Friday, March 14, 2008

Hard Things or Harder Things?
There is so much truth to the comments made by Alex and Brett Harris in "Do Hard Things". The points they make are so applicable to the way society aproaches nearly everything..."I will only participate if it's easy!" How often do we fail to pick up God's Word because of the excuse, "It's too hard to understand!" Yet, we will spend hours studying "How to build a Web-site" for a class or practice hours making the perfect hit in our favorite sport... which really has no eternal significance what-so-ever. "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Matt. 16:26)

True character is built by enduring hard work. What kind of character do we desire of ourselves? We will do almost anything, dispite the level of difficulty for almost anything, except when it comes to serving and following God. Why is that?

If we approached our jobs, sports, and even families the way we approach the work of our Savior, we would be fired, kicked off, kicked out, or divorced. Will we be continually late for work like we are for church? Why do we skip church and not practice? Does our coaches have the authority to grant life eternal? Would our friends or mates continue to remain so if we gave them the time we give God?

Sure, following Christ can be hard work...and can demand time, but is the sacrifice desired more than what He already performed? Let's remember that He is worth it.
Following article by Alex & Brett Harris

"What happens when we avoid hard things? The answer is that hard things come to us. It’s like the guy who won’t go in to the gas station to put some air in slightly deflated tire, only to have it blow out on him on the freeway when he’s late for an important meeting. Maybe it’s even happened before, and he’s already used his spare. Tough luck.

The truth is that we can’t really avoid doing hard things. We can only decide when to do hard things and how well-prepared we’ll be to handle them. You either do the hard thing of getting prepared, or you deal with the harder thing of being unprepared. We either “do it” now, or we end up having to “deal with it” later.This about a lot more than flat tires or missed meetings. Resisting temptation is hard, but not as hard as dealing with an addiction. Finding and keeping a job is hard, but not as hard as dealing with unemployment and struggling to make ends meet.

When we fail to do hard things, we not only disobey God, we set ourselves up to fall short of our true, God-given potential. Even worse, we act as if God is not worthy of our effort - or as if He is unable to accomplish through us what He has called us to do."

The remainder of this article can be viewed in Alex and Brett's New Book, "Do Hard Things."

To veiw more from these teens. checkout:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stuck in the 7th Grade

Lately, I have been reminded—yet again—about how much life really doesn't change after seventh grade.

You still have a goofy side.
You still love to laugh with your friends
You still have to eat your vegetables.
You still eat your vegetables out of guilt, not desire.
You still have friends that are tried and true.
You still have some acquaintances that will stay just that.
You still hate being forced to exercise.
You still have trouble mastering the "spiritual disciplines."
You still have a workload that consists of mostly things you love and a few things you hate.
You still have a "teacher" (or seven) in your life.
You still have a deep hatred for changing your clothes in a public place (gym/fitting rooms).
You still have the "butterflies" feeling in your stomach around the man/woman of your dreams (even if you have been married for 15 years).
You still have moments of uncontrollable weakness, when tears are all that will come out, without any explanation.
You still think things are funnier at 2a.m.
You still give in to peer pressure.You still misspell words.
You still choose to use a calculator instead of multiplying two numbers in your head.
You still find a slight thrill in breaking a small rule.You still have an issue with ridiculous authority figures. ("Yard Duties"/ Ushers, Security Guards, "Rent a Cops")
You still don't have enough money to do everything you want to do.
You still have to go to bed at a reasonable time because you have to get up in the morning.
You still have people you just "click" with.You still have people you just "clique" with.
You still have the group that thinks they are better than you.
Most of the time, you still feel like they are better than you.
You still have to remind yourself, daily, to find your value in being God's child.

It's funny; I operated under the assumption that life would be different, and somewhat easier, as I grew-up. From where I stand right now, it doesn't feel all that different. Maybe I'm not there yet. But maybe, when all is said and done, I'm okay with that.

My friend, Allison Hibbard

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Too Busy to Pray
by Jim Burns

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. — Mark 1:35

A Christian youth worker I know recently described the students in his youth group: "Our students are just too busy to get serious with God." Can you identify with this? Most of us aren't evil. We aren't trying to stay away from God on purpose. We are just too busy to pray.
Have you ever had a conversation like this with God?

God: I'd like to spend some time with you today, Jim.

Jim: Great. I'd love to.

God: How about right now?

Jim: Right now? Uh, I'm a little late for school. I'll catch you later.... I promise.

God: Okay, I'll be waiting.

Jim: I'll see you at the lunch break.

God: Okay, I'll be waiting.

God: Hey Jim, I missed you at lunch. Your body was there but your mind wasn't.

Jim: I know. I'm sorry. I've got so much to do and so much on my mind. I just forgot to pray.

God: Are you ready to spend some time with me now? I know you only have a few minutes before class.

Jim: Well, uh, er, I haven't studied for my math test. I'll have to catch you later.

God: Okay, I'll be waiting. (After the 10:00 p.m. TV show)

God: Jim, I love you and I miss you. I've been waiting all day to be with you, Jim. Let's just focus for maybe five minutes.

Jim: I know. I'm sorry. I really feel bad. I'm so busy. Thanks for being so understanding, God. Thanks for... (Jim falls asleep.)

God: Oh well, maybe he'll have time for me tomorrow.

Are you too busy to pray? If you are, then you are simply too busy. God loves you and wants regular time with you because you are so special in his eyes. When is your special appointment with God? This may seem overly simplistic but it is true: People with a regular time with God will have a closer relationship with Him.

Promises, Promises

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Church every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!'

Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one."

by Bill Rayborn