Friday, October 15, 2010

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Well, Halloween is "creeping" upon us ever so quickly. It's apparent for we are all being bombarded with the annual display of images of spiders lobster toddler.jpgand goblins, skulls and blood, and witches and zombies. Among all the gloomy and perverse outfits and decor, however, arise some quite entertaining and ingenious costumes, especially those of the kids. After all you can't help but smile at toddlers dressed as firemen, over-sized m&m's, and even lobsters!

This annual event is and has been quite a point of controversy for many people, particularly among those who are seeking to make godly decisions and aren't exactly sure where celebrating Halloween falls on God's scale of right and wrong. Many point out that Halloween is rooted in pagan traditions and rituals and that for one to "glorify" Halloween, he might as well be worshiping Satan. On the other hand, children dressing up, getting candy, and bobbing for apples hardly seems to be some unholy worship of false gods-why deny children such innocent fun?

There are some things we may not understand about Halloween and/or God's Will concerning such a celebration. However, to quote an old pastor of mine, "don't let what you don't know rob you of what you do know." Going to the Bible and seeing what Jesus said, here are some things we do know:

Matthew 5:14,16- "You are the light of the world...Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven..."

  • Halloween is characterized by darkness and gloom- We are to be the Light in a dark world.

John 15:11;14:27- "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be full..." & "I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

  • Halloween's theme is horror and fear- We are to be joyful and faithful.
Matthew 5:14,16- "I came that the may have life, and have it abundantly... "
  • Halloween depicts (even glorifies) death- We are to have Life through Christ and offer this Life to others.

So, however you approach Halloween weekend, be safe and keep these passages in mind. God bless, and hope to see you Sunday.

On the Journey Together,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speech Problems

Momma always said, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say, then don't say nothing at all." Sadly many of us get that backwards and hold in the nice things while letting out the not-so-nice. This story is a great example:

There once was a poor, rural family who were greatly concerned because their little boy had not started talking. The family didn't have many resources to call upon, so the problem went on for a long time. One day, while the mother was making supper, she became overwhelmed and lost her concentration. She burned the meal. After she served the meal, the little boy tasted it and hollered, "I can't eat this. It's all burned." Shocked but happy, the mother hugged the child and asked, "Why haven't you been talking?" He said, "Up to now, everything has been OK."

I've been that little boy way too many times. I hold in the encouraging words of affirmation and the compliments that would brighten a person's day while freely complaining and criticizing over the smallest of things.

When I read the New Testament I am convicted about the way I sometimes speak, but encouraged because God has given me direction in this area. Check out these verses:

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

"Let your speech always be with grace." (Colossians 4:6)

"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." (Colossians 3:8)

"...and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:4)

Prayer: Lord, help us speak words of Grace and Love. May our words pick up and and build up, not tear down. May we encourage, not discourage. May we give thanks and not complain. May we glorify and bless Your name, Oh God, by letting our speech be pure and holy to Your ears. Amen.

On the Journey Together,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do Things Always Work Out for Good?

It seems whether or not one is a Believer in God or the Bible, he or she will most likely use a commonly used phrase to comfort people who are dealing with fearful or crisis situations. Have you ever had someone tell you, "Everything will be ok" or "The Bible says that everything works together for good."

Unfortunately, one of the most well-known verses in the Bible is also one of the most misunderstood and misquoted. It's found in Romans 8:28:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Did you see the rest of the verse? All things work together for good "for those who love (God) and who have been called according to His purpose." One thing that we see throughout the Bible is that almost exclusively the promises of God are for the people of God.

If you love God and are fulfilling His calling and purpose for your life, take heart---for, everything will work out for good!

However, if you are living a life of unconfessed and unrepented of sin; if you are rejecting the calling of His Spirit; if you are knowingly choosing to rebel against God and His Word, don't be surprised when things in your life don't work out.

In fact if you aren't following Christ, you should expect that aspects of your life will almost undoubtedly fall apart when the storms come, for you are building on a foundation of sand.

As Paul continues in this letter to the Believers in Rome, he says in verse 37:

" all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

May we love God, follow God's calling and purpose for our lives, and experience (by His grace) the ability to become more than conquerors in all of life's situations. Then and only then will we realize that ALL things DO work together for good...

