Thursday, January 28, 2010

Do you Really Believe Christianity Works?

This is an article from Christianity Today that I hope will encourage you and help you to live your faith out in public. This is what I believe God wants from each one of us- what He requires- and our faith grows when we live this way and help others to do the same. There may be consequences but the only time there is no consequences is when we are not doing anything.

I hope that I am faithful to live this way in the place God has put me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Week to Praise Him

I need to give all you "prayers" an update on PG. If some of the guys want to post a comment that will also help you get a feel.

It seems that the lead count has been much better the last couple of weeks- we can give God credit for all that- and sales have been looking pretty good. Things that are important for us are; that we sell what we have in stock and that people continue to purchase, not just inquire. So pray that leads keep coming in and that those leads turn into sales.

I am so thankful for you who are praying for our business- it means so much to know there are people who are not really connected to PG- other than as friends- and are willing to intercede on our behalf. I will try to keep you posted, as best I am able from China.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

PG update

Just wanted to let you know we had a busy day at PG today and made some nice contacts and had some good sales. Thank you Lord for providing and thank you all for praying.

I did talk to our acct. today and I told him that I think we are going to have a good year this year- even though many things are stacked against us, we have God on our side. I also told him that he needs to remember our talk today and at the end of the year, when God has blessed us in an amazing way, that God is the One Who gets the credit- not me.

God is able to show off and has all the resources to supply all our needs. It will be fun to watch Him go against the tide and do something amazing. Remember that it is like an ant at the door of a granary asking for a handful of grain from a full silo. We must ask and remind Him of His promises to bless those whose heart belongs to Him and we must be children who love to do the will of the Father.

2010 is going to be fun. Imagine---- God showing off!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Strange Request from Me

Ps. 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

I was thinking today, as I ready myself for an appt. with my accountant tomorrow morning- what should I tell him. PG is doing all we can humanly do to keep going, but often our efforts are not enough to change the outcome. He is a really nice guy- especially for an accountant- I actually enjoy visiting with him- but he is not a believer. So what do I tell him? How do I explain that our best plan is to trust God?

Much like if Grace Academy was very successful with 300 students but went down to 150. That would be very difficult to make work and the same is true for PG. We have everything in place to do much more business than we are currently doing and if we have more sales we will be able to provide more work for our staff, support more adoptions, orphanages and whatever God brings.

So here is my request to you all. I want to ask for 100 people to commit to pray for PG for the remainder of 2010-everyday Think about the promises of God and His ability. 2 Chron. 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.

I want us to be blameless and trust in Him and Him only. I truly believe if we plead with Him and return His promise to Him He will support us, which is much better than trusting in my feeble ability. So please LMK if you are willing to commit to this. Many will be blessed by your interceding on our behalf. I don't know what He has planned for us, but I would like to do all I am able to ask for His blessing on us- whatever that looks like.

This is not so we can line our pockets, but so we can show off how great our God is and so His people are blessed exceedingly, abundantly above what we can ask or imagine.

Is.41:13 For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, "Fear not,
I am the one who helps you."
17 When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
20 that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

I would love to hear from you. Let's watch God work and rejoice at all He does. If I misspell your name please LMK so I can get it right.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not too Important to Sleep on the Floor

Whether you connect doctrinally with this person or not is not the issue- the issue is that this is was a humble man. A great story of God's great work in one who was willing to be used and didn't get puffed up by his position.

"In 1966 I joined Operation Mobilization for a year of ministry in France, but spent two years in India instead. While in London that summer, at the one-month OM orientation, I volunteered to work on a clean-up crew late one night.

Around 12:30am I was sweeping the front steps of the Conference Centre when an older gentleman approached and asked if this was the OM conference. I told him it was, but most everyone was in bed.

He had a small bag with him and was dressed very simply. He said he was attending the conference, so I said, "Let me see if I can find you a place to sleep." Since there were many different age groups at OM, I thought he was an older OM’er.

I took him to the room where I had been sleeping on the floor with about 50 others and, seeing that he had nothing to sleep on, laid some padding and a blanket on the floor and used a towel for a pillow. He said it would be fine and he appreciated it very much.

As he was preparing for bed, I asked him if he had eaten. He had not as he had been traveling all day. I took him to the dining room but it was locked. So after picking the lock I found cornflakes, milk, bread, butter and jam—all of which he appreciated very much.

