This is a great video that shows a bit more of the heart and leadership of Tim Tebow.  Let me know what you think.

What are your thoughts of this video?

BTW, here’s another post that I wrote about Tebow and his faith vs. the media and other doubters:

https://eddiepoole.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/tim-tebow-controversy-2/

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If we let our feelings lead us, it always leads us into trouble.   If our feelings lead us, we are prone to:

  • Overeating
  • Saying the wrong things
  • Reasoning ourselves into believing someone “owes” us so we take advantage of them to even the score
  • Unhealthy relationships

I could go on and on.

I had a friend that confided in me once that he was having an affair.  I helped him go through several steps to make the situation right with his wife and with God.  I was really proud of him.  Unfortunately, several months later I learned that the affair with the same woman had started again.  When I confronted him he told me, “Eddie, I prayed for God to take away those feelings that I have for her and He didn’t do that.  So…it must be God’s will that I am with her.”

That’s a perfect example of being led by our “feelings” instead of God’s principles.  That’s also a perfect example of WHY we have to know what God’s Word says.  I’m pretty sure that if my friend had ever read the Bible, he knew that God was against him leaving his wife and kids for another woman.

If our feelings EVER contradict God’s Word, we have to follow God’s Word.

Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him DENY himself, pick up his cross, and follow me.”  (Matthew 16:24)   John 3:30 says, “He (God) must increase and I must decrease.”

Basically, when we decide to become a Christ follower we decide that our own will isn’t what we’re going to follow anymore.  We seek and desire to do God’s will every day.  Now that doesn’t mean we won’t stumble or miss it sometime.

We will fall, but there is a difference in those who just “believe” in Jesus and those who FOLLOW Jesus.  Lot’s of people “believe” in Jesus.  Just look at the surveys in America.  Most people will still admit that they believe, but they really aren’t followers of Jesus.   In fact, the book of James tells us that even Satan “believes” and he shudders at the thought of Jesus.

A follower of Christ is actively learning to crucify his own will on a daily basis and follow God’s principles.  This can only happen when a person has a relationship with Jesus.  Another word that can describe a Christ Follower is “disciple,” which comes from the word, “discipline.”  God gives us discipline when we follow Him, spend DAILY time with Him, and learn His what His principles are in the Bible.

Luther Ingram once sang, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.”   A “casual believer” in Jesus probably wouldn’t admit it, but that’s the mantra that they live by.   If it feels good, do it!

I want to encourage FOLLOWERS of Jesus to realize that the words of Joyce Meyer is true.  Joyce said,

“You can feel wrong and still do what is right.”

What are some areas that you have seen Christ followers take the High Road on God’s principles when it would have been easy to get even, bring up that damaging event again for revenge, or even eat that third doughnut?

Tim Tebow “Controversy”

December 6, 2011

Did you hear the big controversy surrounding Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow?

It was covered on the O’Reilly Factor and other major television news outlets.  An arrest warrant was issued last week for failing to pay his child support- no wait, that was Terrell Owens.  Was he arrested for murder, then released for being in the company of a group that stabbed a guy to death?  No.  That was Baltimore Ravens All Pro, Ray Lewis.  Tebow wasn’t even involved in “making it rain” in a strip joint like Pacman Jones.

Tim Tebow’s “controversy” is that he gives glory to God, goes down on one knee after scoring (Now called “Tebowing”), and he talks about his love for Christ publicly.  It’s not that Tebow thinks that God favors the Broncos over the Titans or any other NFL team.  It’s just that Tebow believes that if he is able to do anything good in this life, it’s simply because God gave him the ability to do it and he wants to always remember that.  It’s actually a humble act in his mind and heart of giving God the glory.

Tebow is human and like everyone, he has his faults.  That is perhaps never more obvious than in his college team of choice-the Florida Gators.  (If he was totally following God, he most likely would have played college ball for the Tennessee Vols but that’s another story.  God has forgiven him for that.)   Most likely, his deep rooted convictions will keep him on the path that many young men with sudden wealth and fame of pro sports fall victim to.

One of his critics has been fellow NFL quarterback, Jake Plummer.  Plummer recently said, “i wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates.”

Yet another NFL quarterback, Aaron Rogers, claiming to be a devout believer, recently spoke about the issue on ESPN.  He said, “I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.”

