Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Maybe, it's your little ones that come running into your room looking for breakfast. How about the dog? She sits whining at the bottom of the stairs wanting to be let out to do her thing? Maybe, it's your boss that wants you at work by a certain time.
There are many reasons we get out of bed in the morning.
What if it was your personal mission that got you out of bed every morning?
If there is one thing that I have been learning about myself these days, it's that if I am not clear on my mission in life, then I am not fulfilling my purpose in life . See, we are not here on this earth to just collect stuff, make money and retire at 65. God has placed a greater mission within each and everyone of us.
When you discover your personal mission, it doesn't need to kick you out of bed in the morning, it stands beside the bed whispering, "let's go make a difference".
Monday, February 6, 2012
When you step back from the Christian faith and get some distance, you will notice that there are two important elements of the CF. One, is faith in Jesus Christ. It all starts with Jesus. If we are to have a right relationship with God it must start with him. His death and resurrection was his way of showing us the path to God.
As you take another step back, you will notice a second element to the CF. It would be the Christian Faith Disciplines!
There are these disciplines that we put in place as training tools to assist in the work of God in our lives. To be real clear, disciplines are not about us trying harder to change. They are the practices that God uses in the transformation of our lives.
Let me give an example: You don't like your boss (hypothetical of course). When you see your boss, you have some very strong thoughts and feelings about him or her. Now, the discipline to transform your thoughts is what would be the discipline of memorization of bible verses. Committing verses to memory. This helps in that moment when the negative thought enters your mind, you very quickly replace that thought with the verses that you have been memorizing. It's a training tool for those moments.
If that doesn't work for you, think about an athlete that trains over and over. They train their bodies to do something, so that in game situations, it becomes automatic for them to respond. Very little thought would go into that response. Why? Because they have trained.
Now, back to Christian Faith Disciplines. I believer there is a discipline that needs more air time. You might have heard a preacher talk about the discipline of bible reading, prayer or even giving. But, when was the last time you heard a message on the CFD of fitness? Yes fitness!!!
I am going to go to go public with this - Fitness is the missing discipline for many people who are seeking to follow Jesus.
The Apostle Paul is very clear about this. He tells us that we are to "honor God with our bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:20
When you honor someone, you give them your best. You give them a medal or an award that shows how much you honor them. You are not going to honor them with a dollar store ribbon or a plaque that was stored away in a box.
If I am to honor God with my body, then I better make sure it's in the best condition possible. I want to present it to him in a way that shows Him that I have taken care of it, not abused it or even mis-handled it. Imagine what it would be like to say to God everyday: I honor you God with my body and it's healthy and strong. Important to notice - I am not talking about being skinny or thin. I am not even talking about looking like the front cover of the underwear package :)
Not only do I believe that the bible supports this discipline, but I have experienced this in my own life. A few years ago I began the journey of taking care of my body. I started to exercise and eat healthier (cut back chip intake). I was surprised by how it transformed my life with God. There was a connection I did not see coming. It unlocked an area of my life that created a freshness in my ability to follow God.
I was taught growing up that reading my bible, prayer and church participation are important disciplines, and they are. But never did I hear anyone talk about fitness as a discipline.
This is a new year. I hope that you will move towards taking care of your body. Remember, your body is a gift from God. Will you honor him with the body he has given you?
Maybe this discipline is the one that is missing in your life?
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Recently, I read a book that I could not put down. When I did put it down, I couldn't wait for the next time I could pick it up again to find out what was going to happen next. My wife was the one that picked the book for me, so I kept telling her that she picked a great one. I read the thing in just over a day. You might laugh, but for me, this was a big deal.
It got me thinking...
This is an obvious statement to make, but I am going to make it anyway. Behind every book is an author. I know... profound. There was an author that imagined the entire story. The author is the one that determines what the tension will be. The author is the one that develops character. The author is the one that will even decide what the ending will be.
So I guess you could say that every story has an author.
It's interesting, when you step back and look at life, your life story is being written by an author. It's true! For some, the author is all the voices in your head from the past. For others, the author is addiction and abuse. The author could be regret of past choices. A big author, that is hard to admit to, is worry, and in many of us this author is writing sequels.
I guess if I were to try to help us all to think about the author of our story, I would challenge you to not allow those authors anywhere near the pages of yours. Yes, they are part of your story, but they don't need to write the book.
One day, Jesus had these very pointed words: He told the listeners to seek first the kingdom of God. I think what he was trying to help them -and us- understand, is that we need to allow God to be the author of our lives. Let Him tell the story.
I think He is a better author!