Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is there a "u" in Zerubbabel?

One of my many weaknesses in life, and there are many, is being a great starter but a horrible finisher. You know what I mean? I will start a project with vigor and will sputter toward the end. I am constantly reminded of my failure to be a finisher. With the Lord's help, I have resolved to be more of a finisher than I have been in the past.
As I read through Ezra, I see evidence of a fellow sputterer - Zerubbabel. What a name! I'll take Fred over that one any day of the week. Zerubbabel appears in Ezra 3 and is one of the primary leaders in rebuilding the temple of God in Jerusalem. After the destruction of the temple in 586 B.C. and the exile in Babylon, King Cyrus of Persia allowed the people of God to return to Jerusalem. By the way, Isaiah had propesied this to happen over 100 years before this occurred. Back to Z - He helped lead the team to rebuild the temple of God. At first, all seems well. They even have a worship team leading them in songs of praise - not really a new concept, huh? But alas, Z suffered the fate as I have in the past. Opposition arose to the rebuilding of the temple, and these words are recorded -
"Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia." (4:24)
Can you relate to Z? Is there a little "u" in Zerubbabel?
I hope and pray that we can be faithful in the most vital parts of our lives. I pray that God will help us to be faithful to Him for life. May we not sputter in our spiritual walk with the Lord.
If you've never read through the Old Testament, I strongly suggest sitting down and reading this great history of our faith. You'll see so many people that remind you of yourself in some ways. This is our story, our history, our heritage.

Monday, February 9, 2009

You Have What It Takes...

I have recently read a short piece by John Eldredge called, You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know. I truly loved this read. My buddy Josh Via (www.joshvia.com) got me started reading Eldredge after seeing his review of Epic.
If you are a father, this is a must read. The book is short (50 pages), but will challenge you in the way you father your sons and daughters. Eldredge basically offers that every boy and girl are asking a question in life. He proposes that you and I as fathers have the great task of answering their question. Read the book to find out what the questions are.
You know, there are some days when I feel like I'm doing a lousy job as a dad. After a long day of work, I find myself vegging out on the couch instead of making an impact on my children. Sometimes I feel my selfishness rising up within me. You know, that little voice that says, "Relax. You've had a long day. Rest now. Put on a movie for the kids. Take it easy. You deserve it! Think of all you've done today." Before you and the Lord, I confess and repent of this selfishness! I know that God is calling me to something greater as their father. God has called me to bring them up in the Lord and to love them by my deeds as much as by words.
Fatherhood is such a challenging task! But the rewards are also worth the effort. I hope you'll read this book (cost about $3), and I hope you'll find encouragement as you father your children. If you live in Macon, I'd love to let you borrow my copy. Just ask me sometime!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Matters Most

I just finished reading What Matters Most: When No is better than Yes, by Doug Fields. This book is very similar to Choosing to Cheat, by Andy Stanley. If you are in the ministry and you're looking for honest insight about guarding your time, this is a great read. Learn from one of the biggest guys in student ministry. In this book, Doug takes an honest look at the potential pitfalls that every student pastor may face. Here's an exerpt:
"I beg you to truthfully answer these two vital questions:
1. Do I like the person I've become as a result of my ministry?
2. Is the work I'm doing for God destroying the work of God in me?"
I know several guys in student ministry who do not keep track of their time or hours. Eventually, they feel disconnected from their family, the Lord, and even the ministry they've worked so hard to lead. This book is a great reminder to keep the main thing the main thing.