He Came For You

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God didn’t create this world or come to this world so that you could be part of an organization.

He came, ‘Immanuel-God with us,’ so that you could be part of him and his purpose for your life.

Organizations will come and go, but his life in you is what he died and rose again for; Easter.

He looked forward, with joy, to the cross, the most heinous of deaths, for one reason; you. You are the prize that he couldn’t wait to attain. It is you that he deeply wants to have in his proximity and relationship. It is your attention that he wants.

It is yours and my selfishness, stubborn, and prideful autonomy that put him in that ‘compromised’ position in the first place. He came to reconcile that. He paid that price. It cost him everything so that you and I could have unprecedented access to his very presence, to him.

It’s a big deal! It is called worship.

Then, when you meet someone else who has the same passion, focus and desire, its called fellowship, intimate bonding and relating; church. It is so beautiful, so meaningful and precious. It is the fellowship of ‘God with us.’

Don’t waste it on a structure, a system, a method, a building or denomination. He didn’t come for that.

He came for you!

It’s Coming And It’s Going To Be Great!

Merry Christmas.

Too soon?

Not really, you’ve already been marketed to and possibly even brainwashed with brands and plans.

I think it was early August when I first witnessed that date locked and loaded. The crosshairs had you clearly in their sights. It was probably January 2nd when backroom, final plans were being made. The marketing machine has been ramping up ever since.

Before you even had a chance to pay off your last indulgence, they wanted more of your ‘interest’ and ‘investment.’ They always want more!

So, stop!

Do not give them one more year of indebtedness.

Make a choice to have a great Christmas without, (you can do this) the money you don’t have right now. They only want you to feel like you have a gun to your head. It isn’t actually there.

Make the change. Stop spending your tomorrow by living outside your means; the only way for you to get ahead.

Start modelling gratefulness and gratitude. Any package that opens, having been wrapped, brings surprise and wonder.

Have fun and wonder.

Your kids will love it and have fun when you lead the way.

Love your kids with what you have. Really. Stop trying to love them with what you don’t have.

Forget all the sayings, “Go big or go home. If you don’t get it now, you will miss out. There will never be another sale like this again.” Myriads of words have conditioned you, but they don’t have to any longer.

You can win this Christmas.

It is coming, and it is going to be great because you chose it to be so.

Address the Mess; Emotional Duct Tape #1

Here’s how it plays out. I have watched this happen over and over.

We’ll call them Darrell and Amanda.

Darrell and Amanda opt to use emotional duct tape.

This time the disagreement is over whether or not Amanda should have bought the new upright Grandfather clock for $683.00 regularly priced at $999.00. Previous arguments have been in the $400.00 range.

It starts by Darrell walking in from work and seeing the new purchase in the entryway to the living room.

As it turns out, this purchase was not planned in the family budget nor was it even on their radar as a discussion item.

Amanda swears by the fact that this is something that she always wanted and that this price was the best price ever, probably never to happen again.

And, so the stage is set:

Darrell – What is this?

Amanda – I know isn’t it the best thing ever?

Darrell – It’s a grandfather clock!

Amanda – I know. I’ve wanted one of these all my life.

Darrell – This is the first I’ve heard of this.

Amanda – Darrell, it was the best price ever.

Darrell – How much?

Amanda – I saved over $300.00

Darrell – How much?

Amanda – I can use my reimbursement from my taxes last year toward it.

Darrell – How much?

Amanda – Just over $600.00.

Darrell – You did this without asking?

Amanda – I didn’t think that I had to ask for my own money. You are acting just like your father. So, demanding.

Darrell – You said that we would talk about our purchases beyond $200.00 Obviously I can’t trust your word.

Plenty of emotion, ample innuendos, and the ‘taping’ begins. Amanda wipes a tear from her eye, and Darrell leaves the house without saying a word.

He misses supper that night and gets home late.

Nothing said that night and the next day there is a strange silence in their home. Amanda knows better than to ask what is wrong and Darrell struggles for words.

About the third day, they start to acknowledge each other in the room, and things begin to calm down.

By the fifth day, things are great, and the marriage is incredible until…until the tape let’s go. Emotional Duct tape actually works, for the moment. The problem happens when used as a permanent solution. It then becomes thoroughly inadequate.

Instead of dealing with the issue in their marriage, these two choose to take the ‘easy’ way. They fix it with EDT and have a solution. Temporary at best.

Joseph Series: Expecting, Anticipating Heart

Even though he was detoured, waylaid, some would say stopped, Joseph kept looking for his dream. His dream lived in him.

From what I can gather Joseph didn’t have much, any, support from the immediate world around him. Potiphar and Pharaoh were not interested in Joseph’s dreams as much as Joseph was interested in his own, not even close. In fact, in that culture, slaves do not matter at all. So what if you have a dream?

Pharaoh’s dramatic dream now interpreted and in play had Joseph doing his job, what he was appointed to do. That was all that mattered to Pharaoh but not to Joseph. We know because he named his kids from out of the dream-pool that he had in his heart. His dream leaked out of his life.

1) Manasseh – first son – and means forget – “It is because God has made me forget            all my trouble and all my father’s household.” (Genesis 41:51, NIV)

2) Ephraim – second son – and means twice fruitful – “It is because God has made me       fruitful in the land of my suffering.” (Genesis 41:52, NIV)

I’m about 60; no make that 70% entrepreneurial. I see more potential than I ever could take advantage of, or in actuality that my wife would let me take advantage of. That means that I often live with an expectant anticipating heart.

I tend to be the guy that wants to move on the dream taking what is current and moving toward what I can see in my mind’s eye. I want what I perceive to best, and I keep looking for it around every corner.

From my narrow slant on the world I understand dreams, I understand heartbreak, and I know the fulfillment of dreams that were thought to be dead. I also understand expectations that fall short of what’s real.

Joseph’s dreams became a reality. Maybe mine will also.

Maybe yours can too.