I’ve had a pretty interesting week. Being a pastor is the type of job that is quite Gumpish, “you never know what you’re gonna get”. One day is pretty quiet, and then the next day is filled with activity and stuff.
Without going into great detail about the circumstance of my week (which is truly insignificant), I realized, or should I say that I admitted to myself, that there are areas of my life that I am insecure.
Yep. I am insecure.
Wait, don’t stop reading the blog quite yet. I know that this may come to surprise to you. Part of this process of admitting to myself my insecurities, was when someone actually said to me, “I thought you were more secure than that”.
Got me to think- do I portray a personality that is secure? Now, when I say “secure’, that’s a pretty deep word, but for this discussion, I guess I’m talking about interpersonal esteem kind of secure. The one where you feel good about yourself. Confident. Sure that you can get it done. The kind of stuff they fill you full of in elementary school to help you conquer the world.
For the most part, I think that people expect others to not be too insecure, and expect our selves to be secure. We’re a’ society of people that want everyone to be secure. No second guessing. No wondering about our value. No need for affirmations.
As I was reflecting on that term “insecure” it got me to think- do I want to be a person who is so secure that I don’t need anyone else? That I am so confident of my self that I can be completely self-sufficient, not requiring anything from anyone?
The answer I came to was, no.
Here’s the power I see in insecurity- when we are insecure, we are constantly dependent on God. Now hear me out here, I’m saying being insecure about our salvation, or insecure about our inherent value. I’m saying that there is a benefit to not being so secure that you feel as though you do not need a relationship with God, or other people. That you have arrived to such a place that you don’t ever put yourself in a position where you have to depend on God or someone else to build you up.
I think that would be a bad thing.
Security is good. Being secure is good, but a dose of insecurity in your life opens you up to dependence on God, and for that, I think it can be a good thing.
Are you insecure about an area of your life? Turn to the Lord and ask Him to build you up. Admit that you need His affirming love and encouragement. Allow Him to cover you with His love and realize that in spite of your insecurities, you can find security in the one who created you, knowing that you are loved.
Don’t be too secure.
Have you ever been sick? Have you ever gone to the Doctor? Dumb question, right? I’m sure you have. We all have at some point or another. Going to the Doctor isn’t the funnest thing in the world, but when you’re in need of some pills or something, it often is quite helpful.
Found this interesting article about a Doctor who got in trouble for talking to a patient about Jesus.
you can read it here – http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/18046392/prescribing-jesus-gets-doctor-censured
It troubles me on so many levels that this Doctor would get in trouble for talking about the most influential individual in the history of the world. If you don’t believe me, look at the date today. Its based on when Jesus was born.
I can appreciate and understand that this opens up a discussion on religion in the workplace. One could say that allowing this guy to talk about Jesus would have to open the door to others talking about their faith. That doesn’t trouble me at all. Put my Jesus up against anything and He will prevail every single time.
Here’s the biggest issue- worldwide, there is antagonism against Christianity. Not through individuals, but through organizations. It appears to me that it is culturally acceptable to be anything but a person who believes in the God of the Bible. This should not be so.
The truth that this Doctor knows, that everyone else should know is that a trained Doctor can only do so much. They can prescribe pills and ‘practice’ medicine, but they are limited in their overall power. At some point, you have to go to the Creator. You have to bow your knee and admit that you need something more powerful than yourself to get you out of what you are in.
You need a touch from above.
Have you been going at it on your own strength? Have you not been to see Dr. Jesus lately? His office is open. No waiting line. No HMO and no co-pays. Go in, sit down and take a dose of what He is giving and He will cure you of the pain that only can come from the Savior.
Nothing wrong with prescribing some Jesus.
Dear Mr. Camping
I heard this morning that you changed your prediction for the end of the world to now arrive on October 21st 2011.
Would you please stop making predictions about the rapture? You have got your predictions wrong before this past week, and I think at this point you should remove yourself from doomsday prophecy predicting and move onto something else.
Its pretty clear this isn’t your gifting.
Here’s the problem I have Mr. Camping- I’m not doubting that you have faith in Jesus Christ. Obviously you do. My issue is that for a lot of people in America you have now become a point of ridicule that are making the majority of us Christians who are not like you look really dumb. While the majority of us do not agree with you, because you are getting so much press, people are putting us in the same group as you. I share your faith in Jesus, but not your prediction.
I know you love the Lord Mr. Camping, but at this point, I think a better approach would be to warn people that the rapture is going to happen “eventually” or “at any time” or “when you least expect it”. This approach would remind people about the impending arrival of our savior and would probably produce the effect that you are looking for- a turning towards God.
