Monday, February 25, 2008

"Friends are Friends Forever."

A song that lives in infamy at youth camps, but there are some truths in that song by Michael W. Smith. The Bible says this about friends:

"A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses."
Proverbs 27:19 (TLB)

Our God is a relational God. After all, relationships are perfectly modeled within the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. And since we are all made in his image, we are innately relational creatures as well.

We all yearn to connect with other people, yet many people are so hungry for relationships, they’re so desperate to have someone in their lives, they latch on to anybody. And out of that desperation for real community, they ultimately choose the wrong friends.

Choosing friends isn’t something that should be done at the drop of a hat. You can’t hope to just fall into great friendships. Developing quality friendships is intentional, not accidental.

You’ve got to put some time and energy into finding great friends because toxic relationships will burn your time; they’ll drain your energy. But if you invest some serious time and energy into finding consistent and committed friends, those relationships will continue to reenergize your life.

The church gives us the best place to develop those quality relationships. The church is the context where our closest friendships should be played out. That’s where you can find people of character, commitment, and consistency.

Don't get me wrong, we need to befriend and be friends with those outside the church walls (after all, Jesus did). But if you are a Christ-follower, when it comes to our best of friends, who we do life with, whom we look to for guidance, counsel, truth and a listening ear, we need those friends in the church.

So take the initiative to plug into great relationships at the church. Don’t invest your time in the wrong people, instead connect with quality people of commitment and consistency who can help you achieve God’s will for your life.

Looking forward to sharing with you Sunday.

In His Grip,


P.S. Have you begun preparing your heart for Easter? Who are you going to bring with you on Easter Sunday?

Monday, February 18, 2008

"I'm too Busy!"

When you ask someone how they are doing, the typical response is, “I’m busy.” In today’s crazy times, busyness has become a badge of honor. We have more opportunities and options available to us than at any other point in history. Even when we aren’t busy, we’re busy. We answer our cell phones at restaurants (and sometimes church), check e-mails on the golf course, text message other's when we are with someone, and plug in the latest Disney movie for the five minute trip to the grocery store.

But our busyness is more devastating to our time than we realize. We spend so much time being busy that we ultimately miss the greatness of time. The bottom line is that our busyness is killing our intimacy with God. But God offers us a remedy.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

The greatest way to manage our time is to first spend time with the author of time. When was the last time you were still before God? I mean no cell phone, no e-mail, not texting, no iPod, no television or radio. When was the last time you just listened to God without competing with the distractions of everyday life?

If you are serious about getting your priorities in line with your commitments, if you are serious about making the most of your time, then be still before God. Be strategic. Set a place and time where you can talk with God and focus on his will for your life. Set aside a time each day where you can focus solely on God’s business, and not your own busyness.

I look forward to being with you as we talk about being still.

In His Grip


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.
Proverbs 3:21

Life is a circus. We juggle this activity and that activity; we walk the tight rope of day-to-day life trying to balance everything that comes our way; and we stretch and mold our schedules to accommodate even the tiniest of obligations. We don’t want to miss out on anything, so we try to do everything. And this circus-type life leaves us over-scheduled, over-committed and overdone.

The truth is that what we say is important and where we spend our time often don’t line up. In short, we say one thing and do another. We say it’s important to spend time alone with God, but we get to the end of each day and wonder where that time was supposed to fit in. We say that church is a priority, but when playoff season comes we wouldn’t dare miss the big game. We claim that our spouse is the most important person in the world, but at the end of the week we look back and see that we didn’t spend one waking hour alone with them.

There’s a gap that exists between our priorities and our commitments—many times without us even realizing it. And it’s a gap that desperately needs closed. Look at everything that comes across your calendar and ask yourself, “Does this activity or obligation line up with what I hold important? Does this sync up with my priorities set forth in God’s word?” If it does, then do it. If not, then don’t. Don’t just say yes to something because you have a few hours to kill. Instead, close the gap by saying yes only to the best.

Sunday we'll continue to explore how to bridge the gap so we can have the best.