Saturday, January 30, 2010

Priority, Preference or Passion

Think. What would you consider a priority for your day, today- right now? Work, school, chores, health, or something else we say is important to us? When our priorities are challenged, what do we do? We put a "price" on the priority and hope that some other person, event, or urgency doesn't exceed the price of our priority. In other words, can our priorities be "bought off" even though we might have said that we'd never allow the priority to fall from our top shelf.

Jesus' priorities were under constant scrutiny. The government, others and especially His own disciples tried to deter Him from the goal- Savior of the World. (John 3:16) We are blessed to day because nothing stopped Jesus from His destination.

So often, what we consider a priority as only a preference. Priorities stick; preferences slide! Preferences aren't inherently bad. There just not priorities. How would my life be different if I had priorities that stuck? Priorities like serving others before I served myself or starting my day thinking about God rather than my to-do-list.

When Jesus answered the demands of government, others and friends, the scripture records, "no one dared question Him any longer." (Mark 12:34b)

Reset your priorities today and you'll re-discover your passion.

(PHOTO: I wish my life was as ordered as these veggies at a farmer's market in San Antonio. I guess I'd better stop wishing and be something.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Be Succeessful

Our ABF lesson this week is about success. How we define success often determines the path we take in business, relationships, finances and spiritual things. Jesus, for me, defines success in Mark 10:45 (which happens to be my life verse). Jesus' disciples were growing indiffernet, if not upset at Jesus' constant talk about His coming death. Jesus is headed for Jerusalem in Mark 10 and He begins to tell His disciples how to be successful. It wasn't by giving, being better parents, staying late at work, having a good educaton, or taking time off for important times, as important as these may be. He simply told then TO SERVE. How could they have missed the greatest point in being a success.

Jan & I were coming home last week after grocery shopping and it was getting dark. We noticed a man at the end of our sidewalk. I parked in the garage and went to the rear of the car and began asking what he needed. He was "selling magazine subscriptions" in an effort to turn his life around. After a few moments of listening, I dismissed him and started into the garage. The man (who said his name was "Julius Caesar") asked one final question: "Do you believe in second chances?" Well, I did just then as I asked my Heavenly Father what I was to say next. Mr. Caesar asked if I could give him some advice on how to be successful.

Mark 10:45 came to mind as I told him to "learn to serve other people." He wanted to know where I had learned this and I told how it was from the Bible. I had a second chance to tell him more about Jesus. Often we can serve people the best by telling them about Jesus. One person said that there are more people waiting to hear about Jesus than there are people willing to tell others about Jesus.

Take a moment and discover "How to Be Successful" and read Mark 10:45. Someone will be glad you did.

I'm told that the government taxes property in Colorado
based on the vista it has. (Ridgeway, CO)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Prayer For an Hour

Don Miller shares this hourglass way or spending 5 minutes praying for each of these areas:
1. Praise Him- Hebrews 13:15
2. The Word- Psalm 119:105
3. Meditate- Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1
4.Confession- 1 John 1:9
5.Intercession- 1 Samuel 12:23
6.Listen- Psalm 46:10
7. Pray the Scripture- Psalm 22:1
8. Petition- James 4:2
9. Pray for Your Pastor-1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
10.Prayer for Our Church- Ephesians 5:26
11.Leaders in the World- 1 Timothy 2:1-8
12.Thank God- Psalm 136
Used by Permission

A Day of Prayer for Our Southern Baptist Convention

Our convention president, Johnny Hunt, has asked members of Southern Baptist Church to spend, Sunday, January 31, 2010 as a "Day of Prayer." Quite often, the Bible tells of extended times of prayer by God's people and the subsequent activity of God that accompanied prayer. The greatest work of God through prayer is the changed heart. Join other Christians on January 31, 2010 in an extended time of prayer.

NOTE: Lorne Sanny of the Navigaotors, wrote a fine article on this subject, How to Spend A Day in Prayer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Join H.O.S.T. Team

What a blessing I have received these past few months as a member of H.O.S.T. Team Ministry. Each Sunday I get to stand out in an AMBC parking lot and greet people, learn names of guests and get a sneak peak at all the cool stuff kids bring to church. Sunday I saw a Spiderman key chain a young friend had. There are other places throughout he church where others serve. Bottom line is that this is a ministry that makes a difference each Sunday. Our membership gets to see we care if they are there. Guests get to feel comfortable from the moment they step on the property.