As he ate, we began to fellowship. I asked where he was from. He said he and his wife had been working in Switzerland for several years in a ministry mainly to hippies and travelers. It was wonderful to talk with him and hear about his work and those who had come to Christ. When he finished eating, we turned in for the night.

However, the next day I was in trouble! The leaders of OM really "got on my case." "Don't you know who that man is on the floor next to you?" they asked. "It is Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the speaker for the conference!"

I did not know they were going to have a speaker, nor did I know who Francis Schaeffer was, nor did I know they had a special room prepared for him!

After Francis Schaeffer became well known because of his books, and I had read more about him, I thought about this occasion many times—this gracious, kind, humble man of God sleeping on the floor with OM recruits! This was the kind of man I wanted to be.

Of course, I will never attain the intellect, knowledge or wisdom of Francis Schaeffer. But I can reach out to younger people and minister to them in Christ's name by living a life of humility. What about you?"

Francis Schaeffer slept here
by Doug Nichols

BTW- Doug Nichols IS this kind of man.

Mighty to Save- and Sanctify

Last night in our small group Grant- my co-leader- was leading, since I will be gone for snow retreat he will be leading our cabin time, so I thought he should have more time to talk. He asked the guys how they were doing with the things they normally struggle with and one of our newer guys was asked how he is doing with video games.

Understand that this young man is a new believer and used to play close to 40 hours a week. He said something to the effect of- "I don't really play any more". Grant asked how that happened and he said that when he got saved God started to take away the desire to play and now he just doesn't rally play anymore. That is amazing!!!

We are working with him to try to help him now take that time he gets back and read good books- he is already reading his Bible. He really is a changed young man. Please pray for our students- God is working.

This morning's "Morning and Evening" is connected to this point and so I will just post it below. We mustn't take our salvation and sanctification lightly- God is mighty to save and He can do miracles like this in us and in the people around us- don't lose heart.

Isaiah 63:1b ..."It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save."

"By the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by “the Mighty God.” The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ’s might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory. Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save;” the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!" Spurgeon

The Power of the Cross

I have been preparing for the upcoming snow retreat- even though we were pretty sure we were going to be in China- we have gone to about 10 in a row and this is generally one of the highlights of our year. In the preparation we have new songs-to our band- that we introduce to the staff and students and one of them is "The Power of the Cross". This is not new to me, as we sang it in choir a few years ago and now we sing it in "big church", but since I have been listening to it in my truck with no distractions I have been able to really listen and contemplate what the words are saying.

Though you may know this song, read the words slowly and put yourself in the place it is talking about. Think about the road to Calvary and what that looks like, sounds like, feels like. Think about the beating and pounding of His body. Can you see the pain on His face? Try to understand Christ becoming sin for US- what did that feel like to Him? What did bearing our every weight of sin mean to Him? What must have they been thinking when the light was gone and how did the curtain get torn in two? What was it like to see the dead raised to life? What will it be like to be free from suffering? What will it be like to have no more death? Because His life was given for us, we now have life to live. The Son of God was slain for US- really? What a love- what an amazing cost and what an amazing result- we stand forgiven at the cross. We are standing, completely forgiven- at the cross.

The Power of the Cross

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us
What a love! What a cost!

We stand forgiven at the cross.

Thankyou Music

Monday, January 11, 2010

Controlling the Coaster

I posted on the adoption blog that it seems I am a spectator in my own life and that is really true in many cases.

We are doing what God has planned and created us to do in our lives, we walk along, often almost blindly- if we are walking by faith- and things happen in God's time and for the purpose He ordains and most of the time we have almost no control over the major things.

Maybe it's like getting into the car of the roller coaster; we are in control of whether we get in our not, but from then on how much control do we really have? We control our emotions going up the first big hill- thinking "Wow, this is big and look how little the people looked from way up here". We can't decide that it's too big and get off now, we're on for the entire ride. When it turns more quickly than it looked from the line to board, when the loops and curves come faster than we anticipated, do we have any control? The only real control is what we are thinking. If we get sick, we are not really even in control of that.

