Monday, December 6, 2010


“You will be judged by a jury of your peers.”

Perhaps there are no more disturbing words to be uttered on the face of the earth. Or so I thought as I sat at the Johnson County Courthouse recently, one of 50 people waiting for the possible privilege of serving as a juror in what was expected to be a six day trial. I couldn’t imagine a more enjoyable way to spend six days at the beginning of one of the busiest months on my calendar.

Think about that phrase, “a jury of your peers”.

Now, if that was me on trial, I’d be worried that I would be judged a dozen men and women who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. Although the judge sternly warns that they won’t dismiss you merely because it is inconvenient, or because it interferes with your work duties, the fact is that every one of the half dozen folks who said they had child-care issues or work-related conflicts was allowed to leave. Only those of us not inventive enough to come up with an excuse was required to remain.

Then the lawyers start by asking silly questions. “Do you believe you are a fair and objective person?” one asked. “No, sir”, I was tempted to respond, “I consider myself to be a biased, intolerant and inflexible bore”. I would have said it if I thought it would have resulted in my immediate departure, but I didn’t.

When asked if the potential jurors recognized any of the parties to the lawsuit, one young woman pointed to the defense attorney and said, “He looks like the guy on the back of the phone book.” Oh yeah, I’d want THAT girl to decide my fate.

Now, a jury of my peers would have to be Christians. That means different things to different people. To some people, it simply means they’re not Jewish or Muslim or some other religion. Others might think it means that they’re “good” people. But by “Christian”, I mean they are really followers of Jesus Christ.

However, for them to truly be my peers, they must not too good a Christian. I mean, they must be the type of Christian who sometimes misses their quiet time, falls asleep while praying and laughs at Seinfeld. Otherwise, they may be very good Christians, but they’re not my peer.

They must also be Chiefs’ fans. This is essential, because I am convinced that if I ever commit a serious crime, it will likely be a result of going off the deep end after watching the Chiefs play. Only another Chiefs’ fan can truly understand how a missed field goal or a dropped pass can drive you to a life of crime.

Finally, my peers would have to be men who have spent their lives around lots of women. I grew up in a household with four women—my mom and three sisters. Now, the two most important people in my life are my wife and my daughter—wonderful, marvelous people, but of the female persuasion. Again, I believe that only another man who has lived with so many females could possibly begin to understand the reasons for my blank stares and why I always put down the toilet seat.

So, if I go on trial, I’m telling my lawyer to stack the jury with Christian Chiefs’ fans (which are surely easier to come by than Christian Broncos’ fans) who have lived their lives in homes with lots of female influence. Either that, or just take me before Judge Judy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me

We are in the midst of my absolute favorite time of year. I typically enjoy the six to eight weeks from the end of November to the beginning of February more than any other time on the calendar.

Of course, there are the Holidays. I love Thanksgiving, and Christmas and New Year’s. I love seeing family and enjoying friends in a festive atmosphere. I enjoy the decorations and the cold nights and the warm fires. I like hot chocolate and days off and Christmas music. I don’t even mind a little snow. These are a few of my favorite things.

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t suffer much from post-Holiday blues, because I enjoy all the football games on TV following Christmas. The Bowl games for college and the playoffs for the NFL keep me engaged through the Super Bowl. It’s only then that I begin suffering symptoms of withdrawal.

Kim is always amazed at my ability to stay awake on Sunday afternoons from September through January, but how essential my Sunday afternoon naps become as soon as football season is over. All I can say is that football is a very physical game and it takes a lot out of me. I have to rest up because the new season will be here before we know it.

Long ago, Solomon said Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19)

So I’m going to enjoy myself for the next several weeks. I still have sermons to prepare, meetings to attend and visits to make. I am blessed to have a job that I enjoy. But in the midst of my labors, I will give special attention to the joys of life that are unique to this time of year. I will view them as another of God’s gifts to me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Hungry Are You?

It was our first Christmas together as husband and wife, and I wanted it to be extra-special for Kim. So I booked a room at the Alameda Plaza, one of the nicest hotels in Kansas City at the Country Club Plaza. We’d start off with a quietly elegant dinner then take in the sights and sounds of the Plaza at Christmas.

The restaurant at the Alameda was considered one of the city’s finest. There are three things that I love: Christmastime in Kansas City, Kim and a good steak (not necessarily in that order!). And here we were, combining all three. I was so excited.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were treated like royalty. Our every wish was their command. This is the type of place where when you take a sip of water, they immediately refill your glass. I think they devoted one server per table.

