Monday, January 24, 2011

Audit week...

Okay, so most of you know, if you’ve followed me very long that I have a habit of doing this during the times I go through an audit (which is every six month) at my job "that pays the bills and insurance”. These audits totally drain me mentally and physically. Because my OCD kicks in as I strive for total audit perfection until I can't tell if it's the coffee IV or stress causing the 4 day migraine!! Anyway...my habit is to either not post all together or post something from someone else that really has inspired me to keep things simple during audit week. So instead of being totally lazy and not posting at all, I’m going with the semi-lazy approach and that is to repost from someone else.

Drum roll please, Vince Antonucci is someone who has totally inspired me the last year. Through his book Guerilla Lover (if you haven’t read it get it and get ready to be inspired!!) and through his blog where I follow the progress oo the church he started on the Las Vegas strip! Yay, how’s that for a God calling!! This post from him last week will not disappoint you! It might even make you ponder for a while. Enjoy.

Shouldn't Following Jesus Look Like...

Yesterday I mentioned that we've lived here for a year, and the question we always get is, "Why did you move to Vegas?!" As in, "Why did you leave your great church in a great place to live, to move and start a new church in a difficult place to live?"

Well, maybe I'm nuts, but I think we're supposed to orient our lives around Jesus and what He wants to do in the world. Isn’t that what it means to follow him?

Seriously, what if instead of, “I’m moving to Orlando because I got a new job there,” it was, “I’m moving to Detroit because I’m convinced God wants me to live there. I don’t know what I’ll do for work, but there’s got to be something. I don’t know, but I trust God.” Or what if instead of, “I live in Louisville because my family is all here,” it was, “I live in the French Quarter of New Orleans because there are so few Christians, and God needs a presence here.” Or what if instead of, “We chose to live in this neighborhood because the schools are really good,” it was, “We chose to live in this neighborhood because the schools are really bad, and we want our kids to be missionaries to them.”

Shouldn’t following Jesus look like that? Our decisions governed not by what’s best for us and what we want, but by what’s best for God and what he wants. Even if we have to face down fear, no matter what the cost. And isn’t that what makes life an adventure, and worth living, as we become a part of something bigger than ourselves, something better than we’ve ever experienced, something more beautiful than we’ve ever dreamed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Big News!!

I know a lot you follow my blog through Facebook and many of you also follow my wife Christy through Facebook as well. For those of you who don't also follow Christy, this weekend she made the announcement that after much prayer we have decided to try to pursue an international adoption. Please follow our journey on this new blog we have created!!
http://www.brownethiopiaadoption.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oswald After Dark

Been praying and fasting over some life changing decisions and I came across this nugget in my daily devotion.

"Whether I hear Gods call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends on my spiritual attitude...When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irrestistible pressure from the outside. The quiet yet passionate insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive...And they followed in perfect freedom." Oswald Chambers

If you don't have a copy of the devotion book My Utmost For His Highest, GET IT!! It's like the oldest devo known to man but it's been update and editted into something that we not only can digest in 2011 but be inspired by without an English lit degree.

Oswald Chambers is on my list of people to meet when I get to heaven, right after God and I sit down over a plate of fried quail breasts and quail legs in Grandma Georgia's mushroom gravy. Yes that's what we'll be having when when we iron out this JFK and dinosaurs deal. Then I'm looking for Oswald, or maybe John Wayne...it'll be a coin toss.

Oswald Chanber's scripture selection and messages always speak to me at just the right time!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quote I had to share...

The only reason something like (eradicating poverty) is impossible is that we choose to make it impossible...If we directed our loose change to ventures that train and empower people to feed themselves, poverty could become the horse and buggy of our century - distant memory. Mark Lutz, Unpoverty

If that doesn't put a little burden of responsibility on me I don't know what does! Wow!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 7, 2011

Passion!!

Several years ago I wrote an article called Someone. The premise was there is no reason we can’t continue the feeling we have for other people the entire year, NOT just the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know what I’m talking about. People who don’t normally hold doors for people do, people who don’t normally donate to worthy causes do, people stop to help change tires and say hello and give in a abundance. So why can’t this continue the entire year??

It can, as long as there is Someone.

Someone who decides, “I will do this all year!”

What’s been on my heart is passion; and passion is what creates a Someone.

Passion is what changes people’s lives.

It should disturb you that people need fed the other 11 months out of the year.

It should disturb you the number of people that drive by a mother with kids in the car trying to change a tire the other 11 months out of the year.

It should disturb you that there are lonely people who are just waiting for their doorbell to ring so they can have someone to talk to the other 11 months out of year.

Because if this disturbs you then you will be passionate to change it!!

And I will no longer accept the excuse from myself or anyone else that, “my passion alone can’t change circumstance.”

Why? Because I’ve seen the passion of a six year old child, stir passion in parents, that stirred passion in adults, that stirred passion in churches causing hundreds of volunteers to lay down their denominational differences, come beautifully together as the body of Christ and feed a thousand people on Christmas day! THAT'S PASSION! Awesome!!!

If we all had the same kind of passion as a child we could change our city, then who knows what after that!

The only difference in kid’s passion and our adult passion is they haven’t been exposed to the world enough to think they can fail.

They actually believe us parents when we tell them, “With Jesus you can do anything!”

I was able to reflect on what our small group of 20 or so followers did at the FOB over the last year and I was inspired to tears.

- Helped with Davo’s Diner (aka Community Wide Christmas Dinner) fellowshipping with people, sacking groceries, praying for people, serving food.
- Served 1,000 hot dogs over the summer months to hungry families
- Countless cards to people we were praying for
- Delivered Thanksgiving dinner to 15 families
- Coat drive that brought warmth to 250 kids in the Ada elementary schools (with the support of numerous community churches – thank you all!)
- Provided baby items to a young couple in need (again more intercommunity church support)
- Collected 20 boxes of Christmas items for Operation Christmas Child (going to Mexico)
- Helped a single friend sell a house that was in poor condition and very difficult to upkeep and get into a new home. And got enough help to move her in 4 hours in middle of the summer!!
- Hundreds of dollars of gift card baskets for multiple families and people.
- Continued support of a single mother with 5 kids we’ve built a great relationship with over the last year and a half.
- And I know there’s more that I missed!


Do I say this to brag? Kinda yeah! Why not? If I can brag about how 20 people are on fire to help this many people –then to God be the glory!

If it inspires someone else to do something - then God gets the glory!

But I also think of the words of Paul in Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The “weary” Paul talks about here is not the weary of physical tiredness. There is no way to serve your heart out and not be physically tired.

The “weary” Paul talks about is as a reluctants to do it again because we’re not seeing anything productive out of it.

Don’t grow weary of this! We nearsighted humans are serving on our time but the harvest is on God time! And I promise lives are being changed! We probably will not see the effects immediately or in months or it may take years. Or we may change lives and never get to see the effects for ourselves until we meet our friends in heaven.

This week I was reminded of this when we received a Thank You card from someone we sent an encouragement card to letting them know we were praying for them months and months ago. I may have long forgotten but it changed something in that person when they knew that people took the time to send a card and spent time praying for them. This is the harvest!!

This is why we should be should continue the passion in the hopes that we can introduce one person to Jesus! That’s what true service for God is – the willingness out of love to serve just as hard for one as you would for a thousand and never grow weary. I challenge all you who read this to be passionate these next 11 months! Don’t the let the feeling you had during the Christmas season die. It might very well change a life!