Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Thanks!

No Thanks!

Have you ever been somewhere to buy something and the salesperson was grouchy or unfriendly? What about rude and obnoxious?  What about arrogant and a know-it-all? Makes you want to rush to buy something from them doesn't it? NOT!  No Thanks!  I am not going to buy something from someone who acts like any of these traits, but the funny thing is many preachers, churches,and christians act like this and then wonder why no one wants what they offering?

You can't share Christ or influence people they need Jesus if you are constantly grouchy and unfriendly. You aren't going to win people to Christ or get them to become a Christian if you are rude or obnoxious about it. And you aren't going to lead people to Jesus or get people to come to church(or come back if you do get them there) if you are arrogant and have a know-it-all atttitude.

This doesn't work selling cars, appliances, or houses, and it definately isn't going to work trying to share the good news of Jesus with people. I'm not making excuses for people. There are people out there who do not go to church or will not become Christians and they have no good reasons, only selfish excuses, "church is boring", "it's full of hypocrits", "and I've done too much wrong", etc....excuses are endless, but at the same time there is NO EXCUSE for pastors, church leaders, church members, or christians to hurt the church or the cause of Christ, because they have a personal agenda, a narrow-mind, a legalistic attitude, or won't deal with their hard heads or hearts.  

Everyone can be grouchy or unfriendly sometimes or be moody, but when you are that way more than you are friendly or nice,  you obviously have issues you are not dealing with or being convicted of in your life. There is also NEVER a good reason to be rude or obnoxious when talking about God, but many christians and sadly pastors, thrive on this!  They think they are smarter, and doing God a favor, but really they are scared or insecure, they are so afraid they are going to be proven wrong or not be right, that they'd rather put you down, be judgemental,and argue than listen to you, think things through, and act like Jesus.  Jesus was Never rude or obnoxious, he was firm when he needed to be, appropriate with his anger, and kept his emotions in check.

Also, being arrogant or cocky is the opposite of Christ, yet many christians and preachers act this way. They almost gloat that they are smarter, know more, and "are saved" and you're  not.  And I don't care how much you know or think you know, NO ONE "knows-it-all" except God!  Nothing to me is a bigger turn off than a christian, a preacher, or a church where everyone is pushy, arrogant, and you can't talk to them or discuss anything, because they "already know", sad.   (I don't know it all or  my blogs would be a lot better, ha!) No thanks. I don't want what they are selling.

We have to keep in mind, that some people have learned the wrong way how to invite people to church or to evangelize the lost.  We have to keep in mind some preachers, were trained in ignornance and are simply mimicing the way they have been taught, and therefore they aren't afforded an open-mind, to think for themselves, and realize that though there are many commands in the Bible, there is also freedom and not everything is a sin, wrong, abominination, or sending you to Hell.  Yes, only one way to God through Jesus and only one Message(gospel), but many ways and methods to get to Jesus or grow in your faith.  This type of behavior is not conservative or keeping on the "old" ways or "old" path, it's serving and speaking out of fear or ignorance. When all you say, or preach, or talk about is what is negative, wrong, a sin,  or people have to agree with you or everything has to be  a certain way for you to accept someone, then to me that's a sign you are on the wrong path, being legalistic, and sort of like the pharisees in Jesus day, they missed Jesus because they were too busy with their own agenda.

People, we need to realize when we preach, wear the name Christian, or call ourselves a member of a church, that WE represent Jesus.  Whether its' fair on not, when people see us, they should see Jesus and if they see a grouch, a gossip, a punk, a jerk, arrogance, judgemental, ignorant, and conceited, that is how they are going to view God, because they don't know Him yet.   I'm not saying we have to be perfect,  but what I'm saying is we need to be sincere, honest, and transparent.  We need to strive and pursue a right relationship with God, which includes constantly evaluating our actions and attitudes.

Take a good look at yourself, would you want to go to church or become a christian if someone just like you acted came and invited you to church or tried to tell you what you needed to do to become a Christian?  Would you make  sell for Jesus or would you say "no Thanks", I don't want what they are selling look at how they act? Something for us all to think about!  We want to be like Christ and we want to share Christ!

2 Corinthians 12:20(NIV)

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

(here it is in KJV incase you don't accept the NIV)
20For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

Love people the way God loves us all, and share Jesus with Love, people will want that!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's all about Team

It's All About Team

The old saying goes "There's no I in  Team", which is true, but there is a M and an E, which is Me, which is the same thing.  A successful and great team, can't be about one individual, about one person getting all the credit, the limelight, and accolades.  Truly successful and great teams, though they may have some great individual performances or players, still trace their success back to teamwork, unity, good chemistry, and not caring who gets the credit as long as they win.

