Monthly Archives: November 2012

Compelled By Commitment

 

Such intense personal sacrifice, wholeheartedly committed to the Cause.

 

Willing to place the good of the whole far above personal gratification.

 

Acknowledging the God Who led them.

And fed them.

Gave them the skills to work, the strength to fight.

 

Kneeling in honor of the One who gave them their very breath.

 

Thankful.

 

 

The contrast of those spending that first Thanksgiving on American soil with those of us in this great country today is stark, and tragic.

 

 

Our predecessors were compelled by a commitment to the cause of freedom, willing to sacrifice everything they had so that others could receive.

 

Today’s Americans react out of being controlled by their personal god of convenience, grasping at anything they want because ‘it’s my right’.

 

 

 

Our forefathers and mothers accepted the responsibility to care for others, and taught their children to do the same.

 

Today’s generation is demanding others care for them, passing down a legacy of dependency  that will be the downfall of them…and this great nation.

 

Those who created this holiday for us gave up their personal comforts for the good of others.

 

During this holiday we are surrounded by the masses fighting for personal ‘rights’ at the expense of others.

 

 

 

Bowing their knee to their Creator is replaced with scoffing, denying that He even exists.

 

Vowing to fight for the right of all to worship is substituted with suing to restrict His acknowledgment anywhere.

 

 

Reverence for the Bible and it’s ability to teach, guide, and comfort has been transformed into disdain for the very words printed, denial of the principles it conveys.

 

The food on America’s table might look the same.

 The hearts of Americans have greatly changed.

 

 

Father, forgive our unfaithful hearts.

Draw us back to You, before we destroy ourselves.

Teach us to be thankful once again.

May we be compelled by commitment, refusing to be controlled by convenience or compromise.

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A Significant Legacy Requires Significant Sacrifice

 

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

 

“Greatness isn’t given, it’s taken. In the off-season, when everyone else is resting on their accomplishments….I go out and work harder.”  Robert Griffin III

 

And…the commercial about Derrick Rose’s return to the Chicago Bulls.  Went down last season to injury, working behind the scenes to regain strength…….

 

A significant legacy requires significant sacrifice.

 

Three passages of Scripture, and some “Lessons from the Land”

Genesis 11:31

31 One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there.

Terah heard a call from God……but stopped at “good enough”.

 

Lessons from the Land….

One of the most beautiful parts of the Barnabas Campus Story is the partnership of two evangelical organizations and their dreams for ministry. The process of sharing each other’s call from the Lord to reach our community in a significant, eternity-impacting way was an incredible journey to walk. Months of conversation and prayer culminated with a celebration: the Lord was calling for a joining of the visions to accomplish His work in our community.

 

And then, the land was put through testing.

Soil boring.

“perk” tests.

Township regulations.

Drainage issues.

More regulations.

More tests.

 

So many times, Christ followers receive a true, God-inspired dream & vision…… But when the ‘testing’ starts, they give up and ‘settle’ for less than God’s best.

Have you given up on a dream, a project…or a person, because the ‘testing’ felt too hard?

Have you stopped short of God’s best, like Terah, because what you see feels “good enough” to you?

 

A significant legacy requires significant sacrifice

 

I also find it interesting that we spent several months in meetings about…….sewage.

Critical to the long-term success and sustainability of the Campus, is making sure we have appropriate systems to get rid of “stuff”. Because, ‘stuff’ happens.

For our spiritual health that means recognizing that things will happen that we don’t like, and we need to know how it will be cared for.   Things like accountability, boundaries, and balance are what keep the “stuff’ from piling up in our lives.

 

Have you fallen short of God’s amazing potential because your pride prevented you from allowing ‘stuff’ to be identified and dealt with in your life?

 

A significant legacy requires significant sacrifice

 

And then the ‘bulldozer brigade’ began their work. Land that had served many generations so well, now needed to be completely transformed to prepare for God’s new plan for the 24 acres. The land’s ability to grow corn had no bearing on whether or not it could sustain the buildings on the Barnabas Campus.

What you did yesterday may have been incredible.

What God is calling you to do tomorrow, might require some additional praying, fasting, studying, growing.

 

In my devotions recently, I came across this tragic passage:

2 Chronicles 21

20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. No one was sorry when he died. They buried him in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.

His people did not build a great funeral fire to honor him as they had done for his ancestors.

He was a King…..but lived a life of compromise.

Tragic.

 

Have you gotten caught up in the trap of pursuing the latest style, technology, power, reputation, at the expense of your convictions?

 

Our country is filled with people who are sacrificing the most basic of Biblical principles, such as the value of human life, for the false security of a crumbling economic system and the selfish premise of personal preference and convenience.

 

Can I tell you something?  Your stock portfolio won’t be going to Heaven.

I believe every single aborted baby will.

 

A significant legacy requires significant sacrifice.

 

There’s some “seeding” happening on the land!

In the midst of the ‘bulldozer brigade”, Ross Hirdes is planting some seeds to prevent erosion of the soil over the next several months.  In the same way, every now and then God shows us ways & places to plant seed, to strengthen us, to prevent falling away as He continues His great work in us.

 

Soon, the heavy equipment will stop moving.

The foundational overhaul of the Campus will be complete.

The land will freeze, the snow will fall.

The Campus will grow quiet…..for a season.

 

Behind the scenes, much will be happening! Licensing forms, program regulations, funding commitments, potential staff interviews……

But the surface will be quiet.

 

Too many people give up during those quiet seasons, certain that God must have given up on them or maybe they heard Him wrong or maybe they think He’s taking too long to fulfill His promise…

A significant legacy requires significant sacrifice

..and sometimes that sacrifice is holding on to His promise, in the silence.

The preparation happening during the seeming silence is critical to the completion of the project. The need will continue increasing, the cries for help from the homeless, friendless, hopeless will get louder.

In March of this year we were told there were 107 students identified that needed a safe place to stay while they attended school. By the end of the school year that number grew to 127.

We need to be ready in every way to care for them.

Because to us, having that many young people in our community without a safe place to sleep is unacceptable.

We hope you agree.

Finally, from Hebrews chapter 11:

32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. 33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.

But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half,[d] and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

Without us.

Without you.

What will your legacy be?

Which of these passages do you want your legacy to look like?

At this moment in time you have an opportunity to become part of the single largest youth-specific project in our community, one that will impact young people, families, and our entire area for many years to come.

It’s time to pray……volunteer…..give  to create an unparalleled campus of hope for our kids, and leave behind an unmistakable legacy for all who are watching.

A significant legacy requires significant sacrifice