Posts Tagged ‘ Life ’

“Living the Dream” (Week 3 Sermon)

Everything we see and perceive is filtered through our physical world.  When we read a verse like John 10:10 that promises God will give us life to the fullest, abundantly, beyond our wildest dreams…it’s hard to not equate that promise to our physical wants and needs.  The reality of that verse is that Jesus was saying that he wants to give us true life and even that you don’t start living until you begin living for Him.  To associate this promise with possessions and health is to trivialize all that God wants to do in and through you.  Life more abundant, to the ful, beyond our dreams is all about living life with NOTHING…nothing more important than Jesus in you life.  It’s not about God taking what you have and enhancing it, It’s all about discovering all that God has in store for you.

Click HERE to listen to “Live Beyond Your Dreams” Sermon

(I apologize for the poor sound quality, we had to pull it from the Video this week)

“The Next Step” (Week 3 Sermon)

My kids love to create small masterpieces with construction paper, markers, glitter and too much glue!  It is produced for the sole purpose of being displayed on our Refrigerator.  More importantly, it is their way of letting me know they love me and were thinking of me.

We have the resources and time available to us to create “Fridge Art” for God our father every day.  It is up to us to choose to show Him how much we love Him with who we are and what we do.  

Click HERE to listen to “Fridge Art”

“Shhhhhhhh!” (Learning to Hush)

As I continue my adventure into becoming the man and the pastor that God has created me to be, I am learning some tough lessons!  My top 5 strengths are Communication, Woo, Positivity, Activator and Strategic.  This means that I talk a lot and often speak and act before I think!  That is the down side of my top 5.  The upside is that I live life with passion and I love people.  The combination of these things either makes me the greatest motivator or the most offensive person you have ever met.  It all depends on the circumstances.  If I am tired, frustrated, and completely run down (like I have felt the last few weeks) then I become way too honest and speak my opinion very boldly in a way that can be exasperating to people.  Over the coarse of my life I am learning how to just keep my lips zipped in most situations.  “If you can’t say anything nice then say nothing at all”.  I am learning how to be less abrasive with my statements, but when I am weak I have temporary relapses into the old Josh that just says it like it is!  Often times the best things we can say is nothing at all.  I am talking to myself today.  Just because I have the right solution or the right answer doesn’t mean that people are ready to hear it.  “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”  “Seek to understand, then be understood.”  I have all the right knowledge and cute quotes anyone could ask for, the hard part is living them out.  Thus is the adventure into Awestruck.

Each Dead End brings us Closer

I believe that one of the greatest challenges in life is understanding the difference between what we want and what is necessary.  Deciphering between the good and the best.  Distinguishing who we are and who we are not.  This dilemma of our human nature translates into every decision we make.  If we do not understand who we are, then we struggle with what we value and prioritize.  My journey through life has been a process of self discovery.  I have traveled many roads that led to dead end and rejection, but each one has brought me closer to becoming the man that God created me to be.  As I continue to understand who I am and the purpose that God has for my life, I rearrange my priorities to fit the plan He has for my future.  

The easy trap to fall into is choosing to fit in rather than fulfill your purpose.  The easy path is to choose to look, act, and function in the same manner as the masses.  Just look around and follow the customs and thoughts of everyone else.  The problem with this path is that it never leads to being the individual that God created you to be.  We must discover who we are and who we are not.  We must step away from what is acceptable, and go against the flow.  The good truly is the enemy of the best.  God wants the best for you!  In order to discover His plan then we have face the resistance and swim upstream.  Stop thinking so much about what other’s think and focus more on how much God has in store for your life.  Often this means that we will stand out and open ourselves up for criticism.  Just remember that people usually criticize in others what they dislike most about themselves.  Take the criticism as confirmation that you are doing the things they wish they were doing.  Be encouraged to live the life that God has specifically chosen you to live.

Are you Awestruck?

Are you Awestruck?  Life moves at a quicker pace than we can keep up with at times.  Do you find yourself wanting more?  Desiring hope?  Searching for something beyond the mundane?  Are you Awestruck?

To get the answer, you must first ask the question!

