Super Moon

Super moon / harvest moon / blood moon.

It was amazing.  We stopped to take a picture.  We “oooh-ed” and “aaah-ed” and told the kids it was a special event.

Want to know a secret?

It was the same moon I saw last night, and three months ago, and the same moon I will see in five years.

It is called a super moon for two reasons:
It is closer to us than it is 90% of the time; and therefore,
It reflects the sunshine really well.

See who the star of the show is? It is literally the star.

If a moon could aspire to be “super”, it would simply have to get closer to those that are looking at it, and at the same time welcome the sun’s light.

There are times, however, and this happened just the other day, when the ones that are looking at it and admiring it, get in the way of the light it is meant to reflect. Eclipse.

An eclipse is beautiful on a moon. It is fun to watch.

Not so with the humans.

Sometimes, the people that are looking at us get in the way of the light we are supposed to share. Sometimes, I get so consumed with the people around me and my proximity to them that I stop being a reflector. There are a lot of reasons that we don’t show the light of the sun. (but you know I am actually talking about the Light of the Son.)

I don’t have an answer, necessarily, just a challenge:

Be a super moon. Get close to the people that need the light. Reflect the Son.

Jesus, put me in the dark. Let people see how You change my face.

Team Work

 

Recently, an old friend posted an old picture of our high school basketball team after we won a title.  It was either the district championship, or the regional, or area…  Not sure – we kinda won everything that year.  

The picture reminded me of excellence. 
Here’s the deal:  I was a little worthless on the basketball court.  I could rebound, lights out, but that was it.

So here is what I miss about those days:  I miss getting a rebound and having the great confidence that Anthony was always ready for me to pass the ball to him to reset the play.  Derrick was always ready to shoot the ball when I could not.  Rudy was waiting at the 3 point line.  Andre owning the post.  Eric working the paint.  Corey, Antonio, Doug, Torey, Andrew, Chris, Sean, Troy…

These are heroes that fought against me and fought on my side.  They will always be with me.  I have bled to root for them and they have bled for me.  Their friendship through high school was more than I deserved and truly is a gift I can never forget.

We place great emphasis on ability.  We watch the highest paid, or the greatest climber, or the one with the best stats.  We look at the most eloquent, or the highest attendance, or the fastest.

We have traded an emphasis on teamwork for emphasis on talent.  

Where are all the excellent teams?

How can you tell if you are a team player?  Do you spend most of your time on the court talking about how great the rest of the players are?  Is it obvious that the people who surround you are amazing at covering up your shortcomings?  Do they say, “Hey, didn’t you play for the 1991 Dragon team?”

When you stand up, do you stand with the help of a thousand heroes that fought against you and with you?  That is a team for whom you should bleed.

Ephesians 4:29, 1 Peter 4:8-10, Hebrews 10:24-25…  Spur one another on…

Jesus, let this church be a team.

Righteous Dude

When my son does not get his way he melts down and cries and yells and accuses everyone else.

He is four years old, and he is growing out of it.

Am I?

Are you?

Self righteousness is a funny thing.  (not funny, “ha ha,” but funny, “hmmm”)

The idea that I am always right cripples me.  It leaves me on the defensive when the slightest doubt comes into view.  I accuse others simply to maintain my false righteousness (well, this doesn’t happen to me – but to others…).  

Self righteousness is the archenemy of humbleness.  John Maxwell said (and yes, this is a quote from memory, so I think I am probably getting it a little wrong) pride in ministry equals burnout in ministry, humbleness in ministry equals joy in ministry.  And yes, I do feel absent of joy when I exercise my self righteousness.

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If I am going to swim in God’s love, I must dive in from my sin nature.  I am a sinner.  I sin.  I am captured by sin.  My sin rules me.  I invite my sin to sit at the head of the table.  

And still I wrestle my sin with my own righteousness.  The curse of the self righteous:  my righteousness has never won a fight with my sin.

Enter Jesus.  Oh, thank You for entering this fight, Jesus!

Choose ye this day:  Self righteousness or Christ’s righteousness.

Lord God, fight for me.  Amen.

Big Boy Bed

 

He is sleeping sideways in his bed.  His head is right up against one side and here are his feet, hanging out of the bed.  It won’t be long before Daniel has outgrown the bed even if he lays in the correct direction.  Growth is like that.

This is not a surprise.  

When we bought this bed (for our first child) we knew that nobody would be sleeping in it when they grew up.  It is great for a six month old but is useless for a sixteen year old.

Some things are made for the baby, but not for the adult.

How is your faith?

Have you grown out of the baby bed yet?  Do your feet hang off the edge?  

Are you cramming yourself in a spot too small because you are comfortable there?

Is it time for the big boy bed?

My message today is not for you, but for me…  Grow up.

Jesus, let’s get that new bed ready.

Beware the Popular Vote

It was obnoxious.  

I would sit in the crowd watching my college basketball team and I would start to heckle the other team.  I did this because I chose to be funny instead of kind (a choice I still regret today).  

One method of heckling that was particularly effective:  I would choose one player and every time he would get the ball, I would start the countdown…  10…  9…  pretty soon, the whole crowd would join me…  3…  2…  1…  The player knew time wasn’t running out, but would be so distracted that he would forget about the court for a bit and concentrate on something else.  That is the goal of the heckler.

Imagine, if you would, an entire crowd of people chanting something that they know is not true.

You see, the home crowd at a basketball game does not want the best team to win, it wants THE HOME TEAM to win.  The crowd does not stand up for the truth, it stands up for its own desire.

There are certain truths that I stand up for today:  God loves you.  Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  The Bible is true.  The Bible is truth.  Jesus lives.  They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  I will always love my wife.  I will not recant my desire for Jesus…

And as I stand up for the truth of these things, I often find myself face to face with the crowd.  You do too.

So let me challenge the five people that follow this blog.  If you are standing up for something and the whole crowd yells that you are wrong, keep your eyes on the court.

I don’t act that way at basketball games anymore, but take it from someone that remembers how to sway a whole crowd to yell a lie, the popular vote is not always the correct vote.

Jesus, help me hold close to my heart the difference between “it is popular” and “it is truth.”

Cameras All the Time

My youngest son is at that age.  Everything is new, and we MUST document it.

He is beginning to walk, and say words, and climb stairs, and go down stairs, and develop facial expressions…  I could go on and on.

The other day, Joshua said, “Dad, take a picture of Daniel.  He is walking.”  Anna says that all the time too.

And we could.  (Keep in mind, we are the couple that took less than five pictures of our honeymoon.) 

We have gigabytes of pictures of our children.  If I could, I would keep a camera on them every second of the day.  We have some pictures of him sleeping.

2 Chronicles 16:9 delivers a frightening prophecy, but before it does, the Bible makes this promise about God:  “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His…”

That means that Jesus constantly has His camera on me – and on you.  Pictures of our steps toward Him on His refrigerator door.  He bores His friends with home videos of our songs of praise.  His facebook page let’s everyone know where we have been this week.  He even smiles at us when we sleep.

Someday, Daniel will say, “Dad, turn off the camera.  I want some privacy.”  I think that is why Jesus asked us to have faith like a little child.  

A little child knows that when he or she is being watched, it is because I want him or her to succeed.

A little child knows that when the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth, it is because of love.

If you need a reminder today:  He is proud of you.  He loves you.

Jesus, thank You for smiling.  Amen.