Uncategorized

Likes and the Like

Social media is the thing these days. Everybody has some form of it, probably even your grandmother. 

I’m no exception. I have a Facebook account and a Twitter account. I also keep up with Motion’s Twitter and Facebook, as well as the Vimeo account. I also have some other Facebook pages that I’m responsible for.

Something I obsess over, without even meaning to, is how many likes, followers and friends I have. I never went into it with having X number of likes as a goal, but somehow it’s become a big deal for me. I guess it brings some validation. As if having a certain number of likes on your page means you’re more significant and have more value. It’s really dumb when you think about it. 

I wonder what my life would be like if I was more concerned about what God thinks about me than some cyber buddy? Would I have different priorities, ones that really matter in the grand scheme of things? Would I be more concerned about what the real people that are in my life think? 

It’s easy to get caught up in, speaking from first hand experience. But looking at it from a simple and logical perspective, what is really important? I think we all know the answer to the question. What we do with it is up to us. 

Jimmy’s and Joe’s

I heard a quote last week that was cheesy, but insightful: 

“It’s not about X’s and O’s. It’s about Jimmy’s and Joe’s.”

If you know me, then you know that quote was used in a sports-related context. However, it very much carries over to our efforts as a church. Let me explain. 

The intent of the quote is that what you do isn’t as important as who you do it with. Of course, in a sport this seems obvious. You can have a great system, but if you don’t have the right people to execute the plan then you’re not going to be effective. 

What excites me about this idea is that I’m convinced that we have the right Jimmy’s and Joe’s on our team. God has been so precise in sending exactly what we need as far as skills, talents and personnel.

Sure, I feel like we have a great plan as a church. We have a clear mission to lead people to live and move and have their being in Jesus Christ. But even more important than that, we have the right people to carry out that directive! 

Complete and Utter Domination!

You ever get that feeling that you’re on the verge of something great?

That would pretty much sum up my existence and the hope-filled expectation I have about Motion. I honestly believe that we can change Longview, and I don’t really make any apologies about it. I got a text from my friend Stephen Webb from Elevation in North Carolina the other day that said, “Praying for you now, my friend. Dominate Longview!!” 

I love the strong language. Dominate Longview!! What would that look like? People coming to Jesus and the hope that is only found in Him in droves? Lives being truly transformed by the overwhelming, stunning grace of God? Love controlling and dictating relationships and families? Sounds like something I want to be a part of! 

So in short, let the domination ensue!!

A Little Insight From “The Smartest Man Alive”

Every week at Motion our volunteers have the immense honor of receiving leadership insights from my good friend Daniel Boney, or as we call him, “The Smartest Man Alive”.

A few weeks ago he talked about how to be “pretty sure” you’re in the will of God. I love the way that he set it up. I heard Steven Furtick say one time that they are only 51% sure of anything they do and whether or not it is the right thing. I tend to agree with that. Here are some of the guidelines Dan the Man gave us for being in the Will of God.

1) Prayer- Seems obvious, but it is a great place to start if you are facing a decision or aren’t sure what you are supposed to do with your life. God wants us to pray, and it oftentimes works out that if you listen you will have clearer direction.

2) The Bible- Again seems obvious, but if you’re anything like me it is good to be reminded that the answers that we need to life are usually found in God’s word. Perry Noble said something that was extremely profound with regards to this. “God’s will never contradicts His Word.” If you are doing something that is unbiblical, it’s not God’s will for you.

3) The People Around You- Wisdom is in the multitude of counsel. If everybody you talk to that loves you and is godly thinks your idea is a bad one, there might be something to it. Put your pride aside and hear them out.

4) Gut Check- Sometimes you just “know that you know” what you are supposed to do. I think we’ve all experienced this on some level. Maybe it’s conviction or compelling from the Holy Spirit, but at any rate it’s usually a pretty good indicator.

One closing thought that he gave if you are in limbo about what God’s will and next step for your life is was this: Just keep doing the last right thing until the answer becomes more clear. If you don’t know what to do, keep doing what you’re doing now that is good and seemed to be His will at a previous point until you get more succinct direction about the hope-filled and good future He has for you.

