Monday, March 16, 2009

Crazy Love Revisted: Some Inconvenient Truths II

Before we get into what Francis Chan has to say concerning us 'Lukewarm People' please read some scripture: Matthew 13:1-23.
Now, the reason I had you read this was to put into perspective how we are to approach all that's been said concerning seeds and soil. How we need to look at our situation at hand and take an honest and hard look at where we're at spiritually. In his book, 'Crazy Love,' Francis Chan says multiple times: 'Do not assume you are good soil'. Wow, how true indeed. I mean, we're all distracted by the thorns of this life and it takes away from what God offers us-true life and true happiness. We have a nasty tendency to mess it up. Too often when we're broken, empty, and feel's because of our own doing. David Goetz writes, 'too much of a the good life ends up being toxic, deforming spirituality.' Good things by themselves are fine, but all of it together keeps us from being truly happy and filled.
The questions becomes...has your relationship changed the way you live? Or are you choking it out by spending too much time, energy, and money on things that don't matter? (Francis Chan)
It's just something to think onto 'The Profile of the Lukewarm':

Lukewarm People say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives. Luke 9:57-62.
Lukewarm People love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn't really possible for the average person; it's only for pastors, missionaries, and radicals. Matt. 22:37-38.
Lukewarm People love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is especially focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back...their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached. Matt. 5:43-47.
Lukewarm People will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give. Luke 18:21-25.

I think that's enough for today. There's plenty more where that came from. Again, if you're interested in the book it's called: Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I was able to see him in person two years in a row at the National Youth Workers Convention. He's an amazing speaker with amazing insight.
He essentially called out over 6,200 youth workers to get serious about Jesus and to do our part in re-energizing the churches for God! So, I hope you get a lot out of this mini-blog series because there are plenty more scripture based truths out there for your to chew on...until next time: READ UP and PRAY UP!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Crazy Love Revisted: Some Inconvenient Truths

I've been re-reading books as of late and last night I was reading Francis Chan's book: Crazy Love, more specifically, the chapter which is called: 'Profile of the Lukewarm'. Of course, there's way too much information to share in one day, so I estimate that the next couple of blogs will contain 'Crazy Love' information.
So here's what you'll get: Francis Chan snippets for you to chew on. After his description he provides scripture, click on the scripture to be redirected to to read it-there will be no additions from me. Enjoy!
'Profile of the Lukewarm':
Lukewarm People attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe 'good Christians' do, so they go. Isaiah 29:13.
Lukewarm People give money to charity and to the long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a 'cheerful giver,' right? Luke 21:1-4.
Lukewarm People tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) rather than what God thinks of their hearts and lives. Luke 6:26, Revelation 3:1, and Matthew 23:5-7.
Lukewarm People don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for it; they're merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm People don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful life. John 10:10 and Romans 6:1-2.
Lukewarm People are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for 'extreme' Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm People call 'radical' what Jesus expected of all His followers. James 1:22, James 4:17, and Matthew 21:28-31.
Lukewarm People rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion. Matthew 10:32-33
Lukewarm People gauge their morality or 'goodness' by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren't as 'hard-core' for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as the guy down the street. Luke 18:11-12.

In closing, I'd just like to say that our Christian journey to become more Christ-like is just that...a journey, a process of change, but we cannot and should not be so quick to give God the backseat when things get rough.
Hopefully, I'll have more for you this weekend. Until then, please meditate and pray on what Francis that you? I think it's all of us because we all struggle, but if it is you, chew on God's Word in relationship to where you are currently at. There's always room to grow and if you buy the line about 'you can't teach old dogs new tricks'...then you've lost focus of what God can do.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Please read 1st Timothy 6:17-19
and Luke 9:58. Now, I prefer this translation: 'Teach those who are rich...' (NLT) because in today's culture anything that has any 'authority' behind it is often translated as 'blah, blah, blah,' but to teach requires more than just 'demands must be met' it's about walking along side that person and actually helping them to understand.
The assumption is that the scripture from Timothy is for ‘rich’ people-when in fact we are all rich and that’s it’s a matter of perspective. We are blessed by God in all that we have. Consider this: The US is only 6% of the world’s population but consumes 40% of the world’s resources. If you have a vehicle to drive: 92% of the world’s population doesn’t drive, which means you and I are a part of the 8% of the world’s population that has the luxury of personal transportation.
So the question becomes…what do we do with what God has given us? All that we have is God given. In Genesis He commanded us to be good stewards. He doesn’t condemn us for having any amount of wealth, but we should not forget all that He provides.
Each new day is a gift, the very roof over your head is a gift, the very clothes you wear is a gift...nothing you have should be considered 'mine' and done with the understanding/conviction of 'it was all me'.
Here's what Deuteronomy 8:17-19 has to say: ‘You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.'
So what other 'gods' do you worship? Well if you wake up every morning looking for your phone and the first thing you think about is who you text...then you're not thinking about God. If during the rest of your day, while at school or at work your phone is literally 'attached' to you...then you're worshiping the conversation machine-not a one-on-one experience. While I'm not knocking technology, I know for a fact it gets in the way of our continued growth as Christians.
I would be lying if I said I don't play video games...I do, but not nearly as much as I used to. In a way, I grew up and realized what was more important-doing chores around the house, doing my part instead of consuming and having someone clean up after me when it's my mess. Yeah, I did a lot of that when I was a teenager-I left a mess for my mom to clean up know, when other friends call to go play some basketball.
Ahhh, they distract? Yeah, they can, but they can also help you in your journey too. What kind of friends you ask? The kind of friends that care about you as a person-who cares about you genuinely, not the kind that leave you when things get 'dicey' or hard and you actually need their time to talk about real issues you're struggling with. Yeah, you have friends like that...
SO CONSIDER THIS:There is more to this life than empty dreams, thoughts of 'what if' and 'why me' have a potential inside you that God said was worthy of saving and protecting. You see, you've done it the easy way, the lazy way and all that's brought you is pain and a sense of unfulfilledness.
You see, God knows your hopes and your dreams and he provides all that you need, it's just that you haven't been listening. When was the last time you prayed and honestly gave Him your heart and your commitment? In Jeremiah 29:11 we find out that God has plans for us and sometimes His plans are exactly what we wanted in the first place...we just never realized. So if you feel lost and life has you down...CONSIDER THIS: God has a plan for's time to listen...because you are blessed and able to do more than you realize.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Today was a great day! While I was hanging out in Lemstone-checking out Bibles, I saw who I thought was Bryan from Vota. I kind of followed them around (Vota's lead singer and his wife) and when he had headphones on to check out the music area, I decided to ask the question...'hey, is that Bryan from Vota?' His wife had a huge smile on her face and said yes. The band is back in Lincoln for three days-a break from the tour.
So I gleefully went back to the Bible section grabbed the Bible I had been eying for like an hour and bought it with the intent of having Bryan sign it for me.
Of course, it didn't quite happen as smoothly as I thought I would, I found myself stumbling over some words-which they both smiled and brushed off, and we found ourselves in a conversation about the People's City Mission and how they played for them last year and how they plan to play again this year-of course, we all hoped it wasn't at the same location-the event center was very dusty and gritty pizza wasn't exactly appetizing.
So this is a special edition/blog. Vota made my day and I thought I'd share!