On the Journey Together,


Friday, September 10, 2010

Creator God

Have you seen the newly released from NASA? Just this week we have new breath-taking images of the universe taken by the recently updated Hubble Telescope. Click here to see more of the incredible images.

ngc6217 hubble.jpgOne of the most challenging things for me to try and wrap my mind around is the cosmos. When I think about the sun(s), other planets, stars and star clusters, other galaxies, black-holes, the varieties of nebula, and so forth, I am flabbergasted at their scope, beauty, and force. The awesomeness of such wonderful things fills my heart and mind with awe.

Psalm 33:6,9 says,

"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host...for He spoke, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast." (NASB)

ngc6302 hubble.jpgFor me, the only thing more astonishing and majestic than the cosmos is the One who created it by simply causing it to be. God spoke and it was so.

This God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, knows us, loves us, and wants a relationship with us. You may choose to believe that the universe is an accidental byproduct of random chances, but as for me, I'll put my trust in God.

Worshiping the Creator Together,


Monday, August 23, 2010


The sign hung in the barber shop in which I used to get my hair cut (crew cut style) as a child: "Teenagers: Stop! Move out, get a job, and start a family while you still know everything!" I didn't really understand that sign then...but I'm starting to grasp it now! Not sure I can say the same for society as a whole though.

It appears in our "information age" everyone wants to know it all. Answers to almost any question are just a quick google search away. In fact, we don't even have to be near a computer; we're so connected that we have Internet on our cell phones. It seems all of the world's knowledge is literally at the tips of our fingers.

We must not be deceived, however, to think that just because knowledge and facts are so readily available that we really are the all-knowing ones. To be sure, it is one thing to be educated/informed and another thing altogether to be wise. This is an important distinction because we don't make choices based on knowledge alone, but we make choices from our wisdom (or the lack thereof).

Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 3:18-19:

"Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight."

Paul says if you're looking around and comparing yourself to the world and the people around you, and if you are beginning to think that you're smarter and wiser, watch out! Beware, for if you think you're wise, you're really a fool in God's eyes!

Later in 1 Corinthians (10:12), Paul reminds us that if we think we're standing, we better be careful 'cause we're about to fall.

If you're anything like me, at times you can start believing that you're a pretty smart fella (or gal). It's when I think I've got the answers and everything is all figured out, and when I start feeling in control and empowered, that I usually blow it the most and the biggest.

So what do we do? Well the verse above says that we should humble ourselves and realize that ultimately our worldly wisdom is really foolishness. We should trust God (and His Word) for the answers and the true wisdom that we need to succeed.

Learning Together,


Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Complaint about Complaining

According to the authors of the book Significa, the world's champion complainer was a man named Ralph Charrel. Charrel received over $100,000 as a result of his systematic complaining. His smallest refund was of $6.95 and his largest was $25,000. Charrel spent time every day making phone call and writing letters of complaint. He even wrote two books, How to Get the Upper Hand and How I Turn Ordinary Complaints into Thousands of Dollars.

While we all have the right to stand up for ourselves, would you want to be known as the "World's Champion Complainer"? I hope not.

The issue of complaining has been around since the beginning of time and it found a special place at a church in Philippi in which Paul addresses the problem. Philipians 2:14-15:

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..."

Paul makes a distinction between the children of God and the rest of the world. He says they are a "crooked and depraved generation," but we should become blameless and pure. One of the ways we do this is avoiding the temptation of complaining and arguing with each other.

If we choose to be thankful and encouraging instead of complaining; and if we choose to make peace instead of causing division and dissent, the Bible says we will shine like stars in the universe. May we shine for Jesus today.

