Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thanks & Aunt Dora

Children do not naturally have an inclination for appreciation. Parents have to constantly remind their kids to say “Thank You” by asking the chiding question: “What do you say?” As the Giver of all good things, our Heavenly Father is asking his children the same question.

Almost twenty centuries ago God inspired the Apostle Paul to predict today’s global attitude: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come from men who will be lovers of themselves, unthankful, unholy.” (2 Timothy 3:1-2, emphasis added).

Many people today are self-centered, discontent, and ungrateful. But in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul counters the general attitude of the world with what the prevailing attitude of the believer in Christ should be: “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Christians, more than anyone else should be thankful people. In a world of ingratitude, we should be thankful to God in times that are painful as well as in times that are pleasant, in times of war and peace, in times of famine and plenty, in times of poverty and prosperity.

An attitude of gratitude is an earmark of spiritual maturity. Those who have been gripped by grace spend time daily thanking God in private as well as regularly thanking God and others in the public domain.

Some people find it difficult to show appreciation to God and the people around them. They have a hard time saying, “I enjoyed that” or “I like that” or “Thanks for doing that.” If you are one of those people, maybe its time to do an inventory of your spirit and to ask the Lord to develop an attitude of gratitude in you. With the help of the Holy Spirit, your life can be transformed from the inside out by a two-word phrase that packs a powerful caffeinated punch: “Thank You.”

Looking forward to sharing with you this Sunday about my Aunt Dora.

In His Grip,


Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Number One (or so I thought)

Not long ago I was driving getting ready to pull out on a very busy road. I "thought" the way was clear for me to pull out. I was wrong. I pulled right in front of a car that quickly swerved around me to avoid an accident. I gave the "I'm sorry wave and shrug" (what I always thought was the appropriate way to say "I blew, my bad, my fault.) As this guy drives by, he makes a gesture (I think you know which one). My son says, "Dad, that guys who pasted us was telling us we're number one!"

I was truly sorry and wasn't trying to be jerk or anything like that, but I realized, rudeness has become a national pastime. From in-your-face reality T.V. to road rage to obscenity-laden popular music, we have become a culture of the loud, the crude, and the rude. And while many today write off etiquette as passé, God’s definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 conveys the timeless nature of good manners.

Love is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, rudeness decaffeinates love. The word “rude” means to display an attitude that is inappropriate. The root of it suggests something that is shapeless or in a rough, rudimentary form. When we are rude, we are out of shape. And as Christians, such an attitude can disfigure ourselves, others and more importantly, the image of God. Rudeness discredits our faith in the eyes of those around us. It turns people off to Christianity, pushes them away from Christ, and gives a false impression of the character of God.

When you find yourself in a situation where someone is being rude to you, don’t return rudeness with more rudeness. (I could have told that guy he was number one back.) Instead reverse rudeness with respect.

Think about what God did for us. We’ve been rude to God by sinning. We’ve failed to comply with his rules, his order for our lives. That’s rude. It flies in the face of God’s love. But does God return rude for rude? No. God returns rudeness with respect, a respect that flows from his great love for us--a love that commissioned his only Son to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

So, the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, is late for an appointment, or talks on a cell phone in a movie theater, respond in the same way God does to our rudeness: with love and respect. Because when you know God’s love and humble yourself before him, that leads to respect. And respect reverses rudeness.

I look forward to being with you and sharing with you all this Sunday. God has really been impressing this lesson on me this week. It's not always fun to have something "impressed" upon you, but through it we grow, right? Don't come alone. Bring someone. We have a great church, with good music and great people. Most people are just an invitation away from coming to church. All we have to do is ask.

See you Sunday,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Time to Help.

Watch this, then read:

Hurricane Torn Baton Rouge Needs Our Help!!! from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Want to help? It's time to step up and stop talking about it. It doesn't matter if you are a Christ-follower or not. It's time to do somethig. Seriously.
Time to sacrifice the date night this month.
Time to sacrifice the family dinner night out this month.
Time to sacrifice the twice a day Starbucks habit.

Go over to this site and buy a case of tarps for the victims of Hurricane Gustav.

Let us know in the comments section below if you were able to pull this off.
Power has been out in parts of southern Louisiana weeks; homes are destroyed, and many people in “the bayou” have yet to be reached. They need help! But how?

The answer… Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.Blue Tarps.

Order your blue tarps at this link and have it shipped here:

Healing Place Church
19202 Highland Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

We can all step away from our own comfort to provide it to those who have none.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's Up with Twitter?

So, yea, I've been twittering. It has been a great place to connect with other pastors and churches from around the country. At first I thought, "this is weird. What do I care what anybody else is doing." But now my eyes have been opened and I see the possibiities for getting information out, connecting and even praying with others and other churches. Watch this video. Get on twitter. Add me as friend (search for brettaljets). You can also add our church (search for whipplecreek).

Maybe see you in "twitter" world.