Archive | August, 2014

When The Load is Too Heavy

28 Aug

Have you ever been told by someone that you weren’t living a “victorious Christian life?”  How about you need to claim certain promises or live by the philosophy of an author that start with O- and ends in -steen?  The unfortunate news for these philosophizers is that the Christian life is not all marked by pleasant roads and pitstops.  No, sometimes there is struggle.

Even Jesus had times of tremendous peace (think about the small revivals where he healed people in Galilee) and tremendous turbulence.  Jesus dealt with pain and sorrow, and I don’t have to refer to the crucifixion to make this point.  Jesus stood on a hill by Jerusalem and cried for the city to listen to their prophets and return to God.  He wept on the road to Lazarus’ tomb.  He no doubt suffered the sting of rejection by his family and neighbors in Nazareth!

In this life we will face both good and bad.  The poet George Herbert puts it this way,

I will complain, yet praise;
I will bewail, approve:
And all my sour-sweet days
I will lament, and love.

Friends, if you have not suffered in some capacity, you will.  But cling to the one who is well acquainted with sorrows, for he will strengthen your legs and lighten your weary load.

Photo Credit: Frank Wuestefeld via Compfight cc

 

Rileys-41Jeremy says, “I’m a twenty-something husband, father to a beautiful daughter, and recent graduate student living the dream. A Southern California transplant in San Francisco, I work as youth mentor and help them think through big questions of life. Christ-follower. Political junkie. History nerd. Book enthusiast. Stand-up desk guy. Dark beer and robust coffee lover.”  Read more at  jeremydriley.com.

 

Mark Driscoll takes a Short-term Leave.

25 Aug

mark-driscoll_profile_imgThe personality of Mark Driscoll causes many Christians to cheer while others are completely turned off.  Regardless of what you feel towards him and his beliefs – it seems that behind the scenes of Mars Hill (Driscoll’s megachurch), there are major problems.

In the last few months, Mark has been accused of plagiarism, misusing church funds, spiritual abuse of co-workers and members of his church.  Recently, Driscoll was removed from the Acts 29 network that he helped co-found.  Lifeway books has also announced that they will no longer sell his books.  Driscoll will take a leave of absence of six weeks while church leadership decides what lies ahead for the congregation.

So here are some common points that regardless of our positions, we can hold.

1.  Mark is a human who God loves, and who needs to find humility and repentance (as we all do!).  Pray that God will work in his heart and bring him true repentance and renewal.  I personally believe that this is going to take longer than 6 weeks, and will more likely be accomplished while sitting in a pew than standing on a platform.

2.  There are many people who have been hurt, and need to find healing that only God can give.  Spiritual abuse within the church is real, and causes many to leave our Faith.  Pray for these pastors and attenders at this church who have been affected by this situation.

3.  Powerful leaders need strong boundaries.  The popularity and longevity of a leader should only cause a church board to increase the boundaries around lead pastors.  Powerful leaders are sometimes even unaware of their influence and how it affects others.  Pray for the church leadership at Mars Hill who are facing many difficult decisions.

4.  The Kingdom of God is not built on church movements, megachurches, or powerful personalities.  The western church is now driven primarily by megachurches and celebrity pastors.  God, however, is not limited by these things.  I believe a day is coming when believers will flee these things as marks of consumerism and inauthentic Christianity.

 

 

 

Requesting Prayer for those Returning to Campus

21 Aug

Replace your Profile Picture to Remind Others to Pray for those Returning to Campus.

Emerging adults are heading back to college campuses.  While this causes many parents to worry, and many religious to fear, it should lead us to pray.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6

Pray, and ask others to join you in prayer.

Kara Powell and Chap Clark in their book Sticky Faith say, “Over and over, students have told us that the first two weeks at college are when they make key decisions about drinking and other high-risk behaviors, right along with choosing whether to go to church or to a campus ministry.”  (Powell and Clark)  While many may not immediately participate in risky behavior, they do make social decisions that determine their social community for several years.

Let us show emerging adults that while on campus…

  • They are still relevant to our lives.
  • Their work on campus is relevant to the Kingdom of God.
  • They are still an important piece of our spiritual community.
  • They are not forgotten.

The purpose of the “First 2 Weeks” Campaign is to remind the Church to support and encourage emerging adults.

This prayer campaign is not just for parents.  It is for youth workers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, pastors, friends, and anyone else who cares about the spiritual needs of emerging adults.

As the Church, let us show Emerging Adults through text, facebook, and tweet that they are not forgotten (#first2weeks).  They are not in another reality.  They are not so far away.