On the Journey Together,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

Everyone that I know really loves the 4th of July weekend. Whether your deal is traveling, camping, grillin', or taking the boat to the lake or river, we all seem to joyously celebrate it in one way or the other. You know, it is something about the hot summer sun, the fireworks, and good eating that get's us all excited--or is it?
Maybe all of the things we do to celebrate the 4th of July are just results of what we're really excited about. It's possible that burgers and sparklers are simply an outward expression of an inward appreciation. We may not think of it this way, but I believe somewhere in our mind or heart, we all long for freedom. Once our freedom is realized, it excites us; once we're excited, we show and share it.
Liberty Bell.jpg
I hope one day to travel to the Northeast and tour our nation's capitol and surrounding areas. If I'm ever granted the opportunity, I think I will plan to visit the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The history of the bell is astounding, but I'll spare you all of its historic details. I would like to point out, however, a key inscription on the bell. It reads as follows:
"Proclaim Liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof." (Leviticus 25:10)
Forgive the pun, but that inscription "rings a bell." Remember Matthew 28:18? (Hint: "the great commission.") You see, Jesus came to set us free from the penalty of sin. He has freed us from it's bondage and it's punishment (death). Through Christ we have true freedom. Essentially His last words before leaving earth were: "Go to everyone in the world how they can be free!" Go back and read the Liberty Bell inscription once more. How 'bout it?
In closing, my simple challenge is this. First, realize true freedom comes through Christ, and Him alone. Secondly, proclaim that freedom to everyone you can-in Bubba language, that means tell somebody about Jesus.
Celebrating Freedom Together,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

George Washington and Cursing

I ran across a quote by George Washington that was very insightful...thought I would share:

"The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it."

Profanity has been around nearly as long as language itself, and it shows no sign of going away anytime soon. Vulgarity is everywhere: billboards, books and magazines, all over the web, music, everyday conversations, and especially movies and TV.

We all have that little voice inside us that lets us no something isn't right about cursing and swearing. Our wisdom, attitude, and character determines whether or not we make the choice to curse/cuss. When one chooses to use profanity, it's usually one of the following:

  • a sign of ignorance (such as the child who repeats what they've heard or the immature adult who is speaking without thinking)
  • a sign of rebellion (like the teenager who likes getting away with it or the criminal who curses an officer)
  • or a sign of insecurity (like the singer who uses it because they feel it's the only way they can reach their audience or the debater who uses it in as a method of intimidation).

There are other cases of course, but these are the most common reasons people will curse. As a youth minister I was often asked, "Is it a 'sin' to cuss?" Hmmm. Does the Bible really say that we're not supposed to? The answer is "yes." The Bible speaks very clearly about our speech, and how it should be used. Since we only have a limited amount of space, let me share this verse with you:

"Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth..." (Ephesians 4:29)

"...from the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. Brothers this ought not to be this way..." (James 3:10

Jesus said it's not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out (Matthew 15:11). There are several more verses you can find them by clicking here.

All this is to say that God has given us speech and words as a way to communicate, and even moreso to build each other up (Ephesians 4:29). So, today let's build someone up; encourage them. And if you have that bad habit of cursing, the grab these verses above and let them be your "weapon" against profanity. Learn and memorize them. When the time is right, you'll know it, and you'll be able to use your secret weapon. It's amazing the power in God's Word.

Praying these words have built you up...


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Don't Drink the Sand

Galatians 1:3

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ..."

What is listed above is Paul's greeting to the church in Galatia. It was very common for Paul to introduce himself in his letters and then grant the blessings of "grace and peace." In fact when he addressed the Believers in Corinth, Phillipi, Ephesus, and Thessalonica, he uses this phrase, and almost always follows it with a reference of God and Christ.

Because it is so common in his writings, and since it's just a part of the greeting many skip over the statement not realizing the importance. But, I would like to remind us about 2 we learn from the Scriptures:

1. Grace comes before peace. We could never experience the peace of God without first realizing and accepting the grace of God.

2. Grace and peace comes from God through Christ. We may try to look to other things to give us the satisfaction and peace we desire, but true peace only comes from God through a relationship with Christ.

When we try to quench our thirst by looking to other things (alcohol, entertainment, money, success, sexual immorality, etc.), we are basically "drinking sand." What happens if you were to drink sand? Your thirst isn't quenched, it's intensified and compounded. And so it is when we try to find peace outside of God's grace given through Christ.

