Decoding the Mission….

Things That Make You Go.......

Thanks for visiting, I hope that these words inspire and convict, so that you search for your own path that God has laid out for you.

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A Journey with Forgotten God by Francis Chan.

I am currently finishing “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan. And in it he brings up several key points, but one today caught me like I left hook. How many of us understand what it means to have the Holy Spirit dwell in us. I would venture to assume that most have read or heard that passage before. But have you actually sat and mediated on it quietly. The Holy Spirit is sometimes confused as “the Force” from Star Wars. The Spirit is not something to manipulate and weald. He is the almighty God, that lives within all believers.

Our minds cant comprehend how he lives within us all, my little girl has asked how can he be everywhere at once. I’m not even sure you can explain that to a six year old any easier than you can explain it to a thirty year old. This book has taught me the truths about what it means to have the Holy Spirit within you, and understand how you can submit to him, so that he can do God’s will through you. So you are not the handler of a powerful weapon, The Spirit is the handler, and YOU are the powerful weapon. You must decide and submit to his will and not your own, only then will you be used as the force you were created to be.

One other major impact was to narrow down what things get in the way of needing the Holy Spirit. Francis writes about as we become comfortable in our routine of life we lose sight in the fact that we were not made to live a safe happy life. Some people lose site of what is important by making themselves so comfortable, that they either refuse to sacrifice the life they have, or get so comfortable that they no longer need God to be active in their lives. This in turn leaves the Lion dormant inside your heart.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us… so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Gal 2: 13-14) pg 111. This “promised Spirit” is not a small promise. Jesus suffered a most grueling death so that we might receive the most amazing gift, the Holy Spirit. How dare we take this for granted? Forgotten God pg. 111.

These few passages floored me. How dare I take Christ’s death for granted? And yet we do it all the time, probably every day. How do you feel when you put thought and love into a particular gift only for it to go unnoticed by the receiver. And here we are talking about an earthly item. How about giving away your son in exchange for eternal life for those that merely put off the notion that the
crucifixion, was no big deal. Ironically in this culture we will spend a week mourning Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.

Then we get to my issue, and probably one just about everyone will relate too. Francis Chan labels it as Volume in his book. He asks a very simple but very direct question. When was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone? When I read this I was literally tracing back my days, and weeks, and….. weeks? Really? How long as it been for you? No phones, text messages, or to-do lists running in your head. In the every day quest to accomplish much, we have lost the art of focus. And when you lose focus with a person, it costs intimacy. It works the same with God. If you are easily distracted during your time with him. Work through what it would take to spend some alone time with your creator. No phone, no Facebook, no kids, no interruptions. Just dwell in his presence. I can almost promise it will renew a part of your spirit that has been lost in the digital world of social media. If now is a good time then I beg you to stop reading and spend time with him. Don’t worry if its been a long time since you called home. He is always waiting, like the prodigal son. Just find a quiet place and “Be still before the Lord.” If you need to come back later to read the closing.

Some closing thoughts and questions to ask:

How can you spend more quality time with the Holy Spirit? You don’t necessarily need to block off a thirty minute square on your daily calendar. Take five to ten minutes a day and without distractions spend meditation time with God.

Second, ask the Holy Spirit how he would like to use you, for the greater good. Remember the Holy Spirit acts when the action will grow God’s kingdom, not for when you need a “lucky” break.

Finally, how can you help someone today? Weeks ago I decided that would be my new thing I add to each day. Now matter how trivial or small you think it is, help someone that needs help. Not a favor, favors are expected to be repaid. This is not an, I’ll owe you a favor if you do this for me. Jesus never said “You owe me.” He said go forth and tell people the good news.

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It has everything to do with Grace! – Crazy Love Complete

Well lets face it, this book got me so wrapped up I couldn’t stop reading it. So I stopped writing and read the rest of it. The answer to my previous question was answered fairly quickly in chapter five. The profile of the lukewarm covers all humans, because if you could overcome all of those you would be perfect, and only God is perfect. So the answer is we live by faith and by God’s Grace do we overcome the profile of the lukewarm. Let go, and dont try so hard, and let God lead.

Another chapter talked about giving God your leftovers. Man don’t we all fall into that routine? Let’s read tonight but after our favorite show. Or yes we will give money to the church! But does it really come before you pay bills and budget? This is one we actually have put our foot down and said no matter what. We pay our Tithe online as soon as our paychecks deposit so we aren’t even tempted with keeping it. Doesn’t he deserve our best, off the top, instead of our leftovers? And we usually think about giving God our first fruits in materialistic things like money. But what about our time?

