Monday, October 31, 2016

Something BIG!

At the end of this blog, I’m going to ask you to participate.  I want you to email me at alan@lifepointlebanon.com with your responses.  It may genuinely help someone else.

We all want God do something big in our lives.  We want that miracle that huge something to show everyone His power in our lives.  
Sometimes it’s something we really want like the healing of a seemingly hopeless disease. Sometimes its that new building, or position. 
A lot of the time its selfish stuff, it’s more money and better car. A status symbol we can’t afford only to hang it on ourselves and tell people “humbly” that it’s Gods blessing and favor.

We want BIG things.  We pray (when we do pray) for BIG things.

We want BIG things from Him but we won’t do little things for Him.

Prayer, reading our Bibles and tithing are all little things. Things so often we try to shoe-horn into our life rather than scheduling them.  
If you have time and you aren't too tired maybe you will read your Bible before you go to sleep.  It was a long night though so I’ll catch up in the morning.
Maybe you pledged more time on the pray10k than you really intended to pray.  
Maybe "if" you have extra money you might give a little to God so people don’t see the plate pass you by.

We ask for the BIG and we don’t find time to do the little.  

If you have met Jesus and have accepted His gift of salvation, if you have made Him Lord of your life you have salvation.  I’m not writing about salvation. I’m writing about blessings.  The things you ask for or want from Him apart from the salvation he has already graciously provided to our undeserving selves.  Rather we tack on these wants and these desires.

It reminds me of when a parent gives their teen a car but the teen complains about having to pay for their own gas. Or doesn’t want to get a job or work enough hours at a job to pay for the fuel.

We get this gift but we want more.  Like any parent though God wants us to come to Him and ask for help. He wants us to rely on Him and expect things from Him but he also wants us to do some work.
To take partnership in our relationship with Him. 

This has been gestating in my mind for a while now.  One of my best friends recently moved back to town and he was talking about working from home and his schedule.  He is a very detail oriented person and thrives with a schedule.
I want to be that person. I want to schedule and make time for the things that will bring me closer to God.  You can do these things anytime you want. If you are more disciplined than me you can read your Bible in the evening. You can pray in the middle of the day. 
My problem is I don’t.  I want to, I just get lost in the days tasks and I don’t.

Then last week with this rolling around in my head I got a chance to sit down with some leaders and friends and ask how they do it. How do they find time everyday to spend with God.

That was when pastor Kelly said that he used to have a problem getting up early to spend time with God.  Until he realized that he had no problem getting up early to go fishing or hunting.  He could get up with a glad heart at 4:30 in the morning to go hunting but getting up early to spend time with God was harder.  This revelation changed the way he thought about getting up and greeting the day.

Just hearing him say that changed my way of thinking.  I felt selfish and stubborn.  I want BIG things but I don’t make time in my life for the little things. 
You can’t reap the harvest if you don’t plant the seed.

Kelly’s words and my friend Johns actions encouraged me to step up and change my life to find a new normal.  

I want to know where and when you find time for God. What is your routine? How do you manage to be a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister or a teen and find time for God?

Maybe your way will encourage someone else to change theirs. Together we can ask as a  body for the BIG things knowing we were faithful in the little.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. Luke 6:10 esv 

Maybe you don’t have a way yet. Now is the time. Talk to others and find a way that works for you.  

Thanks for Reading.
Alan



Monday, October 17, 2016

Running on Empty

I have been thinking a lot recently about leadership. This is due in part to the fact that I am taking a leadership class. It is also due partly to that fact that Kelly keeps us reading as a group.  We subscribe heavily to the idea that leaders are readers at Lifepoint and Kelly backs that up with recommending then reading books on leadership with us.

With that said leadership is often on my mind.

It’s been a busy weekend followed by a busy Monday. Lots of ministry opourtunities and responsibilities.  I was reading a book this evening and it pointed out that a huge problem for leaders in ministry is when they give more than they get.

This isn’t talking about finances, or doing your job. It’s talking about emotional and spiritual health.  I have a tendency to spread myself thin. To pray often about what God would have me say to those that want to talk to me. Those that see me as a pastor.  I want to be for them a spiritual boost.  For the teens I want to be a a consistent presence and someone that knows when to listen and also when to advise. Most the time its just the listening that does the job.

When the weekend comes around and its time for us to fill our hearts with Gods word and fellowship I can get into work mode. I might miss the sermon because something needs my attention. I may not get to it that week either as there are more pressing matters. I’ve went several weeks without hearing a sermon.

That’s not good. That is far from good. How can we expect to be there for each other and to help each other out if we are empty.  We can’t pour our what we don’t take in.  Without that weekly break of being fueled I have less to give others. 
When someone you know and care about is going through a difficult time they need you. You have a responsibility to be there and support each other in times of need, in times of triumph and times of grief. 

When days like today come and they are ministry heavy you need to have enough gas to fuel those that need it and get yourself back to the pump.
I'm thankful for leadership that reminds me of that. The fuel light might come on from time to time but I won't let it run dry. I will focus on taking in more than I burn up so I don't burn out.

There is a song by the band mewithoutyou called “A Glass Can Only Spill What it Contains”

During a week what do you fill yourself with that you can pour into others?  

I can’t encourage you enough to make church a priority. We are called to live in fellowship.
You have to fuel up to go farther.  Sunday is more than a day off. Take it use it for what God intended not just what you want. 

Don’t pass the pump, the next station might not come along for a week at least.

Thanks for reading


Alan

Monday, October 10, 2016

Say Less

This is just one of my clear my head blogs. No huge truth no nugget of wisdom. Just me typing because it’s Monday and I post a blog on Mondays. 
 So I guess I’ll just tell you all what i’m thinking and call it a night.  I’ve been trying to write this since about 7:30 it’s now 12:08.  I know I’m not going to be able to sleep when I finally do go to bed unless I’m just so tired my brain shuts off.  

So here goes this is my big take away from today.....

You can talk too much, but you can never talk to little.

I need to work on that.  I talk a lot.  I try to defend my point and it doesn't really matter.  The majority of things that come up in life are stupid battles that won’t matter in a weeks time. 

Whether its the upcoming election.
Most of us already know who it is we are going to vote for so running one candidate down doesn’t do anything but get you into pointless arguments that won’t matter in less than a month. Just pick one and vote. 
Voting booths are private for a reason.

Or if its just doing what you have to do because your told to do it.  Just accept it and move on.

I’m in Col Steve’s leadership class right now and a quote from the book we are reading  seems to fit.  The author John Maxwell writes  “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”

I don’t think he's saying that nothing really matters but rather we place a lot of emphasis most the time on things that won’t even be a thought in our head this time next month

So next time you find yourself in a situation, whether you believe you are right or not ask yourself if it will matter in a week and if the answer is no, then say less.
If it doesn't pass over then you haven't said anything that you regret and if it does pass then you don't look ridiculous for making a mountain out of a molehill. Just say less.

It’s just a better way of putting the old saying don’t sweat the small stuff.

I’ve sweat enough for one day.

Good night and thanks for reading.