Jesus told the woman at the well, "...whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

In the spirit of Paul and the Gospel, I pray that you will let Jesus quench your thrist. I pray we will all experience the blessings of grace and peace from God that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

On the Journey Together,


Happy Father's Day

Another special day is just around the corner, and I'm sure you've been marketed to enough to know what day it is--Father's Day. Around America this weekend, we'll pause and say thanks to our dads. For most, they'll appreciate them a little extra and end the day a little closer than before.

me and dad.jpgI'm a rebel at heart and like to go against the grain when I can, but I would definitely be amiss if I didn't join the celebration and do the same. So, I'd like to say thanks to my dad. Thanks for working those long days and nights on the oil rigs and cotton gins. Thanks for showing me how to mow the yard, for putting up the basketball goal for me, and carrying me fishing and hunting. Thanks for accepting Christ and striving to be a godly man. Thanks for using the "leather" when I needed it. (I can't believe I just said that!) Thanks, most of all, for loving me. You haven't been the perfect dad (and I definitely haven't been the perfect son), but your love has always been authentic and genuine and for that I'm eternally grateful.


As I pause to say a prayer of thanks for and blessings over my own dad, I'm reminded of the thousands of people whose Father's Day won't be a day of celebration, but a time of mourning or anxiety. Many of our nation's fathers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some have given their lives in the process. Some fathers will be in the hospital. Some will be at work. And, for whatever reason, some will fathers will be away from their families, on their own accord.

For those who won't be recognizing their earthly fathers this Sunday (and even for those who will), may I remind and encourage you to remember our Heavenly Father and His love for us. We have an (Abba) Father who loves us and will never leave or forsake us. He's never too tired, never too weary, and He always cares. He will draw near to you, when you draw near to Him. He will answer when you call; He's there to protect and guide you.

The Bible also says:

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." (Psalm 68:5)

We all have a father who loves us. So let's celebrate our earthly dads and our Heavenly Father! Praise be to God!

Thankful for our fathers and our Father,


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Speaking Truth, Loving People

I am a fan of apologetics-and I'm not referring to the cheesy band that changes the lyrics popular secular songs to make them "Christian lyrics" (whatever that means). I love the study and practice of Biblical apologetics.

Contrary to what many think, apologetics doesn't have anything to do with apologies or apologizing. It comes from the Greek word, apologia, which means "in defense of." In apologetics, we don't say, "I'm sorry for what I believe," rather we may say, "this is why I believe what I believe..."

This brings up a question, do you know why you believe what you believe? A popular verse about this topic is found in 1 Peter 3:15:

"...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence..."

Pondering that passage, may I ask you a few questions:

  • Is Jesus Lord in your heart? If He's not Lord, what's keeping you from making Jesus your Lord. I'd be happy to talk to you about it- just le me know-or contact to your pastor about your relationship to Christ.
  • If He is Lord, then do you have an answer for those who want to know why? If you don't have an answer or aren't sure how to respond to the skeptic or atheist when questioned about your faith, you should consider studying and growing in your understanding. Maybe you could grab a book or meet with a mentor to learn more about defending your faith.
  • If He is Lord, AND you have an answer for your faith, are you giving your responses with gentleness and reverence? For some of us we attack those to whom we are defending our faith or we come across as arrogant when we provide our answers. Let me challenge you to "speak truth in love."
On the Journey Together,


Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

This Sunday is one of those special days of the year in which we celebrate a certain group of people of which we literally wouldn't be here without-our mothers.

Ambrose Bierce once defined the word, "sweater," by saying a sweater is a "garment worn by a child when its mother is feeling chilly." It's unique statement that illustrates a profound concept-a mother's love.

For all those loving mothers out there, thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices you make. Thank you for being selfless, when everyone else is being selfish. Thank you for nurturing and caring in those ways that only mothers can do. Thank you for being beautiful pictures of God's grace and mercy.

A special thanks also to my own mother. Mom, you are all of the above and even more. You endured more raising this stubborn boy than any mom should. Your loving care during my bout with cancer is unparalleled. Your prayers and support of the ministry God has called me means more than you know. Thanks for everything. You're the best.

On the Journey Together,


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Which Easter Story?

Did you know there was more than one version of Easter story? Even the Scriptures tell us of two different stories concerning the crucified Christ. Starting in Matthew 28:5:

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (v. 5-10)

Here we have THE account of the resurrected Christ. It's the original story- the true story. It is the main story of the Bible-the Good News that is the grand story of all creation.

