Friday, February 19, 2010

More? Why Do We Ask for More?

okay church, read this:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bishop Willimon's "Six Percent Solution"

You gotta read this...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

We're Not Stuck in September

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they put out, 23 and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24 They went to him and woke him up, shouting, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?"
- Luke 8:22-25

Few saw 911. No one predicted Katrina. And we continue to live in a world of impending disaster and failed responses --- remaining asleep in the emotional aftermath of storms seemingly unable to grow forward.

My friend saw a bumper sticker the other day, "Change is Inevitable... Growth is Optional."

So just how many of us are still living in a stagnant calendar? Or how many more are trapped by the time machines of anxiety or addiction that promise to take us back to some place all the while realizing that we continue to fool ourselves with the illusion of control and the intoxication of a 'secured future'?

Can we see past the Eye of Our Storm into the Eyes of Jesus Christ?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

this says it all

once again I have worked at notworking to become the world's worst blogger, but pictures are worth a thousand words anyway right? then these must be 10K or a mill. Susan connected us with an amazing photographer in NWA - -"thnx Jenny!" - gosh I now sound like Forrest - lol

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When Failure is NOT Final

When Failure is NOT Final
John 21:1-14
Rev. Justin Ledbetter

Too many people think success is Never Failing
Too few people have hope bigger than memory

Think about Johnny Bench who proclaimed at his high school graduation, after he received his diploma, “I want to be the greatest catcher in baseball history” – and everyone laughed. Or, consider Mickey Mantle who struck out more than 1700 times and walked another 1700 – put that together and that’s 3400 times without a hit – if you consider an entire major league season for a batter as 5-600 at bats then Mickey Mantle spent 6-7 years/seasons without a hit! Of course he went on to hit over 500 home runs and is the last man ever to win the triple crown (a feat many say will never be accomplished again).

But let’s focus on the Disciples for a minute.

You remember the mistakes they made – can you recall all the times when they didn’t get it. They were called by God and received His promise, but they often failed to make the connections – they put themselves first and often, easily gave up hope. In fact, in this mornings passage from the Gospel of John we find that they believed “nothing happened” with their faith and the church after Easter (despite 2 resurrection appearances of Jesus to them) and decided to Go Fishing as Peter proclaimed. And in this venture to – as sure as they had ‘gone fishin’ – they failed once again.It has been a long night… they were tires, fatigued – perhaps, they were not feeling very sharp and their reactions were getting weak and slow – again and again and again – they cast and cast and cast – and they caught nothing , nothing and nothing.They faced EMPTY NETS over and over and over.


Troubled economy, strained marriages and households, fractured friendships… The question is: can we HEAR GOD say, “Failure is NOT Final”Disciples SAW EMPTY NETS, but they HEARD GOD! He came to them in the midst of their failures and spoke to them about WHAT MIGHT BE (which moved their focus from what is).

Its an amazing fact that they heard Him – they couldn’t see Him – or at least, according to the Scripture – in the early moring light, across the sea – they did not know that it was Him.

The capacity to HEAR GOD BEYOND ALL WE SEE is vital to xian life.

NOT TO LOOK at what is “settled” but to LISTEN TO WHAT MIGHT BE.

They RECEIVED HIS WORD despite their own knowledge of fishing (remember, that some of them were Professional Fisherman – guys who didn’t ‘need to be told how to do it’), despite their failure and empty nets – THEY RECEIVED THE WORDthe world dismisses the Word as “just words”! But, We BELIEVE IN A LIVING WORD with the power to transform lives!

We have ambition and want to succeed – we want a good job and good pay – but do we want more than Mediocrity in our Faith?God doesn’t want Mediocrity Masquerading as Faithfulness!The Christian life is more than mediocre when we commit ourselves to our faith – when we take the time to HEAR GOD and what He wants to reveal to us.We don’t have to let our failures be final (in fact failure is only final when we quit):To succeed beyond our failures we must 1) DESIRE - to choose to succeed rather than quit – to have greater hope in our future success than our memory of failing. 2) LEARN – see disappointment as a temporary setback from which we learn how/what not to do – if the left side doesn’t work, then throw the nets over the right. Learning also, helps us to anticipate future problems and avoid some of them. When we learn to do something more intelligently & more prayerfully – we get better and better. 3) BEGIN AGAIN! Not having accepted failure as defeat we simply start anew. We believe that success is ahead on the other side of the boat – we seek to hear God in spite of what resources we appear to have – and be BEGIN AGAIN.

Finally, I want to finish by saying a few words about the final point of the teaching of this passage: Notice that the bounty of God’s Blessings (in this case 153 fish) are, as always, more than enough to go around. See how the fruit of God’s Word meets the needs of them all – in fact He gives this miraculous catch not simply for financial gain and personal wealth – but for the fellowship of that community of faith – here in a breakfast by the seashore. Such is the nature of God’s multiplying power and presence – when we put the loaves and fish in God’s hands – there is always enough Shared Success for everyone.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Palm Sunday

Hosanna! The crowd shouts in curiosity and confusion. The disciples appear to stand, but will soon scurry. The relifious and political leaders so jealous and corrupt. He asked them to help in such a simple way: go get a donkey. Why kind of priority do we give to the simple things God often asks us to do? "Sorry, but I don't have time..." "Sorry, I have too much on my plate right now..." Of course that doesn't prevent us from wanting to sit on the right or the left. Its easy to cheer, but how many of us stand to serve when we see where He is going?