Month: July 2015

How the Bible Speaks

Meaninful-Bible-Verses

The Bible is Alive, it is a living thing.  As strange and weird as that sounds it is absolutely true.  Hebrews 4:12-13 says…

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The Bible is Alive, it is a living thing and it desires to speak to you…

But how does it do that?  How does it speak to us?  Is it like one of those cards you open up at Rite Aid and it sings you a song?

Nope

It’s more than that.

The Bible doesn’t speak to you like a normal person would, it connects with you on a much deeper level.  It penetrates to your soul and to your spirit, the deepest part of you.  It gives you the sensation, the feeling, the realization that it knows who you are and reveals to you what you need to change or continue to do.  Things that may bother you during the day until you ignore them or deal with them.  It’s communicating with you when you find yourself meditating on what you have read when you’re not even trying too meditate on it.

The Bible is alive… and active.

Sometimes we do not connect with the Bible in order for it to do it’s work on our lives… on our souls.  Here are a few reasons why…

1. When we fail to read the Bible it is impossible to connect with it.  You can’t connect with something that is alive unless you are spending time with it.

2. When use it as a textbook.  We use the Bible as a text book when we use it to give confidence to our intellect with the factual knowledge we have gained by working on it rather than looking for a connection so it can work on us.

3. When we only use it when we want to support the way we want to live or the point we want to make.

These things (and more) will prevent the Bible from speaking to you…  In order to connect with it you have to remove everything that prevents it from speaking to you.

So how do you know if the Bible is working on you, communicating to you?

When you feel like it’s reading you while you are reading it…

and when that happens it’s time to listen, to pay attention to how it is dividing you and work on the things it is showing you that you need to work on…

and then change direction if needed.

5 ways to know you’re no longer STRESSED!

 

 

I ran across a post I wrote last year and it convicted me because I have found myself in the same place again this year…  I am currently looking for these signs to show back up in my life. Hopefully things will be different next year this time…

We will see

stress-pencil-cropped

Here lately I have been extremely busy with work, family and life in general.  Seems I have been stretched in too many directions and that is a lifestyle I am committed never to remain in.  Now there are times in life that are busier than others, but if we are not careful those times can become our lifestyle rather than an exception to the way we normally live.  In fact for many of you business and stress is the norm for you and the abnormal is a slower natural achievable stressless pace.  That should not be your norm. It is bad for your health and your success, not to mention it’s detrimental to your family.

A few days ago I received a text message from a good friend that pointed out that I had not been as creative as I normally am. Yesterday in our staff meeting one of our staff members said He had not had time to think because he had been so busy and I thought to myself, yep me too.  Monday of this week we filmed our first of 4 T-Rob videos for Summer Spectacular this year. (yes I know some of you do not know who T-Rob is) During this time I was at a creative loss and found myself relying on those around me for ideas rather than being a contributing factor to the whole process.  These were all signs I needed to slow down and rest a bit.  Stress had taken over.

That’s nice right?… But when do you know that you have slowed down enough? How do you know you have rested or slowed down enough to regain control of your life to the point stress is no longer active?

Here are a few signs I go by. Some of yours may be different but I am willing to bet most of these fit everyone.

1. When I laugh again.

Yes, when I find myself chuckling again, making jokes and just having a good time. Last night at a swim meet was when this kicked back in for me.  I chuckled, laughed and made jokes, some of which were not understood… but thats ok. People that laugh are relaxed and have their life in balance.  Those that have trouble laughing and smiling take life stressfully seriously.

2. When depression, worry and being overly self critical no longer plague me

People that are doing to much or stressed struggle with what people think of them.  The reason is their bodies are trying to crash after the adrenaline rush they have been on (as a result of stress) and continue to be on.  So they feel like no one likes what they have done or they enter into a depressive state of mind that says no one “values them”.

For those who preach this is why you feel this way when you finish a sermon.  The sermon wasn’t good enough or it could have been better, happens because we have rushed to get the message prepared and ready at the last minute.  Then we deliver it only to be disappointed about it after it is over.  This is also the reason why Pastors want to quit on monday morning.  They are coming down off of a stress high and haven’t taken the time to recuperate.  A pastor who is not stressed is one who prepares ahead of time for his message, trusts God for the delivery and steps down afterward looking forward to the next time he gets to be part of another divine moment.  It’s when monday comes (or Sunday afternoon) and there is no sign of resigning on his mind at all.  A pastor who is not stressed is also one who has control of his schedule and doesn’t allow a bunch of things to schedule him.

