Friday, November 8, 2013

Vocational thoughts - Work as worship

Reflecting on some of the things that I've listened to recently on the White Horse Inn - God of the Ordinary and Ordinary life and vocation - it has really increased my desire to see my work in another light.  I believe that no matter where we go, we are ..."ambassadors for Christ"...2 Cor. 5:20, we are therefore worshipers of the One True God in our ordinary vocation.  The problem is that we forget this and it becomes a drudgery and this is a very easy thing to do in our "workaday" world.  We work, we go home, we bath the kids put them to bed, watch a show, to bed and back up the next morning to "go at it" again.  It can be horribly mundane and I'm not denying the facts of that.

What the world says to us is, "that's not good enough, you need to strive for more".  There are the type A personality people who take that message and drive themselves and normally their families into the ground trying to be something "more".  No doubt that even some great missionary people drove their families half insane doing some of the things that they did, take for example Wm. Carey and his drive to go to India.  I would not, for one second, take away the great things that he's done and even the ongoing work that is done because, he did!  But his family paid the price - I believe he had one wife go insane and another die on the mission field, including some children.  I digress because that can get into some things that I don't feel the need to go but point taken that it can become an obsession - even God given ones doesn't permit the servant of God from side stepping that responsibility.

Here is where it really comes home for me, The Church, the local "c" if you will.  In fact there is one song that is on the stations, it says, in effect, "I'm about to get my worship on", I guess meaning the time when they come and "worship" at church.  Now, I don't think that anyone get's their "worship on", if they do than that entails that you took it off or never had it on.  But this is the nature of what goes on in the local c or church, what do we say, "we want to worship you now God", it's like a team taking the football field and getting in a huddle, "alright, Love Lifted me 3 verses, mix it up with some I'm a friend of God and end it with like a rose", ready break, then we go on with the play.  Worship isn't just that and in fact it entails more than just singing - I know - shocking!  Preaching, offering, communion, baptism are all forms of worship that we have relegated to the back seat because we deem it more necessary to draw attention to ourselves through expressions of worship.

We don't come to church to "worship" and when we're at church, that isn't just the time to "worship", manifestly in the time that we meet together corporately.  We are worshiping God when we are at home fixing the B'Fast before church, serving our families through discussing the scripture throughout the week, when we are taking the opportunity afforded to us via our commute to commune with God via a podcast or just turning everything off and reflecting.  That is worship.  When you get to work, you don't turn that off!  Paul says in I Cor. 10:31 that we should do "all things to the glory of God", eating, drinking, driving, our jobs!  Paul didn't just stop worshiping when he was tentmaking - glorifying God entails worship, glorifying God looks to God in all things - that is worship.

When I'm at work I seek God in finding solutions to problems, in conflicts with others seeking peace and pursuing it.  I'm desiring the best for that particular employer or if you are contracted out, that you would be a good example of your company and for the company that you are actually working alongside.  See that takes more than just going to church to learn - that is a move of the Spirit of God in your life.  No doubt that the local "c" is of primary importance because it is God's chosen way of expressing what we cannot in our other forms of worship, i.e., preaching of the Word, communion, baptism, etc., these are the sacraments that are the life blood of the local "c", if you don't have these then you cease your purpose as a church.

So, I'm not saying that the worship of the local "c" should be diminished or in any way changed to fit a particular liking per say - that is another discussion for another post.  What I am saying is that we've diminished the working person's worship in favor of struggling through another week complaining and scowling so that we can come back to "worship".  Don't miss the point of I Cor. 10:31 and how it should perfectly weave into everything you do in your job.

Boasting in the Gospel,


Thursday, November 7, 2013

The promise of Mammon - a reversal of Matthew 6:25-34

Have you ever thought of what some of the promises or favorite verses in the Bible would look like if they were turned around.  Needless to say, I have. :)  Jesus says, "Therefore" in v. 25 to kick off the section of many quoted lines that many Christians have held to down through the centuries and for good reason.  Verse 24 lets us know what the "Therefore" is there for - namely two Masters - one God and the other mammon or money or stuff.

If we're sold out to one Master over the other, think about what that Master would be saying to us - CS Lewis' Wormwood from The Screwtape Letters might have something similar to say.

