Wednesday, March 28, 2007

40,000 Volts

Have you ever read one of those stories that's so amazing you just have to believe it. I just finished reading Dwight Robertson's Plan A. And There Is No Plan B. today. Great book!

Here's on of the stories from it that is amazing!
Frank Clewer had no idea what was happening to him as he walked into a business building in Warrnambool, a small town in the state of Victoria on the southern coast of Australia.

Frank was wearing a wool sweater and a synthetic nylon jacket. As he walked, the two were rubbing togethercreating friction and storing up an electrical charge.

He didn't feel a thing. He was totally oblivious to the electrical current that was building up in his clothing.

Others who were working at the business heard a popping sound, as if firecrackers were going off somewhere inside the building. But they couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from. Frank heard the sounds as well, but even he didn't know it was coming from his own clothing.

Read the rest to learn about the 40,000 volts! I'll let Dwight and the story do the talking on this one. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Persecution of Prosperity

I'm reading Walking with Arthur by James O'Donnell. James, or Jim as he refers to himself in the book, was, in the world's eyes a very successful businessman before becoming an associate-professor and executive in residence at Huntington College in Indiana. As a successful business man his marriage and family were falling apart when he discovered he believed in nothing. He held nothing sacred. Trusted no one. And no one he knew was worth trusting. That was, until he met Arthur.

Here's a great quote from the book (one of many I might add):
My coming to faith back in 1985 led me to serve in ways and places I never imagined. I've been to the third world. I've slung mud and laid brick in the Appalachian hills. I've been to a Jamaican orphanage and Honduran slums. But my heart hurts most for my fellow Christians in prosperous places... where people feel insignificant in spite of all they have.

—James O'Donnell, Walking with Arthur

This resonates with a statement my wife, Julie often recounts which was made in response to her assurance of prayer for a Romanian pastor she visited with while on a mission trip. After detailing the suffering his family and his father's family faced because they chose to be faithful in the face of persecution from a communist government who required they renounce their faith to receive food rations, he expressed his sorrow and prayer for the people of the west (US specifically). "Why," Julie asked. "You have endured so much, and we don't face near what you have to face." His reply put things into perspective. He said, "Because in your country Satan persecutes believers through prosperity. You have so much you don't even recognize the you are being persecuted."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lessons in being attentive to our master

Her name is Lily (or LiLeigh when we originally named her but it was too hard to spell). She's our faithful Springer Spaniel. We love her and she's part of the family. We joke about her role in the family: sleeping, eating, and shedding seem to be her primary role. Only as her owners can we recognize the intonation (Denver, this is for you... the word you taught me) of her barks and immediately know if it's friend or foe pulling into the driveway or walking through the yard.

You can learn a lot from a dog. The other day as I was sitting in the main room in our house enjoying the quiet and a cup of warm coffee she helped me understand something about being attentive to God. I was in a chair and she was close by resting. Her eyes were closed (this time she wasn't snoring but that's another post) and she was still. I adjusted my head slightly to look her way. I swear I didn't make a sound. But in the mere movement of my head turning toward her she snapped to, eyes fixed on me, anxious for any instruction I might give to her. It was far from the first time this has happened. As a matter of fact, it's hard to sneak any movement past her (unless she's snoring but that's another post). Time after time, movements large and small, she's ready to jump and run to fulfill the desires of her master.

In that moment her passion to serve me as her master stunned me. God spoke to me in the silence of that moment about the attention and expectancy with which I am to be watching for His work around me and ready to respond. Even if my reason for moving at that moment did not have her in mind she still responded by intently watching and waiting for the least hint of beckoning her. She was ready. Ready to please her master.

I'm amazed at how often those who profess to have been believers for years express an inability to experience God moving in their lives. When you talk about seeing God at work around you they look at you like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. If we know Him, but are not attentive to Him, could He be working all around us and we never notice (maybe we are snoring but that's another post). How can we ever jump to fulfill the desires of the heart of our Master if we are not passionately attentive to Him and what He is doing? God, I want to be that expectantly attentive to You and what You are doing in and around me!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Today's Quote — March 12, 2007

Okay, so I'm continuing to read Plan A. And There Is No Plan B. and today I come across what I'm pretty sure will be the key thought and central theme of the book:
People's spiritual lives simply cannot be mass-produced.

They're developed one life at a time through a slow process of relational transfer that cannot be bypassed through mass-production ministry.

Let me say it again: You cannot mass-produce Kingdom laborers.

—Dwight Robertson, Plan A. And There Is No Plan B.

Wow. Wow! WOW!

Dwight uses several illustrations, but the best begins toward the bottom of page 86 and ends toward the top of 87. I think I'm going to become a checkers player and armed with my checkers set and a bag of salt challenge many of today's pastors and church staff to a game so I can illustrate this (or try to).

Friday, March 9, 2007


Read this today in my through the NT with a singular focus reading. It's off my topic, but I just thought it was well put:
Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

1 Corinthians 10:12 The Message

In today's self-help culture it's a good reminder for believers to remember the source of our foundation.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

What God sets in motion

I'm reading Plan A. And There's No Plan B. by Dwight Robertson of Kingdom Building Ministries. It is a great book so far and one that really nails much of where I find myself along the journey right now. A portion I read today touched on something that's been dominating much of my God-thoughts lately:
What could God set in motion through your daily acts of obedience? Are you missing the chance to set off a chain of events because you are not listening to His voice?

Do you ignore His leading because you can't see far enough down the road to what He ultimately wants to accomplish through your obedience?

Remember you may not understand why He's asked you to do something at the time you are doing it....

That's what God can do when His laborers commit themselves in obedience to follow His lead—in the moment and along the way.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A friend calls it being amphibious...

Paul said (emphasis mine):
19 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: 20 religious, nonreligious, 21 meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, 22 the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. 23 I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 The Message