Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Talk to the real judge

There is a lot of talk about Derek Jeter of the Yankees tonight. He was elected as an all star and yet he opted out of playing in the game. He said he was emotionally and physically exhausted from his pursuit of 3,000.

Everyone has an opinion on the subject. Some people think he owed it to the fans to show up. Others say the game is a joke and he did the right thing. As I listened to the banter on talk radio it struck me that even if there is a right or wrong, the only one who really has a right to comment on it is Derek Jeter.

No one has a right to to tell someone else what they should be doing. The same is true when it comes to our faith life. There is a right thing and a wrong thing to do. But the choice is between us and God. Others can encourage us and even invite us to do one thing or another but ultimately we have to stand before God with our decisions. It doesn't matter what i think or you think. He is the judge.

So I wish Derek went to the game but he has the right to do as he pleases. That decision may come back to haunt him but he will have to deal with that down the road, not you or me. so it is with us too. Nobody else will pay the price for our decisions.

So when you are ready to make a decision, take some time to talk with God and then make your choice. That is the way it is done.

Be blessed. Cal

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A role to die for

I was flipping through the channels this afternoon when I came upon the movie "Murder by Numbers." It starred Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling. As I went to the Internet to see who was in the movie and what it was I came across the name of Krista Carpenter who was listed as playing - Olivia - the victim. Just about that time the movie came to the scene where Sandra bullock and her partner were examining the crime scene.

There she was larger than life. Krista was lying under the leaves playing dead. Actually in the movie she was dead. I had to chuckle at the fact that this role was listed in her credits. She didn't have any lines to learn. She didn't have to worry about blocking. All she had to do was lie there and let people roll her over and talk about her.

It was just a bit part yet it was one of the most important parts of the whole movie. It is a role that none of us would probably sign up for but it was crucial to the plot.

I was reminded of the fact that the same thing may be true of our lives. We may not feel that we have much to offer but God can take the little bit we give him and use it to accomplish great things. Just think of the boy who brought the fishes and loaves to Jesus. He turned around and used the offering to feel over five thousand people.

So don't be disappointed if you are not called on to do big things. With God there is no such thing as small parts. We all are part of the big picture.

Be blessed.


No waster even in waste

I was on my way home from church today when I saw the sign. It said "manure for sale." I laughed out loud at the thought. Who would buy manure? Then I remembered that my father used to use manure to fertilize the fields before he planted his garden each year. I don't understand how it works, but he told me that there was something organic in the manure that helped the vegetables grow.

We have an amazing God. That sign confirmed the words of the hymn we sang in church this morning titled, "In His Time." God created an order of things where everything is useful in its own time and in its own way. Nothing goes to waste.

That is the biggest reason for our hope. God doesn't give up on us. He wants to have us with him for eternity. So call on him and you will find your salvation in him.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't be so quick to judge

Came across this great article from Steve Furtick and thought I would pass it along. I'll be back with some original content pretty soon. things are starting to settle down with my transition from Norwich to Westerly. I am starting to feel the spirit moving me to write again. Thanks for being patient. So enjoy this and let me know what you think.


Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!”
Genesis 41:41-43

If you saw Joseph in his prime, you’d probably think, “Oh, that must be nice.” Or negatively, “He’s sold God out, and all he cares about now is power and money.”

Really? Here’s the backstory:

by his brothers and thrown into a pit. Then sold intoslavery. Then falsely accused of rape by his master’s wife. Then thrown into prison. All this over the course of thirteen hellish years. And the Bible says that through it all, God was positioning him to save a nation and his family.

Jealous now?
Critical now?

We’ve got to be very careful about being jealous over other people’s blessings without knowing the backstory. It can be so easy to look at someone who’s in a good position or a church that’s really successful and be envious of what God has given them. Or be critical of it.

But you don’t know the road that person had to take to get to where they are today. You don’t know the price they’ve had to pay to get their church to where it’s at today.

