Monday, August 15, 2011

I am irreplaceable

Even as you read the title to this blog you know where I’m going, and it’s possible that a picture of someone you know is now in your mind.  You know the co-worker who brags to others that they can demand a raise because they are irreplaceable.  The boss, the job, maybe even the whole company would go down the tubes without them.

We spent the weekend on a mini-vacation and didn’t get back until time for our Family Night Sunday night.  When I asked about how the services went, I found out that we had a really good attendance, and someone even jokingly said, “I feel bad for Lance”, because there were more people than normal.  Of course we had a really good attendance day last week as well…… wait a minute that’s right, I didn’t preach last week either.  How much more can my poor bruised ego take?  I’m joking of course.

The truth is that not for one minute do I think that I am irreplaceable, but I want to be.  If you’re honest you also know that you want to feel irreplaceable as well sometimes.  We want to be needed, loved, appreciated, and missed when we’re gone.  While we want others to succeed and especially when we are talking about the Kingdom of God, the most important thing is that God is glorified, it’s still nice to know that you’re needed right?

Here’s the secret – TSCC is an amazing place where I’m praised, applauded, commended, and appreciated on a daily basis but my irreplaceableness (I know that’s not a word) needs to come from God and even then it’s not based on what I’m doing, it’s based on who I am.  Someone else could easily take my place in the work of God, but nobody can take my place in God’s eyes.  There is only one me and He wants me to be with Him so bad that He sacrificed His only Son so that I could be with Him forever.
Yep – I’m irreplaceable in God’s eyes.  My value doesn’t come from my service, my preaching, my talents, or abilities; it comes from being loved by the very one who created me.  He is my life, my fullness, my all in all, and while I’ve never ever served in a place where I’m appreciated as much as TSCC (and keep loving me despite my failures please) J my value is from having Christ make His home in my heart.

Please follow this link and read an amazing passage of Scripture in the NLT and know that my prayer echoes Paul’s when I think of you, and you coming to terms with the fact that down here you are replaceable but with God your value has no end.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How's the Lemonade?

Sunday we spoke about life and how we are often handed many lemons in life.  It could be that used car you bought, or an employer giving you an unfair pink slip, or an unexpected trip to the emergency room to repair your rambunctious child’s broken leg.  Maybe it’s just the everyday stress and pressure of being an employee/husband/father/Christian/neighbor/friend, etc.  Or maybe it’s all the jobs that come along with being a woman (which are far too numerous to list), especially if you have small children at home.
We discussed the old adage that states, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”, and how many of us would prefer to hang on to the lemons to pull them out at the appropriate time to complain to others about just how sour they are.  The thing is, nobody understands just how difficult your lemons are except you, because no matter how much we try to empathize and sympathize with each other we are not in their position feeling what they feel, experiencing the same emotions, hurts, struggles, and disappointments that they experience.
So what really is the point of all the griping and complaining – does it somehow make you feel better or encourage the person you’re complaining to?  Nope, but here’s something you probably know but need to be reminded of – GOD WANTS YOUR LEMONS – He’ll make the lemonade, He’ll help you to use those lemons to somehow encourage someone else, to make you stronger, to build the type of character you’ve always dreamed of having.
Finally here’s a challenge to you and me, this week choose someone to bless, someone who you know has been handed a few lemons.  Maybe send them an email or better yet a hand written card, maybe a positive phone call or buy them a coffee, or small gift card.  If you’re so talented bake them a dozen cookies, or something you know they’ll enjoy.  And whatever you do, don’t tell them about your lemons, make it about them this time and see how you feel at the end. 
Will you do it?  I pray that you will and enjoy the lemonade God is making through your life example.   Phillipians 2:14 TNIV;NASB;CEV;NCV;CEB - Do everything without grumbling - Bible Gateway