Monthly Archives: June 2011

What’s In It For Me?

The following is a fictional memoir and does not reflect the attitudes of anyone I know personally, though it may reveal the inner struggles we are all trying to overcome as we become the church He died for us to be.

Worship to day didn’t do much for me. I wasn’t inspired. Worship is there to inspire me and motivate me and I just didn’t feel it. People around me were raising and clapping their hands. A couple in front of me stood up and I couldn’t see. I mean, the worship leader did’t  even ask us to stand up. I was doing it right and they were doing it wrong, yet they seemed inspired and I went away feeling worse than before.

The scripture must have been a good one, because I heard a lot of “Amen” and “That’s Right” from folks around me but I guess I just didn’t get it. It was from 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us.”

To me church should be about helping me be successful as a person. I mean, God wants me to be successful right? That way I can show him how good I am.  Being more successful means I can upgrade my wardrobe.  As I dress nicer for church, people will know that I really love God.  When we dress nice for church, it’s like we’re telling God “thank you for the blessings,” right?  I want Him to be proud of me and pleased with me. If I’m successful, then I’ll give credit to God. Wouldn’t he want that?

The pastor kept saying that as “jars of clay” in the hands of God there will be no doubt that the power comes from him. Then he read from Luke 9:24-25 “For whoever would save his life would lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” I couldn’t make sense of this, because God gave me this life, why would he want me to give it up? That doesn’t seem like good stewardship to me.  And I KNOW for a fact that God want’s us to be good stewards. He said so.  I think it’s in Genesis or Deuteronomy.

Lose my life for God’s? On purpose? That’s just not the kind of message I’m looking for. What’s in that for me? I’m looking for a church where I can feel good about myself and my ambitions. I think God wants me to feel good and be successful for Him. This “jars of clay” idea just doesn’t fit my idea of God.

I think I’ll have to look elsewhere for the kind of inspiration I need. I don’t mean leave the church! Good heavens, no. I have some really good friends there. They’re humble, simple people, never who complain about what they don’t have, but give thanks for what God has given them. They are true servants. If I had a nickel for every time they brought me a meal when I was sick or when our baby was born or my mother passed away, well then I’d have a lot of nickels. I’d probably be able to start tithing! Ha-Ha- I’m just kidding. Anyway, I wonder why worship can’t get me inspired enough to be more like those people.  I guess God just hasn’t opened the right door yet.
For now, I’ll just have to rely on myself for my own inspiration and work my hardest to get ahead in this world to make God proud of me.
Do you find anything here that resembles your own struggle to understand who you are to be “In Christ?” Do you value your own success. Do you devalue the “jars of clay” in which God has chosen to store His richest treasure – (you)?

Why Blog?

I’m struggling with the burden of having not blogged since May. I started blogging years ago to put my thought into writing. Writing is a great way to organize one’s thoughts, though I’m not as disciplined at it now as I hope to one day be. It’s something I think everyone should do.

Though I haven’t been blogging I have continued reading a number of blogs. All bloggers blog for a reason. I’ll give you some examples using the different blogs I like to follow.

1. Some bloggers blog because they are creative leaders. I like to follow the blog by Michael Hyatt. He blogs often and I can’t always keep up, but I go back and read the blogs that grab my interest. Another creative leader I often follow is Randy Elrod. Also very creative, I have gained a lot from his blogs about how he uses technology.

2. Some bloggers blog to encourage. My pastor’s blog, joestiles.wordpress, fits into this category, I believe. Though, he writes about a number of things, including family, most of his blogs are very encouraging to our congregation.

3. Other bloggers blog to organize their thoughts. I’m allowing for some overlap here, because I’m sure, to some extent, all bloggers write for this purpose. This is a great thing to do. I’ve already admitted that blogging helps me organize my thoughts.

4. Many bloggers blog to teach. I think our youth pastor, Andy, has taken this approach to blogging, as has another friend, Tracy, new to the blogging world.

5. Lastly, there are those bloggers, whose blogs are place for community. Rabbit Room, Shaun Groves are a couple of my frequent stops for this. Rabbit Room is a community of artists, (writers, musicians, etc.) seeking to use art to glorify God. It has become one of my favorite stops on the web.

I mean to leave room for overlap here and you may even have your own reasons for blogging that are not included on this list. It’s not exclusive. When I blog, I have in mind several of the purposes listed above.

Maybe you don’t blog, but you find yourself following several different blogs. You have your reasons. I’d be flattered if you would follow my blog. Join the others by clicking the “follow” tab. Or even better, leave a comment on one of my blogs and let’s start up a conversation.

Why do you blog? If you do not blog, what purpose would lead you to consider blogging? Why do you read blogs? What blogs do you find yourself reading most often?