Posts Tagged ‘Life Transformation’

Another Nugget from Seth Godin

I give you this one in it’s entirety.  It speaks for itself.  In the first 4 days this post was up it was “Liked” by nearly 2000 facebookers and retweeted nearly 1700 times.  That’s a lot of buzz around weakness being strength.  Sound familiar?  Try 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Demonstrating strength

Apologize

Defer to others

Avoid shortcuts

Tell the truth

Offer kindness

Seek alliances

Volunteer to take the short straw

Choose the long-term, sacrificing the short

Demonstrate respect to all, not just the obviously strong

Share credit and be public in your gratitude

Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength. And the market knows it.

It’s Just one Study…but Disturbing Nonetheless

Came across this article today from October 1.  It highlights the findings of a recent study.

This week, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released the results of a nationwide poll that measured how knowledgeable Americans are when it comes to religion. The poll found that compared to other faith groups, atheists and agnostics knew most about the Bible, church history, world religions and religion in public life. Protestants trailed in religious knowledge behind not only atheists but also Jews and Mormons. – Full Article

The article relates the words of a Texas pastor who sees this study as a wake-up call to the Western church.  It speaks of the need to go beyond the attractional sermons and messages that have Biblical “sound bites” and to work on Biblical growth and spiritual growth that leads to Life Transformation.

How is your Biblical knowledge?  Does it matter?  Share your thoughts?

Found by Freedom

John 8:1-11 is a powerful story in which Jesus goes toe-to-toe with the teachers of the law and the Pharisees on the matter of sin and condemnation.  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees were trying to drum up accusations against Jesus by confronting him with a challenging situation – a woman caught in adultery that deserves condemnation and punishment.  Jesus in turn confronts those present with their own sins and says, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  The outcome of this is that everyone leaves except for Jesus and the woman.  Jesus then declares to her that no one, including himself, has condemned her and that she is to go and leave her life of sin.

What an incredible moment that must have been for the woman.  One moment she is broken, terrified, ashamed, overwhelmed in an intense situation, and on the verge of being killed.  The next she is alone with the Prince of Peace, all condemnation gone, and given a second chance on life.  This is intense.  This is life transformation.  I try to imagine what it would be like in that moment, what would be going through my mind and I can’t help but hear these lyrics…

Where are the people that accused me?
The ones who beat me down and bruised me
They hide just out of sight, can’t face me in the light
They’ll return but I’ll be stronger

God I want to dream again, take me where I’ve never been
I wanna go there, this time I’m not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it’s unmistakable
No one can touch me, nothing can stop me

Full Lyrics

These lyrics are from the band Fireflight.  The song is a couple years old but I was just reacquainted with it this past week and the message is powerful.  From the words of the lead singer herself…

“The people in charge were ready to kill her, and Jesus speaks up for her, changes their minds and makes them feel ashamed for accusing her,” explains Dawn Richardson, the group’s fiery lead singer. “How would you feel if you were the woman? She knows she’s guilty, and yet she’s suddenly free and given a second chance.” – Source

Here’s the video for the song.  Take three and a half minutes to reflect on the power of Jesus to set captives free and the beauty of life transformation.

Potential Faith

I know another academic year has arrived when the neighborhood I live in has early morning migrations of kids walking to the local elementary school.  While avoiding the streams of children on my way work I am taken back to my own elementary years.  Riding bikes to school, recess, gym, lunch…and of course class.  Even in elementary school I was high on the social and physical side of school.  However, I do recall some of what I learned in class. The following is a synopsis of one science lesson almost every elementary kid learns in school.

Have you ever shot a rubber band from your fingertip? When the rubber band is held in the stretched position, it has potential energy. The rubber band stores potential energy due to its elasticity. Elasticity is the tendency of some objects to stretch, then snap back to their original shape.

When the rubber band is released, the potential energy changes to kinetic: it suddenly launches into motion from its formerly static position.

-Excerpt taken straight from Pitsco, a company that develops educational products and solutions for teachers and students.

As I thought about this lesson learned so many years ago I was struck by the simplicity of it as a spiritual analogy of our faith.  Specifically that last line in the lesson that explains it so concisely.  Imagine if it read…

When the human is released, the potential faith changes to kinetic faith: he/she suddenly launches into motion from their formerly static position.

