the crazies...

Last night, while watching the tail end of the Super Bowl, I saw a commercial for a movie coming out called "The Crazies". I thought to myself, "Wow. Has coming up with a title become that lazy?" Then another commercial came on and I kind of forgot about it. Yet, for some reason, that is the only commercial that sticks out in my head today. Also, the more I look at this title and resonate on it, I can see that the title "The Crazies" has infested our local church and the minds of many great Christians in sitting in the pews and chairs of the church today. Here is what I mean.

It is more often than none we, as Christians, prefer to visit God on Sunday's rather than having God invade our lives. How true is this statement? I find it amazing as a youth pastor that we have become so bleak to our mundane programs and our big events to cash in on the large numbers that we have forgotten the reason we are here in the first place. The reason I am here it to develop relationships that span more than just a student giving their life to Christ. I am here to live in the highs and lows of my students lives and to live their true fears and understand their hurt and be there with them during this hurt.

I forgot for a while to really let God invade my life. I was worried about low numbers, why I am not reaching students, this that or the other. I lost my focus on the why's of life and not the how. How I can I let God in my life more? How can God REALLY use me?

"Fishers of men is who Jesus said He would make us to be. (Matthew 4:18) If we are going to follow Jesus then our hearts must beat for the lost." If are hearts are not in the right place, we can never let God use us to our fullest potential. Readers, I pray that we can have a heart that does beat for the lost. If we are stuck on our visitation days with Jesus, when are we EVER going to let Jesus in?

We (the church) have a HUGE responsibility – we are here because we are personally responsible for the evangelization of the entire world before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. IF Jesus is really INVADING your life, then where is the evangelism? It is hard to find it sometimes because we are too timid and scared of those around us. Most everybody fears rejection, yet Jesus was rejected by the world, and even those who followed Him the closest, to open up the flood gates of what can revolutionize your eternity. We must step out in our faith and REALLY LET JESUS USE US! The church can not sit on the hymns of the 1800's and in the chairs of the contemporary services, we must step out and step up!

You want to know what I truly believe right now? I believe that there is a rising generation in the church that is more mission minded, more evangelical than ever before. I believe that the church is about to CHECK MATE the devil! The problem is that people are trying to protect themselves and those around them from what the world really is. I am not saying that everyone needs to grow up right away. What I am saying is that this generation that wants to help grow the church, we need to fuel the fire and the passion that Christ has given them! This morning this thought hit me, “HE SAVED ME!!!” And seriously…I could not get past it! I was blind but now I see, I was lost but now I am found, I was dead and now I am alive…ALL BECAUSE OF HIM!!! I’ve NEVER gotten past the cross…and am BLOWN AWAY because HIS GRACE REALLY IS FREAKING AMAZING!!!

battle...

For years now, those of you whom have had the pleasure of knowing me that long, I have been in a constant war with Charter Communications. The first time, it was just with their service. Then their customer service. Then their internet service. Then their billing. Charter Communications should take out the communications part of their name because there has never been any form of communication in there existence. However, today February 2, 2010; I am waving the white flag. It is battle that I can never win, and though I am sure I can rally the masses, it still will not work. So today, I surrender my battle with Charter Communications. *Sigh*

However, it is a bittersweet ending to a LONG battle. So today as I write this blog post, I figure, even though I have given up my battle with Charter Communications, now it is time to pick up a new battle. I am ready for the fight, and I am ready to rally the masses. I will tell you my new battle towards the end of this blog post.

When I was a little kid, I was fascinated with castles and knights and all that good stuff! In fact, my lego collection was nothing more than all of the castles that the lego company made. I loved to imagine myself as a knight of the round table. In fact, it got SO bad that I would go outside and pretend to fight the air. My battle armor you ask? Well I would grab the lid of the tin trash can, my mom's garden gloves and tiny shovel (as my sword), some rain boots, a heavy coat for my armor, and a hat as my head protection or my Helm for those of you who are castle buffs.

As I put on my armor, I would pretend to be a knight at King Arthur's round table. I would look the part to the best of my ability and I would defend the king no matter what. I was going to die before he did! I would go in the back yard and pretend to be waiting for the enemy, who was coming from another rival kingdom. I would hide behind the tree and wait for my opportunity to pounce on them and catch them by surprise. Now picture this in your head if you can, a skinny little boy (yes I was skinny at one point) waiting behind a tree with a trash can lid, garden shovel, gardening gloves, a hat, a coat and rain boot. Ready for action. Ready for the proverbial battle of epic proportions. Can you picture it yet?

As soon as I heard the trod of the horses from the enemy kingdom, I pounced like a lion on it's prey! I jumped from the branch onto the ground. I would block one spear with my shield and stab the air as I pretended to kill another guard. It was a long battle, but alas I cam out victorious. I grabbed their king as prisoner and I took him back to the castle (my tree fort) and he awaited his sure death.

I had a pretty vivid imagination as a child. I loved to read about castles and just picture myself in such amazing buildings and surroundings. I loved to build the lego's as well, so I could put my imagination to real building. It was great!

Since then, my love for castles has died down some. I have fought real battles, well maybe real in my head (i.e. Charter Communications) and I have also fought real battles i.e. Sin. Yet, when I look back at my life before Christ and after Christ, the battles I have fought have become harder and longer. Some of them test me to my limits and others have been short and quick. Sin is the battle I will continue to fight. Just as I was when I was a kid, defending the king and I would rather die than let Him die; I feel it is the same premise here. I am defending my God against the battles that Satan puts before us. I fail in battle sometimes, yet I know with God's help, I will always win in the end.

My mentor Geoff Grubbs said it best in his facebook status update (and no I am not THAT bad of a stalker)

You cannot let God down, you are not holding Him up! He is holding you up, so you may let yourself and others down, but God loves you regardless, He promises!

Now, you may have been wondering about my new battle I am about wage upon. I know you are sweating bullets, on the edge of your seat, hair on the back of your neck (or back in Alex Stroud's case) is standing up. Well my new war is with..........................................................................................

104.7 the fish! This radio station claims to be a Christian radio station, and in fact they play the most current Christian pop as well. That is fantastic! Yet my problem with them is not the radio station as a whole, it is their slogan. "104.7 The Fish, Safe for the WHOLE FAMILY" WHAT!?!?! So if I am being mugged on the street, 104.7 comes to my rescue? Or if I walk into my house and see that my house has been robbed, all I have to do is call into 104.7 and they make it better? What kind of slogan is "safe and fun for the whole family"? They are not a warm blanket I can wrap myself in to make me feel better. In fact, a lot of songs they play are such pop Christian tunes that I generally switch to J 93.3 For those of you who don't know, 104.7 is a local radio station in Atlanta.

People, friends, random readers; Let's stand up for God and try to get 104.7 to change their slogan! Maybe if I rally enough people......maybe....
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