But Satan, the father of lies, does what he does best. The Devil takes the truth, twists it just enough that it becomes a (believable) lie.

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (v. 11-15)

From Genesis with Adam and Eve through Revelation and prophecy about the end times, we see this scenario playing out the same way. Satan takes God's Word, the Truth, and slyly manipulates it to accomplish his purposes, which are to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)

This Easter God desires to take what may seem dead and lifeless and He wants to breathe life into your situation. He wants to move and bring joy and hope to your circumstances.

You want to know the biggest thing that can keep you from experiencing from experiencing life this Easter? Believing the lies of Satan. If you let him twist the Truth on you, you'll miss out. He'll use the temptations of power, pride, and money to fool you. He'll tap into your fears and cause you to lose faith.

But I challenge you...grab hold of the Truth and don't let Satan have an inch! Don't be afraid, but take joy and have hope! Trust in the One who defeated death and the grave!

Celebrating Easter Together,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In His Time

Ecclesiastes 3:11

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

What a wonderful verse to read and ponder. No matter who you are, where you are, or what your going through, God is speaking to your situation through this verse. Let's quickly and simply unpack it.

God has made everything beautiful in its time...

  • Did you know that all things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose? (Romans 8:28)
  • Did you know that weeping endures for a night, but that joy comes in the morning? (Pslam 30:5)
  • Did you know that suffering and trials ultimately produce character and hope? (Romans 5:3-4)

Regardless of your circumstances, God has a plan and will make it beautiful in time.

He has set eternity in the hearts of men...

  • Did you know that we're not made for this temporary world only, but most importantly for eternity? (Matthew 6:19)
  • Did you know that Jesus' kingdom was not to be of this world? (John 18:36)
  • Did you know that we have no excuse for rejecting God, since He has placed eternity in our hearts and given us creation as evidence of Himself? (Romans 1:20)
We all know deep down there is an eternity, and that we have no excuse, so let us set our hearts and minds on the eternal things of God rather than the temporary things of this world.

We cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end...

  • Did you know that God is so great that He goes beyond all of our understanding? (Job 36:26)
  • Did you know that the all the books in the world cannot contain all of who Jesus Christ is or what He has done? (John 21:25)
  • Did you know that no eye has seen or ear has heard all that God has prepared for those who believe Him? (1 Corinthians 2:9)

God is unexplainable and His glory is unimaginable. His Will is a direct result of His infinite wisdom and goodness. His Love goes beyond our greatest comprehension. We cannot fully fathom God, or what He has in plan for us, but we must seek Him. (Matthew 6:33)

On the Journey Together,


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Care Overhaul

Right now there's a health care summit taking place in Washington D.C. in which our country's leaders are seeking to reform/overhaul our nation's health care. The hope is that we may be able to fix "broken" parts of our health care system in such a way that all Americans will be able afford to be live long, healthy, productive lives.

Though I don't have much a voice in that debate, I do have a "prescription" that will allow us to add energy and vitality to our spiritual lives:

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (Colossians 3:16)

Ready for a spiritual health care overhaul? Try these few steps:

1. Let God's Word richly dwell in you. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize. Study it. Pray it. Live it. It will transform you. In fact, it's got a guarantee that it will not be unproductive. (Isaiah 55:11)

handspraying.jpg2. Teach and encourage one another. Compliment each other. Build each other up. Hug, "high five," and give pats on the back. After all, it's by our love for one another that the world knows we are Christ's.(John 13:35)

3. Sing songs of praise and adoration with thanksgiving in your hearts. As the old hymn says, "count your blessings." Be appreciative. Look for the good in things. Tell God (and others), "thank you."

I'm no health care expert, but I submit to you these 3 steps are a healthy prescription that will help you have life and life more abundantly.

May your days be better and your smiles be brighter...

On the Journey Together,


Monday, January 25, 2010

Number 1

It's been a big week in football- the Saints brought home the NFCkurt warner.jpg Championship and will be headed the Super Bowl for the first time, and in the process delivered a stunning loss to Hall of Fame Quarterback, Brett Favre. Earlier last Sunday, Peyton Manning and the Colts advanced on the AFC side to return back to the big game. Then later this week, the NFL saw one of their greatest quarterbacks, Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals), go into retirement. Kurt Warner became one of my favorite players with his explosive offense and incredible passes while playing for the St. Louis Rams (1998-2003).