Let's listen in on what Master Mammon might be saying:

"Therefore I tell you - worry about  today, be genuinely anxious - let others know about it.  Worry about everything, what you'll eat, what coffee you'll order and how much you're working out.  Isn't life about food and the body about great clothes!

Look at the birds of the air, they work hard, get there early and stay up late.  They're not fed just by sitting there you know, you can add some value if you could just work a little harder or better yet, get more successful, but, always make sure you get yours by getting more of what we like - MONEY!

You know, your internal clock is ticking - your not getting any younger, don't just "let yourself go", we've got some living to do, after these little brats - ahem, I mean blessings - grow up and then we really start living!  Eat right and exercise so that it'll give you more time for where it really matters - HERE!

Isn't it time for a nicer dress, maybe a better pair of pants - I mean look at the "lilies of the field" - God dresses them beautiful and "your of more value than they."  You need to look just as good.  Look at Solomon, he was successful and he dressed decent, just sayin'.  So, if you can clothe yourself now, the way you should look and put a little "play" money away for the future - SCORE!

You know the grass - it always needs to be mown and your neighbors yard always looks better than yours.  Hopefully you can get that taken care of but don't sweat it, just remember to live for the here and now, get it?  "O you of little faith."

Keep getting more anxious about eating, I mean "where should I eat" and "picturing it on Facebook" should be highest priority, shouldn't it?  What should I drink - oh, lets see, caramel machiatto or salted caramel, latte or frap?  This should be your highest priority and remember to put it on Facebook!  Yes, what should I wear, this is a good one - you need to be noticed and remembered for how you "dressed to impress".  Start spending more time thinking about this, it is the more important things and remember Hell is just around the corner.

You know what? Your neighbor just got that new crossover SUV - hybrid, I think God knows that you want to create a better environment and your car is already 2 years old!  That, Master God, is such a killjoy at times, I mean, all the time for me, but, you, how can you stand it?  You want something and you cannot have it because He "knows what you need".  Huh!?!

So, take it from me, your Master Mammon and be anxious for tomorrow because the "early bird gets the worm", might as well beat everyone to it, so there's more for who matters...right?  You rascal.


Yours Terminally - Flesh"

BTW, those are my favorite S'bux drinks. ;)

Let's all boast in the Gospel of our true Master Jesus!

Your friend,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The akwardness of sharing Gospel truth

Yesterday, I took my family to see Madagascar 3, something to "Europe".  Anyway, it was somewhat entertaining - one note, don't ever get there late.  We were in the second row and I could've sworn that my seat doubled as a seat for Shuttle take off's, nuts!

Well, as divine meetings would have it, Luke, our youngest, would not be still.  He's 16 months old and a boy - no need to say anymore.  I went outside to let Luke get his "wiggles" out and just kind of stood along the wall as he went head on into oncoming traffic - foot traffic that is.  Brandon started noticing him and said how busy he was, I agreed.  I asked if he had any kids and he said, "Yes, a three year old boy", well I have one as well, beside Luke, and the conversation started off on those commonalities. 

At one point he mentioned about the kids playing with boxes more than they play with anything else, you know, when you get 'em that nice new playhouse, tricycle, would more likely find them playing in the box then with what you thought they would.  After a couple of minutes, I came back to that analogy.  This is where the "akwardness" takes over, how should I say this?  what exactly should I share?  start off w/ heaven - hell - life?  I say yes to all.  Sharing the gospel is awkward and let me tell you one thing, IT'S OKAY!!!

Have you ever had the distinct impression that you need to share with a person what the true gospel is?  I was having those impressions.  I said, "you know a relationship with God is a lot like that box.", impressive, right?  I continued, thank God, right?  I said, "it is like taking all the good things that God gives us - air, food, money, clothes and if we don't turn around and acknowledge Him, it becomes like playing with a big empty box."  I continued, "Jesus Christ is the gift that God has given because we have a bigger problem than we could ever imagine, one that you and I would never be able to take care of...SIN!"

So it went on from there, I shared a couple of verses of scripture, John 14:6 and Prov. 14:12.  We can think that we will never come to a day of accounting but God says differently.  Have you spoken up lately?  Maybe it is that friend that you've been with for 2 years and they're continuing on and you see only destruction and they see happiness?  When will you say, "Um, there is something that I've been neglecting..." or the Spirit will give words to express.  The result isn't up to you!  See John 3, with Nicodemus, Jesus sovereignly chose to submit to the Spirit's work over/in salvation.

