That Guy

“That guy.” The very words bring to mind for most of us the “that guy” in our lives. You know–”that guy” who is always doing something inappropriate. “That guy” who says the wrong thing. “That guy” who drives everyone crazy. “That guy” who, when we see him coming, makes us wish we hadn’t rescheduled that root canal appointment.

There was a time when it wasn’t a bad thing to be “that guy.” “That guy” was the most popular guy. “That guy” was the one you could count on to help out. “That guy” was the one with character and honor and valor and all things good. “That guy” was the one you wanted to be doing your root canal for you!

As I read through the Bible I can’t help but think that Jesus was the ultimate “that guy.” In the gospels, He’s both sides of the the “that guy” coin to two very different groups of people, and He knew it. Just this morning I was reading John’s account of Jesus being arrested. Along comes a detachment of soldiers and some officials carrying torches, lanterns and weapons, when Jesus steps up and asks them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazarath,” is their reply.

“I’m that guy,” Jesus replies. OK, so he really said, “I AM He,” but He could have said it another way if He had wanted. There it is. He owns it. He’s “that guy”. He’s the guy. He’s their guy. He says it, and an amazing thing happens. The Bible tells us,

they drew back and feel to the ground

Woah! Definately not the response any average guy would ever get. Jesus doesn’t seem to make a big deal about their response. He just asks them again, “Who is it you want?”

And again they reply, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

And Jesus says, “I told you, I’m “that guy”. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” (The disciples happened to be with him at that time.) Peter does his own “that guy” thing with his, “Hey this is getting out of control, I better grab a sword and attack the high priest’s servant, chopping off his ear” move.

Jesus, of course, tells Peter to put the sword away and puts the ear back on adding to his list of “that guy” stats, ear putter back onner!!!

The soldiers arrested Jesus. They bound Him. They brought Him before the authorities. The same authorities that saw Him as their “that guy.” “That guy” who the people love and are following. That guy” who is hanging out with the “that guys” of their time. “That guy” who is doing miracles. “That guy” who claims to be God. “That guy” who teaches like nobody’s business. “That guy” who is shaking things up. “That guy” who everytime they see Him drives them crazy with anger, jealousy, indignance, frustration, and rage. “That guy” who they decided they needed to get rid of. “That guy” they were willing to frame, lie about, to trump up charges for, and “that guy” they were willing to crucify.

Jesus was “that guy” to the religous leaders of His day. But he was also the other “that guy” to many of the people of His day as well. Because He was “that guy” who turned water into wine, “that guy” who raised a dead man from a tomb, “that guy” who fed thousands, “that guy” who told them things about themselves no one should have known. He was “that guy” who loved them regardless of their past, and “that guy” who was showing them a whole new way to live for their futures. He was “that guy” who although crucified, overcame death, was raised to life, and was found to be unstoppable no matter how hard they tried to stop him, and He is still “that guy” today.

Don’t you just love it when someone asks you how your life was so radically changed from who you once were to who you are today? Don’t you love even more that you can point to Jesus and say with all your heart, “Who me? I’m changed because of “that guy,” and “that guy” can change your life, too.” Because “that guy” is Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior, Messiah, Redeemer and Friend. If you don’t know Him yet, you can just ask “this girl,” and I would be honored to introduce you.

David and Goliath

Only a Boy Named David

Our KidZChoiR did their little number on the bells yesterday at church. It was great!!! Simply a blessing. Peace like a river was flowing through our sanctuary, along with joy like a fountain and love like an ocean. I think God was pleased with the sincerity of their hearts and their willingness to not only use their talents for Him, but their willingness to have learned a new method to share Him with others.

Our HiSKidZ theme virtue this month has been HONOR, and yesterday’s big idea was to honor God in front of others. I loved how their special in music fit so well the truth we were teaching in our classes. God is so cool like that.

Our lessons all month have centered around David. We started out with the boy David. Gotta love the David songs:

“out in the fields watchin’ over his sheep, with a sling and a crook just like Little Bo Peep. Went into battle with a giant man. With one shot he knocked him in the garbage can.”

Okay, so maybe it’s not the “Only a Boy Named David” you remember singing when you were a kid. But we love our “Davey, Davey” version, and we do sing the old classic, too.

Well, we also covered teenager David and his BFF Jonathan, David the Dad and his son with great hair (and abs–ABSalom!), and King David and his grouchy, keepin’ life size idols in the house wife. The guy had quite a life. I tell ya what, He may have been only a boy, but there is so much we can learn from his ups and downs.

David’s life holds with it so many of the qualities we want to see instilled in our children today–in our society today. Off the top of my head here are my top 10 favorites. (The list started out as “a few of my favorites”–but there were just too many!!)