This is just a taste of what we get to enjoy every week at Motion in our Leadership Meetings. A wealth of knowledge indeed.

Work In Progress

So a group of Moxie men and I always hoop it up on Sundays after Motion. It’s literally one of the highlights of my week. I love hangin’ with the guys and running around attempting to look like I know what I’m doing. But, this past week it also reminded me that I am still a work in progress. 

One of the guys that came, who wasn’t part of our group, was being a real jerk. I’m sure you’ve been in situations like this. There is a definitive line between the playful banter of the usual trash talk ilk, and just being a pompous, arrogant _____. I should have ignored it and just let it go. Isn’t that essentially the premise of grace? Giving undeserved kindness? I didn’t. I don’t really even remember what I said, but I know I lost my cool and got entirely too bent out of shape about something, that in the grand scheme of things, is minuscule. 

I felt awful afterward. I felt like I let the guys that I’m trying to lead down in some way. My assumption is that conviction was at work reminding me of the areas I need to improve on. Odds are, you’ve got some of those too. So for those of us who are trying to lead God-honoring lives remember: you fail, you get up, you learn, you get better. 

God loves us right where we are. But He loves us entirely too much to leave us right where we are. He wants to take us to greater depths in our relationship with Him, love for each other, and grace toward the undeserving. 

Works in progress unite!

Moxie Series- Pride Notes

This past week at Motion we talked about how pride is an enemy of Moxie. It is a pretty difficult and daunting subject. Here are the highlights of my notes for anybody that had questions or just wanted to take some more time breaking it down. 

Moxie

Enemies of Moxie- Pride

Intro

Excerpt from Mere Christianity from C.S. Lewis

“I now come to that part of Christian morals where they differ most sharply from all other morals. There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit”

Pride is the greatest enemy of Moxie. As we talked about last week, true moxie only comes from God and confidence in His abilities. 

Pride is an enemy of moxie because it makes an assertion of worth based on your abilities that are finite. If you are your answer for your problems and the solution to all of life’s dilemmas then you are going to come up empty. Then what?

1) Defining Pride

According to Webster pride is a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements. 

Some biblical defining of pride:

Pride is all about you.

Ecclesiastes 7:8- The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. 

Quarrels and contentions. 

Proverbs 13:10- Pride only breeds quarrels… 

Deception/ Manipulation (of yourself or others) 

Obadiah 1:3- The pride of your heart has deceived you…

Forgetting God. 

Deuteronomy 8:14- Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. 

I believe that it would be a safe and fair assessment of pride, within the context of Christianity, to say that pride could be summed up as “an overestimation of ones worth and ability, as exhibited by their words, actions and thoughts”. 

So what does that mean for us? How do we know if we are prideful? 

The question should never be “Am I prideful?”, rather, “How much pride do I have?” and, “Where does it rear its ugly head?”

I completely agree with C.S. Lewis’ analysis of pride. Everyone has it to varying degrees. And we typically do a really poor job noticing it in ourselves, but an incredible job noticing it in others. 

The good news is that therein lies our answer and the definition of our own pride. 

It’s usually the variety of pride that we find so appalling in others that is at work in us.

This was aptly displayed in a tweet I saw from a guy that I follow on Twitter. He said ,”I got an email today that was very prideful. I asked for forgiveness. #takesonetoknowone

The trick for us is to do the difficult task of nailing down and defining the areas of pride in our life. 

Ways to do that: 

a) Call the glaring pride issues in your life what they are. Don’t rename it or mask it. 

b) What aspect of pride that you see in others drives you nuts? That may be a place for you to start your investigative journey. 

c) Ask some of the people that are closest to you. The people that you love and that love you know you best. Don’t be defensive, but allow them to be honest if you ask for their opinion. 

Defining pride and working on minimizing its effect in our lives is crucial because of its destructive nature. 

2) The Devastating Effect of Pride

The nature of pride is destructive. Where it exists, it destroys. 

