Archives For works

The Power of a Smile

July 5, 2014

I’ve been traveling in the United States for two weeks with my family. We’ve been to numerous restaurants, hotels, and airports as we hit six states in our first ten days in the country.

I’ve been struck with the radical difference in customer service from various companies and chains.

Southwest Airlines – after flying close to a million miles in my life, I took my first ever flights on Southwest Airlines. The hype is true!  They are friendly, efficient, and fun. While offering less frills than other carriers, the commitment to fun and friendliness has the power to win me over.

Hyatt Hotels – We stayed at two Hyatt Place hotels on our journey. Each time we were greeted repeatedly by the staff. They also put together a really cool room with a sectional couch/ living room corner. I will return to this chain!

Working Toward Heaven

May 4, 2014

I was out for a jog the other day and ran (pun intended) across a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses preparing for a Saturday of door to door evangelism.

In the past, I’ve engaged in conversations with them about salvation by grace and not works, Jesus being God, or even their view that only 144,000 will make it to heaven (from Revelation).

Today I was struck with a sense of sadness.

How sad for someone to believe they must evangelize in hopes of working towards heaven.

How many souls are enough?
How many Saturday’s are enough?
In a church of close to 8 million, will you really do enough to be in the top 144,000 of all time? (or be so lucky to be on earth when God’s kingdom is established here in the future.)

Life WITH God

April 19, 2014

I’ve spent a lot of time and space recently exploring ways Not to relate to God.

  • We explored the false pretense saying God is required to bless us for right lifestyle.
    – Truth, although powerful and needed, can actually be a substitute for relationship with God.
  • The consumer God mindset, where He becomes your WalMart was analyzed.
  • And we contemplated how being active and living on mission can subtlety replace God in our lives.

All of these posts and explorations have been inspired by the most thought provoking book I have read in a long time.

With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani shows how the change of a simple preposition can affect our walk with God.

  • When we live Under God it says we have power to demand blessings based on our lifestyle.

We hear a lot today about Christians filling the church chairs, but not doing much with their faith other than being spectators

“Those lazy, unmotivated Christians, they just sit in the pews!”

What are we saying? Real Christians are on God’s mission, engaging in God’s calling. We quote James of faith without action is dead.

So, we move from one position to another:

“Taking” to “Giving”
“Spectators” to “Participants”
“Consumers” to “Servants

This is good right?

Yes. Please let me be clear. This is good!

But as with all things there can be a subtle danger.

We can move to focusing on God’s mission and lose focus on God himself.

We hear, “Real Christians give their lives to God’s mission!”

Then the question lies in how much mission is enough mission. How much lukewarmness or laziness is too much?

A Cautious Grace

February 14, 2014

Whenever you tell someone you speak and write about grace, they are quick to offer cautions.

Grace must be kept in balance. “You don’t want sloppy agape or cheap grace now do you?”
Oh yes, well watch out for so and so, he is dangerous…

Grace is treated as though it is radioactive material moments away from a chain reaction causing irreparable damage.

Attempts to balance out its scandalous nature are made.

We stand off from grace poking and prodding it like an alien life form. We push away the very thing we so desperately need.

Holiness and godly lifestyle are zeroed in on as the antidote to help us keep this nuclear substance in check. The Biblical word for this is Law.

In his book, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World, Tullian Tchividjian offers these thoughts on grace and Law, citing J. Gresham Machen