1–David knew God. Straight up. He knew Him well. He talked to Him, wrote songs to Him, and was transparantly honest with Him, and it touches every area of his life.
2–David trusted God. This lion killin, bear killin, giant killin man knew that God was the One behind his successes, and that God could be behind everyone’s.
3–David had a giant size perspective on life. He understood that our problems, no matter how big, aren’t the focus. God is. He knew the truth behind the phrase, “Don’t tell God how big your giant is, tell the giant how big your God is.”
4–David was bold and courageous.. David wasn’t afraid to say what needed to be said when it needed to be said, to go when it was time to go, and to fight when it was time to fight. He understood that courage came from knowing God was going before you, coming up behind you and had you covered on all sides.
5–David understood honor. David honored his God, his family, his best friend, his King, his children, and the people of his kingdom.
6–David was humble. Knowing there was currently a king in power, and knowing that he would someday be the king in power. He let God set the timetable, even when that king wanted to to pin him to the wall.
7–David kept his promises. I love the story of David going back to find Jonathan’s son and bringing him to his table, keeping a boyhood promise to his BFF through Jonathan’s handicapped son.
8–David could admit his mistakes. If you remember the story of the David and the bathtub lady, you remember David did on occassion make some “royal mistakes.” However, when pointed out to him, he owned up, repented and kept going. He let God’s grace, not his past mistakes define Him.
9–David wasn’t only a boy. He grew up. He owned up. He manned up. He put the boyhood things aside and became the man of God he was called to be.
10–David was faithful to the end. He finished well. He ran his race, played his game, and his did it til the end.

As we raise our children, influence our families, and make our mark in our communities, it would do us much good to live out, pour in and hold onto the character and virtues we see from David’s life. Not only do we need a few more boys like David, we could use a few good men like him as well.

out of this world2

Out Of This World

Tim and I were watching a little TV last night after he got home from basketball and whatever it was we were watching had in its theme the idea of alien life. Our son, Trevor, tweeted this week, “In a hashtag aliens exist looks like alien sexist. Both of which would be kind of cool.” (He takes after his. . . I want to say father, but I’m afraid it’s his mother!) Anyway, then today as I was reading along in John 17 here comes, “They are not of this world, any more than I am of this world.” That reminded me of I Peter 2:11, “Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and aliens in this world, to abstain from sinful desires which war against your soul.” If you have been following my blog at all by now you are getting how it goes. I see it, I hear it, I love it, I blog it.

There is so much great encouragement in John 17. Jesus is praying for the disciples. He’s praying for their protection. He makes it so clear that they are not of this world anymore than He is. He has taken them out of their world, and adopted them into His, made them into sons and daughters–and because of that, they would be hated. They would be persecuted. They would be under attack from the evil one. So Jesus prays His out of this world prayer for them, but also for us when He prays this protection:

“not for them alone but for those who will believe through their message.”

For all those who, for generations to come, will also come out of their world and step into His as adopted sons and daughters is the promise of new life, new identity, new purpose, new attitude, NEW!!!! CHANGED!!! REDEEMED!!! SAVED!!! from this old life–destined for a new one with Him. . . someday. . . forever. . . in Heaven.

He’s called us out of this world, so let’s live like we are from out of this world. Let’s live like strangers and aliens. Let’s live in such a way that people will be curious and hungry and desiring of the purity, generosity, honesty, joy, love, peace, kindness, boldness, grace, mercy, patience, selflessness that come from Christ . . . traits that are rarely seen in this world, because they are from out of this world.

As we enter into the Easter season, you might take notice that the out of this world prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples, and for you and for me, took place just before He crossed the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem on His way to an olive grove where He would be met by a disciple named Judas. Jesus understood, and was willing to die so that we could live out of this world both now and forever.

I’ve Got Peace Like a River

I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river. I’ve got peace like a river in my soul (not my shoe). I’ve got peace like a river. I’ve got peace like a river. I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.

Our KidZChoiR has been learning this song on the bells recently. In fact, it will be their special in music this Sunday morning in church. It’s just one of those old, classic songs from way back when, that somehow or other we just tend to forget about. . . until. . . .well, until God wakes you up and reminds you of it. And let me tell you that listening to it played on the bells by 20+ elementary students sort of helps it to become ingrained on the brain, if you know what I mean!!!

