Why Being Available Trumps Being Prepared in the Kingdom of God

I’m a preparer. No, actually, I’m an over-preparer.

I’ve been that way for most of my life, but because I’m hard wired as a hard worker, I’ve been able accomodate my need to prepare.

As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve realized that when it comes to the things of the kingdom of God, there is something more important than being prepared, and that is being available.

By being available I mean being willing in the moment with no advanced warning to share the gospel, help, minster, or pray for someone. I rarely tell someone anymore, “Let me think about it and get back to you” because (1) I am far too busy and know I’m likely to forget; and (2) such help is best received by the individual when they make their need known to me. The best time to provide help is usually at the point someone is willing to ask for it.

Being available is more important than being prepared because we exist in a reality cabined by time. While God can and certainly has tampered with time in the past (e.g. Joshua 10:12-14), it certainly appears that His default is to work within the confines of time.

This means it is unlikely another person will present their need to you at a time most convenient for you. It is more likely that the moment when someone needs you to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit is a time when you are engaged in something else.

Continue reading “Why Being Available Trumps Being Prepared in the Kingdom of God”

Movie Review: Ferrari

I should probably start by making it clear that I have nothing against Ferraris. In fact, I would love to own one. I’m also partial to the Ferrari F1 team. But all that aside, my enthusiasm for the brand does not extend to the movie of the same name, directed by Michael Mann.

This movie is a modern biopic more than a narrative, which is fine, but if you are going to do a character study, at least find a character who is interesting or inspirational. Unfortunately, all Ferrari inspires is encouragement for aspiring polygamists.

Despite my interest in Ferraris I did not realize Enzo Ferrari had a second family on the side and a child he did not publicly acknowledge until after his wife died. Much of the movie focuses on this part of Ferrari’s life.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Ferrari”

On Building the Bridges of the Kingdom

I am by nature an introvert. Give me a book and a quiet corner and I’m good for 3-4 hours.

However, over the years I’ve learned the importance of relationships, not because I wanted to surround myself with people but because I wanted to advance the kingdom of God. I came to realize relationships are the bridges of the Kingdom.

Just about every good thing that has happened to me spiritually happened through a relationship. I became a Christian because I knew a football coach in middle school who shared the gospel with me at a Fellowship of Christians Athletes meeting after school. I started to grow as a Christian when an upperclassman I met in college discipled me. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in law school because a guy at a Bible study was bold enough to ask me, and a girl I knew was bold enough to pray for me to receive it.

The relationships Christians build with non-Christians become the means by which non-Christians are invited to church, hear the Gospel, and ultimately cross over the border from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God. It makes sense then that Jesus told Christians to make friends with people who don’t know Him:

“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

Luke 16:9
Continue reading “On Building the Bridges of the Kingdom”

C.S Lewis on Politics and His Ministry

We are in the middle of a political season, and I already feel sick to my stomach.

When I went to the polls to vote in the primary a few weeks ago, I was so disappointed with the choices I was given I jokingly told my wife I felt disenfranchised. In reality, I was just sick of politics, I didn’t like being drawn into it, even for the ostensibly virtuous act of voting.

The current rancor though in politics is nothing new. I recently read biographies on Cato and Cicero and was shocked at how vitriolic the political debate of first century B.C. Roman politics had been. Personal attacks on one’s political opponent and the demonizing of an opponent’s policies was all par for the course.

When I recently read Aristotle’s Rhetoric, I should not have been surprised to find he advocated ad hominem arguments in politics; apparently, anything to win was justified when it came to political argument.

What disappoints me is that we are nearly two thousand years into the manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth, and the rancor and demonization of one’s opponents so popular amongst pagan Romans seems to be alive and well amongst Christian Americans.

Continue reading “C.S Lewis on Politics and His Ministry”

An Unusual Easter Message

Our Disappointments Are God's Appointments — Growing Christians ...

So, today I’m reading the resurrection accounts in the Gospels, as I often do on Easter, and I run across this:

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

John 20:1-2.

At this point in the narrative most of those following Jesus were probably thinking they had gotten it wrong. Just a week before He had ridden into Jerusalem while people praised him as the king of Israel. They thought Jesus was there to throw off the shackles of Roman oppression and forcibly establish His kingdom. He was the long-awaited savior.

But then came the crucifixion. Jesus’ followers thought Jesus was to be their savior, and now He was dead. It must have left many who were trusting in Jesus disappointed, thinking he was not their Lord–an amazing man, no doubt, but not their lord and savior.

Continue reading “An Unusual Easter Message”