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November 5, 2012, 11:00 AM



So I got to test my default setting yesterday afternoon... Sigh.  

If you dont know what I'm referencing, let me offer an explanation.  Everything has a default setting.  That is, the setting with which it was created.  Your calculator has a Default setting.  Your computer has a default setting.  If things go wrong, you hit the reset button or throw in the install disk and things are magically transported backwards to the setting with which it was sent out of the factory.  

YOU have a default setting.  However, those settings have gotten messed with, adjusted, tweaked, turned, and shifted based on your collective experience with culture, faith, family, and the general environment in which you operate.  Through it all though, you have a core identity, a core piece of who you are...   What is that default setting?

Now, I know what it is supposed to be.  Remember all those Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5?  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control!! That SHOULD be your default setting.  Compassion, tenderness, general good feelings towards your fellow human inhabitants.  

Insert the neighbor.  Insert the dramatic testing of my default.  Insert my failure to respond with ANY of the Fruit of the Spirit.  Insert my hand hitting my forehead (as many times as you think necessary).  Yes, I preached on this very thing yesterday morning.  Yes, I proved my inability to act Christ-like mere hours afterward.  I'm in need of your forgiveness.  

My response?  I raised my voice back, asking what I thought were reasonable questions... but really I was defensive and accusatory.  I let my default setting of selfishness and anger burst forth.  I need to hit the reset button.  I need to answer the question that Jesus asks Peter in John 21.  "Do You Love Me?" 

I wasnt feeding sheep, I was shoveling manure.  All because my default setting was skewed.  

Church, fellow readers, friends, strangers:  Time for a reset.  Its time for our community to know us as Believers who have dropped this world's nets and base our identity in Christ alone... dead to everything else.  


In related news, I'm looking at getting the sermons at RBCOC recorded and posted here ASAP.  Not that I think you're overly interested, but it might be nice to connect these Monday Morning thoughts with the sermon that precedes them.  


Stay Salty Church... Stay Salty. 


October 29, 2012, 10:19 AM

New Beginnings...

Good Day Church! 

I just want to echo the comments I was able to make Sunday and say "Thank You" for trusting me enough to work with you as Preaching Minister!  I want to work hard and make this a long-lasting and productive relationship!

As far as some inspirational thoughts coming through this avenue, I figure I will use this space to remind you of some of the past Sunday's challenges as well as throw in some content that maybe didnt make the cut in the final sermon edit!!  Yes, this is the Blu-Ray version of the Sunday morning sermon!

I mentioned yesterday that I have grown uncomfortable with being labeled as "Christian" because that term means so many different things.  From Donald Miller in "Blue Like Jazz":


In a recent radio interview I was sternly asked by the host, who did not consider himself a Christian, to defend Christianity. I told him that I couldn’t do it, and moreover, that I didn’t want to defend the term. He asked me if I was a Christian, and I told him yes. ‘Then why don’t you want to defend Christianity?’ he asked, confused. I told him I no longer knew what the term meant. Of the hundreds of thousands of people listening to his show that day, some of them had terrible experiences with Christianity; they may have been yelled at by a teacher in a Christian school, abused by a minister, or browbeaten by a Christian parent. To them, the term Christianity meant something that no Christian I know would defend. By fortifying the term, I am only making them more and more angry. I won’t do it. Stop ten people on the street and ask them what they think of when they hear the word Christianity, and they will give you ten different answers. How can I defend a term that means ten different things to ten different people? I told the radio show host that I would rather talk about Jesus and how I came to believe that Jesus exists and that he likes me. The host looked back at me with tears in his eyes. When we were done, he asked me if we could go get lunch together. He told me how much he didn’t like Christianity but how he had always wanted to believe Jesus was the Son of God

I prefer that we call ourselves "Christ-Followers" and act accordingly!  Take some time to read back through Luke 5: 1 - 11 this week and watch what happens when Jesus simply asks these guys to "Follow Me."  They drop their nets and follow!!  Whats even more impressive is that they drop a career making catch of fish, two of them leave their dad with said catch of fish, and walk away.  This catch would have fed their families (both through the fish themselves and the sheer volume of cash income from selling them) for a while!  Not to mention the FISH STORIES they would be able to tell! This was the catch legends are born from!  This is the kind of catch that can shape a reputation, an identity in the fishing industry...

And they walked away.  


This week, what is something that you have been dragging around in your attempt to follow Jesus? The first disciples dropped everything to walk alongside Jesus.  Is there something that has held you back from following as you should?  Is your reputation keeping you from walking alongside Jesus compassionately?  Is your desire for a fatter wallet keeping you from sacrificial living?  Is a grudge or argument keeping you from loving someone the way Jesus does?  

We are called to be netless believers.  Drop it and walk away.  



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