Help us build a prayer moment for Emerging Adults by…

  1.  Use the buttons below to like and SHARE this article on Facebook.
  2. Replace your profile picture with the “First Two Weeks” image.
  3. Tweet your prayers for an emerging adult with the hashtag #first2weeks.
  4.  Encourage your church community to join the movement by contacting your youth workers or senior pastor.

May we truly be the body of Christ, not in words only, but also in deeds.

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

Resources

Powell, Kara and Chap Clark.  Sticky Faith:  Everyday ideas to build lasting faith in your kids.

 

Boycotting the Berenstain Bears

19 Aug

Notice Papa is with the kids, and apparently ignoring his duty to mow the grass.

I know that this could get me in trouble with some of my readers.  Even more scary, I know that this could get me in trouble with my kids.  (Luckily, they don’t read my blog.)

I want to be honest.  My home is filled with the Berenstain Bears series.  I read them as a child, and wanted my children to read them.  However, when I started reading them as an adult, I was surprised at…  How do I say this?

Papa Bear is an IDIOT.

His stupidity is found not just once in the series of books, but over and over again.  As a child, it didn’t affect me.  As a dad, I am not asking that he be perfect, I just wanted him to sometimes be seen as a hero.

I am not saying that Papa is never seen in a good light.

However, for all the positive values that the books portray – Papa is rarely the source of them.  He is usually another example of what NOT to do.  In both book covers, notice how mama bear is the one trying to instill good behavior within the family, and papa is a part of the problem.

My children naturally make the connection between these stories and real life.  Whenever papa gets in trouble with mama bear, they laugh at not just at papa bear, but also at me.  I understand the concept of humor.  I also believe that the series has so many other potential sources of humor that there is no need to constantly present papa bear as incapable – of everything.

#howtodadLast week, I shared the Cheerios commercial #HowToDad.  This commercial is an example of a positive perspective of manhood.  Portrayals of men being incapable of caring for a family, cooking, cleaning, or shopping.  Gender stereotypes cause both sexes to appear simple and unintelligent.

I am not calling for manhood to be championed above womanhood.  I am not calling for womanhood to be championed above manhood.  I am asking that we take time to support and uphold both men and women who are competent and strong – daily following Jesus by caring for their families.

I am not calling for a boycott. (I only said that to get you to read the post.)

I am not asking for a book-burning.

I am just saying that we should be actively seeking positive role models of men within our society.

What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show that give a positive perspective of men?

 

 

 

Consistent Living Quote

13 Aug

© 2009 S Khan, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

“It takes courage to step up as a man of God. It takes even more courage to be consistent at it.” (Source)

Life is not made of campfire moments.  It is made of the daily decisions when we choose to follow Jesus, or our own selfish ways.  We all have moments in our lives when we step up as husbands, fathers, and friends.  There are other moments when we will fail.

Whether you have been on a downward spiral or sky-rocketing incline in your faith, take time to commit your day to courageously living it out today.

#HowtoDad

8 Aug

#howtodadEnjoyed this commercial, and thought many of my readers would as well.  May today you fully engage in life by being the best dad you can be.

 

Real Men Walk Away

5 Aug
Picture 089 from Flickr via Wylio

© 2009 Bradley West, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I was recently camping for the weekend when I saw an older teenager, repeatedly throwing a circular ring (Frisbee disc) at a post, trying to ring the post.  I didn’t think much about it.  It only became a little unusual when an hour later, I passed the same spot, and I saw the same young man, doing the same thing.

So I asked him, “what are you doing?”

“I am trying to ring the post.  My dad did it.  My brother did it, and now I am going to do it.”  He clearly was not having fun.  He was hot, tired, and exhausted.  His dad and brother were no where to be seen.  None of his family was with him.

I could tell this is something that he had determined that he had to do.  So, here he was toss after toss, in order to prove himself.

I responded.  “You know there are times in life when walking away is the most manly thing that you can do.”

Later that night, I walked by him and his family as they were enjoying a meal.  He recognized me, and called out to me.  “Hey, thanks for the advice.  If it weren’t for you, I would still be trying to ring that post.”

As children, it was instilled into our minds that you should never give up or quit.  However, quitting something may be the wisest thing that you ever do in your life.  Examine what you are attempting to obtain in this life.  Are you pursuing something that is making you miss out on many other blessings of life?

Your manhood is not at stake if you quit.  Real men know when to walk away.

“Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness.”  Ephesians 5:11

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