Friday, June 11, 2010

Be a Servant

This morning I was reading John 2, the story of the Wedding at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine, and I was blown away by the role of the servant. Here's Jesus' interaction with the servants...

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." John 2:6-10
Look at what Jesus asked the servants to do.
- Fill the jars with 20-30 gallons of water. This meant carrying these jugs to the well, filling them, and then bringing them back to Jesus. That would have been a lot of work. Have you ever tried to carry 20-30 gallons of water? Those suckers would have been heavy! They might have put them on a cart, but still they had to lift them on the cart. Then they had to take them to the master of the feast. This must have been confusing. Why are we bringing water to the master of the feast? It's the wine that they ran out of? What the heck?

But look at what the servants witnessed.
- They were the first to witness Jesus transform the water into wine. They were the first to realize what had happened.

Here's what hit me...
Serving Jesus is hard work. Carrying the water was hard work. Serving others is hard work. It's not what we naturally want to do. But often Jesus asks us to do that which isn't easy. But unless we are willing to do the hard work, we will not be put in the position to witness Jesus move in power. It was the willingness of the servants that put them in the position to see the transformational power of Jesus. If they didn't carry the water, they would have never seen it turn into wine. Unless we are willing to do the hard work of serving others, forgiving others, having the hard conversations, we will never be in the position to see Jesus transform their lives.

Too often I believe we want the easy way out. We don't want to do the hard work. That has been my attitude. But unless we are willing to serve and do that which is difficult, we will never see Jesus move in a transformational way in people's lives.

Where am I doing the hard work of serving? Am I putting myself in the position to see Jesus move?

Lord, may I be willing to do the hard work, so that I can see you transform lives!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Lost Art of the Career


Loved reading this article in the recent Relevant Magazine. It was called "The Lost Art of the Career" and it challenges younger workers and their attitude towards work. Written by David Kinnaman, who works at Barna, he calls young workers out and I love his challenging words. He shares 7 things to consider when building a career.

1. Create a Unique Statement of Your Calling and Vision - this can be a short statement that describes what you feel God is calling you to do with your life.

2. See out People at the Office Who Can Mentor You - Straight forward find a person who you can learn from and ask a ton of questions.

3. Demanding Bosses Are Not Your Enemy - Some of the best bosses are tough ones because they want you to grow. They push you and stretch you because they believe in you.

4. When You Reach Your Breaking Point, Stay Longer - It's during the toughest times that you learn the most. Don't leave and find a new job when things get tough. Wait it out and learn from those moments.

5. Make Sure You Check Your Ego At the Door - be a servant Serve your employer well.

6. Keep the Organizations Goals a Priority - The organizations goals are your priority while you are on the job.

7. Connect Your Work to Your Faith

Seven Mistakes I've Made

Great blog by Thom Rainer entitled "7 Mistakes I Made in Ministry." Love the 7 that he highlighted. Here's what he said...

1. I would spend more time in the Word and in prayer. I would follow the biblical pattern of the church leaders in Acts 6:4: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry" (HCSB).

2. I would give my family more time. No one remembers the church committee meetings I missed. My family still remembers those times I was too busy for them.

3. I would spend more time sharing my faith. Paul told the young pastor Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). Those words apply to all pastors today.

4. I would love the community where I lived more. I would try to live more incarnationally. I would prayerfully seek to see how I could serve the community rather than see it as a population pool of prospects for my church.

5. I would lead the church to focus more on the nations. I would lead in helping our church grasp that missions is more than just an annual offering.

6. I would focus on critics less. Most church members have no idea how many criticisms and “suggestions” a pastor gets each week. It can be overwhelming and distracting. Though I would be willing to listen, I would not obsess about every negative comment that was made about me.

7. I would accept the reality that I can’t be omnipresent. So many people and groups want the presence of the pastor. Saying “no” can be difficult, but it can free the pastor to focus on some of the priorities noted above.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Whatever you see in me...

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. Philippians 4:9

This verse rocked me when I read it while sitting in the corner booth at Russ' last Thursday. The thought that ran through my mind was, "if people copied my life would I like what I see?" Or actually, "would Jesus like what he saw?"

Would I be able to say like Paul, "whatever you see me do... do that. Live that way?" Jesus give me the grace to live that way!

Work on it!

I absolutely loved this post from Ben Arment. In a recent post he said this...

To get better at what we do, we have to work on it, not just in it.

How many pastors get so lost in message prep that they neglect to work on the structure of the message? They give the audience all of their study... rather than the fruit of it.

How many churches continue to do the same, ineffective things over and over again because they get bogged down in the activities... rather than work on what activities to pursue?


Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009... A great year!

Every year at this time I look through my blog and take a trip down memory lane. Now, this year, I didn't blog as much as I was hoping, but there were still some great memories. Here's what stood out as I looked at 2009...

2009 - a great year. But as good as 2009 was, I'm really looking forward to 2010. 2010 will be an interesting year, and full of excitement. No there is no big news. It's just a feeling I have.

What was your 2009 like?

Christmas Fun

Yesterday there was one gift the whole family enjoyed playing -- the Wii. We literally played this thing until our arms fell off. The whole day was spent playing golf, tennis, baseball, running, and trying to beat dad in tennis. That's right, no one has beat me in tennis. Everyone has tried, but no one has succeeded - just showing these girls who's in charge here! I don't plan to lose for a while...

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Drummer Girl

Shot this of my daughter last week. She didn't know I was doing it for a while... then she caught on. She really likes to play her new drum. Personally, I loved that she was getting into it. Just perhaps drumming is in her future

. video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Content...

is not king. I loved this post from Collide Magazine's blog. I agree that content is important and it must be presented clearly, but there are so many other factors that are vital to a local church. Here's an exert from the blog regarding content...

Houston Clark from Clark Pro Media helped me understand this. He pointed out that all the religious media (content) he could ever want — sermons from the best communicators in the world, great worship music, challenging books, articles, and blog posts — travels with him wherever he goes via his iPhone. If fantastic content is always available, there has to be another reason to come to your church.

That’s why I don’t believe content is king in the local church. In fact, the more I think about it, I don’t think any one thing is the most important thing in a local church. Maybe there is a congress of things that are vital to a local church, things like community, mission, and service. Sure, content is in the discussion, but I don’t think it’s the king.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How He Loves

We did this song after the message on Sunday at Lakeshore Vineyard Church. I absolutely love this song and the team did a phenomenal job. It fit well with the message on the Love of God called "A love that surpasses knowledge." As the worship team sang this song, we had verses up on the screen. Simply but very effective. Sit back and enjoy.