Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I like about you: John 11

Hello Rebelutionaries!

One of the priviledges we as Christ followers and Rebelutionaries have is the opportunity to bear one anothers burdens. It is both a priviledge and an honor because to do so is to "fulfill the law of Christ" (Galations 6:2).

My cousin, Becca, wrote a beautiful tribute to bearing one anothers burdens that I would like to share with you.

Stan, Rachel & Grant

Two months ago, Mike's grandpa got very sick with cancer and passed away. They live in San Diego. Stan lives in L. A. Mike flew out. Stan drove down for the evening to be with Mike and the family. Then he did the same thing the next night. Stan made the drive a third time on a Saturday in order to attend the funeral. He knew there would be traffic and planned accordingly, but he almost didn't make the service.

Last Tuesday I was sitting in my good friend Rachel's living room when she got a call from a longtime friend whose husband had been involved in a very bad accident at work a few days earlier. He had suddenly gotten worse. Rachel packed a bag and was on her way to San Antonio within a couple of hours. She thought she'd stay two nights, then return home. Five days later she came home. While she was down there, her friend's husband passed away.

One of Grant's good friends moved to Florida a couple years ago. Her family decided to return to Greenville for a visit. While traveling, a car pulled out in front of them. The daddy was killed instantly. The younger of the two daughters was immediately sent to a Shreveport hospital in critical condition. Grant and a friend hopped in a car and drove the three hours to sit at the hospital with their friend. Her sister, Hannah, passed away on Sunday.

I hate grieving. I don't like to be around grief. I don't think anyone does.

But, what do we need when we must go through times of intense sadness?


People who will take you out for a drive, hold you while you sob or sit in the waiting room next to you, people to bring you Subway, crack a joke or lend a shoulder.

People to walk beside you during the hardest, most unbearable moments of life.

Friends aren't the ones that don't have to be there.

But they are.

Friends are the ones that love you too much to let you walk through the pain alone. They give up their gas money, their time, their sleep, their energy, their plans. They bear one another's burdens.

Stan and Grant, thank you. I'm so grateful for your example of love. For pointing a lost world to our savior who really is "a friend who sticks closer than a brother." I'm so glad you are my brothers.

Rachel, my friend, I have no doubt that you would willingly go through it again even if you knew beforehand the intensity that trip would entail. You refuse to let anyone mourn alone. Thank you for spending your life searching for ways in which to help carry one another's burdens.

Thank you for your Christlike compassion.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

Jesus wept.

So the Jews said,
"See how he loved him!"

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

Read John 11 for the whole story.

May we all learn to bear each others burdens as He bears ours!

Psalm 68:19

Unity Through Humility

Tim Sweetman (aka Agent Tim) recently preached an excellent sermon titled Unity Through Humility based on Philipians 2:1-11 and made it available online via podcast. A couple of the Rebelutionary Musings Administrators were greatly blessed by it, and we decided it definitely should be passed on. You can listen to it here.

Philippians 2:1-11

Imitating Christ's Humility

1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As Rebelutionaries, the whole motiviation for "doing hard things" and "rebelling against low expectations" is (or should be) purely for the Glory of God. There is no room for God's glory and the pride of man to coexist; therefore, humility is a necessary component of being truly Rebelutionary (Proverbs 8:13, 16:18-19, Isaiah 66:2, James 4:6, I Peter 3:8, 5:5, 1 John 2:15-16).

Rebelutionary Daryn Morden, speaking to the question of "How we make ourselves enemies of God," offered these comments on the subject: "There is nothing that God despises more than a person who is proud and haughty. I'm currently studying through a book titled 'Humility: True Greatness' By C.J. Mahaney, and one of the points he makes in his book is that when we are prideful or haughty, 'we are attempting to achieve supremacy with God' or we have decided that we are better than God and that we know more about life than the One who created it. For me, that really hit home and I had to ask myself if I had any pride in my life. Well, sure enough there was a heap of pride, and, not only was it weakening my walk with God, but it was also weakening my relationship with my family.

So the question I'm asking is this: 'Are we making ourselves an enemy of God, even if we don't realize it

Thank you, Daryn, for the thoughts and challenge! His question is simple and practical yet essential. How can we do hard things for God if we are in opposition to Him? The answer is...we can't.

Rebelutionary Musings highly recommends that you read Humility: True Greatness, if you have not already done so. You can purchase it here.

God bless!

Taking Responsibility

Life has been busy with the new job, but I am greatly enjoying it. God has been very gracious to me. I am really starting to get into the swing of things at work and am getting to do some things that I really like a lot. God has been teaching me much about taking joy in the "not so fun" tasks at work... truly, those things can be enjoyed. There was probably 30 mins today where I was able to pray during work... and get a whole lot done at the same time. Those "mindless" tasks can be an incredible blessing.

