My Thoughts on Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow, some say the greatest college football player ever. Now in the NFL, he may not be the greatest, but is becoming a pretty good professional football player. What gets Tebow the majority of attention is not his football skills, but his outspoken faith in Jesus Christ. From the video above, that appeared on ESPN a few months ago, you can see that Tebow is very outspoken and unashamed of his faith. I commend Tebow for this. It is encouraging to see professional, and college, athletes who love Jesus and are not ashamed of it.

God has given each one of His children a platform to share the Gospel. For Tebow, God has given him the platform of football and it is only logical that Tebow would use the platform God has given Him to share Jesus. We need to remember God does not just raise men and women to serve in christian ministries or local church ministries, but he raises men and women also to serve in the “secular” world. We need faithful, outspoken Christians in the world of professional sports just as we need them in the local church. Whatever your platform is, use it to share Jesus and live for Him boldly!

One last thing. Whenever you use your platform to share Jesus and live for Him boldly, expect persecution. You can see from the video that Tebow gets plenty of verbal persecution and we will too if we live for Him boldly. Jesus said this would happen in John 15:19-21. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me,they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

ESPN posted a great article about Tebow that is worth reading. You can read that article here. Also, I ran across one of the best blog posts on Tebow tonight that is worth reading as well. You can read that post here.

Josh Evans, a student pastor from NC, wrote a great blog about his thoughts on Tim Tebow. I highly recommend you read this post and hear what Josh has to say. Good stuff! Click here to read that post.

Thank God for the Little Things

I received a short letter from my grandmother that I wanted to share here on my blog:

Hope you are having a good day. God is so good! I am feeling a little better and it is because He is in control. Without Him we can not live or breathe. I hope you have a good rest of the week.

As Christians, we tend to forget about all the little things God does for us. We thank Him when He provides a new job, or needed money, or when He shows up and does something awesome in our lives. But we forget to thank Him for the little things like the breath we just took. Or the kind smile a stranger gives us when we are feeling down. Or when God provides a parking space close to the front of the store. We think God only does the “big” things, but God loves us so much He is just as concerned with the “little” things. In fact, in His eyes there is no big or little thing, He takes joy in providing everything His children need. Don’t overlook all the little, but amazing things God does for you. Thank Him for those little things today! It will increase your thankfulness and your love for Him!

Recommend book on this subject: When God Winks at You by Squire Rushnell

3 Ways to Love Your City

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “city?” A lot of people equate city with sin and wickedness. It is true that crime and danger are more likely in a city, but that does not make the city more sinful than the rural communities. I am greatly encouraged by the resurgence of church planting and church activity within the cities of our country. I believe that if America is ever going to see another nation-wide revival it will have to start within the cities. Why? Culture is driven by the cities. If you can impact a city for Christ then you can impact the culture of the whole country. I believe God loves the city and wants to bring spiritual renewal to our cities in this country. I urge you to not look down or think less of the cities, but love the cities. Whatever city you are in, or close to, love that city and passionately seek God’s face for a revival in that city! Here are a few ways we can love our city:

Pray for your city. The first thing we as believers can do to love our city is to pray for it! Pray for the city leaders, officials, and all the people who make up that city. in 1 Timothy 2:1, Paul says, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions…” During the time of Paul writing this, Nero was in leadership. If you don’t know, Nero hated Christians and did a lot to try to stop Christianity. Paul said, pray for him! I don’t care how wicked or messed up your city leaders may be, the Bible commands us to pray for them! If you do nothing else for your city, at least pray that God would do a mighty work there.

Be a part of your city. Spend time in your city. Find places and things you can do within your city. God wants us to enjoy the things He has given to us and within the city God has given people a lot of fun things to enjoy. As a am writing this I am in a coffee shop in the middle of the city I am currently in. I have been coming here frequently and have enjoyed seeing the people and things that make up this city. Not only should you spend time enjoying yourself in your city, be a good citizen of your city as well. Paul goes on to say, “…that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” God desires believers to be good citizens of their cities and enjoy it while being godly and dignified.