And then the ride is completed we control whether or not we get out of the car. The ride was entirely up to the creator of the coaster. It seems like it is more fun to just ride and not try to be in control of anything; not evaluating whether this is a good ride or not, just ride and enjoy.

Well, maybe that is how life is supposed to be. I choose a few things in my own attitudes and a few little actions, but God really controls the main things and if I just try to be content in all that He gives and not continually evaluate the "ride" it might be a little more enjoyable. I need to take less control- since I have no control anyway, and live each event of each day to the fullest and watch from the sidelines my own life as God has planned it all out.

Trying to control all the things in my own life is like trying to turn the roller coaster from the front seat- turn all you like, it's still going exactly the way it is designed to go. It's better to sit back and enjoy the ride.

This is not my strong suit. Teresa will say- "I don't know this person". I have a long way to go in this area.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I will be their God

Jer. 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

It is interesting that the Israelites broke the first promise but the new promise is not up to them to keep but up to God. Notice He says, "I will make", "I will put", "I will write" and "I will be". He completely takes it out of human hands and keeps the control Himself. How reassuring is that?

Im morning and Evening today Spurgeon is talking about what this should cause in us. Should our pots not be overflowing with thanksgiving each and every minute of everyday- God makes us this promise "I will be their God and they will be my people" and what more could we desire or ask? With this filling there is no more room for anything to be placed in our pots- God has filled it up to overflowing. This should put a sparkle in our eye.

The passage goes on to talk about Him being the One who controls all the universe and now He has made this promise, which will never be broken, with us His people. What an amazing promise, for people who don't deserve such goodness.

Help Go, Let Go, Go

Are you called to do something bigger than what you are currently doing? Are your children coming to an age that they are searching for their place in the Kingdom? Are you looking to expand your giving circle to effect more than just the people in your neighborhood? Maybe this post is for you?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sad Story

I got a phone call yesterday that led me then to make some calls myself. I can't go into specifics, but a past 128 student is walking away from Christ- the life they are living would suggest they are not saved- and they don't really have any connection with anyone.

If I were going down a path that seemed to others to be leading me to destruction, I would want someone to come and say something to me. I think in this case they are not interested in what others- any others- have to say. Whether they want to hear it or not we are called to say something.

That is the reason for this post. The church is not doing a good enough job assimilating our young people into the body when they are out of high school. I don't think this is necessarily a 128 issue per se, and I think this ministry does a better job at this than the national average, but what about the national average? Why do young people walk away? Why did I walk away?

Each case is different and in my case I wasn't saved, but if we have such good news and we are so excited about being Christians why are we not able to transfer that to more of the students under our care? Obviously it is God Who moves hearts, but are we doing all we can do?

Maybe we are not loving them enough to get connected with them? Maybe our love for Christ look hypocritical to them? Maybe their family is teaching a different Gospel than we are? Maybe they haven't been called yet- this is true. But we must examine our own lives, hearts, methods, approaches and make sure we are doing and being all that God has called us to be so that this doesn't happen.

My heart was just broken when there was literally not one person I could ask to talk to this person and maybe get them turned around. How can we have people in our ministries- adult or student- that don't connect with one single person?

I'd love to hear your feedback.

A Few Prayer request to add to your List

It's January and that means a few things in my world.

We made it through last year- and that is truly amazing and shows off God's provision and sustaining power in this crazy world. He alone is to be praised for this work.

Each year this month especially is hard, as people are getting over their Christmas spending and it seems a bit slow to turn sales back on. A week into this year we have had good traffic, but traffic doesn't always equate to sales.

It seems many of our signed jobs are not ready to go in, maybe it takes people a bit to get going on their projects after Christmas as well. This means that our guys are not installing and they are not getting the hours they could be getting. This is hard for me, as I want to provide them all with the hours they want to get, but that is really out of my control.

I would love PG to be a place where God is honored in the business- entirely- and for it to be a place God uses to literally feed- through employment- His people. He can do this, and He has done this in the past- He just doesn't make any promises that He will continue it in the future.

Please pray for PG- I know many are- that we would not only have exactly what we need- a promise He already gives- but that we would be content to live where He has us. For each person under our roof that looks very different. He has carried us through each year and there is no reason for me to doubt He will do it again- except I am human.

