Have you tried shutting up?

December 16, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
Share

*

Hey there good Christian,

*

Got some people in your life far from Christ?

*

I know right?  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  – Luke 10:2 

*

I know you’ve read that before, so you know you have your work cut out for you and since the workers are few, that means you have to work harder right?  Because, “…..how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”Romans 10:14-15 

*

So you’re telling them about Jesus, inviting them to church/encouraging them to find a good church home, inviting them to your Community Group/Bible Study/Life Group, giving them Bibles, etc…..

*

And you mean to tell me that some of them still aren’t open to it?

*

Hmm…..

*

Well have you tried shutting up?

*

No, the above wasn’t a typo, but before you call me a big meanie and go back to crushing more candy, please hear me out.

*

We are called by God to help reach the lost, to be the light etc…..I get it, but we also have to be mindful of the possibility that SOMETIMES our actions, words and persistence could be doing more harm than good, especially if your attempts haven’t been received well.

*

Look, I know you’re just doing what you feel like you should be doing as a Christian, but some people won’t see it that way.

*

Let me break it down for you.

*

You see yourself as a good Christian who’s just trying to save their soul.  They see you as a pushy Christian with an agenda.  #GoAway

*

You see yourself as a good Christian who knows how much God has changed your life and you want it so badly for this person as well.  They see you as somebody who just doesn’t know when to stop.  #TheyRankTelemarketersHigherThanYou

*

You see yourself as a good Christian who’s just trying to shine your light.  They see you as a three year old with a flashlight.  #DangMyEyes!  And while it’s true that Jesus used blindness to help convert Saul/Paul, you aren’t Jesus.   

*

Seriously, some people just aren’t ready, and the more you push it, the more you are widening the gap rather than closing it.  Believe me when I tell you this, because I used to be that guy who wished Christians would just keep all that Jesus stuff to themselves.  You know how many of those Christians that continually beat me over the head with “Jesus talk” actually brought me closer to God?  ZERO.  They made me loathe Christians.

*

Sometimes you just have to back off.  Even Jesus told His disciples that, If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.” – Matthew 10:14

*

Does that mean you should give up on these people?

*

Umm…..no.

*

Just shut up and…..

*

Pray for them.  God is the one who changes people anyway.  It’s not your job to save everybody.  I know it might feel like it, especially if they are family, but it’s not.  Give it to God continually and then some more and then some more.  It may take 10, 20, 30 years, heck you might not even be around to see it come to fruition, but keep it up.  I’m the product of at least 15 years of continual prayer.

*

Be a sermon instead of preaching one.  Actions speak louder than words so always be walking the walk. 

*

And…..

*

Love them.  #Verb

*

We are not called to personally lead EVERYBODY we know to Christ. 

*

This is God’s Orchestra.

*

Sometimes He’ll let us get the song started with a beautiful cello solo, other times He might only call on us to strike the triangle a couple of times.  Sometimes we might get a big part – playing throughout the song.  And sometimes, If we’re lucky, He may let us play the final note in the grand finale, but sometimes, the song may not call for our instrument at all.  No matter how much we want to clang our cymbals, it’s just not meant to be.

*

I know you want to, I know it feels like you need to, but don’t do it.

*

Instead.

*

Pray.

*

Be a sermon.

*

Love.

*

And keep your cymbals at the ready, and your eye on The Great Conductor.

*

Share

Don’t be a punk

November 3, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
Share

punk*

The below video was shot in Jan 2009.

*

My 2009 Resolution?

*

To be a good spiritual leader for my family.

*

 

My 2009 Resolution from Unlikely Christian on Vimeo.

*

So…..how’d that work out?

*

Well…..it’s almost 5 years later, and other than a better haircut, some extra facial hair and a new hoodie, that’s still me today. 

*

DANG IT!  DANG IT!!  DANG IT!!!

*

Well guess what?  Things are about to change.

*

For reals this time.

*

I’m calling myself out publicly!  

*

I’m tired of continuously falling short in a category where there’s so much at stake!

*

To hell with my comfort zone!  That’s right I said, “hell.”

*

Like my friend & fellow Iron Sharpener, Eric so eloquently put it, a couple weeks back when speaking on this subject, “Don’t be a punk.”