God bless you as you share this gospel and maybe the person will turn around and say, "what was that all about?"  So, should you shut up?  No, no, no!!!  I say, share, share, share with anyone who'll listen and it will be amazing to hear the Spirit's heartbeat in yours thumping for the Gospel. :)

Boasting in the gospel,


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chick-fil-A and the Gospel

I've seen the debates that seem to now be intensifying between those in Christendom who want to back off of the perceived view of "us vs. them", but, I think they're cutting off their nose to spite their face.  They want to be reasoned and I can respect that, when it comes to civility, but that is where the argument is turned on its head.  This hasn't been an "us vs. them" campaign, it really has been a tongue in cheek, kind of humorous, argument to make, that is anything but a challenge to a homosexuals right to be.  I've never heard of any alternative lifestyle person getting the boot from a Chick-fil-A.

There are those who are more militant in their views on both sides of the argument.  The case could be made against either side, could it not?  There has been, I would say, a plethora of information that inundates us on a daily basis about the gay lifestyle, this coming from an estimated 2% of the population.  I'm encouraged to see something done, in the public view, that makes the case for a traditional marriage and if you think that the only way to do this is through respectful dialogue and mutual understanding, then your fighting the wrong argument in this case.  To me I see the Enemy stepping on his own toes and making a fool of himself.

But, here is the rub, how do we respectfully disagree in today's society?  Can we not say, "show up here on this certain day" and people show up for a specific purpose, could it be softball game, a dance recital, church.  Shouldn't the purpose for showing up at any of them be God's glory?

Going to CFA isn't really the issue, it is, what am I doing with any of the homosexual persons in my path? I have two.  One of the commentators on a blog post thanked the author for "reigning in" our militant march to CFA, really?  Well, Jesus would most likely take a homosexual to CFA and buy them a chicken sandwich. :)

Do I want it to detract from the truth of the Gospel as displayed in Christ?  No. I think that is a straw man argument, one that in itself, because it assumes that those who are going to CFA are only going because they're against homosexuals, is fallacious.  What if some are going to support Dan Cathy?  What if they're going because they want to "do good" to a brother - Gal. 6:10?  So, I guess I won't stomp to CFA, but, I'll go, a little earlier than normal, its normally my Thursday night thing. :)

Boasting in the gospel,


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Psalm 2:4

Can you or I take confidence when God laughs? according to the Word of God the answer is YES!  Ps. 37:13 and Ps. 59:8 imply the same thing but you have to know him.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching a baseball game when a very, very loud clap of thunder boomed across the stadium.  The catcher and batter immediately ran off the field, in opposite directions, toward their own dugouts.  I would have done the same thing, maybe even a little faster!  But it did make me laugh out loud, you know, those moments when you laugh at someone else from the safe confines of your home?  Even the guy on first base goes down on all fours, it was a classic "panic" moment that elicits laughs and mostly out of nervous reactions, here's the video.

Now, by showing this, I'm not implying that God laughs at all those in the stadium because they're "held in derision" by God.  It just makes me wonder what the reaction will be of those who stand on something other than what God doesn't laugh at, namely His Son, Jesus Christ.  You know the one who, when asked about heaven, will say, "I'm a good person, I haven't killed anyone, I haven't physically cheated on my wife..." and when asked about God or his Person refer to him as, "the Man upstairs".  So, how can someone who I've described above get confidence in a God who might laugh at them one day?  you know when the "kings of the earth set themselves...against the Lord and against his Anointed."

Well, I can tell you this, confidence cannot come from earthly confidence in good works or puffing myself up with knowledge.  I mean, think about it, one loud CLAP of thunder and grown men are running!  But that is nothing compared to having God laugh at you on the day of judgment, its a laughter that will be 10,000x louder than any thunder that you've heard.

You might say, "well I've never set myself - 'against the Lord or his Anointed'", but what have you done with Jesus Christ?  There is my confidence, there is my hope and assurance on the day I stand before God, I'll be laughing with Him, not like the guy sitting there laughing because he doesn't get the joke!  I desire you to be with me on that day, laughing with Him - do you know him?

