Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

fl000051Fewer things in the Christian life are more difficult than sowing the seed of Christ in a world where the soil seems awfully polluted. Some say it is a gift, while others say it is a calling on all who claim Christ as their Lord and Savior. I tend to agree that the commission is multi-faceted but demanding on all of Christ’s followers. Never has that been more evident to me in my life until my wife, sister, brother-in-law and I started VineLife Church a little over two years ago.

During those two years we have been planting seeds in the life of people who didn’t even know they were God’s fertile soil, some to the point of denying the seed all together. I got to tell you this has been a hard process. Sometimes seeing the seeds grow before our eyes. Other times seeing the seed produce a seed of its own and plant the seed in others. And yet, there are those painful times as well. Where the seed is planted and seemingly never to sprout (only God knows). Or other times where the seed is planted and nurtured and cared for, showing promising growth only to realize later that it believes it needs a new pot (i.e. church body). But the hardest part of all is how close one must get to people in order to plant these seeds. Building relationships, tilling the soil of their lives and in the end scattering the seed not knowing of it will bring forth the fruits of the kingdom. When it doesn’t, it hurts and calls into question the whole point of planting seeds of the Gospel. However, those that do sprout always far out weigh those that don’t and the fruit they produce is uncomparable to the tremendous crop that one plant alone can produce. All in all, sowing the seed of Christ is the most rewarding challenge of my life.

How about you, is it hard for you to share Christ? If so, why? If not, tell us more. What are your experiences in sowing the seed of Christ?

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Funding Fears

From: Worldmag.com, “Obama,” November 15, 2008

Will the nation’s economic storm zap U.S. charities? While the data won’t be in until well after the holiday giving season, the nation’s nonprofits are already bracing for a blow.

World Vision’s Phillipe Guiton, for example, said his group plans to trim hiring, a move that will likely affect the delivery of overseas aid. “What we are going to do now is to issue an order to reduce spending, to delay recruitment, delay purchases of capital assets, etc., until we can see clearer how much our income has dropped,” Guiton said

Other groups, such as Catholic Relief Services and CARE International, say they’re watching to see whether major donors will recover from portfolio shock in time to continue year-end giving at previous levels

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As I read this the words that came to mind were from the Kingdom Prayer (aka. The Lord’s Prayer). “Give us this day our daily bread.” We pray this prayer out of the surplus of our lives. Granted we spend on borrowed money, we often partake in bread bought at a high interest rate but we also play hard and collect toys that are so far superfluous. Though spending may go down this holiday, it is highly unlikely that we will stop to consider if God’s provision really intended we buy the Nintendo Wii go along with our PS3, or to replace our 2006 model Chevy pickup truck with a 2009 because of all the good deals (Here’s a shout out to all my car dealer brothers and sisters in Christ who readily demystify these bogus incentives), or a new doll to sit next to the other five dolls that sit in our daughter’s closet. At the risk of an overgeneralization, it is difficult to imagine that out of the great generosity of God that we operate in this American culture, that we could even consider giving up our contributions that go to aid the poor, the hungry, the widow, the prisoner, etc. OR hold back on our giving in order to protect our own skin as though we have ever had control over this in the history of the world.

In Acts, one of the most challenging stories for us “New Testament Christians” (whatever that means) is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. The story goes like this. This is after Pentecost and the outpouring of Spirit, over 3000 people were saved and daily people were selling everything they had and giving to those who had need. To be sure, radical at best. Enter Ananias and Sapphira. (more…)

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

– Martin Luther King, JR.

You know when I hear the “I have a dream” and the “Let freedom ring section of MLK, JR. famous speech I am moved deeply by the drive that calls humanity to humility before their (more…)

We recently found out that churches are afforded free space for both writing articles and ad space in the Savannah and Providence community Newspaper. However, there are great limitations to what the articles can say. It could not quote scripture (i.e. book, chapter and verse) or be too “preachy,” which we all know is difficult for me to do anyway, and it had to be 200-400 words only, which is often even more difficult for me to do. That said I thought I would share what I came up with, so here it is.

My Father’s Wisdom.pdf