It is interesting, and irritating, that we can look back on all that God has brought us through and see how amazingly strong His hand has been, yet then convince ourselves that maybe this was the last time He would do this. Why do I think like that? I must dwell on His promises to never leave or forsake me, that He provides for every bird on the planet and I am more valuable than they are to Him, the He gave His only Son for me and if He would do that He is not going to leave me to fend for myself on smaller things.

I have seen God work amazing things when you are praying that He would work and I ask you to do that for us again. I will try to keep you posted on what He does. When He answers pray I believe that He is dishonored when we don't thank Him for His work in our lives. His praise is to be continually on our lips and it is hard for you to know how He has answered prayer if I don't tell you.

Not only for PG but we need prayer for "Vince". The time is getting very close and this is going to come down to the wire. All the paperwork is in China, which is an amazing answer to prayer. The stage we just went through is 4-5 days normally is slated for 4-5 months, so He is working. The paperwork needs to get through China and then we need to get the call to come and get him and then the trip needs to go smoothly for all the balance of the paperwork to be completed. There are many places for it to fall down, but God has propped it up the entire time, so we re praying that He would finish this. He can do it.

Also, please pray for the snow retreat. God has been gracious the past few years to bring some to Himself in this time and we are praying, and would like you to join us, that He would do the same. Also, that He would increase the affection of each staff and student attending. We need to have high affections for Him and He alone is the Giver of affections. There will be many opportunities for grace to spill out on others as the pots are banged around in the cabins. May our hearts be ready to be revealed and may He be glorified in the outcome. Pray for SKH as he prepares for the session times.

I also need to add in something that I can't expound on, but that needs prayer. Pray that God would work in a young man's heart and that he would not go through with what he is planning on doing today. That's all I can say- but God knows.

I look at all these concerns and care and have to remind myself that on God's scale all these things- though they are crushingly heavy to me- are but dust. It is not that they are unimportant to Him but just so easy for Him to do. If He can keep the sun where it is, and gravity working and the tides perfectly set, then granting any of these requests is not hard for Him. We have His ear, through the Son, and He knows exactly what we need, so we should go ask. He only gives us better things.

Thanks for your friendship and prayers. God is Good.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hope for a Better ???

Ps.33:13 The LORD looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

2010 starts up and many hope for better things, financially, compared to 2009. Rumors have it that much of the country is starting an upward trend and maybe the NW is just a bit behind. Well, who knows if any of that it true? Can we see better days ahead? Can we exhale a little bit? Can we relax now?

In the world today our "war-horse", our "large army" is often our bank acct. and does it save? We could have an amazing 2010 and have it all turn around again in one day- there are no guarantees except when our hope is in the Lord. All other trusts are like going into battle with a paper shield.

Our only hope is in the Rock of our Salvation. He may take all else away from us and leave us with Himself and that is more than enough, but often when times are beginning to improve we can find ourselves, at least I can, resting again in other places instead of our only true Resting Place.

Father increase our affections toward You this year and may we trust only in Your steadfast love. I am inclined to rest in other things- things that quickly fail- and You alone can keep my heart fixed on all that You are. Please give me a heart inclined only to You. Work mightily in all our hearts that we might be a people that love You and Your Word most of all. You know we are but dust and are inclined to wandering, but You can keep us fixed on all that You are even in our frailty. Do this mighty work in Your people so that we can only look back and give You praise for what You have done- knowing it doesn't come from us. You alone are worthy to be praise- show off Your great power in the lives of Your people. We hope in The Great Hope.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Prayer of a 4 Year old

This is a story I got from one of the guys I work with and I thought you would want to hear it. This is the prayer that we want all our kids/students to be praying. God loves the broken and contrite. It came from his mom.

"I just wanted to share what Micah prayed tonight after our family Bible time. He prayed first for me and for the twins I am carrying and that the babies would be safe and then he said "and one more thing, God...would you please help me to understand your Word better and to worship you and that one day I would become a Christian?" He continues to ask lots and lots of questions these last few days and it's on his mind a lot, even when we are not even talking about anything remotely spiritual. He just seems unsettled and full of questions. I know God will open his eyes in His time. Please pray for the little guy. =)"

Isn't our God amazing how He works in little hearts to draw them to Himself and then carries them throughout their entire life and brings them safely home? Keep instructing and teaching in the way they should go- they are watching and listening.