I believe the point is, it is ok to enjoy your stuff, but don’t enjoy it so much that you aren’t willing to give it up to follow what God asks us to do. This also comes in a later chapter about our homes. We love our homes, and our spouse and kids make it our homes. We have to remember this is our “temporary home” (not to sound like a country song) but if we get so comfortable and attached to our home. We will lose the want to leave from it. Our real home is in heaven. This one kind of hit me because I love my home. I have felt over the past year that I was led home, to my home town, in my birth house. So I above probably all of you really am sentimental to my actual house. I must take into account; my home is really in heaven as well. One day I will leave this place, and I better be ready and joyfully willing….. Or he might make me stay here haha!

One of the best parts of this book that I thought was so funny is when he talked about his Grandma Clara. She was so obsessed with Jesus (in a good way) that she felt uncomfortable when she thought about what she was doing at certain times. “Is this what I want to be doing when Jesus comes back?” She would ask herself. She spoke of watching a play, and realized she would rather be helping someone or giving and feeding someone. Which this was a little off the wall for me, yet I understand the concept. Now I think about some of those things I do that really waste time. Like, video games and certain movies. In my new book I started it talks about the great ambassadors for Christ, and that they never waste time with the “unimportant”. So this brings me to a point in my life where I want to look at everything in my life and see if I have a lot of unimportant things I am wasting my time with. It’s ok to spend some time relaxing and being entertained, but I bet you guys would all agree we spend a lot more time than we need to being entertained. Anyway so that’s my wrap on Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It is definitely a must read. It is also very easy to read too.

Is it Everything to do with Effort? Crazy Love Chapter 4

I will be honest, Chapter four beat me up. I can’t figure out how humans are suppose to maximize effort, knowing everyone falls short. This reading was about being lukewarm, and if you haven’t read it I promise every person on earth falls into one of the habits, there are like 20, so it covers everyone at one point or another. I understand the scripture;

“Love the Lord your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matt22:37-38)

But every human in history has been distracted one time or another from the above. So without ruining the entire chapter for those that haven’t read it, what are we to do? Where I get confused, is at what point do we get a pat on the back and say good job, this is what I want. I think the answer is there is no point. So it is all about focus and effort.

After writing the above I watched the small group DVD and it helped clear up a little bit. He talks about how baptism is different in this country than in other countries. In other countries you don’t get baptized until you are willing to give up everything to follow Jesus. Where as in America we get baptized, and then later decide to give up some sin, and we are characterized as growing in the Lord. Most Americans don’t give up everything on the spot.

So I as I sit here and drink my lukewarm coffee (watch the little video http://www.crazylovebook.com/videos_chapter.html and laugh with me) I wonder if it is easier to give up “Everything” in other countries, because they don’t have much. So in the grand scheme of things they aren’t giving up anything. I really don’t believe GOD wants us to sell our house, or leave our families without saying goodbye to go on a mission’s trip to follow and do his will, as they did in the Gospel. But I think the point is if you are not willing to give what is necessary then you are what they call “Lukewarm”.

Anyway I am still confused as to the grand goal or purpose is at this point, and maybe the following chapters will help. Please share if you have some incite whether you have read the book or not. All discussions are welcome, this should be interesting.

Raising the Anointed One -Crazy Love Chapter 3

Eventually I will have to go back and run through Chapter 1 and 2, but for now I’m jumping straight to 3, which is the one I just finished and felt so moved and empowered I had to jump on and ponder this thought. The chapter talks about Jeremiah and his insecure notion that he was only a new Christian and couldn’t fathom going and speaking Gods message.

“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said,” I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, “I am only a child.” You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and over through, to build and to plant.” – Jeremiah 1:6-10

This rocked my world because as a new leader I still feel at times like a child, especially in my knowledge of the Bible. My new task will soon be to guide my third child to know the GOD he has already been prophesied to be a leader for. My wife, who has the excellent gift of discernment, was told the miracle baby (Owen, who was not planned) will be a leader in the Kingdom. (Owen literally means “Anointed One”). Now that I have this new hunger for GOD’s word, it seems this is not by accident or because now there is time in my day. Is it possible that I am being prepared now to lead a little one to be a Leader of GOD’s people? Could Owen Scott become Pastor Owen in his time? If you really ponder on that it is a lot of pressure. None the less I will keep an open mind and follow through on my part of the journey.

I remember in a message one Sunday we talked about leading people to the Lord, and maybe you don’t think about leading one person as a great feat, but if that one leads 3,000….. then what? I have learned that you should never short GOD on his ability to do miracles. What has GOD been training you for?

Switching Gears

Since this is the first post since June of 2009, and I will be doing sort of a topic switch from my previous use to a new one, I wanted to sort of explain my new project. I will begin reflecting on books or messages I read or come across throughout the week and post them here. I read several books at the same time, so these posts will sometimes be random but hopefully the collection of the whole will make sense in a new way. God seems to bring little pieces of many different pieces of thought provoking information together to make them life. Sometimes it takes weeks or months for the grand picture to come into focus. My first reflection will be a good example of what im trying to explain, but probably doing a poor job of. Anyway, happy reading and I hope you find some truth in your reading, and that it might become a gateway to your own puzzle that God is looking for you to piece together.