Sunday, December 18, 2005

Good News!

Well I had some good news today. My good friend and roomate Justin was offered a great job back home in S. Carolina where all of his family is. What makes it even better is that his girlfriend Rachael has decided to go as well (I believe the girlfriend status will change within the year). I'm really excited for them. Justin gets his cake and can eat it too. It's always awesome to see God work things out like this.

Unfortunately that means that my good friend and roomate will be moving home soon, but will come back evey 2 weeks to see Rachael until she can move out in April. So I'll have his half of the rent payed through March, but will need a roomate who can afford around $350-$375 a month as our lease doesn't run out until September. A lot of things are changing quickly around me.

It's funny how in hindsight I loved the fact that Kenya was so unpredictable and you never knew what life was going to hit you with next. It kept me relying on God for everything, and now I find myself in a similar situation stateside. I'm going to need a roomate soon this much I know. I'm also a little picky on who I live with. Ultimately the Lord has a plan behind all of this, and will provide for me, and will bless and take care of Justin and Rachael.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfullness to us. You've been so good, and You are always working in our lives to make us more like you. May this stage in my life bring me closer to you.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Don't Waste Your Life

I'm currently reading a book by John Piper called "don't waste your life" and in the 1st chapter he's talking about how C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity" heavily influenced him. Here is a paragraph from his book.

"He ahs made me wary of chronological snobbery. That is, he showed me that newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern. This has freed me from the tyranny of novelty and opened for me the wisdom of the ages. To this day I get most of my soul-food from centuries ago. I thank God for Lewis' compelling demonstration of the obvious."

That paragraph goes against everything we practice today in society, both in the business world and in the church. Cutting edge is the ticket, who can come up with the "cool" new thing. There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Today you're in the paper, tomorrow that same paper is wrapping fish." The message is that what may seem like a big deal right now will soon be forgotton.

Why then as the body of Christ do we fight to be so cutting edge, and trendy so that we can be culturally relavant? What we should be doing is looking at the things that have lasted over centuries and are time tested and haven't passed away. Christ is the best example. People aren't attracted to Him because He's new, novel, or cutting edge. They're attracted to Him because He's faithful, and never changes. He's always relevant and His words can speak to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Now am I knocking contextualizing the gospel to fit culture? No, I most certainly am not. The Jesuits did a great job of spreading the gospel because they conformed to cultural norms like clothing, food, manners, speach and all other things that may allow them to reach the people without comprimising the gospel message in any way. What I am saying though can best be summed up by a quote from my friend and co-worker Jim Wimmenauer's pastor when he said "Whatever it costs to bring them in, it will cost more to get them to stay". You give a mouse a cookie, it'll want milk. If we are using things that will quickly pass away to bring people in, they are eventually going to want more. That's human nature. However, if Jesus is what brings them in, then they'll never want to leave as Paul B. correctly replied to the above quote.

So this begs the question. Why are you going to church? If we're honest with ourselves, we may find that it's not always Jesus.
This begs the next question. As church leaders, if people are not coming and staying because of their captivation with Christ, then we are doing something tragically wrong. A church is nothing but a building filled with white washed tombs if the center of our hearts isn't focused entirely on the glorification of God. And if that's where our hearts are as a body, God will be there and I can garauntee that we won't need to going fishing for the fish, they'll jump right into the boat.

Where is your heart looking?

God forgive me for letting my heart constantly put it's gaze on other hopes, dreams, ambitions, and people. Those things are all baggage that I carry, help me to let them all go so I can once again focus on You. If I'm focused on you, I won't need to go looking for action, because the action will come to me. The lost will more clearly see You in my life and once they've experienced You, will never want anything else again. I praise Your Holy Name.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Long Day

Today has been an incredibly long day. I just took a new postition at Ace Asphalt as their Business Development Coordinator and have spent the first day being completely overwhelmed with info.

I know that with any job transition, there is a learning curve, but mine is going to be especially steep. I have reports that are due weekly and must be done along with many other things. Fortunately I have Robert Howard and a few other good men to lean on during this time and train me up. I know that once I start understanding the order of things, priorities, and am able to really get a grasp of things and remember it, then I'll be doing ok. That may take a little while though. This entire week I'll be arriving at work at 6 a.m. for training, and will continue it throughout the day.

One thing is for sure, and that is that I didn't get where I am by myself. It is God and Him alone that is to credit for me being where I am. So I take comfort in that He will help me through this stressful time of intense learning, and hopefully I will exceed their expectations and be able to bless this company.

Lord be with me. Keep your hand upon me and bless everything that I do, that in everything I do, glory will be given to Your Name. Help me to work harder and smarter, and make things more effecient. Help me to quickly understand the new software systems I'm going to be working with. I desperately need you by my side and need you to walk me through this. May your name be glorified in all the earth.