"Radical" by David Platt (Review on first chapter)  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer


I had the chance to read the first chapter of the book and it grabbed my attention!

How often we want the easy road of Christianity, but Jesus makes many seemingly radical statements to try to get people to not follow Him.  He tells them they will have a homeless life, they will have to "carry a cross", they will have a problems, they will have to give up possessions and family.  Sound like fun?  Most would turn it down.  Even those that have accepted may not have fathomed the reality of what it means to follow.  Have you?

To be truthful, sometimes I don't even like those decisions that I have to make in order to follow this "radical" movement.  Pain, discomfort, and the like, are not fun when it comes to putting "all in" on something with no immediate benefits.  However, that is how most of us are...wanting the immediate.  "Set it [up] and forget it" is our view of Christianity.  "I've made the choice, now let the blessings start rolling in"...is that you?

David Platt's new book, "Radical" seems like it is going to be a very interesting book.  From what I read in the first chapter, I look forward to reading the rest of the book!


 If you'd like the chance to receive a free copy of the accompanying book, "The Radical Question", please click on this link...www.WaterBrookMultnomah.com/RadicalQuestion

Also, to have an opportunity to read the first chapter of "Radical", click here.  After that, check out the book's own website at www.RadicalTheBook.com
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Creating Our Future  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,


Each step we take, each breath we take, and each word we speak all help pave the future.  You can stay still, move backward, or move forward and the future will come.  It doesn't matter what you do or don't do, the future is going to happen.

You've probably heard the phrase "Lead, follow, or get out of the way".  That is a pretty true statement when it comes to how your future is going to be.  You have a lot of choices of what and how you are going to do something, but ultimately, it is your decision.

That brings us to this week's quote...
The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made.  ~ John Schaar
You are carving out the future as you read this and as you go about your day.  The choices you make today will have an affect on the tomorrows that come.  If you decide to buy something - food or a car - that choice will affect your future.

Have you been able to see, from your past, how your choices carved out the future?  How they made a positive or negative effect on the future?  I can from my life, both good and bad.


Make the most of every opportunity so that your choices will have a good affect on your future.  That way the path you make will be a good one!
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Times are changing and so is the church.  One can either fight against the current, and probably be washed away, or to enjoy the ride.

Some of you may be thinking that if one "enjoys the ride" they are just taking the easy route and if they won't stand for something, they'll fall for anything.  However, that is not the direction for which I am coming.

I am not an experienced boat paddler, so I don't know what it is really like to go against a current.  What I do have some experience in is swimming.  I remember having to tread water, either for a class or for enjoyment (to stay afloat).  I wasn't able to do it forever, after a short time it is tiring.  I have experienced this feeling when it comes to trying to be "right" in my spiritual life.  Trying to make the "name" of the place I attend be "right", simply because I was told it was.  All the while, seeing other places be more passionate, free, expressive, which resulted in excitement and growth.

I often thought to myself, "Why can't we have that kind of passion?"  Then, I would realize, it tends to be because we are putting so much effort staking our "rightness" claim that all the passionate energy is sucked out of us.  It is kind of like when you have been "spring cleaning" or doing yard work all day, the last thing you want to do is to return to those activities again anytime soon.  

Yesterday, we continued our series of "Words of Wisdom from the Workshop" by looking at our "Continuing Restoration", a lesson I heard at the Tulsa Workshop by Patrick Mead.  And here are some applications to choose from to use this week...
  1. Appreciate Your Heritage ~ We all come from different backgrounds which has shaped us to where we are today.  Appreciate the ones that have gone before, their victories, their blunders, their blazed trails, etc.  Then, think about how you will be a part of that which will help define the future for the next generations.
  2. Humble Yourself ~ Were you a part of a group that "bought the corner" on being "right" when it comes to your total view of scripture?  I thought I was part owner of that "corner" for many years, but am realizing daily that the "corner" I thought I part ownership in was not the "right" one.
  3. Research Your Heritage ~ After doing some research in the "names" of those who were founders of my heritage I realized some of the things they helped found were not anything like what I see today.  What a wake up call!
  4. Why Get Together ~ "We don't get together so that God will like us...He already does".  Maybe you need to rethink why you attend a religious setting on Sunday morning, it shouldn't be so that you can check off things in order to have God like you.  He isn't some bully that you are trying to give your lunch money to in order to have safety in life.  God already does like you or he wouldn't have sent Jesus to die for a world of sinners, like you and I!
The churches will continue to change.  Hymns may fade out.  Pews may fade out.  Evangelistic methods will change.  As culture changes, so must the church.  Staying the same is not going to keep people's attention.  If the church digs its heels in to this "rightness" claim, it may be jerked forward into something it had no idea was coming.

