The 1991 movie City Slickers with Billy Crystal is particularly funny for me this year. I will get to go on a cattle drive later in the year with my parents and siblings. Our various personalities and experience on horseback will make this vacation a comedy! ...or maybe a tragedy!
In the movie, Mitch (Billy Crystal) and his two best friends go on a similar trip in an attempt to deal with their midlife crisis. (That is NOT my motivation for going!) They meet the rugged trail boss, Curly. He challenges Mitch to find that "one thing" he can center his life around. Curly, however, dies before revealing the "one thing!"
There happens to be a guy going through midlife crisis in the Bible. He also wondered what the "one thing" was for him...
What is a T.P.R.? It is a Termination of Parental Rights. It is what happens when a parent is unfit to care for a child and it becomes apparent their parental rights must cease so the child can find a new home. This allows the child to be adopted.
If we believe parents who abandon their children are criminal, what does it say that our churches abandon newborn babes in Christ? They are often neglected to fend for themselves, to find their own spiritual food, and raise themselves. This is an eternal crime!...
I am a father of four. The three still with us make me question if Jesus was wrong. He said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 18:3) HE MUST HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOUR YEARS OLD OR YOUNGER!
The three I live with are the most legalistic Pharisees I have ever known!! Was Jesus wrong?!
He loves her. She is the woman of his dreams. They had been dating for a while and he felt it was time to pop the big question. He planned that special moment. He got everything in place, the restaurant, the romantic walk afterward along the river front; and in the very spot he planned with the perfect setting, he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. She said,....
If people even connect Christmas with Christ, it is often focused on the baby. The baby gives us the warm and fuzzies. We imagine a cute and most of all, clean mother and child. Perhaps we should sing more Justin Bieber, "Baby, baby, baby, Oh!"
No! We should never sing more Bieber!
But what if baby Jesus is not the actual focus of Scripture, not even in the birth narratives?
Like the picture here, do we often apply our own cultural values to the biblical story instead of seeing the cultural values already at play in the biblical narrative. Art often shows this tendency throughout the centuries. But what if the birth narratives have a greater purpose than a baby?
It is awesome to say that our son, Michael, asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior this weekend! Like with Savanna, he is adopted again, this time into God's forever family!
He told me on his own that he wanted to ask God into his life. When I asked him why he wanted this, he responded, "I remember all those stories of miracles Jesus did and how it helped people. But it also changed people's lives." I asked him what that meant for him. He responded, "Maybe it will change my life too." I asked him what it meant for God to be in his life. He responded, "I have to ask Him to be on the throne of my heart." ....
I've kept this a secret long enough. About two months ago, a man walked into the store where I worked. He needed a battery for his cell phone. The man was Chuck Norris!
It was quite exciting... Read on!
"God will not give you more than you can handle."
"God won't give you more than you can bear."
"God never puts on us more than we can stand."
Wanna bet?! If we could ask Job in the Bible if God will allow more into your life than you can stand, what would he say? My family will testify that we have been through more than we can handle on our own strength.
This cliche creates all sorts of problems for us in the church. It is unbiblical, impractical, and deadly to our relationship with God. This is why...
Words are a wonderfully imprecise at times. I often tell my kids to listen. I can feel like Charles Stanley some days! "Listen! Now, Listen!" But it recently occurred to me that I may need to define my terms a bit.
Listen, I recently told one of my children something he needed to start doing. He had that blank stare so I asked if he was listening and he said, "I heard you." Pressing further I asked, "What did you hear?" to which he honestly responded, "I heard words coming from your mouth." Now, listen! Frustration is not quite a strong enough word...
This past week, our daughter Savanna was adopted again! Our kids went to WinShape Camp put on by Chic-fil-a. They had a blast and learned a lot about Christ and themselves. The theme this year was "Heart Castle" and they learned that their hearts are the throne room of their castle. The big question was, "Who is sitting on the throne of your heart?"
It was challenging to all three. They had to ask themselves if Christ was seated on their throne or if they were hogging the seat. Much to our joy, Savanna received Christ and trusted Him to forgive her sins. She admits that she is still struggling with letting Christ always sit on the throne of her heart, but we reassured her that is something we all struggle with.