The other night while leaving Wal-Mart, I noticed about 600 shopping carts scattered across the gigantic parking lot. An entire conversation took place in my brain.
It was a rather nasty night out. It was cold, temp was in the 20s. It was rainy. No one wanted to be out in it… especially the Wal-Mart “cart-guy”. But he was. In only jeans, a zip-hoodie and work gloves, he was out trying to get in the several hundred stray shopping carts. I felt bad for him. Who wouldnt? He was so cold. And his entire time out there gathering up carts was due to the fact that so many people are too lazy or busy to put the cart where it goes! I happen to like putting my cart back. (Its also one of the most fun things that our Youth Group does. On random nights, we take all our kids to Wal-Mart and ask them to very calmly get all of the carts out of the parking lot and back into the store all nice and neatly. The manager and the “cart guy” especially love it when we do this. All Youth Groups should try it. Great fun!)
Is it wrong to not put your cart back in the “Return Carts Here” thing? Is it ok to just leave it right there in the vacant parking place that your car was just in? Is it fine for Wal-Mart’s hundreds of customers per hour to leave their carts anywhere they please in a quarter mile radius of the store because they have a “cart guy” who will come and bring them all in?
God tells us to “hold fast to what is good” (Rom.12:9) and to “overcome evil with good” (Rom.12:21). Shouldn’t we be willing to take 20 more seconds and put our carts back? Shouldn’t we long to be a blessing to the “cart guy” and not adding to his frustration?
Lets think about Christ being exalted in the small things of our day…even returning our carts to the “Return Carts Here” thing.
Arguably the world’s best soccer player, Kaka, boldly proclaims who he belongs to! Kaka is from Brazil and plays on the highest level of professional soccer in the world. Kaka often wears this bold t-shirt under his uniform jersey. It is common for soccer players to remove their shirts after games. This provides Kaka a great opportunity to proclaim his faith to the world. In South American Brazil where Catholicism is so widespread and therefore the emphasis on the virgin Mary, it is quite a testimony and statement that Kaka announces he belongs to Jesus.
It is also encouraging to know that he has “God is faithful” stitched on to the tongue of his soccer cleats.
Lecrae’s sequel album to his album “Rehab” came out January 11th. It is called “Rehab: the overdose.”
This will let you into Lecrae’s heart and mind. In the inside cover of the CD, Lecrae writes this:
“Around every corner is the lure to consume. A desire to be satisfied. Unfortunately no human being has found anything under the sun that brings satisfaction. So we consume more, and more, and more. Eventually we overdose.
However, there is hope if Christianity is our rehab. In Jesus satisfaction can be found. Grace, love, peace, and hope can be found… and there is always more.
It was great to be in Gatlinburg this past weekend for a Youth Ski Retreat. I was humbled to have the opportunity to preach it. It was encouraging & refreshing to see our former pastor, Josh Powell and his wife Allison, leading those Youth well. God is really working in the lives of those young people.
I preached three times. All three messages were centered around BOASTING!
What is Boasting? James 4:16 – boasting about self is prideful and wrong.
Where does boasting Belong? Romans 3:27 – It doesn’t. It is excluded.
How do we boast in the Lord? Jeremiah 9:23-24 Paul’s example.
I will post more soon explaining more about each of the messages on boasting.
If so, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to watch this video and/or read this article.
It is about a College Basketball player who studies abroad in Africa. One of the things he says is that going to Africa was unlike anything he had ever experienced before, profoundly put he called it “refreshing”.
I have been to Africa twice. Ethiopia and South Africa. Both times were beyond exhilarating. I absolutely loved it. Going to Africa can really impact your life.
Self-control is the last fruit listed in the long list of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
In Paul’s small letter to Titus, ‘self-control’ is mentioned 5 times. Titus only has 46 verses in the whole book. Clearly, self-control is an emphasis.
Elders are to be self-controlled. (1:8)
Older men are to be self-controlled. (2:2)
Older women are to train the younger women to be self-controlled. (2:5)
Younger men are to be self-controlled. (2:6)
The grace of God has appeared and trains us to live self-controlled lives. (2:12)
A life that is out of control lacks the presence of God and has no assurance of being filled with the Spirit of Christ. But when self-control is evident, one can have confidence in God’s Spirit being at work in his life.
If your life out of control? Are you raging in some areas? Turn to God. Repent of it. And see the Spirit of God bring self-control to you.
Today, January 11th, is my mother’s birthday. My mom is Sherry Reed Greene. This is a picture of her with me and my dad and 2 of her grandsons, JJ & Eli. I love this picture.
I thank God for my mom. She teaches me so much. She encourages me so much. She instills confidence in me. She loves me. In God’s infinite wisdom and glory, he gave me my mom to raise me. And God has used my mom so mightily to make me who I am today. No one else on earth has been as influential in my life as my mom.
Mom, I love you! Happy Birthday! You are beautiful in so many ways. You are blessed!
Proverbs 31:28“Her children rise up and call her blessed”
ESPN did a special on Tim Tebow. Its called “Tim Tebow: Everything in between.” It is great to watch. I teared up during it. And when it ended I had an eye to eye serious talk with my son about Jesus being our life! During the ESPN special, they showed this commercial. It gave me goosebumps.
Part of my ‘new year, newer me’ plan is to read some biographies. I began with this one on George Muller by Basil Miller.
Here are two great quotes from the book. I am really enjoying it already.
“After learning the lesson of being busy in the work of the Lord, too busy in fact to pray, he told his brethren that four hours of work after an hour of prayer would accomplish more than five hours without prayer. This rule henceforth he faithfully kept.” (page 49)
Muller was often asked how he was so certain that he was doing the will of God. He replied with a 6 point answer. Here is his 1st point. Very good.
“1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.” (page 51)
God has true people of faith of in this world who are making a great impact for Him. I am praying for God to raise up people like that in Fairdale.