According to the tiny numbers on the top right of today's date in my "At-A-Glance" calendar (yes, I still use an actual paper calendar), today is the one hundred and twentieth day of 2019.  Each of those 120 twenty-four-hour periods has offered me opportunities to live my Ordinary Life.  Some of those days were used wisely; some were filled with extra-Ordinary moments; some felt quite lengthy; some "flew" by; and still others offered moments for deep contemplation. 

As I live today and anticipate number 121 (for no particular reason), I do well to recall the words of Paul, so well known to me and many of you . . .

Romans 12:1 - So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life . . . (MSG)

May Day 2019, for some, marks the beginning of Spring.  For our friends who call Mexico home, it marks (again, according to my paper calendar), Labor Day.  For all of us, it marks the time where we know that 244 days remain in 2019 in which we can live the words of Romans 12:1.  I can think of no better way to live. 

Live well.



Sunday was no Ordinary day.  It was Easter after all!  Today, however, is back to normal.  At Rabbit Creek Church we live and breathe the words of Paul in Romans 12

Paul wrote those words while fully aware that one can live his everyday, ordinary life for God because of Jesus' victory over death.
. . . Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Romans 8:34 (NIV)
So fully aware of this truth, on this Tuesday after Easter (and every day, for that matter), followers of Christ are called to live for Christ through offering-worthy living. 

In light of the Easter (the Resurrection) celebration of two days ago, how is your light shining?  Are you living intentionally for Jesus?  If so, in your everyday, ordinary life, you are doing such things as . . .

  • Loving your family members
  • Expressing gratitude to God
  • Practicing patience with the less-than-aware driver
  • Forgiving as the Lord forgave you
  • Listening to your teacher
  • Caring for your elderly parent
  • Treating your employees with care
  • Treating your boss with respect
  • Singing songs of praise to God
  • Speaking truth in hope
  • Listening attentively to your spouse

Live your everyday, ordinary life in Easter-worthy fashion.


Worthy of Praise

"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Luke 19:38 (NIV)

Do you feel the excitement?  The streets of Jerusalem found themselves full of such praise.  "Hosanna," that word of praise, literally means "save now."  Keep this in mind!  The people wanted Jesus to restore Israel and Jerusalem to a land of Zion.

The day was joyous.  Everything went according to plan.  Jesus instructed two of His disciples as to where and how they could acquire a colt.  They found the colt just as He said - tethered and ready.  Looking back on the occasion, those familiar with the Hebrew text, thought of several passages His actions fulfilled.  One rather interesting one is found in Genesis 49:10-11 . . .

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
    and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
    his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
    his robes in the blood of grapes.
While Jesus' choice of animals did point to humility and the unexpected nature of His fulfillment of the Messianic task, the donkey or colt also symbolized His ruling authority and His fulfillment of the promise to Judah.

Truly, no one except Jesus understood exactly what lay ahead; yet all saw the power of the moment.

Thousands of people poured into Jerusalem for the coming Passover.  Many of that number knew Jesus' ministry.  Those that did not experience His teaching and acts of wonder first-hand knew about Jesus due to the spreading word.  No one who feeds thousands or heals the lame goes unnoticed.

Prior to this day, many mourners watched as Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave.  Those "Hosannas" and "Blesseds" were shouted with voices fueled by amazement and wonder.  One can almost hear them say, "Certainly this man who raises from the dead comes in the name of the Lord."

The Father told the disciples to listen to Jesus.  Now came the opportunity for Jesus to listen.  How I imagine those words of praise rang splendidly in Jesus' ears!  How magnificent were the words of worship!

The one who humbled Himself by taking on flesh and coming to earth now, if only for a moment, listened to pure praise from the lips of those whom He came to save.

He is worthy of our praise!

Let Jesus hear your words.  Praise Him.


Look and Seek

Do you recall the parable of the seeds?  Within it we learn of seeds that fail to grow for various reasons.  Look for the reason given for such seeds. 
"Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."
Mark 4:18-19 (NIV)
The seeds fail to grow because they lose focus on true fruitfulness as they grow weary under the strain of the worries of this world. 

The same parable, however, contains hope. 

"Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Mark 4:20 (NIV)
Notice what strengthens those healthy seeds. Two actions:
1) Hearing the Word.
2) Accepting the Word.

Do you desire a life in which chronic stress is absent?  The path to such a life, while not easy, is within your reach.  Reach out to God through His Word.  Chapter six of Matthew is a good place to start. 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Give attention to two verbs.  LookSeek
Those two action verbs identify the methods by which we overcome stress - how to place our heads in the right location.

  • Looking (trusting that God will provide).
  • Seeking (focusing on the kingdom of God).

is accomplished by devoting time to noticing the provisions of God.  For example . . .

  • Look to the birds (nature).
  • Listen to music that declares the glory of God.
  • Thank God you are able to pay your bills.
  • Praise God for the breath in your lungs.
  • Observe your child carefree at play.

is accomplished by hearing and accepting the Word of God.  For example . . .

  • Read the Bible.
  • Live according to the teachings of the Bible.
  • Worship the God of the Bible.
  • Give money generously - trusting that God will continue to provide.
  • Give time to others - showing the compassion of Christ.


That's Foolishness

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."  So the saying-of-old goes.

While some people enjoy playing the fool, no one likes being made the fool.  Nevertheless, foolishness has its place.  In 1 Corinthians Paul detailed God's choice in utilizing foolish things.  He highlighted the foolishness of the cross.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 
1 Corinthians 1:18-24 (NIV)

As a pastor I have the privilege of baptizing believers.  Each time I do, I ask the one being baptized, "What is your declaration of faith?"  (Given my many years of preaching from the 1984 version of the NIV, I often slip and replace "declaration" with "confession.")  They respond with "Jesus is Lord" - quoting from Romans 10:9

Jesus is Lord and He lords over everything - including death.  This is where the greatest foolishness enters the picture.  Jesus is Lord over even death itself because of His own death.

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 
1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

The most tangible way in which we recall His wounds is our observance of the Lord's Supper - the other ordinance, in addition to Believer's Baptism.  In the same letter to the Christians in Corinth, Paul provided instructions as to the right (and respectful) way to share the Meal.  In the midst of his instructions, Paul wrote . . .
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)
Proclaim the Lord's death?  I more readily proclaim birth, life, happy news, and praise than I do death.  However, here too, the greatest foolishness enters.  We are to proclaim death because His death completed the plan of redemption that God set in motion before the stars were born. 

It's not so bad, after all, to embrace foolishness.