Serve your city. Look for ways to serve your city. Within most cities there are countless homeless and helpless people who need help. Get involved in your local rescue mission or homeless shelter. If you have time, serve on a board or committee in your city. Please do not look down on your city if you are not investing time in it and serving it for the glory of God. Praying for your city is good. Being a part of your city is good as well. But serving your city is better! We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving. And serving your city is a way to show people Jesus and His love for the city.

Start thinking positive about your city and what God could do in it. Great revivals in the past have started within cities and then spread throughout the rural areas. Your city could be the start of the nest great move of God in our country. God works through people who make up His church so get out there and let God use you in your city.

Three things that have sparked a passion in me for cities:
1) Article from Resurgence titled “4 Ways to Know Your City”
2) Song “God of this City” by Chris Tomlin
3) For all my fellow Hip-Hop fans out there, Andy Mineo (C-Lite) song “In My City”

Recommended sermon that is worth watching on this subject-Tim Keller “Reaching Your City with the Gospel”

My sister, Amanda McCann, made this for me to hang in my office. She does an amazing job at making arts and things like this. Check out her stuff and contact her if you want something made on here “Manda’s Creations & Such” Facebook page.

Kiddie Pool Christianity

If you look around the Christian world today you will notice one thing, there are far too many shallow Christians. Before we point our fingers at others, if we are all honest with ourselves we would have to admit that we ourselves are shallow, kiddie pool Christians. This is a problem I struggle with more than I would like to admit and I see it as a huge problem in our Christian world today. I was reminded about this problem both in my life and the life of others the past few days as I was reading a chapter in the book What is a Healthy Church Member by Thabiti Anyabwile. In this book, the author talks about characteristics of a healthy church member. This book goes a long with Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. One of the last chapters in What is a Healthy Church Member the author talks about a healthy church member, or better yet a healthy Christian, is a growing Christian. We become shallow, kiddie pool Christians when we stop growing. We need to understand that God is clear in His Word that Christians are supposed to be growing individuals in their walk with Him (Hebrews 5:11-13; 6:1; Philippians 3:12-14). Thabiti Anyabwile says, “it is normal for Christians to grow, to work for growth, and to expect increasing spiritual maturity.” He also goes on to say that our spiritual growth is not really accomplished by us, it is God working through the Holy Spirit in us, but we have the privilege to strive and pursue spiritual growth as God works in us. Christians who are growing are normal and expected by God, but Christians who are not growing are becoming more and more popular in our Christian world. As I have been thinking about this, three main things have stood out that as Christians we must see properly in order to see spiritual growth in our lives. There are numerous things that we as Christians can do to promote growth in our lives, but these three things are just some major themes I have seen in my life and the lives of Christians around me. These three things can get us out of the kiddie pool and into the deep waters of spiritual growth and maturity.

See Church as a community. Far too many Christians see church as a building and a place. No where in the Bible does it talk about church being a place or a building. What the Bible does say is church is a community. Does that community meet a specific times and maybe at a specific place? YES! But that does not mean the church is the place or building, it means that the church is the people. I have met so many Christians who define their Christianity by what they do on Sundays. Your Christianity is more defined by what you do Monday thru Saturday. Why do Christians see church as just a building or where we go on Sundays? I would suggest it is because we have sectioned God off to a specific time and place of our lives and also because our culture is now so man centered the church is just another “activity” or “place to be.” The atmosphere of our churches is becoming so man-centered and entertainment-oriented that the saints now must be amused and not amazed,” says Donald Llewellyn Roberts. We need to get back to what the early church in Acts saw, the church is not a place, but a community. We were saved and put into a community, the body of Christ, and we have the privilege to take part in the local communities of believers around us. When we see church as a weekly event and not a constant community we are in danger of being in the kiddie pool of Christianity.

