RealYou

Written by cycleguy on January 18th, 2018

The late pastor/author A.W.Tozer once said,

Theological knowledge is the medium through which the spirit flows into the human heart, yet there must be humble penitence in the heart before the truth can produce faith.

What Tozer is basically saying is we need to be aware of our sin and who we are if we are to ever see the Word take root and the Spirit work through us. God can’t use a stubborn, arrogant person who is always getting in the way. Let me rephrase that since God can do whatever He wants. It makes it harder for Him to work since He has to sort through all the junk.

My sermon this week will be focusing on Romans 12: 3-8, a passage of Scripture which deals with who we are and what we can do as part of the body of Christ. As such there are three questions every follower of Christ needs to find the answer to…or know the answer to.

  • Who am I? This deals with our identity.
  • Where do I belong? This deals with our security.
  • What am I supposed to be doing? This deals with our significance.

My goal is to help people find the answers to those questions, or at least start seeking them. I’d appreciate your prayers as I continue the series “Transformed.”  Meanwhile, can you answer those three questions for yourself?

 

Choices

Written by cycleguy on January 15th, 2018

Life is full of choices. Some are easy. Some are hard.  Take for example these pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which one would you choose? The one on the left is from our (mine & Jo’s) vacation in October to Daytona Beach; the one on the right is from January 15, 11:00 a.m. looking out the back door of the church building. My truck has been sitting there for close to 5 hours. I have already shoveled once.

Or maybe you prefer the one on the left as to the one on the right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same vacation. Same time and place for both.

That is not a tough choice is it? Unless, of course, you love snow and are one of those adrenaline junkies who likes snowboarding, skiing, or the more sedate making of snow angels. I do like the warmer weather because I can do the one hobby I enjoy doing. But I also choose to live in Indiana where the weather does funny things.  Only in Indiana could it be snowing like it has since about 8:00 last night and then by Friday be sunny and 37.  (Least that is what they predict).

Life is a bunch of choices. Again…some are easy; some are not. Choosing to follow Jesus seems the most logical, but there are many who don’t. Choosing to have the promise of heaven and eternal life seems like a fantastic deal, but some don’t think so. I choose life. I choose love. I choose eternity with the Father.  How about you?

I also choose not to be miserable when faced with this kind of weather.  I can’t change it so might as well live with it. Correct?  And for your information: this picture is for Floyd. He made a comment last week about it being 77 where he lives. Talk about rubbing it in!!!  See what you are missing, Floyd, by living in Arizona and not Indiana?  🙂 🙂 🙂

 

All

Written by cycleguy on January 14th, 2018

Sunday I spoke about the need for surrender.

NOT CONFORMED…BUT TRANSFORMED

The more I study, the more I am convinced of something. You may disagree with me and that is, of course, your prerogative. 🙂 We hear a lot from people and yes, singers, telling us we need more of God. I have no qualms about craving God. He says, “Be still and know I am God.”  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Desiring to know God should be a daily prayer on our lips.

But what if we have missed the boat on this? Now…please hear me out. Maybe it isn’t so much of us needing more of God. Maybe it is God having more of us. Could this be the emphasis of surrender? I think there is validity to that statement.

So here is my statement in a nutshell: I don’t think it is a matter of me having more of God. It is a matter of Him having more of me. {Note: perhaps they work in tandem?} No matter how you look at it, it involves surrender. It involves a willingness to give it all to Him-my life, my thoughts, my mind, my will. In short: not to be conformed but to be transformed.  Or as J.B.Phillips put it in his paraphrase of the NT: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”

In this post I mentioned a song I was going to use before Sunday’s message. You can read about it there. But while riding my bike (inside) on Thursday morning I heard this song and was immediately struck by its meaning. I also “felt” like I ought to use it instead. So I did. Enjoy the song but please, please, pay attention to the words.

 

 

Surrender

Written by cycleguy on January 12th, 2018

The images will never leave our minds. What we were doing at that moment will always stick with us. The stunning news that a plane had flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in NYC on September 11, 2001 stopped us in our tracks. We wanted to believe it was just an accident. Then plane #2 flew into the other tower and we knew then it was not an accident but an act of terrorism. That fact was confirmed even more by the flight into the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. “Ground Zero” was established. A nation was galvanized. Politicians for one small moment put aside their party hat and all agreed this cannot happen.

