Monthly Archives: January 2011
I’m sure this has something to do with discipleship, but I can’t figure out what yet. Maybe it will come up as an illustration for a point that needs to be made in regards to the fasting articles and / or denying one’s flesh. Yeah, that’s it…
For now, enjoy. (HT: Walker Hester)
Never been a gr8 evengelist. Always wondered how I’d win souls – 2nd wk in a row my daughter’s brings a friend 2church that asks 2 rec’v Christ. HE = faithful.
More details l8r this week. 4 now, just praise – 2day I am ever more aware of my brokenness, depravity, and poverty of spirit. Thank You, Lord 4 redemption!!!
“Blessed r they who hunger & thirst 4 righteousness… (Mt. 5.6)” I’ve never fasted like _this_ b4, but gr8ful 4 the challenge. 2day, I’m thxful 4 His grace.
Dr. Albert Mohler recently made one of my favorite new statements in his article on the controversy surrounding MTV’s Skins.
David Carr… suggests, plausibly enough, that MTV executives did not “set out to make child pornography,” but they clearly did not set out not to make child pornography, either.
I’ve always enjoyed Dennis Prager’s maxim – “Clarity is more important than agreement.” Dr. Mohler makes his point without disagreeing. Rather, he clarifies the argument – just because you didn’t mean to do something doesn’t mean you didn’t do it. There’s a drunk driving ad from Australia where a guy in a bloodied shirt walks through an accident scene pointing to a victim being loaded into an
ambulance – “See, he’s only a little hurt. She’s only a little grief stricken. She’s only a little dead… I was only a little over the limit.”
Sin is sin. Amen? I don’t know that I even buy Carr’s premise – MTV has always sought to push the limits. Offering something that can easily pass as child porn is merely a logical extreme of the path they’ve been on for the past 30 years.
It’s easy to poo-poo MTV and ride them just because… well, they’re MTV. I’m not going to claim I’m not glued to “Celebrity Rehab” or “Sober House”. Heck, I’m in the counseling/reform/healing business. Nor am I going to knock MTV for pushing the limits of what’s acceptable on TV. That’s too easy a target. What this whole controversy does do, however, is highlight the veracity of Paul’s argument in Romans 1 when he talks about how the gateway to depravity is when our “foolish hearts [are] darkened” as a result of us denying thanks and honor to God. From that point in the chapter, it’s a downward spiral of depravity whereby God hands the depraved over to their own depravity.
Don’t get up on your soapbox yet. Remember who you were before Jesus blinded you with the truth? I do. Hooked on porn, cussing like a sailor, living for me and my agenda. Wish I could say all of that’s changed – at least I’ve been delivered from porn and only cuss on “special” occasions… I didn’t mean to live for my agenda…
There it is again.
Let’s be honest about this – MTV doesn’t need our prayer any less than those of us who create the demand by watching these shows. Can we get serious about praying for real, sincere revival in America? If nobody watches it, it doesn’t stay on the air. The solution is spiritual. The Solution has a name. And, He is interceding for us now.
Will you join Him?
One of the most awesome things about the Gospel is that through Christ we have access to God – to boldly approach the throne with freedom and confidence. [Ephesians 3.12] For ages, the wall was up and there was a curtain separating mankind from the Holy of Holies. But, with the crucifixion of Christ, the veil was torn.
Wouldn’t you expect us to pray more often? If we really knew how great and awesome God really is, especially as we read the Psalms and epistles, if we really knew how depraved and filthy we are without Christ, especially in light of Romans and Leviticus, wouldn’t we be lying face down before God for hours honestly and desperately praising Him and thanking Him for His mercy and grace?
Somehow, we get tied up in the mundane, the urgent, the noise and the dirt of the world. Can I just mention something to us who call ourselves followers of Christ? The gospel is for us, too. We need it everyday. Every hour.
This week, I got to meet with a guy who’s going through a challenging season and learning to pastor his wife’s heart while she begins to uncover many of the curses and judgments that have fallen on her through her family of origin and first marriage. She’s been lied to, cheated, and confused about her real worth. Her true identity has been warped and she hears the voice of her earthly father and ex-husband playing over and over in her mind. She’s constantly reminded of who she’s not and what she’s incapable of.
We all need earthly advocates that will approach the throne on our behalf. It is an echo of what Christ is already praying and is a bold, powerful harmony that accompanies the song of heaven.
I didn’t want to give him any “advice”. I just prayed as he spoke and listened for what the Holy Spirit might have for him. I pray that the words that came out of my mouth were from God and God alone – “Mike, as ‘high priest and pastor of the family’, she needs you to pray her through this. Pray with her and on her behalf.” She needs to know the gospel every moment of her day to shield her and defend her against the accuser who daily batters her esteem. “You are worth my one and only Son.”
It strikes me at this time – how many of us are actively praying for the people in our life who already know Jesus, but don’t experience Him every day? How many of us know people who are carrying the weight of false accusations about their identity, their “impossible” situation, their hope and future? We’re going to start doing something about it.
The first step is this – let’s admit that we all need Jesus all the time. Next comes “ask the Lord to reveal to us who He wants us to pray for”. Consequently, let’s gather together and corporately pray for those who need it. We have three enemies at us – the world, the flesh, and Satan. The latter comes to “steal, kill, and destroy”. Prayer is our battle cry – are we in the fight or distracted by life’s “worries, riches, and pleasures” (Luke 8.14)?
