Monthly Archives: June 2007

True Confessions from Atlanta – Returning

Never underestimate the power of the insights that God can show you just by going to some place different than your hometown.

I just returned from a business/personal trip to Atlanta. God showmed me a lot about society, Himself and me while on the trip. There’s a lot to write about. It includes conversations with a friend who has recently moved to Atlanta, a co-worker, a panhandler, and a wide variety of people, places and situations where God “spoke” to me. This thread may go on a while because I can’t seem to remember the last time when so much came to me in just a few days.

My first insights came while waiting for my ride at the Atlanta airport. I sat for a while and watched as the military personnel came home from being deployed. It was interesting to see how the soldiers reacted as they got off the plane. Some of the soldiers were greeted by people they knew. Others were cheered by strangers.

A few seemed to have arrived and went unnoticed. Thinking back on the situation, I should have gone over and said something to the few who seemed to slip by the crowd.

Nobody wants to stand around and wait to be noticed. That is uncomfortable. It is much easier to quickly mingle into the crowd and go about your business. This action basically acts as if the homecoming is no big deal. But I know that can’t be true. I certainly wouldn’t have felt that way if I had just returned home after a prolonged absense.  

It is a powerful thing to return home to find someone waiting for you. This simple fact may give you the will to fight or help you get through whatever hardship you had to endure to get back home. A friendly face can steady a wounded heart and help you feel secure again.

I started to think about how this reality connects with God’s heart for His children. Jesus told a parable about a father who watched and waited for his prodigal son to return. God is just like that father when it comes to us. Sometimes we can feel that we have gone on a journey and are far from God.

No matter what we have done, God is there waiting to welcome us back. He never misses one person. There are no unnoticed people when it comes to God. He rejoices at all of our homecomings. And that gives me peace of mind as I hit the road.

Interactive Coffee Table

A good friend, Marc Johnson, sent me a link to this amazing video footage. Wow! I want a coffee table like the table shown in this video clip. It makes some of the interactive computer stuff in Minority Report look like it might be coming to a boardroom near you in the not too distant future.

FYI… something I thought others would find interesting.

 http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid932579976/bclid932553050/b

Jesus Knew….

John 13:2-4 –The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

Then Jesus proceeded to wash His disciples’ feet. Many of you probably know the rest of the story. The disciples must have thought this act went way beyond unusual. Jesus took the positon of a lowly servant and did something that was considered a dirty job that nobody wanted to do.

Great teachers were not supposed to do the work of the lowest slaves. Jesus’ actions were improper and degrading. Peter recognized this and refused to be washed until Jesus insisted. This act made them feel uncomfortable. But Jesus didn’t care. He did something to deeply challenge His followers by loving them in a way that few leaders would have ever done. He modeled out service, humility and love by His radical act.

The most radical thing you can ever do is truly love others.

Why was Jesus able to do this? Why can’t more leaders go this low in modeling out freedom in leadership? The reason is found in the above Scripture.

John explained that Jesus had authority and had come from God. He knew the Father and understood His mission. Jesus was fully aware of His authority and did not doubt in His ability even though He was human just like all the other leaders who have ever been. Of course, the big difference is that Jesus was also God.

Many leaders feel very inadequate. They feel like they have something to prove. This can make people afraid of criticism. They become reluctant to rock the boat or do something that is out of proper protocol. 

The Father had fully affirmed His love and approval of Jesus. Thus, Jesus was not concerned with what men think. He only did the Father’s will. This was seen by His obedience on the cross.

Pleasing men gets you no where. Jesus understood that truth. The only one you should ever make it a focus to please is God. Because Jesus knew who He was, He was able to do incredible things and be a leader worth talking about thousands of years later.

Jesus knew….      And that made all the difference. 

The “S” Word

No, the “S” word is not “sin.” It is something far more dreaded by most people today. We like our sin. But the “S” word is something we connect with losing, giving up, getting caught or overcome by a stronger force. The “S” word is “surrender.” Whenever you see or hear this word in society today, it almost always has a negative conotation.

