Thursday, June 25, 2009


When my wife (Kristina) and I were getting married a couple years ago, we sent out more than 300 invitations. We had about 200 people that actually showed up. Out of all those invitations and all the people that came there were a couple of people that I really wanted to be there. These were people that were important to my life, I would have been disappointed if they had not shown up. These people received an invitation just like all the others, however, I also called these few people on the phone, to make sure they were going to be there, I talked to them face-to-face just so they would know the importance of their presence at my wedding. I made sure they didn't have any problems or issues, I wanted everything to be easy for them so I could be sure they would make it to my "big day". These were people that I wanted to be there, even if nobody else came.

Throughout my church life, I have heard people (myself included) "invite" the presence of God to the service/meeting/gathering. I have heard this "invitation" go out many times, often times I have left the service without this "invitation" being answered. As the church are we content to just invite God to our services, and then leave without ever truly experiencing Him?

It takes more than just a mere invitation. We need to go to God, and beg for His presence, long to experienced His power, we need to prepare our hearts throughout the week (not just at opening prayer time on Sundays) so that conditions are favorable for the presence of God. We need to be hungry for His presence, to the point that it does not matter what else is going on or who else is there. All that matters is that God was there. We are filled with His presence and power.

Or are we just content to come and go without change, content that God did not RSVP our invitation?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Barrel Monster

Check out this Barricade Monster:

Disruptive Innovation

Reading Wired magazine this month I came across an article concerning the automotive industry and its demise. Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen believes that the only way the automakers are going to make it is if they apply disruptive innovation. Christensen defines disruptive innovation as a kind of change that alters the trajectory of an industry.

We all have family, friends, co-workers, whose lives seem to be going the way of the auto industry. We watch them consistently make poor choices, that lead them deeper and deeper into a life of self-destruction. I remember as a teenager in high school, being faced with choices and decisions every day and watching my friends respond poorly to these situations. There are so many people (especially young people) whose lives are already in a mess, and in bondage due to unwise decision making.

The only thing that can save these people, and begin to unravel the mess their life has become is a spiritual disruptive innovation.

Philippians 4:8-9 give us the necessary elements for disruptive innovation:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Think how the trajectory of our lives (and the lives of young people) would be changed if we chose to live in peace, if we made every decision based on this passage of scripture. The promise is the the God of peace will be with us.

When I was 18 years old, moving out of the house, starting my own life, a wise person told me, "Remember, the course of your life is not determined by one wrong decision, but by a series of small ones."

Does your life need to go through disruptive innovation?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

To whom much is given...

This is taken from the blog of Kevin Wilson, Student Ministries Pastor at Christ Fellowship (Stuart)...

Luke 12:47-48 says, “The servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with fewer blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.“

I have read / heard this verse hundreds of times in many contexts but I saw it in a completely new way this week during a message by Steven Furtick. Often times we use this verse in reference to money or responsibility (example: if we are’nt faithful with a little money why would God give us more to handle). But this week God showed me how much of His word He has given me. So many of us have been fattend on God’s word. We read it daily and hear it several times a week and have unlimited access to it, but the question is, “what are we doing with it?”

One day we are all going to be held accountable to we’ve done with God’s word, no matter how much or how little of it we have consumed. Every week we read God’s word or listen to messages or podcasts, but too many times that serves as the end for us rather than the beginning. Too often our education outweighs our obedience. We have been given God’s word and we have responsiblity that comes with it. When God’s word exposes sin we must deal with sin. When it calls us to love we must love. When it calls us to rest we must rest. Maybe the last thing we need right now is more of God’s word; maybe what we need is to put what we already have into action.

Remember: To whom much is given, much will be required. How much of God’s word have you been given and what is He asking you to do?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Spiritual Mayday

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phl 4:6)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6) (NIV)

There is no situation more anxious for a firefighter, than for problems to occur inside a fire building (burning structure). Potential problems that may occur include falls, collapse, becoming lost, trapped, or disoriented, becoming stuck, and loss of air, or malfunction of breathing apparatus.

When these situations occur, we are trained to call a Mayday!

The word “mayday” is French in origin. The original being, “m’aide”, which means “help me”. The root of this word being similar to our word “aid”, is “aider” meaning “to help”.