I ordered a KC Strip, medium well. I had been looking forward to that steak for weeks. This was a few steps up from the Ponderosa Steakhouse I was accustomed to frequenting, so this was going to be a real treat.

But when they brought me the exquisitely prepared steak, I could hardly look at it. The perfect salad and baked potato with all the trimmings (butter, bacon and cheese) sat untouched. You see, I had come down with some type of bug earlier in the day. I didn’t say anything to Kim, because I didn’t want to ruin our perfect evening. But when they sat the food in front of me, I had to excuse myself from the table.

When I returned, I made a feeble attempt at eating the food, but even a few bites was more than I could handle. I took several drinks of water to try to keep the food down. Each time the waiter would quickly refill my water glass. Finally, observing the barely touched steak, he came over and asked if there was a problem with it. He would send it back if it was not prepared to my liking. I had to admit there was nothing wrong with the food—it was me.

I learned that night that if you don’t have an appetite, it doesn’t matter how good the food is. The finest cut of meat prepared by the best chef will remain untouched if you aren’t hungry.

The same is true of the Holy Scriptures. That is why we are frequently admonished to develop a hunger for the Word. Peter says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it….” (1 Corinthians 3:2) And in Hebrews 5:12 we read “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”

How hungry for the Word are you? Do you look forward to time spent in Scripture as you would a fine meal? Do you yearn for the Spirit to speak to your heart as you open the bread of life? Are you feasting on the Word as you would Thanksgiving Dinner?

Through daily devotions, Bible studies and sermons, you have an abundance of Spiritual morsels set before you each week. Some are designed to be quietly enjoyed in the privacy of your own home or office. Some are meant to be shared together like a big family meal, such as the Women’s Bible study on Esther or The Connecting Point on Sunday mornings at Life Spring. But one way or the other, the only way you will benefit from these meals is if you have a hunger that will not be satisfied in any other way.

So whether you need the basics (“milk” as it is referred to in Scripture) or a four course meal (“solid food” Paul calls it), come to the table with a hearty appetite for the Holy Word of the Lord.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Place to Call Home

These are exciting days for Life Spring Church.

As I write these words, the sales contract for Spring Hill Plaza has just been signed by the seller. We had agreed in principle to the terms of this contract a couple of weeks ago and we had signed the contract, but we were waiting for the seller’s signature in order to make it official.

Actually, the purchase of Spring Hill Plaza is not a “done deal” yet. The signing of the contract gives us a period of time in which to arrange the financing, complete the inspections, finish the design, secure the contractors’ estimates for the renovations of the property and obtain congregational approval for the deal. So there is much to do to make this a reality. Our goal is to close on the property by December 15—which may seem like a long time away, but which will be here before we know it.

Thus far, the unity of the congregation has been phenomenal. We had a great turnout for the recent “open house”, when most of our folks got their first look at the property. Right now, it consists of an old grocery store that has been vacant for years and a former day care space that we will use as a fellowship foyer and children’s ministry area. What excited me most was that our people saw beyond a grocery store and day care. They could envision the stage in the worship center and what the nursery would look like.

In addition, we will be renovating another 2500 square feet for a Youth Center and church offices.

Everyone understands that a lot of work lies ahead. Everyone realizes that this represents a tremendous step of faith for our young, small church. Everyone knows that we’re not contemplating this facility for those who presently attend Life Spring as much as for people who haven’t even walked through the doors yet!

The unanimous vote of the congregation to proceed with design and construction drawings, paid for from Capital Campaign Funds, is an indication of the enthusiasm of our folks. It is evidence of the unity of spirit and purpose that permeates our fellowship.

Our Elders will endeavor to keep the congregation abreast of developments as they occur. As soon as possible, we’ll bring the final contract before the congregation for affirmation. If all goes as planned, we’ll be swinging hammers and sawing boards very soon. In the meantime, let’s pray that God will guide the process and guard our church from the attacks of the enemy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Unity in the Body

As a Pastor, it is extremely gratifying to see the Body of Christ work as it is designed to operate. And over the past few days, I’ve been privileged to do just that.

Our annual Congregational Meeting is always more than just a business meeting—it is a celebration of God’s hand of blessing on our church. To look back at this past year is to observe the many ways in which the Spirit of God has moved in our midst. But this year, it was especially exciting to see our church come together in a tremendous sense of unity of spirit and purpose.
The church budget, church officers and the selection of a new deacon were all affirmed unanimously, with nearly 2/3 of our membership casting their ballots.

