Living the crazy life that God has given me!

Posts tagged “Jesus

Decide to be Disciplined (Part Two)

disciplineAt the beginning of this year I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to the important areas of my life.  I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to my health, my life with Jesus, my wife, my leadership and my writing. (at least this writing) I had come to the realization that over the last couple of years that I had allowed stress, laziness, and other people’s priorities to take over how I was living life.  It is amazing how easy this can happen, especially when you have not decided to be disciplined with your life.

So when it comes to the area of my life with Jesus I have decided to make journaling, prayer, and reading disciplined. The goal that I have set is to make sure that I do this at least 5 times a week. My health and my ability to grow in my relationship with Jesus have been connected for me when it comes to being disciplined.  Once I have completed my workout in the morning I immediately get out my journal and my bible with a cup of coffee (we call it Christian Crack) then take a seat at the dinner table at my house.  Sometime it is alone, but most of the time it is with people walking around me.  So I will either put in my ear buds or just gently remind people at what I am trying to do.  Maybe for you having your time with Jesus needs to be ultimate quiet I get that, but the more that you can show and share what you are doing is a good thing. (set the pace for the family)

What I then do is write about the previous day and how I was able to see God at work in me and around me.  After that I write out my prayers. I know that for some people that this would be really strange, but for me it keeps me focused (I also like to go back and read them to see how God is at work).  I make it at least two pages in my journal, why I don’t know I just liked it.  Then I take the next page and write out things that jump out at me while I am reading the bible.  Many of those things I read that day I then write out so that I can read them over and over through out the day.  This is the way that I do it, it is a way not the way.  Maybe for you reading off your phone is good for you.  Maybe for you journalling online is good for you.  Maybe for you praying away for minutes maybe hours is good for you.  No matter what way you do it you need to make the decision to be disciplined.

What are the ways that you can make your life with Jesus lived out?  What are the ways that you are making this time with Jesus a discipline?

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Decide to be Disciplined

disciplineAt the beginning of this year I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to the important areas of my life.  I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to my health, my life with Jesus, my wife, my leadership and my writing. (at least this writing) I had come to the realization that over the last couple of years that I had allowed stress, laziness, and other people’s priorities to take over how I was living life.  It is amazing how easy this can happen, especially when you have not decided to be disciplined with your life.

So when it comes to my health I have decided to get up every morning and work out. In fact the goal that I have set is to workout at least 4 days a week.  I had my son who is a personal trainer (you can hire him fright here on twitter @tjbloyer32) design a workout for me that helps me lose weight and gives me energy. Through this I have realized that when it comes to being a follower of Jesus that when my health gives that my ability to serve Jesus better and stronger.  I also understand that when it comes to my health that it is a place that I can worship God.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

So I have decided to honor God with my body and be disciplined to work out and eat healthy. Being disciplined is a decision and today you to can make the decision to live a disciplined life.  It’s not going to be easy and there are going to be those moments where you are going to want to fall back into old habits, (sleep in that’s me) but you have made a decision to be disciplined so work hard.

What are the areas of your life that you need to make a priority and decide to be disciplined in today? What are you going to do to make things change?


Living Terricited!

terrifiedWhat if I told you that every day should be a little terrifying.  What if I told you that if you aren’t walking through your life of faith a little nervous then you aren’t living at all.  The problem with both of those statements is that they make us UNCOMFORTABLE.  Something that most people in the western community of faith don’t like to hear.  I mean we want to be comfortable in our chairs, we want to be comfortable with our coffee, we want to be comfortable in our groups, we just plain want to be comfortable.

Well when my family and I felt that God was leading us to start a church in Colorado we all came up with our own word, “Terricited”. Because every day we were terrified and we were excited at the same time.  We were terrified that we were to move back to Colorado a place where I grew up and not as a follower of Jesus. (Dealing with your Past) But excited to be able to share with those same people about how my life has been drastically changed because of Jesus.  We were terrified that we didn’t have a place to live and we were struggling to find a place.  But we were excited about getting a place that would be a home base for raising our kids as the graduated from high school.  We were terrified because I had never been the lead pastor of a church, but I was excited because I had never been the lead pastor of a church.  In the New Testament you can read:

Mark 10:32a (NLT) 32 They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear.

