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,