We also rejoiced in the news that we have reached an agreement in principle to purchase the Spring Hill Plaza shopping center. When finalized, this will give us nearly 20,000 square feet of worship and ministry space to call our own. This will include about 1800 square feet of space dedicated to our Youth Center—a great place for teens to study God’s Word and fellowship together. An additional 4000 square feet will be leased out to others until we need it, and we’ll have an option to purchase additional land adjacent to the shopping center property.

At this time, our Elders view this as an interim step to allow us to grow to a sufficient size to support construction of new facilities on our 35 acres of property on 169 Highway.

Only God knows the future, and we’re trying hard not to get ahead of Him. So we’ll take this step-by-step, sensitive to the leadership of His Holy Spirit. We are at the very early stages of this process, with lots of potential hurdles to overcome to make this a reality. But we’re trusting in Him to open and close doors as He sees fit.

As exciting as all this is, it is only a part of the work of the church. I have also been privileged to see God’s people work in much quieter ways. I arrived at the hospital to pray with a dear church member facing surgery, only to find several members of her Life Group already there, praying for her and lending support to her family. It is further proof that the folks at Life Spring really do understand what the Body of Christ is all about. Ministry is not confined to the pastors or staff—it is the duty and privilege of each person to minister to others.

In so many ways, I am blessed to serve alongside such saints. We are not a perfect church—far from it. But even in our shortcomings and imperfections, we’re in it together.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thoughts on Pastor Dennis' Ordination

We celebrated a great day on Sunday as Life Spring ordained Dennis Burd to the office of Pastor. Having faithfully served our congregation for the past four years as a volunteer and as a full time Minister of Worship & Youth, Dennis has yielded to a calling which God has placed on his heart to serve in the office of Pastor.

As we mentioned on Sunday, we don’t anticipate major changes in Dennis’ duties and responsibilities. He’ll still lead us in worship. He’ll still minister to our teens and their families. He will preach for us from time to time and will occasionally administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, but for the most part, he’ll continue to operate in the future as he has in the past.

Dennis will officially be an Associate Pastor at Life Spring. Informally, we’ll undoubtedly refer to him as our Worship Pastor or our Youth Pastor. But he won’t have a big, fancy title, and knowing Dennis as I do, he wouldn’t want one.

If the Lord blesses us with future growth in the congregation, then we’ll add additional staff as well. Not every staff member who leads a ministry will necessarily be a pastor. As we said on Sunday, a man is made a pastor not by man nor ceremony, but by the very will of God (Ephesians 4:11-13). So if God has not placed that calling on a man’s life, we will not assume it for him. He may still lead or direct a ministry, even if he isn’t a pastor, but he won’t carry that title unless he has experienced that calling.

To the extent that we do add pastors to the staff, most of them will come on board as Associate Pastors. Again, we’ll try to stay away from giving people titles that have little meaning. Instead, we envision a staff that consists of a Lead Pastor, an Executive Pastor (a pastor to the pastors, so to speak) and Associate Pastors, who will oversee given areas of ministry such as Worship, Youth, Christian Education, Senior Adults, etc. Some of those ministries may be overseen by non-pastor staff members (e.g. Youth Minister) or by volunteer staff members (e.g. Director of Men’s Ministry). But only men called to Pastor will be recognized as Pastors, regardless of their area of oversight.

Of course, all of this assumes that we continue to experience numerical growth in the future. We’ve grown by a little more than 40% since we were planted 4 years ago. Given our congregation’s commitment to the Word and heart for the community, our leadership certainly believes that we will continue to grow. But whether we grow more or less rapidly over the next four years than in the past, our leaders desire that we plan for growth so that we are prepared for it when it happens.

The Lord is richly blessing Life Spring, and events like Dennis’ ordination help us to recognize the ways in which He is working in our congregation. There are lots of churches out there just going through the motions, limping along from Sunday to Sunday. May we remain submissive to the will of our Lord so that we are never plagued with such complacency and indifference.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time Moves On

Do you miss Kacie?

We’ve been asked that question numerous times since Kacie moved to Manhattan (the “Little Apple”, not the big one) last month. And it’s not as easy to answer as you might think.