Looking forward to the future changes...
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When is a good time for prayer? Always.  The question could be twisted up a bit to ask "When isn't a good time for prayer?"  Prayer is needed all the time.  That prayer could be of praise, thanksgiving, or petition.  One or more of those could be said at any given time.  It doesn't matter if it is about your life, job, health, or family.  Something good is happening.  Something to be thankful for is happening. Something needed is happening.

On Thursday, May 6th many people around the country will take part in the observance of the National Day of Prayer.  This years theme is "For Such a Time as This" and the scripture that is being used is from Nahum 1:7, "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him". 

Locally, the Thomas County Ministerial Association will hold their annual observance on the lawn of the Thomas County Courthouse, from 12:15-12:45.  We are trying to respect people's time and, at the same time, would like to have as many people as possible take part in this activity.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force has set up seven areas to be praying about seven days a week: 1) government, 2) military, 3) media, 4) business, 5) education, 6) church, and 7) family.  These areas pretty much sum up the areas most would think about that needs to be prayed over.

Our government is always in need of prayer.  Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter who the person in office is, they need prayers.  Local or national, each section of the government has to make decisions that impact all of us, in one way or another.  Pray for those in office.

Our military is in danger somewhere at all times.  Right now we may focus on the Middle East, but something could happen right here in our own country.  You may have family or friends in the military that are serving short or long commitments.  As I am reminded of our country's freedom, I not only appreciate those who serve, but want to pray for them as well.

The media does a lot to make sure that the news is covered.  It is not the easiest to keep people informed.  The media does a lot to cover local and national news.  Plus, there are a lot of people that work behind the scenes to help make the news, in any form, get to you. 

Economy.  Such a buzzword these days.  The economy has taken a plunge and is trying to grasp at about anything to get back up.  One positive point is that agriculture hasn't been too affected by this downturn.  That is good news for us who live in an agricultural area.  However, businesses themselves can come in and leave if we aren't able to support them.  Let's try to support local when we can. This will help our own economy.

Kansas is not in great shape in its education arena. Some of the reason has to do with the business and economy part of the state.  Locally, it has been hit hard. Loss of state aid has caused a loss of jobs and a loss of transportation within our school system.  Trying to grasp at various areas of which to save, many districts have cut raises, as well.  This also has had an effect on the retired educators as well.  Our local schools and administrators are needing your prayers on a constant basis to be able to have a quality education for our youth.

Churches are struggling as well. The smaller the church, the more difficult is it.  Whether it is from an economic standpoint or a spiritual one, there is always an obstacle. Pray for your church, its leaders, and its mission.

Family has changed over the years.  Unfortunately, the busier people get, the more difficult it becomes on their marriages and family.  Hence, I believe, it takes even more work than it used to take to have a good marriage and a strong family.  Kids are busy so evening meals are seldom.  Parents are working odd hours, so their not home with their kids.  Even when the family is at home, are they doing much together in quality time or are media devices (TV, cell phone, computer) taking precedence?  Let's pray that a new trend will emerge where family time is a priority.

Be praying.  Are you in a "time of trouble"? Be praying.  Keep these areas in mind as you look to be taking praises and petitions to God over the next year because "such a time as this" that we need prayer!Share/Bookmark

Teacher's Aid - "Budget Cuts"  

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Why is it that one of the most needed occupations in the world are in such jeopardy?  My wife and I both have a heart for education.  She has an elementary education degree, and I was in the process of pursuing an art education degree when I routed myself toward an exercise science degree.  Every so often we discuss the question that I posed at the beginning.  Along those same lines, why is it that people in college and pro athletics can make an outrageous amount of money, but those who are trying to mold young minds make very little, in comparison?  From working in the athletic field, prior to preaching, I do know a little about the hows and whys of this question.  

In the state of Kansas our education monies are looking pretty bleak. This is causing many schools to really tighten up their budgets.  Some are finding ways to "cut the fat" and keep the meat.  However, if this trend continues, then what?  Will our schools look "anorexic" as we will be trimming so much meat that their health will deteriorate?  I hope not!

I realize that your future is concerning you.  I realize that you may have some sleepless nights. I realize I am not going to be able to prevent either of those two things.  

