Category Archives: Spend time with them

CPR with God.020619

man holding baby s breath flower in front of woman standing near marble wall

CPR = Close Personal Relationship with GOD

Had a meeting with Garrett and Ava this morning, and we were discussing how to develop a relationship with God, and I asked them, ‘What is the first and great commandment?” and they said, “Love the Lord with all your heart . . .” and the second, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

And I said, apparently never having thought of it before, “So how do you love the Lord with all your heart?  How do you DO it?”  And they said, “Develop a relationship with Him.”

And I said, “And how do you do that?”  And they said, “Spend time with Him.”

We had already discussed how we develop relationships with other people: we spend time with them.  Not necessarily because we have to, but often because we want to; we just can’t wait to get to spend time with them, talking to them, listening to them, sometimes nobody saying anything, just experiencing their presence.

Did  you get that?  If you want to develop a relationship with God, you have to spend time with Him.  Sometimes, you reach a certain point in your life when being with God is like being with that special person that you’ve been thinking about falling in love with; that person who makes you feel like heaven, at least for a little while.

That’s what it means to ‘love the Lord with all your heart’.  That’s when we really begin to develop a Close Personal Relationship with God.

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Talking about Talking: 030116

Happy portrait of grandparents and granddaughter“A man’s words are a mirror to his soul.” Unknown. 

“It is not what goes into a person’s mouth that defiles them.  .  . but what comes out of their mouth that defiles them.” Jesus of Nazareth, Matt 15:10; (paraphrase)

[From a letter to my kids, 1995]

“I just don’t know what to do with people that won’t talk. It’s hard for me to deal with them. People that talk a lot, which includes most everybody in my family, are easy to read. They tell you a lot about themselves.  If they’re not talking, they must be sick, or mad at somebody. 

“There is nothing more fun and pleasurable than spending an afternoon or evening solving the world’s problems with somebody who enjoys talking and listening. It helps your mental, emotional health. When necessary, it’s a legitimate and inexpensive alternative to a psychiatrist or psychologist.  Personally, I enjoy a ‘highball of an evening’, with my talking companions, but the highball is not required.  Tea, cokes, or red Koolaid will substitute nicely.

“In Ireland of old, next to the kings, the persons held in highest esteem were the bards, who were the government supported combination priests, historians, and storytellers. Some say that the oldest uninterrupted literary tradition in Europe was the orally maintained and transmitted stories of the Celtic Bards. Those folks raised talking to the level of an art, a science, almost a religion. That’s where we came from, a long and uninterrupted line of talkers. Talking is in our blood, so in choosing what you want to do in your life, find something that involves talking. You’ll enjoy it, you’ll be good at it, because you’ve got it in you.

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but talkers get extra attention, and they often end up being leaders, because they don’t mind telling people what they think.  It is a big responsibility, so don’t take it lightly. You have a lot of influence just because you talk, as long as you know what you’re talking about, and you have love in your heart. Always remember to use your influence for good. Really, that just sorta happens, because that love in your heart comes out.

“Talking is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s good cheap entertainment. You can do it anytime, any place. You can even talk to yourself.” 

WHY GO TO CHURCH? 010816

group of people watching a screenHad an interesting conversation with a couple of brothers today.  One of them, call him Bill, along with his wife, has been searching for a new church home.  The church where they had been going for several years was changing.  Many of the couples they had relationships with had moved away, changed churches, or otherwise lost contact with them.  Several of their friends had gone to one particular church nearby, and they tried that church, but they didn’t like the preachers. The assistant preachers were younger than Bill and his wife, and in their sermons they told stories that were not relevant to Bill’s life.

So for several months (maybe even a year or more) they have been casting about for a ‘new’ church.  They have partially settled on a large church in the area (with an auditorium that seats about 3,000 people, which is filled every Sunday morning.  They like the preaching.  The preachers preach from the Bible and they expect the congregation to participate in application of what is preached to their lives.  And one of the primary reasons for their attendance there is that their 17-year-old son  knows several kids who attend church there and they’re all actively involved in the church activities.  In Bill’s words, “If my son is willing to get up and go to church regularly, then that’s the place for me.”  His wife is not yet so enamored of that church, so they have not yet made a commitment to join.  But they are going to worship services regularly.

I asked Bill if they were involved in any church activities besides attending worship services, and he said no.  He said they don’t say much about personal involvement with small groups in the church.  He said if you want to become involved in small groups you can locate them on their website.  He said at their old church the pastors spent a good deal of time during the worship services on Sunday morning talking about small groups, where they meet, what they’re into, and what they’re studying.  (He even mentioned the “motorcyclists for Jesus” group that meets on Sunday morning before or after church.)  He again mentioned that he and his wife had many friends at the church, but they’d all moved away.  He said that was a substantial difference between the ‘big’ church and their ‘old’ church.  Continue reading

SMALL GROUPS FOR JESUS 3.111115

drinks, communication, friendship and people concept - happy young women with cups sitting at table and talking in mall or cafeThis is my last post about “small groups for Jesus”, at least for the time being.  I just have a few more comments to make.

1] In my opinion, small groups are like family; they’re not about enforcing rules, and everybody being disciplined; they’re about letting God’s love flow through you into other people.  You may not believe this, but I’m convinced that almost every single person is acutely aware of their short-comings, and what they really need, on a regular basis, is encouragement and moral support.  (I find a lot of support for this attitude throughout the Bible; call it grace and mercy)  Small groups are, and should be, about sharing and expressing the fruits of the Spirit; and while self-control is one of the fruits and is therefore important to God and should be important to us; it is the very last thing on the list.  Wonder why that is?  (I don’t even know if there IS a hierarchy of the fruits, but I hear a lot more about love in the Bible than I do about self-control.)

2] One of the central, indispensible ingredients of a small group is trust.  Continue reading

MAKING DISCIPLES. 081615

Two guys in pool billiard club playing pool billiardIn Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, “All power is given to Me in heaven and earth.  So go into all the world and make disciples; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to do all the things I have commanded you.  And know this, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  So what does it mean, “MAKE DISCIPLES”?  There have been many books written on this very topic; and it would take a book to properly answer that question.  The short answer is: 1] Tell others what is required to become a ‘disciple of Jesus’; and 2] Show them how to do it.  ‘Disciple’ means, in Greek, ‘one who is taught’; also translated as ‘follower’.  I usually think ‘one who is taught’ is one who is WILLING to be taught; and a ‘follower’ is one who is WILLING to follow.

Before we talk about what it MEANS to ‘make disciples’; we need to talk about what it does NOT mean.  [1] It does not mean to preach the gospel and have people accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, even though that happens along the way; that is still just a step in making disciples. Continue reading