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Sunday, January 27, 2013

SUPER BOWL 2013


This is it! Huddle up! The biggest sports event viewed in the year. All the tailgating, home, bars and restaurant parties are in full planning mode. Everyone excited and rooting for their team.
All this hype! It is incredible what time is put into the biggest sporting event of the year.
The New Year is in full swing with each of us making resolutions, goals, dreams, projecting and forecasting for the year.
My mind (emphasis added) shifts to the last days of Jesus life. The disciples were unsure of Jesus’ last play! The Super Bowl can be likened to the Last Supper. Jesus worked hard to get there. With the same passion as a NFL player, Jesus is at the top of His game. How far would a player go to win the game? To win, Jesus went as far as His death on the cross.
In this New Year I look for things that I can tackle so I can be in control. How can I get my head in the game (pun intended) of life for this New Year? Let’s huddle together, call out the play and move out to our positions.
Where is your position? Right here, right now, what is your game plan? Where is your play book (the Bible)? Are you looking at the plays from a distance, saying “Yea, yea, I’ll get to it and read it?” But you never quite find the time.
I liken this New Year to this epic football game. I have to laugh! My friend kiddingly says his motto is “Football, the greatest game ever!”
My own motto for Jesus is this: “The cross, the greatest act of love ever!” It’s true. For God so loved you, He gave His life.
Many give back to the game by going to the games, rooting for their favorite players or buying all the merchandise. The fans have overwhelming passion as they cheer “We have to win.” I’ve even heard many fans yell “I LOVE THIS GAME!”
In the New Year ask yourself “Are you willing to love Jesus back?” Shout for joy “I love you Jesus!” May God bless our stadiums (churches) with a great cheering section for 2013.
“Bravo, GOD, Bravo! Everyone join in the great shout: Encore! In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might” (Psalm 96:7 MSG).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"ONCE AND FOR ALL...

“-we will find out who rules the land!” shouted out Matthew Perry in his new sitcom called Go On. Matthew Perry’s character Ryan King, a supposedly famous sportscaster, is in a small therapy group where he is trying to deal with the death of his wife. He decides to take over the group, stating, “Be honest when you sit here listening to someone else’s problems, you may smile and nod but a big part of you is thinking ‘My thing is worse than your thing. Am I right?’” They all nod in agreement.
With that reality in mind, Ryan calls their challenge March Sadness and he creates a competition. He blurts out, “We’re all going to go head to head. You have five seconds to tell your sob stories. Winners advance. We go a couple of rounds and we know once and for all who rules the land.”
The New Year was just celebrated and life will go on. But how do we go on? Another year of…(name your complaint.) There are many tragic “sob stories” in the Bible. One caught my eye as an example of how we can learn to “go on.”
King Nebuchadnezzar obtained high status and power as a king. He saw Daniel’s God rescue Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, but the truth of how great their God is faded and he continued to rule the land.
He commissioned Daniel to interpret a dream. Daniel interpreted it this way: “The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.” It took Nebuchadnezzar seven years to acknowledge “Heaven Rules.”
In the television series Go On, Ryan tries to make light of life disasters by awarding a person as ruler of the land if they can prove their problems were the worst, but offers no solution on how to actually ‘Go On.’
No one likes pain. To go on, Nebuchadnezzar had to acknowledge that Heaven does indeed rule. The popular sitcom hits on the funny parody of life struggles. This was truly worth the laugh.
But the truth is that ‘Going On’ requires Jesus.
PRAYER: Father I have some sob stories. I want to go on and get past the pain and live as You ask me to live. You ask me to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” Help me to get back to You and be grateful in all things. In Jesus name I pray.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

HOKEY POKEY-DEFROSTED


This week I took a frozen turkey and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. I realized how that was very similar to what had happened to my brain recently. It took three days to defrost both the turkey and my brain.
My frozen lips could only come out with “Help me!” That heart cry started a God-brain-defrost.
God appears to be in the refrigeration business. Relief came slowly, like the defrosting of a turkey. I was becoming aware that my brain had been hardening from my daily devotions. My spiritual intake appears to not have been enough. I was rationalizing and reasoning about how much reading of the Bible I needed, since I can quote New Testament stories in my head.
My brain freeze stated, “I know that story and I don’t need to read it.” My brain being frozen tried a new tactic avowing, “Once you start reading you won’t have enough time for the rest of your schedule.” My hurry up and do something response was winning over spending time reading the word.
But a freezer alert light came on in my brain! God got out His tools and began to help me be aware of how I needed to dismiss all of the arguments. First tool of choice; reading, John 15-17.
I melted! I can’t explain the phenomenon of God’s word. Simply put by God “Don’t question it, it defrosts.” The passion story and last words of Christ gave me strength.
You know when you get a brain freeze and it hurts? After it defrosts, you get hungry again. After this, I had a renewed hunger for God’s word.
Funny! I am hearing in my head the song Hokey Pokey. You put your whole head in, you put your whole head out, you put your whole head in and you shake it all about. You do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself about. That’s what it’s all about!
“For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me” (John 17:8).
Apparently, God helps defrost our brain so we can dance together!