Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Have we really sacrificed anything?

Posted: March 26, 2014 in general

As Christians, we talk alot about “sacrifice”. We bring a “sacrifice of praise”. We “sacrifice” offerings in church. We “sacrifice” our personal desires for God’s plan for our life. Here’s a definition of sacrifice: to surrender or give up. It usually has a negative connotation to it. We are giving something up. But here’s the question I’ll leave you with today. And it’s a question I found very challenging as I read “All In” by Mark Batterson. And the way I put it is loosely paraphrased from Mark’s original. Here it is: As a Christian, have we really sacrificed anything; when what we receive in return is so much better than anything we could possibly “give up”? We are a spoiled nation and a spoiled body of Christ. We are called to be the bride of Christ! Let’s start acting like it!

The Inverted Gospel

Posted: February 27, 2014 in general
Tags: , , ,

Reading a book by Mark Batterson called “All In”. He cautions the church about the fact we are presenting an inverted version of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve asked Him to follow us, instead of us following Him. I see that in my own life sometimes and believe that Mark is on to something. We speak, treat others, behave in ways that are completely contrary to God’s word and then blame God because our life isn’t “turning out” like we hoped it would. God forgive us! How dare we (myself included) refuse to follow our Lord Jesus and then be critical of and question His very nature because we won’t simply give up our rights and LIVE FOR HIM! We may all need a wake up call to the reality of who Jesus Christ was…and still is today! It’s something to think about for sure. May we all be confident enough in His ability to catch us and willing enough to fall on our knees and into His open and accepting arms. As a youth pastor for over 30 years, my heart’s cry is to see this generation become “normal” Christians…and live and love the life God created us to live! That’s NORMAL!

Efficient or Effective?

Posted: April 25, 2013 in general

If you were given the choice, which would you choose? To be efficient? Or to be effective? My beautiful wife and I attended a marriage conference a few weeks ago and that statement was made. Sometimes the thing that seems more efficient actually prevents us from being the most effective. I’m finding this to be true in relationships, business, ministry…life in general. We aren’t called to be efficient. As Christians, we are called to be effective. So the next time you are striving to be “efficient”, stop and ask yourself if it might be better to see if you could be more “effective” doing it differently.

Are you “quick”?

Posted: April 12, 2013 in general, prayer

I was going to start by saying; “…as Americans we…”. But I decided to change it to “as Christians, we” are quick to judge, quick to talk about, quick to condemn, quick to avoid, quick to say, quick to rely on our own abilities, quick to elevate ourselves, quick to look down…and the list could go on and on. But often we are NOT quick to PRAY! And in case you’re thinking “what about you, Russell!”, let me be the first to say…prayer is usually not the first thing I turn to in time of need. But why? Prayer is the single most important thing we can do, the most powerful weapon we have and the most effective tool we can use. I just finished reading “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. Here’s a quote to think about today. “The greatest moments in life are the miraculous moments when human weakness and divine power intersect…”

Hey…ever wonder what an echo does? Ever thought about its meaning? Echo: a sound heard again near its source after being reflected; any repetition or close imitation, as of the ideas or opinions of another; a person who reflects or imitates another.
Check out this parallel. “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children”. (Ephesians 5:1 NLT)
It’s ONLY an ECHO AFTER it’s been “near its source” so it can be reflected!

Jesus was the ultimate echo of His Father!
John 5:19
19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.

And now we get to be the echo of Christ the our world! But sometimes we are more focused on our problems than God’s promises.
Soo….try this: The next time you feel like your problems are bigger than God’s promises, “echo” God’s promises “to” your problem!
Of course the only way to do that is to become intimate with Father God! We have to deliberately touch Jesus!
Look at this example of one woman who deliberately touched Jesus!
Luke 8:43-48
43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well…”
Will you deliberately touch the Father today?

Real hunger

Posted: March 13, 2013 in general
Tags: , , ,

What are you hungry for…right now? This moment. Depending on the time of day you might be hungry for Krispy Kreme (does it really matter what time?). I find myself hungry for “more”. Then I have to ask myself; “hungry for more of what?”. My spiritual side says; “hungry for more of You Lord!”. But if I’m honest, I may hungering for just something…anything…except God. But He is the ONLY THING that will ever truly satisfy! Our spiritual appetite also affects those in our life. So make sure you are hungering for “the”