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Archive for February, 2019

I’ve been thinking about what it means to seek Jesus a lot over the last several weeks…actually the last 3 months. I’ve asked myself, “Kevin, are you really seeking Jesus or are you just going through the motions?” Now, I’m not trying to be super-spiritual and I’m not trying to be ethereal or out in left field. I’m simply saying, I believe there is a pursuit of Jesus that I’ve been missing. And I think a lot of people are missing it.

It seems to me that we’ve gotten to the place in our evangelism that we bring people to Jesus and we stop. We get people saved and then what? It’s like every service, every message has to be the same. And that’s needed! Of course we’ve got to get people to Jesus, but Jesus said we are to: “Go and make disciples…” Do you see that word: DISCIPLE. He didn’t say, “Go and make converts…” Conversion is the first step…yes…but there is more! We’ve got to be teaching people! We’ve got to be growing people. We’ve got teach people how to climb in their faith toward Jesus! That’s what we’ve been saying this year…

The question is…how much time does it take to climb? Can you hike a mountain in 2 minutes? Let me ask you this…can you and I seek Jesus in 2 minutes? Can He be found in our 20-second prayers over our meals or the prayer that’s quickly uttered as we fall asleep? Can we never read the Word of God and expect to call ourselves disciples of Christ? There is nothing disciplined about that.

Disciple

Discipline

Those two words have the same root! If we want to truly be a disciple, we are going to have to be disciplined. It’s no different than a ball team. They have to practice before they play. They must run, work-out, lift weights…eat right…you name it. It takes discipline to make champions. And you know what…the same is true as believers in Christ. God is person and He desires to be wanted. I’ll say that again: He desires to be wanted. Just like you desire to be wanted. Don’t you want to be wanted? Loved? Sure you do! So do I! After all, we are created in the image of God and it’s our spirits that must seek Him (for He is Spirit).

Lately, I’ve been trying to retrain my mind to think on Jesus. To set my mind on things above. But, some might say, “Kevin, be careful that you don’t get so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.” Can I say this kindly to you… I’ve never met any single person that I believe were “too heavily minded.” I see people who are attached to this earth. I see that so much in myself. I spend so much time thinking about myself and my needs and my wants and my comfort and my desires… My problem is me. And your problem is probably you. It’s easy for the universe to revolve around ourselves.

I had to go to a place that I died to myself. And that’s a daily thing… Jesus said it would be a daily thing! And boy is it! It feels like some days I’m taking some major ground in moving up that mountain and other days I’m stuck or even losing ground. What do I mean?

I’m seeking the Lord throughout the day in that I’m trying to think about Him as I live life. I’m thinking about Him as I drive. I honestly don’t listen to the radio much anymore. I just keep it off and talk to the Lord. It’s been an amazing thing how much time I’ve gained. Folks, He wants to talk to us. He’s waiting! But, the truth is…we like our “noise.” We walk into our homes and we flip on the TV. We get in the car and we’re on the radio. We have an idle moment and we grab the phone to check social media. Believe me…I’m chief of sinners! And so, I’m seeking to NOT do these things as much. Am I becoming a hermit? No! But, there is something to be said for mediating on the Lord. There’s something to be said for “being still and know that He is God.”

Can you get still? For how long? 5 minutes? 10? Maybe that’s scary. Maybe you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts. Sometimes that can be scary… I must admit that! But, listen…you and I are not alone…not as followers of Christ! He’s with us! His Spirit dwells in our spirit and He bears witness with us. But, can we hear Him? Are we hearing from Him?

The Lord wants a relationship with us. He wants to talk to us. That’s why He came to die. He came so that we can know Him…and that we might not only be with Him forever in heaven, but have Him to guide our lives on this side of glory. I can tell you this…as I’ve been thinking on Jesus and focusing my mind more and more on Him, I’m changing in my spirit. There is more joy and more of a sense of peace and ease in my soul. I’m not as easily upset or “torn out of my frame” on things that really don’t matter.

The Scripture says:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

How can we grow in our faith? Simple. Go after Jesus! Ask and it shall be given…seek and you will find…knock and the door will be opened. All of that requires action! Go! Go! Go! Or in my vernacular these days…Climb, climb, climb!

