April 20, 2009

The Vines of our lives

This past Saturday, my boys and I cut and cleared some old fallen and partially fallen trees in the “natural area” behind our house.  As we were cutting and moving old trees, we found that there were a lot of “vines” of some sort that had grown some 40-60 feet above the ground and had intertwined themselves into the branches in the trees.  In fact, some vines had moved from one tree to others, and much of the tree top canopy was not made up of tree branches and their leaves, but rather twisty vines and their leaves,

As we tried to pull the vines down, we noticed how difficult it was to get all the vines down (sometimes two of us were hanging from the vines and still couldn’t get them down).  We also noticed the vines were choking out much of the new growth in the trees, and in some trees, were actually holding up broken branches that had been dead for many months, yet hadn’t fallen to the ground because of the thick vines keeping the dead branches suspended in the air by their web-like strength. 

It was in the midst of this “father-son” activity that I realized how much “sin” in our lives had in common with the vines in our backyard.  

1)Over time, sin grows from its one root, to spread into our lives, choking out our personal growth.

2)   The end of the vines are usually very far reaching from the root, but they are still connected; so to is the sin in our lives…the longer it is allowed to continue, there is no limit to where it can go (even jumping from one person to another…just like the vine jumped from one tree to another.

3)   Some vines could be removed with little or no help…but the largest, difficult, and most intertwined (complex) vines had to be taken out with the help of others…so it is with the sins in our lives

Once the vines were removed, the whole backyard looked better.  Sunlight began to shine through the tree top canopy to the ground and surrounding areas that hadn’t seen sun in a long time.  I am sure that we can look forward to stronger trees and new vegetation in our small backyard paradise. 

I think the same is true when we seek God’s forgiveness of our sins and allow Jesus to remove our sins.  Once removed, God’s light can shine through to allow for new growth to happen in our lives, making for a stronger and beautiful human being. 

Hey, I know what, lets help each other out…in fact, LET’S DO LIFE TOGTHER


April 14, 2009

Don't Even Think About It!

I saw this sign the other day and was blown away.    I laughed at first and then thought, “How witty, someone is making a point about parking here and that sign is going to get everyone’s attention…and it will probably ‘tick’ somebody off”


Then I thought about a church I once attended.  There were members there who would have loved to have a sign like this put in their pew that would read in big, red letters, “don’t even think about sitting in my seat”.    And do you know what, they wouldn’t CARE if they ticked someone off in the process.  As long as they had their seat, in their spot, on their pew they could “worship God” freely (I guess they were taught that God takes attendance for worship services by seating assignments, and if you are not in your assigned seat…the right seat, God may count you as absent that day)



I’m excited and encouraged when I see people at LifeSpring… slide over, and give someone their seat at our worship service.  It’s like they’re saying, “Don’t even think of sitting somewhere else!!! Here you go, take my seat right here so you can see better, I’ve already got it warmed up for you.“


You know, that’s one of the small sacrificial things we need to be doing in the world today to “get everyone’s attention” so people will feel welcomed.  Why don’t you try offering your seat to someone and see what happens…


Let’s do life together 

It's More than Bread and Juice

What a phenomenal worship service we shared at LifeSpring this past Easter Sunday.  It was the first Easter service in the history of LifeSpring and special to all who attended.  Especially when we all shared in Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) for the first time as a worshiping community.

A seminary professor of mine named Robert “Bob” Tuttle once told us that when we serve communion to others that it is a “slam dunk for the Holy Spirit’s presences”.   And you know what…HE WAS RIGHT.


Person after person who came up and received the bread and juice (representing the body and blood of Jesus) with anticipation, expectations, fears, doubts, hopes, hurts, disappointments, or whatever baggage or dreams they may have had, encountered the Spirit of God, and were different when they returned to their seats. 


The prayer I was taught as a young boy for meals that has stuck with me (and probably you too) for what seems all my life took on a stronger meaning this Easter

 “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.  By his hands, we are fed, give us Lord our daily bread”

 It was a great and good God who provided for the “bread of life” that would supply our needs daily.  Jesus, from the small town of Bethlehem (also known as the “house of bread”) became the bread from God’s hand to fed us. 


I hope you had a meaningful Easter this year, and feel as though you are ready to take on the world…because that is where Jesus’ new disciples are called to serve, so let’s get busy. 


Won’t you join us? 

 Let’s do life together!