What I do want you to do is use each day as a new day and a new opportunity to make a difference in kids' lives.  Whether that is one or one thousand, you have the ability to make a positive difference.  I want you to allow the passions you had/have for education to propel you to greatness in the lessons you plan and present.  

If you are having some difficulty with your passion, maybe you can use some of these movies for inspiration (in no particular order)...Mona Lisa Smile, Ron Clark Story, Glory Road, Hoosiers, Facing the Giants, or Coach Carter.  I know I am probably forgetting some.  All of these involve education in one form or another. All of these give me inspiration to keep going if I am ever going through a slump.   

Is the financial state of your school's budget affecting you negatively, to the point that it is distracting?  I cheer you on as you pursue each day looking forward to helping inspire a young mind.  As I write this, I am getting ready to sub tomorrow and am looking forward to the students that will be in the classroom and how I will be able to have a one-day, one-hour opportunity to impress something positive onto them.  

If you are going to have a job next year, count your blessings.  If you are retiring, count your blessings.  If you are not going to have a job in education next year, still count your blessings.  Whether it is in the classroom, on the field, in the office, or anywhere else, you can make a positive difference in someone's life.  Go out and do exactly that!  Have a great rest of the year!Share/Bookmark

Half Full or Half Empty?  

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Looking at a glass from one perspective or another has been a way of determining if someone is optimistic or pessimistic.  Because it is visual, this is determined by your outlook on the object.  How do you tend to look at the object to the right? 

I tend to look toward the pessimistic side. Maybe it is because once something goes past halfway, that means it is almost gone.  Neither of these may be the correct view of the object.  That brings us to this week's quote...
Stop asking if the glass is half full or half empty.  Instead ask, "What's in it?  How did it get there? What can I do with it?"  ~ David Kaufman
If you're like me you probably never thought about looking at it this way.  However, this doesn't judge the object but rather looks at the potential of the object and/or its contents.  


Maybe it can be a different way of viewing yourself and your potential.  What are you able to use with what you have been given?  How can you use your "contents" to make a difference in life?


May we gain a new perspective on an old saying by not looking at the determination of whether or not it is full or empty, but rather see the potential it has within it.
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Stifled  

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Wouldn't it be great to be free?

Near our house is a dog that is tied up.  He is a good-sized dog that would be able to run a lot, if given the opportunity.  Instead, he is tied up on this cable and has about a 24 foot circle to run around in.  He has all the freedom he wants inside of that circle.  He can jump.  He can roll around.  He can run - in circles.  He can lay in his "house".  He can eat and drink.  So much to do in so little of a space.  He would probably be ecstatic to be freed from that circle.

I cannot imagine being confined to living in a circle. However, oftentimes I feel that way.  I think that many people feel that way.  Maybe it is in their family, at school, at work, or in the church.  You can do anything you want, but you cannot go outside of this circle - for one the cable will make sure you stay within. I feel sorry for that dog.  I think "If you want a dog, why make them stay in that small of a space?"

A word that is describes this type of living is "stifled".  It is not an unfamiliar word, but I thought I would look it up for the meaning of the base word, stifle...here it is...
1 a : to kill by depriving of oxygen : suffocate b (1) : smother (2) : muffle
2 a : to cut off (as the voice or breath) b : to withhold from circulation or expression : repress <stifled our anger> c : deter, discourage intransitive verb :: smother <stifling in the heat>
to become suffocated by or as if by lack of oxygen
When one is not permitted to be outside of a circle they start off by feeling stifled.  They are having their figurative oxygen taken away.  They are feeling suffocated.  They cannot breathe.  If not given any air, one will either search for air elsewhere, die, or be given air where they are at.

We have "teams" but, from my perspective, if you want to do something that doesn't require monies or help from these groups, get it going!  Don't be so independent that it is kept from the church, but if you want to have a youth event, it doesn't have to be discussed in the Education & Youth meeting.  If you want to use your talents to organize a picnic, no need to go through Member Care & Activity.

The Teams are meant to keep us organized, not prevent us from doing things.  In other words, if you have something on your heart that you want to do for God...DO IT!  Why wait for a meeting...time may be ticking for your "harvest"...get in the fields and, possibly, bring others with you!

If you are feeling suffocated, discouraged, deterred...you need to get off of the leash and do things for Him!  Many references encourage us to use our talents...Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, I Peter 4:10-11 - among others.  Remember that use of talents shouldn't be reserved for our meeting times.  I use probably less than 10% of my talents when we're meeting. 

