Monday, August 28, 2006

Proverbs 1:7

Proverbs 1:7- “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Who are you and what do you do?

In the context of this e-mail, most of you are going to tell me that you are a child of God, and your job is to spread the Good News of the gospel.

What about when you close it up? What happens when you go back out into the world? I’ll tell you what happens to most of us; we back off. The fire goes out.

One of my favorite worship songs is “Undignified”. Most of you probably know it.

“I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King,
Nothing Lord is hindering, this passion in my soul.”

But stuff is hindering our passion, isn’t it? We can sing about being passionate, but when the rubber meets the road it’s a different story.

We had Mark Cahill speak at our church this past weekend. If you don’t know him, he is a powerful speaker and an on-fire evangelist. He is all about spreading God’s word to a lost and dying world. He is passionate about it.

“I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King,
Nothing Lord is hindering, this passion in my soul.”

I went to Wal-Mart yesterday with a friend of mine. I had a pocket full of cards I was going to give out to the Family Fun Night we are having at our church. I was ready.

And then, I got there.

Do you know how much easier it is in your mind to do something, than to actually go out in the world and do it? See, in your mind, the conditions are perfect, and no one looks at you like you have leprosy. They don’t act like you are trying to take something from them, or sell them the newest craze on the market.

“And I’ll become even more undignified than this,
Some may say its foolishness.
And I’ll become even more undignified than this,
Leave my pride by my side.”

It’s out of my comfort zone. Oh, I can bare myself in this e-mail, to some of you that I barely know. I can and intend to pass them out at work. But to just go somewhere like that, and pass them out to COMPLETE AND TOTAL STRANGERS, that was scary.

But it’s about getting people in to our group going to Heaven.

See, I know God. I have my fear of God already in place. I’m not scared of Him, but I am in awe of Him. I hold my proper respect of Him and know my place next to the Creator of all mankind.

But a lot of the people I saw at Wal-Mart, they may not be in our group. They may face a judgmental, righteous God and go to Hell for their sins. And I had a ticket in my pocket to start them on the road to meet their salvation.

The first one I handed out was really hard. The next was harder. By the third one, I promise, I literally heard the devil yelling at me telling me to stop because these people were going to go management and tell them I was harassing people.

The next ones were couples who I would just walk by and they would say hello, and I would say hi back. And then I would hand them a card and invite them.

Then I started focusing on the families I saw. I would give them to parents and kids who were walking around, doing their Sunday shopping. Those were easier to give out. The voice in my head wasn’t as loud; or maybe I was just not paying that much attention to it.

I gave out a lot less than I had hoped, but more than the devil wanted me to give. Some of them may show up. I hope to see them, and then discuss with them what will happen after the day is over; after everything is over.

I want them to know my God. If I don’t tell them about Him, they may not have a chance to get to know Him. So don’t be scared. Don’t let the people around us go without knowledge and awe of God. Don’t let any “fools” be left alone. They need to know that we are going to pour out the good news of the gospel into their life whenever we get the chance.

Come on, let’s get a little undignified.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hebrews 13:5

Do you know the story about the man living in a town where it flooded greatly? As the floodwaters came, he climbed up to his rooftop. He prayed mightily, asking the Lord to send him help. The story varies, but three methods of rescue arrived at separate times. Each time, the man told them, “NO! I’m waiting on God to rescue me!”

Sounds dumb, doesn’t it?

So I’ve been praying to God about my job. I really dislike where I work. I know, I know, we can’t all win the lottery. It’s just all the intangibles that go on; it makes it so hard some days to even come in. I dislike being there for my 40 hours; imagine how I felt working overtime last week. But I promised my wife that if it came my way, I would work, because we can really use the money to pay off some old bills from our time on the road.

I had three separate incidents each evening that I worked. And each came from people that I didn’t consider great spiritual advisers. I wouldn’t even hazard a guess that these people could have helped me to discover a truth about God, based on the way they lived their lives.

God is like that, though. He takes something you would not consider, and opens the world to you.

So, I worked over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And each day, I learned from someone that you have a choice to make about contentment. One friend told me that if I feel like I’m stuck here, that I will never make it. He told me not to feel marooned, but to feel like I made a better choice. I chose to do the best thing for me and my family.