*

He’s so right.  If I’m not willing to step up and lead my family like God is calling me to, I’m a punk.

*

Well…..I’m tired of being a punk.

*

It’s time to step up!

*

Now!  Today!

 

I know I’m not alone in this.  I know for a FACT that there are many men out there struggling in this area.  Strong men that would give up their very lives for their family, yet for some reason, when it comes to stepping up and leading their families as God calls men to do, just can’t seem to engage.  They want to, but for whatever reason just can’t or won’t.

*

 

Fellas,

 

*

 

Enough already!

 

*

 

You know what you need to do.

 

*

 

Step up.

 

*

 

Don’t be a punk.

 

*

 

“LET’S DO THIS!” (Wise words from another fellow Iron Sharpener – Chris)

*

*

Ladies,

I know it might sound ridiculous.  On the surface it seems like it should be super easy for a man to just man up, and lovingly lead his family, but it’s not.  Opposition is fierce because the stakes are so high.  If Christian men were leading like they know they should, it would change the world, not could change the world, WOULD.  We need your support, patience, understanding, encouragement and sometimes maybe a little nudge.

 

 

Okay, back to the fellas, how about it?  Are you in?  I’m starting today and I’ll be transparently sharing along the way.

*

Join me, let’s do this together. Start small if you have to, but start.   There’s no way you’ll regret it.

*

God, I don’t know how this is gonna look.  I just can’t wrap my head around it, and that’s something you know I like to do before I jump.  It’s a big part of why I’ve never taken that first step. But I trust you, so I give up my incessant needing to know and put it in your hands. I pray that when I feel inadequate or apprehensive, you’ll give me peace, and when I think about sinking deeper into the safe confines of my comfort zone, you’ll give me the push I need.  I pray for your guidance, strength and everything I’ll need to be the man you’re calling me to be. – Amen

 

Share

Christian Men? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

March 13, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
Share

Duck Dynasty

 

I never wanted to be associated with Christian men.

*

Yeah, I’m a Christian man, but don’t throw me in that category because I’m certainly not like them!

*

Christian men are all soft and proper.  They say things like, “Gee whiz” when they get disappointed.  They part their hair on the side and never have beard stubble.  They have wonderful manners and read books on how to improve them even further.  They don’t think farts are funny.  They like romantic comedies.  They smile too much.  They drive 4 door sedans.  They like to wave at people.  They take their families to “Disney on Ice” shows and enjoy it.  They wear topsider shoes and short with pleats.  The only sport they’ll play is tennis.  They enjoy flossing.  They don’t drink beer.  They only watch movies starring Kirk Cameron.  They prefer salads to burgers.  They apologize even if it wasn’t their fault.  They always tuck in their shirts.  They like to look at paint swatches with their wives, and understand colors like mauve.  They never call in sick.  They think its fine to name a dog, “Princess.”  They don’t use real butter.  They bathe daily, even on the weekends.  The only non-Christian music they’ll listen to is U2.  They never get grime under their finger nails. They don’t hunt, fish or ride motorcycles.  They enjoy shopping for sport jackets with those patch-looking-things on the elbows.  They know October 16th is Boss’s Day and plan for it accordingly with a trip to Hallmark.  They clip their nails with nail clippers and have no qualms about using a nail file, even in front of other people.  They aren’t competitive and believe things like, “It’s not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game that matters.” 

*

Yep, that’s what Christian men are like, so don’t you go lumping me in with them because other than a love for Jesus and a fondness of U2 tunes, we have nothing else in common.  NOTHING!

*

Ridiculous right?

*

Well, believe it or not, that pretty much summed up my preconceived notions about Christian men before I became a Christian.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  That pretty much summed up my preconceived notion about Christian men, even after I became a Christian.  It wasn’t until I let down my guard enough to be around them, that I actually realized I was way wrong. 

*

The fact is, Christian men still have their man cards.

*

That’s one of the MANY reasons I love the show Duck Dynasty!  If you haven’t heard about Duck Dynasty yet, congratulations on coming out of your coma this morning. 