Rogers went on to explain that he’s not an “over the top” kind of guy and he would rather have people ask him why he behaves the way he does rather than him telling everyone.  He said this in reference to being asked about Tebow’s outspokenness.

I’m not sure how well that’s working for Rogers.  Before reading the ESPN quote, I actually didn’t have any idea that Rogers was a believer.  His actions just aren’t speaking out to a dark world as loudly as Tim Tebow.  Perhaps Rogers is making a difference with some of his teammates and quietly working behind the scenes.  I know that other NFL players, such as Matt Hasselback of the Titans, are very bold in some of their relationships with teammates about their faith.  There should be more grace given to anyone, be it Rogers or Tebow, if they are truly striving to be the person that God has called them to be.  He has certainly blessed both men with a platform of influence and talent.

Pro athletes are blessed with a lot and Scripture says that if that’s the case, a lot is expected.  Tebow is trying to be the best “Tebow” that he can be, for the God who loves him.  I don’t believe in throwing stones but if you’re going to be throwing them, does a 24 year old young man who is successfully being a good role model to many in this world who needs a role model need to be the target?  I don’t think so.

What are your thoughts?

I was asked to review the book, “Radical,” by David Platt on my blog.  I had heard that it was a very challenging and thought provoking book and that proved true.  The very subtitle of the book, “Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream,” suggests that the American Dream has taken my faith.  As I read the book, I realized that in some ways, I had come to desire the American Dream more than I had desired to really follow Jesus.

Platt says, “We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with”

For many Americans, Christianity is great as long as we can conform it into our own image of what it should be and make it fit into our lives.  The call of Christ, however, is a call to reshape our lives into what He calls us to be and live.  Some may call living the way the Bible tells us to live “radical”.  By today’s standards, living for Christ may be quite radical from what we see in most who claim to know Christ here in America.

Without admitting it, when we approach Jesus we often come with an attitude like, “Tell me what you have to say and then I’ll decide whether or not I like it.”  If we approach Jesus in that way, we will never hear him.  We need to approach Jesus saying “yes Lord” before we even know what it is that He wants from us.  Does that mean selling all we have and giving the money to the poor or going to Africa to serve in an orphanage?  It means saying “yes” no matter what he is telling us to do, even before He tells.

Sometimes we forget that He is Lord as we read Him our list of requests and go merrily on our way.  Truth is, He is the Master. We’re not.  Yes, he wants us to come to Him when we hurt, when we are in need, and when we need healing, but He wants us to come to him as Lord with thankful hearts,  He wants us to be willing to listen to Him and obey.  He wants us in the Bible so that He can speak to us and lead us.  We aren’t leading Him.  We’re supposed to let Him lead us.  It’s easy to forget.

Platt is pretty hard on the American Dream.  He reminds us that Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”  When we neglect the poor it shows where our hearts really are.  We are put here for a purpose and it is only for a small amount of time in light of eternity.  Let’s not live like this is the final destination.  It’s just a short “blip” on the map.  Let’s rearrange our lives or whatever He leads us to do to live a “radical” life for Him and not for ourselves.

Question:  What are your thoughts?

I used to think that church was supposed to be a safe place where I would go on Sundays, learn about God, and then go home and be a good boy.

I’ve walked with God a few years now and my views on church have changed a bit.  I’m not sure that I was out of line with the American view of God, but in view of history and the worldwide church, I’ve still got some things to learn.

Many people are willing to call themselves “Christian” and say that they are willing to do ANYTHING for God.  I’ve found that sometimes we’re willing to do “anything” as long as it doesn’t hurt or cost us a lot.

Let’s not focus on all of the other people in America.  As the great theologian, Michael Jackson said, let’s “start with the man in the mirror.”

Craig Groeschel says in his “Weird” series, normal ways of doing things, seeing life, handling money, and trying to get ahead just aren’t working anymore.   If the normal way of doing things isn’t working, it only makes sense to change something.  After all, if we do the same things again this year that we did last year, we get the same results, right?

My view of church has changed.  I now see the church as a safe place (at least in America) to hear a dangerous message.  Why is it dangerous?  Because if we listen to the message that God has for us in the Bible, it is dangerous to our mediocre, normal life.  The message and life of Jesus Christ, if really followed, would look radically different than what we see exhibited in many churches and by many “believers” in America.

