Monthly Archives: May 2008

My Friend that lives under the Bridge

This is my friend that lives under the bridge. When he is in the police roundup in the local paper they don’t even give his name any more. They just call him the man that lives under the bridge.

But he’s not just the man who lives under the bridge, he not just some one to chuckle at when you see his name in the paper. He is my friend, and he is someone who is created in the image of God. I’m glad that I have a wife who remembers that when I forget. I have known my friend for a few years now. There has been many times I have thrown up my hands and said ” I’m done with him” or “That guy will never learn” or “There’s no hope for him”

I know that if there was hope for me then there is hope for him. I am not afraid to hope for him.

Father, forgive my for losing hope for my friend, for not loving him the way you loved me. Help me to see him through your eyes. Help to not just tell him about your Love, but to show him your Love every time I see him

Amen

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Stories of Hope

Stories of Hope

This Meme is inspired by Jonathan Brink’s post Afraid to Hope.

What’s Your Personal Story of Hope?

Four years ago, my marriage was dead. My wife and I had separated for the second and what looked to be the final time. By all human standards our marriage was dead, our family forever fractured.

One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is “But God” Our marriage was dead “but God” brought it back to life. When I came to the realization that Jenny was moving on and that she wasn’t going to take me back this time, I swallowed a bottle of pills and chased it down with some 100 proof Hot Damn. I remember waking up in the hospital bed, and seeing the cross on the wall. After a week I put a smile on my face and they let me out. For the next couple weeks everywhere I looked I either saw God or Death- There was no in between.

Then one night I decided to go to a party with some friends. I was drinking beer, vodka and whiskey, and smoking a little bit of pot. I remember that my Head Started spinning and my whole life started passing before my eyes. God revealed to me where I was at spiritually . I became aware of the urgent times we live in. I ended up running out side in the rain and falling to the ground and in an almost audible voice I heard God say “Aaron, turn your life over to Me now. Or you never will. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE”. I remember being so confused and not understanding what was going on. The next morning I woke up and walked home as fast as I could. I hit my knees and turned my life over to God. It’s been a bumpy road at times but I couldn’t imagine going back.

Over the next few months God slowly restored my relationship with my wife and my children. He provided a job so I could provide for my family. All through this Jenny watched me, and when she finally figured out that it wasn’t just some ploy to get her back and she started seeing the hand of God in my transformation, she saw the peace that I had and she wanted it to. She quietly gave her life to Christ as well.

This is my story of hope. Most people had given up on me years before this. I had been in open rebellion against God since I was a teenager. I do know of two people who never lost hope. My Grandparents who prayed for me every day, and I’m sure that even though they didn’t live to see their prayers answered, they knew well before I did that God would answer their prayers.

So what’s your story of hope?

I tag Jonathan, Glenn, Barb, John and any one else who feels moved to participate. Just link back to this post, so we can all be encouraged by your Stories of Hope.

Thoughts on Being a Missional Church

Moving the church outside the walls doesn’t necessarily make it missional. If the purpose of our activities is ultimately to bring more people into our church, That is not missional.

Being a missional church is about moving outside the walls, not to grow our church, but to extend God’s love to those around us.

A missional church can’t be concerned about getting a return on their investment

A missional church must me a church where people see them selves as participants in the mission of God, not just passive recipients of his Grace.

As the body of Christ we are God’s physical representation here on earth. Being missional is about being a redemptive force in our community. Its about God’s will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

A missional church is more concerned about how it can enable and encourage its members to serve the community more than it is concerned about offering “services” to its members.

A missional church must be less concerned with making converts than it is with making disciples.
The old way of doing church was attractional. (How can we bring them in?) A missional church is incarnational. (How can we embody Christ in the community?)
Being missional must come from Love. For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son.

A truly missional church must be a loving church. People are smart if they sense that we are doing the things we are doing with the motive of getting them to come to our church they will know, and it will turn them off.

Being a missional church is about loving people like this.

Extremely Powerful Video.

DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED

I ran across this Smashing Pumpkins video on You Tube. For those who live in comfortable Christian circles whats portrayed in this video is unimaginable, but this is reality for many people. We need to remember that Jesus came to save people like this, and as the body of Christ. It is our calling to come along side people like this and love them. I can say with out a doubt that it is only by God’s Grace that I am not sitting in an alley somewhere caught in the stranglehold of addiction.

This is a POWERFUL VIDEO. I may be crazy but I think this would be a good video to be shown in Church on a Sunday morning.

Talk about scary looking

We know what you ate for dinner last night!

We know what you ate for dinner last nignt!

Put The Pipe Down

Religion is the opium of the masses.” Karl Marx

I was listening a local Contemporary Christian Radio station the other day and Marx’s quote came to mind. There is a lot of truth to his statement. There are very few songs on CCR that challenge people to step out side their comfort zones and follow Christ. On local station boasts that it is “family friendly” and “uplifting and encouraging” and only plays only “uplifting and positive news”. It’s so “soothing” at times I have to change the channel before I nod off on the way to work.

Religion can be like an opiate. The outward practice of religion can bring comfort to us. Singing songs with like minded people on Sunday, sitting passively in the pew, having a nice dinner after church, uttering a prayer before dinner, maybe reading our Bible from time to time,listing to Christian music, etc. We can so immerse ourselves in churchianity that we can become oblivious to the world around us.

That is the difference between being religious and following Christ. Following Christ means facing rejection, stepping out side our comfort zones, putting the needs of others before our own, and at times pain. When we make the shift from just believing in God to Following Christ we will start to be aware of all that is wrong in the world, instead of tuning it all out. The things that bring Jesus to tears will move us to tears. The things that provoke him to anger will provoke us to anger, and most importantly the things that move Him to action will move us to action

What Would Happen?

A friend of mine sent this to me. I thought it was worth sharing.

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phone?
 

 What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
 What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
 

 What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
 
 What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Bible?

Oh!  And one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think, “Where are my priorities?”

And no dropped calls!