Friday, January 11, 2013

Follow Jesus Series

This Sunday our church started a new series called Follow Jesus.  Mark started out the series talking about the passage in Luke 9 where Jesus asks the disciples to give Him and update on what people are saying about Him.  Right after Peter confesses Christ as the Messiah Jesus goes into sharing about how He will soon die (probably not a fun conversation).

The message really impacted me as Mark talked about that there is no difference between being a Christian and being a Disciple; Christ never meant for their to be a division between those two words.  At the end of Mark's message we transitioned into a time of communion.  At that point Mark asked us to take a few minutes to think about what is in our life that is holding us back from being a Disciple.

To be completely honest, when those times arise, I normally pray for people in our church that God would speak to them.  But this Sunday I didn't do that.  I asked God what was holding me back from being a Disciple.  To that I felt God speak four things to me and then I asked Him to repeat them so I could remember them by using my fingers to mark a point.  Well when I did that I only got three things that I need to work on and here they are:

1. Watch less TV
Believe it or not this is a problem for me.  I love watching: Gold Rush, Parks and Rec, American Hoggers, Survivor, Duck Dynasty, Storage Wars, Football, The Office, Parenthood, Alaska the Last Frontier, Up All Night, Yukon Men and probably more!  I can sit in front of the TV for hours and just love it.  It allows me to veg and not engage life.

The truth is I can't live like that anyone.  I need to be engaged in life which I think leads well into the next thing I am going to work on this year.

2. Be present
I have struggled with this for years and have written about it before.  Once, while meeting with my counselor, this topic came up.  We talked about how I have the personality type that can always think ahead and miss out on today.  She encouraged me (warned me) that this will be something that I will have to fight against in my life; she wasn't kidding.  I have to fight to be present.  I can day dream in conversations, think about other things and turn the conversation to what I want to talk about.

This year I am going to FIGHT to be present more often; especially with my kids. 

3. Be a better parent 
Its tough to admit but I don't think I am the best dad.  I think I am good dad but I think I could do better.  For most of my children's life I was in seminary.  While in seminary I was able to skip out on dad duties in the name of conquering school.  Well the truth is that school is done.  I don't have an excuse anymore to be a disengaged parent.  I have written papers on how to be an involved parent so I am going to go back and take my own advice on what I need to do.

I am not writing any of this to show how Godly I am.  In fact it may be the opposite.  I am writing this because I need prayer.  I want to be a better dad.  I want to be more present in situations.  I need prayer.  I need others to come alongside me to help me be the man that I think God desires for me to be.

If you want you can watch the message that Mark preached here on Vimeo.

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