Trouble at the Inn

I know Christmas is past for this season, but this story is good and it is never too late to be reminded of these kinds of things in order to keep our hearts open and tender to what is happening around us.

Trouble at the Inn
by Dina Donahue

Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. Most people in town knew that he had difficulty in keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. Still, Wally was well like by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he, though the boys has trouble hiding their irritation when Wally would ask to play ball with them – or play any game for that matter in which winning was most important.

Most often they would find a way to keep him out, but Wally would hang around anyway – not sulking, just hoping. He was always a helpful boy, a willing and smiling one, and the natural protector, paradoxically, of the underdog. Sometime if the older boys chased the younger ones away, it would always be Wally who’d say, “Can’t they stay?” They’re no bother.”

Wally fancied the idea of being a shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year, but the play’s director, Miss Lumbard, assigned him to a more important role. After all, she reasoned, the Innkeeper did not have too many lines, and Wally’s size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.

And so it happened that the usual large audience gathered for the town’s extravaganza of crèches, beards, crowns, halos and a whole stage full of squeaky voices. No one on stage or off was more caught up in the magic of the night than Wallace Purling. They said later that he stood in the wings and watched the performance with such fascination that from time to time Miss Lumbard had to make sure he didn’t wander onstage before his cue.

Then the time came when Joseph appeared, slowly, tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. Joseph knocked hard on the wooden door set into the painted backdrop. Wally the Innkeeper was there, waiting.

“What do you want?” demanded Wally, swinging the door open with a brusque gesture.

“We seek lodging.”

“Seek it elsewhere.” Wally looked straight ahead but spoke vigorously. “The inn is filled.”

“Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”

“There is no room in this inn for you.” Wally looked properly stern.

“Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired.”

Now, for the first time, the Innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause, long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment.

“No! Be gone!” the prompter whispered from the wings.
“No!” Wally repeated automatically. “Be gone!”

Joseph placed his arm around Mary and Mary laid her head upon her husband’s shoulder and the two of them started to move away. The Innkeeper did not return inside his inn, however. Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.

And suddenly this Christmas pageant became different from all the others.

“Don’t go Joseph,” Wally called out. “Bring Mary back.” And Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. ‘You can have my room.”

Trouble at the Inn
by Dina Donahue
From Christmas Stories for the Heart (compiled b y Alice Gray)
Multnomah Publishers

The inn keeper did have a choice, though it was a hard one, and he could have chosen this route. We have a choice in almost every situation we are in, everyday, and sometimes it will be hard for us to make that choice, but it still is the right thing for us to do and that is where God gets the most glory because we show off His amazing power in a life that is changed. May our hearts be tender enough to respond to His leading.

"Platform" continued

I have been thinking, since I posted the "Platform" that there are probably some who might be inclined the diminish the validity of their platform- since they are not out in the work place and in the world as much as I am. Those I am thinking of are the moms and wives.

My post was not intended to be geared toward those who are out in the world. We each have our own platform and I don't want to be a discouragement to those who God has given the privilege of impacting the Kingdom in any way.

So I want to address, briefly, that platform and those of you who are in that world can certainly add to this. There is no more important "job" for a wife than to be her husband's helper and, if God blesses the family with children, to then be a mom. In each of those arenas there are platforms.

A wife has a unique platform in her husband's life. He may be her biggest influence. A wife can impact her husband in the most amazing way and often that can be done w/o her husband even really knowing what she is doing. A wife who respects and honors her husband has an incredible platform with him and God also may give her a platform with other women as they watch her interact with her own husband- who may be totally undeserving of that respect- they may be encouraged to treat their husbands in a more godly fashion. We men need to be respected and our society does just about everything to undermine that.

The second thing a woman can do to maximize her platform is with her children. This is an amazing opportunity, especially as they grow up. Please do not consider your platform inferior to someone else's because you are a stay at home mom. You are impacting the world and your children, that God has entrusted to you, are the next generation of leaders and they can be the ones that are used in some incredible way by God. Calvin, Taylor, Luther, Bunyan... all had mom's who may have considered their "work" as mundane and pointless, but that is where God had placed them and if they were not faithful in that task their children would not have been who God made them to be. Don't lose heart.