Once it’s there, branded into your cerebral matter, it’s amazing how you start to see the theme of peace in all kinds of places. World peace, peace signs, one my 3rd grade boys left me last night with a hearty, “Peace Out Ms Dawn!” But there is no greater place to really find out about peace than God’s Word, and today it was in every place I happened to be reading. For example:

Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”
Isaiah 59:8 “They way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths.”
John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”

How could the theme of peace not be destined for the blog today? These verses remind me of how thankful I am to serve a God who leads us, guides us and directs us in the paths of peace, and who is equally faithful to show us the the things that will keep us from it. I’m thankful for songs that remind us that peace like a river is ours and that is can reside down in our souls–not our soles. For peace doesn’t come from outward or material things, peace comes from within. Peace comes from knowing and trusting that God has it all under control. He knew that we would have much trouble, and He reminded us that no matter what happens it will be okay, because He has overcome the world.

I love the joy of being able to show HiSKidZ how the songs they love have their root in God’s Word, and how God’s word has its root in God himself. I love showing them that there is power and truth in the songs we sing. I love how God shows those things to me. I love being able to sing and to live out the words of the our songs and the truth of God’s Word, because that allows me to walk through each and every day with not only peace like a river, but with love like an ocean, and joy like a fountain. . . in my soul.

can I get a witness

Can I Get a Witness?

It is said in such reputable places as Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary that the phrase, “Can I Get a Witness?” is often used in reference to someone who has been treated unfairly. For example, someone accuses you of something and you say you didn’t do it, followed by a “Can I get a witness?” In our little midwestern corner of the world, we say it when we want to make a point. For example, “This is a day for some major Diet Coke drinking. . . Can I get a witness?” We know we’re small town, and we’re okay with it, (Remember John Mellencamp’s Small Town song–I loved that song. . . .I was taught to fear Jesus in that small town). . . .

. . . which is probably why today when I was reading some of the red letters of John, chapter 15, those words came to my mind. You see in this slice of Scripture, Jesus is preparing the disciples for what is to come when He’s gone–when they are scattered about in those small and not so small towns. He tells them that if the world hated Him, and it did, then the world is going to hate them. He tells them that if the world persecuted Him, and it did, the world is going to persecute them. He tells them that He is going to be sending a witness.

When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will tesitfy about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27

I can’t say that I’ve heard Jesus shouting out to me, “Hey! Dawn! Can I get a witness?” But I have certainly have been thinking about how unjustly He was treated for me, and for you, and how He is now calling those who call ourselves His to our time to be a witness for Him.

And you, you also must testify for you have been with me from the begininng.

And although I can’t say, like the disciples, that I have been with Him since the beginning, I can give a witness to the fact that He has been with me. And that’s something to give a shout out about. So who needs to hear your to testimony of the power of Jesus in your life, or more to the point, who doesn’t? Can I get a witness?

Today’s Post Is Brought to You By The Letter “F”

As I was jotting some things down in my “Twenty Minutes with Jesus” time today, I got to my personal prayer list and realized several of the the things I am praying for begin with the letter “F”. (Yeah, not much gets past me–LOL!) One of the things didn’t start with “F” so I decided to take that one and find a synonym that did and Voila! a slightly easier way for my brain to really remember the things I want to be praying for. Just in case your inquiring mind wants to know what they are, here ya go:

Disclaimer: Words are listed are in no particular order. Well, except for the first one, because it is the word “first.” On second thought I think I will put it last in accordance with the whole, “first will be last and last will be first” scripture (Matthew 20:16). Of course, last doesn’t start with “F” so it won’t be first here–or on the list at all for that matter. But anyway, to the list.

Faithfulness–I’m praying to be faithful, for my family to be faithful, the church to be faithful and my HiSKidZ, leaders and families to be faithful. I was reading in Isaiah today (chapter 57) and was reminded again that faithfulness is a big deal.

Family–I’m praying for families. For our church families, the families of our communities, my family, and my family’s family to be. I’m praying for our families to be strong, committed, and to keep trusting in God NO MATTER WHAT. (252 shout out) As our boys get older, I find myself praying more and more about the women who may become part of our extended family one day, and the generations that will come behind us. And, yeah, I’m praying that they will be faithful. Again, in Isaiah, I saw how easily families were deceived and left the truth.

Focus–I’m praying for focus. I’m praying that we will focus on Jesus, His Word, His truth. Psalm 119 is filled to the brim with encouragement and direction for staying focused on God’s word, statutes, precepts and direction for our life. His Word is truly “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” We need to keep focused on that path and the One who lights it for us.

Future–I’m praying for the future. Not just our future here on earth, but the certain hope of our future in heaven. We are reminded again and again (and I was reminded again today in Isaiah) that this world is not our home–we are just passing through. It serves us well to keep our eyes on the prize at the end of this race. I’m praying that we will live for the future as we live in the present.

Faith–I’m praying that my faith will increase. The disciples once said to Jesus, “Lord increase our faith.” What a request! Oh that we would have our faith increased each and every day and then share and live out that faith with the people around us. That’s what I’m talking about!! and. . .