I can appreciate that you want to narrow it down to an exact date, but I want to remind you what Jesus said “no one knows the day or the hour”, so I think that probably includes all of us, doesn’t it?
You’re getting old. You’re like 80 something now, aren’t you? The good news is that you’re going to be with Jesus soon anyway, even if the rapture doesn’t happen in the next few years. I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m just saying that you’ll be seeing Jesus pretty soon anyway, so you shouldn’t fret about it.
Well, hope this didn’t come across too harshly. I was trying to be nice. Trying to protect the faith of the scores of good Christian people on this earth who truly love the Lord, believe in the rapture, but understand that they can’t predict when it will happen.
Have a blessed day. Remember- NO MORE PREDICTIONS.
Pastor Matt Krachunis
Faith and Victory Church Auburn Wa
I’m going on record to say that tomorrow won’t be the end of the world. For those of you that have succumbed to the panic, its okay. You’ll still be able to attend church on Sunday (I think its going to rain Sunday).
End of the earth prophecies have been happening for ages. There is always someone who says that they have figured it out, and knows what is going on, and when it is going to happen. The truth is that the Bible declares that no one knows the day or the hour and that the end is going to come like a thief in the night.
Here’s what I think is happening- those that believe that it is the end have either fallen to false theology, or they want the world to end. Somehow, they have been deceived in such a way that they think that they know what is going to happen.
However much comfort they may have is fleeting, and their hope groundless. As Christian people, we are to live our lives in such a way that we are living as if the return of Christ is going to happen today, not tomorrow. We’re supposed to put our hope in Christ as our Savior from our sins, not our Savior from this world. He will save us from this world, but that’s not why we serve Him. We serve Him because of what He did on the cross.
Are you living like Christ is coming today, or as if He is going to come tomorrow?
People who live like He is coming tomorrow will find themselves constantly putting off the spiritual necessities of the day, and the things of this world that truly matter. People who live like He is coming today live with a constant expectation of His arrival in such a way that it impacts every aspect of their day in such a way that they have a constant awareness of His presence.
Don’t live like the end of the world is coming tomorrow. Live like its coming today. Be encouraged that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, who lives for Him, you have nothing to fear. You can live each day like His arrival in imminent, knowing that your relationship is grounded in the truth of His word, and the Salvation that He provided.
He’s not coming tomorrow. He’s coming today.
I’m married. When I asked Crystal to marry me, we were sitting in a car outside a restaurant about to have dinner with our families. It wasn’t that exciting. Not a lot of work went into it. I was going to do something really cool, but I was in the Army, living in the barracks, with no car, time or money. It is what it is. She said yes.
Now, this other guy named Matt did a completely awesome job of asking his girl to marry him. Its so totally completely over the top. <SPOILER ALERT> In the video he asks her, and she says yes.
Watch the video-
As I was watching this I was thinking how hard that guy must have worked to make that video. The amount of time that he invested and how hard he worked. The cynic in me woke up this morning and thought “I wonder if this is a fake video made by Ford to showcase their car”. Its that good of a video. So good it must be fake.
Fake or not, here’s my take on it, and I’m sorry if it seems like I’m kicking over their bucket. I’ve been married for almost 13 years. Its not that long, but its long enough to realize this- marriage is hard work. It doesn’t come easy. There have been good times and bad and through it all I’ve realized what a commitment it is to cultivate the relationship once you’re hitched. Its seriously like having a second job.
I wonder if this guy will go to this level of commitment 10 years into the marriage. I wonder when they get in a fight over the temperature of the bedroom or are faced with disease in their home that he’ll be willing to work this hard to keep it together.
My guess is yes, but my real point is this- marriage is not about a proposal or a wedding. Courting is short. Proposals are short. Weddings are short. Marriages are long.
The way that marriages work is that you work on them. You don’t give up. You don’t settle. You are willing to do what is necessary to meet the other person’s needs. If I was this guys friend, and 9 years into it he’s losing steam, I’d show him that video and tell him to make another one to show her how special she is.
Here’s the spiritual application today- did you just have a wedding with Jesus or are you married to Him? Did you get really excited about the proposal and the wedding, but now that you’ve been together for a while its not as exciting?
Relationships are work. They don’t come easy. They take the investment of energy and time to be able to flourish. If you’re not investing energy or time into the relationship it will falter and cease to be enriching.
Check your heart today- what relationships do you have that have become stagnant that you need to put some energy into? What can you do to make it better? Because sooner or later, time creeps up on you and you realize that you’re no longer doing the same passionate things you were doing at the beginning. And it were those passionate things that made the relationship awesome.
