Does God Need Sponsors?

The following email got past my spam filters today. I couldn’t let it go…so here is part of the text:

“God Allah Re-announced His Official Millennium Arrival and The Resurrection.

God Allah announced today He is now seeking sponsors for the purpose of The Resurrection. Applicants may apply by email. Allah states, “I am pleased to update you on My Successful Arrival. I am seeking sponsors, e.g. businesses, organizations, communities, etc. to further the cause of The Resurrection. I want the world to know I love you and am here amongst you. I thank you for your prayers and issue My Press most expediently. I believe although this is an emergency, I advise you to stay calm, pray and welcome Me unto you so I may help you.” For more information please contact Allah Media Relations at …”

Now, I feel sure that this is a money-making scheme and not from any official religious body. But I love the contrast it brings to what the Bible says about the Second Coming of Jesus.

The Bible says that “every eye will see him.” His return will be a time/history/world stopping event. He won’t need a press release to announce it or sponsors to make it happen.

Lately, I have found myself longing for Jesus to return so that I would no longer have to deal with the cares of this world. That is not good motivation … but the desire is good.

“Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” We long to see you. We long to be with you.

Until He returns, we keep working. “Let us not become weary in doing good.” May we continue to share Jesus with every person everywhere.

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”

(1 Peter 4:7 NIV)

Do you long for Jesus to return? Do you hunger for more of Him now?

Best Friends?

What makes marriage work? What makes it last? I have been married for 29 years but I don’t have it all figured out. I do have some ideas. I think I am on to a few things.

One thing that must happen in marriage: become best friends. Romantic feelings can be so fickle. Building a marriage on romance is building a house on the sand.  I am all for romance and passion. In fact, I am a big fan. But something else makes for a firmer foundation. That something  is friendship. Marriage cannot go the distance without it.

Does that idea sound foreign to you? When you consider who your  best friend is, does your spouse’s face even enter the picture?

Let’s test the friendship component of your marriage. Here are some questions that will help you determine the quality of your marital friendship:

  • Do you enjoy spending time with your spouse?
  • Do you look forward to being alone with your spouse or do you dread the time you must spend together?
  • Do you ever actually spend time…just the two of you…without the kids or other couples present?
  • When you are alone, what do you talk about?
  • Do you have deep conversations? Or, do you just discuss the details of running your household?
  • Do you have interests in common? What activities do you both like to do?
  • Are you willing to do things that the other person loves to do — just so you can be with them?
  • If you could pick one person to spend an evening with, would it be your spouse?
  • What do you think is fun? Is it more or less fun when done with your spouse?
  • Does being together bring out the best in both of you…or the worst?

What do you think of these questions? What other questions would you add to this list? I would love to hear from you.

“This is my lover, this is my friend,”

(Song of Songs 5:16, NIV)

“How to Prayerwalk”

In preparation for Easter, we are encouraging our church to prayerwalk in their neighborhoods.  Many people have never done this before.  Here is a helpful “how to” article.  I encourage you to read it and begin your spiritual journey down the streets where you live.

This article is on The Waymakers website. They also have a great app to help you pray and “Seek God for the City.” It would be a great tool for the weeks ahead.

Bless you as you pray! Be ready for God to move…

“A Theology of Risk”

I love the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30. Many stereotype Christ-followers as weak, timid, or spineless.  This story paints a different picture. It teaches a theology of risk. Jesus pictures two extremes for his followers: risk or cowardice. He gives two judgments on his servants: faithful or worthless. The two faithful servants risked what the master gave them in order to gain success. They may have had setbacks…the story does not say. But in the end, the result was spectacular.

Jesus values risk-taking.

Helen Keller once said,

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

To qualify, Jesus empowers risk-taking but it is always done at his leading. If we will follow, he will lead us on an adventure of faith. Risk is born out of prayer…an intimate walk with the Savior. As we discover his heart, we will learn what risks he asks of us.  But risk is demanded of the servant of Christ.