The people that were walking with Jesus the son of God in flesh, were in awe of what was going on were also overwhelmed with fear.  What does that mean? They were “terricited”!  So let me ask you this, where in your life are you terricited?  Where are you experiencing the awe of Jesus and the overwhelming fear where you need to see him show up?  Where are you terricited?  Because honestly I think that more and more of us need to be less comfortable and more terricited.  Let’s take some time this week to start getting a little TERRICITED.

 


Crossroads at Kiowa,CO

Kiowa

Ever have one of those weeks when you are just not sure about where you are going or what you are doing?  Am I the only one who has ever felt this way?  Well a week ago I just felt overwhelmed and unsure of what I needed to do next.  So I got up and worked out, finished reading a book on leadership, and then I went for a ride.  I didn’t know where I was going I just pointed the bike east and rode.

I was riding east on E. Qunicy Rd and I went until I ran out of pavement.  Then I took a right and just went south not knowing where I was going to end up.  It was a perfect day, there was a cool breeze the sun wasn’t to hot and I was able to just soak in the rolling view.  For me this was an amazing time where I was truly seeking God and having a great conversation with him as I rode along.  I was really seeking to know and hear what God wanted for me at this time in my life.  What I didn’t know was that I was on the Kiowa Bennett Road and I was about to be smack dab in the middle of Kiowa population 723 as of the last census.  Now I am not proud to say this but as a Colorado Native I didn’t have a clue about Kiowa. When I entered into the town there was not a city sign in site, so literally  I had no clue where I was.

So I pulled into the first gas station I could find.  My legs were a little stiff from the being on the bike for awhile and I needed to take care of some business and it was exactly what you think.  So I struggled into the Sinclair Gas station to find out where I was and to go to the bathroom.  As I entered I was greeted by Nasime the man that was running the station.  I asked him where was I?  “To which he responded well sir you are here.”  I said, “I know that but what town is this?”  To which he responded, “You are in Kiowa and Jesus will always help you.” I said, “Great thanks!” as I stepped into the bathroom.  But my mind was still processing what he had said to me.  So when I was done I stepped out and asked him what he had just said to me.  With a big smile, Nasime said again; “Jesus will help you all you have to remember is to trust Jesus.”

Now I was so taken back to what he had said that I thanked him handed him my card and walked out the front door with my mouth wide open.  I had been praying that God would let me know what I needed to do and from the mouth of Nasime it came.  TRUST JESUS! Don’t do anything, don’t go anywhere, don’t try to figure it out, just TRUST JESUS.

Maybe this week you need to hear this, TRUST JESUS.  I don’t know what you are going through I don’t know what you are struggling with, I don’t know what burden you are carrying.  But I want to encourage you to TRUST JESUS.

Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT) Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take.

What do you need to trust him with today?


What are you expecting?

When you get done with being in a church experience or service do you ask yourself the question, “What did I get out of this?”  Hope you think about something.

It is my hope that I can help you change your perspective about answering that question. To be honest we should be really asking the question but the idea should be more about “How is Jesus speaking to me and what am I going to do in response to what He is telling me?”

So I want to challenge you with some things that can prepare you to answer that question above:

  • Choose to really get into the singing.  That’s right really sing out! Don’t worry about what anyone is thinking about your singing if you are seeking to honor God with you singing it shouldn’t matter. You don’t care about it when you are at a concert do you? Well don’t care when you are in service either.
  • Come ready to hear and share stories that you have experienced when it comes to be being a part of a church family.  This is a chance for encouragement and for life change as you become a healthier follower of Jesus.
  • Be hungry to grow in your relationship with Jesus.  Because being hungry is your choice as to what you experience! So pray for the person that is speaking, ask God to use them to speak into your life, to those that are sitting around you, and that lives would be changed by the gospel.
  • Come prepared to be involved.  Make sure you have a bible (paper or digital) get your program ready and make sure you write out notes.  The notes will help you through out the week when it comes to working out what Jesus is doing in you and through you. Who knows the Holy Spirit might really use it to nudge in you a specific direction.
  • Come expecting to respond to what God is doing that day both during the experience and later as you walk through what you have learned. Be ready to take it back out into life.
  • Come knowing that this is not where you are going to have a strong sense of community. Remember that comes through being in a more relational driven group. (Smaller)
  • Come knowing that the experience is the beginning of the week and that the experience is not the end of be all to your spiritual health.  Take the experience and use it to grow more personally. Spiritual growth happens in many other ways then just on Sunday.

