Living On The Edge

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There was once a guy who owned a small trucking firm, and was looking to employ a new driver. Three drivers sat nervously outside his office as they were called in for their interview one by one. When the first guy came out, the other two checked with him, “What did he ask you?”. The man replied, “He only asked one question. How close could I safely drive one of his trucks near the edge of a cliff.” “What did you say?” “I said I could get one of his trucks to within 3 meters of the edge, but I don’t think my answer was good enough." The second man went in, and was asked the same question. He answered “I could get one of your trucks within one meter of the edge.” But apparently that wasn’t good enough either. Finally, the last driver went in. The boss looked at him and asked the question. The man replied, “If I were driving one of your trucks, I wouldn’t go anywhere near the edge of a cliff!” He got the job.

Isn't this some of us? We, as followers of Jesus Christ, continue to “drive so close to the edge." We are so confident in our ability to stop something before it gets out of hand. We continue to put ourselves in dangerous situations knowing that the possible outcomes can affect us for years to come. 

Proverbs 6:27-28 says. Can a man scoop a flame into his lap  and not have his clothes catch on fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?

  • “I can have one more drink. I know my limit."
  • "I'm ok to drive."
  • "I can be alone with my girlfriend on a couch with the lights dim and nobody’s home and not do anything." 
  • "I can afford to buy all these lotto tickets because when I win….”
  • "It's only 2:00AM! We can stay out longer." (after 2AM decisions are usually not good ones)

None of the above is necessarily sin. but should we putting ourselves in these scenarios that can lead to it? 

Paul says in Romans 7:21, I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.

Sin has a way of sneaking up on us and controlling our thoughts. We are in a constant battle every day of our lives. Our surroundings (for the most part) will influence the easier decision. God will always influence you to make the correct decision, which is often the harder one. 

James 1:14-15  “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

Sounds dangerous. It is. Ask anyone who has been in any trouble at all and where it all started. Most will tell you a story of them “dipping their toe” into something they shouldn’t have and things escalated from there. 

James 4:7 says,”So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” I know it sounds dramatic but it’s so true. RESIST-FLEE, RESIST-FLEE, RESIST-FLEE

How do you resist? There's help. First and foremost, go to the One who, in the end, wins. Go to God who promises to love us, to guide us and give us victory. Then surround yourself with His army, like-minded people who are pursuing Christ daily, who will protect you from bad decisions and do anything they can to help you. Where do you find these people? Well, there's a bunch of places, some unexpected. The more predictable places are at church on Sundays or at a Growth Group during the week. This is where I found my "army." Check out our variety of Growth Groups we are offering starting in October here.

Are you driving near the edge today? Are you dipping your toe where it doesn't belong? Are you all alone or do you have an army at your disposable?  

Can I Have Your Attention Please?

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Does anyone really ever have your full attention anymore? If I'm honest, I am rarely 100% involved in anything. I'm working on it but it's not easy! Some of you reading this are actually skimming through it and I'm ok with that. I get it.

We certainly live in an ADD world. It seems like everybody’s got Attention Deficit Disorder (some diagnosed by a doctor, some not yet diagnosed, but you know who I'm talking about) Our technology has left us constantly distracted which causes so many of us to no longer pay attention to the people around them.

How many people are sitting looking at their phone and texting when you enter a restaurant, your job, or even your home? Everyone's heads are always down, engrossed in these devices. (If you are currently with your head down reading this, please, at least, finish this blog.)

Several months ago, my wife and 2 children were driving when someone out of nowhere ran their car into us on the driver's side. The person would end up taking off. We were shocked. I never even thought to look at their license plate assuming for sure, they would pull over. No, they got right on the highway. We called the police and they stated how often this happens. (get license plates next time you're hit) But that's not the part of the story I want to share. My son who was 12 at the time (has since had a birthday) was so focused on his device in the backseat (driver's side) that 5 minutes after we were hit, he asked why we stopped. That scares me. (please do not bring this up to my son as not to embarrass him, just making a point). 

We, as a family, are putting more 'guardrails' on technology. For one, when we have company, we are not engrossed in anything other than our company. I'll say this for me....when someone is looking at their phone when I'm speaking, I feel disrespected. I'm sure it's not intentional but it really is how I feel. I'm sure some of you agree. 

Philippians 2:4, Pauls say, "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Rick Warren says, "The greatest gift you can give somebody is your attention because your attention is your time.  You’re never going to get it back, and that’s why it is so precious when you give it."

Learning the lost art of paying attention is an act of love. It will transform your relationships and help you live a better and happier life.

In 30 years from now, we will all learn what restrictions we should have or should not have put on technology. 

Would you say you 'pay attention'? Are you a good listener? Has technology taken you away from others? We always love your feedback! 

 

"Working" For A Living

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Most of us have worked in environments where there are certain people who "get things done" and others who "skate by". We know who we can give work to and who to avoid giving any responsibility to. It always seems to be that the better you are at your job, the more tasks you'll be given. The opposite is true as well, if you're not getting things done correctly, they won't put it on your lap. I recently spoke to a friend of mine who told me that early on in his current job someone asked him to do something and he purposely botched it. He is no longer asked by this person to do anything. 

I try to look at work through a different lens, through that of a Christ follower, a Christian. When I went through difficult times at my previous job, I came across a verse in the Bible that changed my life. In Ephesians 6:7 Paul says, "Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people." Enthusiasm?!? Not so easy when you feel as though you're working a lot harder than most of the others. It can be very frustrating walking into your job when some co-workers are on their 3rd lunch or when some, upon knowing the boss is here, start performing instead of working (you know the type). How about the one that has the watch that seems to be running 15 minutes late everyday or the one caught in traffic, everyday. WAKE UP EARLIER! We often think others are 'getting away with something'. (In the long run, they're not getting away with anything). 

I found in this time that when I worked 'with enthusiasm' and 'as though God was my boss', it all changed. I was more fulfilled. I got more done. The day went by faster. 

For Christians reading this, when you work for God with enthusiasm, it comes with great results:

  • It points to Christ. People want to know why you work so hard and have such a good attitude. 
  • It can change a toxic atmosphere. So many of us get up and quit these tough environments. What if God truly had you here for a reason?
  • There are rewards. Sometimes they're few and far between. Sometimes they don't come fast enough. The reward of putting in an honest day really does feel great. 

The norm here in our country seems to be to complain and gripe about our jobs, to do as little as we can and get paid the most. Scripture communicates almost the opposite. We are to do our very best all the time. 

In the end, God isn't going to say, "Well planned, good and faithful servant." He won't say, "well thought, well said, or well strategized either." There is one commendation. "Well done good and faithful servant."

Are you working enthusiastically for the Lord? Or as Colossians 3:23 says, "as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people?"