Working on a Dream




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do NOT go Gently!

Dylan Thomas’ most famous poems is Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night:
You may remember it from the movie, "Dangerous Minds."

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
I love Thomas' poem due to its raw nature. From the time we are children, it seems like much of our society's mission is to tame us; wittling away our edges, thus rendering us mere shell's of the people that God intended us to become.
"Don't step out of line, we need you to become a nice-mindless-cog"
= No Thanks.
Jesus told a story about about a rich master leaving on a journey. Before he left, he entrusted 3 of his servants with talents (money) that varied in worth. What each servant did next was quite telling. The first 2 invested their talents while the third, buried his. When the master returned home he wanted to see what the 3 men did with his investment. The first 2 men shared of a profit gain, while the last man handed back the very same talent that was given to him before the master left for his journey. Afterward, we learn that the master is exceptionally pleased with the first 2 and exceedingly unhappy (perhaps unhappy is putting things a little light considering this is the exact wording used in the Bible, ("You wicked and slothful servant ...") with the 3rd. 

In the story above, Jesus is hammering home a very important point for us. He wants us to use the possessions that God has entrusted us with for God's glory. Whether it is your high IQ, your bankroll, your savvy street-smarts, or your work ethic -these are gifts for you to use to bless others with and return glory back to God. See here is the deal, I want to spur you on to your density. I want to move you toward your purpose in this life. So does Dylan Thomas.
And so does Jesus.

Do not go gentle into that good night.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to find your Destiny

This past Sunday I preached from the book of Exodus.
I didn’t mention Moses or Aaron. And I did not talk about the Pharaoh or the 10 plagues. Can you believe not one word was mentioned about the parting of the Red Sea either? Instead I taught about 2 ordinary guys named, Oholiab & Bezalel. These 2 men are called by name in Exodus chapter 31 for a special purpose.

In verses 2 & 6 we learn that these men were “appointed” and “selected” by God. In other words, this was not an accident; these 2 had a special calling on their lives. I get the feeling that these two were the men for the mission. You and I know & love people like that. America knows people like that too. George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Simon Sinek, in his book, “Start with the WHY” offers the following story about King:

He was not perfect. He had his complexities. He was not the only one who suffered in a pre-civil rights America, and there were plenty of other charismatic speakers. But Martin Luther King Jr. had a gift. He knew how to inspire people. Dr. King knew that if the civil rights movement was to succeed, if there was to be a real, lasting change, it would take more than him and his closest allies. It would take more than rousing words and eloquent speeches. It would take people, tens of thousands of average citizens, united by a single vision, to change the country. At 11:00 a.m. on August 28th, 1963, they would send a message to Washington that it was time for America to steer a new course.

The organizers of the civil rights movement did not send out thousands of invitations, nor was there a Web site to check the date. But the people came. And they kept coming and coming. All told, a quarter of a million people descended on the nation’s capital in time to hear the words immortalized by history, delivered by the man who would lead a movement that would change America forever: “I HAVE A DREAM.”

The ability to attract so many people from across the country, of all colors and races, to join together on the right day, at the right time, took something special. Though others knew what had to change in America to bring about civil rights for all, it was Martin Luther King who was able to inspire a country to change not just for the good of a minority, but for the good of everyone …

Martin Luther King Jr. was the man for the mission. He had a sense of destiny. He was God’s man for the civil rights movement. Similarly, Bezalel and Oholiab had a sense of density too. They were hand selected by name and given a purpose. And that purpose was BIGGer than just serving themselves. They were constructing the Tabernacle of God Almighty!

What about you?
What are you passionate about? What are you skilled at? After you answer those questions something still remains for you to do. Go, find a need and fill it. Put your talents & gifts to work for something that outlasts you.

Then, like Bezalel and Oholiab, you too will have found your destiny.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What can "UBUNTU" teach you and I?

An anthropologist proposed a game to African tribe kids.
He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?

Did you know that the Bible emphasizes this idea of "togetherness" throughout its pages? I searched online and look what I came up with:

. Matthew 18:15-19.Restore one another.
. Matthew 22:35-40.Love one another.
. Matthew 23:23-26.Practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness with one another.
. Matthew 28:18-20.Disciple one another.
. Mark 9:50.Be at peace with one another.
. Luke 10:25-37.Love one another.
. John 13:14.Serve one another.
. John 13:34-35.Love one another.
. John 15:12-13, 17.Love one another.
. John 17:20-26.United with one another.
. Acts 2:42-47.Learn, share, and worship with one another.
. Acts 4:32-37.United in heart with one another.
. Acts 6:1-7.Care for one another.
. Acts 11:22-26.Encourage one another.
. Romans 1:11-12.Mutually encourage one another.
. Romans 12:3-8.Members one of another.
. Romans 12:10.Devoted to one another in brotherly love.
. Romans 12:10.Honor one another.
. Romans 12:15.Rejoice with one another.
. Romans 12:15.Weep with one another.
. Romans 12:16.Live in harmony with one another.
. Romans 13:8-10.Love one another.
. Romans 14:13.Stop passing judgment on one another.
. Romans 14:19.Edify one another.
. Romans 15:1.Bear with one another.
. Romans 15:2.Please one another.
. Romans 15:2.Build up one another.
. Romans 15:5.United with one another.
. Romans 15:7.Accept one another.
. Romans 15:14.Instruct one another.
. Romans 16:16.Greet one another with a holy kiss.
. 1 Corinthians 1:10.Agree with one another.
. 1 Corinthians 4:6.Do not take pride in one person over another.
. 1 Corinthians 10:24.Seek the good of one another.
. 1 Corinthians 12:4-27.Members one of another.
. 1 Corinthians 12:25.Equal concern for one another.
. 1 Corinthians 12:26.Suffer with one another.
. 1 Corinthians 12:26.Rejoice with one another.
. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8.Love one another.
. 1 Corinthians 14:1-3.Strengthen, encourage, and comfort one another.
. 1 Corinthians 16:20.Greet one another with a holy kiss.
. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11.Comfort one another.
. 2 Corinthians 2:7-11.Forgive one another and reaffirm your love for one another.
. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.Live for one another.
. 2 Corinthians 13:12.Greet one another with a holy kiss.
. Galatians 5:13.Serve one another in love.
. Galatians 5:15.Stop biting and devouring one another.
. Galatians 5:26.Stop provoking and envying one another.
. Galatians 6:1-3.Restore one another.
. Galatians 6:1-3.Carry each otherfs burdens.
. Ephesians 4:1-7.Bear with one another in love.
. Ephesians 4:11-16.Equip one another through speaking the truth in love.
. Ephesians 4:25.Speak truthfully to one another.
. Ephesians 4:29.Speak words that build up one another.
. Ephesians 4:32.Be kind and compassionate to one another.
. Ephesians 4:32.Forgive each other.
. Ephesians 5:19.Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
. Ephesians 5:21.Submit to one another.
. Philippians 2:1-5.Consider others better than self.
. Philippians 2:1-5.Look out for the interests of others.
. Philippians 4:2.Agree with each other in the Lord.
. Colossians 1:25-2:2.Admonish, and teach one another.
. Colossians 3:9.Do not lie to one another.
. Colossians 3:12-14.Bear with one another.
. Colossians 3:12-14.Forgive one another.
. Colossians 3:15-17.Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.
. 1 Thessalonians 2:12.Encourage, comfort, and urge one another.
. 1 Thessalonians 3:12.Increase in overflowing love for one another.
. 1 Thessalonians 4:9.Love each other.
. 1 Thessalonians 4:18.Encourage each other.
.. 1 Thessalonians 5:11.Build up each other.
. 1 Thessalonians 5:13.Live in peace with one another.
. 1 Thessalonians 5:14.Urge, warn, encourage, help, and be patient with one another.
. 1 Thessalonians 5:15.Be kind to each other.
. 2 Thessalonians 1:3.Love one another.
. 2 Thessalonians 3:15.Warn one another as brothers.
. 1 Timothy 5:20.Rebuke one another.
. 2 Timothy 2:2.Disciple and teach one another.
. 2 Timothy 2:22-26.Gently instruct one another in kindness.
. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.Teach, rebuke, correct, and train one another.
. 2 Timothy 4:1-8.Preach, correct, rebuke, encourage, and carefully instruct one another.
. Titus 1:6-11.Encourage one another by sound doctrine.
. Titus 2:1-15.Mentor one another.
. Hebrews 3:7-19.Encourage one another daily.
. Hebrews 10:24.Consider how to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
. Hebrews 10:25.Do not give up meeting with one another.
. Hebrews 10:25.Encourage one another.
. Hebrews 13:1.Keep on loving each other as brothers.
. James 2:8.Love one another.
. James 4:11.Do not slander one another.
. James 5:9.Do not grumble against one another.
. James 5:13-16.Pray for one another.
. James 5:16.Confess your sins to one another.
. 1 Peter 1:22.Love one another deeply from the heart.
. 1 Peter 3:8.Live in harmony with one another.
. 1 Peter 4:8.Above all, love each other deeply.
. 1 Peter 4:9.Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
. 1 Peter 4:10.Use all gifts to serve one another faithfully.
. 1 Peter 5:5.Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.
. 1 Peter 5:14.Greet one another with a kiss of love.
. 1 John 1:7.Have fellowship with one another.
. 1 John 2:7-17.Love one another.
. 1 John 3:16-18.Lay down your life for one another.

Yowza! Enough "One Another's" for you? Apparently, living in community and helping one another is very close to God's heart!
I lead a bible study where one of our key values is "family-style" ministry. Sometimes the group laughs when I ask them how a family should treat one another -but then I challenge them to consider our group the "ideal" family. A family where we get it right, a family where the standards are high.
Let's circle back before I close. In the described African community above, UBUNTU means, "I am because we are." Think for a momenent about your life. Today. Yesterday. The day before that. Is UBUNTU a part of it? If it isn't, you might be living a bit too selfishly. Find a way to expand your living by helping others. Take a small step in the direction of UBUNTU, it will change your life for the better.