A Life Worthy

September 3, 2013

This morning I was spending time with God and i was reading Ephesians 4 and the Apostle Paul continues with his letter in this fourth chapter with a strong call for us to live our lives in a very specific way.  Paul says:

“I urge you: Live a life that is worth of the calling He has graciously extended to you. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love.”

As I read and re-read this verse I reflected on my life. Am I living my life in that way? Is my life truly a reflection of a “Worthy calling” that God has so graciously extended to me? How often am i getting caught up in my own prideful, self-centered life; how often am I being rude or harsh toward others; how often do I lose my cool or become judgmental with others because they don’t quite get it like I do? And, how often am I doing [Or not doing] these things? On top of that, I love how in this version it says to tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. It all comes back to love.  Humility, gentleness, patience.  These things among others are so much easier to do if we are acting in a loving way, if we are willing to think about others above ourselves.

As a follower of Christ, I am committing to work on these areas of my life so that it will bring glory to God. I want to think more of others and less of myself.  I want to:

Be Humble

Be Gentle

Be Patient

Be tolerant to all I encounter

I beleive that if I can do these things, my life will be so much more meaningful and carry so much more value to it.

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A few weeks ago i had the pleasure of speaking at Bay City Church  in the East Bay.  I spent the morning talking about how we can make an impact in our communities for the Kingdom of God. I am so excited to see what God is going to do in and through Bay City Church, the staff has such a great vision for reaching the East Bay! Here is the audio file for my message.

the UNKNOWN

August 20, 2013

fear

Since the early years of our lives we have developed this fear of the unknown.  I can remember when i was a little boy and would wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, but in order to do so i would have to walk down a hallway that lead to our family/living room area which seemed to have a strategically placed bird cage.  A place that, at night, was darker than dark and a bird cage that surprisingly enough, at night, looked like a silhouette of a body. At least- it did to a 3rd grade boy.  At night before i could muster up enough courage to rush down the hall to the restroom, i would often find myself standing, staring.  Staring at this silhouette to determine if it was an intruder, there to take me and my family into captivity or if it was that good old bird cage. In the middle of the night, in the pitch black, its amazing what the mind can make up or “see” often the bird cage would appear to move if i stared long enough.

Now that I am a father, I am starting to see the same fears stirring in my children.  “Daddy, come with me”, is a phrase I hear often when it comes to traveling downstairs at night to get something.  The more i thought about what is now in my mind an irrational fear, i understand that the dark, is merely the beginning of a fear that cripples most people to this day.

The fear of the UNKNOWN.

Whether it be with decisions to be made, life paths to choose, places we go, the unknown is always one of the things that causes us to hold back on making a decision or trying something out.  Fear and the unknown often go hand in hand.  So how do we work with the unknown, how do we take something that can be so crippling and overcome it?

The bible says, in one of its most famous Psalms, “Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted.” (Psalm 23:4 the Voice translation). In this Psalm, David’s fear of the unknown, even the ultimate unknown- death – is overshadowed and replaced by God’s comfort.  As we move through life we can choose to try and control the unknown or embrace God in the times of uncertainty and look to His Word for clarity and comfort.  Jesus promises us to be a light in darkness.

Where do you need some light to shine on the dark areas you are going through?

 

The desire to belong

July 30, 2013

This last weekend i was speaking in the East Bay area of Northern California and had a chance to tour the city of San Francisco.  In addition to being a beautiful city with an amazing history I noticed that there were quite a few people who were protesting and trying to projecting their agendas all across the city.

As I saw a group of people walking through Union Square Park protesting the results of the highly controversial murder case, I was reminded of the fact that God has created in us a deep desire to belong.  So much so that people will jump on board and be extremely passionate about almost anything to feel connected. In a world that promotes selfish living and always looking out for our own best interest, its amazing how people find fulfillment and excitement in promoting causes that aren’t about themselves.

The want to belong, the desire to have significance can be something beautiful and noble if focused in the right area.   Ambition and zeal can have profound effects on people, the only problem is where said ambition and zeal are directed.  The effect can lead to everlasting life or eternal destruction.

As we contemplate our passions and realize just how much impact we have on those we come into contact with, we must reflect on our purpose for being here on Earth.  God has a plan for our life but we must choose to accept it and follow it.  God has designed us to be connected to the Church, where there is always a place for us to be accepted, loved, and have our passions utilized for making an eternal impact in the lives of others.

Where do your passions lie?

What type of impact are you making?

The other day i was listening to John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” and as i was listening to the lyrics it made me think about how many people truly believe that there is nothing they can do to make a difference in this world.  Mayer says in the opening of his song:

Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could

Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting

Waiting on the world to change

As I read these lyrics I see a hopelessness.  A mentality of I am going to wait for something to happen and maybe tomorrow, tomorrow ill be able to make a difference.  The only problem is tomorrow will never come.