First, who would ever admit that they don’t miss their only child? It’s cruel. It’s heartless. It’s so rude.

And of course, we do miss her. The house is so much quieter. The rooms are so much cleaner. The refrigerator is so much fuller. Her absence is duly noted.

But we raised Kacie with the idea that one day, she would leave our humble abode for her own digs. It was never intended that she would remain with us forever. Our role from the day we brought her home from the hospital was to work ourselves out of a job.

We’ll always be her parents. She’ll always be Kim’s “Kacie-bug” and my “Pumpkin-head”. We’ll still spend time with her and money on her.

But as she matures, it is only natural that she should spread her wings a bit. We’ve tried to raise her right. We’ve tried to model Godliness (Kim with better success at this than me, to be honest). We’ve tried to instill Godly values.

So now we’re entering this new phase, and it’s not so bad. She calls Kim to ask for decorating advice. She calls me to ask me what that beeping sound is in her apartment (it was the battery in her smoke alarm going out). And she emails us pictures of the cute things the dog does.

So do we miss Kacie? Of course we do. For nearly 20 years she occupied space in our home. She still occupies major space in our hearts.

But we’re glad to see her doing so well on her own. Kim & I are enjoying a renaissance in our relationship. And I moved my study into Kacie’s old bedroom. (She got my old study, so it’s not like we kicked her out or anything.)

And when Kacie comes home, it’s great to see her and do things with her. Like last weekend, when we went to see a movie together. We saw Toy Story 3, and for just a little while, with my Pumpkin-head beside me, it was like she had never left home.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lessons From LOST

On Sunday night, May 23rd, my family sat down to watch a television show that had become part of our family routine for six years. It was the season/series finale of LOST, an episode we had been both anticipating and dreading since the producers announced that Season Six would be its last.

There are a lot of reasons people watched this show. Some loved the spiritual overtones. Many were fascinated with the science. A lot of people were intrigued by the mystery of it all (polar bears on a tropical island and a smoke monster). Those things all factored into my appreciation of this show, but I mostly watched it for another very special reason—it was a show that my entire family enjoyed.

Every week since Kacie was 14, we made a point of watching LOST each week. If it didn’t record or the weatherman interrupted to tell us about tornadoes or hail or some other such phenomena, we would be sure to watch it online. Then we’d buy the DVDs and rewatch the old season before the new season began.

We did it as a family. Then we’d ask our questions and discuss our theories among ourselves. I even read a few online sources so I would look especially insightful from time to time.

But it was a family experience. Some families go camping or hiking together. We watch TV. And of all the shows we watch, LOST and Chiefs’ Football hold a special place in our hearts. (I’ll save a commentary on Chiefs’ football for another day.)

It was fitting that the series finale of LOST occurred just a few weeks before Kacie moves out and leaves for college. She has a new job and a new apartment in Manhattan, and soon she’ll be on her own.

As they said in the LOST finale, not really “leaving”, but “moving on”. And like Jack and Locke and all of the rest of the crew, Kim & I are learning some lessons about “letting go”, with lots of good memories to sustain us. LOST is one of them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer is Near

I just realized that it has been almost 2 months since my last blog. Wow, time does fly, doesn’t it?

Since then we’ve celebrated Palm Sunday & Easter. We honored our moms on Mother’s Day. We’ve recognized our graduating seniors. It’s been a busy two months.

Now we have Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day and Labor Day to look forward to over the next three and a half months. That’s on top of weddings, vacations and weekend get-aways to fit in. It just never seems to slow down.

And yet, if we are going to grow spiritually, we can not ignore our time with the Lord. From personal devotions and quiet time to public worship and service, we need to spend time practicing those spiritual disciplines that make us sensitive to the Lord’s leadership and guidance.

I especially encourage you to be faithful in your participation in our opportunities for corporate worship. Time spent with fellow believers, fellowshipping in prayer & in the Word, is a key component of spiritual formation. We ignore such opportunities at our own peril.

Enjoy the summer. Take time for your family. Get away for a few days if you can. And join with brothers and sisters in Christ every time you can to give praise and honor to the One who is worthy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where Has the Passion Gone?


The dictionary defines “passion” as a powerful or compelling emotion. We’ve seen such passion evinced frequently in recent days.

Throughout arenas, restaurants, bars and homes, the past few weekends have been replete with the passion of folks rooting on their favorite basketball teams. They wear their favorite colors. They yell with joy or shed tears of grief. For every winner, there is a loser. But there’s plenty of passion to go around.

