Archives For service

This is the 1,000th post here on EvenIfiWalkAlone.com. That’s over half a million words, and I admit, a little crazy. When I wrote the first post, I didn’t envision writing 999 more. As I realized I was approaching a thousand posts I had to ask myself, “What’s the purpose of it all?” I don’t write to hear myself talk; I have no delusions of being so interesting. I don’t do it for the money; I’ve never attempted to make a single penny off this site (and never have!). So why do I keep pushing new thoughts out there every Monday and Thursday?

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The answer is, perhaps anti-climatically, because of Jesus. Christ told us to take His Word into all the world. The Internet seems like an efficient way for me to follow His mandate. Beyond that, it’s in hopes of making a difference in a single life. I’m grateful for all of you who read this blog, but I feel I would continue even if there was only one. I would because God gave me the ability to write, the gift to encourage, and the command to share His mission. He’s given a similar assignment to you.

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Jim Rohn was and is one of the great mentors in my life. One of the things he taught was to never be content to just get through the day, but rather see what you can take from the day. I’d take it one step further and ask, once you’ve taken everything you can from the day, what is it you can pour back into the day? Another way to think about this would be to determine how you can take what you gained from today and use it to help others tomorrow.

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I believe this aligns very well with the way Jesus lived. He didn’t get cheated on any day. He took every opportunity to share His message and glorify His Father. I think it’s the perfect example of taking what the day offers and pouring it back out into the lives of others. How can we do the same in our own lives?

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I’ve always loved Colossians 3:23-24, and have aspired to live my life according to its instruction. “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” It’s both a challenge and a frustration because I know too often I fail to live out this simple command.

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Yet, if we take it to heart, it has the potential to reshape our perspective, our attitude, and every interaction we have throughout our day. How might our lives be different if we determined to do everything we did with enthusiasm and as an act of service to God?

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This entire blog is predicated around becoming a disciple of Jesus. But what does discipleship look like? How do we know if we are getting closer to the mark? I would say first, discipleship is a standard to be pursued, not a target to be hit. There will never be a day when you can sit back and exclaim, “Ah! At last I’ve reached discipleship!”

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Being a disciple of Jesus is a process that will consume your entire lifetime. To be a disciple signifies nothing ever will mean more to you than desiring to live a life mirroring the life of Jesus. Discipleship is the total dedication of your life to His calling and purpose. To be a disciple is to be daily engaged in the mission of Christ.

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Each of us possess an unconscious bias towards others. Some bias is the result of past experience, some the way we were brought up, and some the result of our culture and environment. Regardless of the source, we all look at the world through a lens colored by our unconscious bias. The problem is, our bias generally does not reflect the way God looks at people.

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He has a very conscious bias with which He looks at every soul on the planet. God’s bias is love. What I want to do as a disciple of Jesus is replace my own unconscious bias with His conscious decision to value people and always seek to serve them. I wish this were as easy as it sounds, but an unconscious bias is difficult to recognize and harder still to tame.

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As a year wilts away behind us, another blossoms on the path ahead. There’s something beautiful and fragrant about new beginnings. A new year heralds an opportunity for a fresh start. What was is no longer, and what will be is largely up to the choices we will make. This is our chance to shape what lies ahead in ways totally honoring to God. My theme for this year is “Move the Needle”, and nowhere will this be more important than in my walk with God.

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Everything revolves around and springs from my relationship with Him. Moving forward into a deeper knowledge of God necessitates doing something different than we’ve done before. If this is your desire for the new year as well, there is one thing I know. If we want to move the needle in our connection with and understanding of God, we can’t stay here.

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I love this quote from Christine Cain: “If you can’t serve God here, you won’t serve Him there because once you get there it will be here.” How often have you thought, if only God would put me there, or give me this, then I would truly be able to serve Him? We all fall victim to thinking we could serve God better if our circumstances were different.

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But the truth is, if you can’t serve Him where you are, with what you have, you won’t be able to serve Him regardless of where you are or what resources you have at your disposal. God calls you to serve Him right where you are, just as you are.
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I recently heard Andy Stanley speak about goals and resolutions. His premise was instead of making plans how we can improve ourselves over the coming year, we should instead determine how we might improve the life of someone else. That’s a great shift to get our thinking off of ourselves and onto others. I guarantee you will have better results and greater happiness in your life if you consistently focus on serving others more than yourself. It’s the model Jesus taught, and therefore the one we were created to live. Everything we do should be with the goal of helping others, and our New Year’s resolutions or life goals should always be formed with this in mind.

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Part of the fallout from modern Christianity confusing following Christ with pursuing the American dream is the rise of ‘Suburban Christianity’. This is the expression of our faith that is steeped in the illusion of serving others while really hiding behind a veil of safety and selfishness. Having spent the past ten years living in suburbia, I have found myself leaning into this mentality from time to time. We convince ourselves that we are the part of the body that supplies the funds for those working closer to the real problems. I am not disputing there may be some truth in that way of thinking, but at the same time we must be careful to not use that as an excuse to remain sheltered in our safe, comfortable,  and predictable worlds.

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Unfortunately, rarely does a day go by where you don’t read or see a story where a “Christian” is saying or doing something that impugns the character of Christ. I hope they meant well by their actions, but the reality is they make Jesus less attractive to the public. A lot of this can be traced to some really bad theology taught in the last couple hundred years. Ultimately the blame rests on we who swallowed the teaching without ever bothering to test the validity of it. We are all imperfect beings and we all have our own issues. But we must never forget that the reason for our existence is to reflect the love and beauty of Jesus Christ.

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