Proverbs 16:18- Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. 

Pride has detrimental consequences on the most important areas of our lives. 

a) It is destructive to our earthly relationships. 

This should go without saying, but just to make sure that we are on the same page, love is the driving force of our relationships. 

If you have pride it has a direct, negative impact on your ability to love. 

1 Corinthians 13:4- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

When we have pride we are really just disrupting the balance found in Scriptures. 

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

b) It is destructive to our relationship with God. 

James 4:7- God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 

Pride diminishes the astonishing work of Christ on the cross and exalts our own restricted self-sufficiency. 

This one goes waaay back. Ezekiel 28:17 “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.”

Pride is what led to what we refer to as the “Fall of Lucifer”. Ultimately, it was his pride that drove a wedge in His otherwise healthy relationship with God. The more he became enamored by his beauty and his value and his intelligence the more animosity it created between him and God. 

It’s really no different for us, it just may look a little different. Overestimating your ____, and not recognizing the Source and honoring Him as such is pride. 

Just for the sake of clarification, you can’t compensate for the sin of pride with appreciation. Ex. “God, thank You that I am so awesome!” Doesn’t work like that. 

3) Overcoming Pride

We never want to present a problem without presenting some sort of solution. 

Here are some practical ways to overcome pride in your life. 

a) Be honest with yourself. 

Don’t be blinded to your own shortcomings and areas of weakness. 

As we discussed in the “Defining Pride”, if you need help with this then enlist the assistance of a trusted, godly friend. 

b) Put others first. 

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for you own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 

Andy Stanley says that sometimes we want to change our way of thinking before we change our behavior. However, it may be more beneficial to go at it the other way around. Change your behavior first and then your thinking may follow suit. 

Go out of your way to put others first with behaviors. Open doors, pick up trash, carry their stuff, buy them things they like, do their chores at home, do their menial tasks at work, etc. Do this with out any expectation of something in return. 

c) Celebrate other people.

Then tendency of pride is to “one-up”. 

When somebody else accomplishes something or has something happen in their life that is significant, celebrate rather than compete. 

Don’t spin everything so that it brings the attention back on you. 

Romans 12:15,16- Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 

Closing

Pride is without a doubt the greatest enemy of Moxie. 

Overestimating your worth and ability, and down playing the need for Jesus in every aspect of your life is detrimental to true Moxie. 

Recognizing that you are utterly and completely helpless without the grace and mercy of God is a key ingredient in the Moxie recipe. 

 

Reading Material

I absolutely love to read! One of the conversations that comes up regularly is about what books I’m reading, or what books I recommend. So I decided to put it out here for all to see what I’ve read recently, am currently reading and plan on reading next, as well as my quick synopsis of each book.

Recently Read

Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick- A great book about audacious faith and having a personal vision for your life that believes God for bigger things than just the American dream. Very inspiring!

Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley- This guy is by far one of my favorite writers/ pastors/ communicators. In this book he talks about 4 things that can potentially poison your heart to the detriment of your relationships. Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy are all confronted head on. My favorite thing about Andy Stanley is that he always gives practical, nuts and bolts solutions to the problems that are presented.

Currently Reading 

Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler- I actually just started a day ago, but so far so good. His writing style is clever and the language is somewhat advanced so I don’t think it will be an easy read. If you want something to put by the bed at night this probably isn’t it. If you’re a disciplined reader and take the time to retain the details then this seems like it’s going to be a good one.

On Deck

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis- I actually started reading this a year or so ago, but I have a bad habit of trying to read 2 or 3 books at a time. I was trying to juggle a couple and this one didn’t make the cut. I’ll read it all by itself this time.

There you have it. Do with it what you would like.

