Time For God—The Consumer

With everything on our plates these days how do we even have time for God? As the information revolution takes over, time has become our most valued commodity. It is scarcer than money.

Compared to 40 years ago when not everything revolved around the office, the social clubs, and the coffee shop, now even our meals, stop lights and bed times are consumed with cells phones, TV screens and other forms of entertainment.

The median husband-wife unit are now working a combined 90 hours a week on the job all to feed our growing desire to have more.

More money.

More things.

More freedom.

But does that sound like freedom?

Somehow the thought of slaving away, working our whole lives in pursuit of this “American Dream” doesn’t sound like freedom at all. We’ve become married to this idea that since it’s available we MUST have it. We have become consumers hell-bent on swallowing up every piece of selfish real estate we can get our hands on.

As GM founder Charles Kettering one said, “The key to economic prosperity is the organized creation of dissatisfaction.”

Thus, we created the consumer.

This consumer mentality shouldn’t define how we live our lives. There is truly only one thing that we need and that is the blood of Christ. We need it daily. We need it more daily to combat the rising, suffocating consumer culture where we call our “home.”

Our value should not be found in what we place on our walls, in our wallets or park in our garage but how we spend our time.

In his book “The Air I Breathe”, Louie Giglio defines worship as “our response to what we value most. As a result, worship determines our actions, becoming the driving force for all we do. But everybody has an altar. And every altar has a throne.”

Whatever is worth the most to us is how we will spend our time.

How do you spend your time?

What is on the throne of your life?

If we are to be consumers let us be consumers of the word of God, daily putting him on the throne of our lives and giving Him value with our worship.

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Read Any Good Books Lately?

I asked my coworker this question the other night then immediately realized how out-dated I sounded.

Seriously though, has anybody 30 or younger ever asked or been asked that question?

A recent study from a HuffingtonPost poll found that 41 percent of respondents had not read a fiction book in the past year, while 28 percent had not read a book at all. Keep in mind though that all of those polls are based on self-reported data, from a self-selected group of respondents. I know plenty of people who say they haven’t read a book since high school.

Don't judge the photo of choice. There's just something funny to me about Nicholas Cage

Don’t judge the photo of choice. There’s just something funny to me about Nicholas Cage

Honestly, I could probably count on one hand all the books I read after high school up until my love for theology was sparked a few years back.

It’s amazing how ebooks have revolutionized the book industry. Since 2007 book sales have soared namely due to the popularity of electronic reading tablets such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad. I think it’s safe to say that ebooks will only grow more and more popular as technology continues to advance.

With the evolution of the tech industry, however, more and more people are giving up reading traditional books for pleasure all together. Just look at our schools; education grants are trying to  place iPads in the hands of every child in the school district. Cell phones are constantly buzzing, keeping all eyes constantly glued to their screens. I heard on the radio the other day about a teacher complaining that his students didn’t know how to hold a conversation with each other.

Please God let this selfie phase end soon. Doubtful.

I hope that our generation’s tech boom doesn’t cause traditional books to becomes obsolete in the next 20 years. Or ever, really. That was just me thinking wistfully and somewhat fearfully.

Technology has proven to be a great tool for studying the scriptures though. I get terrible cell reception inside my church sanctuary which is probably a wonderful thing cause boy do I get twitter/trigger happy thumbs on Sundays. Especially after a solid amen statement. And my short attention span causes me to forget good material. That’s why I try to write everything down that I can.

All this to say, I hope that kids today will grow up seeking knowledge and answers that can only be found on the pages of a book.

I hope that kids today will have a restless curiosity sparked in them about things that really matter.

I hope that kids today will search out truth and find that truth in the Word of God. In the scriptures. In the only book that holds water.

God’s book.

It’s here and it’s available. Never has there ever been such easy access to the Bible and yet we can always find some other way to fill our time.

So if I ever ask you, “Read any good books lately?” I hope you pull out the Jesus Juke and respond with, “My Bible.”

No shame.

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I Got This!—dc Talk & Hot-Wheels


What Song Defines Your Childhood?

As a home-schooled child of the 90’s and the youngest of 4, I had a proper indoctrination into CCM at a young age.

CC-What? CCR? Credence Clearwater Revival? Or maybe even better known here in Oklahoma, Cross Canadian Ragweed?

Both good guesses, but no. Growing up in the bible belt there are two unavoidable normalities: homeschooling and contemporary christian music(CCM). The big bands of that era included names like Steven Curtis Chapman, Delirious?, Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, Jars Of Clay and of course, the top-selling christian band of the 90’s, dc Talk.

My main jam of theirs was a song called “Lean On Me” off their 1992 album “Free At Last”. People know that song from the 70’s as well, it’s a good song. But the lyrics have a missing component.

Yes, as believers we are called to have compassion and bear one another’s burdens.(Gal 6:2) The song says the same thing:

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on.”

That’s great but shouldn’t we direct our sights and receive our strength from the One who freely gives it?(Matt 11:30, Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7) These ought to be His words in the chorus:

Lean on me when you’re not strong, and I’ll help you carry on.”

And even more so in the third verse:

If there is a load you have to bear that you can’t carry. I’m right up the road, I’ll share your load if you just call me.”

How funny is that? Everyday truths from the Word of God spoken unintentionally and vicariously through an unsuspecting agent.

Even though God does speak to us through the hone drone madness of every day life, we should not be primarily seeking Him outside of His Word. He has given us everything we could possibly need within the scriptures.

God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn thankfully to lean on Him.

You don’t got this. But He does. So let Him have it. Cast your cares and lean on Him

Going back to my childhood, you better believe I had choreography for that song. For that whole dang album! I had the moves like McKeehan. And Max and Tait for that matter. Some of you will get that. Pshhh

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DC_Talk

2014—Our Time Is A Gift

How are you going to make this year any better?

Let’s start by examining where the last one ended. Ask yourself if you liked the last one. What were the high and low points throughout the year? What can you do better and what would you absolutely not like to revisit?

For your sake I hope that 2013 was a fulfilling and prosperous year for you. It certainly was for me. It was the first full year, I believe, that I was truly engaged with the Lord. For the most part.

From January through early October I worked for a vending company which involved a lot of tasks. Among my duties were: waking up at 3:00 am, driving a large Freightliner truck around OKC and the outlying towns, filling vending machines, servicing those machines, collecting the money, spilling product all over the inside of the truck on sharp turns, lifting a lot of heavy bottles and eating my weight in pastry and spoiled sandwiches.

Not only did my job provide a bounty of expired but delicious lunch items but it also afforded me one main luxury: time. One does a lot of thinking when he’s working on his own for 9+ hours a day. Certainly there were customers and clients at my different stops whom I interacted with on a normal basis but the majority of my time was spent in the the cab of my truck cruising around or in the back pulling inventory to fill my machines.

But again, the fact of the matter is that I had time on my hands which I spent mostly in the throngs of my wireless headphones. All sorts of music, podcasts, audiobooks and radio broadcasts were consumed.

I wish, however, that I would have listened to more sermons. The few that I did were extremely beneficial but I regret that I spent more time filling my ears with catchy garbage than the Word of God.

I’ll expand more on this in the coming months but first let me get back to the main question and add to it:

How are you going to make this year any better? How is the name of the Most High, Adonai, going to be made known in your life in 2014?

You can’t redo the mistakes or missed opportunities of yesterday.

“Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” Matt 6:34

Focus on today. That’s what you have before you.

Our time is a gift.

Use it wisely.

Do things that matter in 2014.

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