Category Archives: The Church

God Love The Loser

What a fantastic and fun day was Sunday. Our 2nd annual dodgeball tournament unfolded before tens of roaring fans. The FSBC commissioner of dodgeball, Andy Miller did a fantastic job of putting together this unique event.
The five teams in the family division allowed younger ones to have a blast without getting dodgeballs flung at them by high school and college age specimens! I was not so lucky. I was among the eight teams who competed, (and I use that word very loosely) in the competitive division. In our first game I stood next to my son, Timothy and thought I would bravely defend him from any balls that flew at him.
The game was on, I ran to the middle and somehow, successfully snatched a ball from the grasp of the other team, and limped back to my position. No worry, I just didn’t stretch out properly. Seeing a ball fly right at Tim, I’m impressed with how he dodges to his left and lets the ball in his hand fly across the taped off dodgeball court. Using my well established side arm technique, which has always worked well in softball, I also let one fly, literally. My first attempt to throw a dodgeball takes flight, gaining altitude as it crosses mid-court. And were it not for the wall behind the opposing team, I think the ball would have continued to rise, eventually hitting the ceiling. I hear the laughs and laugh at myself, but before I finish my chuckle I see another ball coming my way. Fast! I dodge, arching my back just like I saw my son do a moment earlier. But with significantly less success. As I’m arching my back to “dodge” the ball curves through the air and hits me squarely in the belly. I hang my head and walk off the court.
The rest of the tournament is much the same. I get my licks in too, once I learn how to throw one of those blasted balls without having it twist and curve and rise and swerve. Even my best throws seemed to swerve around my intended target. Throwing a live chicken would have boasted similar results. I did have a great time and I thank my other son, Jared for inviting me to the humiliation festival. By the way, he also had some great dodgeball moves on the court. (So Proud)

At the end of the day, with my shoulder burning like fire and my hip throbbing with pain, I had a moment to reflect. I’m so glad God Loves Losers. I am one. Not because of defeat on the dodgeball court, but because “All have fallen short of the glory of God” and “My righteousness is as filthy rags.” As I wait for the Ibuprofen to kick in, I’m thankful that Jesus came to heal the broken and bring strength to the weak and rest to the weary.
Easter brings Victory to all of us. We had no chance for victory on our own. Our best attempts are foolishness at best, just like my first attempt to throw the dodgeball. Remember this week, as you prepare for Easter that though you were hopeless to win, JESUS BROUGHT VICTORY.
Thank you, Jesus my Lord. You defeated our unbeatable foe, which is eternal death, and won for us the unreachable prize, which is life eternal with You, our creator. Help us to truly live, even now. To come awake to the true life, which is in You. Some of us misplace our focus and act as if You are here to help us live the life WE want. Help us, rather, to understand that You are inviting us in to a new life, with You. Your life, living in and through us. We welcome Your resurrection life into ours and seek to let You live in us… Amen
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New Life Has Begun

As Christ followers, we hear how we are new creations, but what does that mean?When each of us first came to Christ we confessed our depravity and our need for Him.We made a conscious decision to believe that He is the living Son of God who came to die for our sin, taking our penalty upon himself.We also made a statement to make Him our LORD.

His role of Savior AND Lord are purposefully interlinked.Trusting Him as Savior may happen for us at a single point in time, while giving Him Lordship is a daily decision.This truth is at the heart of our 2011 theme TRANSFORMATION.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

It is as we daily surrender ALL the details of our lives to Christ, that he TRANSFORMS our lives.In 2011 may allow Jesus Christ TRANSFORM OUR LIVES, by letting Him live through us.

Ezekiel 36:26-27

26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.


Dream the Impossible Dream

I have always been a dreamer. My parents can bear witness to this fact. In elementary school my struggle with classwork or homework was never my ability to understand what I was learning, but rather my extraordinary ability to “drift off.” I was a world class day dreamer. The teacher would begin teaching and without even trying I could make the world outside the window draw closer and closer until, in my mind, I was no longer in the class room but in another world altogether.