Now analogies do break down so I will not pursue this in great depth.  I was simply struck by the simplicity of using an elementary science lesson as a lens for viewing the moment of Life Transformation; that moment when the human condition apart from Christ transitions into being united with Christ.  That one moment where potential faith changes into kinetic faith and they suddenly launch into motion with Christ.  Following Jesus.  Walking with Jesus.  Talking with Jesus.  Obeying Jesus.  Becoming Like Jesus.

Life Transformation:  when Potential Faith become Kinetic Faith.

Sanctus Real “Lead Me” ~ Another Reflection

This quote from Matt Hammitt, lead singer of Sanctus Real, is where I am wrestling today.  (Watch the first video from my last post “The Story Behind Lead Me” to hear it from Matt himself.)

…the challenge for me in the song, and hopefully for other men as well is…every time I hear it, every time I sing it I have to ask myself, What kind of man am I? Not yesterday, not tomorrow, what kind of man am I today? Have I invested in my family emotionally, spiritually the way that God has called me to reach out to them.

What kind of man am I today?  It is a challenging question to respond to on it’s own.  Yet, the aspect of Matt’s quote that I am most struck by is, “…the way God has called me to reach out to them.”  This  centers the preceding question on Christ and what He has called me to as a husband, a daddy, and a man.  I need this perspective daily.  The perspective that what it means to be a man, a husband, and a father is found in Christ.

My mind and the culture I live in create a disconnect between my role as a man and my relationship with Jesus Christ, my role as a husband and my role as the bride of Christ, my role as daddy and my role as a son of the Most High.  But it’s only in the latter roles that the former find their identity, their purpose, and their strength to be lived.  I want to be a man, a husband, and a daddy that lives in the strength of Christ.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
~Ephesians 6:10 NLT

Sanctus Real “Lead Me”

This past week my wife shot me an email with a link to the Sanctus Real website.  The home page of the website has the following two videos: the first is the story behind the song Lead Me; the second is the video for the song Lead Me.  As I listened to the story behind the song I was broken.  The message is strong and clear.  It’s a cry to the Lord to be led by Jesus in being a husband and a father.

…it’s the cry of a wife to be loved by her husband.  The cry of kids to be loved by their dad.  And the prayer of a daddy and a husband to be loved by God…and the most important and most difficult task of building my home on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
~Matt Hammitt, Sanctus Real lead vocalist, guitar

Take the time to watch the story behind the song. Then watch the song and let the Holy Spirit speak to you. It is a powerful message; a powerful cry to the Lord. It is the anthem of my prayer life right now.

The Story Behind “Lead Me” – Sanctus Real from BrightBulb Entertainment on Vimeo.

I want you Jesus, to lead me as a husband and a daddy!
~Jay

What Difference Does it Make? – Part II: Right Question, Better Response

In Part I of this series, I believe that we are being asked the Right Question, “How does your belief in Jesus Christ make a difference in your life?”  However, I suggested that more times than not our answers to this question fall short of revealing the Glory of God because they inadvertently veil God’s handiwork by discussing spiritual disciplines and works.  We end up focusing on what we do for God rather than what God is doing in us and for us.

People desire to see how God is at work in their world.

When we focus on the doing for God those who are inquiring miss out on seeing how God is at work in and through us.  When discussed in a manner such as this it seem obvious.  Nevertheless, the vast majority of people I have encountered struggle to share their faith in a meaningful way that engages others.  So how do we respond to this right question in a better way? Read more

What Difference Does it Make? – Part I: Right Question, Lame Response

How does your belief in Jesus Christ make a difference in your life?

It’s a valid question being asked by seekers and skeptics alike.  When asked it provides an incredible opportunity to share of one’s personal experience with his/her creator.  However, more times than naught the Christian who is asked this question responds with vague or pat answers that do very little to answer the actual question.  The dialog may go something like this…

Inquirer:  So, I know you believe in all that God stuff and go to church regularly…but what difference does your belief in God make in your life?

Responder:  Well…(awkward and sometimes long pause)…for one I have hope because I know where I’m going when I die.

Inquirer:  But how does that hope make a difference in your life today?

Responder:  It gives me peace.

Inquirer:  How so? Read more

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Jay: a nickname for Jason
A2: a nickname for Ann Arbor
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