Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Phillips Twins

When you think about please lift up a prayer for some of our friends, Kory and Jaymie Phillips. They have twins, Jayde and Kanyon, who were born at about 25 weeks. You can visit a site that was set up to keep people updated by clicking on the link below.

One Phantastic Phamily

This family is very dear to us and we would appreciate any prayers that you can lift up for these two precious lives. The next few days are especially important because of how early they were born.

Update - Jayde went to be with the Lord. Times like this are so difficult but I have been encouraged to see how many people are praying for this family. Please continue to pray for Kanyon and Jaymie and Kory during this time. Blessed be HIS name-even on the days when its hard.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Flight 763

To any student reading this-just think.....your only moments away from $2!! I look forward to your thoughts and to a great conversation about how we can follow Jesus unashamed of the gospel we believe in! All my love - Doug


I got buckled into my seat on the airplane and was listening to music on my ipod. Lana was sitting next to me and we were talking/reading/listening as we waited for the plane to take off. (Which is a totally different story b/c we had to wait for 1 hour or more on the tarmac before takeoff.) Anyway, as we are sitting there a girl our age or a little younger comes and sits in front of us. You can tell pretty quickly that she is a social butterfly and full of energy. You can also tell that she isn't all that happy with her seating assignment that landed her right in between two other people who were minding there own business and not interested in engaging her in conversation. By her definition-boring.

As Lana and I exchanged pleasantries with the guy next to us (you know the routine: where are you from, what is your reason for travel, small talk, etc.) she keeps looking back at me through the seat. At some point it got kind of awkward as she kept looking at me. I couldn't figure out why until the guy we were sitting next to mentioned that he was catching a connecting flight in Dallas to his home in California. (He mentioned this because of his growing concern that he may not make that flight) At this word she whipped her head around and said, "Your from California? I am too! What part?" At this she began to talk to him with her neck twisted around about all things California. At this moment she had what she had been looking for: someone like her. Someone who she could identify with and connected with because of similar interests they discovered that they shared.

As they began to talk it was quickly apparent that Lana and I were not being invited into the conversation so we continued on trying to do our own thing. The problem was that the conversation was so loud that it was humanly impossible to mind your own business. So much so that one lady across the aisle eventually asked the girl to turn around and be quiet. She got in trouble! Pretty funny, actually. This only frustrated the girl in front of more and she began to continue the conversation with the guy in our seat at a much lower volume.

Eventually, there was some seat exchanging and the two flew the rest of the way next to one another. The drank, laughed, shared stories and got to know one another in their own loud way. (on a side note, the girl ended up drinking so much she passed out.) As the flight landed phone numbers were swapped and promises were made to connect when they got to California.

I share this story in hope that you will have a great picture of what went on 5 and 1/2 hours of my life one Monday. I want to ask some questions and offer a personal confession.

First the questions:
1. What can we offer to the people in this situation? At times like situations like these seem hopeless and the world seems lost. I hurt for these two and I couldn't help but wonder, "would Jesus EVER be attractive to them?" I

2. How can we spend more time where lost people are? As I rode on this plane I felt as though I had very little to offer because I didn't know the environment where these to lived. I didn't hand out in bars and didn't get smashed every night during St. Patrick's Day weekend. (Which both mentioned doing) I am not saying that we should all go do this so that we can more fully relate. I am only asking questions.

3. Where did we mess up how beautiful the gospel is? Or has its beauty always remained and something else is responsible for the change? How could it have lost so much value to people like these? What verse would you pull out of your memory to help in this situation? My point is this: it seemed as though these two were living "Life to the full" in the here and now. While I believe life to the full involved Jesus Christ I have to wonder how he would fit into this crowd. Would he have joined the party? Rebuked their behavior and sinful lives? Spoken a parable to them?

The thing about Jesus that I love is that he was always so good in situations like these. He knew what to say and how to say it. He was the best at loving people. I am tipping my hand a bit but I think that we have messed up what he intended to be inviting and attractive. Not easy, but still beautiful. The Gospel is Good News!

And the confession:
Which brings me to my confession. If the gospel is good news why do I (maybe we?) not like situations like this? I confess and repent that I am ashamed of the fact that I am a believer in situations like this. I don't want people to find out I am a minister. I don't want them to know about what I believe. I want to keep my eyes on my book or magazine or my ears plugged with music.
I guess I am just ashamed at some level. It sounds terrible, I know, that's why I had to confess it. The question really is why am I ashamed? Why do I feel the way I do? Don't I believe that Jesus has come so that we might have life and have it to the full? Yes. Don't I believe that we have hope not only for this life but also for the one to come? Yes. So why the feeling of being ashamed?
Truthfully, I don't know. I don't think in my head I am really ashamed of following Christ. However, when I think about my life I know that I pass up opportunities to share my hope everyday. Why is that? Doesn't sound much like someone who has a song in his heart and a message on his lips, does it? When will I stop making excuses and start living out the calling that I have received? When will I stop asking forgiveness for my sins and start surrendering them to God so that I can be free to live as He intends?

Flight 763 has been bothering me since I got off the plane and arrived home. Following Jesus is still the most rewarding life I know. I just want to be more like the Jesus that I am following and not the person that I am. Let's make that transformation together.