Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Babes to Brides...Why the Church Must Rethink What Is Important

Let’s be honest. Ever since Billy Sunday and Lee's Payday Someday and the revival movement that followed in the early 20th century we have been focused on reaching more than retaining. In our effort to globally evangelize, from which came the Cooperative Program, we have been extremely focused on winning people to Christ more than marrying them to Christ. We are, in fact, called the BRIDE of Christ.

Every time I do a wedding I emphasize that moment where the father kisses his daughter and hands her off to the new husband. I help people understand the deep symbolism in this action. It is vastly more than just a ceremony. Here is a man who has dedicated his life to change, bathe, feed, protect, and love this girl from the time she was born till now. He has poured his life’s work into providing for the family, her included. He endured the attitudes, fights, and boyfriends. He watched her grow up. He helped her understand what a man should be and how to find a good one. He did not toss her off to the first love. He waited patiently for her to become mature enough to be wed. Now he is handing this responsibility off to a new man. He is giving up his rights of protection and provision and expecting this new man to do it.

What if we took that kind of care and attention in each new birth in Christ? As a church, as a Sunday School class, as creations of a loving God shouldn’t we protect and provide for these new ones until they are ready to be wed to Christ and not just won? Winning people to Christ could be somewhat like releasing responsibility with the first love of your child. You wouldn’t do it then why do we as the church see fit to do so now? We help them understand this first love and assist them to maturity until they are wed to the bridegroom.

But this takes work. This takes a reshaping of our values and awards. This takes a review of our evaluative techniques. Suddenly, it is not solely about growth. Now, it is about maturity.

I believe each birth to be worth it. Don’t you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

These Uncertain Times

21 days from now we will know a new president!

But today we live in uncertain times.

In the past 2 weeks we have seen the greatest fall and one-day return in the history of the market. Our retirements and college funds have dwindled.

We live in uncertain times.

It is nearly impossible to not have fear creep into our hearts and linger in our minds. Whether we are stealing votes or stealing lives we live in uncertain times. Whether we are bailing out the market, relying on foreign oil, or watching the debt become so large that Times Square cannot show the number any longer...

...we live in uncertain times.

However, now is not the time to run scared or to lose hope.

Who can satisfy my Soul? Well, only Jesus can do that. This is a live Spanish/English version.

In these uncertain times, we have a certain God. May we live with the joy we have in Christ so that others will desire to imitate what they see and feel!