there’s always a bigger fish…

I love watching shows on the discovery channel and national geographic. The food chain is always interesting to look at, because no matter how tough an animal is there is usually some bigger beast who is interested in making lunch out of it. At the top of the chart are what’s known as apex predators. These are animals who have no natural enemies in their natural habitat. They are the unchallenged king of their individual turf. In Ephesians 6 Paul turns his attention to those low on the authority totem pole, children and those in the working class. And as we would expect he tells them to obey those who are over them, but he has direction to give to those at the top too. They have an unseen authority that they must answer to. He tells parents and bosses how to be godly leaders. Regardless of their position, be it low or high, God wants everyone to obey Him. After all He is the biggest fish of them all!


Decidophobia

Mac or PC? Coke or Pepsi? Pancakes or Waffles? Treadmill or Stationary Bike? NIV or NKJV? Flip-Flops or Crocs?
Life is full of choices and for some people it’s a scary thing. There is actually a fear of making choices, it’s called “Decidophobia.” Clever name huh? I read somewhere that the normal person has to make an average of 260 decisions per day. I’d say that’s if you decide not to stop in to a café for a cup of coffee in the morning. Starbucks recently ran an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal announcing that there are over 87,000 different drink combinations you have to choose from when ordering at any of their locations. I think I have been in line behind someone who wanted to make sure and consider each and every one of the before they ordered. It is certainly frustrating to be with indecisive people—especially when you know just what you want. I have also noticed that people usually have the most difficult time deciding what to eat at restaurants. Although there aren’t any in the state of Montana, this is definitely part of what is so great about In-N-Out burger. It makes ordering a lot easier when a hamburger is the only thing on the menu. Of all the choices we have to make, by far the most important one is the choice that we make about Jesus Christ. And this is a decision that everyone must make. Jesus said: You’re either for me or against me. Eugene Peterson, in the Message, puts it this way: This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy. This decision is ultimately what life boils down to. There is no way to avoid making it, and to not say yes is to say no. Think about it, if I offer you a present you can only take it from me or not, you can’t kind of receive it.
We should all be praying everyday for opportunities to talk to people about making this all important decision. After all, if you were hiking and saw people headed on a trail that lead over a cliff–you would warn them to turn around. That is what the Bible says we are doing when we share the gospel. Warning of the danger of sin and the salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ. God doesn’t expect us to save people, that’s His job. We are just to warn them in love and share the good news. The choice then, is up to the individual and the results we leave to the Lord.


Digital Discipleship

I am so grateful for the technology that exists today that gives unlimited access to great teaching through the internet. I was interviewed a few years back by ABC news about the advantages of using the web to teach the Bible. There are so many reasons, but for starters–it’s where people spend a great majority of time. I may not know much about fishing but I am pretty sure you want to go to where the fish are.

I know for me personally, each week I have several podcasts I make sure to listen to. Chuck Swindoll, Greg Laurie, Allistair Begg, Erwin Lutzer and Chuck Smith to name a few. Whenever I plug in my iPod I have great preaching from all over the country waiting for me and best of all, it’s free. In the car and on the go I love to throw one on and through out the day often times I will have one playing in the background. At Fresh Life, we have podcasted the teachings since the beginning of the church. We now offer both audio and video podcasts, flash video (it plays like a youtube video) of the most recent message in beautiful sixteen by nine aspect ratio, and a streaming webcast of all the services live. When I was in the hospital, a few months ago, I was stoked to be able to watch the service remotely on the free wifi the hospital provided. Each week the messages are able to go out and reach far beyond the walls of our church building.

Today we got an email from a lady named Barb who was watching online. She writes:

Thank you for today’s message. It was inspiring and even though I overslept, I was still able to hear the word through the Internet! God bless your ministry!
I love it, how great to be able to worship online! And I can totally relate to the oversleeping thing, I don’t think I even knew my name this morning until I had had my second espresso.

individuals

Service went great tonight, and part of the message was about how marriages can thrive even in the midst of “irreconcilable differences” I think that just about any two people you could ever put together are going to have incompatibilities. As humans we are all going to have our own way of doing things and part of a godly marriage is learning to weave your lives together in spite of not seeing eye to eye on every little thing.
Someone in the last post left a comment about how they and their wife had differences. I would like to hear about how you and your spouse are alike and different–sometimes opposites attract and other times we marry people we have a lot in common with.
I’ll start: My wife and I met because of our mutual interest in missions and youth ministry, we had that in common for sure. We also love to travel and have been to dozens of countries. We both love movies and sleeping in on days off. (that was before having kids) We are very different in other ways–for example she puts sweet things in her coffee and I don’t. If I see a letter I am interested in reading I will open it up right there at the mailbox where she will wait to get in side the house to open it. She loves everything in it’s place and knows where things go, I leave a trail of books, magazine clippings, and briefcases all over the house. Did I mention shoes? There are a lot of those, I think I actually might own more pairs of shoes than her. We’d have to count to be certain. She hates black licorice and I think it’s divine. She remembers a persons name after meeting them once and I draw blanks all the time. But we both love Jesus and balance each other out in so many ways.

Leave a comment and let me know your story.