What are some ways that you get ready for a service or experience when you are a part of a church community?  Help us see other options that are out there.


Generosity is who we are . . .

generosity

One of the things that I have come to realize is that when it comes to being a generous person its not about what we do it is about who we are.  For me I was raised in home where being generous to people around you was just who you were. It wasn’t something you had to think about, or guess about, you just did it.  So when I got married I just started doing what I thought was the natural thing to do.  Well my wife had grown up differently then me and it was a point of great conversation for us. (That’s called an argument.) So we both had to come to a mutual understanding of what we were going to do when it came to being generous.  Which honestly was a really good thing for both of us to come to as a couple.  I would really say it was a great chance for me to grow as a husband, father, and as person that works in the faith community. (church)

You see because of that difference between my wife and I it enabled me to see how and why people struggle when it comes to being generous in and with their faith community.  For us at Elevation we talk a lot about being generous in fact we want to be known for our “Insane Generosity” to the community around us.  But for a community of faith (church) to be generous that means the people of the church need to be generous with what they give to that church.  If you are a part of a faith community then you will have heard this is about offerings and about tithing. (We are not going to argue Old Testament vs New Testament giving.)  So we want people to see that for us to be generous as a church community then the people need to be a part of that through their generosity through their tithes and offerings.

But most people honestly struggle here because of the different ways that they were raised. Some were raised that all you had was yours and that you take care of your own.  Some were raised without anything so you had to keep whatever you had to be able to make it.  Others were raised where you were just generous enough to make sure you looked good.  While as others were raised with the idea that helping someone in need is just what you did that you were generous.

So it is my hope that I can encourage people to live out a generous life.  Whether it is by caring for your neighbor. (Hopefully you know who they are.) By providing some food for another student at your school. (Had one of my kids do this.) Or through the tithes and offerings you share with your community of faith. (My wife does this for us now.) Because as you begin to do this you will be amazed that the words of the New Testament begin to be lived out your life in an amazing way.

Acts 20:35b “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

How are you living out a life of insane generosity in your life? How are you being generous with your faith community so that they can be generous with the community around it?


Look in the parking lot?

So this weekend I had someone invite me to come and see a car that was in our parking lot.  We walked out the front door and the person pointed out the car in the parking lot. My first thought was ok nice car but that is not the make or model that I get all fired up about, I let them know that I am a mustang kind of guy.  But then the person drew my attention to the license plate that was on the car.  There I saw what had got the attention of the individual.

Car in the lot

This is the actual license plate that was on the car. This is not fabricated or changed in any way to make this an interesting picture.  For those of you that don’t know we are a church that is in the great state of Colorado where I am a native.  A place where it is currently to legally purchase marijuana.  Now I don’t intend for this to be a place where we argue about what should be or not be legal.  We live in a state where it is legal and I have to live in that reality as a leader.  So the person that pointed out the license plate then asked me this question, “What should we do about this?”

My answer to this question was simple, “Make sure they have a great parking spot and they have a good time.” With that answer I saw a look of confusion for a minute.  But then I went on to explain what I meant.  My answer and my prayer was that this person felt comfortable enough to come and be a  part of our church so I wanted us to live out, “It’s ok to not be ok, but God doesn’t want you to stay that way.” I wanted the person that came in this car to understand that they can come here and be cared for and encouraged in their faith journey.  Then I wanted the person to know that pointed out the license plate that God is going to be the one that is going to change a life.  So we should be excited that this person was with us and hearing about the radical grace of Jesus.

We were not going to run them off because of their license plate because just down the row was another car that I knew the owner was dealing with porn, I knew that there was another car on the next row where the owner was dealing with mental illness, and I knew that there was another car on the other end of the lot that was in legal trouble.  The only thing different about this car was that their license plate was letting us know what was going on in their life.  So we were going to simply pray for this person, pray that Jesus was going to impress upon their heart about a relationship with Him, pray that this person would experience life change because of who he is and not because we pointed out their license plate.  So my encouragement to you is to look in the parking lot, look and see not the license plates but who are the people that are there to be cared for and reached with the radical grace of Jesus?  Who knows maybe you need to start with your car.