Archive | March, 2014

How Millennial are you?

28 Mar

youngadult on streetDo you sometimes feel as if you identify with Millennials more than your own generation?  Is it because you are “young at heart”?  Or do you simply have different values than your peers?

I came across this on-line test, and thought it helps explain to some people a few of the clear variables that exist between Millennials and other generations.

I took the test and scored 78 as a Millennial.  I would have scored higher, but my mother (being of a much earlier generation) would cry if I got the tattoo and earring that I have always wanted.

This test simply measures the common characteristics of Millennials.  If you would like to read a few more characteristics of Millennials –  click here.

 

howmillareyou

The Shortest Verse

20 Mar

Imagine with me. Your brother is dying. His best friend, is the one you believe can save him from death’s clutches, is several days from you. You send word that your brother is near death’s door. Days go by with no word, no phone call, nothing. He finally dies after several days of waiting. You’re heart broken. Why didn’t he come? Thinking to yourself as a hot tear streaks down your cheek.

Four days go by and he finally arrives.

In John’s gospel we will never fully understand the grief Mary and Martha experienced in the death of their brother, Lazarus. They believed Jesus was the Son of God. They believed that if they had enough faith, Jesus would heal their brother before death claimed him. Yet, when Jesus didn’t arrive, and Lazarus died, they were heart broken. Both Martha then Mary confronted Jesus.

Jesus comforts them saying, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha understood that it would happen in the last days. Jesus’ mission was deeper than Martha’s thinking. His goal was to promote the Kingdom of God and his power over death.

33 When Jesus saw her (Mary) weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in the spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.  “Come and see Lord.” they replied.  Jesus wept.

When I look at the above passage most people take Jesus wept because his friend was dead. Doubt rose among the people. They didn’t believe any longer because death had its grip on Lazarus’ body.

How many times do we live in doubt and unbelief? We no longer believe God is going to do something in our lives simply because bad things have happened. The question we must ask is, “What in my heart is keeping me from hearing the voice of the Lord and moving forward in life?” Jesus simply asked, “Where have you laid him?” He wasn’t asking for total faith, he simply asked a question to spark their faith.

Their faith died with Lazarus. They were not looking to Jesus as the resurrection and life.

Their faith had died.

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone.”

Martha complained that the stench was too great to remove the stone. Lazarus had been dead four days after all. It was an excuse and Jesus wasn’t looking for defenses. Jesus only wanted belief and faith. 40 ”Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

God cannot move until we remove the stones of unbelief in our lives. Why? So we can walk in righteousness. God is calling us to become the walking dead to the world. Our thoughts should not be stuck on things of this world; rather our thought should be on the things of our Father.  When Jesus calls, will we answer?

Mary and Martha experienced the life Jesus can offer, so long as one simply believes. We live in a world where people all around us are walking dead to the things of God. Jesus is calling us to be that beacon of light to a world who desperately needs light. This is why the grace of God is so powerful. It pulls us up and out of the miry clay. It cleans us, shapes us and gives us a new perspective on life.

When Jesus called out in a loud voice, Lazarus rose from the grave. Jesus gave a command for his grave clothes to be removed so he can live. Are we going to help those around us by taking off their stinky grave clothes so they too may live their life?

Isn’t this what discipleship is all about? Helping people become like Jesus and in-turn help others become like Jesus? God’s desire is for people to follow after him, but if we continue to live a life of doubt and unbelief God cannot move.

My questions: Will you become a walking dead man for God? Will you remove the stones of doubt keeping your from hearing his voice? Are you going to take off the stinky grave clothes of the world and wholeheartedly follow in righteousness after Jesus?

If you answer yes to each of those questions, not only will you have new life, but also your life with your wife, children and others will exemplify Christ as you teach them to characterize their life after yours.

JB Siam

Jason attended Bethany College of Missions and graduated with a  Bachelor of Divinity degree from ACTS International Bible College. He serves as Media Director of Life Church in Eden Prairie, MN taking care of the graphic art  and video design for the church. He is also serving as the Young Adult Pastor and has a desire to preach the Gospel of  Jesus Christ.
Jason lives in Minneapolis, MN.