A Recent Interview

I recently did an interview for a paper with one of the Motion guys, Ryne Powell to be exact, that is a student at Letourneau. He killed it! Here it is:

“As the young boy sat cross-legged only inches from the television screen, his eyes widened to the size of saucers while he watched Spiderman fight crime. Spiderman was his role model; he was strong, he took down bad guys, and he could race through a town swinging from building to building! This young boy wanted to be just like Spiderman because of all his tremendous traits and abilities—Spiderman had it all! However, role models do not always have to be super heroes like Spiderman. They can be anyone: a teacher, a best friend, or someone you just met. A true role model possesses noticeable qualities that others would like to haveRole models tend to inspire those around them to be better people.
          As we get older and our values change, who we view as our role models can also change. The desire to fight crime and soar through the air on spider webs fades once we become wiser and begin to grasp the greater meaning of life. The young boy obsessed with Spiderman was me. Spiderman was my role model. As I have become older and have found value in living a Christian life and serving others, I have been blessed to have a new role model to look up to—a man who possesses qualities and traits that I too wish to possess—a man by the name Chris Reid.
          Though it might sound cliché, I want to be like Chris when I get older. Chris is the type of guy you look at and say, “He’s got it going on!” As the father of two children, a husband, and a proud servant of God, Chris works hard every day to serve those around him—watching Chris go out of his way to serve others is more than inspiring.  Sometimes, people get the idea that Christians do not have very much fun; I believe one of the reasons God placed Chris on the earth is to prove these people wrong. Chris also carries about him a sense of welcoming. Although I have only really known him for a couple months now, I know that I can talk to Chris about any issue that I am struggling with; he is an extraordinary friend. Whether he is with a group of guys eating lunch in the park or, up on the alter preaching on Sunday mornings, Chris makes sure that everyone around him is having a good time.
          Though Chris cherishes his family and friends greatly, his passion is obvious—the Church. Chris is one of the most prominent Christian men I have ever met in my entire life. As a preacher at Motion Church in Longview, Texas, Chris has dedicated his life to bringing light into the eyes of non-believers. Chris struggled with the idea of starting Motion Church, but with the support from his family and his extreme obedience to follow his Lord, Jesus Christ, Chris has successfully led many people to the Lord through his commitment to be a preacher.
Chris once told me that he would like to be remembered as, “the guy who finished what he started.” Chris encouraged me to consider the same goal by sharing with me a very inspiring quote: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Any time I feel as if I cannot finish something I have started because of an obstacle in my path, I just remember this motivating statement. Seeing a man, Chris, love God more than he loves himself has been very inspirational in my life.”
That’s humbling.

Quick Hit: Don’t Follow Your Heart

One phrase that dominates talk shows and self help books is “follow your heart”.

As followers of Jesus we need to think about that before we act. Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Well that changes things a little bit, unless of course you want to go down a deceitful, wicked path. I’m assuming that’s not our goal.

I think we would be better served to start with this well-known verse as a foundation. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

The way this breaks down for us is really simple. It’s not our heart that we need to trust. If we are honest with ourselves we would be willing to admit that our heart’s tendency is to stray. Like the old song… “though my heart is prone to wander”. What we need to trust, actually Who in this case, is the Lord that has our heart. Trust Him, not your heart. Believe that He will lead you the way that you should go.

We’ll wrap this up with a great quote that has been resonating in my melon lately:

“God takes full responsibility of the life that is fully devoted to Him.” 

Dealing With Failure

People process negative situations differently. We have diverse responses to adversity. However, there should be one thing we have in common:

We should all maintain the right perspective in the face of failure.  

Our understanding of struggles will appropriate our response to them. Our comprehension of seasons and issues that cause difficulty as temporal in light of eternity will help us keep on mission. We can get knocked down, but because we have purpose we get up. We can get detoured by circumstances, but because we know where we are going we get back on track. 

This is something that is personal for me. I have a tendency to internalize mistakes and shortcomings. I would be well-served to drink my own Kool-Aid when it comes to this.

We can do one of two things when it comes to dealing with failure. We can allow it to beat us down and weigh on us way longer than it should or we can get up off the ground, knock the dust off and get back to living the full, real life we were intended to live in Christ.

The appealing option is clear. The choice is ours. Let’s make the God-honoring choice of keeping our eyes on Him.