See prayer as a constant part of our lives. In our culture, it is rare to see someone without a cell phone. Most of us carry our cell phones everywhere and if they are not in our hands and we are texting or they are to our ear and we are talking they might be in our pocket or purse where we can get to them within an arms reach. Prayer should be like that. Prayer should be a constant companion for all of us as Christians. The Bible is clear that prayer needs to be a constant part of our lives (Romans 12:12; Colossians 4:2, 12). When we do not see prayer as a constant part of our lives we are in danger of being in the kiddie pool of Christianity.

See the Christian life as an intentional pursuit. Many of us go through life and just “profess” to be Christians, but that profession never really shows in our life. We look exactly like the unsaved people around us and the only different about is we call ourselves “Christians.” The Christian life is a pursuit, not a label. Yes, as we pursue Christ and His Kingdom we will carry the label as Christians, but our Christianity is found in the pursuit not the label. I talked about this same idea in an earlier post called Intentional Christian Living so check it out and get a better understanding of this last idea. When we see our Christianity as a label and not a pursuit we are in danger of being in the kiddie pool of Christianity.

Recommended reading on this subject: What is a Healthy Church Member by Thabiti Anyabwile, Radical by David Platt, Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper.

“To Save a Life” Movie Review

Last night I had the chance to watch To Save a Life with my fiancee. It was a great movie and I’m glad I had the chance watch it! I first heard about this movie last year at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Chicago. They had a showing of it and was giving giving out info and resources for the movie. This is a great relevant Christian movie that is geared towards students.

Summary
The movie in a nutshell is about a high school guy named Jake Taylor who was best friends with a boy named Roger growing up. When they where in elementary, Jake was almost hit by a car, but Roger pushed him out of the way and took the hit himself. Because of the hit, Roger suffered injury to his leg and had an odd limp in his walk for the rest of his life. Jake was a big basketball player and as a freshman at his high school was already a star athlete. Because of his new “popularity” a girl caught his attention and took all his attention. Because of this Jake and Roger no longer where friends and Jake was too “cool” for Roger. Through the years of hurt in high school for Roger because of people picking on him and not accepting him he came to school one day with a gun and fired a few shots before shooting himself. The rest of the movie is about Jake finding God and realizing life is more than just being “cool” but it is about reaching out to others.

Positives
The things that jumped out at me where things I believe all students and people in ministry need to be reminded of and need to focus on. First, the movie was very blunt and raw by showing the typical lifestyle of the teen in this culture. The first part of the movie shows Jake partying and going through high school as a “cool” guy. It shows the drinking, sex, cussing that our students are doing today in our culture. I think the guys who made this movie did a good job at being bold in what they showed the students doing in this movie. Sometimes we have to see the ugly side of things to wake up and do something. Drinking and partying are a normal activity for most teens today and we are doing nothing to let them see there is more to life. Second, the youth pastor in this movie was a good picture of what we need to be doing as youth pastors. The youth pastor went to pick up Jake when he was drunk at a party. He spent time with Jake and accepted him into the youth group before he was a Christian. As youth pastors, and someone in school training to be one, we must get our hands “dirty” and not be afraid to get into the life of todays teens. If we need to pick up a drunk kid, we need to. That might just be the door for that teen to see Christ in us and get saved!

Negatives
The one thing I did not like about the movie was it didn’t give a clear picture of the Gospel and what it means to be saved. It showed Jake more along the lines of “becoming” a Christian by trying to live and be better. It never showed him come to the point where he realized he needed Jesus and made that decision. I believe it vitally important we let people know you have to receive Christ (Bible calls it being born-again) and it is a definite decision you make.

I think every teen, youth pastor, and parent should see this movie. It will open up your eyes to the lifestyle of most teens today and show us that by getting our hands “dirty” we can help change the life’s of students around us. Click here to view the trailer for To Save a Life.

Other good Christian movies I recommend: Soul Surfer, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous.