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Showing posts with the label The Next Christians

“When your gifts and natural skills collide with your deepest burdens—you have calling.”

A thought by Gabe Lyons (2010-10-05) in his book, The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America (p. 124). Doubleday Religion. Kindle Edition.
Maybe you are searching for your purpose in living as you go into the new year.  Maybe you have been wandering and wondering through 2011 but you want 2012 to be different.  Now this is a good time to sit down with a yellow pad or your notes on your iPhone and start to do some God-directed thinking.
A good place to start is evaluating your gifts.  I’m not talking about your Christmas gifts but those Spiritual gifts that God gave you when you became a Christian.  Check on the internet for a good Spiritual gifts test or go to your local Christian book store or ask your pastor. 
Take that test and then do some self-assessment of your natural abilities.  Ask yourself and some of your closest honest friends, “What am I good at?”  That may be hard for you to do but it is an important step in this process.
And then ask yourself, “W…

“Creating instead of criticizing takes discipline.”

A thought by Gabe Lyons (2010-10-05) from his book, The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America(p. 108). Doubleday Religion. Kindle Edition.
Have you ever tried to create something?  Oh I know you did when you were in Kindergarten but somewhere we changed from being creators to critics.  I mean it is so much more important for people to do things right or as we view right than it is to create something new.  At least that is how some people think.
But creating is so vital in life.  I know some people say they aren’t creative but they really are creators who have been beaten down by critics.
Now as a preacher I created a new message every week from scratch.  I would start on Monday or Tuesday finish it on Saturday and then give it 2 times on Sunday and 1 time on Monday or Tuesday and then start all over again.  I did that every week for 25+ years.
I have now retired from doing that but I now write 2 blogs.  One I do every day which is taken from my old messages …

“The beauty of the Gospel is found in both proclamation and demonstration. Neither comes first; neither comes second.”

A thought by Gabe Lyons (2010-10-05) in his book, The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America(p. 94). Doubleday Religion. Kindle Edition.
There is a telling part of the Good News that Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly but there is also a showing and doing part in my life.  Many times it is easier to tell than to do.

I mean we can share with everyone that God is love but never love anyone.  We can say that Jesus loves all the children of the world but our actions show that we hate Muslims and gays.

Or we can be a person that everybody loves but never tell anyone how that Jesus is the reason why we are the person we are.

The awesome part of the Good News that Christ has given us is that it is both.

Now we can know the Bible inside and out.  My mom started me memorizing the Bible when I was very young.  That is a very good thing.  It helps to have the Word at our disposal when we are going through tough times.

Back when I was a freshman in coll…

“Jesus himself was more concerned with engagement than condemnation.”

A thought by Gabe Lyons (2010-10-05) in his book,The Next Christians: The Good News Aboutthe End of Christian America(p. 81). Doubleday Religion. Kindle Edition.
I’m not always sure what Christ some of us Christ followers follow.Does that make sense?I mean, we spend so much of our time in the condemnation business and running away from or pushing away the type of people that Jesus spent time with.We do the opposite of what Jesus came to do.

It seems it is so easy for us to paint Jesus as one who is pointing His finger in judgment instead of reaching His hand out in compassion.Why is that?Are we reading a different gospel than the ones at the beginning of the New Testament?

Now His way is tough.That is true.I mean He was rejected and then killed.There is always that potential in engagement.But isn’t that what we have signed up for?There are risks in being an authentic Christ follower.Maybe we want the title without the risks.But He said we would have eternal life if we did it His way.That…