Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This is going to hurt

I have been reading this book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. A friend of mine's wife, along with one of our bassists and his wife, recommended the book (thank you April, Ashley and Justin). Reading the chapter that is titled the same as the book, I have come across some seriously "in your face" comments that are making me rethink my relationship with God and others. I just want to hit you with a couple of quotes from it, and my short commentary.

In this chapter, Chan talks about our warped sense of love for God. How twisted most of us have it. Here is what rocked me to the core:

"Jesus doesn't have to love us." (I'm sorry, did I read that right?)

"God treasures us." (I retract my previous question and will take my foot with ketchup please.)

"The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want Him most of the time." (If anyone says this is not true for them, they are lying!)

"God doesn't force us to love Him: it's our choice." (My choices are not always the greatest, are yours?)

"Are we in love with God or just His stuff?" (Steel-toed boot right in the junk!)

Think about it.

Seriously addressing my love for God and holding my stomach,
Jesus Freak Out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot as Hell

I realized something today as I worked a friend's landscaping at 3 o'clock in the afternoon: it was hot as hell out there! I feel that hell will be something like Florida on a summer afternoon at about 3 p.m. It may sound cliched, but it really was hot as hell. Water did almost nothing for me today.

Talk about motivation, spend a day out there working without AC and see what you think. This gives me a little more motivation to ensure people who don't know Christ are introduced to His saving grace. Step outside some afternoon and then think about what hell is going to be like. It may just make you think twice. Just a thought...........

Sweating profusely,
Jesus Freak Out!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Peace of Mind

I was sitting on my couch today watching God's beautiful gift of my son, Nathaniel (better known as Nater Tater) sleep in my arms. It has been 4 years since my wife and I had a child this small and precious. I had forgotten what it was like to see and have peace in my life. During that instant today, I was at peace watching my newborn son sleep, at peace. I had to call my 4-year old over and just hold the both of them. I looked at Ethan, hugged him and just told him I loved him. I found peace today.

I started looking through all of Paul's letters this evening and found that except for three of them, he greeted his recipients with something close to this from Romans 1:7: "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Paul always wished for Christ's peace upon those he love and ministered. No matter the audience or the reason for his writing the letter, Paul always prayed for and wanted the best for people. That's exactly what Christ wants for us........His grace and peace.

We must seek His grace and we must lead others into that grace. Granted, we can't give that to them, but we can show them that grace through our actions. We can be that example for what it is to be in relationship with Christ, to be in His grace, to have His peace. Peace comes through Christ. Peace comes when we let ourselves go and we look toward Him.

I saw the peace of Christ today and I want more. But it's up to me to allow that peace into my life. What does that look like? What situations do we need to walk away from that are causing turmoil in our lives? What things in life are we holding onto that God is asking us to give to Him or let go of?

Peace of mind. It's the new "life" meat.

Ordering a peace of mind,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Praise be to God in the Highest!

This IS one of the happiest days of my life. God has sent my wife and I one of the most beautiful gifts in the world: another son. I went into this morning with apprehension but I turned it all over to God like I blogged last night. And it turned out that everything has been wonderful. He is so precious, so beautiful, and so sweet. He is one of God's greatest creations. Okay, so I'm a little biased. (Blogger won't post the pic for some reason)

Here is my prayer:

Most awesome and powerful Father, thank you. Thank you for who you are. Thank you for what you have done, what you do, and what you are going to do. You are the great I Am. My prayer right now for Leah and I, and for all parents, is that you will give us the strength and courage to lead and raise your wonderful creations in the image that is your Holy Son. In the image that is a reflection of your awesome love, your unconditional love, and that we will teach them through your Spirit what it is to follow Christ and spread the gospel. You are an amazing and wonderful God, and we thank you with all that we have.

In the holy and awe-inspiring name of Christ our Lord,


Jesus Freak not-freaking Out!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"The only thing we have to fear is........."

.........the unknown right? Sorry Jack (or should I say Jeremiah).Whoever says they don't, or never have, feared the unknown is lying. I tend to take things to the extreme and what pains me is that this pains Christ. I know that He looks down on me and shakes his head asking why. This has been the hardest thing for me to do. Let go of my fears, let go of my stress, and tell myself that God has the helm, I'm just a deckhand (sorry, Deadliest Catch is one of my favorite shows).

This last week has been a test of my will and a test of my ability to hand the unknown over to the only one who can chart my course for me. I have been successful (I think) on some days, but failed miserably on others. I have new job that is truly a Godsend. And, tomorrow is the true test of my will to allow God to have the controls. Tomorrow, our second son will come into this world. So what is going through my mind right now? Well, how can I be a good father to a second son when I feel like I have failed the first? It's easy Jeremiah: give it to God. Get over yourself and your dillusion of control. My dillusion has lead to fear. And my fear has driven me for too long.

If we look back in the Book of Exodus, when Moses and the Israelites saw Pharoah and the Egyptians bearing down on them in the desert, Moses had confidence in God's control of the situation. The Israelites did not. They feared what they did not know and that drove them to doubt and fear.

"(14:11)......What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? (12) Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?' It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

So where are you fearing the unknown and not trusting God? I'm gonna try something new, fearlessness. I'll let you know how it goes.

".....fear itself,"
Jesus Freak Out!