Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Today is a great day for two reasons, first it’s my sister Kathy’s Birthday, and secondly it was 32 years ago today that I went on my first date with my wife, Dawn. Dawn has changed my life in so many ways but first and foremost is she introduced me to Jesus and she has walked side by side with me through the many ups and down of this journey. Today is the anniversary of the day it all began.

I praise God for this day, for my sister (she set my wife and I up on our first blind date) for my wife and for the God who loved me enough to reveal Himself to me.

God is good!

I’m fully aware that I have posted on this song before. I’m equally sure that I will sound like I have an axe to grind and further, I’m sure I’m in the minority on this, but I can’t stand the song Imagine by John Lennon. This morning checking through my social media I saw a clip of a young man who was on the X-Factor. Abandoned with his brother and left for dead in Iraq he was rescued by a woman who adopted them both and changed the entire course of their lives. I was starting to get inspired, even excited to hear what he would do and rooting for him. It’s the kind of story that I love. Then they asked him what song he was going to sing and he said Imagine by John Lennon. It was like the wind fell out of my sails. I can’t stand that song.

You see when you start off a song with “Imagine there’s no heaven,” my first question is “Why would I want to do that?” Heaven is a place of tremendous hope for me. When this world is at its worst, when I face the loss of someone I love, the hope of heaven is such a tremendous comfort. It reminds me that there is a God who loves me and a Christ who died for me. To imagine there’s no heaven is simply not something I would even want to consider, and secondly if I do imagine it, I certainly don’t see the panacea that Lennon imagined. Quite the contrary.

At this point, I was about to flip past the video, something made me stay. I started to think why would this man want to sing this song and then a thought hit me. He was born and left for dead in Iraq, a place not exactly known for its religious freedom. Maybe that’s why. I’d have to imagine the beginning of his story could sour someone toward religion, but still his story didn’t end there. It’s one of rescue and redemption that is more than religion and should be grounds for tremendous faith. Then another thought hit me. Maybe I’m way overthinking this. Maybe he just likes the song, after all it seems everybody but me does.

I guess that’s what hit me. To some folks a song is just a song. This man’s story is beautiful in so many ways. It’s a rescue story and it ends in victory. That’s how I see my faith. I was lost and in many ways alone when Jesus came to my rescue. He allowed me to imagine there is a heaven and to believe it’s real and to find tremendous hope and purpose in this life, sharing his story. Maybe that’s why I can’t stand Imagine. I mean consider the rest of that first verse.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

If the song jumps the track on the first line, it’s the last line that kills it for me. I don’t have to imagine all the people living for today. I see it all around me as I watch people live as if there is no tomorrow and it makes me sad. I see it on the news as people do whatever they please and then expect the government to fix the repercussions of choices that are short sighted and foolish as they live for today. It’s not panacea. It’s the exact opposite of that. That this song is an anthem to so many is revelatory of all that is wrong in our world—a world that my God came to rescue. If you’re going to imagine, use your imagination to imagine something that will actually be better. Living for today ain’t all Lennon cracked it up to be.

I made this a little while back to remind my congregation of what’s really important this election year. It’s a tongue in cheek approach to a serious topic. For the record, I omitted Kasich because there was talk that he was going to drop out before the PA Primary and these things take a while to do. He’s not my candidate either.

This is a way to use humor to communicate. How can you use your gift to share a message?

I know what you might be thinking, Dave’s going to say something about Salvation through Jesus Christ. Of course that’s foundational, but knowing this thing will even make that most essential of truths easier to believe.

This truth will allow you to get through trials of all kinds.
This truth will allow you to rely on God in every circumstance.
This truth will allow you to step out on faith into the unknown.
This truth will help you to take risks in faith.
This truth will help you stand your ground.
This truth will help you to walk into God’s plan for your life.
This truth will help you to endure life’s pain.
This truth will help you to celebrate life’s joy.
This truth will help you to overcome worry and fear.
This truth will help you face everything you will ever face.

I know you might be starting to worry that this truth is amazingly complex, requiring massive biblical knowledge. It doesn’t. It’s expressed in three words, but believing these three words will radically change your life.

What are the three words…


Once you know that and truly believe it, the rest of things fall into place.

It’s TRUE. Believe it!

This is a video that is pretty old and it is a true classic. One of the first creative arts ministry videos I have ever seen. Sculptor Gil Amelio recreates the passion of Jesus. It stands the test of time and it is remarkable.

How can you tell His story?

With all the hoopla surrounding the election, I can only guarantee one thing. The winner will disappoint you at least some of the time. I’m not really sure I could vote for anyone with a clear conscience so this year I am nominating my own candidate:
Jesus Christ

Here are the reasons to elect to follow Jesus this year (And every year).
1. He’s the only candidate who has never lied to you.
2. He’s the only one who can actually deliver all the things the other candidates are promising you, since what they are promising are the blessings of God.
3. He’s the only candidate who actually knows everything that is going to happen.
4. His way leads to the life you really want, not just the life you think you want.
5. He’s always right.
6. He hasn’t run one negative ad.
7. He values truth more than His political party. Come to think of it, He doesn’t have a political party.
8. He wants what’s best for every person on the face of the earth, and He actually KNOWS what that is.
9. You can have access to Him, 24/7/365
10. He loves you and knows your name.
11. He will never steer you wrong!
12. He sacrificed Himself for you.

Now you might think I’m being a little facetious here, but I’m not. I don’t believe most politicians lie so much as I believe they promise us the blessings of God, but God alone decides who and what He will bless. If we want to be a nation blessed by God there is no substitute for following God and we do that by following the teachings of Jesus.

Am I suggesting a write-in Jesus campaign? No, that would eliminate the votes of Christians, which would only make matters worse. Am I suggesting that you don’t vote? No and for the same reason. What I am suggesting is that you do is throw away your political party affiliation and pick up your Bible. Compare the lives of the candidates to the teachings of Jesus, pray and ask God who He would have you vote for and vote for that person. Then pray for the person who wins, believing that God is in control and gives us the leader we need or deserve, whether that is to bless us or to punish us ’til we turn back to the Lord as a nation and get back to living lives that demonstrate that we follow Jesus. Living to the glory of God and our neighbor’s good.

This year, vote for whoever you believe God wants to lead the nation and elect to follow Jesus.

By the way this doesn’t just apply to elections, our families, our churches (especially our DENOMINATIONS) and every individual also needs to elect to follow Jesus.

Also if you think you’d like to wear this on a shirt, click the image.