Motion

Monday Morning Quarterback

If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “Monday Morning Quarterback”, I’ll gladly enlighten you. By definition it is a person who, after the event, offers advice or criticism concerning decisions made by others; one who second-guesses.

I always feel a little like this the day after we have our experiences at Motion. When things don’t go quite as planned, or there are certain things that you forget to say that would have been perfect with point 1, subpoint b, or a technical miscue…. You get the idea. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

But here is the interesting thing: Most people don’t even notice the things that make me freak out. If I put it in the proper perspective it changes everything. They really are just mole hills, not mountains. Even with a few shortcomings people still connected relationally, had an opportunity to worship God and heard and applicable message about Jesus. Not a bad day.

While I’m not excusing laziness or sloppiness, I am saying that we can lose battles and still win the war. In the grand scheme of things, giving it all we’ve got is all that we are required to do. The rest is out of our hands and into some pretty trust-worthy ones.

If you’re looking for a life application, here it is. When we fall short. When we don’t think we measure up to whatever standard we’ve set for ourselves. When we look back and say, “I wish I would have…”. In the middle of the chaos that we create, I can almost hear Jesus saying to us, “Stop looking back. Stop second-guessing. Stop allowing shame and guilt to consume you. Look forward. That’s where I am.”

Here is great scripture to complete this thought.

Proverbs 21:31- Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God to bring victory.

My Thoughts on the Motion Experience

First, let me start by saying that it was freakin’ awesome to get to hang out with the Motion peeps yesterday. I’m so glad we’re going steady now (that won’t make any sense if you weren’t there yesterday).

I’m absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of our leaders and volunteers. They understand the virtue of honor and embrace it whole-heartedly. Like I’ve said before, “They make THIS what THIS is.”

It was so encouraging to see so many new faces. We will continue to work diligently to make Motion a place that you can believe in enough to invite your unchurched friends and family. Our vision is simply for people that don’t know Jesus to come to know Him through the church. I heard a quote one time that seems fitting: “We want the Message of Jesus to be comfort to the afflicted and affliction to the comforted.”

One of the Laws of Motion (core values) is generosity. We got to live this out by giving 10% of our offering to an organization called charity:water. You can track our campaign by going to http://mycharitywater.org/Motionchurch

The grand crescendo is this: the best is yet to come. Not even in a metaphorical sense, but literally, we are just getting started. We are already larger in attendance than the average church in America. We’ve got some great things planned, but God has even greater things than we can imagine. It’s appropriate to finish this post with the lyrics from the chorus of the song that is somewhat of our mantra.

“Greater things are yet to come,
Greater things are still to be done
In this city!”

Break The Wrist and Walk Away

Napoleon Dynamite is quite possibly the dumbest movie on the face of the Earth. Which is exactly why I LOVE IT!

There is one particular scene that reminds me of a scenario I was in recently. Since we’re being honest here, I have to tell you that there are some people that just rub me the wrong way. Don’t go getting all sanctified on me, because I know you feel the same way about “that person”. You know what I’m talking about. The “one” who makes your blood pressure go up at the mention of their name or during a chance encounter at Wal-Mart. The one that you would rather punch than pray for…. OK, so that may have been too much but you get the point.

The solution: “Break the wrist and walk away.” Now while we would possibly like for that to read “break their wrist”, that’s not exactly what is going on here. You know what I’ve learned about harboring animosity and unforgiveness? You’re the one that loses. The other person may never even entertain the thought that you get so worked up about their issues. So, break the wrist and walk away.

Separate yourself mentally from that persons failures, shortcomings, stupidity, or whatever it may be. I heard a quote one time that seems applicable, “Don’t let people rent space in your head.” In other words, put a “No Vacancy” sign out front. Don’t give them the emotional, mental and spiritual energy that they may even deserve. Break the wrist and walk away.

Romans 12 says that “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” It seems to indicate that there are some people that it just isn’t possible for you to be at peace with relationally. So to keep peace perhaps you need to steer clear of them. Break the wrist and walk away.

That is all.

I attached a link to the video as a refresher just in case you haven’t seen it in a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcw6xBaCaXM&feature=related

Hope Against Hope

 

I found this poem the other day when I was looking up the phrase “hope against hope” in reference to Abraham in Romans 4. I thought it was good so I decided to share it with those who join me in the blog action.

 

Away, dark thoughts, you autumn clouds!
A golden spring is here!
Shall it be thus in sorrow and in lamentation
That my youthful years pass away?

No, through all my tears I still shall laugh,
Sing songs despite my troubles;
Have hope despite all odds,
I want to live! Away, you sorrowful thoughts!

On this poor, indigent ground
I shall sow flowers of flowing colors;
I shall sow flowers even amidst the frost,
And water them with my bitter tears.

And from those burning tears will melt
The frozen crust, so hard and strong,
Perhaps the flowers will bloom and
Bring about for me a joyous spring.