Leaders were faced with making decisions none had thought of making. There were no contingency plans. How could we have conceived of such evil?

My sermon for Sunday is the first of a series called “Transformed.” I’m calling it All In. It reminds me of the story of the chicken and the pig discussing who wanted to start a breakfast featuring eggs and bacon. The pig said, “No.” When questioned by the chicken his answer was simple: “For you it is a donation; for me it is total commitment.” Following Jesus is just that and every Christ-follower must face the question: Am I going to contribute or am I going to commit?” My next four weeks of sermons will be from Romans 12 starting with verses 1-2 this Sunday.  I’d appreciate your prayers this week.

 

All In

Written by cycleguy on January 11th, 2018

My sermon for this Sunday begins a new series called “Transformed.” I’m going to be dealing with verses 1-2 this week…more verse 2 than the first.

NOT CONFORMED…BUT TRANSFORMED

I think it a vital and much-needed message for our day and age. When Tami (our daughter) saw my title and Scripture, she told me then texted me a link to a song I should use. I was going to until I was riding my bike this morning (inside) and was listening to Kutless on my Spotify playlist. I heard a song I am going to use instead. Actually, I plan to use that for my Music Monday post. But for this post, I want to play the song Tami suggested. Hope you enjoy it.  Click here to listen to it. And trust me when I say she and I DO NOT have the same tastes.

They are calling for some really nasty weather to come in later today (Thursday). I tend to agree with Doc Brown on this one: “Since when can the weatherman predict the weather?” Ice (1-3″) followed by the possibility of up to 9″ of snow. I HOPE THEY ARE DEAD WRONG!  But if not, not much I can do about it except stay safe and warm.

You do the same.

 

Run

Written by cycleguy on January 7th, 2018

In my message Sunday I talked about God bringing dead men back to life (spiritually). One of the essentials of that is allowing God to “breathe” into us. Ezekiel 36 talks about how God wants to take away our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. Then in chapter 37 we find the amazing story of dead men’s bones coming to life.

It is not easy to stay strong. It is not easy staying committed. It is not easy making time for the Father. That is one of the reasons why I am doing my other blog Be Transformed. Being transformed takes place on a daily basis. It is not a once-in-a-lifetime hyper-jacked event. It is not an emotional experience. To be candid I see it as a “daily plodding.” Not that I see having a relationship with Jesus as a daily plod, but that I see a relationship as a daily “work in progress.” “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” the Bible says. That is not a works-based salvation; it is an awareness of the need for awe and respect and reverence for God.

Since I have my other blog to write some serious thoughts, I want to be a little creative with Cycleguy’s Spin. I’m thinking of calling Monday’s entries “Music Monday” where I share a song that “speaks” to me. Given my state of mind right now spiritually; my focus in my sermons and blog; I’d like to ask you to listen to this song.  The lesson is “pointed.”

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

Amnesia

Written by cycleguy on January 5th, 2018

I was going to tell you all something but I forgot what it was.  In some cases that can be called “selective amnesia.” In other cases it can be called a “Senior moment.” In this case, I really have not forgotten anything. But Amnesia is the title for my sermon this Sunday. 🙂

Have you ever been un-enthralled by something which thrills someone else? Roller coasters are that way. I used to love them. Jo despised them. But Jo could go in circles. I despised circles. When we went to the Titanic museum I could have spent hours in it (I did spend 2 of them), but if I had spent the time I wanted Jo and the girls would have begun to think Titanic sunk again and I went down with the ship. Get my drift?

Writer G.K.Chesterton once said:

The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.

It is easy to lose our wonder. Let’s call it something else: amnesia. I often hear from people, “How did I ever get into this place to begin with?” I asked that same question back in February of 2017. “How?” Simply put: I lost the wonder of God. Put another way: I got amnesia.

I think that has a lot to do with why people start out like gangbusters and fizzle out. Both initially and at the start of a new year. All sorts of vows and resolve but then life happens.

I’m hoping to get some good things started for the new year and the new theme. As you can see it is UNCHARTED. I’m praying 2018 serves as a challenge to me and to the church folks (and maybe even to you) to step out into the unknown and trust God to give us all new hearts and new vision. I’d appreciate it if you would pray for us this weekend.

