Category Archives: Christianity

BTW

Why is the church so second-rate when it comes to reaching and impacting society?

Doesn’t the Bride of Christ deserve the attention that Whoppers’ generates? So, what are we waiting for?

Me? You’re kidding?

I’m always amazed at the things God expects me to do.

I know he uses people to do amazing things. I have a list of “heroes” who are doing the almost impossible and the impossible; I get a vicarious thrill from watching their successes, and failures. On many occasions I’ve found myself wishing that my life could be as significant as theirs.

I find it very easy to think that God will use someone else to accomplish his purpose. I have great difficulty thinking that the “someone” he has in mind is me. I’m not as qualified, as visionary, as courageous, as smart, as well-backed financially, as [you fill in the blank] as so-and-so is. It’s obvious, and makes good sense, why God would use that someone to do great things; it isn’t obvious, nor makes good sense, why he would even consider using me.

Then I make the mistake of reading something like this:

It was the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king. At the hour for serving wine I brought it in and gave it to the king. I had never been hangdog in his presence before, so he asked me, “Why the long face? You’re not sick are you? Or are you depressed?” That made me all the more agitated. I said, “Long live the king! And why shouldn’t I be depressed when the city, the city where all my family is buried, is in ruins and the city gates have been reduced to cinders?”

The king then asked me, “So what do you want?” Praying under my breath to the God-of-Heaven, I said, “If it please the king, and if the king thinks well of me, send me to Judah, to the city where my family is buried, so that I can rebuild it.”

The king, with the queen sitting alongside him, said, “How long will your work take and when would you expect to return?”

I gave him a time, and the king gave his approval to send me.

This fellow was a waiter. In a very nice establishment, granted, but still a waiter. He became the individual God would use in an incredible manner. He would experience terrific risk and danger; he would see the impossible unfold before his eyes and under his hands; he would become bold, courageous and powerful… but he didn’t know that on that particular day. He was merely a waiter serving the President and given an opportunity to become who he had always dreamt he might be.

The God I’ve met likes to do that. He enjoys putting you at the threshold of the incredible and giving you a shove. He thrills at placing the impossible in your hands and telling you to make it a reality.

He knows you are the hero and wants to make it a reality.

Yeah, you…

Intellectual Arrogance

I’m coming across authors who wrote some pretty good stuff.

The interesting thing is that they wrote it when I was in grad school and they weren’t much older than I at the time (I suppose they still aren’t much older than I now). I even vaguely remember hearing their names while in school and in full-time ministry but simply dismissing them because they weren’t in my “politically correct” (“church correct” is more appropriate) circles that I followed, read or associated with.

Now, almost 30-something years later, their writings and ideas have finally found my desk again. This time, I’m listening.

What’s irritating is that this is really good stuff. It is having a profound impact on me. Had my brain not been so full of mush way back then, how might these ideas have influenced me over the three decades that have passed? How might I have been able to influence, help and encourage countless others during that time?

I’m not crying over spilt milk; I am upset at my intellectual arrogance. I thought I had it all figured out and that caused me to tune out the very folks who could have propelled me forward in significant ways. Instead, I took the intellectual equivalence of sticking my head in the toilet and flushing. Not a good thing. Not only did I suffer, but I robbed others as well.

In a day when the internet is full of innuendos and attacks on people’s character and gossip is traded as a legitimate currency of truth, it is my desire to not stick my head in that toilet and flush. There is no place for arrogance, ever.

Crossing the Jordan

Get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them…  I will give you every place where you set your foot –Joshua

When the Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon came into the Cape Fear region in 1526, what is now call the Cape Fear River, was christened as the Jordan River.

How appropriate… and prophetic.

I’ve done many things in my life. What is interesting is the circuitous path it has been. I find myself at a curious point in time, in many ways at the same place I was thirty-six years ago. Only now the situation is different and I am more prepared for, and committed to, a task that looms in front of me.

I’m about to cross the Jordan.

I, along with two fellow sojourners (John McIntyre and Travis Currin) and a small band of pilgrims, am going to plant a church in Leland, on the other side of the Jordan (Cape Fear) River.

“Leland” means “protected land,” “land lying fallow.” The idea is a field that has been at rest in order to become more productive when sown. Leland is indeed such a place.

Under the title: “Leland to match Wilmington’s population by 2025,”the Star News states that the population of Leland could reach 100,000 within fifteen years. In 2006, Brunswick County, where Leland is located, was already ranked as the 29th fastest growing county in the U.S.

This, along with other factors, has made Leland our target. The “land lying fallow” is primed for planting.

“River of Leland” will be the name of the church. Many more details will be forthcoming; our first worship and informational meeting will be on December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Comfort Suites Magnolia Green in Leland.

Unlocking the holy mysteries

Faith in a box

Ever been here with your faith?

So, how’re ya doing?

I was contacted by an acquaintance from my past yesterday.

A fellow I’d not heard from for 27 years sent me an email. In a brief exchange with him I realized that while he had experienced some change in his life, I had radically transformed. I knew his vocabulary but he didn’t know mine.

I experienced a sadness that surprised me. Once a rising star in his field, he was now a so-so and definitely not rising; yet, he was still chasing the illusion. He was completely unaware that his dream was, and had always been, an illusion, a falsity that masqueraded as a lofty goal.

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. — Jesus