Commitment

(Sort-of-random thoughts at 30,000 feet with a lot of free time on my hands…)

It takes minutes to make paper fly; to build something capable of carrying you long distances takes months, and a lot of helpful, smart people.  The same is true with your important dreams – and your character.

You were created with the language of Forever in your heart, and nothing else will satisfy.

“I will” spoken with resolve has power, but your resolve will be tested and the limits of your willpower will be exposed.

You were not born with the wisdom and capacity to wait, but wisdom and reward waits for those who learn to.

God created the world for you, not you for the world – but He does hold you accountable for leaving it better than you found it.

A thousand opportunities dance before those whose eyes are open to see them.  Ten thousand chances pass by those too lost in fear or consuming to notice them.

Summers are God’s way of showing that you don’t have to be in a classroom to learn.

I just saw a man express his gratitude by giving up his first class seat to a woman… who happened to be wearing a United States Army uniform.  I wonder how I can say thank-you to somebody today.

I will always respect the one who can wait (there’s that word again) with discipline, but then decisively act with courage.

I’m not so sure that God has a plan for you so much as God has a plan period and invites you to participate joyfully in it… Or bruise yourself on it. [click to continue…]

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Frankford and 82nd.  Sitting at the light.  Laura Kate (age almost-3) and I have been on an adventure.  And she is about to ask me a very important question.  But first, a slight rewind…

“Laura Kate, first we’ll go to the grocery store.  Then we’ll go by Grammy’s office and pick up some prizes she has for you.”

“That’s an awesome plan,” she says.

In between, she learns six (count ‘em) verses of an Easter song her uncle Joel and I wrote when he wasn’t much older than she is now.  Which brings us to the traffic light near our house on the way home.

“Papa,” says the voice in the back seat.  “Are you growed up?”

“What did you say?” I reply.  “Am I growed up?”

“Yes,” she says, very seriously.

“Yeah,” I mutter.  “I’m growed up.”

“Yay, Papa!  You did it!

Sometimes I wonder.

I wish it was that easy to claim maturity.  Sometimes I think I’m still a kid when it comes to such things.  And sometimes I feel, well, old.  But there’s a difference between growing up and growing old.  Peter Pan and his Lost Boys were only half right.

It’s OK to be a baby when you’re still a baby.  But there comes a time when the word of God and the world of people come together to shout, “Grow up!” After addressing the Corinthians as a pack of carnal children, Paul writes to the Ephesians that “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

How do you measure your maturity?  How do you know when you’re growing and when you’re floundering?  Let me hasten to say that maturity isn’t found in big words or fat bank accounts, or your ability to make babies or get a job (although keeping a job may impress a few people).

In gauging your maturity level, I have found five things that act as measuring rods for progress.  You are as mature as: [click to continue…]

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A couple of years ago I played around with the idea that maybe there are spiritual gifts – those unusual abilities that are so beyond-the-natural they had to come from the Holy Spirit – that aren’t mentioned in the Bible. The possibilities included gifts such as the gift of dogs, cough, receiving, and criticism.  You can find the whole list here.   

Good news, friends!  The SGC (that’s Spiritual Gifts Commissary for you uninitiated) has announced a fresh, lively shipment of new models for 2011.  I feel most certain you know at least one person with each of these. And who knows?  Your search for understanding of your own supernatural endowments just may end right here. 

Here in no certain order (except alphabetical), are ten MORE spiritual gifts you won’t find in the Bible… but maybe-just-maybe, when the Spirit (or something) is moving, you’ll see these manifestations: [click to continue…]

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What are you going to do with the resurrection of Jesus?

Let’s assume for a minute that you actually believe it.  That three days after He was crucified, He actually rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

Now what?

I guess you and I have to decide where to file that.  We can be part of the 380.  Or we can be part of the 120. [click to continue…]

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A Dance of Promises: A Scripture Symphony

by Andy Wood on January 10, 2010

in Uncategorized

Raised HandsI am the Lord, and there is no other;

apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

though you have not acknowledged Me, 

I will sing of Your strength,

in the morning I will sing of Your love;

for You are my fortress,

my refuge in times of trouble. 

Call upon Me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

My goodness and love will follow you all the days of your life,

and you will dwell in My house forever. 

I will lie down and sleep in peace,

for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. 

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,

the ends of the earth your possession.  [click to continue…]

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Carved into the side of one of my favorite places in the world – Deer Bluff, near the family farm in Alabama… 

That brings up a thought:

Ever seen something like this carved in a rock or a tree (or written on a bathroom wall or somebody’s notebook)?

J.S. + E.J. = Tru Luv 4 Ever.

Without bothering to even ask whether you ever wrote something like that, I wonder where J.S. and E.J. are now?  I wonder how “tru” their “luv” is today?  I wonder if “4 Ever” really meant 4 days, or 4 weeks?  

Then again, who knows?  J.S. and E.J. may be J.S. and E.S. today, with four kids, three pets, two cars, and a nice mortgage.  Maybe there was more than just “4” in their “4 Ever.”

Forever.  Yet another of those charming words we overuse and undervalue.  Often said in the extremes of emotion, for many of us “forever” only means until we calm down or come up for air.  And yet we do live in a world of certainties, where words like “forever” and “always” really mean something.  Trouble is, because of the ways we so often water it down, sometimes we lose the force of forever when it’s the real thing. [click to continue…]

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The Underground Project

by Andy Wood on September 25, 2009

in Turning Points

PoliceLights2You up for a little side trip?  This one rolls down Memory Lane in a church bus with papered-up windows, wide-eyed teenagers, and me in handcuffs in the back of a police car.  This is the (true) story of what happens when non-planning randomizers like me actually take the time to plan something.  This is the story of The Underground Project.

Once upon a time (hey, I said it was a story), I was a youth pastor in Lumberton, Mississippi.  I was fairly new, and school had just let out for summer.  For the folks at First Baptist Church, that meant one thing:  Vacation Bible School.  And I was expected to have something each night for the youth group.  So I planned to do something unique and special each evening.  Can’t remember which night it was for sure – I think it was Tuesday.  But on the promotional information, I said very little.  I just said come later – at 8:30 – for The Underground Project.

Use your imagination.  Be an energetic teenager in a small, south Mississippi town in the early summer.  You arrive at the church to see a painted sign attached to the chain link fence that says, Closed by Order of the State.  (What’s funny about that is that the old church building actually had a bad flood/mold problem and had been ordered closed within a year or so.)

Ex-pec-tant and excited, you enter the fellowship hall, where you are asked to have a seat and wait for instructions.  Then in groups of 6 or 7, you are invited into a room.  There I explain that I have some important information for you. [click to continue…]

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