Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fighting the gods of Comfort and Convenience

Comfort
So my life has been a bit harder the last week. I can't say it was really hard because I know that there are a lot of people suffering out there and my hardships cannot compare. It started with minor back pain that got worse over the span of a few days. It was in my lower back, and at its worst, I couldn't even stand up straight. Lots of thoughts poured through my mind. I thought of Pastor Sam's bulging disc. I thought of the fact that I have no health insurance. I wondered if I lifted something the wrong way. I thought that I should take it easy on my back for a few days, but then thought that maybe I need to push through the pain and just deal with it. I can live with pain, I had braces. (My orthodontist wasn't the most gentle and I could have probably nailed him on some health violations if I wasn't a teenager and ignorant.) I was debating whether or not I should tell people about it. I didn't want to hide my problems or seem like I'm without need, but I didn't want to complain or ask for sympathy. So I kept my mouth shut for the most part and hid my pain contorted faces from the people around me. I prayed about it a lot, of course, and was just settling it into my head that I might have to live with this as a "thorn in the flesh" when God revealed to me what it is. It made me laugh. I'm just getting stronger. Last Monday, I took a long ride on my longboard. Apparently, there's a set of muscles in my back that one only uses when riding a long board and this whole time, it has been those muscles that have been sore. I never gave them much of a chance to recuperate since I've been long-boarding to get around after my car had problems. They hurt the worst when I've been reclining and try to get up. If I'm active, the pain is lessened. However, during this short trial, I determined not to let it hinder me. God taught me that pain is not the result, but the journey. I can't be afraid of it. I have to endure. As much pain as I was in, it was nothing compared to what Jesus endured on the cross. It is nothing compared to what I deserve. I apply this to relationships too. If I invest in a relationship, I know that I'm going to get hurt. The amount of pain I feel is directly proportional to the amount I care about this person. Will it hurt? Yes. Can I live through it? Yes. Is it worth it? Well... more hesitantly, but still resolute... Yes. I will not be run by the god of Comfort. I will be run by a God of Peace and Rest. I can have peace and rest in discomfort. I don't blame anyone for my physical ailments (when I have them) and I am not going to worry about health insurance. If I can ever afford it, I may get it, but since I can't, I won't worry. If I get sick, I'll just be sick until God makes me better. If that keeps me crippled or hurting for the rest of this life, that's okay too. This life isn't that long, but the next one is going to be forever. Jesus is coming back any time now anyways. And even if He waits a bit longer, 60 years will pass by like that... if I live that long. I'm not planning on it. I want to go to Heaven as soon as possible. (By the way, my back feels a lot better.)

Convenience
I will also not be run by a god of Convenience. My car, Malchus, is having problems. I'm emotionally ready to say goodbye to this car, although he has been a good car. He's lasted longer than I expected. He's run when he shouldn't have (on no coolant) and I'm without a car until either he gets fixed or I get another car. But this isn't the first time I've been without a car. Not having a car is actually a bit freeing. I rather like it. It's not just the money, but I think the more we do without conveniences, the more joy we put into doing things for the Lord. If something is easy, I might not appreciate it as much. However, if it cost me my sweat, blood, and tears, it is a lot more meaningful. Just getting to church lately has been a challenge. It takes almost an hour to get there by longboard, almost as long by bus (but less sweaty and tired), and even though many people are offering rides, it's hard to ask. I have to give up control of my schedule and leave when people want to leave. I think that maybe we have too much say, too much choice to follow God with a clear conscience and a pure heart. I think we always wonder if we could have done something different or better or faster. We are always planning and figuring and focusing on getting everything done instead of doing what we can with the moment we have. Today, in my office, not ten minutes before we had to perform a skit, I ran into a situation that had to be addressed right away. I wanted to freeze time so that the impending skit would not rush the ministry I found myself in. As I was listening to the problem, I heard technical difficulties that I should have been helping with, but I couldn't. They weren't important right now and someone else did step up to help. The ministry wasn't convenient for my schedule but it was needed. I almost canceled the skit, but we ended up performing it anyways. My prayers are still going to this problem, but it showed me that I can't keep such a strict schedule that I can't take time to minister to people, which is the whole reason for ministry in the first place. Our ministry of things is to minister to people. It would be like making a car that didn't have room for a person because a person would just crash it anyways and mess it up. Ministry that can't take time to help out people is no better than a trophy. It shows your achievement, but has no other use. People are inconvenient. But that's okay. I want to minister to them anyways, whether or not I have a car.