I was hanging out with a friend of mine this morning that I love spending time with.  He always challenges me by asking the right questions.  Some things I would never think of on my own.  It is always good to be stretched and forced to get outside your comfort zone.  I think that when we get too comfortable with any aspect of our life we are in danger of stagnation.  When we begin to think we have it all together then we are in a scary place.  We are walking the fine line between mediocrity and a dynamic life.  The choice is ours to accomplish all the things God has called us to, or simply exist in our world.  You have to ask the right questions before you can have the right answers.  It is good to have people in my life that aren’t afraid to challenge me on the hard issues.  

Who was Jesus?

If you would allow me, I want to digress from my usual nonsense and pontificate in a more serious manner.  (I am aware that pontificate means to be viewed as annoyingly arrogant and I’m ok with that…haha)  I promise this is a small detour from the norm and we shall return shortly to our regularly scheduled program.  (I apologize in advance for sounding a little too much like a preacher.)

I have been reading many diverse blogs lately.  It seems that an alarmingly large group of people have a distorted view of Jesus.  I believe Jesus is the son of God born to this earth by a virgin.  I do believe it was an awkward way to make an entrance, but His ways are not my ways. I believe He was not only a good man and great philosopher, but He was the son of God.  He lived a sinless life and died a brutal death.  Three days later he rose from the dead and went back to Heaven where He rules now. 

With that said I want to share my insight on how I view Jesus.  All of my knowledge is based on scripture, which I believe is God’s word to us.  Yes, it was written by man!  The amazing thing is that it was written by many different authors at different times in different places, and they all wrote the same thing!  We have more original transcripts, all discovered within 100 years of the time the events occurred, than any of the historical recordings that are taught in High Schools. How sad that we live in a world that wants to discredit the Bible and mindlessly accepts other works as truth despite the historical evidence.  

First, Jesus was all about Love.  He not only spoke of loving each other, but He lived out the greatest example of true love the world has ever seen.  He was a friend to the friendless and reached out to ones that were forgotten.  He was not here to start a war?  I don’t know where people have found this in the Bible, but if you know then please let me know. 

Second, Jesus came to include everyone.  Christianity is not about exclusion.  Jesus died so thatAll could know Him and None would be separated from Him.  The only way to remove yourself from what He offers is to reject it.  People often feel that Christians are cruel and bigoted about social issues.  The fact is that what has become the social norm stands in staunch contrast to God’s word.  When we make choices to please ourselves, we are not thinking of anyone but ourself.  Jesus was all about the big picture and the protection of His people.  He came to offer us life that is overflowing, more than we can handle.  When we choose other methods we are short changing ourselves from what God has to offer.  When people reject His ways they also reject His eternity.  It is our choice.

Finally, Jesus was a rebel.  I will agree with people on this issue.  Religion had taken over and man’s interpretation was dominant.  Jesus came as the new teacher with a way of getting under the church leader’s skin.  I love this about Jesus.  He came to break it down to the simplest form and remove all the tradition that had been created.  He was uncivilized.  His followers, a bunch of teenagers rejected by other rabbis, were uncivilized.  His teachings were uncivilized.  According to the organized religious system, He was rebel!  What made Jesus so unacceptable to all the leaders was that He removed the fluff and asked people do one thing…Believe in Him.  When we truly believe in something it will change our behavior.  I truly believe that I want to be a great husband and father.  Because of this I act accordingly.  I do whatever it takes to grow in my relationship with my wife and I avoid the behaviors that could hinder that.  It is really that simple.

One thing I have learned in my short lifetime is that we don’t have to understand every detail to believe in something.  If that were possible, there would be no need for faith.  Without Faith it is impossible to please God!!!

Everyone is looking for something spiritual in life.  Even atheists believe in the power of Humanity.  We are all looking for the key to unlock the secret to our universe.  Many different opinions have been provided since the beginning of time.  As for me, I will choose to follow the answer that has stood all the tests and trials.  The answer that is accurate historically and presently.  I will choose to live for the One that gives me purpose and hope.  I will choose Jesus! I’m finished…but I’m probably not done!