Directions January 29, 2015

Seek First

Your mind, that amazing gift from God, is constantly arranging and re-arranging priorities.

You get up one morning and your priority is to read the paper, exercise and get dressed.  A child wonders in, looking green, holding their stomach, and announces, “I don’t feel good.”  Your priorities just changed for the day.

You are planning on going to lake this weekend, and getting some rest.  The phone rings.  “Mom’s just been put in the hospital.”  Your priorities just changed for the weekend.

You are thinking about doing that trip to Italy you’ve talked about for years.  A routine doctor’s visit turns your world upside down when he says, “Cancer.”  Your priority for the year just changed.

What if, instead of your mind reacting to a crisis, instead of living where your priorities constantly shift, you lived with one priority that never changed?

What if, in the midst of your child being sick, you looked to God and said, “I will seek you first.”  God might say, “In my kingdom, children show us the way.  Be as dependent on me as you will be on the doctor and as your child is on you.”

What if, in the midst of driving to the hospital to see your Mom, you looked to God and said, “I will seek you first.”    God might say, “You are honoring your Mother, just like I commanded.  Remember to honor me, your Heavenly Father, too.”

What if, in the midst of you world falling apart while doctors devised treatment plans for your cancer, you looked to God and said, “I will seek you first.”  God might say, “I will be with you.  I will not leave or forsake you.  You will not walk this valley alone.”

Seeking God first is finding Him in every moment of life.  Seeking God first is letting Him interpret your life to you.  Seeking God first is knowing you are not alone.

If God is your first priority, then everything else falls in line.

Are you seeking Him first?

Grace

Clay

Tuesday Celebrations 1/27/2015

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Great weekend and Monday at ADBC!  The Sidewalk Prophets on Sunday and loved, loved having the Seacoast Manning band on Monday!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday:  Who is a good person?  A person whose heart is changed because they have been with Jesus.

Twenty seven days into the new year – are you remember to live the with God life?

Smile:

May your enjoyment of the Super Bowl not be tainted by the sheer horror of realizing football season is about to end until August.

Direction 1/22/2015

How Good is Good Enough?

 

We all have our definitions:

  • “She’s such a good person.  Even though he’s unfaithful, she still stays married to him.”  What if she’s staying married because of his money?
  • “I’m a pretty good guy.  I don’t do what the other guys do on deployment.  At least, not anything too bad.”  You can always find someone whose behavior makes you feel better about your own.
  • “He’s such a good man, so generous.  He gives to anyone who needs help.”  Of course, he cheats on his taxes and cuts corners in his contracts, but his generosity offsets that, doesn’t it?
  • “I really admire her for her convictions.  She has such a strong faith.”  When was the last time she confessed her attitudes of judgment and self-righteousness?
  • “Momma, I know he has a past.  But deep down, he is a really good guy.”  Then where does all the bad stuff come from?
  • “He loved his God, loved his family, and loved his country.  He was good man.”  He served his country, and he served his family, but did he ever serve his God?
  • “She is such an amazing person, the way she takes care of herself.  She is so good at it!”  Yes, she works out.  Does she spend time working out her soul issues?

Get the picture?

We define who is “good” based on a very narrow slice of a person’s life.  There is another side to everyone.   We seem to hope that if there is enough “good”,  then a person will be “good enough”.

Good enough for what?  For people who believe in the afterlife, there is the hope to be good enough to go to heaven.  For people who don’t believe in anything after death, there is the hope that you will be considered a “good person”.  We all hope that we will be pronounced “good.”  .  That’s why so much energy goes into being “good” in some area of life.  We’re hoping to be pronounced “good enough”.

Jesus, however, deals in reality.  He eschews the comparison games we play.  Instead, he tells us that good people start by knowing they are poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3).  He is saying none of us are good.  Until you know you are not good, you do not know how much you need God.