What do you dream for your family?

18 Mar

My church recently did a musical remake of Steven Tyler’s Dream On.  It was simply amazing.  God used the service to make me reflect on what I am dreaming for me and my family.   

I dream of today.

I do not dream of yesterday.  For yesterday is behind.  Yesterday whether beautiful or broken, clear or cloudy, cannot be changed.  Yesterday is behind.  Yesterday can either be the developer or the destroyer of dreams.  I choose to dream.

I dream of today.  Today I dream of a man who walks with God. One who fears The Lord and shuns evil. One who walks in integrity and stands for justice. I see a woman walking with her hand in mine. Her face is radiant and bright.  Her soul is at peace – confident in the love of her Savior and her husband.  I dream of three boys filled with a holy awe of God, and a love for the simple message of Jesus’ love for them.  I dream of a family that prays not out of meal-time conformity, but of life-changing necessity.

I dream of tomorrow. I dream of a man who has walked faithfully with his God. I dream of a man who has experienced the depth of God’s presence and grace. I dream of a man who at the end is surrounded by three men who love God and will continue the mission of our Savior. I see my bride beside me with unwavering faith in that what lies ahead is good.

I dream not of places.  I dream not of positions.  I dream not of experiences.  I dream not of comfort.  I dream not of what is born of man, but of God.  I dream not of what is physical, but of that which is spiritual.  I dream not of what is temporary, but of that which is eternal.

Dreaming reveals your values.  Your values determine your decisions.

What is your dream?

The Prodigal Christian Faith

13 Mar

Once there was a boy who had it all and then realized he had to work for it all as he got older. He had rights and an inheritance with a promise coming his way. He had an older brother in the same position, but they chose two different paths. This is the story of the younger brother, who chose the path of early inheritance and “wild living” only to end up with the pigs. Here is a small portion of the scripture from Jesus if you are not familiar with it:

 “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.  “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living” Luke 15:11-13

There is a lot to be said about the Prodigal son, so many roles within this short parable of Jesus. More really than our simple finite minds can comprehend.

But as a parent, I have recently come to the conclusion that even well-raised children can choose the same road as the Prodigal son. Although Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  It is not a promise from God, but a proverb of wisdom meaning that it often comes true.   If you read the father’s response to his return, it appears that “dear-old dad” did everything right, but the son had to establish his own faith.

The older son who is at first obedient and sticks with his father, complains about the celebration.  However the father is focused on the younger son’s redemption and decision to return.

Some of you might know a prodigal.  Some of you are the parents of a prodigal.  A prodigal that keeps us up at night.  A prodigal that you want to confine to their room regardless of their age. The child who isn’t interested in where the gas money comes from, but complains when the tank is not full. A prodigal who loves the idea of being Christian, but is learning their own faith.

The tough reality for parents is that sometimes children go prodigal.   There are times when my children get a little prodigal. Maybe it is just hormones, friends, or defiance, but maybe it is God working in their lives.

In the good and bad, can you celebrate the prodigal?  The father never ceased in his love for the prodigal.  It was a love that was unconditional.

Celebrate the prodigal, and remember, if you love something, set it free.

God loves us, and yet sets us free.

brandon pacheyBrandon Pachey is the husband of an amazing wife and father of three awesome kids, hoping to adopt for the first time soon. He has lived all over the United States in six different states and Germany. He has worked in Youth Ministry as a volunteer for 13 years (3 as a full time volunteer youth pastor) and done ministry in Germany with military students and US Military Men’s Ministry. He looks periodically at the funny things the church does and faith in day to day life on For the Love of God Too. He also has a passion for off-roading as a family sport.

Have you ever been rescued?

