Archives For life

Life ChangeBig events and moments are wonderful to experience and be a part of. That conference, missions trip or huge community outreach event that you are a part of has the ability to emotionally charge you up and bring excitement to your life. But once it is over, what then?

Before you misunderstand what I am about to say, let me be clear: I like BIG events! I go to conferences and have big events held by my church for our community. I love missions trips and think that everyone should go on at least one – preferably while they are young! So I am not against the annual events or large scale experiences that you can be a part of.

Those conferences and missions trips can bring about life-change in a person, but the reality is this: Real life-change is a day by day process. You may be motivated by a large event or experience to change your life, but the proof of that is played out as you make decisions each and every day that validate the life-change you are making.

In other words, don’t just tell me you want to be closer to God because of that experience you just had, do something to make it happen! What good is it to say you want a closer relationship with God, but yet you will not take the time to read His Word and pray. Don’t tell me you love the people on the mission field you just went to, but yet you do not serve on a consistent basis loving people in your local church ministry or loving people you rub shoulders with every day.

Real life change is evidenced in the way you live each and every day. Small deposits, made on a consistant basis, bring great change!

It is just like working out. You cannot go to the gym one time, for five hours, and think it will do much for you. But go ten times for 30 minutes and you will start to see results!

Real life change is the result of consistant deposits into that which brings about the change that you are looking for.

Start changing your life – one day at a time!

We are now about 3 months into our “not on a church staff” journey.  There have moments that have been intensely difficult for me, and moments that have been very refreshing.  I am really focused on learning what God has for me to learn during this time of “wandering” (so to say).  I know that God has a plan…

I have no intention of staying out of “full-time” ministry.  In fact, I am more convinced of my call than ever. Even if it is not full time right now, I am serving Him and trying to make a difference in the lives of people that I come in contact with.  By the way, that is the call on all of our lives as Christ followers.  We are to help others take their next steps towards Christ, and to advance God’s Global Glory!

I am being very transparent here.  So as you read this, I hope it helps you rather than makes you think less of me.  (Not that what people think of me matters, I am focused on what God thinks.)

  • There have been moments that I have just wept at the fact that I am not going into the office every day to serve in a church in a full-time capacity.  It is easy to take God’s call on your life for-granted.  If you are serving God in full time ministry, be thankful of that, and count it as a blessing.  You are in a position to have great impact and influence on the lives of people. Use that wisely.
  • It can be difficult to juggle my work life and my church life, but it can be done.  You can have a job and still attend service and be involved in a ministry.  You just have to make it a priority.  Being in this position has allowed me to see that it can be difficult, but also that it can be done.  You can be as involved serving in ministry as you want to be.
  • My wife and kids mean more to me than they ever have.  The situation that we find ourselves in at the moment is far from ideal or what we had planned for our lives at this stage, but I am so proud of the way that Jennifer and the kids have responded. They are a great gift from God to me!
  • This is a time of great growth for me.  Things that I have done for 20 years are taking on new meaning and shape in my life. Songs that sung have more meaning than ever. The teaching of God’s Word is transforming me more than ever.  Relationships  that I have with people are more precious.  My focus to reach people is more clear.  God is shaping me into what I need to be for Him.  I relish that change and pray that it continues.
  • I love doing life with my wife.  She works so hard and has such a great attitude about our “wilderness.”  She inspires me and keeps me focused, especially on my “low” days.  What a gift I have in her!

I have no idea how long this “wilderness wandering” will last for us.  I am not even so sure I should call it that, because even though I may think of it as wandering, God has a great plan.  He is faithful, and will teach us what we need to learn in this stage.  I am leaning into that big time!

I Want To Be In On It!

Jason Petermann  —  February 25, 2010 — 1 Comment

As I was reading through some older posts from blogs that I follow (using Evernote… love that app!), I came across a post from Mark Beeson that had this Scripture in it.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 –  “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”

I love the way that “The Message” puts it here! Look at what he says:

  • “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people…” I am free, yet I voluntarily place myself under the preferences and expectations of others, so that I might reach them.  Most of us (I am speaking to myself here!) spend more time defending our rights than we do trying to reach people.
  • “…nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized…” Most of these types of people are people I was taught all my life to stay away from because they would ruin me.  Funny thing is, these are the very people Jesus sought to have a relationship with.
  • “—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view.” Where did we ever get the idea that we were to stay out of the world?  That thought never came out of Jesus’ mouth.  In fact, He prayed “Father, I don’t ask you to take my followers out of the world, but keep them safe from the evil one.” and “I am sending them into the world, just as you sent me.” (John 17)  That kind of sounds like the opposite of what a lot of churches teach today.
  • “I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ” It is possible, as Paul says here to be in the world, but keep your bearings in Christ.  In fact, it is expected of us to do that!  Is that not what living the Christian life is all about? People outside of the church are not looking for holier than thou, perfect people.  They are looking for real people, with real struggles who just happen to have found all the answers they were looking for in a relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.  That is what makes impact.  That is what gives influence!
  • “I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.” Wow!  I have no where near become “about every type of servant there is…” to reach people.  Lord, give me the humility to serve people better… whatever it takes!
  • “I did all this because of the Message.” We have the most important message that there is to share.  The influence of the message in our life should compel us to take it to others.
  • I didn’t just want to talk about  it; I wanted to be in on it!” People outside of the church are tired of people inside the church talking.  They want to see us doing and being!  As Christ-followers, we need to realize that all of our talk is no match for a life lived for Him.  We need to live a life that says we are in on it!

I want to be in on it!  How about you?

Continuing on with some quotes from Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase:
I am going to use two quotes here this morning.  The first is from Mark as he writes,

“…God seems to be far less concerned with where I am going than with who I’m becoming.  I think some of us want to know the will of God more than we want to know God.”

It is not easy to focus more on the process than it is the destination. Dreams, goals and vision that God gives you are certainly good to have, but God is more concerned with who you are becoming than He is in your achieving anything.  It is not easy for me to write that, because I do want to know what the end result of my journey is gong to be.  I want to know where I will end up, and when I will get there.  And yes, God is interested in that as well, but if I get to the end and have learned nothing about God in the process, what have I really gained?  Nothing!  The journey is where we get to know God.  It is where He works and shows Himself strong.

Mark then quotes Oswald Chambers:

“The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident.  What we call the process, God calls the end.  His purpose is that I depend in Him and on His power now.  It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.”

Wow.  Just read that and let it sink in a bit.  We think that the goal achieved, the desire accomplished, the status attained is what it is all about. Really, it is about how we get there, and how our relationship with God grows in the process.

So, what are you concerned with?  Going… or Becoming?

Two of my girls decided to go out and have a little fun in the snow (for me snow and fun do not go together!) They thought that our lab Riley must have been a sled dog in a former life as she pulled them along…