What’s Your Life Plan?

7 Jump-Starting questions for you, as you prepare for 2012.

1. What do you want?

2. How do you plan to get it?

3. How do you plan to maintain it?

4. What’s your course of action?

5. What daily-disciplines need to be instituted & implemented?

6. Which “habits” need to be “deep-sixed”?

7. 2012 is right around the corner. How is this new season really going to be different for you? Make it count!

(*Copy and paste these to a word document, and then write down some of those things that pop into your mind.)

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Psychological Procrastination

We’re all familiar with procrastination. “I know I should do it today, but… I’ll do it next week.” But as I was praying, I came up with a term that described the way I feel many times: “psychological procrastination”. This is where you’re at church, or at home, and you begin to think about getting closer to the Lord, or you’re wanting to have a more passionate faith. But then you think within yourself, “I’m not really feeling it right now. I will get closer to the Lord, but just not today. Maybe next week I’ll get something out of church or the sermon.”

And it goes on week after week – a whole year goes by and you’re thinking, “Where has the time gone? My life needs to go to another level!” Here’s the kicker though. We get excited for a day, or week at most, but then gradually decline into our typical ‘mode’, whatever that happens to be for you. But there needs to be a way to really break free from this “psychological procrastination”, so that a change can really take place, and that fruit would follow.

Maybe it’s just being aware that psychological procrastination is taking place, is the first step to change.

5 Ways to Wake-up Spiritually

1. Set an alarm. With all our modern-day gadgets it’s easily to set a unique alarm on your phone, once a day, once a week, to remind yourself of your new season. Or it can be to remind you to stick with your goal of reading the Bible each day, or whatever. [Joel 2:1]

2. Flush, purge, and clean it out. Spiritually awake people are always scanning their life to make sure that garbage doesn’t pile up. They take a few hours on a Saturday and delete old music and files off their computer. They clean their room or redecorate so their environment is conducive to growth. [2 Chron. 34:8, Acts 19:19]

3. Create a “Prayer-Time” playlist on iTunes. This one has helped me alot. When you’re getting ready to spend time with the Lord it’s good to have some worship music on. (One of my playlists is 1.1 hours long, and I devote that whole hour to prayer). [Psalm 108:2-3]

4. Start a Bible reading plan. My wife and I have been doing this for years. Everyday you know exactly what you’re doing to read. It’s amazing how God can speak to you, even while going thru an obscure book like, Obadiah or Jude. [Matt. 24:35, Heb. 4:12]

5. Memorize scripture. Ok, ok… I know this sounds childish, or “Sunday-school-ish”. But if you’re wanting to really be awake spiritually, at some point you’ll need to renew your mind, (Rom. 12:2). Next time you’re at Walgreens pick you up some 3×5 index cards. Write-out the verse on one side, and the scripture address on the other. [Ps. 19:7-8, Ps. 119:11]

Would You Go to Hell for Someone?

“What a grim thought?!” Hold on, hold on… I didn’t think of it.

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Romans 9:1–3, KJV)

As I read this verse this morning it actually brought tears to my eyes. ‘O such love! I’d venture to say that so one I know would be willing to go to Hell for anyone. I, myself don’t want to go to Hell – to somehow “pay the price” for someone to get to Heaven. But that isn’t the point, because Jesus, HImself, was already cursed for us, (Gal. 3:13). The apostle Paul is using extreme language to convey his great love for his people, Israel.

Check this out! In reading Acts 7 this morning, Stephen, that mighty servant, who was chosen by God to, not only serve tables, but to do miraculous signs and wonders, willingly gave himself to have rocks thrown at him for Christ. He even forgave them while it was happening, (Acts 7:54-60). You throw a rock at me, and my “Chicago” is gonna come out, and it’s not gonna be pretty! But ‘O what a heart in Paul and Stephen, to love those who simply don’t understand, and are blind to the love of God.

As I read Romans 9 this morning I thought of Kula, Upcountry, and Hawai’i, and great love began to fill my heart. But how can I have a heart like Paul, Stephen, and Jesus?

Here’s 4 quick things that might help you get that Love pumping:

1. BEGIN TO PRAY FOR OTHERS MORE IN MY PRAYER TIMES.
2. BEGIN TO WITNESS TO THE PEOPLE THAT YOU SAY THAT YOU LOVE.
3. MAKE A GOAL TO WITNESS TO AT LEAST ONE PERSON EVERY DAY.
4. BUY SOME GOSPEL TRACKS ON-LINE, AND ALWAYS HAVE THEM ON YOU.

If you have any other ideas, feel free to comment.

