Thursday, May 27, 2010

God Bless John Wayne

I’m the worst hero fan ever!!! My best friend had to call me yesterday to remind me it was one of my hero’s birthday. I was clueless! And no, it wasn’t my friend who was my hero though he likes to think so, no, it’s John Wayne. How did I miss that one!!

I know, everyone looks up to John Wayne, everyone has a wooden John Wayne clock with his image cascading over a desert mountain range in their office, everyone’s youngest son can sing the theme song to Rio Bravo, everyone had a cheap 20x24 reproduction portrait of him that they used to hang in college married student housing because that was the only d├ęcor they could afford and convinced his new bride’s sorority sisters it was his grandpa John, I know all this!

But, since I do use this blog for an outlet on spiritual thought, with the exception of the Nature Boy Ric Flair post a couple months ago which rocked by the way, does everyone have a picture like this?!

Yes, if you look closely neatly stenciled on the back of this 90 model Dodge Ram flatbed truck tooling along somewhere on the highways and byways of rural Missouri, it says, “GOD BLESS JOHN WAYNE.” My friend, who reminded me of the birthday, sent this to me about 6 or 7 years ago and it hangs on the wall of fame in my office.

How is that for finding a way to work John Wayne into a Jesus blog?

Thanks B.O. for the reminder yesterday and your awesome wife who can actually be seen in the passenger side mirror taking this picture so many years ago!

And just so you can’t get one up on me in December.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Deep Thoughts by An Ordinary Man #1

So I’ve been thinking about starting this weekly post, perhaps every Friday, called “Deep Thoughts by an Ordinary Man” you know like “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy”, one my favorite Saturday Night Live bits right up there with Toonces The Driving Cat.

I don’t know if I can keep this up every week but I know I can for this week.

You know we like to call ourselves Christians, but in reality that name was given to us by others who saw the way we lived and knew we were different.

Acts 11:26 says, “The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch” a place they stayed for a year teaching people about Christ.

The disciples didn’t give themselves this name. The people they stayed with for a year saw a love for God and a love people that was remarkable. A passion they had never seen before. They saw these men following the lead that this guy Christ set while he was on earth. So they said, we must give them a name, because there is no name until now to describe people who are living a life like these guys. We will call them Christians.

Here is your deep thought.

Would your life make OTHERS around you see that you’re different and call you Christian, and I don’t mean different as in I’m judging you because I’m perfect and you have problems. No I mean different as in mimicking Jesus, tracing his footsteps, knowing you have faults and don’t condemn others for theirs, you love God, you love people and it shows kind of different!

If you’re not living different where SOMEONE ELSE would call you Christian then what are you?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Batter up!!

When Winston was four we forced him to play t-ball in the summer, not to be athletic, but to help build his social skills. He just finished pre-K and we saw that he needed some help coming out of his shell around other kids. So we wanted him to be interacting with other kids on into the summer.

It didn’t take us long to see that t-ball wasn’t for him, but the social interaction was priceless.

The next year we told him we wouldn’t make him play. But later he found out some kids in his class were on a team and he wanted to play with them. We asked if he was sure he wanted to play and he said he was, so we signed him up.

About half way through the season we noticed Winston was playing less and less in the games even though our coaches had an “everyone gets to play” philosophy.

So then it kind of came to a head in one game when Winston played one inning then was never back in there. His momma saw all the other kids rotating in and out but no Winston. Finally she had enough, and you know what that means. Yep, Momma had her fill, so she sent Dad to the dugout to see what the deal was.

Yes, if you are a male and not married or you are and jyust a slow learner this is this how it works. When this situation happens I urge to go and take care of the situation yourself because if momma has to go it will not be pretty. That’s her baby regardless of the age.

Anyway, I went to the dugout between the next inning to observe and was very surprised.

To set it up for you, there is Winston sitting on the bench, Dixie cup of water in hand, with the other extra kids waiting to be told whether or not to go out by the coach who is standing there in front of them.

Coach “Okay Winston get your glove on and head to left field.”

Winston “Nah, coach that’s okay!” “Send Susie back in I’m okay right here.”

WHAT! It wasn’t the coach that wasn’t putting Winston in. It was Winston who wasn’t putting Winston in.

You see Winston was doing something because all the other kids were doing it but it wasn’t something he really believed in.

I thought of this story after Romans 14:23 (Message) worked on my heart this week.

Paul says, “If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong”

We do this when we refuse to mix our everyday life and church life and in our church life alone. Sort that out for a minute.

In the workplace we allow life outside of going to church override what we believe spiritually because our job pays good so we’re willing to sacrifice our beliefs or we don’t want our coworkers to think we’re a religious weirdo. Why do we not see it one seamless life and our workplace is our mission field?