PS. While I was writing this, my roommate came home and I took a break and closed my computer so we could talk.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Many is Greater Than One

A friend told me tonight, "when doing ministry, bring others. Ministry is not a solo; it's a chorus." Google found it here:
http://www.insight.org/library/insight-for-today/servant-hearted-1.html

I have to admit that I haven't been doing that. It's not that I'm after the glory, but I don't trust people. I guess I've been let down enough that I just do things by myself and if others want to join me, I'll let them. It reminds me of the argument that Paul and Barnabas had about John Mark. Paul wanted to leave him behind because the work would get done better and Barnabas wanted to bring him along. Paul and Barnabas ended up splitting up over it.

In this case, I don't want to be like Paul. The work, although it is good, is not as important as people. Having a friend may slow me down, but it could be that God wants me to minister to that friend as much as minister in the work that I am doing. Let's not discount our friends. They are valuable, not only for the work we are doing, but also for us. Doesn't the Bible say, "As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." in Psalm 27:17? We need each other. God says so. Check out Ecclesiastes 4:12 or the account in Genesis where Adam names the animals and no helper could be found. I have a dog. I named her. She's a good dog, but she doesn't help me in the way that I need help.

A lot of people say that they don't need help. They just need God and that's enough. That's simply not true. God can still use us if we are by ourselves, but He prefers to use a group. He uses an individual when people don't stand up. He uses one person to shame the rest. The army of Israel could have defeated the Philistines, but they were scared, so God used the boy David to slay the giant to show that He is strong. By admitting our weakness and asking for help, we are admitting God's strength through our brothers and sisters. If we declare our strength, then we really about to show our weakness... we just don't know it. Think of Elijah when he was complaining to God that he was the only one left on God's side, yet God said He had hundreds hidden who did not bow down to Baal.

We think we're the only one who will stand for God, but that is a lie that the enemy tells us. We are not alone, we are never alone. Not only do we have God, but God always sends others. They may not be who we think they are or even who we want them to be. But God sends them, and they are obedient. So the next time you think you're all alone, look around. Pick up your phone and call someone. If you have no one, call me. I'll be your friend.

It might be the culture that makes us want to do it on our own. We feel the need to prove that we can. Take moving out, for instance. 18 year olds always want to move out. I don't think they should. My advise to anyone who is still in school is this: Stay at home as long as you are in school. You will make your life easier in the long run. Especially if you're a girl. Dorm life is a detriment to healthy growth. Only the strong escape unscathed. Now you'll noticed that I specified girls. I've noticed that, in this culture, women are pressured to become independent. They don't need a man. they don't want a man. They can do it on their own. They can have careers and houses and cars and all the stuff that men have. I see this as a great charade played on Americans by the devil. Women do not have to prove anything. The more they try to act like men, the more they cease to act like women. I do not wish to say that women don't have the ability or that they can't achieve this stuff. Obviously, they have. However, I do not believe that the strong independent woman is a product of following the Lord. Women should be cared for and looked after, not because they need it, but because the men need someone to look after and care for and protect. Women need to be women so the men can be men. If women act like men, then the men start acting like women. Just look at fashion... actually... you may not want to look.

If I can encourage the young women who read this to stay at home as long as possible. The goal is to stay with your parents until your wedding day. Learn how to keep a family home from your mom and get as much practice in as possible. Guys need that. I need that. Men may be physically stronger than women, but we are really weak insecure people inside. We try to show a tough face to the world. We try to appear solid, but the ones who really are are the ones who have that special helper that God made for them. The rest of us try, but end up with mold growing in our refrigerators and dust bunnies on our shelves.

A woman of God must submit to her husband, and her husband must love and serve his wife. He can't serve properly unless he feels that He is in control like he should be. How can he lead if he is being told what to do. Instead, he needs to serve her because he loves her. She needs to submit to him and trust him. If she can't trust him, she can't trust God because God said to trust him. Is the goodness of our God not greater than the mistakes of your husband? Marriages fail because the men don't serve their wives and the wives don't submit to their husbands. I haven't done a lot of marital counseling, but I've gotten my feet wet with it, and every couple I've listened to about marital problems stem from that. If one is doing it, then the marriage is rocky, but it survives. If one is blaming the other, then neither of them are doing it, and if that doesn't get fixed, the marriage fails. Not all failed marriages end in legal divorce. Some just stay rotten and fester.