Jesus tells us that being good is more than doing good things.  Being a good person is about  becoming like Jesus.  That happens when your heart is transformed by relationship with Jesus, not rigidly adhering to the rules.

How good is good enough?  The only answer to that question is Jesus.  My goal is not to be good enough; my goal is be like Jesus.

Grace

Clay

Tuesday Celebrations 1/20/15

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday:  The Blessed person is the one who engages with God; who lives the with God life.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets to the Over the Top Concert Saturday, get them soon.  It’s a great event.   You will be blessed by the Sidewalk Prophets and Clayton King.

This Sunday/Monday:  The Four Questions:  Who is a Good Person?

Smile:

What do you call a bunch of millionaires sitting around watching the Super Bowl? The Dallas Cowboys

Directions – 1/15/15

The Lucky One…

 

Jack Whittaker may have been the wealthiest man ever to win a major lottery jackpot. When the 55-year-old West Virginia construction company president won a $315 million Powerball jackpot in December 2002 — at the time, the largest jackpot ever won by a single ticket — he was already worth some $17 million. And Whittaker knew to distribute his new mega-wealth, pledging to give 10 percent of his fortune to Christian charities, donating $14 million to his Jack Whittaker Foundation, and even giving a $123,000 house, a new Dodge Ram Truck, and $50,000 in cash to the woman who worked at the convenience store where he had purchased his winning ticket.

But even Whittaker couldn’t escape his own demons. Beset by legal difficulties and personal problems, he began drinking heavily and frequenting strip clubs. On Aug. 5, 2003, thieves stole $545,000 from his car in a West Virginia strip club parking lot while he was inside. In January 2007, Whittaker reported to the police that thieves had completely emptied his bank accounts. On Jan. 25, 2004, robbers once again broke into his car, stealing an estimated $200,000 in cash that was later recovered. And a string of personal tragedies followed. On Sept. 17, 2004, his granddaughter’s boyfriend was found dead from a drug overdose in Whittaker’s home. Three months later, the granddaughter also died of a drug overdose. Her mother, Ginger Whittaker Bragg, died five years later on July 5, 2009. Whittaker himself is alleged to be broke — a claim he made as early as January 2007 for failing to pay a women who successfully sued him. He’s also being sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth of checks to cover gambling losses. “I wish I’d torn that ticket up,” he sobbed to reporters at the time of his daughter’s death.[i]

When you hear the story of a lottery winner, you think, “He’s the lucky one.”  Or maybe you think, “If I had all that money, I’d be smarter than that.”

We think the people with money, the people who are beautiful, the people who are powerful, and the people who are smart, those are the lucky ones.  They must not have the problems we have.  The evidence disputes this.

All people seem to have the same problems:  Do people love me?  What do I do with my life?  What will bring peace to my heart?  Fame, fortune, beauty, and power only magnify human problems.

Maybe the lucky ones are not the ones we think are so lucky.  What if the path to true happiness wasn’t fame, fortune, beauty, and power?  What if the path to true happiness was in relationships?  What if one relationship was more important than all others?  Wouldn’t it make sense to put as much time and energy as possible into that relationship?

Don’t you think that’s what Jesus meant when he said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else will be added to you?”

Grace

Clay

[i] Teri Pous, Time,  November 27, 2012.

Tuesday Celebrations

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday:  Reality is God’s way, trust, and worship.  Resist the temptation to accept Satan’s definitions of reality!

Great attendance!  I hope you will be here for all the messages in the “The 4 Questions” Series.”

Work will begin soon on our renovations!  Details coming.

Smile:

A man and his wife were sitting in the living room discussing a “Living Will.”
He said, “Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.” His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all the beer.

Direction 1/8/15

Reality Matters…

On June 26, 2007, while on a training exercise off the Oregon coast, Major Gregory D. Young of the Air National Guard flew his F-15A fighter into the Pacific Ocean. The $32 million aircraft was destroyed and the pilot killed. There was no distress call, no attempt to eject, and no apparent aircraft malfunction. Young, 34, had 2,300 hours of flight time, more than 750 hours of it in F-15s.

