Thursday, July 22, 2010

Authenticity

Doing what the Lord did is being an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. The main activity of Jesus' life was prayer. This Sunday at Vienna Assembly of God, we will look at the Lord's prayer, the Friend's prayer and the Child's prayer in Luke 11. Good coffee and fellowship @10:15 followed by worship @ 10:30. My hope and prayer is for all to follow the Lord into the authenticity making activity of prayer. All guests will receive a loaf of bread from Great Harvest, and if our garden continues to produce, there will be some fresh vegetables.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Authenticity 101

Reconciling a bank statement is to be the same that you think is in your account as actually is in your account.

Reconciling one's life is to be the same that you think you are and who you really are. Ultimate reconciliation is to be reconciled to God.

Hypocrisy is to be out of harmony in our inner, recreated spiritual being, our outer, visible self, and our will, mind and emotions. All one lacks is supplied through a relationship with God, through Christ Jesus.

How?

It isn't a what, but a whom.

Colossians 1: 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

By faith, receiving the free gift offered to all of humanity of being reconciled to God is the greatest gift of all. And… this gift is available at any time to anyone.

Try this affirmation. It has really been helping me all week.

"I am reconciled to God, through the physical death, and shed blood of Jesus Christ". I accept you, Lord Jesus and thank you for reconciling me to God.

Reconciliation turns weakness into strength, sickness into health, death into life, mistakes into miracles, poverty into prosperity, wars into cooperation, stress into peace, enemies into friends, separation into union, and hypocrisy into authenticity.


 

Friday, July 16, 2010

The cure for hypocrisy and the key for being authentic is being a lover of God, lover of others and lover of the wonderful life God has given us.

Most of us have the love of God thing figured out, but the loving ones neighbor or others is where we fall.

Identifying who our neighbor is, and acting upon it, is the key for being free from hypocrisy and being filled with authenticity. Loving God, Loving ones neighbor and loving this wonderful God given life gives us freedom from hypocrisy.

I have concluded by various studies of scripture, that one’s neighbor is that person or person who either by invitation or by chance encounters enters your personal space.

How we react to, respond to, and treat those who come in and out of personal space will determine the level of our freedoms.

It is also how we will become an authentic Missional community.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Friendship:

It was great having breakfast with a good friend in ministry. Ken and Danine Kliner are amazing followers of Jesus that are such a blessing to all of us. I will always remember crying so hard, I was hoarse for a few days when I said good bye to my firstborn as she flew away from the U.S. to Germany a few years ago. I had no idea that God had a choice servant-leader family already waiting for them on the other end. My tears were turned to joy as they found a great church and church family in Germany. Pleasant surprises always follow tearful good bye's. We don't need to know everything, but we do need to know Him and follow Him.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Warning. Highly charged opinion on the World Cup Final!

Lost moment. The players had the largest audience in history and they failed to inspire or deliver. All game I am thinking they needed my mom to read them stories such as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" or my dad giving them the 'fatherly eye', for faking an injury to escape responsibilities of life, or Coach Vascenosky lecturing the 7th grade boys on his football team about integrity in sport. (Coach Vascenosky's name, unfortunately is on the Vietnam War memorial wall for he gave his life for our country.) I won't' be watching any more soccer games for years. With the exception of the dude who took cleats to his chest most of the falling down, and raising their hands in animated disappointment to the authority figure was disgusting and embarrassing. I should have left the game to play with my middle granddaughter.

My perspective is skewed, because day in, day out in every chemo ward unheralded people will without fanfare, or feigned injury, draw any attention to their quiet battle against a deadly disease. There won't be any audience to cheer them as they are infused with cancer killing drugs that are so powerful they also kill healthy cells. I won't cheer for any professional soccer player for years and years. I stopped watching professional basketball for the same reason. I am the one who asks "Lebron, who?" I need some time to get over their spoiled whining. If anyone wants to witness true athletiscm, heroism and courage in action, park outside any of the thousands of chemo wards in every major city and as care givers escort the patients to their cars, give THEM a standing ovation. (And stop parking in their spaces). Look for war vets, especially Vietnam War vets and give them some adoration, instead of these spoiled babies who comprise professional sports.

Take the World Cup away from Spain and give it to a more deserving team who refused to fake and deceive the ref's. Neither team in the finals deserved it. The ruling authorities need to make a statement, and not allow such Narcissist behavior in the World Cup or any Professional sporting event. My mom, dad, teachers and coaches never tolerated this deceptive behavior, and why are we perpetuating this 'idolatrous' attention to professional athletes. Cast down your idols. These sporting 'god's' who love themselves are unworthy of anyone's adoration or even attention. These self lovers contribute to making this wonderful, God given life the "terrible times" as described below.

2 Timothy 3: 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.2 People will be lovers of themselves,…

The reason there will be 'terrible times' is not because of God's time clock but the continued adoration of people who are "lovers of themselves". The largest audience, ever in the history of mankind witnessed "lovers of themselves". Civilization as we know it, will become the "terrible times", if this behavior continues to be encouraged.

South Africa did a great job of hosting this extraordinary event. May God bless all those who were lovers of God, others and life and may God help the "lovers of themselves" to repent and give the glory to God. If they do, human civilization can continue to enjoy good times. If they don't, terrible times will be our future.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What counts?

China, El Salvador, Egypt, Honduras, and America, was represented on the front row of Vienna Assembly of God as I attempted to share the gospel to a very diverse group of children. The memory verse and thought for the moment was "what counts is a new creation" (Galatians 6:15). I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years that at the moment of getting it thought it was pretty important. The further along in time from the moment, their value lessens and they became junk. I dumped out onto the ground trophies and plaques from the glory days of high school and over the years they had lost all of the luster and glory they once held. The attempt was to plant the seed into children that what really counts in life is not winning trophies, attaining popularity, accomplishing athletic feats, or doing something someone thinks is amazing. "What counts is a new creation". As I asked all the kids to kneel with me and pray a prayer of forgiveness and entrance into a relationship with God, I knew that some had decided to become a 'new creation' in Christ. This transcends country of origin or culture distinctions. After church one of the moms came up to me and I could tell she had become 'a new creation'.

This week end was the 32nd anniversary for Brenda and me. We have had some very fabulous and not so fabulous moments, but "what counts is a new creation". I am now able to run again, and on my slog jog this morning, I experienced God's natural creation, but "what counts is a new creation". The garden I planted is yielding all natural organic vegetables, but "what counts is a new creation". It is really nice when life is going well, all cylinders are firing, taste buds tasting, fresh air breathing, muscles exercised, life enjoyed, marriage is blessed, career is progressing, ministry is effective, but "what counts is a new creation". It also a year away from the last RCHOP chemotherapy, and throughout the days of mental fog, physical nausea, hairless wonder, bloated from drugs, inability to exercise, etc, loss of short term memory, bouts with anxiety, "what counted is a new creation". Whether positive or temporally negative human experiences "what counts is a new creation". Last night, I had a chat with a good friend from high school who is experiencing the joy of becoming a new creation in Christ. Any day, any of us can have a really good, or really bad day, but that isn't what really counts. It was a great joy to hear my four year old granddaughter get the verse memorized, and throughout the sermon when I would ask, "what counts?" Her four year old voice rose above the rest, "a new creation".