Kurt Warner is a hero of mine as he has been such a great role model and Christian example even while being the superstar football player that he was. For quite some time I have been familiar with his testimony and reputation. It wasn't until his retirement announcement that I found out about his ministry/charity organization; the name of which I found particularly inspiring- First Things First. (See

His theme verse is one that we need not forget, Matthew 6:33:

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness..."

I don't know about you, but I struggle with that one. It seems that sometimes...a lot of times...I seek ME first. What makes me happy? What makes me look good? What do I want?

Whenever we put ourselves first, we miss out on the promises of God- that passage deals with God taking care of our needs and blessing us. When we try to put ourselves first and at the top instead of God first. We end up just like the prodigal son--more thirsty, hungry, and lonely than before.

We all struggle with putting things before God. It's no wonder that the first of the ten commandments is "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3).

What are you putting in front of God today? What (or who) is number one to you? Join with me (and Kurt Warner) in putting God first.

Putting Him in First Place Together,


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Attitudes and Earthquakes

Haiti Earthquake Image.jpgLast Tuesday a 7.0 magnitude earthquake smashed the country of Haiti, the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. The devastation is unimaginable. In a country where getting food and water is already a daily struggle for most and where the infrastructure fails to meet what we would consider even the most basic standards, this earthquake has drastically affected literally millions of Haitians and killed an estimated 50,000 (American Red Cross estimate). People in droves are now without homes, food, clean water, clothing, and medical care. The need though already enormous enough is further complicated by the ability to get aid and resources to those who need it. The country's single airport in Port Au Prince is overwhelmed, the streets are crammed, and the logistics of distribution are nothing short of a nightmare.

It's really hard to wrap one's mind around such chaos. When I consider events that have shaken "my world," two castrophes in particular coming rushing to mind- the 9/11 attacks and the Katrina/Rita hurricanes. You may think about the Tsunami in Asia in 2004 or the cyclone in Myanmar in 2008. For those who are slightly older, Pearl Harbor is one of those unforgettable memories. Whatever the calamity whether natural or man-caused, when we encounter situations like these, there is usually 4 attitudes of thought:

1.) Attitude of the Unconcerned- "I'll ignore it. This doesn't affect me. It's so far away, why should I be involved or worried." These people know and see what's going on but they don't really give it much thought.

2.) Attitude of the Confused- "What's going on? Why would God allow this? What does this mean?" They question the processes and events that take place. They may get depressed or axious.

3.) Attitude of the Conceited- "How can I capitalize on the situation? What can I get out of it? How can I profit from this misfortune?" People with this attitude are judgemental and selfish. They will seek to money over morals and look more for the photo opportunities than the mission opportunities.

4.) Attitude of the Compassionate- "How can I show Love in this situation? Who can I serve? How can I help? What need can I meet? How can I share Jesus?" These are those who love God, and therefore have the "agape" love for others. These people show humilty, mercy, justice, and compassion like no other group of people. They're not so much concerned with judging others as helping others. They make sacrifices to help others instead of making excuses for why they can't.

Most people will fall into one of the first 3 categories, however, we know that God has called His people, His Church, to be the fourth group- the people of Compassion. We are to love, serve, pray, and encourage. We are to feed, nourish, clothe, and bring healing. We are to be the light in the darkness. When all else seems hopeless His people are to point others to the hope. I am convinced that Christians need to continue to be the ones who serve and love the people of Haiti. One of the ways that you can help those in Haiti is to support our very own LBC Disaster Relief missionaries. You can donate to thier ministry and find out more information at .

You may not feel that you can do much in and for Haiti where their world is crashing down, but there is probably someone nearby who feels like their world is also caving down upon them. Maybe you can be the one who will encourage and bring hope to a family member or neighbor. You might be the one to feed a hungry person or give clothes to someone who needs them. I hope so, for that is the mission of Christ and His Church.

On the Journey Together,