Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Art of Vision

Leadership comes in many forms. A  good leader always demands a clear understanding of the question ...where are we going? But drill down even one fathom deeper than that. How does one have a foreknowledge of ...where are we going... in the first place? These are questions for business, for the church, for marriage, for family, for individuals, for life.

I am, admittedly, poor at the mechanics of visual art. Yet, I can observe this much. A true artist can create something from nothing. He or she has a vision for what is to be, and is not hindered by ...what is. A desirable characteristic.  Either he was "led" to this vision of another (good leadership) or he envisioned himself (saw something not yet there). Both qualities are needed in life. Sometimes these characteristics are co-mingled in one person. Probably more often... they are contained by individuals strong in each respective area. Therein, is another topic of "teamwork".

Because a picture is worth a thousand words ...the art in this video seems to  speak this truth clearly.

It had to be, that step one in being able to create, like this, was to know where he was going before he ever began. And to know the answer to  ...where are we going... requires seeing something that isn't currently there. May we practice the craft, the art, of vision, and leadership, through this lens.

~Steve Terrell

Friday, July 29, 2016

Life Giver

"I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life." - Psalm 119:93

This falls under the same idea as Wednesday's blog-post. Referring to the idea that... "I didn't create me." But whoever did must care. Otherwise, why would he bother? I believe that someone to be our Father God, as scripture states him to be. If the Father provides rules (natural, inferred, or explicitly stated) then I am persuaded this is for my good. So, I will not forget, because You, my Lord, truly are the giver of life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Foundational Faith

"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." - Hebrews 11:3

I find that when supporting the idea, the evidence, that God created all things ...I usually summarize with this statement. "Well, I didn't create me." That is a known fact. I have no such power. And if that is true, then the next logical conclusion is that an intelligent designer created me. And if that is true, then it is quite simple, and plausible, to conclude ...this same designer could establish the Son of Man, through which eternal security was established. Do I know, per any concrete evidence, that God is who He says He is, through His inspired word? My response is echoed in Hebrews 11:3. Faith is not wishful thinking. It is solid, conclusive thinking. Deductive reasoning, based on the evidences made obvious through creation (Romans 1:20). If God created all, then a miraculous, sinless, life-giving Jesus is not a leap for me.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Only By His Power & My Surrender

We are a work in progress. Not our own progress, mind you. But the Lord's. Living life as a follower of Christ is fairly simple (not to be confused with easy). God gives the beautiful choice to surrender and obey, or to have our own way.

OBEY GOD -we have zero hope of any form of Godliness, until we humble ourselves, obey, and submit to Him.

BE HOLY - this ONLY follows obedience. Forget what you see, in the world, betrayed as "holy". Christians are set apart, and for God's service. Yes, work and sacrifice on our part (with full joy), but only possible because we, first, SURRENDERED!

"So they listened to the word of the Lord..." (2 Chronicles 11:4)

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age" (Titus 2:11-12)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gloves Off