My pastor mentioned Nehemiah 1 the other day and so I read it this evening and was blessed by Nehemiah's example of taking responsibility. Take a look at Nehemiah 1:5-9.

I said, "I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father's house have sinned. "We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. "Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.'

This is a great example of how to pray... he comes humbly before God recognizing God's greatness and his position as God's servant... and he comes before God to take responsibility for not only his sin, but the sins of the people around him. He is praying God's Word back to Him with both the good promises of blessing and the consequences of living unfaithfully to God. God desires to be glorified in bringing His people to the place of His dwelling.

To be honest, I can't remember the last time that I have come before God, taking responsibility for the sin of someone else. Yet, I truly believe that God is looking for men like Nehemiah to stand up and be men... take responsibility and action according to His will. I need Him so much to teach me to be a man of responsibility... that loves Him and desires others to do the same so much that I am willing to humbly come before the Lord confessing not only my sin, but the sin of others... pleading that God would strip it away and draw all men to Himself.

Article written by: Daniel Osborne on his blog "Pressing On Toward the Goal!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Broken Pottery

I was asked to write a sort of testimony as to what's been happening in my life for a camp I worked at about a month ago. I thought perhaps it might encourage someone here, I'm not sure if this is something that fits on the forums, but I thought I'd post it here anyway:

I’m a broken piece of pottery.

Today God showed me something fantastic. Judges 7:16, 20 says,“(16)And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. (20) Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, ‘A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!’

What brings victory? Light in a broken jar.

I like 2 Corinthians 4. I like it a lot. Especially 2 Corinthians 4:7. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Clay jars are common, fragile, of little value in themselves, and will break sooner or later – more likely sooner than later. Clay jars can’t claim glory for themselves.

I like that God made me not only a jar of clay, but He made me extra broken. I can’t go outside by myself. I can’t even breathe on my own. In fact, I’m never allowed to be myself anymore. Even now, my door is open and I have a baby monitor sitting by me. I get to wear a medical bracelet and carry a backpack containing emergancy epinephrin with me at all times. I’m stuck inside for the next who knows how long because that’s how allergic I am to outside. Getting from my house to the car is a challenge. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I ceased to take all my medicine. Ha. Even when I’m on all the steroid shots, pills, inhalers, decongenstants, and antihistamines… I still have severe asthma and allergenic rhitinis. Henceforth, I have type one brittle asthma. That’s doctor for “nothing’s working and we don’t know why”. I used to be afraid. I used to have a bad attitude. God blessed me by allowing me to work at a camp for a month. I had to avoid half the camp and I regularly had asthma attacks, but God let me go for a month. I had the nerve to have a poor attitude sometimes because I couldn’t do a lot of stuff. Now, my asthma is much worse. I’m not allowed to be outside. At all. I literally get to rely on God for my oxygen. And you know what’s crazy? I’m not even afraid anymore.

My doctor asked, on a scale of 1-10, how afraid was I. I gave him a 0. It was awesome. I got to explain why, too. It seemed simple to me. I mean, why on earth would I be afraid now? God already gives me every breath! God gives you every breath too! Jesus gives me everything I need. If I’m supposed to stay here, He’ll give me oxygen. I’m positive of it. If Jesus wants me to be able to work at camp and go outside, He’ll get me better. And if He doesn’t, even though I think that would be super hard for me, it’d really be okay. Because that means Jesus get’s to be super evident in me because like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” So really, God’s awesome. Because only 5% of asthmatics have brittle asthma and God picked me to be one of them. Sweet.

The doctor said, “But what if you die? Doesn’t that scare you?” I answered him, “Well… dying by status asthmaticus sounds scary. But I’m not afraid of death. Because that means Jesus decided to tak me home. And if He decides to take me to heaven, then I’ll feel bad for all of you, because I’ll get to go home and meet Jesus first.”

So while it’s a struggle to die to myself - to my desires to work with kids outside at a camp all day, to run cross country, to sit by a campfire, to go for a walk… I get to show Christ mightily. Wow.

We’re all jars of clay. Clay jars can’t claim glory for themselves. Broken clay jars can’t even hold anything. But just as Gideon’s men broke the clay jars to reveal light, God has broken me to reveal Himself. And in some way, God has broken all of you. Suddenly, James 1 makes sense. Have joy in trials. Because they’re a blessing. God’s grace is sufficient for you.

So yes, I’m a broken piece of pottery. So are you. But it’s not so bad when God is revealed in our shattered remains.

Article written by: Courtney

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Great Apostasy
1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Jesus Christ

6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproachbecause we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.

Take Heed to Your Ministry

12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.