Saturday, January 21, 2012

What Should We Fear - Death or Distractions?

It's hard to argue with a kid like Clayton McDonald concerning his observations on life and death and distractions. Click on the video link to hear his word of warning for us all to beware the power of distractions!

Clayton's Story from Jacob Lewis on Vimeo.

Clayton reminds us all not to waste life; not to waste opportunities to be grateful for those you love (and to tell them so!); and to love and talk about our Savior to those in danger of be distracted to death.

The parable of the rich fool in Luke 12 could have been called, the parable of the distracted fool! Jesus was clear to his listeners then and now when He responded to someone in the crowd who said to him “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Luke records in verses 14-21: Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.'"

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Beware the power of distractions. Unless Christ comes back while you are alive, you will die. Now is the time to think about it; to look at the power of distractions in your own life, and to make the most of the opportunities you have to love God and others. Now is the time to spend your life on what matters....Jesus Christ...including worshiping Him, obeying Him, and sharing Him!

For more about the extraordinary story of Clayton McDonald go to:


This has got to be one of the more classy yet effective public safety commercials I've ever seen. It's from the U.K.

Now you could do a commercial that just yells at the guy, "HEY, WEAR YOUR SEATBELT, STUPID!" I like this way better. It reminds me that we can still communicate the wonder of Jesus Christ to others in beautiful ways, kind ways, and even, loving ways. It's hard for folks to hear us when we're yelling at them.

Paul reminds us of the power of gentle love when he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8:
We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.

Like the mom and daughter in this ad, may the lost know we really care about them and their destinies far beyond merely trying to convince them that we're right! If we don't care and love them with sincerity, they'll know it. We want them, as the ad says, "to embrace life" through Christ, but they probably won't do that if we are unwilling to "embrace" them!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Here is a picture of Ian and his mom. Ian goes to my church. Ian is a bright kid. How do I know? Well...
This past Sunday morning during our worship service, Ian quietly asked his mom, "Is Mr. Andy a grown-up?" His mom's answer, "sometimes." (Okay, that might not have been her answer, but it would have been justified.) A friend said it was a compliment so I'm going with that!

I must admit it does remind me of Christ reminding His followers in Matthew 18:3: I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Bonus remembrance: Years ago another astute young man, Thompson, asked his mother while riding in the car, "Does Mr. Andy have a job?" I'm so glad my Father has given me such wise children and young people to keep me humble!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Another Christmas Gone - Now What?

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas with family and friends. Christmas 2011 is over so the question comes to mind, "now what?" Click on the video for a reminder of the importance of what comes "after" Christmas!

What comes after Christmas? I hope that what characterizes 2012 for us all is simple, daily, joyful obedience to the truth our Father gives us in Ephesians 5:15-20: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • May we all "make the most of every opportunity" to be "intentional" about making 2012 a fantastic year, not merely for ourselves, but for every human being we interact with over the next 366 days! That's right....we get an extra day in 2012 to combat the evil of the world by being an outlet of God's goodness!
  • May we all "make the most of every opportunity" to know and worship our amazing God, Who, through His Son has given us the gift of calling Him, "Abba Father"as His adopted children!
  • May we all "make the most of every opportunity" to understand His will for us (Hint: if whatever you're focused on, whatever you spend your time and resources doing do not involve loving God and others, you are most definitely not understanding God's will!).
  • May we "make the most of every opportunity" to encourage each other with "music from a Spirit-filled heart!"
  • May we "make the most of every opportunity" to display to the world our thanksgiving to our Father for adopting us, for giving us others to love, and for walking with us through whatever circumstances await us, promising to bring good out of whatever the world throws at us!

New Year Resolutions? Alternate Strategy: Try Daily "Small Steps" Instead

So often we suffer from the "all or nothing" phenomenon when it comes to personal growth. If, however, we are to experience sustained growth over a lifetime, we need to learn the value of taking small steps in what might otherwise seem an overwhelming journey! The good news is, that our Father is with us every step of the way! Check this video reminder out...

How to Best Get Through 2012 - Follow the One Who Knows the Way!

What's the best way to say "thank you" to our Father Who has given us so much in Christ? This video gives us a gives us the answer! If you love our Father, then you will follow His Son!

Jesus said in John 10:27: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I hope we're all listening to that voice that still calls us daily..."follow me!" There is NO better way to navigate life in 2012!

Strategy for 2012 - BE A THANKFUL PERSON

If I had to come up with a bumper sticker for this video it would be: THANKSGIVING: NOT A HOLIDAY - IT'S A LIFESTYLE!

What makes for a great life strategy in 2012? ! Thessalonians 5:16-18 is a pretty simple, yet profound way to start... 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Make no mistake, however. These are not mere "tips" for better living; it's a description of the kind of life our Father wants to give us...a life surrounded by joy, communion with the Father, and gratitude which gives others a reason to investigate the good news of Christ for themselves. What characteristics does your life display to others that would make them curious to find out more about this God we get to call "Abba Father?"