The truth about it all. Curtains pulled back, guard dropped. Please understand (those who will take offense quickly on this) my heart of hearts. We get it. The world has made it crystal-clear, that the good ol' days of a basic respect for "the Christian" are well over. I like the honesty better anyway. Truly! I am very happy... for sake of honesty, mutual respect, communication, and friendship ...that people confront me / us with hard, strong questions like... "what kind of loving God would send, or even allow, people to an eternal hell?" That is a much better question than the many, many other vague, lifeless questions we (the church) have possibly enabled in. In our defense... we were really trying to be nice. Too nice, as it turns out. I apologize for that. Believe me when I tell you ...most of us would rather not get wrapped up in the heavy-felt, burdensome, this-is-how-you-lose-a-friend ...topic of "the Christian belief and way". Me? I'm a little warped. Lol. To that point... I'll also let you know... I have a little interest in some over-intellectualized, all religions are the same, all mean nothing,, feaux-equity attitude of.... "hey, let me believe what I want, while I snub my nose at your foolish Christian beliefs" ..attitude. Most definitely... you have the absolute "right" to feel that way, and or behave that way. I just fear that we are already incommunicato. My point is... I don't wanna' spar. Maybe a little. I don't wanna' rob you of your freedoms to live your life as you choose. Right the opposite, in fact. I absolutely support that notion. I also answer to a holy, just, loving God who supports the same. He taught me my own attitude toward the matter. This holy, just, loving God loves you and I so much that He won't force His love on you. He'll simply offer it. You are truly FREE. That is the good news. Free not to take it. That is His design. But it isn't His desire. Some will, again, intellectualize that very statement. Let's save one another the trouble of debate. Life's too short. I can't say it any other way, or be more convincing. God loves you... period. Murderer, rapist, good guy/girl, jihadist, thief, bank president, Rotary Club member, cute mommy of three, prostitute, homeless, spoiled brat, and even those who just will not believe in such an asinine thing as an eternal God of the universe, who hates sin, but loves me. By the way... when you hyper-smart people can provide no-argument evidence that we just evolved from some sort of  nothing ...I'll ditch God and join you, I guess. Though there would be nothing to join huh?. Meanwhile, I must continue to live by faith. A much easier faith for me to swallow. We're all in this together, folks. The list previously mentioned. I don't / can't hate you ..unless I just hate myself. And I do not. I can't think I'm better than you. That's an old trick isn't it? I'm not better. Way easy to demonstrate and prove it. And I will if you ask. THAT is also precisely why I can love you enough to be honest about this whole Jesus thing. Hard to believe those bible stories isn't it? Yup, I get it. And you won't believe it ...until you just take the plunge of faith. Sounds like a "here, drink this kool-aid" statement doesn't it? Lol. I totally understand that feeling, that skepticism. Dunno' what else to tell you though. It's a trust issue. We are not weirdos; at least any more so than we would be if not following Christ. We're not all perfect people either. Some un-believers are even more moral. Just the ttuth, sadly. Might as well be honest about it. It isn't changing. I'm not wanting to waste your time debating morality, freedom of religious belief, whether investing in the stock market is good or bad, sweet or unsweet tea, etc. No. I want you to experience the same "love of Christ" that has flooded my very being. I also want you to have the freedom not to. I love you for that. I support that! Until you crave that sort of freedom ...I'm not terribly sure you can truly follow Christ. Arguable, I guess. I won't treat you any differently. But I "will" be honest with you, because I DO love you. And the only reason I can even love that much ...is because this big, mean God loves me that much. So, I'm kinda' done being a careful Christian. You should really be tired of that too. I wanna go ride my motorcycle, and I mean like a LOT! I wanna play my guitar really loud (I'll respect your ears though), because these things are simply "me". And I want you to be you! Isn't that great! It's beautiful! And the God I follow designed it. But love your neighbor like yourself, and right behind loving God. True freedom. It's what we all want, but live in a fear-mongering world, who wishes to rob that. In the most Christian language I can muster... to Hell with that noise! My faith is not perfect. It doesn't have to be. I'm not accurate in all my doctrine, though I work as hard as I can to be. It is not a requirement of the faith. No time, personally, for the perfect people. You intimidate me and offend me. Both because you think you are, and because you are dishonest and dillusional to get there. But I kinda get it. I'm really no better anyway. I just have different issues. THAT is why Jesus died as He did. Because we just can't be perfect. So, He perfected for us. True love. True freedom. Do you wanna' be free?

Steve Terrell

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Faulty Faith

Why would we, why do we, so easily place our security in the "things of the world", albeit things we can touch, reference, etc. Surely, we KNOW that these, too, are perishable things, dying things? There is some sense of security (false, as it may be) in familiar things, things we can see, touch, or know someone who, very recently, has.

"And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham."
(Matthew 3:9 ESV)

John the Baptist, this wiley, kinda' wild, unorthodox, outcast of a character says it right... "So you have Abraham as your father. That's great. Can he secure your eternity?" I wonder,  did they ever ask, and really consider... who was Abraham's faith in?

God used Abraham in an amazing way. He is part of God's story. Frankly, I'd like his autograph. But he's NOT God!

What faith do you place your eternal answer in? Warren Wiersbe said it best.... "Like Nicodemus in John 3, they stumbled at the truth that they needed to be born again." There's the problem! Recognizing, admitting, that we are needy.

John continues, with more of what I call "spiritual common sense"...
"Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
(Matthew 3:10 ESV)

I have to quote Wiersbe again... "the root determines the fruit". It's not about what we can do to impress God. We cannot. But, we don't have to. Instead, with our faith rightly established, in the One who does affect our eternity, we will "then" bare fruit that is worth sharing.

Steve Terrell

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our Most Basic Calling

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
(Romans 1:20 ESV)

I cannot read this truth enough. I struggled with the idea of... "a calling". That is ...knowing if, what, or when God has called me to...  something, anything! Catch-phrases and church-speak, though surely well intended, often create confusion. Too, we (the recipient) must take some blame for this confusion ...and each individual, to be sure, must take responsibility for his own thoughts and understandings. A mentor once summed it up for me. He said... "You are not called to a vocation, or to be this or that. This is God calling you back to Himself." I grew to understand that what he was saying was... whatever we do, and by what means we do them, are free choices God has given us. True for both redeemed and the lost. Faith in Him "drives" our decision of "why" we do!

Whatever else, whatever to-dos, or things we conclude God has asked us to ...there is a most basic calling on each of us. BELIEVE! With belief, through faith, our journey begins.

I love what Paul expresses in his letter to the church in Rome. There is simply no good excuse not to believe, in this most basic way. Just open the front door and look around. Yes, there is war, and rumor of war. There are homeless, sick, needy. Yet.... consider what just happened in your body. You took a breath, then exhaled it. PRAISE GOD! This is what Paul was expressing! He wasn't being rude, or snarky. Simply saying... come on folks... be reasonable! Who is the base cause of that breath? I can find no excuse. Awesome, mighty, living, loving, Creator, God! And when we take our final breath ...know this too, is in God's ultimate plan. Paul also stated this perfectly. " For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

Know, believe, Jesus.

Steve Terrell