Saturday and Sunday, I learned that the grass is not always necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. I learned that if God wants me on that side, He will provide a gate. I don’t have to keep trying to jump over it, and thinking that I have missed something.

Hebrews 13:5- “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you. ‘”

He said Himself that He has never left me. Just because I am not the poster child I feel I should be for God’s children, doesn’t mean that He has abandoned me.

As I said earlier, the people who helped me to these realizations are not necessarily ones you would look at as having that kind of wisdom. But I thanked each of them for reminding me that God did not put me at my workplace to be miserable. He placed me there to be a witness.

You are where you are at this time to be a witness. For my students at your individual schools, or my adult friends at your workplace, we all are called to be witnesses.

What is God telling you? What wisdom is He trying to speak into your life? I’ll tell you one thing, God is speaking to you, whether you believe it or not. He is trying to get you to listen to Him.

Oh, and one more thing. Don’t let the look of the messenger throw you off. If you think God won’t speak through someone unexpected, remember the story about Balaam and the donkey (Numbers 22). If God will use a donkey to speak to someone, He’ll pretty much use anyone as far as I’m concerned.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Galatians 6:9

6 months.

One half of a calendar year.

That’s how long you have supported me.

That’s how long we’ve been together.

I didn’t think I’d make it this far, honestly. I truthfully figured that I would have put my foot in my mouth and made a bunch of enemies long before this point happened.

I know someone is going, “So what, six months. What’s the big deal?” The deal is that I am still putting “pen to paper” so to speak. I am still putting my thoughts and ideas out there for everyone else to criticize or relate to or just ponder.

I’m still here. And I’ll admit, after the year I have had so far, I’m a little tired. It’s not a physical tiredness (mostly). It’s just an emotional tiredness.

I told you early on about my friend, Dan. He had a vision one time of being on a cork with a cross stuck in the middle of it. He was in the middle of a storm ravaged sea; the waves and the intensity were astounding. But the cork never went under. Oh, it tips from side to side, but it never goes under.

Sometimes, God quiets the storm. Sometimes, God sits out the storm huddled on the cork with you.

Galatians 6:9- “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

6 months.

Thanks for sticking in here with me through all the twists and turns our lives have taken. Thanks for the encouragement you have given me to keep at this, because you need it. You need someone to be real in your life, to be in the trenches with you. Thanks for letting me remind you that you are not alone in this thing called life.

Thanks for not letting me give up, or give in. Sometimes, it hurts. Sometimes you say things to me, making me wonder why I’m worried about the little things in my life, compared to the mountains some of you are facing.

Thanks for sticking in this with me. Thanks for bringing your friends, your co-workers, your families along for the ride. Thanks for being there with me, walking along the road that God is constructing for us. (That’s for you, Jim!)

Let’s continue to go this walk, together. And let’s bring as many people along for the ride as we can. Remember, it’s not just about us anymore. If I can help you walk, or be an encouragement, let me know. Or, if you just want a shoulder to lean on; someone to cry with, or just someone to hang with you through a rough patch, let me know that as well.

You deserve it; you stuck with me. Let’s finish the race.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Psalm 86:6-7

Lord, thank You.

Psalm 86:6-7- “Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.”

You are faithful. Why? Why do you continue to hold me and pick me up? I don’t understand.

You tell me that when I get in trouble, to call on You and You WILL answer. Why? I’ll tell you Lord, most of the trouble I get into is on my own. It’s because of my pride, or my mouth or my arrogance in thinking I can do it on my own.

You are pure, clean, and holy. Sometimes, I’m like a pig rooting in its own slop.

It makes me crazy trying to understand. I need Your help to learn, and grow. But most of all, I need You to help me to stop, stop, STOP questioning.

Why do You love me? Because You do.

Why did You save me? Because You love me.

Why do You protect me? To save me from myself.

Thank you, Lord. It’s been a long time since You and I have REALLY talked. I have left my schedule, and dropped You down on my list of priorities. I have allowed an invader to siphon my time and energy from You, for the sake of ______________.

I can’t change on my own. You did it for me before, and You will do it again-I know. You promised that if I called on You, You would answer.

Hey Lord, could You get that? It’s Your phone….it’s me.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.