First–I’m praying to keep Christ first. First place, all the time, every day. My son Trevor used to say something like, “If you didn’t get first, you lost.” Of course I would tell him that it’s not all about winning. It’s how you played and what you learned and the attitude you did it with. But in this case, I think 1st is it!!! If He doesn’t get 1st in my life, I lose. There is no other place I want Christ to be. There is no other place He deserves to be, and ultimately, there is no other place He will be, cuz He is God and there is no one like Him.

So thank you, letter “F”, for some inspiration, motivation and the chance for some exclamation to be going out to the Faithful God who has brought me into His Family, taken First place in my life, is growing my Faith and giving me a Future.

Amen!

3-2-1 Awesome


Last night the church I attend and work for held a little event for moms we are calling MnMs–Monday Nights for Moms. MnMs is just a little something we wanted to start doing to get our women together and have a little fun, a little encouragement, and a little bit  of learning about being, well moms. You know how it can be, sometimes we get so busy just “doin life” in our own world, that we forget to “do life” together. And although we get training for a zillion other things,  we often forget to get a little training in the whole mom/wife/woman department. And since the Bible tell us to do these kind of things (Titus 2). . .  MnMs was created.

Of course (heavy sigh), in a winter with virtually no snow, we got snow and  bit of ice yesterday. However, we were not to be deterred!!!  We were meeting anyway!  After all we are MOMS and we needed out of the house! We had a goal to learn about setting goals!!  We started things out spiritually by baptizing a variety of treats into melted chocolate and our veggies into dip as we prepared for the rest of evening.

We tackled our topic on goal setting (if you want to know how I feel about goals, read back a few posts to 1st and goal). We were blessed to have a phenomenally talented woman from our church lead us in how to make antiqued Valentine cards (Thank you Ms Gaby!). But the pinnacle of the evening for me was our 3-2-1 Cup-o-Cakes or 3-2-1 Awesome Cakes as I am now inspired to call them.

My kidmin coach, Todd, shared this recipe with me. His wife shared it with him. Someone from Pinterest shared it with her. But honestly, who cares where it came from??? It’s just too much fun in a cup!!!!  And, yes, there’s a little spiritual application attached.  Ready??? Here’s the thing.

Take:

One angel food cake mix (see it’s spiritual already–angels!)

One one any kind of cake mix  (preferably not devil’s food-bahahaha, just kidding) I did use chocolate for my demo last night.   And. . . .

Mix them together. Really well. Like with a whisk. In a big bowl.  Store it in an airtight container of somekind.

Then:

Grab a coffee cup/mug

Put 3 well rounded Tablespoons of the cake mix in there

Add 2 Tablespoons of water        Stir it up, mix it up, (I don’t recommend shaking it up)  Although the recipe itself does shake things up a bit!

Cook 1 minute in your microwave.    Hence the 3-2-1 and. . . it’s . . .

Awesome!!! I mean open that microwave door and you have CAKE!! In your CUP!!  Just like that!!! So simple. So wonderful. So Awesome!! Don’t just look at it. . . .eat it! Plain or topped with something like frosting, mint chips, ice cream, whipped cream, peanut butter. . . .I dunno. . . whatever you like.

So. Ms Dawn, you say. I think I’m missing something. . . just what is the spiritual application here, besides “angel” food cake?

Here’s the thing.

It’s simply simple. Some of the best things in our spiritual life are kind of like 3-2-1 Awesome Cake–they don’t have to be complicated. They can be those few minutes spent in prayer, those few minutes spent sending out a card, those few minutes letting someone else in front of you in the checkout line.  They can be the homemade card you made at church for your husband or the Double Stuffed Oreos he gave you for Valentines Day. (Yeah, that’s my man in plaid!) They can be the hug you share with a friend or  the “hello” you share with a stranger. The best spiritual things are often simple, and they are meant to be SHARED.

You see, this simple recipe was shared with me by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them. Last night, I shared it with our ladies, and I know they are going out and will share it with someone else, probably today. Now as I share it with you, I know some of y’all will be on your way to WalMart for cake mix before the end of the day and you will be texting a friend to see if they’ve tried it yet! Because you, too, have realized that it really does sound pretty awesome, and you’re thinking, “Hey! All these women (and one man) can’t be wrong!”

Well, can you see it now? What we’re doing with this cake recipe. . .that’s what Jesus asks us to do. Get so excited about what He has shared with you that you simply have to share it with someone else or a couple of someone elses. Or a whole group, or the world. When it’s all said and done, I mean, I’m thankful someone shared the recipe with me, but I’m really thankful someone shared Christ with me.  3-2-1 Awesome!!