Sunscreen & Sunglasses

Chilly —  August 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

From my personal journal today (and family devotions on the beach).

sunscreen&sunglasses

Sunscreen.

I love going to the beach! LOVE IT! And, yet there’s something about going to the beach that I hate! Yeah, I do it, but I hate it… applying sunscreen! Especially, when there’s 7 people needing it (in varying degrees of protection: SPF 50, 30, 15, etc). The process takes us 15 minutes or more — and, then, at some point on the beach we must reapply — but this time we’re sort of gritty from the sand.

As much as I dislike applying sunscreen, I DO IT. I hate sunburn FAR worse! And, I’m also aware that neglect today could result in much greater problems later: skin cancer. We don’t think about cancer when we’re younger — sunburn is just how we start our tans. Stupid, right?!

It’s easy as Christians to be careless and stupid when it comes to exposing our hearts and minds to the sins and dangers of the world. We’ve all been burned and damaged by the fiery attack from the enemy. We need to apply protection – daily (or more) and liberally.

I know some that choose to live in the shadows with pale faith — fearing worldly damage so much that they avoid lost people all together. That’s not God’s plan. No, we must put on the protection provided and then get out there and make a difference. Find the sunscreen here:

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11( read: v. 12-18)
- Also read: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Don’t become lazy or indifferent by forgetting to reapply. We need the power of the Holy Spirit that comes through DAILY (or more) application of God’s Word and authentic prayer.

Sunglasses.

The other thing we need to enjoy a day on the beach is sunglasses. This year I purchased a pair of sunglasses that are super dark — designed specifically, to protect from sun reflection on the ocean (water).

Sunglasses do 2 primary things: they protect our eyes from damage. Did you know you can sunburn your eyes — OUCH! And, sunglasses, help us focus. You see better when the glare is diverted and your not forced to squint through watery eyes.

The lenses of our ‘sunglasses’ should be God’s Love. When we see others through these lenses — everything becomes more clear and beautiful. What comes through them — like damaging sun, is filtered into vivid clarity. We are protected from insecurity, fear, doubt and hurt. And, then when we look back out through the love of God, we see ONLY good.

Looking through these lenses should also cause us to stop being so selfish, judgmental and rude.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:3-5

Sometimes Sunscreen and Sunglasses may seem over-the-top or unnecessary, but they protect and preserve you. And, now, each time you use them, perhaps you’ll be reminded of God’s Armor & God’s Love — wear BOTH daily!

Expanding the Margin

Chilly —  August 15, 2014 — 4 Comments

I’m on vacation.

Resting… Playing… Recharging… Praying… and, Listening.

It’s been a really busy, crazy, fast-paced, exciting and exhausting season of life and ministry.

So, during a walk along the beach, I felt the Lord ask, “How long do you intend to live like this?

expired-parking-meterI was reminded of a series that I preached at Courage Church a few years ago called: “Margin” — I think I need to preach it again TO MYSELF. This series really challenged me in some of the fundamental areas of my life. And, you know what? Looking at and adjusting our schedules and daily disciplines can turn out to be one of the most spiritual things we can do!

MARGIN = The Amount Available Beyond What Is Necessary.

So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely.16 Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times.17 So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:15-17

If you don’t tell time where to go, you’ll be asking it where it went.

GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF GREAT. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of organizations never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good-and that is the main problem. — Jim Collins

So, with this in mind, I need to eliminate or adjust some ‘good‘ things in my life that are robbing me of GREAT things!

Allow me to challenge you to do FIVE things:

  1. Confess those areas of your life in prayer that are causing too much busyness. Ask for God’s help.
  2. Also, as you pray, ask God to give you the strength to say no to good things so that you can say yes to GREAT things!
  3. Listen for God’s response. Take notes.
  4. Commit to God the things you will do immediately that will allow you to create more margin in your schedule.
  5. Get with someone who knows you well, and talk to them about the changes that you’re putting into motion TODAY.

“Life is tons of discipline.” ~ Robert Frost

Here’s a few things I feel like God is asking me to adjust:

  • First is FACEBOOK. No, it’s not evil – in fact, it’s one of the fastest ways to interact with people and get the word out about updates, prayer requests, etc. – but, for me, it consumes too much time and attention. So, I’m finding one time each day that I visit Facebook and respond or update it.  In addition, my Facebook will still have updates posted via Twitter or Instagram but my involvement will be MUCH LESS. So, if you need me, DON’T message me on Facebook or use my FB wall. Contact me via email (click envelope at top of page). 
  • Second is Latenight Media. I’m a late-night guy and get lots accomplished after my family is in bed – that’s a good thing (and at times, a great thing)… but God tapped me on the shoulder and said “at Midnight: read, journal, pray but turn the POWER off on TV, Macbook, iPad, etc.” - I’ll get more focused and get more sleep! Win/Win — another good to GREAT move!
  • Third is Queen Time. My wife needs and deserves more of my MARGIN! So, I’m returning to a previous plan of asking HER to pick one breakfast, lunch or dinner each week — our lives & schedules are unique – so the cute little immoveable “date night” won’t work (plus, it’s kind of annoying when people make a HUGE deal about their immoveable night)… we’re a bit more flexible than that! Plus, it will be fun to mix it up and try unique places at unique times! Ultimately, this time is for me to value & listen to my queen speak! She’s my best friend. This commitment should expand my family time too!
  • Last, for now, is Health & Fitness. I’ve already been much more deliberate about what I eat (MyFitnessPal app) and also exercising daily (Running, soccer and Nike+ Fuelband). I’m more resolved than ever to continue to lose weight and increase my energy. I also plan to figure out a course of action for when winter arrives — my fitness suffers when I can run & play. Ask me about this later this Fall!
Ok, so there it is! I’m being transparent and vulnerable with EVERYONE!
Now it’s YOUR turn! I want to, specifically, challenge those in my Courage Church team and  family to step-up here and rock the comments! What good things does God want you to lay down in your pursuit for what is GREAT? And, I would also LOVE to hear from my Mount Hope friends and Accelerate Network! And, of course, YOU! Can’t wait for the interaction that will come through this accountability! GO FOR IT!
Growing my MARGINS, Chilly

Next Stop … Breathe

Chilly —  August 12, 2014 — 1 Comment

*Journal entry during flight to Siesta Key

I’m 33,000 ft. above the earth on my way to Siesta Key for family vacation… sigh… You don’t realize you need rest until you make it happen (maybe until then, you operate in a focused denial).

almost there

I have so much to be thankful for:

  • ALL of my family is with me and ALL of my kids still love & enjoy being with ‘daddy.’ Rare in our crazy world & dysfunctional culture.
  • My wife (and queen) is still in love with me. Miracle for sure!
  • I’m healthy. I’m eating better (and less) and I run & play soccer almost every day. And for three weeks I’ll also swim/play in the ocean and pool for 4-6 hours per day!
  • My sleep is still not great but, perhaps, this vacation will allow me to adjust this to something sane.
  • My church (Courage) is doing really good! We’ve never been healthier – in all ways! They showed their love to us & for us in such a big, significant & generous way yesterday (pastor appreciation Sunday). Love them!
  • My other church (Mount Hope) also have expressed their love and appreciation. My role there is so unique – I never feel like I’m doing enough. But, GREAT things are happening.

Random: I’m drinking Bloody Mary mix (spicy tomato juice)

This time away – priorities:
1. God – deeper … More listening, More journaling and More vision!
2. Family – attention, fun, individual times with each. LOVE!
3. Health – exercise, eat right & sleep — and relax (breathe, stop over-thinking)
4. Seek Direction: next 25+ years marriage & family // And, next 10+ years ministry
5. Minister to my friend and host here in Florida plus other people we encounter
6. Follow: I lead & make so many decisions — so, here, it’s fun to just tag along.
7. Enjoy lots of seafood!  Fish, lobster, crab, clams, scallops, calamari & more!

We’ll land soon and our adventure will continue. IF you think of us, please pray! We want this time away to be refreshing, defining and encouraging. We’re so thankful for ALL of you! More later…

Time to find my boardshorts and sunscreen!

Relaxed,
Chilly

Picture via pastormark.tv

Picture via pastormark.tv

A:  I’m praying for Mark, his family, Mars Hill Church and Acts 29

- Yep, that’s it.

- Remember: Jesus is the head of the church. Always. 

- Church leadership is biblical: Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:7 ESV
– “they will have to give an account” — whoa, that’s scary, crazy, responsibility.
– the people involved have LOTS to consider and deal with.

- I’m well aware that I’m an imperfect pastor, leader… PERSON. I need friends, leaders and authority OVER my life and ministry. Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14 ESV

- IF you’re not involved in this whole thing, stay out of it and keep serving. Don’t read everything and try NOT to have an opinion. 

- Pray for them. Take a look at the picture — sigh… pray for them ALL.

- Get back to WHY you’re on this planet: Love, Serve, Honor and Give.

 

Flush & Walk Away!

Chilly —  August 6, 2014 — 1 Comment

gross-bathroomIt feels so STINKIN’ awesome when we get the crap out of our lives! You, know, gross smelly stuff like: sin, lust, gossip, anger, bitterness, hate, pride, porn and unforgiveness! Yeah, it’s a bit messy at times and takes some work to get it out. And, others may not like it or get all disgusted. But, God NEVER intended for you to carry all that junk inside of you… and, why in the world would you?? YUCK! 

Refuse to be bloated and cramped by the sins of your generation! Power-flush them out of your life once-and-for-all! It’s a smelly job but the “end” result is FREEDOM … and a new sense of freshness!

Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant – dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ. Philippians 3:8

Free & clean… OH YEAH!  chilly

Note:  It’s ok IF my comparison of sin to poop grossed you out. Maybe IF we viewed sin as totally  disgusting, we wouldn’t keep it in and around our lives anymore. Be sickened enough to flush it and walk away!

Q: What’s something that needs to be flushed today? Do it!
– The Holy Spirit will spray the Febreze!