(sigh)

I’m still good at that.

One of my favorite songs in musical theater is about dreaming. At first impression everyone considered Don Quixote to be crazy. But he was the Man of LaMancha, dreaming the impossible dream and fighting the unbeatable foe!!

The Impossible Dream.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe

To bear with unbearable sorrow

To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless

No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star


(sigh, again)

These days we have seen the impossible dreams of others come to reality. Not long ago we would have scoffed at ideas like the internet or satellite radio. We would have thought it absurd if someone would have suggested that millions of people would meet all their friends on a daily basis at a single internet location called facebook.

We all have had dreams of seemingly impossible magnitude, and many of us have given up on them. Dreams are good. Giving up, maybe not so much. Did you know that God has a dream for you too? He, His Son and Holy Spirit have been planning this for you from the beginning of time. This dream was a reality for a brief time before sin entered the picture. Because of the cross and resurrection, however this dream is back on track; for those who call on the name of Jesus. His dream is this; to dwell IN you. It is his dream of joyful fellowship with us.

John 17:22, 23
22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This indwelling means that as we live our lives Christ is living IN us. He is transforming us.Why do we believe that transforming our liveswould be just as impossible? Perhaps it is because we still, somehow believe that it is up to us.

Follow me briefly on a little trip down the imaginary street; Semantics Boulevard. This is my favorite street in Blogsville. I love it so much I’m considering building my second home there. Here we go; Some might say that Christ want’s you to do the impossible! I disagree! Rather, Christ wants do to the impossible IN you. If we are going to trust Jesus to do the impossible IN our lives we are left with only one option. Get out of the way!

Stop trying to do it YOUR self
Stop trying to do it in YOUR power
Stop trying to do it for YOUR glory
Stop trying to control
Stop trying to take ownership

Love Christ
Let Christ,
Live Christ

This can only happen with a living, growing relationship with the Son.

Acts 17:28
28 ‘For IN him we live and move and have our being.’

Galatians 4:19
19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed IN you

We only see this as impossible because of the fallen and broken state of our humanity. If we could only see with out spiritual eyes this indwelling principle would seem only natural. To be IN Him would seem as automatic as breathing. So no longer is it a dream…. it is spiritual reality, and no longer is it impossible…. it is spiritually natural.

Colossians 1:27 (The Message)
The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.


Soups On!

Each January for the last several years, we as a staff, have made soup and served our Senior Adults the lunch at their monthly fellowship here at First Southern in Lawrence. (We mooch off them the rest of the year) They, of course, provided many desserts which we were only too happy to help eat.
I LOVE serving these great members of our church. So many of them have been extremely kind and encouraging toward me and my family over the many years we have served FSBC. It is my delight to give back to them every opportunity I have.
I hope and pray that they know how valuable they continue to be to their staff and to this church. These dear ones aren’t just our churches history but our present as well. These are Bible Study Teachers, Deacons, Choir Members, Accompanists, Prayer Warriors, Missions Givers, Missions Goers, and part of the heartbeat of this church.
Providing the soup meal today was our way of saying that you are a part of the very important ingredients in the substance of this church. Thanks you for all you do.

Please leave a comment below in appreciation for the senior adults in your life.


Am I A Simpleton?

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free.

Have you ever heard that before?It’s a refreshing mindset needed in this day and age of “always on/always on me” living.You know… “My cell is always on and it’s always on me.”We have a deep need to keep things simple.God meant it to be that way.Remember, He created the Garden of Eden…(Simple) but we create things like the IRS (Complicated).

Why do we always seem to fall into the trap of thinking “more is better” or “busy equals productive?”I submit that we are just WRONG!If we truly believe that God’s ways are better than ours, then let us remember that he says “Be Still and know that I AM God.”

It’s getting more and more difficult to appreciate the “simple” things in life because they seem to be going the way of the dodo bird.Let’s not merely appreciate the simple things, let’s also advocate for them.