3. When creativity comes back

When I start spontaneously creating new ideas, including ideas to communicate in a creative, I know stress has left and balance has set in.  This does not apply to everyone, but there is something that happens to you that is similar in this regard. I’m just not sure what that is…

4. When my spirit is calm and in a ready state.

The fact is your brain can block you from filling stress when you are under it.  The term calm here is the difference between your brain blocking stressful feelings and you actually being de-stressed.  When the brain blocks the feeling of stress you feel numb to the impact of stress on your body and soul, therefore your brain has made you think you are not stressed by numbing it’s emotional effects on you.  However the opposite is when you have a feeling of steady confident calmness.  You are not uneasy, nor numb, instead you are secure and ready. When you truly feel calm you have moved beyond stress into a state of calm readiness.

5. When I no longer snap at the smallest things

When I no longer snap at my kids, my wife, the driver that doesn’t understand road signs or can multitask as well as they think they can ( it’s amazing how many people can’t drive the speed limit and talk on the phone at the same time).  When the little things don’t bother me at all and the bigger things really don’t stress me out either (see #4)  I know I have rested enough, taken a break long enough, slowed down enough to move beyond stress and it’s impact on my body, mind and emotions.

Last night all 5 of these became part of my experience and continue even now.  It is not that I do not have things to do, (because I do and always will) it’s that I’ve come to the place where the pressure to get things done is no longer functioning in stress mode.

So there are the 5 ways you know you have moved beyond stress… “the thoughts for today”…. what are yours?

Comments below are welcome.

Summer Spec’s Final Hours

I just finished up a final edit for tonight’s Summer Spectacular.  As I closed iMovie and later today will transfer the updated videos to the computers in the back…

I just wanted to say…

Thank you to all the people who worked hard to make this happen for our kids and the kids in our community…

To the Tech people: thank you for the many hours you spent  building the “almost” 105 foot screen, setting up the computers and the “almost” 7 projectors.  For being spot on with your cues as the epic presentations of these biblical stories unfolded before the kids eyes…

Thank you to all the actors and your willingness to take a risk. You did not know what you were getting into at first but you were willing to take the step that was needed and became part of some amazing moments.

Thank you to the worship leaders. Not only did you get the kids excited about the show they were about to see you also pointed them to Jesus and the greatness of our God.  It was hot outside as you jumped around on stage with the kids following your every move… thanks for taking that risk… it paid off in a big way…

Thank you to the tour guides for making sure the kids were where they were supposed to be and for leading them during the small group times backstage as they talked about the implications of what they had just experienced.

Thank you to the “backroom” “Think Tank” crew. Your efforts brought the message of scripture down to a livable level for the kids.  They are forever changed because of what you have done.

Thank you to ALL the preschool workers.  The show this year for the preschoolers was amazing To the teachers and class helpers thank you for making sure those little minds captured the truth of creation. The kids loved you guys!

Thank you to the Stunt Crew. The games you lead the kids in were not only fun but were very creative, thank you for making sure they connected with the bible story for the evening. The kids had a blast because of your efforts.

Thank you to the security team for not only keeping us safe but for helping with set up and tear down of all the equipment we used.

Thank you to those who took on the important task of snack time and for those who took on the task of being box office staff – you kept us organized and made sure kids went home with the right people…

Thank you to all those who came out to help with the work nights, building stages, and painting props.  Summer Spec looked great because of you.

To Angie York – thank you for making sure all the pieces worked and all the i-s were dotted and the t-s were crossed.  This event came together because of your administrative skills.  You worked many hours to make this happen and kept us all flowing in the right direction.

To Bryan Lakey – thank you for being willing to take on this crazy idea we had.  Going in we knew it was going to be a lot of work to bring these 4 nights into existence.  You organized the tech crew and spent many hours working to make sure we were going to accomplish this task in the best way possible.

To Megan Carter – thank you for taking on the task of creating and directing the preschool show. You kept the workers focused and excited and made sure the show got the point across in a way the preschoolers to grasp. (And the youth learned a lot about service too)

To Jesus… there aren’t enough words to describe how I feel about you. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your plan of redemption.