Now back to the ministry is not a solo, but a chorus. One Bible reading single man isn't going to make a difference this way. It takes you married couples to show people how to do it right. People come to me because they don't have strongly married couples to go to. Their friends are all divorced or having problems like they are. If you are a married couple following and being blessed by the Lord, take a single person under your wing and model what it is like to have a Godly marriage. If you have kids, take a single parent and his or her child under your wing and show them what a family looks like. Be the surrogate father or mother until God brings one in or the child grows up. You are supposed to tend to your family first, but if you are so concerned with your family that you can't help anyone else, you are missing out. Do what is right, and trust that God will work things out, and open up your home and your heart to someone who needs it. One man on a Mission in Chico is not enough. Ministry is not a solo, but a chorus. So as I continue to sing worship to my Father with my actions, sing along.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Please excuse the mess, I'm learning humility

Stories tell us that when the Apostle John was old, he was helped to the front of churches to speak. He would look around and tell people to love one another, and then go and sit down. Such a simple message... but do we do it? Can we do it?

What if the love isn't returned? What if we are loving people who will never accept God and give their lives? What if loving people costs us our savings, our future, our lives?

The answer to those questions are easy to discern, but hard to live out.

We are so consumed in our culture in getting what we want. Our wants become needs and our want to's become have to's. I have never "needed a haircut" in my life, but I've said I did. I've said other people did, but they didn't. We just enjoy and appreciate better manageable hair. I feed myself when I feel hungry, get a drink when I feel thirsty, sleep when I get tired. If I don't like something, I complain about it. I look for flaws in it so I can tell other people how I would do it right if I were in charge. I constantly step out in front of people to share intimate truths of God while keeping secret a few of my own.

I recently asked to stop teaching a service at church so I could take a Spanish class. (They said no)

Oh wretched man that I am, why do I have to keep focusing on me?

I've been wondering lately if there is anything that I am doing that God doesn't want me to do. Is there anything I need to stop doing? I love just about everything that I do. The part that stumbles me is feeling like I have to do it.

Here's the thing... and this could be pride, I'm not trying to say this is the way I should be or that this is right, but it's the way it is.

I feel like I am a spiritual superhero. My heart goes out to people and ministries that are struggling and I want to make it better. The superpowers I have are from God. I acknowledge that completely. I did not learn to teach or pray or listen on my own, but they are gifts that God has given me to equip me to do His work. When I see someone who needs help, I want to help him. When I see someone who is scared, I want to comfort her. When I see someone who wants to learn, I want to teach him. When I see someone who feels lost, I want to show her the way. And that goes for ministries too. When people are losing interest in a ministry, I want to jump in and remind them that the ministry needs to focus on Jesus and the moment it loses its focus is the moment it stops ministering. I want to revamp or change or organize that ministry to help the focus fall on Him whom it belongs. If a ministry is dead, and people are lost for what to do, I want to give it life and build it again from the ground up. I feel like I can do all of this.

But sometimes, and here's my struggle, I feel like I'm trapped in doing something that doesn't need me. I feel like Superman forced to be a security guard in a bank that never gets robbed or a SUV that only gets driven to soccer practice. I feel like I can do so much more, yet even as I seek to fill every free hour with service, it's not enough. I can love more, I say, This isn't all I can give... just all I have time to give. So I yearn for freedom. I want to stretch out these spiritual wings and make an impact. I moved to Chico expecting the whole town to be affected. I don't consider myself a super-Christian but I consider my God a Super God... not that I've ever met a regular god.

I expect God to move in me in big ways. I know He does. I feel horribly prideful thinking the way I do. I feel selfish wanting to do all the things I want to do and why cannot I not be satisfied with all the work I already do. People keep asking me to do things I can do and I keep saying yes... but even superheroes had to decide whether to spend their nights stopping muggings or fighting the super-villain. But I feel like I'm apart of something that already works. I want to go get something that doesn't and fix it.

Forgive me for spilling so much. I'm learning about humility and part of that is being open.

If I step out, will new people step up, or will other people who do so much take on my tasks on top of theirs?

My frustrations are shared with the other spiritual superheroes I work alongside.

When is enough enough?

Well... if I really am Christian, never.

If I really do follow Christ, my body will quit before I do, but the way I see it; short life now, long life later.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guest Blog #3...Even more on forgiveness.

Guest Blog #3...Even more on forgiveness.