As investigators sifted through the wreckage—what little was left—colleagues, family, and friends were left to wonder: What caused Young to guide his airplane right into the ocean at more than 600 mph?  Though a highly trained pilot, Young experienced unrecognized spatial disorientation.  In other words, he thought he knew where he was, but he had no idea he flying down, instead of up.[1]

Reality matters.

People say: “this what I believe.”  The follow up question should be: “Is your belief grounded in reality?”

You can believe you can charge on your credit card and not worry about paying it back.  Is that belief grounded in reality?

You can believe you can drive as fast as you want.  Is that belief grounded in reality?

You can believe you will be happy if you get the house, or the car, or the boat, or the job, or the spouse you want.  Is that belief grounded in reality?

You can believe you decide the requirements for going to heaven.  Is that belief grounded in reality?

You can believe you define for God what is fair, what you deserve, what is justifiable behavior. Is that belief grounded in reality?

Maybe this is why people fly their lives into the ground.  They have unrecognized spiritual spatial disorientation.  They believe something, maybe with all their heart.  But their belief does not change reality.

[1]Tom Lecompte, “The Disorient Express,” Air and Space Magazine, April 2008.

Tuesday Celebrations

Good Morning Good People of Alice Drive!

Big thought from Sunday/Monday:  Who you are with shapes who you are!  So what would happen if this year, you were “with God” more than anyone else?  What if Jesus was your shepherd?

Thanks be to God!  In November we prayed for a Miracle Sunday and set a goal of $70,000.  We knew people would need time to give, so we set a deadline of December 31st.  As of that date, we received $132,180 for the As Many As Possible Campaign!  You are a generous people – thank you!!

FISH Classes and Wednesday night activities resume tomorrow!

Smile:

The Dog’s New Year Resolutions:

I will not chew my human’s toothbrush and not tell them.

When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it’s raining outside.

I will not bark each time I hear a door bell on TV.

The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mom & Dad’s laps.

My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

I will not bite the officer’s hand when he reaches in for Mom’s driver’s license and car registration.

I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I’m lying under the coffee table.

I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.

The garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.

I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.

 

Directions January 1, 2015

The With God Life…

 

For the soul to be well, it needs to be with God. – John Ortberg

 

Christmas is passed for this year.  It is the great remembrance of how much God wants to be with you.  He left the comfort of heaven to live in this world He made and we messed up.  That’s why one of the names of Jesus is “Immanuel” – God with us.

The page of the calendar turns this week, and a new year stares us in the face.  In this year of 2015, I want us to ask ourselves an obvious follow up question from Christmas: Do we want to be with God?

There are times I don’t want to be with God, to tell the truth.  Like the times I want to say something destructive and hurtful.  Like the times I want to covet something someone else has.  Like the times I want to ignore a destructive pattern that eats at my soul.

But when I do have those “with God” moments, what a different life!  I’m relaxed and non-anxious.  My life expands beyond my next chore and my next task.  My soul opens up and I see God at work in my world, making it His world.

What would happen in my life if in 2015, I filled it with as many “with God” moments as possible?  What if I saw people the way God sees them?  What if instead of being anxious about my performance and appearance, I rested in God’s love for me?  What if instead of wanting and longing for something, I was content with what God blessed me with?

What if I learned the simple discipline of asking myself, “Is God here in this moment?”  If the answer is “yes,” how much joy would I find by discovering what God was doing?  If the answer is “no,” what would happen if I sought Him?

I don’t want to call this a challenge, because many of us will shy away and think this is only for the super godly.  Think, instead, of this as an invitation extended to you: “Be with God in as many moments as possible in 2015.”

That invitation is coming from our Father, who gave His Son to be with us so we could be with Him.

Being with God as much as possible this year might give you a different life.  In fact, I’m sure it will.  It will be life your soul was made for.

Grace

Clay