Teams work to win championships, titles, and trophies.  Teams are no different than businesses or churches. They are a group of people working toward a common goal.  In a business it may be to make money, expand or grow the company.  In churches our goal (should be anyway) to Glorify, Honor, and Worship God.   Church is a body of people who make up members of that body with Christ as the head, and the church does not exist for one person to get all the credit, accolades, attention, or glory, only Christ. 

If Christ is not the center of attention, then you have the wrong motives, the wront attitude, and have a personal agenda other than that of Christ. Sure, people say and do things "in the name of Jesus",but we forget that God "knows all" and He knows our heart, our motives and our agenda.  Some Preachers Preach because if they were brutallty honest, they like the attention, credit, and strokes to their ego.  Some people serve in  church in leadership, leading the worship, or heading up a committee because they like feeling important, being in charge, or control.

None of those things benefit God or help the body or glorify Christ.  Just like we've seen in sports over and over, when you got one person who cares more about self than the team, the team is seldom successful, can't win, and ends up causeing alot of turmoil in the locker room and slowly unravels the team.

We cannot preach, lead, serve, sing, or use our gifts for God if He's not the center, core, or sole  motivation for doing so.  Many people are indeed "called", but they eventually stopped listening to God or doing it for God for various reasons and started marching to the beat of their own drum or sound of their own horn.

How many athletes became stars and in the process got lost in the lights, glitz, greed, money, and glamour. They started playing as kids for fun and being a part of a team with their friends and over time, their attitude, motives, and ego become corrupt and pretty soon, attitudes shift to "what about me",  "I deserve more", and "I'm special", and "It's all about me".

Happens in pulpits, in sanctuaries, in ministry, and in churches.  We like the limelight, the attention, the pats on the back, and the credit, and pretty soon we start feeling like we deserve it, we are owed it, and we want more.  There is no glory for God in that.  If you don't sing, serve, preach , teach, lead, and worship for God's glory and credit, than it's empty words, wasted time, and hurts the body(team) of Christ.  I don't care what your motive or agenda is, if it's not Christ, it's wrong period. 

We need to check our ego's at the door.  We need to constantly be evaluating our attitudes and motives with prayer, God's word, and even accountability by trusted peers/mentors.   Why do you preach? Why do you serve? Why do you lead? Why do you do what you do? Is it for God or for you?  Are you worried more about getting credit or giving God credit?  Do you want to build the church, reach the lost, or help people for your own selfish agenda, or do you truly do it for the cause of Christ?

We are the last ones to notice our faults usually because we are in denial or unwilling to be honest with ourselves, but if you don't the team(church) is going to suffer. Most of all at some point it will backfire and blow up in your face.  Just like athletes who are selfish and greedy with big ego's, they lose contracts, friends, fans, and teams no longer want them, even though they are talented,  because not worth the hassle or drama that accompanies them.  The greatest athletes are those that give their teamates the credit.

A preacher can be the most gifted speaker or evangelist, yet His ego holds him back.  You can be the most gifted teacher/singer, but your motivation is you, and your talent is wasted, you can be the greatest leader, but you're selfish agenda causes constant turmoil and problems(and you think everyone else  has the problem).

Let's all be a team player, let's all contibute and do our part for the good of the team.   Even though I Pastor a church, this church is not about it, nor will it be successful solely based on me. I am just one person and my role is to pastor, but everyone here who serves and gives is just as important as me.  Sure we all like a kind word, encouragement, and a someone to notice our hard work, but if that is your motivation, then you've missed the point.  The church is God's body not ours, the credit is His not ours, and the glory is for Him not us.  It's all about God and we are on His team.

James 4:3(NIV)

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not Me!

Not Me!

"Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."  Exodus 4:10 (NIV)

Do you know what this sounds like to me? An Excuse. God was calling Moses to go to Egypt and be the instrument He was going to use to free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, but Moses gave God excuses as to why He shouldn't go, I'm not a good speaker now or in the past, I'm slow, yada yada yada.  Excuses.

Maybe Moses was scared? Maybe He was still ashamed of fleein Egypt years earlier for killing a man? I don't know, maybe He had no self-confidence, or  maybe he was simply comfortable in tending flocks for  his father-in-law?  But, the bottom line is when God calls you to do something, He already knows you can do it, or He wouldn't have called you to do it. God unlike us, doesn't make mistakes.

I believe every individual created by God was created for a purpose and has value, and is called.  Many people never realize it, ignore it, or reject it, many make excuses.  Some people try to find purpose and value in earthly relationships, power, sex, drugs, jobs, money, and hobbies and can't understand why they are never fulfilled, complete, or why enough is never enough?   It's because God created you and me for a reason. 

No we are not all called to be preachers, missionaries, or church leaders, but regardless you are still called to do something for God.  The talents and gifts you have, maybe in sports, music, speaking, or computers? Maybe God wants you to use them for Him. Maybe God wants you to be an influence at your school, at your job, with your friends, in your family? 