Yet if we follow Christ’s leading, there is really little risk. Courage is needed because there may be setbacks along the way. Following Christ’s leading will invariably bring ultimate victory.

This story pictures two extremes: the successful risk-taker and the worthless risk-avoider.

A theology of risk:

  • Risk doing something over doing nothing. (Accountability demands action.)
  • Risk requires faith.
  • Risk requires sacrifice.
  • Risk requires prayer.
  • Risk requires walking in the Spirit.

I searched the internet for the title of this post and discovered a book on the subject: Faith of Leap, The: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage (Shapevine) by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch.  They cite the above quote by Helen Keller.  Have you read it? What were your thoughts?

The Vow: A True Story of Enduring Love and Commitment

Imagine that within the first blissful months of marriage, the person you love most in the wo rld Imagemiraculously survives a near-fatal car crash,… and awakes with no memory of you at all. In “The Vow,” Kim and Krickitt Carpenter recount this incredible experience. Here’s an excerpt.

via ‘The Vow’: A true story of love and enduring commitment – books –

Oh, man! I guess I am going to have to see this movie now.  I am not a chick-flik fan but this is based on a true story. This couple has written a book. The link contains an excerpt of their book as well as an interview on the Today Show.  The interview is powerful! The Carpenters have a strong Christian faith that is central to their story.

UPDATE:  My wife and I went to see this movie last night.  Unfortunately, it did not deliver as I had hoped.  I wondered how Hollywood, a major studio, would deal with the Christian themes of this story.  The answer is that they ignored them.  Crystie is soon to read the book. I’ll be interested in her take on the book versus the movie.

The NBA’s Tebow?

“Linsanity” is sweeping New York City, the NBA, and much of the sports-world.  Even the talking heads at ESPN seem to be climbing on board.

Jeremy Lin is an undrafted point guard from Harvard, released by two NBA teams, who is now playing for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association.  A week ago he was sitting on the end of the bench, not playing, and in danger of being released yet again.  He had a ten-day contract with the Knicks and slept on his brother’s couch.

But what a difference a week makes. Forced into the line-up by injuries and the tragic death of a teammate’s brother, Lin has had one of the greatest NBA debuts ever. He has 89 points in his 3 starts. That’s the most by a Knicks player in his first 3 starts with the team since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77. Last night, against the Los Angeles Lakers, he scored more points in a single game than any Knicks player this season.  And the NY Knicks have guaranteed his contract through the rest of this season.

What most people do not know, but many are starting to realize, is that Jeremy Lin is a man of strong Christian faith.  That is news to those of us just hearing of him but not to those who are aware of his college career. In fact, he gave an interview back then about his faith. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 on

ESPN reports that comparisons are being drawn between Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin, for their ability to help get the best out of their teammates and speaking of their faith when the camera is on.  After beating one of the NBA’s premier teams last night, the attention of Lin is only going to grow.

It will be interesting to watch how Lin’s story develops.  He burst onto the scene only a week ago but is likely to remain in the starting line-up for the rest of the season.  With Tebow’s notoriety in the past NFL season and now Lin’s NBA attention, I find myself wondering what God is up to.  It is interesting to have two examples — two spotlight players with strong Christian faith. Lin does not have to be Tebow.  He just has to be himself.  How his story and his career develop will be fun to watch.

Seasons of Life

From Pete Scazzero’s blog…quoting Gordon MacDonald.  I read it and think, “This is me.”  Perhaps another season of ministry life.  I started ministry as a young man and became so accustomed to telling myself “Let no one look down on your youth.”  It is startling to wake up one day and realize that is no longer the case.

“You can anticipate when younger people begin asking you questions they ask a mother or father. If you are over 50, the needle of your ministry life will move from programs to people.  Focus your life on being a spiritual mother/father to younger people.”

via Google Reader (1000+).