16 April, 2009

Trashy Marketing

OK, I just got home from going to pay our telephone bill, and on the way home I was following behind a pickup truck. Something happened that surprised me, and I wanted to share it with you.

As I was driving behind this pickup, the man sitting in the passenger seat threw something out of his open window. Now, this is not the surprising part. If you have ever been to Latin America, you will know that the general attitude towards throwing trash out of your car and onto the street is far different than the US. It is an accepted practice here and something you see ALL of the time.

What I saw today was different however. As I continued to watch the passenger of this pickup truck, I noticed that what he threw out of the window was a yellow sheet of letter sized paper. But not just one. In a somewhat rhythmic fashion, he was throwing more of these yellow sheets from the window, one every couple of seconds.

It became apparent that these yellow sheets were not just pieces of trash he didn't want anymore, in fact they were flyers advertising for a new cable company in the area.

He was passing out flyers!!!!

So the obvious question is, "Does anyone read these thrown-from-the-window-of-a-pickup-truck advertisements?"

To my amazement, the answer is yes. I witnessed with my own two eyes several people picking up the yellow flyers to see what they were.

I can see it now......

Police Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?

Me: No Sir, I don't. Was I speeding?

Police Officer: No, you weren't speeding. I pulled you over because you are throwing sheets of paper out of your window onto the ground. It is illegal to throw your trash onto the ground.

Me: Oh I think there has been a misunderstanding officer, I would never think of throwing my trash onto the ground. You see, I'm actually just passing out flyers for a new business in town.

Police Officer: Get out of the car son and put your hands behind your head.

11 April, 2009

Great Quote 2 - The Normal Christian Life

OK, so I'm not trying to type out the whole book for you here in my blog, but I read another great part this morning and wanted to share it.

Check this out. In the context of being consecrated (setting ourselves apart) to God:

I am the Lord's, and now no longer reckon myself to be my own but acknowledge in everything his ownership and authority. That is the attitude God delights in, and to maintain it is true consecration. I do not consecrate myself to be a missionary or a preacher; I consecrate myself to God to do his will where I am, be it in school, office or kitchen or wherever he ordains for me is sure to be the very best, for nothing but good can come to those who are wholly his.

May we always be possessed by the consciousness that we are not our own.

Awesome huh? People ask me all of the time, "How did you know God wanted you to be a missionary?" This quote from Watchman Nee really helps to frame the right question. The questions isn't, "God, do you want me to be a missionary?", the right question is, "Lord, I will do whatever you want, wherever you want, what do you want?"

In 1998 I moved to Missoula, Montana with a group of people from our church in Kansas City to plant a new church there. I don't know if you have ever been a part of a church plant, but many times the first few years are the most difficult. Your "big ministry" at church might be setting up chairs or making the coffee.

I can remember God taking me through a time of learning there in Montana to change my perspective. Upon arriving in Montana, I had a whole list of things I was willing to do for God. Disciple people, preach, teach the Bible, etc. These were the ways I was willing to be used by God. But God put me back in my place and showed me that I needed to come to Him without a list, bow before Him in humility, and offer myself to be used for whatever, wherever, whenever He wants. Be it setting up chairs, or preaching a sermon, I need to be consecrated to God completely, and not just in the areas on some self-made list.

Are you possessed today with the consciousness that you are not your own?

09 April, 2009

Great Quote - The Normal Christian Life

I am reading The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. This morning I read a portion that really struck me and I wanted to share it with you.

"For it is our wills that are in question here. That strong self-assertive will of mine must go to the Cross, and I must give myself wholly to the Lord. We cannot expect a tailor to make us a coat if we do not give him any cloth, nor a builder to build us a house if we let him have no building material; and in just the same way we cannot expect the Lord to live out his life in us if we do not give him our lives in which to live. Without reservations, without controversy, we must give ourselves to him to do as he pleases with us."

I especially like that last sentence. God is not interested in "most" of my life, He want it all. And He is worthy of it all. I am eternally grateful that Christ did not only give us "most" of His life.

Are you giving yourself to God to do as He pleases with you? Without reservations, without controversy?

02 April, 2009

Taekwondo Classes

Avigail and I started taking Taekwondo classes together tonight.

Each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 4:30 to 6:30 we will go and learn and sweat with a group mostly made up of young kids. The class is taught by a nice guy named Walter. It is obvious that Walter knows his stuff and he is very patient with the kids. The classes are quite a bargain at a mere $6 per month.

The first class tonight showed me exactly how out of shape I am, but I had a great time. Aside from being stared out because I am a tall, white, bald gringo, I am also by far the oldest student. The instructor told me there was no age limit, so here I am.

Both Avigail and I are really excited about the classes and it will be great time spent together as well. Stay tuned for more adventures in Korean martial arts in Spanish.

01 April, 2009

Premeditated Obedience

I have been spending some time these past few weeks in Psalm 119 and have really been refreshed by the continual challenge to love and obey God’s Word.

This morning I read the following verse and was challenged by God to think about my attitude toward obedience.

I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.  Psalms 119:112

David made a decision today about what he was going to do in the future.  He decided that he was going to obey God’s statutes unto the end. 

David had premeditated obedience.

David committed to obeying God for the rest of his life.  Would he fail again even after making this strong commitment to God?  Sure, just like we will.  But the point is that his life was aimed at obedience.  Obedience was the driving force.  Obedience was the plan.

Failures caused temporary deviations from the plan of obedience, but David was committed to getting back on course as quickly as possible.

How far in advance are you committed to obeying God?  Are you just taking things day-by-day, seeing how things will go, and then deciding to obey God or not depending on what circumstances exist in your life?

I want to have premeditated obedience like David did.  Every new circumstance that God allows in my life should not require the question to be answered anew, “Will I obey this time?”. 

Lord, I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end.

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