Monday, January 28, 2008

Where thieves break in and steal

This past Tuesday, I was at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet. It was good. Afterward, I was walking out and striking up a conversation about church and Jesus with the guy next to me. As I approached my car, I sort of squinted, then looked disbelief.

Thieves broke open the passenger window, which was now laying on the ground. From the front they reached in and stole my bag, then ripped open the console and stole its contents.

Within my bag was my Bible I have been carrying and making notes in for about 18 years. It had message ideas and notes and some keepsakes. My journal from the past couple of years was in there. I own a business which has a bunch of very expensive keys, which were stolen as well, and some other valuable property.

My best bud came up to meet with me. It was cold. The police took a little bit to get there. Afterward, we drove around hoping to see my Bible if the thieves tossed it out the window or something. We didn't find it. Upon my friend's prompting, we prayed for the people who took my stuff, that the light of the Gospel of Jesus would shine on them, and they would get transferred out of the domain of darkness and into the Kingdom of the Beloved Son, Jesus.

"Father, may the testimony of my life in Christ contained in those pages have an impact for eternity in the lives of people. Your Word is Truth! Use me, even as one who was stolen from, the be a minister of reconciliation, because You care for people!"

It is a bummer getting your stuff taken. Replacing those key boxes is going to be quite expensive (you could buy a nice used car for the price), and my insurance will likely only cover a little of it. Then there is the large amount of time spent getting back to where you already were.

I did think of Romans 8:28, "28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose." God uses even the results of sin in our broken world. I thought about changing a component of my business that those keys have to do with. It would be expensive, but the first part is already in play, thanks to the thieves. I will now put my bag in a more concealed position in my vehicle. A few other security things have come to mind. And I will probably journal electronically more, hence my entry here today, lest my recorded memories get taken away.

My worth is not in my stuff. You can take my Bible, my notes, my journal, my cash, my keys, my sense of personal security, my memory stick, my business documents, my business notebook/log for the past couple years, my gun, my time recovering from your actions...but you cannot take me away from my God. You cannot take away my treasure, because it is stored up where moth and rust cannot destroy, and thieves cannot break up and steal.

Jesus, I belong to You!

All for His Fame, jack

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Die Daily

Jesus is an incredible leader. (When you are God, it just comes with the package.) Jesus challenged his potential followers. He wasn't afraid of rejection. And He was never afraid to challenge people to the very core. One day Jesus was praying in private with His closest followers, and He asked them who they said He was. One of the inner group, a fisherman named Peter, responded, "You are Christ, the Son of God." Wow...what a response!

Jesus then warned these disciples that He was going to be rejected and killed by the religious leaders in the very near future.

Picture yourself sitting there as one of these 12 guys. You just left your family and business behind. You just walked away. You invested all you have in following this Jesus guy. You bought in to the vision and Kingdom Jesus has been proclaiming. Then Jesus drops this bomb...He is about to be rejected, suffer, and be killed. Where would that leave these followers? But Jesus wasn't done yet. He finished that sentence with the real bomb, "and on the third day I will be raised to life."

Then he said to them all, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it," Luke 9:23-24.

Jesus is The Leader. It's His job as God. He is leading those who will follow to die daily, so that He can live His life in us. Die to self-sufficiency, to self-leadership. To surrender self-leadership and Trust in the One who was willing to surrender His very life for our sake, Jesus!

In this season of difficulty in my life, I need to remember that self is not sufficient. Only Jesus is sufficient for my every need. If I forget this for a day, my heart sinks and hope drains away. Our Heavenly Father, the One who didn't shrink back from sending His own Son, Jesus, to sacrifice His life so that I could live and escape the just punishment I earned, will He not continue to show His love and care for me, even through the midst of difficulty?

Yes, I can trust in Him! Jesus leads the way.

All for His Fame, jack

Isaiah 40:26

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Coolest Things of the Day...

  • I am now the College-Age Minister at my church...Wow, do I need Jesus!