Monday, March 28, 2011

Good SAMaritan!

We sat down tonight at dinner to do our Throwdown and it was Sam's turn to pick the parable. He picked "The Parable of the Good Samaritan". Sam chose it because it had his name in it! Also, this parable probably fits him pretty good. So, I will take a minute to brag on him a little...

First of all, I read the parable to my family tonight and he just about told it back to me verbatim. Now, you may not be impressed with that but I am. He has always been a storyteller, but I saw how he can take these scriptures and parables and tell them from his heart to his friends...and anyone for that matter. Our small group is starting to use "storying" as a method of discipleship and evangelism. Check out our blog @ This is right up Sam's alley!

Secondly, Sam is a Good Samaritan! Latley, he has been the one volunteering to help the special needs kids in his class. In fact, all year he has been the one who helps them. Teachers have been coming up to my wife, who teaches at their school, saying how much they are impressed with Sam! I am glad that is making such an influence in his school! Now if I could just get him to pick up his room, stop hitting his bother and stop eating like a Carbivore!

The whole parable is told because the lawyer is looking for a loophole...hmm, interesting. This parable may have never been uttered from the mouth of Christ if it wasn't for a guy looking to cut corners. Don't we all! I hate it when I come up on someone "by chance" Luke 10 vs 31. When I say I hate it...I mean it is never convenient. But God calls us to something better! Religion looks for loopholes...Grace looks for opportunities! I pray this week to have Eyes of Grace! I didn't "GO" like I wanted to do last week...may I Go with grace this week...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Bat Phone....

I was in the car with my boys the other day and we were talking about the Great Commission. I told them where it was at in the Bible. I told them the scripture. We spoke about it a little. I asked them, "Do you know who spoke the Great Commission"? Wesley said, "The Commissioner?"

I had to laugh. Images of Neil Hamilton, Commissioner Gordon in the '60's Batman & Robin, came running into my mind. Also, how stupid that show was...and awesome at the same time! All the "Bamms, Booms, Oww's" are hillarious! But the image above all images to me...besides Ceaser Romero scaring the crap out of the Red Bat Phone!

Maybe we need a call from the Great Commissioner today. What would the phone call be like? What important message would be on the other end of the line? Probably a message we ignored the first time we picked up the phone! "Ouch, Bam, Boom!!!"

Maybe it is a call from Japan...not to send a check, but maybe to go! Just like Keith Green once said, "God can't cash out of state checks in Heaven!" We can never ignore the "Go" in the Great Commission. Japan needs us. At the end of WWII, Macarthur asked for 1,000 missionaires. We sent business men instead. Just be praying...maybe God is calling you and me to go! In the middle of destruction...God wants us to go!

Maybe he is just calling us to go across the street! I know we have heard this 1,000 times...but one response to "Go" is all it takes. I am pledging to pick up the phone this week...GO!!!!

While we can't ignore the "GO" we really can't ignore the "LO" of the Great Commission! "Lo, I am with you until the end of the Age". Without the faith in the "LO", the "GO" means nothing. The "Lo" gives us the confidence that Jesus is not only giving the orders but is leading the way. His presence changes everything! It is the difference between night and day...Hot and cold...the Joker and Batman! I pray not only for us to be "Goers" this week...but to be "Loers" as well.

So when the phone glows Red this week...pick it up in confidence that The Great Commissioner is sending us on a mission...and the irony of it all is that he is calling from the place we need to go...He is already there!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Favor Flavor

First of all, my family did our Throwdown tonight at dinner. Wesley, my oldest, was excited and reminded us to do it at dinner...I'm glad they want to do it and it isn't just initiated by Steph or I. We did the parable of the Pearl of Great Price. It was a simple Throwdown...but it is always great to hear my boys explain the parables to me...isn't that what it's all about? They realized that the pearl of video games may sometimes take precendence of their time with God...well, "sometimes" may be an understatement.

One more item to note is that I love my Small Group!!! We are getting ready to start "Storying the Gospel"! I encourage everyone to read, Truth that Sticks; How to Communicate Velcro Truth in a Teflon World by Avery T Willis Jr, Mark Snowden: I know that we will be blogging about our Small Group's experience in this great way to bring the Bible to life! More to come....

I have been praying over Luke 4: 16-20 this particular over some missionary friends of mine. While I was driving around Greenback, TN got to the part where it states..."to proclaim the year of God's favor!" I felt like the Lord say, "Ask me what that looks like!" SO...."What does that look like?"

Well, obviously it is all the things that preceedes that part of the scripture...Eyes of the blind open, the poor have the gospel preached to them, freedom to the captives, the oppressed are free! But that is what it looks like for everyone else, those who we have opportunity to minister...But what does it look like for us?

We have to go no further than vs's 28-29: The year of God's favor started like this...

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Wow...the year of God's favor started off with...persecution. Now, this is hard for us to realize because the biggest persecution we usually feel is from somebody from the ACLU telling O'Reiley how my son can't pray at Public School....please. But when I pray for my missionary friends and they are in the middle of poverty and makes sense. Stories of imprisonment and trials are common.

So the Flavor of Favor is...Death in us, Life in them. This was the flavor of the month...from the beginning. How do we do this in comfortable America? Well, that is a flavor for you to one can taste it for you.