Archive for May, 2011

Week of May 22, 2011

Real:

“Walking the Talk…”

Colossians 3:7-10

I was having a conversation with a gentleman just this past week who told me that as much as he hated to say it, he was really getting disheartened by the lack of genuineness among the men in his church. He said the more he thought about it, the more he saw it among the “Christian” men he knew and associated with. He told me that as much as he would like not to admit it, it made him not want to go to church. He said he could see why more men are not “stepping up” in the way they should because despite what many “men of the church” speak from their mouths there is very little observable difference between the men inside and outside of the church. No matter how many times I get hit with that reality baseball bat, it still hurts.

Challenge: It doesn’t matter where we are, who we are, or what we are, a lack of genuineness puts a barrier between us and those around us. For men of God, if we are going to heed Christ’s commandment of “making disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19) and reach generations of men where they are and impact them for Christ, there has to be a distinct and consistent difference between us and men of the world. Talking the talk but not walking the walk hurts our testimony more than if we said nothing at all. This is true for men of any age. This week, take a look in the mirror. Be honest with who you see and ask yourself, “If someone said something about me, either way, would there be enough evidence to convict me?”

Prayer: Lord, please help me be honest with myself and more importantly, honest with You. You already know me better than I know myself…and You love me unconditionally and call me your own. I pray that You, who are Absolute Truth, shine through me in all that I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

For more about getting involved and supporting Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.

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Week of May 15, 2011

Relevant:

“Don’t Caw. Come in”

Romans 12:10

There is a bar not too far from my home that has a sign out front with a picture of a crow standing with his arms open saying, “Don’t caw. Come in.” I just love that sign. And it is so relevant to the shift in how we interact with others. It seems in today’s busy, hectic, fast paced transactional world of technological communications, in-person interactions are becoming a thing of the past. We have gone from sitting down for lunch, to grabbing a phone call, to sending an email, to a 142 character text message. In essence, relationships are disappearing. There are many reasons for this. But if we are honest, spending time with someone else usually doesn’t fit into “our” schedule. This is true in our personal and professional lives. We are so wrapped up in ourselves and our own “stuff” that we don’t have time for others. Actually, we have the time…we just don’t make the time.

Challenge: Jesus told His disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another.” (John 13:34). How did Jesus love others? Sacrificially. He put others before himself. He spent time with His disciples, building a relationship. One of the greatest ways to honor someone is to give them the only non-renewable resource we have, our time. Make some time this week to grow your relationships…face to face.

Prayer: Lord, I have allowed my life to become so busy that I barely have time to get everything done. I know there are relationships in my life that need attention…most importantly, my relationship with you. Help me prioritize my day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For more about getting involved and supporting Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.

Relentless:

“Treasure Hunter”

Prov 1:7, 2:3-6; 1 Cor 1:27, 3:19; Eph 3:16-19

It has been said that “knowledge is power.” Actually, I think a more accurate statement is “the use of knowledge is powerful.” Knowledge by itself is like the sharpest axe in the world. It is absolutely useless unless someone swings it. Many of us find ourselves on this relentless quest for knowledge…in the acquisition of educational degrees, through books, training seminars, infomercials, etc… We believe that the more we know, the more we learn, the better we will be. Getting an education, preparing for one’s future, learning the particulars of an industry, product, job, etc…is essential to being successful and effective in many aspects of both an educational and professional environment. However, this knowledge is not the foundation by which God calls us in our lives. It seems the smarter we get by the world’s standards, the more capable we feel we are to analyze God’s Word, sometimes question its validity, demand scientific evidence and proof, or simply think we are too smart to believe in God and His Word. All throughout the Bible the perils are revealed, from God’s perspective, of being “wise in our own eyes” and of the arrogance that often comes with worldly knowledge.

Challenge: Proverbs 1:7 tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,…” God does not tell us not to become knowledgeable about the world. He tells us not to become rooted in it. “For the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness.’” (1 Cor 3:19) We have the instructions: “…and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”( Prov 2:3-6). Rather than filtering God’s Word through worldly knowledge, try filtering worldly knowledge through God’s Word. I think you will be surprised at the perspective shift.

Prayer: Lord, your Word tells me that You and your love are the root of all knowledge, wisdom, insight, and understanding. And that wisdom and understanding are worth more than gold and silver. There is so much pressure on being seen as an authority on this or an authority on that…to learn this or that…all things based on man’s perspective. You tell me if I seek first your kingdom, the things I need will be given to me. Lord, thank you for your faithfulness as I need wisdom and discernment. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

For more about getting involved and supporting Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.