Starting in the next couple of weeks, we’re opening our (rental) home for “Pizza and Prayer”. Bring your broken heart, your tales of brokenness, and a desire to storm the gates of Hell and we’ll provide the pizza and time and space to pray. We’ll most likely start on Sunday, Feb. 6th, sometime mid-afternoon and will end by 6, but email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
|Scotty Smith – TGC|
For now, I’d love to pass on a post from Gospel Coalition about a great prayer. We could all use a lot of great prayers, couldn’t we?
(HT: Matt Erickson)
I’m not looking to promote or slander anyone in public office on this blog, specifically with this post. I would, rather, like to present the opinion expressed by a co-laborer in Christ – Dr. Albert Mohler. If you’re a fan of our President, great. If you’re not a fan of this President, great. The intent here is to present one academic’s opinion on what this President is conveying regarding the tragic issue of abortion.
What does this have to do with discipleship?
As followers of Christ, we are called to search the scriptures and allow our worldview to be driven by our theology, not the other way around. As we consider how we think about abortion, we have the opportunity to influence those around us either toward Christ or against Him. Do we honor His name when we permit, even promote abortion? Evaluating what is happening in the world is part of the prophetic call of everyone who purports to follow Christ.
Shall we call evil good and good, evil? Or, shall we pray for wisdom and discernment from God who gives it freely and without reproach? Will we admit that abortion is merely an echo of our own depravity, a choice to end a life that another may live as they choose, unaccountable to the Truth of God and abiding guidance of the Holy Spirit?
This is not a political problem. It does not have a political solution. It is a spiritual problem and can only be solved by a spiritual Solution. That solution has a name and it is Christ.
Read on, comment cogently, pray fervently.
Junk mail. Got it? Me, too. Last thing I want our newsletter to be is another piece of mail that clogs up your inbox. We only send out a handfull of support letters each year and hope they hit the target God intended. Sometimes that target is the trash, other times it’s the “give” pile. But, with all the requests floating around out there, ours is bound to wind up being welcome in some inboxes, clogging up others, and overwhelming in still others.
So, what do you do?
Earlier this month, Andy Stanley delivered a message about what to do with all the support requests that come your way. Personally, I disagree with what he had to say in one respect (which I may blog on in a later post – good reason to follow our blog…), but agree entirely in another.
The practical advice was “do for one what you would want to do for all”. In other words, focus your giving – financial, prayer, and time resources at the one area God really moves you in. That way, you will not “grow weary in doing good”. But, what if the growing weary part doesn’t come from “going wide”. What if growing weary is more a barometer of life lived on our own steam rather than in God’s power? I agree with our pastor- listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit, especially in regards to giving of your time, your treasure, and your prayer. I digress…
I also agree with him in saying there are a ton of organizations out there that could really use a few focused people who “go long and go deep”. If we’re going to continue to follow God’s lead on the mission of discipleship, Seasons of Life is going to need about a dozen and a half families who are willing to go long and/or go deep. At the core of our support are about 15 families and individuals who support Seasons of Life as monthly supporters. There are about a half dozen others who jump in with a “big splash” around 3 to 4 times a year or make a big difference in our year end giving.
If you’re one of them, THANK YOU.
That brings us to just under $2,000 in monthly support – a far cry from the over $7,000 needed to pay two full time employees, recognize volunteers, help those in need, handle administrative fees, keep the lights, phones, and internet turned on, etc. As we look beyond 2011 to 2016 and all that comes in between, we’re going to need about 18 more families, individuals, small groups, and/or businesses to help bridge the gap.
Here’s the cool part – we don’t care if we’re getting what’s left after you’ve given to all your other commitments. In my hand I have two checks for $200, a $100, a $50, and a $12 check. The $12 is from a friend who I’m sure is a regular tither to his church, a giver to missions, and a supporter of other para-church ministries like Seasons of Life. But, I love the fact that he’s intentional about writing us a check – even if it’s for the change found between the seat cushions. My guess is, we may see a lot of very small checks from him, but I don’t see him or his family growing weary and I don’t ever see us sending a check back to him saying “this isn’t enough”. The point is – he feels led by God to give and gives obediently and cheerfully. Win for the Kingdom of God.
This month, we’re need to replace a toner cartridge in our printer, keep the lights on, meet with men and women who are on fire for Christ and want to go deeper with Him for the long haul. Your support, whether deep, long, shallow, or short, will help us to meet them where they are.
Maybe you’re in a position where you can support discipleship, but only once in a while. I’d like to invite you to meet a specific need, right now. Maybe you’re in a position to give a little bit once in a while. If God is behind the desire to point that giving at Seasons of Life, give quarterly. If you’re in a position to give monthly and think $10 is embarrassing or $1,000 would be prideful- pray about it first. If God is leading you there, my goal this month is to remove any barrier between your heart and your giving.
Here is a list of some current projects we’re working on that could use your support – if you’d like a specific need to meet, this is for you. If you’re a current supporter and feel a tug in your heart to increase your giving, just call or email us and we’ll take care of you right away. If you’re on the sidelines, thinking about jumping in – get really, really quiet and ask God if Seasons of Life is the right place for you to give. If you sense the response is “yes”, go to our website and follow the steps to partner with us for as long as God would have you.
Go long, go deep!