God and Belief

If I believe in myself I will certainly be disappointed.

I am a fallible being with a sin nature. I am a walking time bomb. My personal experience verifies the teachings of Paul in the book of Romans.

If I believe in God I will never be disappointed.

Why is it that we find it so much easier to believe in others than ourselves?

It is it because of the personal data that we have?

A lifetime of firsthand experience and empirical evidence?

If I don’t believe that change can happen for me why should anyone believe me when I tell them they can change?

Even more importantly, since God has promised to change me why do I doubt him?

Whether I believe or not – it is still true that he can and will change me into his likeness.

Praise God.

1 Corinthians 15:52b For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

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Clothes and Speaking the truth in love

Some of you may request my man card for admitting this, but I love clothes. ties

I blame my dad. He taught me to dress well and to try and look your best.

I wore a suit and tie to church from the 1960’s through the 1990’s.

I have been through the 3 piece suits, leisure suites, disco, the business suit with the power tie, to the business causal of today (sans tie).

Like my dad, I have a hard time throwing away clothes. My dad refused to throw away a tie because he said eventually it would come back in style. He was right. I kept his old ties and added my own to the collection.

Recently, I looked inside my closest and realized I had a problem. It was overcrowded with things that I had not worn in years and might not ever wear again.

I knew I needed someone I trusted to help me with this project and I asked my son, Andrew, for his assistance. He agreed to help but encouraged me to sort through my closet before he came over.

Andrew encouraged me to find clothes that were still functional and to give them away to someone who could actually use them and I did. I would encourage you to do the same!

I have to admit I felt pretty good when he showed up to examine my closet. Then I pulled out what I had kept. It was still a lot. I asked Andrew what he thought of what I had saved. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before he spoke.

Then Andrew pointed out that my hair and beard had gone gray and the browns, orange, and green tones I had worn for years made me look washed out. I was now better served by dark colors near my face.

Admittedly, it was kind of hard to hear. It took courage on his part to tell me a truth that I did not want to hear. But it was also liberating.

So I parted with a lot more clothes, including a neon green plaid shirt that was one of my favorites. A shirt that my wife hated with a passion.

This morning I looked at a closest full of clothes that fit me, look good and serve multiple functions. I see the space now empty and know that the clothes I gave away are a blessing to someone else.

And when I look at the closet I am reminded of the blessing it is to receive the truth in love.

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Thought for the day: What kind of a person does it take to speak the truth in love? Can I be that person today?

Fictional account of how we really expected the story of Christ’s birth to be told.

Imagine, if you will,  that Christ came and was recognized for the eternal king that he is. (My apologies to the apostle Luke.)
 
It all started with the census that Caesar proclaimed. Everyone was required to go to the place of their birth to be registered. This included poor men, rich men, even the prince and princesses of the land.

Prince Joseph and Princess Mary,  traveled to Bethlehem. They had come from their summer palace in Nazareth with their caravans and entourage.

First hand accounts indicate that Mary was young,  very pregnant and absolutely radiant.

Joseph of course was regal looking in his robes and his crimson, jewel encrusted shepherds rod.

They were followed by a large number of scribes who  recorded their every utterance.

Famous artists had been following them for the last 4 months working on master portraits ever since the appearance of the angel to Mary and then Joseph in his dream.

In the beginning public opinion had been against Mary. Everyone figured that she and Joseph had gotten ahead of their marriage vows.  They were engaged and she was pregnant.

Then the Angel appeared publicly to most of the nation and explained that this was from God and the that this child would be the Messiah. Everyone realized that God was the father of this child and were amazed. 

When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem the local inn was waiting for them. Joseph had the good sense to not only reserve the rooms but to buy the hotel.

Mary went on to give birth attended by 6 hand maidens and 2 midwives who were direct ancestors from the midwives of the exodus.

Once Jesus was born he was placed in a royal crib. It was patterned after the ark of the covenant with cherubim angels overlooking the baby messiah.

Everyone who was anyone was there. Local dignitaries came. People who ruled other lands came and pledged their loyalty and trust to him.

Even Cesar came and paid homage to him offering to allow Mary and Joseph to take his throne until the time Jesus was old enough to rule.

People from as lands as far away as Persia came because of the Star overhead.

Wars stopped as people flocked to Bethlehem to see this amazing birth.

* I prefer the real story that we find in the book of Luke.

Portable Churches

We went through our first setup and tear down with the wonderful people from Portable Church Industries this weekend.20141214_094244[1]http://www.portablechurch.com/

The Portable Church staff specialize in creating customized, all inclusive solutions for church plants and multi-site churches.

As I walked through the B&B Wylie 12 theater this morning I was reminded of the Tent of Meeting in the Old Testament.

The Tent of Meeting was a mobile worship center that traveled everywhere the Israelites went.

It was a place where location did not matter. In fact, it could change on a weekly basis.

What did matter was presence.

God’s presence was experienced in the Tent of Meeting by those who came.

And people’s lives were changed.

We are praying that the same thing will happen at Chase Oaks 544. The Chase Oaks 544 campus will launch on January 11th in the B&B Wylie 12 movie theater.

Foolish Question #1

1. Would Jesus change a dirty diaper?

Yes, Jesus would change a dirty diaper.
Read the passage below.

Philippians 2:5-8
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

It doesn’t sound very dignified, but Jesus continues to clean up the mess I make.

God is

God is never:

1. Surprised by bad news.

2. Unprepared for disaster.

3. Overwhelmed by the enemy or circumstances.

4. Without the resources to meet the needs of his children.

5. To tired to hear the prayer of those who seek him.

6. To embarrassed to claim us his own.