silence for some time now.  No particular reason, but many non-particular ones.  We started writing a weekly follow up for our sermons that goes out via email so some of what I was writing here is now found there.  I should probably just blog it, but I haven’t.  I have been uber-busy with our church.  Blogging is one of the things I feel is easy to set aside for more urgent tasks at hand.  Plus I have had both of my parents fighting some health issues this Spring so that has taken some extra time.
 But there is one other reason…I only want to write words that matter…I don’t want to write to words to matter.  I feel the same way about preaching.  I want to speak words that matter…I don’t want to matter because I speak words.  I have not felt I had the time to do that, so I have chosen not to say something weakly because I do not have time to give it strength.  But if you stay silent long enough there is strength in what has built up inside you.
 So here are 10 things to catch up a little as I jump back in.  Some of the points are from my sermons, some for right here, and some from others I have learned from.
 1.     Your family is not picture perfect.  It’s priceless.
Too many people throw away a priceless family over a lousy year’s worth of snapshots.  It’s priceless…fight for it.2.     Conflict boils down to 2 heart issues a.  I am not getting what I want
 b.  You are not doing what I want.
Check your heart in conflict.3.     Conflict happens.  Marriages end not because of what we conflict over but how we conflict.
 Speak truth…but speak it in love.4.     Marriage is not an accidental snapshot of the Gospel…it is a designed portrait of Christ’s love for the Church and the love of the Church for Christ.
The vision I have for Wendy and I is that a hurting world and a confused church would see the love of Christ for the Church and the love of the Church for Christ in our relationship.5.     Servant leadership inspires loving submission.  Loving submission inspires leaders to serve. It is not either/or it is both/and.6.    Parenting is a great calling.  “Bring up” your children is not about making kids happy but about building honorable adults.
If you don’t plan for the destination you will never get there.7.     If decisions that are supposed to be hard are easy, your heart is hard.
Love adds great weight to all hard truths.8.    Making hard decisions benefits everyone involved…in the end.
The hard decision you are making today is about tomorrow…hope.9.     You cannot teach what you do not know and you cannot lead where you will not go.Pastor and parents, what are you saying do that you’re not doing?10.   Humility is humiliating.
The church that is THE CHURCH is a group of people that can confess the humiliating to one another and not be humiliated but be held up, held accountable, and headed forward.  Too many thoughts for one blog, but it got me back in the game and back on the page.