Family First? Really?

I came to an embarrassing and rather shocking conclusion about how I viewed my family this past week. In our small group / Bible study we are going through a book called the Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. The theme of the book is how reclaim the adventure of living a spirit filled life – the Christian walk isn’t for wimps.

Irresponsible responsibility. What comes to mind when you first read that? My first thought was huh- what is that?!? Mark defines it as when “we allow less important responsibilities to replace more important ones, and we find ourselves practicing irresponsible responsibility. One of the challenges of following Christ is to flip this tendency on it’s head and become responsibly irresponsible.”

This was a hard concept for me to grasp, I’m a very responsible person and take those responsibilities very seriously. But one thing in the study really hit me, Batterson was talking about the passage where the Jesus asks a man to follow him and the man asks if he can go bury his father first. Matt 8:21-22 or Luke 9:59-62:

“He (Jesus) said to another man, ‘Follow me’ But the man replied Lord, first let me go bury my father. Jesus said to him, let the dead bury their own dead but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.

Still another man said, let me follow you Lord; but first let me go say goodbye to my family.

Jesus replied, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the service in the kingdom of God.”

He then went on to ask a question – Why do you think the man asked to bury his father? Can you sympathize with him?”

I definitely can sympathize with him! Looking back that passage has always really bothered me! I always thought “oh common, Jesus, give the man a break, you teach us to honor our parents…” & so my train of thoughts went. I never understood what Jesus was really getting at.

The Wild Goose Chase puts it this way : “ it (the request) seems reasonable and responsible for this young man to ask to go look out for his family and bury his father. But when we are tempted to sympathize with someone other than Jesus, when something doesn’t make sense or when we sense a little dis – equilibrium, we need to take a closer look at the story. …. I think this young man was doing what many of us do. He turned responsibility into an excuse.” Irresponsible responsibility.

Ouch! I then started asking myself, Do I put my responsibility to my family over God? When I’m thinking about a decision am I thinking what will God think? Or what will my family think? Through painfully honest introspection, I shamefully answered that more often than not I wondered what my family will think, over what would God think. Ouch. Inadvertently my Family had become an idol in my life. In sharing this with a girlfriend this past week, she told me that she too had just realized that. We talked about how being raised in large conservative families, family is a huge thing. But regardless of how you were raised it needs to be Jesus first. I never want to give up my family, I hope I never have too, but Jesus also says in the gospels that He who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Lord forgive me and help me be responsibly irresponsible and follow you completely and live out the passions you have revealed in me.

(After thoughts)

We so often place way more responsibility on ourselves than God ever intended and that weighs us down. They can even be good things, like serving in the community or church or your family, but are they the best things? Are they hindering you from following the passions that God placed in your heart? Called you to do? Do you even know what your passions are? Is your life so full with the noise and busyness of Life and what you want that you can’t hear God? Batterson states that “Passions like this aren’t about you discovering; they’re really about God revealing.”

What we miss

As many of you know I have a crazy, goofy, random, side but I still forget how to have fun some times. Today I was out raking leaves in the front yard, and having a debate with myself about whether or not I should jump in the leaf pile when I was done. I live in a down town area so I was a little self conscious about jumping in a leaf pile by myself on the roadside. What would people think? After looking around and making sure no one was watching I took a huge jump, right into the middle of all the leaves.I was almost completely buried! It was hilarious and I came out laughing, only to see an older man watching me with questions in his eyes as he walked by. I started brushing the leaves off myself & mumbled some comment about how you have to have fun while you work. He said he had never seen anyone so happy before to rake leaves. As I picked all the leaves out of my hair and walked back into the house I realized how sad we both were. I had to debate whether or not to have innocent fun because it was so child like and the old man didn't understand. Then I realized who was better off- I was. I was the one with the smile on my face and a spring in my step, and the man still had a frown. Now I wonder, how many of the simple joys of life do we miss because of what we think people will think of us? Let me encourage you to let your hair down & go find a leaf pile to jump in! The colors, the smells, the beauty, God created all things for us to enjoy - so to use the clique "stop & smell the roses today"!

Random thoughts onTruth from a youth leader's persective

What is Truth? That question has been haunting peoples since time began. In John 18:38 Pilate is questioning Jesus and he asks Him, what is truth? Jesus' answer is incredible "You rightly say that I am a king, For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the Truth hears My voice." Jesus came to bear witness of the truth! He is truth. For He says "I am the Way the Truth and the Life..." John 16:13 says "However, when the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you." The Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit are the finally authority on truth!

In this day and age where the majority of people think that truth is relative, we know that it is not! Jesus is truth. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8) In our fast paced culture of high speed technology and constant change it is so important for our teens to have something that never changes. And that something is Truth. Truth is absolute! Without a starting point or basis for making decisions and living life, people will flounder. It's no wonder that our teens are confused and are making poor choices when they are told that everyone has their own "truth" or purpose for living.

What you think or believe that "Truth" is affects every part of your life from what you believe to how you live. The more that I work with teenagers the more I realize that they are going to make their own decision's. We can be there to help them along the way but we can't choose for them. So I think the best thing I can do for my kids (myself or anyone) is to provide them the tools they need to make those decisions. So often people come to me with the question " what should I do in this situation...." the questions vary but the underling theme in all of the questions is what right or what is wrong here? That's what they really want to know! So I think going back to the very beginning is so important! What is truth and how do we find that out? Truth is the very character of Jesus Christ.... He is life and the rest is just details!

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About Me

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I'm a fun loving, people person, with a passion for ministry and the Lord. My greatest desire is to see people come to realize who they are in Christ and how that effects every area of their relationships and lives.I want to know Him more.