*

It’s a great example of Christian men, being just that – Men, Guys, Dudes.  I could never relate to the Christian men of my preconceived notions, but these Duck Dynasty guys, I can totally relate to.  In fact I almost feel a kinship with these Louisiana boys.  Anytime the Robertson Clan wants to invite me down for some frog legs or fried squirrel nuggets, I’m there.  Really, I just mapped it and I could easily be there by dinner time.  I’m like 5 hours due west, all I gotta do is hop on I-20 and…..okay, starting to sound like a creeper here.

*

Seriously, I do love the show, but what makes me even more “Happy, Happy, Happy”, is that this show has to be shattering preconceived notions, like the ones mentioned above, for men all over the place.

 

What’s this?  Guys who like to hunt, fish, horse around and just be guys? 

*

And they’re Christian?              

*

But I thought…..?

*

Yeah…..I used to think so too, but “Hey,” I was wrong, “Jack”.

*

Hey Robertsons, keep on keeping on!  The world is watching!  Seriously, like every dvr in the world is set up to tape your show.  And I’m thankful for that! 

*

 

Share
comments: Comments Off on Christian Men? Isn’t that an oxymoron? tags: , , , , ,

Live Second – Where my workers at?

January 18, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
Share

So, a couple months back, I AM SECOND asked me to guest blog in their “60-Days-of-Second” campaign to promote their new book, “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First.”  I was assigned ‘Week 10’ from the book and asked to write 4 posts, which would be featured on their official blog in December.

*

Here’s is number 4.

*

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”Luke 10:2

*

Eww…..I don’t like that verse.

*

“Wait…..did he just say he didn’t like a verse in the Bible?!?”

*

“I did indeed.”

*

“Wait…..did he just say indeed?  Nobody talks like that, let’s get him!!!”

*

“Hold up, let’s take a good look at this scripture and what it means.  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  What is the harvest?  The harvest is the lost, the people out there that don’t know Jesus. Who are the workers?  Christians are the workers.  So take the harvest analogy out of this verse and it’s, “The number of people who don’t know Christ is large, but the number of Christians willing to reach out to them is little.” 

*

“Eww…..Right?”

*

“Eww, indeed.”

*

So what’s up with that? 

*

“The problem is not in the harvest; the harvest is ready.  It’s the workers; it’s us.  We need to get to work.”Live Second – Week 10, Day 7

*

 “We need to get to work.”

*

Well alright then, time to get out there and share my faith with……Whoa, hold on there big guy.  You sure you want to do that?  I mean, you do that and you’re out there.  That’s some toothpaste that can’t be put back in the tube, if you know what I mean.  You start sharing your faith and there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to think you’re one of them ‘crazy’ Jesus fanatics.  And once you’re labeled that…..I mean, say goodbye to hearing the “good” jokes, the party invites etc….

*

Hmm……..

*

Which of the following is most important to you?

A.  A “good” joke

B.  A party invite

C.  A saved life

D.  What others think about me

E.  Comfort

*

“Well that’s easy, I’m a Christian so I’m going to go with C – A saved life.”

*

“Is that your final answer?”

*

“Yes, that’s my final answer.”

*

“Okay……..The question was “Which of the following is more important to you?”  You answered C – A saved life……………Ohhhhhh, I’m sorry, the correct answer is D – What others think about me.  We would’ve also accepted E – Comfort.”

*

“Wait…….What?!?!?!  How can that be?!?”

*

“Okay…….Well thanks for being a contestant on “Based on my Actions!”

*

Eww…..I don’t like that game show. 

*

But isn’t there some solid truth there?  We know the right answers, but our actions tend to fall short in this area, so much so, that a scripture written back when there were only a handful of Christians as compared to today is just as relevant as ever.

*

So workers, why are you few?  Why aren’t you out in the fields getting your harvest on?  What is it that’s been keeping you from sharing your life-giving faith to the lost?     

*

Comfort.

*

What others think about you.

*

Your qualifications.

*

Somebody else will take care of it.

*

Sharing just isn’t my spiritual gift.

*

Fear of rejection.

*

I’m waiting for them to come to me.

*

Not sure what to say.

*

I’m an introvert.