They might have had to go through hell. Just like Joseph did. And they might have been faithful through it all. Just like Joseph was.

Would you still want their blessing if you knew the backstory? Would you be willing to go through the same thing to get it? Would you be as critical if you knew the whole story?

God’s blessings were never meant to trigger envy or suspicion.

Don’t waste any more time being jealous of someone else’s blessings. God has given you exactly what you need to do exactly what He’s called you to do.

And don’t be critical of other people’s blessings either. God’s given them exactly what they need, too.

Don’t envy where God has taken other people. Stop lamenting the hand He’s dealt you. It’s better than you think.

So good, in fact, that there’s someone else in the world that would probably be jealous of it.

Steven Furtick is the Lead Pastor of Elevation Church, an incredible move of God in Charlotte, NC with more than 6,000 in attendance each week among three locations. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Sun Stand Still. He lives in Charlotte with his wife Holly and their two sons, Elijah and Graham.

More from Steven Furtick or visit Steven at www.stevenfurtick.co

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reaching a different generation with the Gospel

I have been channel surfing tonight and stopped at the Kourtney and Kim Take New York show on E channel. I was taken aback by how immature and selfish these people were. Then again I shouldn't have been. There wasn't one serious mention of God or faith in the segment I watched. This program showed what happens when the carnal man/woman is in charge. It is all about selfish pleasures and a total disregard for others.

I don't want to judge them too harshly because I really haven't watched more than 15 minutes. Maybe I am missing something. If the show is really about indulgence in sex, alcohol, and boorish behavior I can't believe anyone watches it. Yet they have good ratings. What does that say about the culture?

I think that we have a lot of work to do. We need to figure out how to reach the generation that is captivated by the rich and pampered. Any ideas?

Peace. Cal

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A fruitful life

This is a great explanation of why our life matters. We are called to bear fruit so God will get the glory. We are created to glorify him with our good works.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The church as God sees it

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She told me that I owed another twenty dollars as a late fee for missing the deadline on the emissions testing. I pointed out that I had taken the test and passed. She said that was good but the computer was telling her that I was late and owed the fee.

I asked her when the test was supposed to be taken and she couldn't tell me. She didn't have that information. She said it was on the old vehicle registration. I was stunned. Who looks at the vehicle registration to see when the emissions test is due?

It struck me that this was an underhanded scheme by the State to grab another twenty dollar bill out of the pockets of the unsuspecting public. Every time you turn around there is a new tax or fee for something. I left the Department of Motor Vehicle sputtering under my breath. "All they want is my money!"

As I drove out of the parking area I passed the officer doing a vehicle safety check. "I wonder how much that cost?" I thought to myself. As I got to the main road I stopped behind a student taking a driver's test. I shook my head as I remembered the associated fees that we paid for my daughter to get her license.

The DMV is an easy target. It is natural to look at the regulations, fees and paperwork they generate and feel that they are out to get you. Yet as I thought about it, I began to realize that they really are there to keep us organized and moving forward. They provide services that are vital to the well being of all. Maybe I was too harsh in my criticism?

The truth is that many people have come to see the church in the same light as places like the DMV. How many times have you heard someone say, "All they want is your money?"

We hear about the negatives from every person who has had a bad experience with a minister or priest. Like any other human institution, the church it has its flaws. Yet in the church there is also a divine purpose which transcends the human element.

We are called to be a community where love and healing can take place. Our mission is to draw people back to God by reaching out to them with a helping hand and a thankful heart. When the church is at its best it will still have critics, but it will leave behind a testimony to the God whose love has changed lives and opened the door for a brighter future.

I think Dr. King said something like that in one of the speeches I heard this week. He talked about visions and dreams of a better tomorrow. He saw the people of God playing an essential role in transforming the whole society in which we live. That's the church I want to belong to even if it costs me something... especially if it costs me something.

I pray that the vision God put in the hearts of men like Dr. King will continue to rise up in people like you and me so that the world will see the church as God sees it.