Wouldn't it be great to be free? YOU CAN...YOU ARE!!!Share/Bookmark

If I was ever given the opportunity to meet someone "famous", and I mean someone that I would really like to meet, I think I would act starstruck. I would be a little lost for words, but I would eventually figure out how to actually talk to them like anyone else. A question for you is "would you act the starstruck or like your normal self?"

If given  more chances to talk to them, how would you act more normal? You would probably develop a set of guidelines to have yourself go by. Maybe you'd say "Don't say 'I can't believe I'm getting the chance to meet you" over and over again. Or, you would not ask all kinds of questions about them, and just treat them like you would any other person you met for the second or third time? 

That takes us into thinking about what we would do if we had the chance to meet God.  If you're like me, you've got a lot of questions to ask.  Why this? Why that? How this?  How that?  Would you think to just ask about Him?  Would you ask questions that showed you cared about Him or just questions that benefited you and your curiosity?  

Yesterday we looked at another lesson from the Tulsa Workshop, also by Randy Harris, titled "Ten Suggestions for Keeping a Close Relationship Between You and God".  Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...
  1. Appreciate ~ When you first start praying or talking to God, let Him know the things you appreciate, first, before you start asking
  2. Enjoy the Journey With Each Other ~ The family of God is more powerful when we're together.  When we're splintered, we're weak.  When we're at odds with each other, we're being splintered...hence we're weaker.
  3. Risky Business ~ That is a description of being a Christian.  Are you willing to take the risks?  Will you take the risks that are associated with this lifestyle? The best part of it is that you will develop a closer relationship with Him!
  4. Slow Down ~ Life is too short not to enjoy the journey.
  5. Find the Dark ~ Let your light shine in a place or with a person that needs it.  You don't need light in the light; but in the dark. That's where your light can shine!
  6. Invest ~ Are there things in your life that you have committed too much time toward?  Maybe you need to think about what is taking you away from being an invested Christian.
  7. Enjoy Now ~ What can you do right now, where you're at, with what you have to make a difference for God?  Depending on Him will draw you closer to Him.
You want to have a closer relationship with Him?  Take one of the applications to see if it fits in your life. A complete list of the ten suggestions are listed below.

#1 - Quit Whining, #2 - Form Covenant, #3 - Memorize the Sermon on the Mount, #4 - Take a Risk, #5 - Walk (vs. Run), #6 - Relocate, #7 - Calm Down, #8 - Simplify, Materially, #9 - Commit, #10 - Be Present

Let's work together in making our individual relationships with God stronger, which will make our entire relationship with Him stronger.

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Book Review: "the Voice": New Testament  

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Have you ever read in the Bible and wondered who was talking or who someone was addressing in their conversation? Most of the time it may seem pretty easy to decipher who is talking, but there are occasions where it isn’t as clear as it could be. A new New Testament Bible recently came out that addresses whose voice is being mentioned in particular texts. The title for this Bible is a natural fit, “the Voice”.



“the Voice” is laid out like a script in a play, displaying who says what and when. This is one of the main reasons for creating this version of the Bible, to make it easy on the reader to understand what voice you are hearing. It doesn’t include anyone for a “narrator” but only mentions names for those who are speaking.


Like good Bible translations, this Bible has several people who went in on its collaboration of the interpretation. The translation itself is very easy to read with modern-day voice. Subtle italicized interjections are put in to most of the verses, similar to the way the Amplified Bible does, just without the brackets.


Another positive is the thought provoking and/or helpful comments that are interspersed throughout the Bible.


One con, it uses some form of “Liberator” to depict Jesus, particularly in the epistles. Though I don’t have any theological objection, but from a new reader’s standpoint, it may be a bit confusing.


I found this Bible interesting, as I looked at certain verses in the Bible. I liked its fresh wording, but would not use it as a substitute for a stricter translation, in my study. I would use it as a study aid in trying to better understand the scriptures or use it to help others understand certain passages better.Share/Bookmark

A Dream is Just a Dream  

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"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question probably ninety percent of American children are asked before age ten. I had aspirations to be a football player and a super hero when I was young.

Obviously the second one is totally fictional and the first one is a long shot. However, aside from genetics causing me to be a bit height-challenged for a career in football, I didn't really try to pursue it that heavily. 

I would guess that you have a dream. That brings us to this week's quote...