 

Vows

Written by cycleguy on January 3rd, 2018

New Year’s day is the day people make (what we call) resolutions. I suspect statistics will show most resolutions will be broken by the end of January. Maybe sooner. I stopped making resolutions years ago. I still reflect and tell myself I want to accomplish certain things but setting resolutions is not on my radar.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I drove to Avon (a little over an hour away) to visit a lady in the hospital. There is a nasty flu strain going around which the flu shot doesn’t even touch. She caught it. Anyway, as I was driving I had Kutless on my Spotify. This song came on. It resonated in me as I thought about 2018. I wanted to share it with you. And despite what your idea may be of Kutless’ music (if you have heard it before), I think this will be worth your while to listen.

Part of my vow is growing in my faith. I want to be transformed into His likeness. An important part of that is spending time in the Word each day. And to bring others along with me. I am convinced a daily time in the Word is vital to maintaining a vibrant faith. That is why I started my new website called Be Transformed. It is for me to be consistent and hopefully to encourage others to do the same. Please join me in the study/discussion.

 

SecondDay

Written by cycleguy on January 2nd, 2018

Well…I hope your 2018 has started out well. Mine was uneventful I guess. New Year’s Eve found me in bed and asleep by 10:30. Hey! Don’t mock me! That is one hour later than normal. 🙂 🙂  I knew I didn’t have to get up at my normal 3:45 time so I actually stayed up to read some. But alas! I am not an all-nighter. Never have been…never will be (unless pressed). In fact, I’m not even a late-nighter. My girls laugh at me. Okay…Tami does. I’d say, “She’s a school teacher what does she know?” but I’d get thumped pretty good by all the teachers (and her). Seriously, I have never been a late night person except on rare occasions. Getting older hasn’t changed that one bit…except going to bed earlier.

Speaking of Tami…she is moving out this weekend into her own apartment. 2 1/2 years ago she moved back to be closer to us and Janna (really Braden but same family). 🙂  But she took a very significant pay cut to do so. She moved in with us until she could sort some things out, plus find a place she could afford. They are distant in Bloomington and Elletsville, as well as few and far between in Spencer. But thanks to the generosity of a couple who built their own house, they are renting Tami their old apartment. It has some big rooms, nostalgic points (it is a renovated apartment in “downtown” Spencer). Downside? A million steps to get there. But I’m happy for her. She will have her own place, a place to call her own. And space she doesn’t have at our house.

Teaser: “I don’t have to have it all figured out. He does. There is no way for me to know all that will happen anyway, so why work myself up over that? Why worry and be fearful over what I cannot control? I cannot understand it all so why spend my days and valuable time in fear and misery because I don’t and won’t? No…I need to rest in His perfect, sovereign knowledge.” For more check out my other blog here.

Have a good day my friends. Here it is -9. So stay warm also.

 

NEW!

Written by cycleguy on December 31st, 2017

January 1, 2018. As Doc Brown says, “Amazing! Simply amazing!” I’ve been writing this blog since 2/20/08. That is a lot of blogs (2654 to this point) and a lot of years. Some things have never changed though.

My love for Jesus.

My love for my family.

My love for the church I pastor.

My desire to stay true to the message of the gospel.

And my every January 1 post with this song. And you gotta love the hair in this one.

But I have a new thing in mind for this year.  This time of the year we hear a lot about a new slate before us. A new year ahead of us. A new path to walk on. New life. New hope. New direction. Ad infinitum.

So I thought I’d get on the bandwagon and create a new blog. A NEW BLOG???? Seriously? Yes that is exactly what I am saying.  Its purpose is totally different from this one.  It is called BE TRANSFORMED and you can find it at this address. If you want to know what it is all about then please take a look.

Why? Because I am convinced followers of Christ need to be serious about a daily walk with Jesus. Some of us (myself included) need help doing that. We need guidance. We need focus. We need a “lift” to start our day. Every morning I have found myself doing that with more regularity and missing it when my schedule gets all whacked.  If you go to that new site and read the About section you will see what it is all about. Or you can read the Purpose post. I do hope you will join me.

And for your new year here is a song I heard in 2016 and recently while working out and listening to my playlist on Spotify, it came up. I thought it would be an excellent challenge/reminder for this coming year. I KNOW it is not the cup of tea for many of you…okay most of you. Silence the music and at least read the lyrics.

Here is the song.

So…do you have a song or a Scripture which will guide your new year’s thoughts?