11 Mar

Nikki - dogAs a young boy, my brothers and I would go swimming in our family pond. It was really a stinky water hole with moss and fish that would nibble on your legs.  Our family swim times always included our family dog. Our dog Nikki loved to swim. When swimming, my brothers would race across the yard with Nikki on their heels and run off the edge of our deck.  Nikki would jump in after them, and race to the middle of the pond. As the youngest of four boys, I watched this happen over and over.

One day when I was about 10 years old, I decided that I would race Nikki to the middle of the pond. The race started out great, but didn’t end so well.  When I reached the middle of the pond, a fifty pound dog caught up to me, and decided that I needed to hold her.

Have you ever tried treading water with a fifty pound dog?

I tried to get away, but it only caused her to paw more at my chest, scraping my chest and stomach. I couldn’t get away, and she was pulling me down with her paws.

I began to panic, and I thought that I was going to die. I still remember the gripping fear, and the helplessness.

I actually don’t remember exactly what happened next.  I know that my brothers and my dad ran to my rescue.

Even though I forget the details, the memories and emotions are still very strong.  It is an amazing feeling when you go from a state of helplessness to safety.  It is a feeling that a person cannot adequately describe, but must be experienced.

In Luke 7, Jesus’ feet are anointed by a sinful woman.  A woman who understood the weight of her sin.  I woman who understood what it mean to be pulled down by sin.  She knew what it meant to be helpless and in need of being rescuing.

The other person in the story was Simon, a Pharisee.  A man who had grown up being trained to be religious.  A man who had been trained for sinlessness and God’s approval.  A man who understood what it meant  to discipline oneself, and to work for personal holiness.

water_pond_ripples_271464_hThese two individuals illustrate the difference it makes when someone understands their need for God.  Jesus says to Simon, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

The Pharisee had no idea what it felt like to be drowning.  

The woman did.  

Christians need to know their need to be rescued.  We need to feel the weight of our sin, and our helplessness before the power of sin.

This alone will enable a life of love and devotion to our Rescuer.

Teaching My Kids to Play

5 Mar

Superhero puzzleI have a confession to make.  Sometimes spending time with my children is hard.  I have two full-time jobs, while attempting to keep a household of three boys in order.  But that is just a part of the endless list of reasons why spending time with my children is difficult.  I feel like I am not alone. 

According to Pew Research,  “Fathers have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend with their children, from 2.5 hours in 1965 to 7.3 hours per week in 2011, according to a Pew Research report that analyzed years of time-use data.”  Fathers spend only 1.5 hours a day with their children.

In comparison, I spend a lot of time with my kids, but it often revolves around working, electronics, or school work.  I wanted to shake things up, so I started being intentional about spending 15 minutes doing a fun activity with my boys.

During the first week, we made an Avengers Puzzle, played Uno, read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and played Qwerkle.  There was much laughter and fun.  My boys started asking me each day, “Dad, what is our fun thing for today?”  It brought me a lot of joy to know that they wanted to spend time with me.

One night during our second week, I told the boys that we were going to play with all those plastic toy figurines that they got for Christmas.  It didn’t take me long to realize that my boys didn’t know how to pretend.  They gathered their figures into a pile, and just sat there looking at me.  “What do we do now?”  I jumped right in acting out scenarios, and turning Star Wars Emperor into an old grandma, and two stormtroopers into the do-do brothers.

At first, my boys didn’t know what to think.  They thought I was crazy.  I would turn my characters towards them, and try to involve my sons into the story, but they didn’t know what do or say.  The only thing that they did was try to smash my characters (which hurts by the way, if you are holding them).

It took fifteen minutes for them to even understand the concept.  After thirty minutes, they were laughing hysterically at Emperor grandma, and the do-do brothers.  After about forty-five minutes, the whole event turned into a huge wrestling match filled with laughter and love.

I am not going to lie.  Playing with your children takes work.  Playing with your kids takes planning.  Playing with your children takes patience.  There are moments when I struggle, but most of the time I could not be more happy.

I want to be a dad who teaches my children about God and how to enjoy the life that He has given us.  I want to teach them to work, to learn, to laugh, and to play to His glory.

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