You Can’t Tie a Man Who’s Already Bound

Who is this “Paul” anyway? Sound a little strange? bound

DBR – Daily Bible reading: Acts 19-21

S. SCRIPTURE
The Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” [Acts 21:13 13 NKJV]

O. OBSERVATION
Paul had been beaten, jailed, and ran out of town by those who didn’t want any part of his message. The Christians at Caesarea tried to keep him from going to Jerusalem. In verse 4 it says, “They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.” So who’s right? I believe that was a test to see just how committed Paul really was. How could Paul be so ready to be bound and to die (vs. 13)? A nugget is hidden away here.

1.Paul Purposed in the Spirit. [Acts 19:21]

2.Paul Goes Bound in the Spirit. [Acts 20:22]

First Paul “purposes”, (or makes a decision); then he experiences the momentum of that decision. This is what catapulted him into a whole new way of thinking and living. He was literally consumed, and driven by the Holy Spirit. Paul wasn’t the kind of Christian that needed to be prodded. He had been prodded once before, and that was enough for him.

A. APPLICATION
As strange as it seems – the Holy Spirit can direct another Christian to be a roadblock on your path in the race you’re running. Am I going to “stick to my guns”, or am I going to go the way of the coward and say,
“Yeah, well it did kinda seem like a crazy idea…” I need to ask myself this morning… “What decision is the Holy Spirit calling me to make?” Do I realize that this morning could be the turning point in my life which catapults me into such a radical commitment to Christ ? Because I’m a bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ – bound by His Spirit – I won’tl be affected by anyone that tries to bind me in the flesh.

P. PRAYER
“Father, it’s my prayer this morning that You would open my eyes to the decision, to the commitment, that You are calling me to make today. I long to be in that place of total surrender where nothing ruffles my feathers, and where all I see is souls, and the finsihed line of my faith. I’ll gladly be bound in the Spirit today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

How to Get Ready for a New Year!

Have you got some New Years’ goals, but aren’t quite sure how to implement them? Join the club. I’ve got a great podcast episode for you:: “How to Get Ready for a New Year. It’s in the iTunes Store, and… it’s FREE!!

UNITED YOUTH CHURCH CHICAGO

If you would listen and review that would be totally awesome!

Pastor Robb

I Killed the Dove


Robb Gorringe
codeofhonor_beware-2
I Killed the Dove
Going forward is a necessity. Old paths though have something, that if we’re not careful our forward inertia will be a sliding backwards into mindless regression. Even the Bible talks about this. You might be thinking, “Yeah, didn’t Jesus say, “Remember Lot’s wife.”?” Actually yes, He did. But why? Because there is an innate danger in lusting for that which is evil – that which we used to live-in and feast on. But Jeremiah flips the script a bit when he said,

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said we will not walk therein.” [Jer. 6:16 KJV].

Some people are so busy about making New Year’s Resolutions that they have forgotten the old paths of the ancients. They’re busy thinking about their new figure, new careers, the New Age, New Wave, and… of course, new shoes, (gotta have ’em)

One ancient, so-to-speak, in particular that I’m thinking about is someone from the 80’s Southern California Punk Rock scene. Lyrical genius, Jonithin Christ of Code of Honor said in his song, “I Killed the Dove”…

There is a hunger on this planet, reflections of past
The dreams you thought were real last night were nights of the last
The hunger’s inside of you, distorting your view
Nothin’ here but wasteland all wrapped up inside of you
I did it for Money
I did it for Love
I did it for Myself
I killed the Dove
Why can’t we see where our lives are going and change?

If you listen to the song, [found on Savage Jaw Records], singing that last line, Jonithin belts out an eery cry… Why can’t we see where our lives are going and change? During this first part of the year I have been asking myself this same exact question. Because if we really could see where our lives are going most of us would change. There would be a reason to stop doing what we’re doing, and start doing what we should be doing. But the haunting questions still lingers, What if we don’t see where our lives are going and change? We “Kill the Dove”.

The the gospels are clear, that the Dove represents the Holy Spirit. I hope I never kill the Dove. I do know that I’m sure I have clipped His wings on numerous occasions. The Dove is so innocent. The Dove represents perfect peace. And we forfeit that peace when we fail to see ahead, and when we fail to go back to the old paths of doing what is right. Most of the time we go back to old sins. The wheel of old habits ends up moving forward to crush us.

To conclude, don’t kill the dove. Don’t let that be written on your epitaph. The Dove comes to cleanse you and set you free through the power of the One He landed-on so many years ago beside the Jordan River. Open your eyes, and see the path your on. Do it for yourself. Do it for the Dove.