Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Some Tuesday Entertainment - "The Civil Wars"
If you haven't already heard about "The Civil Wars" allow me to introduce you. They are fabulous and their newest album "Barton Hollow" is amazing start to finish. If you are familiar with "The Civil Wars" you'll definitely enjoy this video of them having a little fun singing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Simplicity, Week One
I stopped reading a lot of blogs.
I figured out that I had replaced a lot of my time with God and especially my time in God's Word with what other people had to say about God and church and life. And you know what? It was making my head too full to function. I was inputting so much about what everyone else thinks about how to lead a church and how to be a better Christ-follower that I had no room in my life to hear what God was speaking into my heart and my life.
And so, I've turned down the noise. I still check in for an occasional blog read at one or two of my favorites, but if I'm being honest (I'm cringing so prepare yourself for the shock of what you're about to read), in the last week I went from reading approximately 100 blog posts a week to about 5 - I had no idea I was reading that many blog posts every week!
Without realizing it, I had become obsessed with knowledge and addicted to other people's thoughts.
Simple = fewer voices, less noise, a lot more Jesus.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
More and Less Extraordinary
One of my favorite songs is "Life Less Ordinary," by Carbon Leaf - "Live a life less ordinary, live a life extraordinary with me." I don't know what Carbon Leaf meant when they wrote those words, but to me it's the invitation Jesus gives me everyday.
Less ordinary, more extraordinary.
Like most things, I took that invitation as a challenge for the longest time. I was determined to live extraordinary. I was determined to have not a great story to tell, but the greatest and most extraordinary the world had ever heard or seen. But, I realized something recently. The most extraordinary story has already been lived. It's Jesus' story. And his invitation for me is to simply be part of it, which is pretty extraordinary if you think about it.
And so, I'm changing my mindset: to live a life more extraordinary and less ordinary I need to make my pursuit less extraordinary (confused yet?). In other words, I need to live simply. I want to wake up each morning in total awareness of God's grace that covers my life. I want to know that what defines me in this world will never be what I do but whose I am. I want my pursuit to not be the extraordinary life, but instead the Extraordinary God who is Jesus Christ.
All day I've heard people talking about what they're giving up for Lent and I've read countless blog posts about what the season is all about, books to read, etc. My Lenten discipline this year is simplicity.
Check back in the coming weeks to see how it's coming along.
What's your Lenten discipline? How are you accepting Jesus' invitation to a life less ordinary and more extraordinary?
Monday, March 07, 2011
I love awkward moments, I love awkward topics and I love controversy. I wake up every morning and think, I hope today is as awkward and uncomfortable as possible.
...Okay, so maybe not.
But even so, yesterday I issued an invitation to our church to a season of awkwardness. In fact, I think I even asked people to schedule some awkward in their life in the coming weeks.
You see, there are far too many elephants in our lives consuming space that we need to make for God. The elephants are all of those awkward issues and conversations in our lives that we've been avoiding for so long. For some people, the elephants are big, green financial elephants. Maybe you've slowly but surely worked yourself into debt and developed spending and lifestyle habits that you don't want to address yourself let alone bring to the light with your spouse, your family or your friends. For others, maybe the elephants are dark, shadowy hidden elephants that have to do with behaviors or decisions you've made that have left you hiding in shame. Maybe your elephant is a bright, red warning elephant because you know you're running headlong into a bad situation, but you don't know how to stop.
It's time to name our elephants. It's going to be awkward and it's going to be uncomfortable. But, I believe that as soon as we name them out loud, they lose their power.
We have a choice to make about whether we're going to let elephants run our lives, or whether we're going to surrender our lives to God. I believe that nothing and no one has power that can stand against the incredible and almighty power of God and it's time to get the elephants our of the way so we can embrace the life Jesus gave us when He gave His up on the cross.
Awkward is, well, awkward. No one likes, much less loves, awkward. But I believe that on the other side of awkward is incredible. So, bring it on elephants - you've got nothing my God can't handle, dismantle, forgive and take away!
What's your elephant? Who do you need to schedule some awkward time with?