Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Feels Like A Ferris Wheel

It never ceases to amaze me how far the pendulum of emotions can swing in just the course of a day. Yesterday was one of those days when the pendulum felt more like a ferris wheel, rolling through a range of emotions in what seemed to be an endless cycle.

At the top of the day I felt anticipation about what was ahead. As morning turned to mid-day I found myself becoming anxious about all that was yet to be accomplished. I felt frustration from a sore back and a bit of anger as my chiropractor attempted to "adjust" me :|. I felt sadness when I spoke with a friend who is losing a business in which his whole life is invested.

As the day faded into evening, I felt apprehension as I drove the bus (it's a BIG responsibility and a BIG bus!) full of Skipstone basketball players to Loganville for a game. I felt compassion as one of our Skipstone parents faced a family crisis and asked to be dropped off to minister to his family. I felt empathy and regret as Shondi shared an email with me from a parent who was upset that we had not ministered to their family in the loss of a loved one (which we weren't aware of). I felt joy as I watched our kids (both our natural and "adopted" ones) take the court. I felt anger when I saw our kids subjected to unsportsmanlike play. I felt rage when it became apparent that the officials were not going to call a fair game. I felt pride as our Skipstone kids took the high road and "fleshed out" Matthew 7:12 (do unto others) instead of surrendering to the flesh (kids are awesome teachers aren't they?).

As we loaded up to head home, I felt joy as I read a post on Facebook from a Skipstone mom who was thankful for the ministry she received from the school during a recent illness. I felt excitement as our leadership team finalized plans for an upcoming fundraising event. I felt disillusionment as Shondi fielded a call from a parent who was facing a situation with their child that is a parent's worst nightmare.

As we neared home, the cycle started again. I felt anticipation when I learned that a new student was coming to Skipstone. I felt anxious for rest as my body grew tired from the day. I felt.......

Sometimes I think we forget the incredible opportunities that we encounter every day to minister to people. It's easy to get so wrapped up in our own little world that we hardly notice what is happening in anyone else's life. Shame on us for devoting so much of our energy to OURSELVES!

I know that if I'm riding this "ferris wheel" every day, then every person I encounter is riding it as well. What an awesome opportunity to serve and minister to people, not from some elevated "super saint" position, but from a fellow brother who was just sitting in that "seat" a few minutes ago and knows "the feeling".

The longer I live the more I'm convinced that most Christians care far more about "doing" than "being". While there is nothing wrong with "doing" something for God, it pales in comparison to "being" like Jesus. We can "do" something for God without "being" like Jesus, but if we choose to make "being like Jesus" the priority of our lives, the "doing" just comes as a natural result. It's the difference between impacting and just surviving. It's not a choice of good or bad, but a choice of good or best... I want God's BEST for my life!

So what does "being like Jesus" look like in our everyday lives? I think this passage from I John 3:18 sums it up pretty well..... "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

Wanna change your world? STOP talking and START walking!

Whatever It Takes,

Monday, January 25, 2010

UFOs and Alien Encounters

I am blessed to have so many people in my life who continue challenging me to stay close and clean in my walk with Jesus. Shondi, our children, the staff at Skipstone, my close friends, and my spiritual heroes all play a role in my spiritual development. I honestly can't imagine (and wouldn't want to) how different my walk might be if I wasn't sharing the journey with those that love me.

In recent weeks, God has allowed some things to pop up on my spiritual radar that have been the equivalent of a "UFO" experience for me. I know.... it makes me just as nervous to write that as it makes you to read it. I'm not going off the deep end (I hope) and I haven't seen a UFO, but I am stunned, shaken up, perplexed, and honestly a little apprehensive (ok, a LOT) about the things that God has been showing me lately.

I wish I was at liberty to share the details now, but then you guys would just go around saying that I had an "alien encounter" or something like that! In all seriousness, this encounter has nothing to do with UFOs and aliens, but everything to do with surrendering more and more of my life to His will and His way.

While I consider myself a guy who enjoys thinking and ministering "outside the box", this calling (not sure that is the best description) has caused me to reconsider the DNA of "the box" itself. In other words, I'm not certain that I have shared God's perspective of what biblical ministry looks like. It's certainly been a time of stretching and surrendering for me to consider that my ministry has been shaped far more by my own ideas, conceptions, and experiences than by divine instruction and total (seemingly foolish) surrender to the word of God and the will of God.

Some would make the point that God's hand has obviously been on the ministry of Skipstone, so how could I possibly raise this question. Others would say that we should just be thankful and content with what God has done and rest in that. I am the first to shout praises for God's blessings on Skipstone and thankfulness for allowing me to be a part of it. I agree that He has been faithful and that it's obvious that His hand is on the ministry here. I'm also the first to admit that what has happened has been in spite of, not because of, us!

The question is "would this ministry look any different if I surrendered everything I thought I knew about what ministry should look like? What if I focused on surrendering "the box" as opposed to ministering "outside the box"?"

For the first time in my life, I feel as though God is calling me to do something that "I HAVE to do" instead of something that "I WANT to do". My ramblings certainly can't describe all of the feelings that come with that realization!

I am asking those who love me to walk down this road with me. Pray for spiritual eyes and ears for me to be able to discern exactly what God would have me to know and to do. Pray for my heart to be open and receptive to every prompting of the Holy Spirit. Pray for obedient hands and feet to move at His command. Pray for a hedge of protection around my life and for faith that is not so easily intimidated by fear and doubt. Most importantly, pray for a posture of complete surrender for me.

"He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light. But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living." Job 28:11-13

Whatever It Takes,
Chip Moody

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Am Your Problem

HE is not your problem, I am. SHE is not your problem, I am. THEY are not your problem, I am. IT is not your problem, I am. My name is FLESH and I am your problem. I demand all of your attention. I can never be satisfied. I have my rights. I live for pleasure and despise pain. I refuse to be quiet. I am demanding, impatient, and controlling. I am not intimidated by anything..... except the power of the Holy Spirit, which forever fights for my territory and for the throne of my kingdom. Make no mistake, I am no stranger to war and I will not retreat quietly. My strategy is simple..... seemingly insignificant battles in which my adversary finds it easier to surrender than to fight. The more territory I gain, the harder it will be for anyone to defeat me. I am flanked by my allies of sin and fear, but my name is FLESH and I am your problem. If you plan to battle me, you'd best not come alone!

Chip Moody