Friday, January 6, 2012

Hmmmmmmmm! May I recommend?....Jesus!

I just finished the book, Speaking of Jesus: the Art of Not Evangelism, by Carl Medearis.  recommended by a dear friend, Thomas Davis, who works with sharing the gospel good news of Jesus (ISA) with Muslims. I was blown away.  Thomas and i were trained together in sharing the gospel many years ago.  We learned to pray, partner, share the gospel with our bibles, with tracts, with story.  I with Medearis still believe there is a place for that training and for sharing the gospel in the way/method of many good and well-meaning "programs"  Medearis proposes that we share JESUS.  that is all.  Not how to be a Christian.  Not how to be religious.  Not a ticket to heaven.  Not any of the religious things we have fallen into.  Share that you are following Jesus.  Trying to live like Jesus.  Is He making a difference enough in your life today that people would want to hear your story?  Share that!  back it up with sound knowledge of His word, that love letter you need to read again and again. I invite you to read this work.  My eyes are open!  Love people like God loves you!
                                                                                                                                        January 8, 2012
Last Sunday, on their way to church services, the Longstreet family from Lexington, encountered one of our social ills—a drunk driver. Many in the family and a third party were injured.  Emma, the six year old daughter, was tragically killed, and others in the family are still in critical condition.  And again the drunk driver was not injured.
We all know these days that any day of the week, any time of the day, the roads can become extraordinarily dangerous when alcohol consumption is added to the equation.  I do not intend to offend anyone here who drinks socially, but it always bothers me how we approach this freedom in our country.
I hear remarks like, “Well, I am sure he did not intend to kill anyone.” Or someone will remark, “People should always designate a driver if they are going to party.”  Being a victim of drunk driving myself, I am a bit harsher in my evaluation.  I believe that once a person decides to drink excessively then they have already made the decision that human life is to some small degree less important than their desires.  I have good friends who are really good people, who would never imagine being in a similar situation to the man who caused this accident. And I know of people who have experienced near misses with the same type of headline.
A simple wake-up call is due today.  For just a moment, imagine your name in that headline.  Imagine the cost to you, your family and the innocents.   Is there any behavior being observed under control in your family that your children one day will practice and will not be able to control?  Is the temporary buzz or whatever is experienced worth the loss and suffering forced on others who have no choice in the matter?  I hope we can all receive this alarm with the love and concern with which it is offered.

He in Us

                                                                                                                                     January 1, 2012
I love to play the guitar.  Many years ago I noticed how an FCA event was made special in the giftedness of one guitar in the hands of a talented leader.  Our FCA was struggling in the area of music, so I vowed to God on the trip home to pick up my mother’s old nylon six string and try to learn in thirty minutes like the title of her book in the case promised.  I learned the chords G, C and D, and I was off and running.  I have never mastered it but take great pleasure in watching Josh play.  I taught him those chords long ago and he is just amazing now. 
Last week, I had struggled, but I managed to pick out “O Come, O Come Immanuel” on Mom’s old guitar.  I had a hard time singing it so invited Lauren to come sing as I picked.  All of the sudden I felt like a professional.  A beautiful voice disguised all my stumbled strumming.  It is amazing how that picture illustrates what Jesus Christ does in our lives, isn’t it?  He comes into the likes of us, people who are broken, awkward, fumbling and lost and makes us new, useful, gifted and purposed.
Lauren has always wanted to learn to play and noticed that the chords for that song looked easy.  “Daddy, can you teach me that song?”  You can imagine my joy when just five minutes later; Lauren was strumming to “O Come, O Come Immanuel.” God multiplied my joy that night!  He made three become one voice as His Spirit filled a moment for a father and daughter.
Happy New Year!