If your family and friends don’t think you’re a bit “weird” or different, the reason is probably because you’re just like everyone else.  If you are overcommitted with work and activities and don’t really have any extra time to help with the mission of your church, that’s normal!  If you find yourself always having something come up that prevents you from helping out in that area that you know that God has put on YOUR heart, that’s ok.  Most people aren’t that involved in serving either. .  Just doing a little ministry will help you feel better until next time.  That’s normal.  If you’re tired of your marriage, don’t worry!  Just throw in the towel and start over with someone else.  At least half of the people do that today.  It’s normal.  Just start over

How about finances?  Normal people would never sell their car or even give it away if they felt like God was telling them to do that.  They would figure it couldn’t be God.  It must be that pizza from last night.  You never should have eaten it that late!  God wouldn’t ask you to do something that crazy…. Or would He?

Man-kneeling-in-prayer

My point is this:  When Jesus called the disciples, they made major changes and adjustments in their lives to follow Him.  When God speaks to a believer in Iran, he risks his life to obey.  Ever notice how a new believer in Christ that is on fire for Him is willing to be called “weird” by his family and old friends?  The old friends don’t get it.  They don’t understand some of their decisions.  It’s not normal.  Jesus isn’t normal either.  Even “experienced Christians” wryly smile and say, “He’ll settle down after he is a Christian for a while.”

Maybe we aren’t supposed to “settle down!”  

Why do we HAVE to loose our passion?  Why do we have to become more “civilized” and “socially normal” in following Jesus?

Look at I Corinthians 2:14:

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

 If everyone always understands all that you do and you’re never misunderstood because of your relationship with Jesus, you’re probably “normal.”

If God is not challenging you to make adjustments in your life so that you can follow Him more closely, either you are Jesus (which I know that you’re not) or you aren’t listening.  If we’re never “inconvenienced” and our lives are never interrupted, we may not be following the Master as closely as we think.  Following Jesus isn’t safe.  He was crucified.

What are your thoughts?  Am I out in left field playing basketball?

Feeling God’s Presence

February 2, 2011

People today have many ways of communicating with each other.  In our church, there are people that like Facebook.  Others prefer texting.  There are also other preferred avenues of communicating with people in my church, such as phone calls, email, newsletters in print, face to face conversations, and a personal hand-written note.

What I’ve found is that if I want to communicate with EVERYONE in my church, I have to do ALL of the above or I miss some people.  Those who prefer texting will miss my message if I only send a message out on Facebook, for example.  We’re all different.  Rick Warren says, “You cannot over-communicate.”  I’m learning how true that is.

In the same way that we all prefer different ways to communicate with each other, we are also wired differently in the primary way we connect with God.  Fasting does it like nothing else for some people.  Some can pray for 2 hours and totally feel God’s presence.  I hate to admit it but after I’ve prayed for all that I know, my mind starts wondering to what’s for supper or something really spiritual like who’s going win the next ballgame.

Others really feel connected to God when they are in the mountains.  (Psalm 19:1-4)  My preference is going to a quiet place where I can read my Bible, pray, and listen.  (Psalm 46:10)  I’ve known others to feel God’s presence the most when they are sharing their faith or serving the homeless.  (Matthew 25:40)  My daughter, Rebecca, once told me that she felt God when she danced.  (Psalm 30:11)  That reminds me of the true story of Eric Liddell in the movie, “Chariots of Fire.”  He said,“When I run, I feel His glory.”1923-eric-liddell-stamford-bridge.

I guess my point is that there are many ways that we can feel God’s presence. Whatever your bent, that’s ok.  One thing I know, however, is that it’s important not to ignore the other disciplines or leadings when they aren’t our preferred “pathway to hearing from God.”

A runner who feels God’s presence most when he runs still needs to pray and read their Bible to stay grounded.  Someone who feels God when they read their Bible still has a responsibility to help the poor.  If you love to study the Bible, you still need to put it in action.  (Faith without works is dead-James 2:20)  If you’re an action person, you still have to know what the Bible says.

Seek God and you will find Him.  Seek Him in your preferred way, but seek Him in other ways too.  The important thing is that when you seek Him, don’t give up.  Keep seeking His presence.  Keep your relationship with God a priority and keep it fresh by trying other “pathways”.  You’ll find Him.

What’s your preferred way to hear from God?  When do you feel His presence most?