I guess the Lord really wants to make sure I get it. Our pastor was in the last 16 verses of Acts 7 today at Sunday service and there it was--a brightly painted picture of forgiveness:

Acts 7:57-58 “But they (the Jewish ruling Council) cried out with a loud voice and covered their ears and rushed at him (Stephen) with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city (Jerusalem), they began stoning him…”

Stephen had been chosen by the early church there in Jerusalem to take charge of some administrative duties; thus allowing the disciples full freedom of time to their ministries of prayer and the Word. The Lord had other ideas for Stephen however. He became a Spirit-filled force; he performed great signs among the people and began teaching them with God’s wisdom. This raised the ire of the same men who had worked so hard to kill Jesus. So they arrested and tried Stephen.. He was given the chance to make a defense; but at some point during his discourse, Stephen recognized that the elders before him were no different than the ones who had persecuted and killed God’s prophets for millennia…he also knew that he was next and that heaven awaited him. He was given a vision of God’s throne room with Jesus standing next to God’s right hand.

The Council’s reaction to Stephen’s vision was described in the above verses. In their anger, they apparently forgot/overlooked Rome’s restrictions concerning the death penalty. So…here was Stephen: wrongfully arrested, falsely accused, and illegally being killed by stoning. By all accounts, he was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day…or was he?

Acts 7:59-60 “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep.”

I am astounded as much by what Stephen says as by what he doesn’t say. Earlier during his trial he had upbraided the elders for resisting God with their evil hearts. He shows us a righteous anger similar to Jesus’ when He cleared the Temple (John 2:14-17). Stephen was by no means a weak and delicate man. He had guts. But here, with rocks pounding him slowly to death, we don’t see a spirit of wrath, vengeance, retribution, or hate. I don’t see curses, rage, or resentment. Why? Verse 55 tells us: “But being full of the Holy Spirit…” In fact, Stephen’s entire life as documented in the Scriptures was dominated by the Spirit: Acts 6:5: “…they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.”; verse 8, “Stephen full of grace and power…”; verse 10, “But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen was speaking.”; verse 15, “…all who were sitting in the Council saw Stephen’s face like the face of an angel.”

So…it appears that the Holy Spirit is, among many other things, the active agent of forgiveness; which may explain why it is sometimes so difficult for us to fully and completely forgive…we can’t do it on our own accord. We need the Helper and His power. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you…If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7,11) Let’s ask…let’s seek…let’s bang down the door on God’s goodness and watch Him work!!"

Guest Blog #2...More on forgiveness.

Guest Blog #2...More on forgiveness.

I guess the Lord wants to make sure I get it. I don’t often have dreams--especially dreams I remember in the morning. But last night I did. And even more infrequently does the occasion of a dream lead me to wonder if God sent it or not. I don’t doubt that He can and does but I do doubt my own mind…it has been transformed and renewed but I also abused it a lot in years past (and do so even now…it is an ongoing battle as my mind is assaulted daily even hourly: television, magazines, advertisements, language, coworkers…). Much of what I have and do expose it to still pops up to wrest me away from my Savior. I now know why God exhorts us: “Brethren…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything is worthy of praise…dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) He does not want us filling our minds with garbage…it distracts, discourages, and pulls us away from Him.

Nevertheless, the content of my dream aside, I was led to ponder more on the idea of forgiveness when I woke from that dream--the consideration of Biblical principles always fits the criteria of Phil 4:8...I love how the Lord draws us into His Word! So…forgiveness…

Matthew 18:21 “Then Peter came and said to Him (Jesus), ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive Him? Up to seven times?’”

I can’t wait to ask Peter, when I get to heaven, exactly what it was that led him to ask this question of Jesus. I would bet that there was some stuff going on amongst the men who followed Jesus. And I know there is stuff going on with me and you every day that challenges us to forgive: little wrongs, slights, pet-peeves, outright slander, underhandedness, gossip, hate, discontent. Some of it is at school or work; some is at home; some is in our extended and/or distant families; some is on-line; some is at church; some is with our loved ones; some is with strangers; some is with our friends; some is with our government. It is another ongoing all-pervasive battle we face.

Matthew 18:22 “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you up to seven times but up to seventy times seven.’”