As we read through the accounts of Genesis our story of creation begins with beauty but ends with messiness.  After the decision of Adam and Eve, we have a broken world, a world that needs a Savior.  Fast forward to the New Testament and the book of John. Jesus, in his prayer, is commissioning his followers to now carry on his task of preaching and teaching about the love of God and the salvation message of Jesus Christ.  “Immerse them in truth, the truth Your voice speaks. In the same way You sent Me into this world, I am sending them.” (John 17:17,18) Jesus has equipped us to make a difference in this world, he has given us His authority and he has given us a guide book to do so.

You see, we should not, we can not wait for the world to change. It won’t.  Satan is continuing to bring this world to a place of Chaos. We must make a difference, we must make an impact.  We must seek to change the world for Jesus.  One relationship at a time.

It is up to us, there is no more waiting for the world to change.  We are the change.

How can you make a difference in this world today?

Father’s Day

June 18, 2013

Family

Yesterday was only my fourth father’s day but it was one of the best.  My kids are at the age in which they are excited to celebrate the things of life and my wife is so wonderful at planning something special for me and for the family.  What did we do? Mini golf. How awesome is that!? It was such a fun evening as a family making memories together. I even started my own tradition of  “Wearing whatever i am given as a present” that night out.  So on this night, I wore a shirt I was given and two different socks as to be fair to each kid that game me a pair of socks.  This could get pretty crazy as they get older and realize what I am doing.  I just need to tell myself, “I am secure in who I am, I am secure”.

I take great pleasure and honor in the gift entrusted to me of being a dad.  My hope is that I will be able to raise my children in a God-honoring way.  Continuing to teach them about Jesus and the great love he has for them so that when they are older they will not part. Yesterday, while a great reminder of the blessings God has given me, made me pause for a moment and think about those who may not have had a great dad or a dad at all.  The truth is that we are all broken people on this earth. Even the best of people screw up daily.  So what do we do with that? The best answer I can give is that we have to look to the Father that is perfect. God. Jesus. He is the only one who will not disappoint, he is always there and his love never ceases.  Maybe as you read this you are reflecting on the fact that your dad walked out on you when you were a child or maybe your dad was present financially but not emotionally or spiritually.  How do we recover from that? Jesus. As we look to the bible, we see an example of a perfect human being who loved and sacrificed, perfectly. He is the only example we can look to that isn’t tainted by the world.  Jesus has the ability to heal any wound, comfort those who are in need of comfort, embrace you the way that you were created to be embraced. God can not love you more than he loves you right now. God can not love you any less than he loves you right now. In Ephesians it refers to us as God’s Masterpiece.  You are a masterpiece in God’s eyes.  You are wonderfully made in the image of God and he loves you deeply.  Run to Him, the one who will not disappoint. Abide in Him, and He will abide in you.

IMPACT

June 12, 2013

impact

Impact. The word means so much. The point where the “rubber meets the road”.  In personal terms, I try to  simplify it to be simply, leaving someone or someplace different.  Now, this can be either positive or negative but not matter what we leave an impact.  Each day we impact the world around us; we create waste, drive cars, interact with people.  The guy that cut me off on the freeway, the lady in line paying for her groceries in pocket change, the beggar on the street.  The friend that comes to me for advice on relationships, my spouse, my children. EVERY DAY, I leave a footprint on life, the choice is up to me to make that impact positive or negative. The larger the impact, the longer that impact leaves the impression. As I become cognizant of the idea of impacting the life around me, I must realize that God gives me opportunities every day to leave an impact for His purposes, for His kingdom, where ever I go.  A divine opportunity.  A moment.  Let me say that again, EVERY DAY God gives us opportunities to leave an impact for His kingdom.

While Jesus was doing his ministry here on Earth everywhere he went he left an impact.  Just think about some of the miracles we read about in the bible.  The healing of the blind, making the lame walk, raising the dead to life. We know that Jesus made a difference everywhere he went, but one story comes to mind as I think about making an impact.  Its a story about some friends who made an impact for someone else by seizing their divine moment.  Mark chapter 2 begins with a story of Jesus teaching in a crowded house; not just a crowded house, but an overflowing house. Overflowing into the streets and the people just – kept – coming. Four friends heard Jesus was teaching and went to bring their crippled friend to Him to be healed.  They knew that if they could just get to Jesus, the friend could be healed.  They believed with all their might, so much so, that they were willing to do anything to get their friend to Jesus.  When they got to the house there was no way in, it was packed. So, like any respectable, desperate friend would they went to the roof.  Now to me, this is funny, I’m not sure i would have thought to myself, “This place is full, so lets climb up and cut a hole in this dudes house.”  But they did. They lowered their friend down and the bible says that “Jesus recognized the faith of these men.”  The friends, their faith, healed this man.  Am I living a life of faith that would cause my friend to be healed?  The bible says, “The prayers of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

I want that.  I want to be effective.  Because of my faith, I want to make an IMPACT for the good of those around me.  How about you? Will you seize your divine moment?  In order to do so, we must realize that it starts with awareness.  We have to be aware of the opportunity, we must stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on those around us.  A paradigm shift.  Its not about you.

The Christian life, in its simplest form, can be summed up that i am called to Love God and to love others.  If Im doing these things, the other things are going to fall into place.  Its my prayer that I, along with all believers, embrace our divine moment to make an impact for the kingdom.

Much love.

Randy