Oct 21 2007

Content to Be Content

We talked about contentment in our Life Group this week. We also discovered an important distinction. Contentment is not accepting what you already have. Accepting what you have can sometimes lead to complacency and lack of effort. Contentment is also not “settling” due to current circumstances.

Instead, God asks us to give Him our best. To go “all out.” If everything we have belongs to God in the first place, then contentment should come by realizing that God is simply loaning us our resources, our talents, our families, etc, for this particular moment in time. God deserves all that we have. He deserves one hundred percent of our effort. If we give Him that, we can be assured of a peaceful heart regardless of the outcome.

As Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV):

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

We can be happy whether we have the most or the least. The goal is to give God our best and then let Him decide the outcome. When our desire to please God outweighs our desire to please ourselves, that’s when we’ll find true contentment.

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Oct 21 2007

Growing Bigger By Growing Smaller

We had a wonderful Life Group tonight. We met in the Underground due to the fact our group is getting VERY large – 17 adults and usually about 13 kids. That’s too many to fit in any one house! While we enjoy our time together, I laid out the challenge tonight that our group needs to find a way to divide into smaller units.

Having a large group limits the number of opportunities for someone to share their heart. It also limits the possibility of adding new people to the group. When we are too big to add any others to our group, we are, in actuality, denying someone else from having the same experience we currently enjoy. That’s really a selfishness issue which can lead to a bigger issue – pride.

To our group’s credit, everyone recognized the need to give others the opportunity to experience a Life Group. I also challenged everyone to consider whether or not they should step up and lead a group as well. We have plenty of host homes, but not enough people stepping up to lead. Most people won’t lead unless you give them permission. They either feel unqualified or unchallenged. Both can be solved with a little encouragement.

It’s amazing to me that when you remove a leader from a group, another leader steps up to take their place. It was the same way when I taught band – when a strong player graduated, there was always someone else that would step up to the challenge. They were simply waiting for the opportunity and the invitation.

As leaders, we often fail the organization because we won’t step out of the way and give others the opportunity to lead. Just like the small group I mentioned above, it becomes an issue of pride. Once we step out of the way and extend the invitation, it’s amazing to see who shows up and the incredible talent they bring to the table.

Are you the bottleneck to the organization? Have you given someone the opportunity and the invitation?

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Oct 18 2007

Stormy Thursday

Quite the storms today!! At 2:30 this morning the storms hit full force on our side of town and within seconds our 110 year old maple tree was lying across our front yard. It was as if God Himself took great care to position the tree gently and cautiously across our lawn. Another few feet to the right and the tree would have crashed into our daughter Emilee’s bedroom. A few more feet to the left and the power lines would have snapped. A few feet to the other side and our neighbor’s house and car would have been demolished. In short, it was nothing less than a miracle that the tree landed exactly where it would cause no damage!

At 8am I was already trying to figure out how to dispose of this gigantic yard ornament. By 10am the entire tree was gone! Another miracle perhaps? The city workers were out cleaning up debris from the road and after a short conversation they agreed to go take a look out our tree. By 9:30am they had trimmed all the branches and put them in the shredder. By 10am they had returned to cut the large trunk into pieces and then by chain loaded them into a truck to be taken away. While I have many issues with our city, I must say that these guys were AWESOME!! A HUGE thanks go out to those fellas for taking care of a massive challenge!

This afternoon? Another round of storms. This time two tornadoes were spotted, one of which came across our neighborhood and did some pretty good damage. Several trees were down in our neighborhood, a fence and a car smashed from a broken limb. Across town the damage continued with the storm path taking out many more trees and part of a house. The power is still out tonight in that part of town, but fortunately I haven’t heard of any injuries.

I’ve always been fascinated by storms, especially tornadoes. I don’t understand why they happen, but I wonder if God is simply clearing away what is not needed any longer. What I do know is that He was certainly watching out for our family this morning and this afternoon, and I thank Him for covering us with His protection. Another reminder that we serve an incredible God!!

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Oct 17 2007

Parents Just Don’t Understand

NewSpring Church is getting ready to start a new parenting series called “Parents Are Clueless.” While we have taught many times on parenting at Meadow Heights Church, I love how Perry and his team are thinking outside the box.

Check out this incredible website with comments that will make those of us who are parents think twice about our family.

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Oct 17 2007

Right Smack Dab In the Middle…

Take time to check out this post by this guy. My favorite lines:

It’s not Jesus, then my family, then my job…
It’s Jesus: in my family, in my job…

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