It means when I’m walking through the parking lot at the hospital I look at the sky and see the clouds and I think, “Jesus, thank you for watching over me and caring for me and for what you will do to give me the words for this situation and this family.” Before I walk into my home and turn the handle on my door, I think, “Lord, help me to have saved enough of my time and patience to be what my family needs me to be for them tonight.” It’s driving down the road with the kids in the back of the van and saying, “Hey guys…look at the window…tell me what you see. Who made that?” It’s training our minds to “see” and “hear” with our spirit. Do you see? It’s just an intentional mindset and it’s that intentionality that’s slowly but surely changing this bald-headed man. I’m actually experiencing the presence of Jesus more and more in my life! It’s wonderful!!

Therefore, in the light of what I’ve just written, here’s this week’s TMT:

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmMzV2cmN0P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

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I love to talk. But, you already know that don’t you? I enjoy talking to people and that’s why my kids have always dreaded the “I’ll only be a minute” when I go into a store. They know if I see someone I know that I’ll be in there for…well…who knows! Wink, wink.

Talking is good in that it’s communication. And if you are communicating then you are building relationships. When we stop talking we’ll likely be in trouble. And this is big-time true for our children. They need us talking to them. They want us to talk to them. They may give the impression that they don’t (particularly in their teen years) but that’s just not true. They WANT us to ask them how they are doing because it lets them know we care. And I guess this has been on my brain this week. I did the Two-Minute Tuesday about this topic this week: “Raising Children Who Love Jesus-How To Do It”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLys4cmZtYmNwP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

But, let me be clear. Talking takes time doesn’t it. And let’s be honest mom and dad. It takes effort…especially after a long day. You may be “talked out,” but we have to “save some for home.” I say that to myself all the time:

SAVE SOME FOR HOME KEVIN!!

I love this family!

Look, if I give everything I’ve got to everyone else and leave nothing for the ones I love most, what kind of husband/father am I? I’ll tell you what kind… A selfish one. A man who cares more about what others think about him (and making sure I meet their needs instead of my own family). I’ve struggled with this in my life, I’ll be honest. But, as I’ve gotten older, (and hopefully a bit wiser), I’ve gotten better about this. Truly, my first two kids got the worst end of the deal. I’ve apologize to them many times. By the grace of God and a fantastic mother, they’ve turned out well.

Maybe those of you reading this who have young families can learn from my mistakes. Take time for your family. Take time for your kids and TALK. Talk to them. Spend time with them. Put down the devices and talk. They’ll buck it… Yes…they will NOT want to sit on the sofa and talk as a family…but, this is critical. Turn off the TV…talk. About what? About life. About the weather. About what’s going on in the country, the world. Talk about Jesus. Talk about what’s going on in the world and think about how you can teach and make connections in their minds with the Scripture. Ask questions. Lots of questions. Don’t just lecture. Who likes that? Ask questions that are age appropriate.

Let me give you an example. We had a conversation Tuesday night and I asked Clara and Andrew “If you had a friend hurting or suffering in some way…maybe they’re down or depressed, what would you tell them?” Clara said, “I’d tell them to read Psalms.” I said, “Great!” Then she said, “Proverbs is good too!” Folks, she’s 13, but I truly expect her to know these things because Pam and I’ve trained her to know these things. Truly, these are the things of life that’s more important than Algebra and Athletics. Don’t get me wrong…those things are important, but I’d argue that those things don’t help someone in a dark place of anxiety or depression.

[By the way, this is a side note: I talk to tons and tons of people and I find that there’s a real lack of Bible knowledge. And because of this, folks don’t have anything to fall back on but the stuff of this world… So, it’s social media, maybe alcohol, and illicit relationship… Pain… Suffering… Hurt…]

Talk. Communicate. That shows care, love and concern. Hey…do you have time to do some of this? If you don’t, you’re too busy and you better ratchet it down a bit. You can’t be all things to all people…but, you better be some things to YOUR people.

Here’s last week’s Two-Minute Tuesday:

Am I Equipped to Help My Struggling Friend,

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLys2cDRmZjJtP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Weather update: Don’t believe the groundhog. I don’t believe it’s going to turn to Spring early, even though it feels like it this week. I believe we’ll bounce back down to cooler weather over the remainder of the winter…and yes…possibly another “event” at some point. None of this is a guarantee…but, just my impression of what I’m seeing and hearing. The truth is there is a lot of disagreement between the US model versus the European model.

US Model:

See how warm it shows for Feb 15…

Now take a look at the European…much colder…totally different…

Folks, those two models couldn’t be more opposite. So we’ll see if our model wins or the Europeans win. Hint: I’m thinking the Europeans beat us on this one. Just a hunch.

Kevin

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