Basically, we just have to keep forgiving. There is no end to it. And to make sure we get it, Jesus immediately told the story of a man who owed the boss $16 million and was completely forgiven that debt. The forgiven man then responded: he turned around and viciously tried to collect $3000 from one of his debtors. Who did he think he was!?! …and who do we think we are when we don’t immediately forgive each other…we ourselves have been forgiven that massive $16 million debt. “He (God) has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm103:10-12) Jesus wants us to do the same in our dealings with each other…so remember, when the affronts start coming at you…just start flinging them to the east and west…forgive. I now know that I have to stop coming up with all the reasons to not forgive. There are no caveats, stipulations…there is no small print. Help us Lord…help us love.


"Guest Blog #1.

"Guest Blog #1.

Jonathan is taking a short rest and was gracious enough to let me guest blog for him…mercy may be needed after this first foray--we will see.

My name is Jason…my middle name is Jonathan. It is a good name.

I just endured an 18-hour roundtrip drive from Chico to Ely, NV during which I started listening to our pastor’s recent Wed nite survey through the Bible. It took him nearly a year and a half to complete. I got from Genesis to Nehemiah during my trip. Thank you Lord for MP3!! It was quite a different experience traveling through the Bible in such rapid succession and I look forward to the next long trip where I hope to meet all the prophets.

At one point during the trip (near Fallon, NV…just past midnight), I finished listening to I and II Samuel and decided to call Jonathan with some questions…(it sure is nice having a night-owl friend). I commented to him that I thought: “If King David were President of the U.S. his antics would rate him up there with some of our worst leaders: infidelity, murder, corruption, pride, misuse of power, etc” And Jonathan wisely steered me from my negative thoughts to think that: “Despite his shortcomings, David experienced forgiveness, received forgiveness, and moved forward forgiven.”

I recently read Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. There is much to recommend concerning that book but the passage that shined brightest for me was the one where she ran into one of her German captors (torturers) years after the war. She had just finished one of her many presentations in which she told how the love of Jesus was what held and sustained her. The man came up to her, joyous that she held him no ill-will and had forgiven him. He held out his hand. Corrie then writes of the raging battle that waged within her at that moment. She did NOT want to shake that man’s hand! But the Holy Spirit empowered her, filled her, and spilled out of her as she submitted to the Lord and shook that man’s hand with the love of Jesus in her heart.

Matthew 5:44-48

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t do that…I just can’t. I have tried and failed. I’ve thought that when the time came I could be just like Corrie and be an ambassador of love and goodwill. But I can’t. Corrie herself said that she couldn’t either. I can’t react instinctively with love…sometimes even with my own family! But we are called to be perfect. We are called to love. We are called to forgive. And since I can’t do it on my own…well, the answer is simple: Jesus. “Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

Where is my mind? Where are my thoughts? Where are my activities? Where are my words? Where is my heart? Where is yours?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

So if I'm saved by grace, can I just do whatever I want?

Sure. If whatever it is you want to do is good, then you may do it. If what you want to do is sin, you may not do it. But then again... if you are truly accepting that forgiveness from God, why would you want to sin again? Sure, it feels good now, but you know it won't last. You even know that God has something better awaiting you. Why would you settle for something less than what God has for you? Or do you not believe that what God offers and what the world offers are in conflict. Get your Bibles out and flip to 1 John 2:15-17.

Don't love the world. It's all going to end and if you love it, you are making yourself a slave to it. I'll talk about that in just a second, but while we're here, let's take a quick look at 1 John 1:5-6. You will see here that we are only cleansed by the blood of Jesus as long as we are walking in the light as He is in the light. It may sound confusing, but think of it saying you will be wet as long as you are in the water. If you get out of the water, you will dry off. As long as we abide in Christ, we will be cleansed from our sin. If we leave Him to pursue sin, then we will gain the dirt of the world which separates us from Him. If we love the world, we will become a slave to it. Whatever we love, we will be a slave to, and whatever we are a slave to, we will worship, and whatever we worship, we will become like. If we love Jesus, we will be His slave. The apostles often referred to themselves as bondservants (servants by choice). They worship Him and the Bible says that we will be like Jesus. (1 John 3:2) But this isn't just about God, the same goes for idols (things made my man that people worship). Flip to Psalm 135:15-18.

You will see here that the people who make them and those who trust in them become like that which they worship.