In our nation’s capital, people are shouting and waving signs. Not in support of a basketball team, but in reaction to legislation that will have profound effects upon our nation’s healthcare system. Some support the legislation and others oppose it. At the end of the day, only one side went home happy. But both sides show tremendous passion for their cause.

If you read the blogs, Facebook, My Space or Twitter, you’ll find plenty of people expressing their passion. Passion for their teams (or against someone else’s). Passion for or against the healthcare reform bill. People who are otherwise pretty silent in these forums jump into such debates with, well, passion.

And then there’s the Passion. It’s capitalized because it has to do with the Savior, the Lord of lords and the King of kings. It is a term applied to the sufferings of Christ on the cross.

If anything should evoke passion among Christians, it is this time of year. Jesus lived a perfect life and gave Himself for sinners who don’t deserve such grace and mercy. He died to do for us what we can not do for ourselves. He rose again to bring hope to the hopeless.

But where are the cheers? Where are the expressions of emotion?

While the social networks are filled with words of passion about basketball and politics, there is little passion expressed about Christ. In fact, a recent survey revealed that only about 31% of active church-goers have definite plans to invite someone to church on Easter Sunday. Of course, that same survey indicated that only 42% of Americans specifically identify Easter with the resurrection of Christ, so we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s little connection between attending a worship service and Easter.

What was perhaps even more disconcerting was that “…those who articulate a resurrection-related concept of Easter are no more likely than other religiously oriented Americans to indicate that they will invite friends to worship with them on Easter.”

In other words, whether you believe that Easter is associated with the resurrection of Christ or not does not affect the likelihood that you’ll invite someone to church on Easter. Seems to me that Christians lack a bit of…passion.

Oh well, at least we’ll still have basketball and politics.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First Love

There are not a lot of things that I remember about March 4, 1989.

I do remember that it was cold, and they were predicting a snow storm. I remember thinking how time seemed to drag, as we waited for the 7:00 ceremony to begin. I remember being grateful for a couple of good friends who had agreed to stand with me that day, both of whom had already been through their own wedding days.

I remember after the ceremony, taking pictures in the church auditorium as the congregation sat and observed. This is traditional in Oklahoma, where Kim is from, but in Kansas City we’re accustomed to dismissing the congregation so they don’t have to endure the picture taking. Evidently in Oklahoma, they like to make their guests suffer, too. Misery loves company.

I remember seeing people that I hadn’t seen in several years—people with whom I had gone to church my whole life until I graduated from college. I was surprised—pleased, but surprised—that some of them came.

I remember the wedding cake, made by my mom—her one and only effort at such a massive undertaking. The worry nearly killed her (or maybe it was the thought of her little boy getting married—we’ll never know).

But mostly, I remember her. Kimberly Beth Gammill. Tall and slender, she was always beautiful. But on that day, when I saw the church doors open and she began her walk down the aisle, I thought I’d never seen anyone with such a glow about them (it may have been from the tanning she’d done in preparation for our honeymoon to the Bahamas, but I think not).

Since that day, Kim & I have developed a rich, meaningful and intimate love for one another. She is my best friend. She is my confidante. She is my rock. I love and appreciate her more each day.

Yet it is on this day of our anniversary, as I think back to our courtship and early marriage, that a special sense of love is rekindled. It’s known as “first love”—the type that characterizes young lovers. It reminds me of how I felt 21 years ago. Before surgeries and relocations. Before job and career changes. Before a teenager and a dachshund puppy.

The love we share today is real and deep. But especially on our anniversary, I look back to a time and a feeling that was new and fresh. And it’s good to be reminded what that feels like.

Jesus tells the church at Ephesus to return to her first love. Or perhaps, to return to the type of love she had for Jesus at first. Specifically, Jesus says, “Repent and do the things you did at first.”

Just as I sometimes need to take Kim flowers, open the car door and let her pick the movie (just like 21 years ago), as a Christian I need to be reminded of what it was like when I first met Jesus. When the love was new and fresh. When I basked in Him and His glory just because it was Him.

I’m so glad to have some memories of what it was like when Kim & I first met, and dated, and married. I return to those roots periodically—not as often as I should, but every now and then.

And so I need to rekindle the flame with my Lord and Savior. To be reminded of love that is new and fresh every morning.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New and Improved

I don't consider myself a big “techno-geek”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to technology. I just don’t have an insatiable appetite for the newest and latest technological advances to come along.

