Category Archives: Uncategorized

Innovative Thinking

Two articles came across my path today.  I recommend them to you for your consideration.
The first one has to do with how entrepreneurs are using business to help those in desperate plights in third world countries.  There’s nothing non-profit about it, but it’s helping:

http://www.worldoncampus.com/2012/11/brave_business_model?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+delicious%2Fgqlf+%28Christian+Headlines+Top+Headlines%29

The second has to do with how we as the church might need to shift in how we view ourselves in a post-Christian culture:

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/34533-goodbye-christian-america–hello-true-christianity?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+delicious%2Fgqlf+%28Christian+Headlines+Top+Headlines%29
I found both articles very challenging – moving my thoughts in a direction they had never gone before.  I hope they might have a similar impact on you.

Unbelievable New App

I just downloaded to my iPhone the app from the Jesus Film Media (that’s what you’ll type in as you try to search for it in the iTunes or Android App Store).  It gives you access to the entire Jesus Film (read more about the film here: http://www.jesusfilm.org/ broken into clips.  Want to watch Jesus calm the sea?  It’s there.  Want to watch Him deliver the Beatitudes?  It’s there.  I believe this will be a great tool for making many of the accounts come alive again for me and a tool for sharing those accounts with others.

Yes . . . it’s also available on the Android.

When you first open the app, go to The Jesus Film and click on it.  Then browse through all the clips they have.  I give it five stars.

Did I mention that it’s FREE?

Answering 7 Common Objections To Long-Term Missions

Answering 7 Common Objections to Long-Term Missions by Ben Stevens

During almost 500 meetings I set up to raise support for service in Germany, I glimpsed a snapshot of current evangelical sentiment towards long-term, cross-cultural ministry. Many exciting things are happening today in the evangelical world, whether in short-term ministry, church planting, or expanding our social consciousness. Yet I cannot escape the conclusion that a major change in the tides has come to the evangelical world regarding missions. Time and time again I encountered intelligent people, both laymen and pastors, who argued passionately that long-term, cross-cultural work is “no longer the way God does things.” Continue reading

Healthy Acceptance

The word “acceptance” is a battle cry of our culture. “You have to accept me! You have to accept me right where I am! Jesus did!” Hard to argue with that. . . particularly when they insert Jesus into the argument.

Jesus did accept people with lots of dysfunctions including me.

That having been said He never said my sins/dysfunctions weren’t wrong; He never left me where He found me (in my dysfunctions); and He never enabled my dysfunctions.

Our culture wants everything in that last paragraph included in the word “acceptance.” We must with discernment not cave in to that pressure.

I’ve tried to illustrate this with a picture. What do you think?

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Two Principles To Consider

For many years I’ve tested two principles that I believe directly affects my spiritual growth.

1. I treat others like I treat myself.

I believe my treatment of others is more often than not a reflection of how I treat myself in my most private internal moments. You know that person who is so critical of others? I believe that their behavior is a window into the way they treat themselves.

2. I treat myself like Ifeel God treats me.

Although the first one has proven itself to me over four decades of counseling and coaching people, I find this second principle supported in Scripture. I John says that “we love because He first loved us.” And “anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love.”

The word feel is important here as what we know intellectually many times has not integrated itself into my emotional life yet. I might know God is patient with me long before I feel that He is.

The Greeks even had two different words to explain this phenomena. Oida meant to know intellectually while ginosko meant to know through experience.

Until I feel that God is patient with me, I will have little patience with myself and others.

This process can take quite awhile if none of His patience was ever demonstrated towards me in my past or I’m not currently in relationship with other Christians who can show me God’s patience in the midst of them seeing my authentic self. There’s where I believe lasting change occurs.

What do you think about these two principles? You sure don’t have to agree with these observations of mine.

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Take a Risk

At Shadow Lake Church we have a discipleship process, with three key pieces.  Focus, Risk, and Impact.  Life Groups main part of that process is Risk, as in Risking Relationships.  Anytime there is a risk, it is because it could go either right or wrong, it could go well or poorly.  If the outcome was guaranteed, there is no risk.  Of course the greater the risk, the greater the reward, or possible failure.
Continue reading

What will God do?

That’s the question that keeps me coming back day after day, month after month, and year after year.  Not claiming to know the mind of God (beyond that which He reveals of Himself in the Bible), there is so much of my walk with Him that remains a mystery.  Next weekend is just such an experience.

Teams from Shadow Lake have been planning and will be going all over our city to learn and participate in what God is doing through His Church.

What will be some of the lessons learned from those who choose to join this Big Live! experiences?  I am waiting with full curiosity and excitement for Sunday night at 6:00 PM in the field just behind Papillion Junior High to hear the reports as the groups return.  Not knowing exactly what God is going to do . . . not knowing what He’s going to teach . . . but having seen Him do some amazing things . .  . has me planning to be in the front row for that service of celebration.

Comfort

My most recent fascination (It is actually an obsession, but I don’t want to admit it.) is mountain biking, and specifically mountain biking at Swanson Park. Here are a couple of things I noticed while riding. On the first couple of trips “over the river and through the woods” I was very careful. I was taking it easy, paying close attention to the trail and everything near the trail. It was fun and exhilarating and even adrenaline producing. One thing it wasn’t was comfortable. But it didn’t take long for it to get comfortable. I learned that if you lean you can take a sharp corner faster, which means more exhilaration and more adrenaline!! Continue reading

Faithfulness – Jamaica Style

In less than a month we will have a team of 10 people from our church heading to Jamaica on a short term mission trip. I am very excited about the projects and activities that we have lined up. We will be doing a work project at Pastor Leroy’s church, Victory Fellowship Church, laying block and painting. We will be spending time at an orphanage taking care of babies. We will be putting on children’s programs and visiting a handicap orphanage among other things. As a part of the trip I will be speaking at Victory Fellowship Church a number of times. I asked Leroy if he had anything he would like me to speak on. He said, “I would love you to preach on was faithfulness. I believe our people need to hear something on that line, don’t give up, but to stay faithful to God come what may come.” Continue reading

YouTube TV Repair

Last week my TV quit working. I was watching it and it just went dead, shut off on its own! I tried plugging it in different outlets, checked to make sure no breakers had been flipped, did everything I could think of and nothing worked. As a last resort I decide to Google it. Google knows everything right? So I type in “Vizio TV shut off and won’t turn on”. The search leads me to a YouTube video that describes the problem and then shows me how to fix it. I follow the instructions and fix my own TV for $5. YouTube is awesome!! Google plus YouTube = the world is yours!
Then to see what else I could learn, I typed in “how to” on the YouTube search box. Here are some things you can learn in 5 minutes or less, according to YouTube. How to pick a lock. How to be a Ninja. How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking (So far this one has not helped me!). How to make a burning laser. How to moon walk like Michael Jackson. That is just a few “how to” videos that came up in the first page of results, a search that included about 18 million results.
There is an incredible amount of information available at our fingertips. It is simply unbelievable! But, how do you know what is true and what isn’t? You can search any subject and find differing opinions and evidence that support even the most outlandish positions, including 162,000 search results that give evidence that Elvis is still alive! I am all shook up, by this! Teaching people the truth about who Jesus is of the utmost importance, soon after that it is teaching people how to discern the truth. How do we know what is true? When it comes to counterfeit prevention the key to recognizing a counterfeit is to know the original very, very well. They spend all their time studying the original. How much time are you spending studying the original? How many Almost True stories do you fall for? I can’t wait for our summer series that starts this week.

Pastor Roger Graber