Life

Carrying the Mind of Christ with Us

The following is a short article I wrote for our church newsletter today, but I wanted to share it on here as well:

Do you carry the mind of Christ with you throughout your work week?  In other words, do you reflect your Savior in your attitude and decision-making?  When I think back to the time that I worked in the secular workforce, I can remember having difficulty in keeping this Kingdom perspective.  More times than not, I kept a worldly perspective – I tried to live under my own strength.  I would put on my Christlike attitude on Wednesday nights and on Sundays, but it was too easy to slip back into a worldly mindset when I got to work on Monday mornings.  Even though I currently work full time in ministry, there are still times that I tend to think this way.  I think that’s part of human nature – we are independent and want to solve problems under our own power.


I have found that the more time I spent in the Word and in prayer and fellowship with the Lord, the more I keep a Christ-centered mindset.  I want to encourage our church family to stay centered in the will of God by feeding your soul with the Word on a daily basis.  When we do this, we will develop our mind for Christ.  We will have a Kingdom mentality; we will LOOK for opportunities to live our testimony, not just react when they present themselves.  Have a mind for Christ on a daily basis and with everyone we interact with, and we will change our world.

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Social Media as A Tool for Advancing Revival

I am currently in a discussion on Google+ (another social network) with church workers from all over the country.  We are sharing ideas on how social media can be used to advance sustainable revival.  Much has been made about “unauthentic” posting – that people will not be truthful about what they post.  To some extent, I agree; I think it’s human nature to attempt to paint ourselves in the most positive light.  At the same time, that’s the very thing that we must work against as believers.  Jesus tells us very clearly in scripture to “deny ourselves.”  Humbleness is a virtue that seems to be lacking all around us, including in social media.

I believe we CAN use social media as an effective means to help advance sustainable revival.  We need to be intentional when we post something online for the world to see.  Why post negative remarks?  Why argue?  Why sacrifice my testimony by reposting a crass joke just because I think it is funny?  How is that spreading the Good News?  To this end, I have set a goal for myself that I think would be great for all believers to consider if we are serious about being the new creations that God has made us into, and if we are to utilize this powerful social medium to advance the Kingdom.

My goal:  To only post things on social networks that are edifying, uplifting, encouraging, testifying, and proclaiming – I will give my best effort in this towards advancing the Kingdom of God.


Soundbites

Do you make To-do lists?  I have to have them.  I have an app on my phone right now that has a list of things to do, and I’m constantly updating it, especially during this time of year!  I’m so paranoid about forgetting things, I even have the same app loaded on my office computer, and I have my phone synchronized to my computer so that my list is always current!  Every year I get this way, and every year God has to remind me that JESUS needs to be the first thing on our “list.”  He needs to be at the top of any other priorities we may have.  A good way to keep things in perspective is to ask, “Where is Jesus on my list?”  I’m afraid that for far too many of us, He is near the bottom – the parties, programs, gifts, family dinners and community events seem to fight for the very top.

We can even let church activities take priority over Him.  I think sometimes we get so busy with “doing stuff” that we forget He is the reason we are doing it in the first place!  Where is Jesus?  He’s quietly at the bottom of that list, or even not on it at all.

We should all re-evaluate our priorities today – we should put Jesus first, and everything else will find its proper place.

One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”  Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;  AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’  Mark 12:28-30 (NASB)

 


Soundbites

But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn  incense  before Him?  2 Chronicles 2:6 (NASB)

I came across this verse in my daily reading this week.  Solomon is preparing to build the temple to God and he asks himself this question.  My own question when reading this verse was, “Who is worthy?”  None of us are worthy to anything for God, yet He calls us to be obedient.  He is more interested in our faithfulness to Him than our abilities or worthiness.  Obeying our Father only strengthens our faith and reliance upon Him.

Are you being obedient to God?  Has He placed a burden in your heart?  Too many times we feel a burden and share it with someone else, expecting them to do the work, when god has placed that burden on our hearts because He wants us to do the work!

If God is calling you to do a work unto Him, He will equip you to do the work, no matter how impossible the task or how ill-equipped you may think you are.  All He is asking is for our obedience.  I pray that all of us will obey when our Heavenly Father calls.


Soundbites

It’s been a while since my last post.  I plan to do a write-up in the near future of our Association’s recent vision trip to West Virginia.

The following is my weekly article, “Soundbites,” that I write for our church newsletter:

I’ve had the following verse on my mind the last few days:  “Then He said to [them] all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (HCSB).

Have you ever really thought about what would happen if all Christians would heed this command from Jesus?  The world would never be the same.  If we simplify everything we are commanded to do, I think it all comes down to Luke 9:23 and the Great Commission.  Heeding Luke 9:23 begins with denying ourselves.  This is a very hard thing to do of course, since we are selfish by nature.  We want to look out for ourselves first.  This is not what Jesus commands us to do.  In fact, much of what we are taught from Jesus goes against our natural reactions.

Can you truly imagine a life of self-denial?  Practicing this prepares us for the ultimate sacrifice for Christ, martyrdom.  We must be willing to give our very lives for the name of Jesus.  A question we must ask is, “Am I willing to give my life for the name of Christ?”

I pray that each of us is ready to do that very thing.  When we can come to that point, we can truly deny ourselves every day, and therefore fulfill the command of Luke 9:23.  We can then change our world.


It’s Hard to Wait

It’s so hard to wait on God.  I’m an impatient person, so I know He tests me.  I’m going through a time like that now; I’m trying to discern God’s will and direction for myself and my family.  There is an open door in front of us. Does He intend for us to walk through it, or are we to stay where we are and continue to minister here? It’s a test for me, for sure. I’m just praying for clarity and direction; it’s all I know to do.

God led me to the book of Habakkuk this morning while in the waiting room at the hospital. My wife’s dear grandmother faced open heart surgery at eighty years old (by the way, she’s doing great). Needless to say, I’ve had plenty of time to look at scripture. This verse spoke to me: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV.

Not the burning bush I was hoping for, but it brought comfort and peace. Now, for patience…


Mississippi: What a Unique Place

I won’t go into the recent negativity that has arisen around our “landmass.”  I’ll let Shepherd Smith do that:

 

I think this could be a good thing.  I just heard about someone from our great state who is having t-shirts made using the Landmass moniker.  The proceeds will go to aid storm victims.  We now have college fans who go to THE University of Landmass, The University of Southern Landmass, and Landmass State University.

If there is one thing Mississippians do well, it’s face adversity and deal with it.  We can even find humor in a bad situation.  I think it’s a gift.  I think it makes us unique in a way.  Where else can you go to learn of the history of some of the worst of places (think slavery), and yet find one of the best of places (some of the nicest, caring, and giving of people)?  Yes, in some cases we are set in our ways.  Yes, it’s humid here.  It’s definitely not for everyone.  And yes, we have our problems.  Not to make light of person’s misfortune or tragedy, but (to use the cliche) we also know how to make lemonade out of lemons.  When Katrina hit, we went to work.  Most of the rest of the country didn’t know about that however, because the media’s attention was focused on New Orleans.  It made for better and dramatic news.  Please don’t get me wrong. What the folks in NOLA went through was unheard of, and my heart goes out to them.  It was an unmitigated humanitarian disaster.

BUT, there were other people and landmasses that experienced tragedy just as well.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the path of Isaac.  Be safe.