Thursday, October 11, 2012

Serving the Neighborhood...

In just a couple of weeks, we will do our 2nd Annual Harvest Festival at Idlewild Park, October 27th,  here in Reno. I thought it would be good to remind us why we go to all of the trouble to get candy, put together games, enlist volunteers and seek to serve about 2,000 people for a couple of hours.

Here are three of the reasons why we do this:
1. Community:  God had placed us in a community with others and we are here to serve this comminity.

2. Children:  Children matter to God and we have an opportunity to share with them the love of Christ by offering a safe place for them to come to have some fun.

3.  Christ:  Jesus came to serve others and has called us to do the same.  We are seeking to serve in His name by going out to those who may never come to us. 

 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.   (Mark 10:45)

This is why we serve and reach out to the neighborhood.  We are here for a reason and we have this opportunity to make a difference.  Ah, by the way, we'll also have a lot of fun as we do this.  I hope that you will join us.  Let me hear from you about it....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lies We Believe

I'm working on a new teaching series that we start this weekend that deals with "Lies We Believe".  I once heard someone say that "thoughts produce after their own kind-lies produce death and truth produces life."  It seems that most people truly struggle to live the life that they long to live because they are plagued by some real lies that they often aren't even aware of.

We're going to take a look at a few of the ones that most of us face.  We'll start at the heart of the matter-by taking a look at the source of these lies.  It may surprise you...

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44

The lies we believe start with the father of lies.  One of his biggest lies is that he is not real.  George Barna tells us that well over 90% of Americans believe in God and over 60% adults say that Satan does not exist but is merely a "symbol of evil.

Perhaps the biggest lie we need to address is whether or not Satan is real.  What do you thing?   

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Are You Facing Relational Drift?

I find myself at a place where I am working with several individuals and couples in their relationship.  Many are finally coming to realize that there are more issues going on than they were aware of.

I can relate to all of this so well.  There have been times in my marriage that I have out the ministry first, me first, others first and just completely ignored and sometimes even forgot about the needs of my wife.  It's never been fun nor easy to face the truth about my own selfishness and the way that I can so easily give to others and let my relationship drift.

Some signs that your relationship may be drifting:

1. You are now spending more time with your career, school, children or others than you used to?

2. You can't remember the last time you took your spouse out on a date?

3. You only talk about the things that you have to talk about: the kids, your schedule, who's doing what when.  You aren't about each other and what you need from each other.

Maybe some of this describes you.  If so, what can you and what will you do to stop the relational drift before it goes any further?

 I've learned that I need to put MORE energy and focus on my marriage than on my kids, my ministry or on others.  I've learned that I have to TAKE TIME to be with Kim and make certain nothing gets in the way.  We do "Date Nights" once a week and I love it.

 Let me know what helps you and what you've learned along the way.  I'd love to hear from you. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Seized by the Vision

Last week I attended the annual Leadership Summit with 20 other amazing leaders from our church. It felt much like trying to drink from a fire hydrant with so many great speakers and so much to think about.  It will take me several weeks to process through all of the materials.

There is one thing that was said that has captured my heart and my prayers.  Bill Hybels said...

"It’s one thing to see a vision. It’s another thing to be seized by a vision!"

 God has given me a vision to reach those who are far from Him here in Reno-one of the most unchurched areas in our nation.  Our mission is to "Build Bridges for People to Come to Jesus and Grow in His Grace."I spend a lot of time trying to think of ways that God would have us reach out to this city and our community to touch the lives of those who do not yet know him. I can see it and so want it to happen. 

But I have to admit that being "seized by that vision" is a new thought for me.  I am praying that God would truly seize my heart with His vision for me and for us.  I am praying that I and this Body of people to be willing to do whatever it takes to see that vision become a reality regardless of the cost. So, when you think about me today, pray that I will be "seized by His vision".  I'll do the same for you.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Celebrate Dads!

I've been doing a lot of thinking about Fathers this week.  My Dad passed away over 5 years ago but I've done some reflecting on my relationship to him this week.  As I grew up, there were a lot of things that seemed to push us apart-but it was mainly his anger that I remembered the most as a child and then a teen-ager.  There were a lot of times that this became the focus of my relationship with him and I could not, or did not, see the good things that he did.

Reflecting back, I can remember the times that people in the neighborhood came to him for help and he helped.  I remember that he worked hard to provide the things that we needed and I remember that he always did his best to be honest and trustworthy.  I remember that he made certain I was able to go to the college that I wanted to attend and he paid for it.  I still have no idea how he did it.  I did make certain the he knew how much I loved him and appreciated all that he did for me before he passed away.

As I reflect about my Dad, I wish that I had focused more on the positive things that he did and less on the shortcomings that he had.  This Father's Day I want to encourage you to celebrate the good and positive things about your Dad and maybe think a little less about how he could be better.

Every Dad I know realizes that he falls short, even this one, and every Dad I know wants to be better.  Take some time to celebrate Dad and let him know about the good and positive things that he does for you.  Who knows?  Maybe that's what he needs to get even better.