Unto a winding, flinty mountain
Shall I bear my weighty stone,
Yet, even bearing such a crushing weight,
Will I sing a joyful song.

Throughout a lasting night of darkness
Ne’er shall I rest my own eyes,
Always searching for the guiding star,
The bright empress of the dark night skies.

I shall not allow my heart to fall sleep,
Though gloom and misery envelop me,
Despite my certain feelings
That death is beating at my breast.

Death will settle heavily on that breast,
The snow covered by a cruel haze,
But fierce shall beat my little heart,
And maybe, with its ferocity, overcome death.

Yes, I will laugh despite my tears,
I’ll sing out songs amidst my misfortunes;
I’ll have hope despite all odds,
I will live! Away, you sorrowful thoughts!

 

So whatever you’re dealing with, there is always hope!

 

Refocus

As you probably are already aware of, East Texas has been devastated by fires over the last few days. While nothing has really come close enough to our home to consider it a threat, it definitely has caused me think about what is really important.

Seriously, if everything that I own were gone tomorrow how much of it would I really miss or even know was gone? This is one of those things that we know, but sometimes we don’t act like we really know it. We know that all “things” are temporal and lose their value almost immediately after we get it. But we still pursue them. We know that our house and its contents don’t define who we are, yet we spend the majority of our time working to fund them.

The point of this rant is really short, simple and sweet: Let’s make sure that we are devoting the best of ourselves to the people and causes that deserve it. I heard a quote one time that really drives this idea home. “Those that are closest to you deserve the best from you.” Our spouses, kids and friends don’t deserve what is left over from our devotion and commitment to the pursuit of passing pleasures. As far as careers and endeavors are concerned, give your time to what is going to allow you to do the most good and leave the most lasting impact.

I think it’s a good idea to take the extrinsic happenings around us from time to time and let them be a reminder to refocus our attention on what really matters. The best way I can think to explain this is like a car. As nice as your car may be, even if it cost 100k, it will still inevitably need a realignment to keep everything in line. We’re not much different, are we?

A Thought On Hope

On September 25th, the last Sunday of this month, we will have our last monthly experience at Motion Church (we will start weekly the next week, which really means we start weekly that week… confusing I know) We’re doing a series right now called Motion Is… in which we break down the Mission of Motion.

So far, we’ve talked about Leading, Living and Moving. The next topic is “Being”. During my preparation for the message I found some pretty interesting things about this concept of having our being in Jesus. One part of the definition of esmen (being in Greek) is “to have hope”. I thought that was pretty fascinating. When you put that wording in the context of the scripture that we stole to create our mission statement it makes even more sense.

Acts 17:28- In Him we live and move and HAVE HOPE.

Whatever difficulty you may be facing, there is reason to hope. As bleak as your situation may seem, you have a help in your time of trouble. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s not an oncoming train).

As beneficial as that is to us, I think this has some more elements to it. How we respond in hope to our desperate situations could be the answer that those around us need so desperately.

It’s not just that we have hope. It’s also that we are hope. 

I’m certainly not trying to make light of your struggles. But I do know this: God is good and He is for you. So whatever it is in your life that seems hopeless, remember there is always a reason to hope. That reason may be for someone else to have hope.

 

Birds of the Same Feather…

You’re probably familiar with the old adage, “Birds of the same feather flock together.”

This axiom has particularly stood out to me as of late as a result of various situations. I know that we know that it is important to have the right people around us. We’ve all heard quotes like, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” But what fascinates me is that in spite of knowing this, people still allow birds with the wrong feathers to have influence in their lives.

I heard a really good analogy that explains this. Pretend you’re on a boat in an ocean. Let’s say you’re clumsy and manage to fall off the boat and cut your leg. Now that you’re in the water, the blood will soon begin to pour from your wound. It won’t be long until you find out what or, more importantly, who is around you. Maybe there are some dolphins. We’ve all have heard the stories of the heroism of dolphins and how they help people in trouble. Conversely, there may be a shark in the water. Of course we know what happens when a shark smells blood.

Although birds and sharks are quite different, we can still learn much about them as a result of adversity. Sharks react violently. Birds get their feathers ruffled. When feathers get ruffled, and they will, inevitably some will fall to the ground.

My suggestion: STOP AND CHECK THE FEATHERS OF THOSE AROUND YOU. 

If the feathers don’t belong to birds that can fly as high as you plan on flying then you need a new flock!

Rather than taking the time to kill birds with stones (or two with one stone), I want to celebrate the birds that are in my life. Specifically, the core team of Motion. These guys give countless hours to serving, giving, meeting and planning the various aspects of the church. They always find a way to overcome disagreements, show honor even when it’s not easy and do what is best for the whole instead of the individual. I’ve never been more excited about a group of people. T.D. Jakes said, “You can tell what God is trying to build by the people He places around you.”

If that holds true, God is building an amazing thing at Motion Church.