Also, I see their platform as going through check out lines- be purposeful in the small amount of time you have there. Most people who go through the checkout line are not encouraging to the checker- that is a good platform. I am not grocery shopping nearly as often as Teresa is- she has a different platform than I do.

What about being a room mom at school? You can add to your platform there. The kids in the room and the other moms can be encouraged, not to mention the teacher.

The woman's own parents and siblings are on her platform. Often this can be a difficult platform because they may only see her for who she used to be, but over time this too can be changed. Don't devalue the impact you can and are having with those who are older than you. Your big brother is watching how you treat your husband at Thanksgiving or Christmas. He may mock you today but he is watching and if you do it God's way he can't help but notice you are different than most women.

You can add much more to this than I am able, since it is your platform. I just wanted to make sure I included some thoughts to that end and to encourage you women that you have a platform that is often at least as large as those who are out in the workplace.

The entire point is that we all have a different platform and I am not going to be held accountable for your platform nor you for mine. God has given us each unique gifts and talents and platforms and those are what He expects us to be using for His glory- no matter what that looks like. BTW- your platform can and does change. If your child goes to the hospital, your platform has just increased.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Maximize your Platform

Does the platform we have really change our mission? Does being a full time Christian worker increase or decrease the platform? Does going into full time ministry finally get us into a place where we can really be effective for Christ? There are many in the Church today who believe that if you are going to be REALLY effective for Christ you have to be a pastor or missionary. Is that true? If so, what about all of us who are not in full time Christian service?

I come from a long line of full time Christian servants. I had 2 great grand fathers and their wives who were missionaries, 1 set of grand parents who were missionaries and my dad was in full time Christian education for much of his life and I have a couple of uncles and a cousin who are currently in full time ministry. I am not trying to say that there is no effective ministry work done by full time Christian workers- in fact my dad told me that even as ornery as my grandfather in Japan was to his family, "When we get to Heaven we may find that there has never been one man who had as much positive impact for the Kingdom in Japan as your grandfather".

Ministry, missions, effective Gospel sharing can and should be done by those who are called by God to do that work- and if they are not working hard at doing what God has called them to do, they should get out of the ministry. But that still leaves a lot of us who are not called by God to be in that position- What about us?

I have talked to a few people over the last week about this very topic. I have a job to do and so do you. God has gifted me to do what I do and put me in the place where He wants me to be today- wherever that may be. He has done the same for you. I may be the boss at PG, but I am not the boss of 128. I have employees at PG, who work for me that have a larger platform among the other employees at PG than I do. I have a different platform and so do they.

The guys in our small group have a different platform and sphere of influence than I do. They have people- others their age- that listen and watch them that may never even hear one word I say. How will they hear w/o a preacher? I get to talk and interact with a very different group of people than they do. SKH will probably never meet many of the people I talk with often, and how will those people hear w/o a preacher?

Our "job" is not to be envious of the pastor/full time worker position, but to maximize our influence where God has placed us right now. I watched the Sugar Bowl yesterday and Tim Tebo maximized his influence while he was at U of Florida, even after the game he gave credit "to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, w/o whom none of us would be here today". Playing on the field in a record setting game, culminating a record setting career he had Eph. 2:8-10 on his eye black. He isn't a pastor but he maximized his influence and now that segment of his life is complete. On to the pros- probably- and to an entirely new platform.

He told the commentators that he wants to go pro so he can spend his off season doing mission work, helping orphans, and make enough money while playing to really make a difference in the lives of others around the world. That platform doesn't come to many and it will not come to me, but I have a different platform than he does and you have a different one than I do. God is not going to ask me why I didn't use Tim Tebo's platform well, but He is watching to see how I am using the one He has given me.

So one the 2nd day of 2010- what does the platform that God has given you and I look like? Are we going to use the platform that He has given us well or are we going to spend all our time trying to get to another platform and waste the time on the one He has given us? Do you know the other people on your platform? Do you have a heart for them and care about their eternal destiny? Are you and I speaking up and living out the Gospel when He gives the opportunity. "How will they hear w/o a preacher" is directed to all Christians. How will they hear if the people in their lives aren't living out the hope that is in them and telling the Good News of Jesus Christ? They won't and that is what each one of will have to give an account for. Did you maximize your platform?