Consider what Rick Warren wrote about surrender in The Purpose Driven Life. Rick wrote, “Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission… In today’s competitive culture we are taught to never give up and never give in – so we don’t hear much about surrendering. If winning is everything, surrendering is unthinkable. We would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying and surrendering.”

Warren continued, “Surrender to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy.”

Surrender is hard to do because it forces us to answer the question, “Can I really trust God?” We have to admit our limitations and accept that what we are powerless to do is possible with God. We can easily deceive ourselves into thinking that we have surrendered when we have really held things back.

Surrender is the only way to reach who God has designed us to be. C.S. Lewis wrote, “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us.”

Surrendered people obey God’s word even when it doesn’t make sense or go against what they want to do. We surrender when we obey and trust God with every aspect of our lives.

Warren declared in his book, “Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. nothing else works.”

Holding back only leads to dead ends, broken lives and wrong turns. Check out this video to see what I mean when I say that sometimes it is best to stop running.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNd0_ctaOSk

The teenager in the video seems wreckless and foolish. I don’t think I would ever do anything as crazy as that. But the Spirit caused me to see that I am doing something just as bad if not worse when I run from God and refuse to surrender to His plan.

How about you?

Giant Sucking Sound

“Oil is our God. I don’t care if somebody says that they worship, Jesus, Buddha, Allah. Whoever. They actually worship petroleum.” – Matt Savinar of www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net

The above quote is one of the opening statements made in A Crude Awakening, a documentary film about the earth’s decreasing oil supply. While I usually shy away from alarming documentaries, this film interviewed a lot of experts and included a lot of unedited footage as bonus material. You can find out more at http://www.oilcrashmovie.com/

The ghist of the argument is that global oil supply continues to skyrocket as production is reaching peaks in many places throughout the world. While the earth is far from running out, people are quickly using up much of the easiest to produce and use crude on the planet. Cheap oil is likely to become a thing of the past. Prices will continue to edge up as expanding economies compete for the raw material used in everything from cosmetics to cheap toysto agrochemicals to gasoline.

Much of the U.S. economy has been built on cheap oil. This includes suburbia with its long commutes, easy travel, global sourcing, vast plastic products, etc. Without better technology to reduce consumption, the U.S. and its economy faces some real concerns for the future. Nobody wants to talk about it because in politics we like to shoot the messenger.

When you consider the energy and power produced by oil, it is still cheap compared to many other fuel alternatives. Think about it this way. You pay a lot more per gallon for many brands of bottled water and coffee than gasoline.

I hate the higher cost at the pump just like anybody else. But when you look at the benefits of petroleum for the cost, it remains the best short-term option.

The real giant sucking sound that you hear is all the vehicles and other users of energy on the planet. Unfortunately, the USA is the biggest culprit of gas gluttony.

As a Christian, I believe we should try to be good stewards of the planet. God gave us this mandate all the way back in the Garden of Eden. This has caused me to begin to look at lots of little things and ways to reduce my impact on the planet. I wouldn’t go so far to say that Jesus would drive only a hybrid, high-MPG vehicle. But I don’t think He would buy a Hummer just so that He can impress His friends.

Lego Art

As a kid, I loved Legos. Truth is, I still do. Legos are a great way to blow off steam and let your creative energy loose.

It is always great to come up with another great Lego idea that comes out of nowhere. I thought that I was good at building things with Legos until I came across this news story on CNN. The video showed Lego art by Nathan Sawaya. It was absolutely incredible. This must prove that you will always find somebody better at you in almost anything you do.

Check out the incredible Lego art at www.brickartist.com  

While I may not be a Lego Monet, at least I don’t need the directions to build some pretty cool ships and vehicles. It is always neat to see how people can turn almost anything into art. That’s one of the traits that makes humans so unique. Just when I thought that I had seen it all, I came across a video at Yahoo about an Etch-A-Sketch artist. See his work at http://www.etchu.com/

The video can be seen at http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=594257&fr=yfp-t-501