But, what do we do?  We make excuses why we can't, won't, or aren't willing.  I remember several years ago I left full-time ministry and struggled spiritually, I wasn't a very good Christian, and for a period of time I still felt God's calling, but ignored it because I was ashamed and felt unworthry like God could never used me again, yet here I am again serving in ministry, because I couldn't stand the constant calling as opposed to ignoring it and running out or excuses why God couldn't use me.  

No matter your past, God can use you. No matter your mistakes, God can still use you. No matter your self-esteem or self-worth, God can use you.  When you find your value and worth in God you can't help but feel better about yourselves.

So what you have a speech problem? So what you have a physical disability?  So what your divorced? So what your an alcoholic?  So what you take anti-depressants(who doesn't these days?) So what your busy?  So what you have a past?  So what you've been a dishonest person? So what you have did and said things you are ashamed of? So what you are shy?  It doesn't matter, all are excuses to not be used by God and He's waiting to you use. He belives in you or He would not have created you, and called you to do something for Him, or be used by Him.

God wants to use you in big and small ways, so stop finding reasons to NOT serve or be used and START seeking God.  Stop making excuses why you CAN'T and start finding ways you CAN.  Again, if God
 made you and gave you gifts, He will supply the strength, wisdom, and means to use them, you will fail with your own strength, but with God, you are limitless.

I leave you today with YES you!  God made you, God wants to use you, what is your excuse?  and BTW Moses finally obeyed and as we say the rest is history!

If you have time, watch this video about a guy name Christopher and ask yourself, what is my excuse for not letting God use me?

Monday, October 03, 2011


                                  James 4:14(NIV)

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Life. What is it? What is it to you?  For some it's a sentence because they make poor choices, live selfishly, and have no purpose or meaning.  For others, it's all they have, because this life is all they live for and look forward to.  For still others, it's a blessing, too short, and  not be taken for granted.

We have no promise of tomorrow, everyday of life is a gift.  Some spend their life trying to disprove that we were created and coming up with all sorts of reasons why there is not creator, though I beleive it takes alot more faith to be a true agnostic or atheist, than it does to believe in a creator.

Life.  It's fragile, yet human beings can be some of the most resilient people.  Life is short, but some people it drags out because they seek no divine calling or purpose to their lives.  Life is unpredictable, but yet predictably many people seek bitterness instead of healing, negativity instead of hope, and revenge instead of forgiveness. Life means living, yet many people choose not to truly live.  They have unhealthy habits, relationships, life styles that are slowly killing them and molding and shaping them for a life of regret.

People waste life.  They waste talent, money, resources, relationships, and opportunity to love, to be honest, to do the right thing, and make a positive difference. Intstead of making the world a better place, they add to the problems of the world. Instead of overcoming their past, a problem, or an addiction, they continue to live out the wreckless, destroying cycle of pain.

We need to enjoy life.  We need to embrace life. We need to take advantage of our life.  Whether we live 10 years or 100,  every day is a chance to do good, enjoy life, and make the world a better place.  No matter who we are, even if we were born or raised in bad circumstances, we should not let those things define us.  Maybe you were raised poor, but you can be rich in kindeness.  Maybe you were born into abuse? You can live as an example of healing and forgiveness.  Maybe you've experienced a great loss of a loved one and you've stopped living? You can start living a life that honors their memory and still be there for those still living. 

There are many reasons and excuses people waste life, ruin lives, and and don't enjoy life.  Probably a many reasons/excuses as there are people in the world.   But, my point today is God created LIFE.  God created life for a purpose.  A reason.   God created us in His image, for His purpose, and for His glory.  Did you know you were created to bring pleasure and enjoyment to the creator?  Just like a painting, a drawing, or a sculpture our creator shape and molded us for His pleasure.  He gave us life, breathed it into our nostrils so that we would have life.  He sent Jesus to die for our sins, because we are all sinful by human nature and can't be perfect on our own.  Jesus came to give us live and life to the fullest(Jn 10:10).

You are not a mistake, a mishap, and you werent created randomly. You aren't a big bang, a monkey, or some other cosmic or weird fantasy creation.   You and I were created by a creator.  THE God, not just any random person or thing, but THE God.    Your life is precious, valuable, and purposeful to God and it should be to you.  The thing is even though God gave us life and life on this earth,  this life and this place is only temporary. 

We do not life this life for this world, for our own pleasures or agenda, God created us in this life to prepare us for eternity.  He wants us to enjoy this life, it's pleasures, relationships, etc..but if your life is only about this life alone, or you are wasting it with only pain and suffering, you are missing the point of life.  Live your life.   Live your life with God in mind.

Ecclesiastes 8:15(NIV)

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.