*

Whatever your excuse is, and I’ve used all of the above, it doesn’t excuse us from the work that needs to be done, the work that Jesus has called us to do.

*

Christians, WE are it.  WE are the workers.  WE are Christ’s ambassadors; God makes his appeals through USWE are speaking for Christ, Himself when WE plead, “Come back to God!” – 2 Corinthians 5:20.  If WE don’t do it, it won’t get done.

*

The number of people who don’t know Christ is plentiful, the number of people willing to reach out and share their faith with them is few. 

*

WE need to change that.

*

WE need to get to work.

*

So…..“Where my workers at?”

*

2 Timothy 2:15 NLT“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval.  Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”

*

Hashtags:  #StakesAreHigh #WorkHard #LiveSecond

*

Share
comments: Comments Off on Live Second – Where my workers at? tags: , , , , , ,

Live Second – Huddle Up

January 17, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
Share

 

So, a couple months back, I AM SECOND asked me to guest blog in their “60-Days-of-Second” campaign to promote their new book, “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First.”  I was assigned ‘Week 10’ from the book and asked to write 4 posts, which would be featured on their official blog in December.

*

Ladies and gentlemen, post #3.

*

Live Second – Huddle Up!

*

“What relational circles do you see in your life?”Live Second – Week 10, Day 6

*

I love talking about Jesus.

*

I love talking about how He pursued me.

*

I love talking about how He’s changed my life by giving me a new one.

*

I love talking about how He’s still shaping me today.

*

Yeah, I love talking about Jesus…..among my circle of Christian friends.

*

But the people who really need to hear the message?  Well…..to be honest, I’m not really hanging out with them much these days.

*

What can I say?  I love hanging out with my Christian friends.  They speak truth into me, look out for me, encourage me, and help keep me on track.  I always walk away from our get-togethers with some extra pep in my step, that’s right, pep in my step.  Plus hanging out with your Christian friends is Biblical – “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”Proverbs 27:17 NLT

*

So what about the people who really need to hear the message?

*

Look, I’m a busy guy.  I have a job that keeps me busy, and a family that needs me to be there for them, so when I do have some friend time, I tend to want to spend it with my Christian friends.  Plus, did I mention, it’s Biblical?

*

As Christians it can be real easy to stay in our ‘Holy Huddles’ – hanging out with only other likeminded Christians.  I mean, after all, it’s comfy and tends to be mutually beneficial, and did I mention Biblical? 😉 

*

Speaking of huddles, I love football, and at the risk of losing a few readers, I’ll go ahead and come out as a Dallas Cowboy Fan.  Look, I can’t help it.  I was raised on Dallas Cowboy Football.  Besides, according to legend, which I was taught as fact, the hole in the original Texas Stadium roof was so God could look down and watch His team play.  So technically, being a Cowboy fan is also Biblical. 😉

*

Anyway…..I think Christians should be more like football players when it comes to their ‘Holy Huddles.’  Football players huddle up and encourage each other, but then it’s all about their mission.  They also know that if they stay in their huddle too long, they’ll get penalized, so they break the huddle with a handclap and get to work. 

*

Are your ‘Holy Huddles’ lacking in mission?  Consider the following: 

*

“But how can they call on him (Jesus) to save them unless they believe in him?  And how can they believe in him if they have never heard of him?  And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?  That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who bring good news?” –  Romans 10: 14-15NLT

*

The perfect verse to follow the above is – Isaiah 6:8, The Lord asks, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people?  Who will go for us?”  Isaiah answered, “Here I am.  Send me”

*

“Alright Christians, huddle up!  We have a lot of people out there hurting, searching for that something that’s missing in their lives.  They don’t know Jesus because nobody has ever told them.  The Lord is looking for messengers to reach out to these people, messengers to bring the good news!  Christians, we are the messengers!  So when we break this huddle, let’s expand our relational circles!  Let’s reach out to those in need!   Let’s be the beautiful feet!  Alright messengers…..send me on three. 1-2-3 SEND ME!”

*

Hashtags:    #HowWillTheyKnow?  #BreakTheHuddle  #SendMe  #LiveSecond

*

Share
comments: Comments Off on Live Second – Huddle Up tags: , , , , , , , ,