The Gospel is this - Jesus Christ came to save sinners who are desperately lost.  He died on the cross, an act of grace beyond comparison, to ransom us that we might go from enemy to friend of God.  Do you believe that?  1) I'm a sinner beyond any repair that my good works could never make any better, 2) Christ died for my sin and according to the scriptures I'm given grace in place of judgment, and, 3) by confessing with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, repenting of my sin and walking in grace I can have new life and laugh in a new way. 

If you truly have repented of your sin and forsaken your sin to walk in a relationship with Jesus Christ, would you reach out to me?  Three ways, twitter: @gospeldiet, leave a comment or tlinkletter at gmail dot com.

God bless you and my the Gospel spread throughout the world that all may know a God who is for us in Christ!

Take care,


Monday, July 23, 2012

Psalm 1:3

Reading through the Psalms - don't you love the Psalms?  BTW, love the devotional by Sam Storms, Psalms, it is encouraging and I think nails a lot of the themes and nuances perfectly.

So, I was meditating on Psalm 1:3 and the particular phrase, "in its season", what do you think of when you hear that phrase?  For me my thoughts went to eating fruit that was "out of season", you know what I mean?  You take a big bite, hoping for the best and all it does is crumble in your mouth and it takes 1,000 chews to get it down unless you just give up and wash your mouth out with water.  Of course what do you do with the rest of it, toss it!  Why?  Because it isn't worth eating, there isn't satisfaction or sweetness when you bite into it, it's disgusting.

What do you think of when it is fruit that is "in season"?  has your mouth started to water?  Juices flowing, it is as if you're biting into sweet that you never thought possible.

Where are you in your "season"?  I know that normally I want to be "in season" always but the Psalmists expresses the agricultural norm that we aren't used to waiting for, tree, by water, will eventually yield its fruit.  Think of Jesus going to up to the fig tree with the disciples in Matt. 21:18-22, why did he curse it?  It didn't have its fruit that it should have - now, that is another story in itself that we can learn from but is beyond the scope of this post.  So we know that we should have fruit, in season, because that is how it should be, it is how God made the trees - that bear fruit and it is how God made our lives under His covenant.

But the Psalmist seems to insinuate at least that there is a process of maturing that brings the fruit that will come for God's covenant people.  So, there is a season but you say, "I cannot accept this season" but it seems that is the very contrast that he is drawing out - enter the "Wicked".  The wicked desire their fruit now and demand the desire for their designs outside of God's covenant, well what does that look like?  he mentions "chaff" which, according to my ESV study notes, is the "husks and straw removed before threshing and is lighter than the edible kernels..."  Maturity carries more weight, takes longer and produces the fruit that is intended - immaturity is light, desires instant fruit and produces "chaff". 

Which fruit does yours look like?  What about the promotion that Bryan got that might have been deserved but you desired that position?  Or what about that family at church that just shared about getting their needs met but you still are in need?  I'm not saying that, true mature fruit is going to celebrate because one day I'm gonna "get mine".  What if the water you're planted by and the season that you're in requires of you a celebration of God's work in anothers life?  When we can bite into that fruit and taste the sweetness of God's grace in someone elses fruitfulness, our maturing is coming "in season".  Do you get me?

I've been at my job now for 6 years, I've doubled the time that I've been at any other place.  Its a long season and over and over I've found myself at the tree and testing the fruit - "is it ready?" I say to myself.  How do you know when it ripens?  What "season" are you in?  Should you be out there making strides or are you trying to make strides but God is just not allowing it.  Have you thought that "more ripening" needs to happen?  What do you say?  Am I completely off on this?


Monday, June 25, 2012

Abide in Christ

"Abiding in Jesus can only be by faith. There are earnest Christian who do not understand this; or, if they admit it in theory, they fail to realize its application in practice. They are very zealous for a free gospel, with our first acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on our diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, 'The sinner shall be justified by faith,' they have hardly found a place in their scheme for the larger truth, 'The just shall live by faith.' They have never understood what a perfect Savior Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day when he came to Him. They know not that the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing is the one channel through which divine grace and strength flow out into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Savior to receive of His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God. There it is: 'Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving' (Col. 2:6-7). As you came to Jesus, so abide in Him, by faith." —Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ , page 26.

Boast in the Gospel, alone.