Wednesday, April 28, 2010

there’s a story behind that empty stare, but who will care? just some quickie relational ideas on the fly

behind every upbeat expression.. hidden under every downcast countenance you come across.. is an interesting story to hear if you could simply draw near.

some stories aren't explained with many words.. some are filled with bruises n tears.. some have wounds n cuts that run deep n you don't hear a peep. some are of perhaps embarrassment or slander or rip-offs ..or paranoid angst that steals their sleep. 

and some are not so bad but those with em simply won't tell.  

i know a high school-er who wanted to tell all about all her friends, but didn''t want her sister to hear. timing!

i know a divorcée who couldn't even call his kids, cuz their mother would never answer the ring ..but it sure left a sting. he'd been to court so many times. 

under the guy sleepin' down there on that sidewalk—there's a an important narrative. he's someone's son that just didn't make it home.  

with that quiet teen in the back of the bus is a story to tell. Maybe he won't, but no one tries to see.

what about with you or those who come around?

perhaps there's a story of victory? one of poverty? a story of long misery or of song? or of joblessness ..or of promotion or of love.

ran into a hard working old friend on a deep night shift. it was yesterday night at eleven. hadn't seen him in some 20 years. He wasn't a Christian when I first met him, but now he is at age 48 n is. has a big smile and an interesting story to tell, but he also has cancer n yet dreams of landing a different job.

please pray for constantine. he has quite a story to tell.

what have you heard? is there a story of need or of barrenness—ya know, no child has ever come along for their family? that's very hard. its even hard sometimes when they do come a long. ask my wife—she has a story to tell.  

i once had an old english aunt that we'd often go see. she lived all alone but was humorous n very hospitable—so sweet! yup, she fed my friends well every time we came by. and she had a story to tell the late afternoon after the school bell. great laugh—sometimes a chuckle. kind smile. good cook! man what stories she could splain..we'd laugh til we felt pain. she also loved to garden in laguna beach n would show us all her plants.

we were shocked to hear that one night she was raped. a "crazy" got in through her window. she lived a few more years..with tears. you and i just never know how long we'll have with those in our lives. we need to love them and make each day count for eternity ..while we can.   

saw a heart wrenching video of a man in new york yesterday who tried to stop a robbery outside, but he got stabbed near a street gutter and there he motionless lye. that was someone's son, but the passersbys couldn't stop or even call 911. fear of interrogation, of accusation, of involvement, of retribution.. who knows. have we really become like this? no one even had the time, but several just walked on bye these last days before the Church flys.  

stories of misuse or of rejection. stories of failure or of no will to try again. We're surrounded by so many stories that briefly stop or just walk on bye. hey we don't wanna pry, o no, even though some start to cry.

no, let's stop n take the time. let's seek to hear from God, yes inquire.

some questions are more than appropriate—some actions are too.

are we, in this hyper-networked society, just too busy to take interest ..face to face.. perhaps seein' through all that southern lace?

some people today can be such a time-suck we say so we duck. do we only want to hear from the beautiful.. the healthy.. the non-old.. the non-poor.. the non-cold ..just to see what might unfold ..for us?

maybe you do take some time for the non-popular n unseemly—good for you! the poor don't go by the tile poor, but we can still show em to the Door.

"Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! ~Psalm 81:13, nkjv

"There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man. A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I'll pay you on my way back.' What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?" ~Luke 10:30, msg

hearts can grow so cold, hard, fearful and so indifferent. allow it not with you! we know not where those peeps exactly are in their journey of life ..and won't unless we ask them. but where n how do we Christians even start?

let's start on our knees each day. So many look like they're doing well, but some wear masks n many just fake it well. We're simply not together with em that long to tell. too isolation and loneliness and emptiness and regret in our very connected socially adept world?  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

John Shook v. William Lane Craig Debate: "Does God Exist?"