In our churches we continue to go to a certain place, continue a certain routine, worship a certain way, be involved in certain activities – going through the motions though we know in our heart of hearts God is calling us to something else? It’s not that the places we are going and things we are doing are wrong, but it’s not consistent with what we believe. It’s not consistent with what God has laid on our heart and what He is calling us to do. Maybe He’s calling you to start up something He’s pressed upon you where you are at or maybe there is somewhere else that could use your gift or passion to expand God’s kingdom. After all that is the goal, not the ritual, but getting as many people into His kingdom as possible.

You see, there was nothing wrong with Winston’s t-ball team, the coaches, or the kids, or the league. It was exactly right for 95% of the kids, but it was wrong for Winston because it’s not what he believed in. If he were to have chosen that summer to be honing his golf skills or Cub Scout activities, which are his passion, now he would have flourished.

Think about your life this week. What are you doing or involved in that doesn’t line up to what you believe in just because you worry about what people will think or because that’s the way you’ve always done it? Pray that God will give you the insight to see and courage to change and answer His calling for you.

A year or so later one of our close friends asked Winston, “Don’t you want to play on this soccer team your friend is on there” Winston replied, “You know, sports just isn’t my thing.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Get your hot dogs!!!

The Serve gave out 200 hot dogs in an hour and a half in Glenwood Park last night!! Are you serious? 200 hot dogs!

It was absolutely awesome to see kids on their bikes delivering to nearby family members, carloads of people stopping in, some saw our mean green 8ft long sign (sorry City of Ada we only hung it up for an hour and a half and we took it down) grabbed a dog, I think every kid at the skate park got fed, toward the end the girls loaded up and delivered to neighbors who were standing in their yards, and just as we thought we would go home with six left over a family of six came by and finished it off for an even 200!

One kid, who couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6, wanted to take some to about some family members and he literally fell off his bike onto the grass try carry six sacks of dogs. So one of our servers bagged up the sacks tied them to the handlebars, steadied him on his bike and gave him a shove to get him going! It was AWESOME!

The feedback was moving…

“Why are you guys doing this?” “Because we want to serve people.” “Wow that’s cool!”

A little girl in her yard hollered out, “I love you!”, as our Servers were driving away.

“Thank you. I just moved here and you guys are the first nice people I have met in Ada.” (I personally think Ada is full of great people so this one was heartwarming and sad all in one.)

“Man this is awesome!”

“Yo dude, you want one of those bags, they are giving away cookies in there.”

God showed up last night. Not because we gave out all 200 hot dogs but because for a moment people got to see the love of Jesus.

I told a friend this morning and Christy last night that I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was nervous about all the work and preparation that had gone in and worried only 5 people would show up.

They both had to remind me, “And if so, then that’s 5 people who God wanted us to reach that day.”

Whether it’s 5 or 500 hundred 1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us,
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

I am blessed to be able to work hand in hand with such a devoted and passionate group. You guys truly inspire me. This is just the beginning!!

To close, a few lines from the song God of this City.

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Serve

A friend of mine said this week, “Hey, you need to blog something about what we do on Wednesday nights. A lot of people have been asking and thinking we’re doing a Bible study.”

Oh, this is so much more!

By, “so much more” I mean this group of believers actually takes what’s in the Bible and puts it into action.

This Wednesday night action group is called…


And it’s made up of Fellowship of Believers who meet with us Sunday’s AND others who go to different churches on Sunday but have a passionate desire to serve others.

At The Serve we are either planning or doing for someone.

In the last 7 months we have…

Filled 12 boxes for Operation Christmas Child - shoeboxes of Christmas items and a copy of the Gospel story shipped all over the world through the organization Samaritan’s Purse to kids who might not have Christmas gifts or never heard the Gospel.

Thinking of you gift baskets for families or a friend of the month.

Assisted and still providing support to a single mother with 5 kids getting back on her feet.

Ongoing card campaign to people we are thinking of and praying for.

Gathered baby necessities for a young couple with few resources expecting their first baby.

Helping someone sell a house and move into something they can maintain.

And our latest project…Hot Dog’s From Heaven! Yes, we will be giving away free hot dogs in Glenwood Park at 6pm the second Wednesday of the month June-August.

Why would I list these items?

Am I bragging?


I’m bragging about God!

All this glory must be deflected to Him because this isn’t about us and doing things to win His favor. This is about people on fire for God and wanting to bring as many people in His presence as they possibly can.

This is a God thing and WE SHOULD BRAG ABOUT HIM MORE!

He has put a burning desire in this group to serve. Half these service opportunities were for people they didn’t even know. All they knew is there is a need – we can meet the need – lets do it.

They are living by the example Jesus set in Matthew 4:24 "Jesus healed them, one and all." He never asked “why are you like this” or “how did you get this way” He just helped them.

They are truly living out the Greatest Command…

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'…”

If you want to be a part of The Serve, there is no membership needed. Just show up to 1230 Northcrest on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm. If you want to know more just comment on this blog with your contact information or via Facebook, where many of you read these posts and comment, and I’ll get back with you.