Saturday, June 4, 2016

Turtles and Fence Posts: A Simple Reminder for All Graduates

Graduates:  "if a turtle is sitting on a fence post, it had to have some help getting there."  That's the one thing I remember from the keynote at my college graduation from ETBU on June 1, 2016. It's still true today. You haven't got to where you are today without the significant of others in your life:  parents, pastors, teachers, friends, grandparents, coaches, siblings, counselors, and on and on it could go. You get the point. No man is an island. We all need help; and if you're graduating, you've had lots of it. Some you asked for. Some you didn't. Some you wanted. Some, not so much. Practical. Spiritual. Educational. Familial. Serious. Silly. Help of all kind.  It's has been extended to you to get you where you are today and to propel and catapult you into the glorious unknown of the future.  Help. You can take it or leave it. You can buy into it or sell it. The choice is yours. And the future is before you. Don't forget one important piece of timeless truth to live by on this topic of help from God's Word in Hebrews 13:7:

Remember those who led you; who spoke the Word of God to you. And considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

In simple terms:  remember those who made a difference in your life - who went the extra mile on your behalf. Be grateful. Follow their example, especially those who don't just talk a good talk; but they walk a good walk. Be an imitator.

Be imitators of Christ...Eph. 5:1
Walk in a manner worthy...Eph. 4:1

God bless you graduates. And remember:  the turtle reached new heights with the help of others that he would've never reached on his own. You can do the same.

John

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Art of Spiritual Pretense...and How To Fix It

This past Sunday Tom Cottar, our Contemporary Worship Pastor, said during worship  that Church is a great place to pretend.  I agree. God used that statement to stir these thoughts on me.

Church is a great place to pretend...

- that I'm spiritual.
- that I've got it all together.
- that I don't need any help.
- that I can handle life's stuff on my own.
- that I'm ok.
- that I'm not the problem
- that everyone else is the problem.
- that I don't have any problems.
- that I'm not broken.
- that I don't need God.

Church should be a place where I can be real with God and acknowledge that...

- I'm a spiritual mess.
- I don't have it all together.
- I need help.
- I can't handle life's stuff on my own.
- I'm not ok.
- I'm the problem.
- Everyone else is not the problem.
- I have a number of problems.
- I am broken.
- I need God. I need Him a lot.
- And that He is ENOUGH for me, my brokenness, my helplessness, my insufficiency, my problems, my inadequacies, and my spiritual mess.

His Word says... "cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7
"My grace is sufficient for you..."

Thank you Lord. I don't have to pretend with you. You know me - the real me- better than I know myself; and I'm a spiritual pretender at times.  Thank You for loving me anyway...just the way that I am.

John