Saturday, January 30, 2010

Don't Waste Your Life

I first was introduced to the Don't Waste Your Life concept in the summer/fall of 2008 when I read John Piper's book entitled "Don't Waste Your Life." It was around that same time that Lecrae released his single by the same title. The video for the song is show below, and his lyrics are just below the video. The beginning of a new year is a good time to think about how we are "spending" our life, or in other words what are we "devoting ourselves to?"

I know a lot of people out there scared they gone die
couple of em thinking they'll be livin in the sky
but while Im here livin man I gotta ask why
what am here fo I gotta figure out
waste my life/ no I gotta make it count
if Christ is real then what am I gone do about
all of the things in Luke 12:15 down to 21 you really oughta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ aint resurrect then we wasted our lives
well that implies that our life's built around Jesus being alive
everyday I'm living tryin show the world why
Christ is more than everything you'll ever try
better than pretty women and sinning and living
to get a minute of any women and men that you admire aint no lie
We created for Him outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
he made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess him
resurrects him so I know I got life matter fact better man I know I got Christ
if you don't' see His ways in my days and nights
you can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
man I lost my rights I lost my life
forget the money cars and toss that ice
the cost is Christ
and they could never offer me anything on the planet that'll cost that price

Suffer Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
if you making money hope you doing it right
because the money is Gods you better steward it right
stay focused if you aint got no ride
your life aint wrapped up in what you drive
the clothes you wear the job you work
the color your skin naw we Christian first
people living life for a job make a lil money start living for a car
get em a house a wife kids and a dog when they retire they living high on the hog
but guess what they didn't ever really live at all to live is Christ yeah that's Paul I recall
to die is gain so for Christ we give it all he's the treasure you'll find in the mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent and time
they were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
that's why it's Christ in my rhymes That's why it's Christ all the time
my whole world is built around him He's the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life he's too true ta chase that ice
heres my gifts and time cause I'm constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he's truly raised to life then this news should change your life
and by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ten Things To Think About In The New Year

I recently was challenged to think more intentionally about this new year by a good friend's (Allan Greig @ Africa Revolution) blog entry. This short list was actually sent to him by a Pastor/Missionary out of Cape Town, Floyd McClung. Here are ten questions to think on as you continue into 2010...

1. What’s one way, you could utilize time, to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. Who are three people you can disciple more intentionally?

6. What is the most helpful way you can build community with a few other followers of Jesus this year?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing can you plan to do this year that will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Shout-out: This picture is for you Gus aka Pastor Aaron!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2009 In Books

I am still in reflecting on 2009 mode (somewhat), and a friend of mine inspired me to look back at what I had read and share it with others. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every book on the list below. I did not read a bad book in 2009. I would recommend each book on the list, but probably for different reasons. If you would like more of a cliff notes review on any of them, shoot me a message and I will give more insights. I will say that the book that challenged me and impacted me the most this past year was "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I ended up reading it near the beginning and then at the end of 2009. I will most likely do a "highlight" post on the book sometime soon. Anyways, here is my 2009 book list:

“Let Justice Roll Down (autobiography)” by John Perkins
“Holy Discontent” by Bill Hybels
“The Next Evangelicalism” by Dr. Soong-Chan Rah
“Crazy Love” by Francis Chan (I read this book 2 times!)
“Heavenly Man (autobiography)” by Brother Yun
“The Hole In Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns
“Amazing Grace In The Life Of William Wilberforce" by John Piper
“Valuable Selections From the Writings of George Mueller”
“A Chance To Die (biography of Amy Carmichael)” by Elizabeth Elliott
“Save Our Sons” by Carl Ellis
"What He Must Be If He Wants To Marry My Daughter" by Voddie Baucham Jr.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marks Of A Christian

I love his concluding statements, "...To build a Church that doesn’t live like the rest of the world…you’ve gotta live like that! You’ve got to have a flavor about your life that is risky, and radical and different!

Reflections On The Letter From The Birmingham Jail - Part One

On Monday I read through Martin Luther King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail." It had been a few years since I had read the letter. It is amazing that a letter written in 1963 is just as relevant to the American Church today in 2010! I am going to share a few portions that I have highlighted and reflect on them. I will start with a "powerful" portion of the letter, that I am not sure I will add much to. Keep in mind that he was writing to his fellow (white) clergy men, explaining the urgency of the moment for working towards equality & justice, and exhorting them to become involved with the movement. Here he uses words to paint a picture of the stinging effects of racial segregation and inequality...

"We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Opportunities To Support Haiti

Everyone is probably well aware of the recent earthquake and Haiti, and all of the lives that have been effected. Let's all continue to be in prayer for the thousands of families that have been effected by this event. Let's also be lifting up the Church in Haiti, and the many relief and development agencies that will be serving there around the clock in the coming days and weeks. Pray that God would strengthen their hands and empower them as they work, serve, love, and be present in the name of Christ. Let's pray that God would somehow use this tragedy to draw people to Himself!

I would also like to challenge everyone to give towards the relief and development efforts. Here are some ministries/organizations that will be responding in the aftermath of the earthquake:
1) World Vision
2) Samaritan's Purse
3) Food For The Hungry

If I learn of any other ministries/organizations that are doing ongoing work in Haiti, I will share them ASAP.

Another organization that I just learned of this morning is called Yele Haiti. The musical artist Wyclef Jean started this organization in 2005, and they are doing ongoing community development work in Haiti. They are receiving donations to aid the victims as well.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Life Changed

I came across this video testimony on my brother Kevin Gwin's blog. This is Lecrae sharing his testimony on the 700 Club television show. For those of you who have never listened to Lecrae, you need to check him out on I-Tunes or wherever it is you go to sample music. I discovered Lecrae's music in the summer of 2004, and God has used his music and his passion for the Lord and His work to sharpen and inspire me.

I'm with you Lecrae! By God's grace, let's rebuild the city!