Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sailing Too Close to the Shore, part 2

You’ve perhaps heard of the movie Donnie Darko. The theme song, Mad World by Gary Jules, talks about easy to reach dreams that can smother us.

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying

Are the best I've ever had

It is so easy to have small dreams and then die in them.

But, we become spiritually alive when we try new things for God. When we sail farther from the “shore” it gets scary but it is a holy kind of scared.

Sailing a bit farther from the shore is…

  • When obedience takes you out of your comfort zone
  • When you commit more money to the church beyond what "normal" people would.
  • When you confide in your accountability partner about a secret sin.
  • When you tell your dad that you love him.
  • When you invite neighbors for a cookout.
  • When you allow your daughter to bring Christ to a dangerous part of the world.
  • When you, once again, give everything over to Jesus; your friends, your health, your future.

Like Francis Drake prayed, we need God to disturb us! We Americans get too comfortable. Comfort kills. Safety is a corrosion of the soul.


Lord, I confess my faithlessness and the smallness that is its fruit. Disturb me, God. Disturb me.”

Added note…

From The E-Myth Revisited. Here's what Michael Gerber had to say:

"The curtain is your Comfort Zone. And your Comfort Zone has been the false mask you put on...because it was safe when your spirit was not. Your Comfort Zone has been the curtain you have placed in front of your face through which you view the world. Your Comfort Zone has been the tight little cozy planet on which you have lived, knowing all the places to hide because it's so small. Your Comfort Zone has seized you before and it can seize you again, when you're least prepared for it, because it knows what it means to you. Because it knows how much you want to be comfortable. Because it knows what price you are willing to pay for the comfort of being in control. The ultimate price, your life... Comfort overtakes us all when we're least prepared for it. Comfort makes cowards of us all."

Sailing Too Close to the Shore, part 1

Okay, I’m going Retro now. Back in the the 60’s a melodic quartet hit the top of the charts with California Dreamin’. The song was written on a cold winter’s day in New York City while The Mamas and the Papas were yearning for California sun.

The first two stanzas of the song goes like this…

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day

“To be safe and warm” in Los Angelos would be fun to dream about now as the Iowa temperature is dropping outside.
Our dreams get pretty small compared to God’s dreams for us. We dream about safety and warmth, recreation, comfort and...sunny California.
Now, compare our small dreams to those of Sir Francis Drake who circumnavigated the earth. He is credited with this prayer from 1577: “Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.”

Someone said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

Stay tuned for part deux.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pluralistic Gift

I’ve gotta get one of these clever items! (just kidding). I'm sure that at the very bottom of my gift list is this display that expresses the equality of all religions. The Bible, Koran, Torah, and more; all leveled.

The product description says it all, “For the first time, the world’s most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated.”

Never mind that any devoted Christian, Muslim or Jew would vehemently object to the implications of this piece of art.

Never mind that "progressive" thinkers most likely won't apply the same tolerance to politics, economic systems, etc.

Never mind that when I "celebrate coexistence" I implicitly celebrate the un-truths of other religions' core beliefs.

Never mind that when I "celebrate coexistence" I effectually value co-existence more than my other beliefs.

Let me know if I'm off-base on any of my points; and, oh yeah, Happy Festivus!

Questions to ponder:

1. What is good about this artistic expression? What is true about it?

2. What is wrong about it? What is misleading?

3. Really, what is wrong with the idea that all religions' "coexistence" should be "acknowledged and celebrated”?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tough Times

My Dad had a really rough week last week. He's having trouble with his kidneys. So we placed him in the hospital. He's doing much better but I would appreciate it if you could throw up some prayers on our behalf. My Dad's an awesome guy and I hate to see him suffer. Isaiah 26:3 has been rolling around in my mind this past week...
"You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you."

Friday, March 16, 2007

That's My King!

Mark Barnes added images to S.M. Lockeridge's moving sermon segment entitled "That's My King"

Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping and Concept Mapping

I was totally unaware of the methods of Mind Mapping and Concept Mapping. Cool stuff. You can use mapping to help with categorizing ideas, brainstorming, planning, etc.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Emotional Hurt

I’ve suspected for some time that the emotional blows that hurt the most are those that drive us closest to the truth about ourselves.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Me Worship

I plan to use this video before our worship time at Prime Time next Wednesday. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Emotionally Mature or Just Spiritually Mature?

Leadership coach Dan Webster says in his Training Course that one cannot be spiritually mature unless one is emotionally mature. In what ways is this true? In what ways is this untrue?

Webster's insight opens a Pandora’s box of issues.

· How can we fulfill our core calling, loving God and loving others, if we are emotionally diminished?

· What does it mean to be emotionally mature?

· If emotional maturity is necessary for spiritual maturity to develop, what hope does a depressed person (or emotionally scarred person) have of becoming spiritually mature?