Lighten the Load

Posted: May 3, 2011 in Articles

Lighten the Load


Hello, all. Welcome to May. Summer is almost upon us and I am sure there are so many things you are looking forward to…at least I hope so. Time at the beach, lake, or maybe even a trip is on your summer to do list. We are going to divert away from the life on the road series, just a bit, but will still be talking about life outside the man caves and home. This time we’ll be cruising at 10,000 feet.

It always amazes me how airplanes that weigh so much are able to get off the ground and fly. Aerodynamics is absolutely amazing. I really like the movie Pearl Harbor (Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Alec Baldwin).  We all know the story but there is a small but significant message in the movie that is very relevant to us today. In the movie, the success of the Army Air Corps’ bombing missions into Japan depended on the ability of the pilots to take off from an aircraft carrier. The carrier, however, had a very, very short runway. There was no do over or second shot at it. The planes had to get in the air before the runway ran out…period. Failure meant crashing into the ocean. What did they do? In the movie, I mean. Failed attempt after failed attempt to get off the ground within the allotted “few hundred feet”, the planes were literally gutted. The sailors and soldiers pulled everything out and stripped the planes down to the bare bones. This included nuts, bolts, gears, even extra fuel cans. They even pulled the machine guns and replaced them with broom sticks that were painted black (they wanted to enemy to think the planes were stilled armed)…anything to lighten the planes enough to get them airborne before splashdown. Well, they finally got the planes light enough, took off from the carrier, made the bombing runs, blew up Japanese targets, got shot down, got overrun by enemy patrols, fought bravely, one of the stars died but not before he learned he was going to be a father, ace pilot makes it through, he gets back home, lives happily ever after with the girl who is the mother of his best friend’s baby, and the rest is movie history. Despite what it may seem it really is a pretty good movie.

Back to the issue at hand. There were so many variables, gray areas, and uncertainties that before the mission Lt. Colonel Doolittle told the pilots that 50% or more of them would likely be either shot down or would not make it back because of a lack of fuel. Yet they all stepped forward and accepted the challenge. Why? Did they believe in Doolittle? Love the old US of A? Did they believe in the mission? Desire fame? Glory? Have faith in each other? I don’t know. Maybe a bit of all of that…or none at all. Regardless of why, for them to accomplish the mission…receive the fame…glory… For them to achieve the task set before them, they had to first get in the air. That meant stripping away the extra baggage and heading into the unknown fully exposed, somewhat defenseless, and riding on a wing and, most likely, a prayer.

If you’re like me, and taking the movie drama out of the equation, I would not have had the greatest level of confidence heading into enemy airspace, during a war, without any weapons or protection, or even extra fuel, and knowing that there is a better than 1 in 2 chance that I will either get shot down or run out of gas and crash. Can you say suicide mission? How often are our lives a direct reflection of those planes? We are so weighed down by the burdens of life that we can’t seem to get off the carrier except to…well, swim. Many of us look at the extra baggage, the machine guns (protection from the enemy), extra fuel (insurance, a way back home or to the comfort of our homes or man caves), and parts that don’t really do anything but are there because someone said they should be (all of the other “stuff” that life throws our way that seems just to come with living) as essential for us to get through the battle. However, those things thought to be essential are often the very things that keep us on the ground…from flying with God…from accomplishing the tasks set before us.  There is a way to “lighten the load” without being defenseless, helpless, or feel like we are on a suicide mission.

Christ tells us to “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.  Psalm 55:22 tells us to “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you: he will never let the righteous fall.” We serve a big, all powerful, all knowing, all present, and all loving God. And He can handle our burdens and fight our battles. All we have to do is give the “extra baggage” to Him and have faith in Him.

I know. It’s easier said than done. For many of us it is difficult to cast our burdens on someone else, even Christ…the only one who can truly handle them. And despite how much we want to, we don’t. Jesus is patient, humble, and knocking at our door. He will always be there. All we have to do is open it. If you can’t cast all your worries and troubles on Him right now, start by casting only a few. Watch how He will come through for you. Believe me, there is no flying into the unknown defenseless and helpless when you are flying with Jesus.

Not sure how to get started? Try this prayer as a launching pad: Lord, I have all kinds of burdens that are weighing me down and keeping me from flying with you. And even though I want to, I have a hard time giving things over to you. Help me trust in you, that you can handle all my cares and worries, and that you will not let me fall. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, keep it real…and in the air.

 

For more about getting involved and supporting Servant Warrior Ministries,  visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.