Take cell phones, for example. For a long time, I wasn’t all that interested in cell phones that muti-tasked. My attitude was, I don’t need a camera that makes phone calls or a cell phone that takes pictures. In fact, considering some of the poor reception and dropped calls I’ve endured over the years, I’d happily settle for a cell phone that could just make phone calls.

But as they enhanced the features on cell phones, I began to see the wisdom in being able to text, take pictures or video and access the web from my phone. After getting Kacie an iPhone for Christmas, I’m intrigued by the variety and usefulness for over 100,000 apps, at least of few of which would undoubtedly enable me to be a more effective shepherd of the flock (I can just see Moses descending from Mt. Sinai, iPhone in hand, declaring to the Israelites upon seeing the golden calf—“I have an app for that!”). Since I’m due for an upgrade soon (Valentines Day, in case you care, Kim!), maybe an iPhone is in my future.

Of course, if I do get an iPhone soon, then you must realize that means that we are on the verge of some great new technological advance that will leave the iPhone in the dust. Because the moment I purchase some new technology, it automatically becomes obsolete. My purchase of new technology is the death knell for that technology.

Like HD TVs. I really was pretty happy with our old TV. It was a six year old RCA. It worked fine. It was the size of a small mountain, and you needed a frontloader to move it, but other than that, it was great. But then football season started, and Kim & I began wondering whether the Chiefs would look better if we could watch them in High Definition (answer: they didn’t). We decided we’d look for a good deal and buy that as our family Christmas present.

We bought a nice 46 inch Toshiba HDTV, and the picture looks great. But no sooner had we brought it home than I began reading that HDTVs are so yesterday. The wave of the future is in 3D television, glasses and all. You haven’t lived, they say, until you’ve seen Matt Cassel throw an interception in 3D. Alas, I’m late again.

The same thing happened when Kim surprised me at Christmas with a Kindle. This is an electronic book reader. It’s about the size of a paperback, and you download electronic books from Amazon. It will hold about 1500 books. Now for a book-junkie like me, that’s heaven. I can have hundreds of books available at the flip of a switch and take them all with me wherever I go. I love it.

Then last week Steve Jobs announced that Apple was coming out with the iPad (some described it as an iPhone that doesn’t make calls), and I’ve read several articles that say that this revolutionary new device will make the Kindle (you guessed it) obsolete.

Oh well, that’s the story of my life. A day late and a dollar short.

But all of this gives me a new appreciation for the Word of God. Despite the passage of nearly 2000 years since it was completed, it is still as fresh, vibrant and relevant as it was when penned. It is still sharp and powerful. It remains a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

So rest assured, that whatever gadgets, apps or devices come along, God’s Word will never go out of style.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Don't Love Jesus

I don’t love Jesus.

I’m sure you’re shocked to read that statement from a conservative, evangelical pastor. Honestly, I’m shocked to have written it. But it must be true, because in the past week, I have repeatedly failed the single most important test of my love for Jesus. I haven’t forwarded several religious emails that I’ve received from others, emails which clearly state that if I love Jesus—if I really love Him—then I need to forward them on to 5, 10 or 20 people.

I know I’m no Bible scholar, but I do consider myself somewhat well versed in Scripture. All week long I’ve been looking for that verse that says, And by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you forward on those catchy emails to others. Someone, please tell me where to find it!

It must be there because these emails are coming in at an ever increasing pace. And according to these emails, not only do I not love Jesus, but evidently, I don’t love the lost either. One email said, If you truly care that your friends don’t burn in hell, send this to them NOW.

If I believed for one second that such an email would cause a lost person to consider their eternal destiny and place their faith in Christ, I’d send the email out to everyone I know. But something tells me if I’m offended by the tone of such emails, the unsaved people I know would be much more offended.

Here’s an idea. Rather than spam our friends and family members, let’s try loving them. Rather than fill their inboxes, let’s fill their hearts. Rather than add to their burdens by giving them one more thing to read and delete, let’s encourage them with a phone call or an act of kindness.

I know that there are a lot of well meaning people who forward those emails, thinking they’re doing something important for the Kingdom of God. But what we say and how we live provides much better evidence of our love for God than what we do with emails.

Well, that’s enough about that. I’ve got to go now. I have a rich Nigerian uncle who died and all I have to do to collect my inheritance is to email them my bank account number…