As a fire department, it is of utmost importance that we train for the mayday situation. One of the ways we do this is by constructing a training course made of props that simulate mayday situations. The ‘blacked out’ (blindfolded) firefighter starts at the beginning, following a hose line on his hands and knees. The first situation he comes to is to simulate a fall through the roof or floor (this is accomplished by using a ledge/lever arrangement that tips the firefighter into a safe area). After following the proper mayday procedures the firefighter then advances through the training course. Back on the hoseline the next situation is a building collapse (two personnel pin down the firefighter with pallets or a section of fence). The firefighter calls the mayday, then advances. An entanglement prop is the next hurdle to overcome. As the firefighter follows the hoseline, crawling through the maze his air pack/bottle becomes entangled on wire or rope. After trying to, unsuccessfully, free himself, the mayday is called. The final prop is to simulate being lost or disoriented. As the firefighter makes his way to the dead-end of the maze a door is closed behind him. Now, when he turns to go back the way he came, there is no opening he is boxed in. His only option is to call the mayday.

Through out the obstacle course the firefighter has encountered (and properly responded to) the four mayday parameters:

  • Fall - no matter what through
  • Collapse - having something collapse on the firefighter
  • Lost/Trapped - becoming disoriented, not knowing where to go
  • Stuck - becoming entangled

There is a proper way to call the mayday. This method is used over and over and over again throughout the training process, so that it becomes second nature. If the need arrises to call the mayday, the process can be accomplished more smoothly as a learned habit.

After the firefighter realizes that he is in a mayday situation, he must conduct the proper actions to ensure that his mayday is realized. The first step is to press the EIB button on his radio. The “emergency identifier button” sends out an emergency signal. When this button is pressed it cuts off all radio communications except for the downed firefighters. This gives radio silence on the fire scene allowing the endangered firefighter only, to transmit his message. After the EIB has been activated, the firefighter must broadcast his message, starting with , “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!”. After the initial “mayday” call the firefighter must then provide information for his rescuers. The information needed is in the form of the acrostic LUNAR.

  • L - location (where you currently are in relation to where you started)
  • U - unit (truck/company/station that you are part of)
  • N - name (identification)
  • A - assignment (the task you were performing at the time of the incident)
  • R - resources needed (items/tools that may be necessary for your survival)

There are often times, in the life of a Christian, that we need to call a spiritual mayday. Throughout our lives we experience many anxious things, things that cause us to wring our hands in worry, and fret. We experience trials, tribulations, sadness, disappointments, death, embarrasments, dangers, economic losses, uncertainty of the future, our spiritual conditions may waver and wane. In all this, God’s Word says, “do not worry about anything”.

  • Fall- as Christians there will be times that we will stumble and fall. We will make mistakes.
  • Collapse - there will be times of burden in our Christian lives.
  • Lost/Trapped - we may become disoriented. We may lose our way, or lose track of the vision that God has for our lives.
  • Stuck- situations of life may entangle us, and drag us down.

It is in the midst of these situations that the spiritual mayday must be called! “…In everything through prayer and petition (supplication) with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

For the firefighter in the mayday situation to become anxious could mean certain death or destruction. If the firefighter was just to begin ringing his hands and “freaking” out; or to just begin running crazy, or to do nothing, he would have no chance of survival.

There are so many situations of life that can make us anxious, or worry. If we lose our heads, or continue down the road of letting this anxiety build, we will ultimately be destroyed. We see people, friends, family, neighbors, who experience this. They do not have the hope of God in their life. The worry and fret, but get nowhere. We see lives ruined, because in their anxiety, they try to do things in their own power, not “through prayer and petition”.

The first step in initiating the mayday call is to activate the EIB (emergency identifier button), which essentially closes the lines of communication to all but the endangered firefighter. The firefighter calling the mayday has an open line of communication. His call will not go unnoticed.

I am glad we have an open line of communication with our Father. When we are in these life situations we have a God, who loves and cares about us, who is always listening, who wants to come, be near us, and meet our deepest needs.

HEB. 13:5
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

ROM. 8: 35-39
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The LUNAR considerations for firefighters calling a mayday, can serve as a kind of guide, for our times of petition/supplication.

  • L - location, telling God where you are, what is going on.
  • U – unit/N - name, identifying ourselves, who we are in Christ.
  • A - assignment, telling God why you’re where you are.
  • R - resources needed, petitioning God, telling God our needs (as we see them).

Our rescue comes.

Fall- I COR. 10: 11-13
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Collapse - 1 PE. 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Lost/Trapped - PR. 29:18, JER 1:5
“Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.” Pr. 29: 18

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jer. 1: 5

Stuck- HEB. 12:1-2
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”