Thinking Out Loud

March 4, 2017

You Can’t Parachute and Stay in the Plane

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:26 am

An author and pastor who I’ve followed for many years, Mark O. Wilson has moved over to a new domain at… wait for it… MarkOWilson.com

In the past we’ve posted reviews of Mark’s books, Purple Fish and Filled Up, Poured Out.

I found this at the new site and thought it would work well for Saturday. If today you have nothing scheduled, no plans, nothing to really look forward to; I hope this challenges you to make some changes.

Live the Adventure!

You can’t enjoy the summit if you don’t climb the mountain.

You can’t parachute and stay in the plane.

You can’t take the dive if you don’t get off the board.

You can’t enjoy the story if you don’t open the book.

You can’t steal second with a foot on first.

You can’t score a touchdown and stay in the huddle.

You can’t ski the hill if you don’t take the lift.

You can’t take the train if you don’t buy the ticket.

You can’t catch the fish if you don’t cast the line.

You can’t sing your song if you don’t open your mouth.

You can’t understand if you don’t open your mind.

You can’t walk on water if you don’t step out of the boat.

You can’t love if you don’t open your heart.

You can’t get in shape if you don’t exercise.

You can’t enjoy nature if you don’t leave the house.

You can’t fly if you don’t spread your wings.

You can’t get anywhere if you don’t make a decision

You can’t live the adventure if you don’t take a risk.

Playing it safe is the surest way a boring, humdrum life. Too many of us have unfulfilled dreams packed away deep in our hearts but we are afraid to bring them out and explore them. It’s too frightening to do something extraordinary.

So, rather of taking bold steps of daring faith, we settle for Netflix and video games. Instead creating a great story, we are content with consuming stories of others — watching reruns from the sofa. But we are not really content.

We weren’t created to sit around and watch the world go by. The reason why life often seems unfulfilling is because we have never take the chance to really live.

Maybe it is time to get off the couch, step out in faith, and experience the adventure!

~Mark O. Wilson

January 23, 2010

Francis Chan: If Jesus Had a Church Here, Mine Would Be Bigger

Last summer I came to a shocking realization that I had to share with my wife: If Jesus had a church in Simi Valley, mine would be bigger. People would leave His church to attend mine because I call for an easier commitment. I know better how to cater to people’s desires so they stick around. Jesus was never really good at that. He was the one who said, “He who loves father or mother … son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37 NIV) I’m much more popular than Jesus.

Wow!   This isn’t Francis Chan on some Beatlesque “more popular than Jesus” trip.  It’s an honest look at how we choose a church.   If the people are too fanatical, we dismiss it as cultic and move on.

I remember the first time I attended a church where — right in the middle of each service — they would ask for prayer requests and then break into groups of three or four to pray together for anything from five to ten minutes.   The first time, this was difficult for me.   But I knew I had found a church that would challenge me to the core of my being.

I stayed there two years, and only left because it was too extreme for a girl that I wanted to date.  (Yes, I know; we could debate the wisdom of this…)  Some of the people whom I invited to join me for a service there couldn’t handle more than a single week visit.

We want to commit, at least minimally.  We just don’t always want to be totally sold out.  We don’t want to get in too deep.  We don’t want to be one of those people.

To leaders, Francis Chan goes on to say:

Rarely is there a pastor whose character exceeds his reputation. If I were to ask those closest to you about your relationship with God, what would they say? If I were to ask God the same question, what would He say? If your family, friends, and congregation have better things to say about you than God, it’s because you give them that impression. We do this because we can. God gifted us with an ability to communicate. Too often we use this ability not to convey who we are, but who we want others to think we are.  (italics added)

You can read the whole article, “Public Passion vs. Private Devotion” in context on Catalyst.   (HT: Zach)

Francis Chan is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California and the author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God. DVD curriculum is available for both titles.   His third book Fear God releases in July.

About the Blogroll:

This blog has a rather interesting link list in the sidebar.    Blogs mentioned are chosen because they are (a) faith focused and (b) posting regularly.   The doctrinal flavor of the blogs listed is quite varied, but I don’t include blogs that appear to have more “agenda” than content.   Some blogs are listed somewhat permanently, some disappear and return a month later.   Together, they represent almost one third of the bloggers that I have bookmarked in my computer and read regularly.   Some of the blogs appearing in the Wednesday link list end up on this page later on, while others have a key post that I feel is worth mentioning, while at the same time I’m not sure I want to establish them as a link or imply endorsement.  Recommendations are invited.

July 9, 2009

Montreal Jazz Festival Defines Total Commitment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:12 pm

One of the things that constantly strikes me each year when visiting the Montreal Jazz Festival as we did this week, is the number of business, professional and retail companies that are totally displaced for two weeks by this event.   Entire city blocks are shut down, traffic is detoured, and the evening events run quite late and quite loud.

I can’t help but think of the cities where this simply would NOT work.   I’m not sure what compensation is given to these business owners, but I do know that overall, for the entire city, this event brings in major bucks.   So you know that people are going to buy-in to the bigger picture.

Individual people sacrificing their personal freedoms for a greater goal.   This event is a great illustration.   While the music is excellent, and Mrs. W. and I love the free, outdoor concerts; you can’t help see something bigger happening here.

And if people will do this simply for the love of music, what sacrifices might people be willing to make for even higher goals?   Matters of life, death and eternity.    Matters of the heart.   Matters of the soul.  The good news about Jesus Christ.

We who possess this message ought to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it out there.   Even if it means closing city blocks and staying up late into the night.   But in our case, it may call for a different type of sacrifice, and quiet whispers instead of mass events. It may just involve you. Or me.

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