Okay, so I know what you're saying. You're accusing me of getting off track. You're saying that I'm talking about idols and you're talking about what you do by yourself behind closed doors. But I'm not off topic yet. Anything you leave God to follow is an idol. We can't just lay God down when we want, or leave Him in the car while we run in and do a quick sin. Flip to 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

A lot of people use the first part of this verse to validate their sin, but they do not bother to read the whole passage. Read the passage again. When you sin, you bring God with you to do it. If you continue in sin, then you are not producing the fruit of righteousness and the grace you claim does not pertain to you. Now continuing in sin is not the same as just messing up. We all mess up, but continuing in sin is making your identity and placing your trust upon your sin. It's as if you are calling yourself a cussing Christian or a lying Christian or a Thieving Christian. Of course you won't call yourself that, but you might say you're a Liberal Christian (not that a Conservative Christian is what we should be, but that's another blog post... maybe) or a Modern Christian. If you need a modifier because you can't identify with Christ, then you are in danger of leaving Christ. The only exception I can think of at the moment is being a Young Christian. I think that's okay because you are admitting ignorance and showing humility and foreshadowing growth.

So what! Maybe you are thinking that you know sin is bad, and you'll just go and sin for a little while, and then you'll come back because you know that God will forgive you and keep forgiving you. Well before you do that, I want you to read Hebrews 6:4-8. If you have tasted Christ, and you decide to leave. There is no coming back. That is like asking God to send Jesus to die on the cross a second time. It won't happen. You are denying His goodness and making the choice to leave. Instead, read verse 9 and stay in the grace of God, being confident that He has something better.

There is more on this subject, lots more. Read Romans 6-8 to get a better understanding. Jesus died for you to be free from sin. Not free to sin. Think of sinning as putting something between you and Jesus. Think of each sin as a barrier between you and perfection. Each sin is like a drink of alcohol to the alcoholic. It's like a hit of cocaine to the addict. Each one takes someone farther and farther from where they should be, and the result is death.

I say that we're going to sin enough on accident. There's no reason to sin on purpose too.

I need to stop being lazy

So I've been feeling a bit sluggish the last couple of days. Perhaps this youtube video will better illustrate the way I've felt.




It usually happens when I go to my parent's house. I don't know why, but as soon as I step in the door, all I want to do is flop down in a chair or the couch and watch tv. I don't een really like watching tv, but that seems to be all we do there. We were busy Saturday and Sunday with the Scottish Games and those days tired me out. But Monday (ironically Labor Day) I did nothing. I slept until lunch time and after lunch, all I did was wait until dinner before driving up to Chico. Tuesday was horribly lethargic and I had a hard time getting out of bed on Wednesday as well. But it was when I got up on Wednesday that I decided that I wasn't going to be lazy anymore. It was a spiritual attack to get me to stop doing ministry and I was losing. I needed to claim my victory in Christ. So I did that and got a lot done today. Please pray for me that I continue to do that and feel free to keep me accountable. Tomorrow, I'll be waking up quite a bit before noon to get to Butte Campus for free prayer. If you have time at noon, come and join us in front of the bookstore.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Email...

so me@jonathandow.com isn't working right now and I don't think I can get it working soon. Please send emails to jonathandow@me.com

Friday, September 03, 2010

September

Now that my August challenge is over, I'm going to take a break from daily posts until I get internet in my new apartment. Until then, Jason will be my guest blogger. I don't know what I'm going to do once I get internet... any ideas?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Day Thirty-One Tuesday August 31st 2010

Day Thirty-One
Tuesday August 31st 2010

They will come and declare His righteousness to a people that will be born,
That He has done this.
-Psalm 22:31

Our fathers were tasked with the responsibility to tell us about Jesus. It was their job to instruct their sons and daughters in the ways of the Lord. If they fail, how were those sons and daughters supposed to instruct their sons and daughters? That’s what’s happened. A generation has failed to give proper instruction and our society has discovered the consequences like the son who left his father for prodigal living in Luke 15. This isn’t the first time. It breaks my heart that Noah was still alive when Abram was called out of Ur. Noah, who was rescued from the judgement of the wicked saw his children’s children walk away from the Lord. He was alive for the tower of Babel and years afterwards. I wonder how he spoke of the wicked in that day. He who built the ark and saw the wrath of God. Did the rainbow comfort him after every rain? They were not just people anymore, but his sons’ sons and their sons. He must have prayed fervently for mercy for those people.
But for us, we must tell people about what Jesus has done for them, “for whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:13-15) So go and tell them if you can go and send someone if you cannot. But tell your sons and your daughters. Whomever you have influence over is your responsibility. You cannot make them choose Christ, but you can give them the choice.