What if your only options in life were crime or starvation?

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What if you never thought about your future because chances were, you didn't have one?

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For over 4 million people in the tiny South American country of Honduras, those are the realities of life.

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Our friends, Gary and Cheryl Kuney, have spent nearly a decade investing their lives in the poorest of the poor in a country where lawlessness is rampant and despair, universal. Their daughter Amy, a musician, has made a video available now on YouTube, that brings the mission close to home.

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Take a minute to watch. She's done an excellent job. What does God want you to do about it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaG6j1s-9h4


Another One Bites the Dust!


If you don't like that picture, I don't either. But that's the world our kids are facing every day. And it's sucking them in like flies to a zapper.

All around us, Christian kids are dropping into the world's vat of goo. Kids who've been raised to know and honor God. Kids who've had every advantage, every opportunity to grow into mighty warriors for God are turning to the dark side at the first hint of freedom.

Does it seem to you that it's happening at an alarming pace? This generation has had more training, more exposure to truth, more advantages than any other in history. And yet too many are saying, "No, thanks" and diving headfirst into the stormy sea of worldliness at the first tug of temptation. The result is epidemic suicides, addictions, and frantic but futile attempts to medicate the pain so much stress causes.

Why is that? What is going on?

It may be the same problem many adults have. In this land of easy-believism, we've somehow gotten the notion that we are doing God a favor by acknowledging him at all. Kids who've known God from infancy have twisted the message in their budding brains and decided that the Creator of the Universe is up there beyond the skies, wringing his hands in hope they will listen to him occasionally.
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They've been told all their lives how special they are to God, how much he loves them, how much he desires fellowship with them, and how happy it makes him when they obey.

Does something sound off here?

We've managed to turn God's greatest gift of unmerited favor into some sort of debt we are owed. I fear the message that our "Jesus Loves Me" generation is receiving has developed into a ME-centered theology. And put that way, who can blame them?

God's calling of holiness pales in comparison to the world's tinsel showering around them.

After all, if it's all about ME and what makes me happy, then go for the gusto! Go for the fun, the party, the excitement. God will still be there when I've had my fun. Remember? He's the guy who has been holding his breath for centuries, just hoping I'd look his way.

Maybe we've been wrong. Maybe we've been stressing the wrong things. The Sunday School Jesus is not the God they'll face when he calls for them. All the pictures on the walls are of the kind and gentle Saviour surrounded by little children. When those children outgrow the pictures, they outgrow the concept.

Maybe we've been wrong to so stress the love of God that we've downplayed his holy wrath against sin. We've plumped up their little self-images to the point they can see nothing but themselves and feel God owes them what they want. If he doesn't deliver, who needs him?

Every time I hear of another of our kids who's leaped headfirst into the sin-pit, my heart grieves. God holds them accountable for their choices, but I have to wonder: Did we have a part in it? Have we misrepresented the truth and in so doing, robbed them of humility?

And are they paying the price?

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You Might Be From Oklahoma


For all my fellow Oklahomans, some observations about our grand state and its people.

You Might Be From Oklahoma if:
  • You’re wearing shorts and flip-flops to gather firewood for tonight’s forecasted blizzard.

  • You think people from the other 49 states talk with funny accents.

  • You hear someone with a northeastern twang and wonder if English is their second language.

  • Your safe-room is better furnished and cost more than the rest of your house.

  • You see a demolition site and wonder how big the tornado was.

  • You don’t find it at all unusual to see a herd of cattle grazing in someone’s front yard.

  • Your idea of going to the beach is to wait for the big spring rain and watch the river come to you.

  • You have yet to go from one town to another without paying a toll.

  • You have or know someone who has experienced a family split over the Ford/Chevy debate.

  • You know the proper use and recognize the misuse of the word “ya’ll.”

  • The fake accents in the musical Oklahoma grate on your nerves.

  • You think California pretty much gets what it deserves.

  • You find the term “Bible belt” condescending.

  • You’re starting to get a little aggravated about all the illegal Mexicans swarming into your state.

  • You think the Second Amendment is part of the Ten Commandments.

  • You know people who would walk out of the hospital on two broken legs rather than miss hunting season.

  • You consider anyone living north of Kansas a liberal Yankee.

  • You’ve ever been asked if people in Oklahoma live in teepees and drive tractors to work.

  • You’ve ever been asked if you have an oil well in your backyard.

  • You’ve ever HAD an oil well in your backyard or driven a tractor down the highway.



What the World Needs Now...


Love...love...love...

Singers wail about it; teenagers mope around starry-eyed because of it. We use the word to describe our feelings about Rocky Road ice cream, our favorite color, our dog, and the best singer on American Idol. What a handy multi-purpose word!

The problem--as we all know-- is that in the process it loses meaning.

Love is actually God's word. He thought of it first so he should get to define it. And he does an excellent job of defining it in I Corinthians 13. But his definition sounds nothing like ours.

What about when it's applied to the level of commitment between husband and wife?
That's closer, but still a long way off. As humans, we aren't really capable of God's kind of love without God. Even romantic love between spouses is usually rooted in selfishness.

What can he do for me?

How well does he meet my needs?

Is he living up to my expectations this week?

Or the Ann Landers special: "Ask yourself: Am I better off with him or without him?"

Notice how many times "me" and "my" popped up in there. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of who and what we love is based on how well they meet our needs. And that's the definition of selfishness, not love.

The kind of love God is able to produce in us is a sacrificial love. A love that would take beating and torture in the place of someone who hated you. That's the kind of love He has toward us for absolutely no reason at all except that that's just the way he is.

The love the Spirit of God produces says: I know you don't love me, but I love you because I can't help it. You're more important than I am, so what can I give you that you need?

Oooh! Ouch. How many times have I honestly felt that way about someone who didn't deserve it?

A quick test to see if you're there yet: Picture someone you know that you should love and ask yourself how much you are willing to sacrifice for that person.

Probably nothing, especially if they're after your parking space.

It's not likely that we can produce fruit like this without God's supernatural work inside our lives. Unless you've been feasting at the table of God's love, you don't have it to give away.
We give good imitations every now and then, but look closely. Most likely your loving actions are based on either a response to someone's kindness or have at their heart a selfish motive such as: I want them to like me...OR...I want others to see how nice I am...OR... I've felt bad about myself lately and being loving makes me feel better.

See? When compared side-by-side with the real thing, our version of love looks pretty pathetic. Our man-made imitations are fine if we want peach-flavored gelatin instead of fresh fruit, but who wants that?

God doesn't and deep down, we don't either. We crave ultimate, sacrificial love from others, but it's a lot harder to give.

That's exactly why we can't give it without God's love flowing through us in abundance. It's called the Fruit of the Spirit because without God's Spirit loving through us, we can't do it. Especially when they get our parking space.

The song was right. What the world needs now is love. Fortunately, God agrees and that's why it is number one on his Top Nine Countdown of Greatest Traits of All Time.

He doesn't expect you to do it on your own. He offers to do it through you. Which is a good thing, because the more I study His kind of love, the more I realize I can never do it by myself.
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But what about joy? That's the next fruit on the list. Can't we do that on our own? Next post we'll see about that...
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