Have you ever seen that show “Pawn Stars”? We’ve got Netflix at our house, and I’ve been watching a ton of episodes of that show lately. Its a great show. Compared to a lot of the other drivel that is out there, its pretty clean. If you don’t know the show here it is in a nutshell- people come into a pawn shop to either sell or pawn what they have. The show centers around the shop owners who try to get the merchandise for as little money as possible, while the owner of the item tries to extract as much money as they can from the shop.
It can get pretty interesting.
One of the sub-plots of the show is that often, people bring things into the shop that they ‘know are authentic’ that eventually are proved to be a fraud. The person wasn’t trying to deceive the shop, they genuinely thought the item they had was real, they were just misinformed.
Here’s is something that also happens in every show- someone always brings in an item that they think is worth far more than it actually is. One episode I watched last night there was a guy who thought his ‘authentic’ coin was worth $12,000, when in actuality this guy had paid $285 for paper weight.
Needless to say, the guy was quite sad to find out about the true value of his possession.
As I was watching the show it occurred to me- often times people put far too much value on the things that they have. I think I’m close to reason why this happens. Often people put high value on the things that they have because they believe, either consciously or sub-consciously that if the item(s) that they possess have a high value, then somehow that translates to their value.
They think that if they can hold something of value in their hand, that they themselves are valuable.
On the flipside- (and you see this in the face of the shop patrons) if the item they bring in has little to no value, they feel devalued. As if they no longer matter.
Here’s the deal- what you have does not define who you are. How much something is worth that you possess does not make you more or less valuable.
Who defines the value of something? The person who created it. Whatever we create we find valuable. So here’s what I want you to focus on today- God created you, and therefore you have value. The value that He has in you is intrinsic. It cannot be bought or sold. It cannot be fathomed by the world. It does not require the validation of another person to be true.
It is true because God’s word says that it is true. He says that you are the best thing that He has ever made. He says that He loves you.
Chew on that today. Don’t go around looking for value in what you have or don’t have. Realize that your value is directly connected to the one who created you, and He says that you are highly valuable.
I’ve come to realize in my life that there are two types of people- people who like rules and people who do not like rules. I guess there is a third group too- the group that likes some rules and doesn’t like the other rules. Rules are what they are and they exist in many different areas of our lives. Sometimes they are called something different like laws or whatever, but they are every where.
So, two groups: rule likers and rule haters. Also, there are two types of rules. Those put on us by someone or something else, and the rules that we put on ourselves.
Up at our kids school for example- there is a clearly marked “no waiting” zone that people park in every single day (rules from someone else). They see the sign. They just don’t care. They think the rules don’t apply to them. And then there are the rules that we set up for ourselves. Such as, “I will do this” or “I wont do that”. Typically these rules that we put on our self are a means by which to help us get to a goal, or keep us from calamity or whatever.
Its the second set of rules I often find myself breaking.
They are not cosmic prison inducing rules that I break like “Don’t rob that bank” or “Don’t start that subversive anti-government militia”, its more like “don’t eat sugar” and “read my Bible” and “exercise”. I set those rules up all the time, and then I….. break them.
Usually I break them because I justify the decision in my mind to do or not do something.
Like last night. I’ve decided to not eat sugar or desserts this month. We were at McDonalds and I looked at the nutritional differences between the Yogurt parfait (21 gr sugar) and soft serve ice cream (18 gr sugar). In my mind, I justified that although the ice cream was a dessert, because it had less sugar than the yogurt, I should be okay with getting it.
Mental games like that are a slippery slope. Once you start justifying something in your mind, after you’ve set up some rules, you can justify yourself far away from your original goal.
It goes like this- one ice cream one day is fine. I had ice cream yesterday, so one cookie today doesn’t matter. Two cookies isn’t much different than one. Since I had two cookies yesterday a donut today doesn’t matter. What? You have a dozen donuts you’d like to share? I’ll take 3. Hey guys, lets go down to Krispy Kreme and get a hot dozen. Honey, I’m going to the store to get a bag of sugar, a two liter of Jolt and some easy cheese to snack on while I’m eating a pound of bacon in front of the TV.
You feel me? It all starts with one little justification of one rule that you thought would be okay.
So what do we do? We stick to the rules we set up for ourselves. At some point it was for a purpose, so when that time comes that you are enticed to go against your original plan, remind yourself of the original purpose of the rule and why you set it. Remember, it was YOU who set the rule, not someone else, and you did it for a reason, probably a good one.
God has given you the ability to be disciplined, so walk in. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you maintain control and stick to the plan. You’ll be glad you did.
For the record, I got the parfait.