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Archive for June, 2010

The Person People Pity

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was a kid growing up in the 80’s, one of my favorite tv shows was The A-Team.  My favorite character on the A-Team was BA Baracus, a role played by Mr. T.

“I pity the fool…” is something he said often, and whenever he used this phrase, it wasn’t meant as a compliment.  It was always directed toward someone who was a complete idiot.

Proverbs 26:11 gives a pretty descriptive word picture of what a fool looks like.  It says, “As a dog returns to it’s vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.”

We all make errors in judgment, but fools continually repeat the same negative behavior patterns over and over again.

They refuse to learn from their mistakes, and so the Bible compares their actions to a dog that throws up and then later returns to eat what it has thrown up.  Don’t be that person other people pity because of the poor choices they continually make.  Learn from your errors in judgment, and refuse to repeat your foolishness.

T. J.

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Categories: Culture, Growth

Defying Conventional Wisdom

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

When most companies have job openings, they focus on hiring only the most qualified individuals to fill each position.  They look for applicants who have credentials, the ones who are the smartest and perform at the highest level—those considered to be the “cream of the crop.”  This makes perfect sense to us.

But not God.  He does things differently.  In fact, sometimes God operates from a perspective that defies conventional wisdom.  He often chooses people we would consider to be sub-par, or less than qualified, to accomplish his plan.  Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29:

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.

Instead, God chose the things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.  And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

God wants the credit for everything that is accomplished for his name’s sake.  No amount of human wisdom, power, or wealth can claim responsibility for what God did through Jesus and what he wants to do through you and me.

T. J.

Categories: Growth

Power Source

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Last night the power went out in our home for a few hours.  It happened when the sun was setting, and before we knew it, darkness made it difficult to accomplish much of anything.

The same thing happens when we fail to stay close to our Heavenly Father.  We lose the source of our power, and things slowly darken until we find ourselves spiritually ineffective.

For those who come to know God through Jesus, he gives us everything we need to live a godly life.  We just have to stay plugged in to the power source.

T. J.

Categories: Growth

Faith that Moves

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

The Bible says that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.  That means that God not only made the first move to re-connect us to himself through Jesus, but he also knows best how to move our faith along.

You don’t need more faith than you already have right now.  You just need to focus on exercising whatever faith you currently have, and trust God to keep his promise to perfect your faith.  If you will begin taking steps, he will make his plan for you clear and increase your capacity to trust him for more.

What would it look like for you to move forward in your faith?

What is the next step God is leading you to take?

T. J.

Categories: Growth, Leadership

New Church News 6/11/10

June 11, 2010 Leave a comment

This week’s edition of our newsletter is ready for your perusal.  It won’t cost you a dime, and it won’t take you more than a couple of minutes to read.  What it will do is give you an idea of what God has been doing in the life of New Church as we take the next step in this church planting journey.

Click HERE to read it.

If you like what you see, you can subscribe to receive it automatically by clicking on the small logo above and filling out the attached form.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

T. J.

Categories: Church

Decision-Making and Football

I had the opportunity to speak to a group of high school athletes at a football camp sponsored by a Christian school in High Point, NC this morning.  The coach asked me to talk about decision-making, so I shared a few thoughts related to the principle of sowing and reaping.

I used an Old Testament story about a guy named Achan to drive my point home.  Some takeaways from Achan’s story include:

  • Your choices are your choices.  (You are responsible for the decisions YOU make.)
  • Your choices choose for you.  (You CAN’T choose the consequences of your choices).
  • Your choices impact others.  (EVERY choice you make affects you and at least one other person.)

By the way, even though I shared with them a negative example of sowing and reaping, the principle works both positively and negatively, and it applies to every area of life (spiritual, physical, relational, emotional, etc.).

T. J.

Categories: Growth, Leadership

Humility is Precursor to Honor

Pride first, then the crash, but humility is precursor to honor. — Proverbs 18:12 MSG

Humility seems to be one of the toughest things for someone who is gifted to maintain.  It can become easy to buy into the hype when you begin to receive recognition for a job well done.

But it’s been my experience that the leaders who are most respected are the ones who understand, and operate under the truth, that “humility is precursor to honor.”  Humility prepares a person to receive recognition while remaining aware of his or her weaknesses at the same time.

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve fallen prey to pride, ask someone close to you what they think.  He or she may keep you from the crash.

T. J.

Categories: Growth, Leadership