A dream is just a dream until you go out and fight for it! - "Rev Run", Joseph Simmons
If I would have really wanted to be a football player I should have pursued it much more. Even being short, I could have possibly made it to a community college level, at least. But I didn't. I did not enjoy it like I thought I would. I didn't have the desire to keep going or put in the work outside from practice.
 

Dreams we have while sleeping are generally short-lived in our memories.  As you think about dreams that you have for life, let them live much longer.  Let them get through the brainstorming and "pros-&-cons" stages.  Let them get to the "how can I make this happen" stage.  If you find you cannot make it happen right then, wait. If it is just not going to take you to where you want to go, readjust your sails and continue on a new course.

Don't let it fall...fight for it!  See what happens when you do! Share/Bookmark

Maturity is something that most people rarely desire to be lacking in. They would much rather want to have the most maturity as possible. However, we all have our moments when our emotions get the best of us and maturity flies out the window.

As a Christian we should be becoming more mature in our faith with each passing day. Things should grow more solid in our faith as time moves forward. If it is not then we have work to do; which is comforting and frustrating simultaneously.

Yesterday, I shared a sermon based on what I heard at the Tulsa Workshop. This yearly series is what I call "Words of Wisdom From the Workshop". The sermon was titled "Seven Characteristics of a Fully Mature Christian", by Randy Harris. Here are some additional applications to choose from to use this week...
  1. For a plant to become mature it goes through processes - These processes could be too much or too little sunlight or moisture. The interesting thing about too little moisture is that it causes the roots to go deeper to find water. When we go through drought then our roots should go deeper instead of quitting. Don't quit!
  2. Practice, practice - I remember as a sports participant not being too fond of practice. I wanted to be in the game, not go through the prep that gets me ready for the game - physically and mentally. However, proper practice is invaluable to game performance. Spiritual practice may not be heavily desired either, but it gets us ready for the "game". Use the prep times to your advantage and let it prepare you for your upcoming "game".
  3. Yield is awesome - From a grain perspective people want to have the biggest yield as possible. The points between planting and harvesting don't matter a whole lot if the yield is good. Whether there was good or poor conditions, if the yield was good that's what counts. So continue to press on to look forward to the yield and enjoy the journey in between.
If a Christian is not progressing toward maturity they are either stagnant or digressing. Hopefully you are not in either of the last to categories.

Make up your mind to be ever acknowledging where your maturity lies in one or more of these categories...1) Talking Less and Listening More, 2) Constantly Mindful of God, 3) Able to be Submissive & Obedient, 4) Able to be Humble, 5) Have Communitas, 6) Have Personal Spirituality (A Relationship), & 7) Hope.

Reaching toward maturity...
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Mind Space "For Rent"  

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We all know that our minds' capacity is not hardly used.  Even the smartest of individuals use only a small percentage of the available capacity in the mind.  The mind makes decisions all the time.  Many of those decisions are based on reason or past experiences. 

We may decide to eat a food item based on prior experiences.  We decide when to pull out into traffic based on reason - is it safe.  These are easy decisions to make that may stem from a perception, but there are some more difficult ones in life.

Being someone's friend may take on a whole new set of decision making rationale.  That brings us to this week's quote...

Negatives and positives are most always based on perception and tend to rent space in our minds and largely dictate our reaction to situations.  ~ M. Raymond Sheppard
If you decide to become a friend to someone, it may seem easy in some situations.  However, what about a more difficult situation?  Say when a new person comes into your life - through moving, job, school, church, etc.?  How do you determine if you are going to be their friend?
Are you going to look at their outer covering - how they dress, hairstyle, tattoos, piercings?  Are you going to look at how they walk - somber, confident, cocky?  Are you going to look at how they talk - "Dude", "Yes, Ma'am/Sir", "I ain't got one"?  Are you going to look at the car or house they own?  Are you going to look at their occupation?

All these questions, and probably many more, will be answered in the first few interactions you have with an individual or group.  You are going to base a perception on the positives and negatives you see from these interactions.  Also, the past will have something to do with your decision making - whether you've had a positive or negative view of this situation in the past.

Yes, we will make decisions based on the perceptions we have from the past, but be wary of how you may "jump" to conclusions based on those perceptions. You may want to give some things a try, regardless of past perceptions. 
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Dreamin'  

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Last week, I, among my family, the Ray's and Shelby, had the privilege of going to the Tulsa Workshop.  It is the highlight of my year, for extracurricular spiritual activities!  The couple of years that I haven't had the chance to go, I felt a big void.