Why the Bible? Ravi Zacharias at the University of Illinois

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Avoiding Bad Partnerships

Hi! Had a real great day with my wife today. It was kind of rainy outside here in Dallas—it still is, but we got a lot of stuff done and adventured out as well. We both are so looking forward to being in church tomorrow and we hope that you are too. That's what makes living is Dallas so wonderful! Wonderful real believers here. We don't always get to go together so we always value the days when we can. 

Let us know if you have any prayer requests OK. Trying to think what we need prayer for. The economy has been pretty rough on a lot of people and on churches and ministries here in the South. And of course we are hoping to accomplish so much more to help them and for world evangelization. We are also praying for our three boys that they will honor Christ in all that they do. It's such a joy to be in His direct will. Perhaps you have similar concerns. Feel free to write. So grateful that you are there!  

Stayin' Out Of Wrong Partnerships

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God." ~2 Corinthians 6:14-16, nkjv

Healthy influencers often do outreach-co-ops with other influencers. They often partner together to reach their respective God-given goals. Lots of people partner together for many different reasons. 

Hey, nothing wrong with a partnership in and of itself ..just as long as thee working partnership is what Jesus the Lord wants and that it doesn't function from a basis of sin.  

Christian, unless Jesus builds the house, or builds whatever really... the laborers just roll up their sleeves and go at it in vain. Why sweat it or waste your time ..

Have you partnered with Christ yet? That's by far the most important Partnership and besides, He is the One who can make the other ones work...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earnin’ Their Trust

"Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street." ~Paul, Philippians 3:17-19, msg.

Do You Minister By Your Good Example, Earning Their Trust? What's up with that? Christian, you know how there is a time to witness and to minister using clean language, but to neglect the example-factor with that would mean that we quickly short-circuit even the most eloquent of verbal or written messages. Both are way important!

There is a time to witness without words ..and then later when the time is right to follow up on that with tactful words. Earning the right to be heard can not be overemphasized!

Today there seems to be a witnessing-leader-vacuum. Yes, there seems to be a lack of good example-leaders like never before. And those in the world around us really want to be influenced by someone that they can trust, even if they tell you that they do not want to be witnessed to by even the most trustworthy "Jesus Freak."

When you get the time, I challenge you to do a thorough study on the lives of those who were both good and bad examples in the Bible. Pray about what you discover. This is very fascinating and will edify your inner person.

The Apostle Paul spoke of exampling it when he said, "We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it. We didn't sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn't be burdened with taking care of us. And it wasn't because we didn't have a right to your support; we did. We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious" (See 2 Thess. 3:6-9, mess).

He told Timothy...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fruit From The Shadows

"But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly. Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;  since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me." ~ Philippians 2:24-30

Some Christians serve, influence, and lead others to Jesus from the shadows.. but I don't mean while they are in the darkness. They are pointing people to the Way out of darkness.

Some have received leadership, administrative, or maybe evangelistic gifting. And all others are also called to witness for Christ with the talents and abilities that God has ordained for them. It's His work and He does what He will for the good of His body, the Church.

With every blessing and gifting also comes personal responsibility.

Do you remember that dear man, Epaphroditus?

Well, he never became a person of the limelight, though he loved the Light! We can't see that he really became a "point man" or famous like some of the other Bible figures became famous.

He was simply a straightforward servant and..

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Certain Blood Type Counts

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" ~Hebrews 9:14, nkjv

Got any good deeds—ya know, fruit if you will—that you want to offer to the Lord so that you'll one day gain entrance into heaven? Not sure if you are from a religious or non-religious background. But hey gang, don't trust in any of em or in all of em piled up together get you in the gate.

Trust in the shed blood of Christ to gain you cleansing, freedom and entrance….. and in nothing else or in anything added to it!

This seems so elementary doesn't it?

Listen, you'd be surprised at how many people I run into who still want to find some hard-earned merits of theirs to offer God for favor etc. Missionary endeavors, dressing all pious, teaching the Bible, personal reform through resolution adherence, ongoing service to the poor, church activities, noble deeds of kindness, praying some form of beads, old fashioned morality, giving until it hurts... these things, though they might appear to be the most benevolent, will simply not get you into God's eternal city or Kingdom.

Why should you be..