Chapter #1: Choices

27 06 2007

chasing daylight

“I am convinced that most of us could summarize our lives around five or six defining moments – moments that if we had chosen differently would have radically altered the trajectory of our lives” p. 22

I have only read through the first chapter of “Chasing Daylight” and I have enough to blog on for a month. Each page seems to unlock another insight into seizing each moment of our lives for Christ. God’s using these moments to shape us to be the person that He has called us to be, but are we listening to him? What if God wanted to intersect your life right now and in that moment change the trajectory of your life? What if God wanted to meet you in such a way your life would never be the same again? What if this next moment would change your life forever? If you knew a divine moment was coming, how would you live today? How would you prepare for it?

Looking back, I’ve already seen incredible divine moments in my life. What are some of those defining moments in your life that shaped you to be who you are? After 30 reflective minutes, I boiled it down to six. Each moment dramatically altered the path God had for my life. Each one contained a choice and a challenge to draw closer to God or move further away from Him. And in each one I was stretched me to follow a God who would always be faithful to me.

1. 8th Grade. My appendix burst, I was in isolation in the hospital, the doctors weren’t sure if I was going to make it and my mom asked “if you were to die tonight…you know you would go to heaven, right?” I wasn’t sure, but that night through the words of mom Christ became real to me.

2. New Years Eve, High School. I was feeling down, disappointed, and discouraged about life. I was all alone in the house and cried out to God “Where are you?” Pretty much as a last resort, I began to read the Scriptures for the first time and I came to know this God who was seeking me.

3. The Challenge. The youth director was leaving and challenged all of us at a banquet to “step up, get involved and use your life for God.” Wanting something more than just what this life had to offer, I asked,”God, What do you want me to do?” As a college student, I began volunteering in a high school youth group. I was not that effective in teaching or leading…actually it was pretty laughable. It’s amazing that God even picked me to be on His team. But that one decision led me down a path to seminary and a life of equipping others for God’s mission.

Before I get to 4-6, what events and choices have shaped YOUR life so far? Decisions that altered the direction of your life? I believe for many of us, one of them might just be this moment right now.

Reflect and share a choice or two from your life.

Live the Adventure!


Chasing DayLight: Summer Book Club

22 06 2007

Adventure awaits. Opportunity is all around us. In the book “Chasing0785281134.jpg
Daylight,” Erwin McManus calls us to risk everything for a life of genuine purpose. The biblical character of Jonathan was a man filled with faith and doubt, who stepped out to launch a daring attack that energized his people. With that attitude, we can be movers and shakers rather than moaners and slackers.

Each week, we’ll share together new spiritual insights, leadings and learnings.

  • June 25 – Chaper #1 Choices: Choose to Live
  • July 2 – Initiative: Just Do Something
  • July 9 – Uncertainty: Know You Don’t Know
  • July 16 – Influence: Breath In, Breath Out
  • July 23 – Risk: Live Before You Die, and Vise Versa
  • July 30 – Advance: Go Unless You Get a No
  • Aug 5 – Impact: Leave a Mark
  • Aug 12 – Movement: Ignite a Reaction
  • Aug 19 – Awakening: Wake the Dead

Pick up the book. Listen to God. Share Your Story.

Father’s Day

18 06 2007

fathers day

As a father of three girls, being a dad is one of the most rewarding, challenging, enjoyable, exhausting and life-changing priveleges in life. It’s literally kept me on my knees, depending on Christ for guidance and help. What I find interesting is that every time you seem to feel like you’ve got it figured out, they grow another year older and everything changes. You think I was good at being the goofy, silly dad when they were little. I had it down, but now they are teenagers and they give me the “get serious dad” look. The target keeps moving. Sunday I asked, a high school girl what her dad could do for her that said “I love you.” She said, “Take me out to a restaurant…just the two of us.” Enjoy the journey Dads. Even though Dads don’t seem to get a lot of credit these days, what you do it so very important in the lives of your kids. Building into your children is one of the greatest investments of your time each week. It’s so worth it.

New Series: Running on Empty

12 06 2007

running on empty

When we’re planning a new series at Epic, I always pray “Christ, what is the next step you are taking us on this journey.” I believe He is leading us this summer to grow in becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. To move each of us from Empty to Full in our devotion to Him.

Feel like your spiritual tank is empty? Need to renew your relationship with God? This three-week series will refuel your life and will shift you into the next gear in your walk with God. All this without putting a dent in your wallet.

June 24 Prayer: Re-energize Your Life

July 1 Worship: Restore Your Passion

July 8 Scripture: Refill Your Tank

You Can Decide Your Choices…Part 1

11 06 2007

At Epic, we’ve been journeying through the series, “Girls Gone Wild Bible Style” and learning from some of the wild women of the Bible. Each week the stories have challenged me in what it means to live a life fully devoted to Christ. This we examined the choices that we make in life through the decisions made by the girl gone wild Delilah (as well as the boy gone wild Samson). You can decide your choices, but you can’t choose your consequences. We can chose what we are going to do any situation, but we don’t get the privilege of choosing the consequences that come with that choice.

Sammy fell in love for a beautiful Lilah, which is not bad in itself. But when she led to him and lied him on, Sam chose to avoid the relational red flags and stayed with her. Ultimately she was playing him for cold cash and in order to turn him in to the Philistine rulers for a cold cash. Never once in the Bible does it say that Lila loved Sammy. Day after day, Lila played the “if you really loved me…” card and finally he gave into her pressure and he revealed the secret of his strength. As a Nazirite set apart for God since birth, his hair had never been cut and if it was cut, he would as weak as any other man. He choose pleasure over serving God’s purposes for his life. And that night as he slept on her lap, his enemies cut off his hair. They seized him, gouged out his eyes (the bible is not rated G) and sent him off to prison. You can decide your choices, but you can’t chose your consequences. Sammy had to have felt a lot like this Simple Plan video.

The more I thought about it, I realized that I’m not that much different than Sammy. How many times have I found to myself saying after making a bonehead decision, “Tim, what were you thinking?” How could you raise your voice to the kids over something so insignificant? How could you blow that situation way out of proportion? How could you let your feelings dictate the your actions? What were you thinking? Ever been there? The cool thing is that God doesn’t give up on us.

It’s never too late to be who you might have been.

Rivers. Roads. God.

7 06 2007

A couple weeks back I was flying into Detroit. It was one of those rare spring days where the sky is clear and the sun is shining. Looking down at the earth, my eyes caught a winding river. It was amazing how much it went back and forth until it finally emptied into the Detroit River. At places it seems to go so far out of it’s way to get to it’s final destination. Crossing the river was I-75 and other man-made roads crisscrossing the landscape. Almost every single road was straight. Someone plotted out the shortest path to get from one place to another and built a road. Then it hit me…almost everything God makes is curved, non-linear and unique. Trees. Shorelines. Flowers. And almost everything man makes contains straight lines. Buildings. Roads. Books. Computers.

We often approach life and our spiritual journey in a linear way. What is the shortest path that I can get from where I am now to where I want to go? No detours. No curves. No distractions. I like things to happen quickly and I am focused on reaching the destination. But I think God has a different story unfolding in front of us. Because Christ is taking us on a journey, not just to a destination, there will be curves on our lives. He designed the world that way. He’s working in our lives that way. There are new things that He wants to reveal to us around every corner. I am learning to relax when the curves come and enjoy the long and winding road.