This year did not disappoint!  The Workshop begins with a Wednesday night session.  First off, the singing is bound to get you going.  Being in a room with thousands of other acappella singing singers is super uplifting.  That is followed by a keynote, which is the first thing on the schedule.  Don McLaughlin was this year's speaker.

Early Thursday morning there is a special preacher's round table in the host preacher's office.  If you like the St. Louis Cardinals, you would love to see this office.  He is not only a huge fan, but also he goes on a "mission trip" to the Cardinals Fantasy Camp.  He's been doing it for over 20 years and has connections with several big league players. One of the great things is that the elders come in after it is all over and pray over the 15 preachers that attend. This, for me, makes the entire workshop!

Thursday, Friday, & Saturday there are sessions at 9:00, 10:00, & 11:00 AM, 2:00, 3:00, & 4:00 PM that have at least four different speakers during each session.  While most sessions are for anyone, there are some sessions specifically for the deaf, teens, Spanish, and women.  The whole workshop is free to attend...that's a lot to offer for free!  Plus, there are tons of booths to look around at during the Workshop.

What is really awesome is to hear how God has done things in certain people's lives and to look forward to what God may do in mine.  Maybe not specifically, but most of the time it is because I am not having my eyes open to Him, rather I am opening my eyes to tasks I'm trying to accomplish. It causes me to dream of what it could be like here in Colby.

Starting next week, you will get the chance to hear some "Words of Wisdom from the Workshop" as I will share some of the information I heard from last week with you.
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"I Give Up...To Be Filled"  

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Emptiness is often used to describe something in a negative view. In the world of psychology a person who describes themselves as feeling empty would be susceptible to depression and/or hurting themselves. Speaking of your wallet it describes someone who is in deprivation. Used to describe a business location could mean they went out of business. On the contrary, used to describe the tomb of Jesus, it defines hope. Confident, living hope!

What does the tomb's emptiness mean to you? Is it a negative or a positive meaning? What makes it the one you chose?

Jesus gave up the comforts of heaven for the discomforts of earth. All the while, God gave up the comfort of having Jesus alongside Him for the discomfort of forsaking Jesus and seeing Him die! Imagine the emptiness that each of those two situations brought about. Does it ever cross your mind to give up something to feel an emptiness?

Yesterday we concluded our "I Give Up" sermon series by thinking about the filling we receive from the assurance the empty tomb brings to us. Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...
  1. Create room for Him ~ in order for Jesus to be able to occupy a space then there must be an available space. That space could be in your heart/mind or it could be in your everyday. It doesn't stop with just giving Him a spot in your heart. If He doesn't have a spot in your day, you are really missing out!
  2. Force an opening ~ If you can't find an opening for Him to occupy force something out so that there will be an opening for Him!
  3. Life springs forth from death ~ Jesus' death and resurrection give use life. Life that is eternal. Also a life that gives you an energy through your everyday. Life you want to pass on. Whether you are experiencing a sense of death within yourself which you need to be resurrected or you can gain life through His death, His death gives a power which is incomparable to anything else!
As Easter trickles off to a past event for 2010, may the effects of the message of Easter continue on! The message is timeless and powerful!

Praise Him for the emptiness of the tomb as we are able to be continually filled from it!

Filling up daily from the tomb's emptiness...
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Achieving a New "PR" (personal record)  

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If you are not one of the lucky ones to always win a race or a contest, then this week is for you.  I loved sports, but I was not a competitor, but a participant.  I decided that I could run the mile better than I could throw a shot put (though you don't actually throw it).  I quickly learned I wasn't competitive, so I vowed to use it to stay in shape and to not get last, also to break the 6-minute mark.  Most of those I didn't keep; however, I had fun, anyway.  That brings us to this week's quote...

If you cannot win the race, make the one ahead of you break the record. ~William Ward
I know a lot of people in the racing context that try to get "PRs" (personal records) each time they go out to race.  That is a great goal.  Whether you are at the back of the pack, the front of the pack, or in the middle, competing against yourself is a great motivator. 

Yourself has achieved the latest time/mark.  Someone else may be "too good" for you to even make it to, so it may be out of reach to get to them, which may cause you to become depressed that you can't make it.

Keep going...don't compare yourself or your race to others.  Each race is put in front of you to have a new "PR"!

I cheer you on in your race as you seek to achieve a new PR!Share/Bookmark