If you were inviting new people into you home for a meal, you would do everything possible making someone feel "at home." That's the H.O.S.T Team Ministry. Consider joining this team. Contact Aaron Franklin if you are ready to serve. On Sunday, January 24, 2010, you can hear more about this ministry at a special FREE meal following the second worship service. Just ask any H.O.S.T. Team member for more information or directions to this meal.

Thanks Aaron for putting this together.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to Get Along With Others

Our Lesson next week in the Explore the Bible (Lifeway Series) is about "How to Get Along With Others." How appropriate in a world where relationships are measured in days and weeks instead of lifetimes. Have you ever walked in a room and the conversation stop? Did you have the distinct feeling that the conversation was about you?

Mark 9:33-35 33They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.35Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

Jesus had the same experience. Instead of walking off or ignoring the conversation change, He gave them the heavenly solution to and earthly problem. If you want to be great, serve others. So often, hurts in relationships drive us to make a decision to leave the hurt, disappointment or confusion instead of working to serve the relationship. No one knows what all is lost when we close the door on a difficult relationship. My father taught me in business to, at all costs, salvage a good account. If you lose a good account due to a misunderstanding, disappointment or hurt, it takes at least 5 additional new accounts to replace the lost one (that's because only 1 in 5 new accounts will become a good account).

Use this new year as a year to work hard on relationships, especially those who have been placed on hold or perhaps terminated. Be the best servant your friend has ever had. But watch out! It may be contagious. Your friend may figure out what you're up to and try to out serve you. Get along with others in 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Steps

Sam is walking! Our adopted grandson has taken his first steps. Can you remember watching some child take their first steps? As Christian, we are continually taking "first steps" in the process of becoming Christ-like. I would like to offer a great first step for you this new year.

Perhaps you have never thought about spending one-on-one time with another Christian while you each
share joys, struggles and mysteries. Men spending time with men. Women spending time with other women. Today we hear words like "mentoring" or "accountability partners".
Regardless of what we term it, life is best when we share it with others.

None of us are perfect. No one has all the answers. That should motivate us to spend a weekly time with another like-minded Christian just sharing life. I discovered years ago that accountability is a balance. At college, I wanted to be part of an accountability arrangement. A Christian friend and I started meeting once a week. At first we took turns talking about the struggles of the week. We soon began to challenge each other in some spiritual disciplines. That went well until one of us started to slack off on some activities. The relationship soon turned to a "nagging" time which soon made weekly meetings a pain to make.

From that I learned that accountability isn't me telling you what I think you need to do. It is you telling me what you would like to do and then I could just be a reminder of what you said you wanted to become.

Each of us have different areas we would like to work on. Habits, hang-ups or hurts may dot our lives. Accountability could be the next step for us in 2010 as we work toward being what Christ wants us to be.

Camping at the base of Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs, CO. 2009

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On Misson or Missional

I read this statement in an article: "On Mission or Missional?" What? Am I waiting for an event or am I developing a lifestyle? That's it. Passive or active. Growing up as a Christian, I waited for the mission trips, the special offerings and the date on my calendar when I could be "on mission." I now realize that I am to be looking for opportunities to serve others. This is how it may look for a family who is missional.
* For your child- Tell your child, "On the way home from school, try to pick up 10 pieces of trash." I saw this in the life of a friend, Ruth Warner. As she walked through our neighborhood, she picked up trash as she walked. 90+ years old and she's missional.
* For your teen- Challenge your teen to offer to help a neighbor, to clean a fence marred by graffiti or to volunteer at a local children's sports event.
*For Adults- Consider being a block parent. Intentionally stand outside when school children are coming home from school. Look for how you might help the latch-key children.
*For the Family- Find a neighborhood park near your home and spend some time pulling weeds, picking up trash. Perhaps you can find an elderly neighbor or single parent and offer to do some basic maintenance for them.

There are many variations of these suggestions. The idea is to be looking for opportunities. When you spot something promising, talk about it as a family before you begin. Make sure you get permission for those projects that are on private property.