“Halloween?” -@GCCofJesus

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@GCCofJesus is a great dude with a great topic here on jackalopekid.com–“Halloween”// buwahaaaaa. It’s happening soon, so what are your thoughts on this?

Why is it that everyone spends so much time and effort in preparing for Halloween?

Why is it that everyone spends so much time and effort in preparing for Halloween? It’s simple everyone enjoys the spooky holiday.
Everyone likes to do different things throughout their life as individuals, but we all have one thing in common and that is we all like to do stuff we enjoy.
Take reading a book or watching a T.V show for an example, if you are interested in a particular book or show you most likely will want to continue reading or watching to the end.

With that being said, if we voluntary participate in the activities we enjoy then we must ask ourselves a few questions.
Why is it that we profess to be followers of Christ Jesus, but don’t participate in fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ?
Do we not truly understand what it is to be followers of Christ?
Are we stretched to so thin by the activities of our individual lives that we have forsaken Christ and allowed the things of this world to come before the creator of this world?
Or could it be that our personal agendas give us more enjoyment than seeing souls saved and lives changed by taking our part in fulfilling God’s plan?

Those are some tough questions to ask ourselves, but are very important to fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
First of all if you desire to make an impact for Christ and to see souls saved and lives changed around you, then you must identify your position in life and you must determine what your priorities are. Is God number one in your life? Or do you set Him aside to when you only need Him?

God desires us to walk with Him and talk with Him to experience true joy and happiness. The activities of this life will soon fade away, and the enjoyment is only temporary. God offers us an eternal life full of joy, which is available to all who believe in Jesus.

We must start focusing on what God has called us to do and set aside the things of this world that waste our time and effort. I wonder what would happen if the men and women of God would put the same amount of effort and time into doing God’s will as much as we put into our so called “fun” activities of this life that are just plainly a waste of time?

“Religion Or Revolution?” -@MattBowman

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Well again, I’ve known @MattBowman for a while now here on twitter. A cool cat indeed who loves the Lord and is a great friend. And of course, a great writer. Check it.

I’ve been in church most of my life. I grew up in a church where our pastor screamed & yelled to the point that we all feared that he would have a heart attack. I’ve been to camp, sung the songs, raised my hands, & done all of that stuff. As a pastor, I’ve even lead those camps. Yet a few years ago, I asked myself, “Is this really what Christianity is?” Is Christianity nothing more than going to worship, and if you are really holy, going to your small group every week? Or is there something more? Could it be that we’ve been called to a life that is bigger than worship services, Sunday school, & potluck dinners? I found the answer in an unlikely place: the words of Jesus!

In the book of Acts, Jesus blows away all of His disciples’ ideas about what it meant to be associated with Him. They were thinking about marching on Jerusalem & throwing the Romans out. Actually, they were thinking about Jesus doing that; they would just be there to share in the spoils of victory! They were expecting a revolution that would set them free from the Roman oppression over Israel. Jesus had something very different in mind.

Jesus envisioned a revolution too, but it was a revolution of faith not politics, And Jesus wasn’t going to be the one to take it forward. It was going to be left in the hands of this rag-tag bunch of disciples who had a loud mouthed fisherman named Peter as their leader. Not only were they going to be the ones to take this thing to the next level, Jesus said they would take it global. Think about that; global? Most people in the first century weren’t going to travel more than a few days from home, & these guys from the backwoods of Israel were going to take a story about a Jewish carpenter into places like Rome & Athens? Yet these guys believed it. Not only that, they actually did it! Within a few decades of Jesus’ words, His followers had managed to take the gospel to every corner of the known world. These guys believed in the revolution. They believed that Jesus really wanted to change the world through them. Now years later, I wonder how many of us actually take Jesus seriously here. Do we really believe what Jesus says?

Do we really believe that we are the agents of this revolution? Or are we content with simply “doing church”? Jesus says that by the power of the Holy Spirit we are going to be a part of a revolution that is global in scope & eternal in significance, yet so many of us live lives that are consumed with me, myself, & I & the here & now. Do we think that Jesus was just giving us a pep talk before he went back to heaven?

If we want to be a part of something more than just a religion, if we want to be a part of a movement, a revolution of faith, then we have to embrace the words of Jesus. We have to let go of the excuses. The excuses have to melt away in the shadow of the power of His Spirit. We have to be consumed by a call that challenges us to leave an impact on the entire world, beginning right where we are now. If you find yourself doing religion & not participating in a revolution, throw off all of your preconceptions about what Jesus can do or wants to do in you & simply start being the agent of Christ in this world.

What excuses do you need to abandon? Where do you need to be that agent for Christ? How can you be a part of Christ’s global, eternal revolution?

“Choosing My Story” -@nicolewick

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This next blog post is a special one by @nicolewick. She is a XXXChurch blogger and a 40 Days blogger, so she’s quite experienced with the whole blogging deal. Nicole has been a bodacious friend on twitter. I can only imagine she would be just as super if I were to meet her in person. She spent a long time thinking about this blog post and of course it’s wonderful. Yes, I did use bodacious, super and wonderful to describe her. Enjoy peeps!!!

We all have a story. I do, you do, my weird neighbor who shovels the snow off of his lawn does – we all have a story. I’m a storyteller and a story lover. I didn’t used to be. I thought that my story was dark and ugly. It scared me and made me think of cold nights and loneliness. I never believed that it was a story worth sharing. Who would want to hear it? Not only did it scare me, but I was sure it would scare others too. Rather than share my real story, my authentic story, I recreated one that I thought people would like better. One that would make people like me better. I became a living, breathing, in the flesh Pick-A-Path book.

Do you remember those? Each story had multiple endings, and the outcome of the story depended on the decisions that you chose for the main character at different points in the book. I loved them. As I moved through my young adult life I would pause at all of my critical decision points trying to decide which path to take. Should I be true to myself and the life, family, and circumstances that God had given me? Or should I pick a different path – an alternate ending? The choice was usually quite simple: I wanted a different story. Frankly, I wanted someone else’s story, and at each of those decision points I would hold my breath, turn the page and step away from my adventure and into my fantasy. In the fantasy, I would be the perfect wife, the perfect mom, and the perfect woman in the perfect church. I picked the path that would allow me to hide orphanhood, abandonment, addiction, abuse and all of the other parts of my story that I believed were ugly and unflattering. I picked all of the outward adornments that I thought would make my story look beautiful – braided hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothes were my path (1 Peter 3:4).

Somewhere along the way, my perception of my story changed. It wasn’t the result of an altar call or flashing lights or tragedy. I think it was just the stuff of life — the process, if you will. Other authentic people started sharing their lives with me, and the paths they picked — paths full of hurt, misery, restoration, and rejoicing — weren’t ugly or scary. They were vibrant and beautiful narratives that made my fake, paper doll life look flat and boring. Then my story started to change and become re-formed. I started to see what the Spirt could do in authentic community. It changes lives and gives voice to our stories.

1 Corinthians 4:7 is such a well-known verse. In the NIV it says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power comes from God and not from us.” In the Message it says, “If you look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.”

There is no power in my gaudy, self-adorned, made up story. But my unadorned clay pot tells the story of an ordinary life that has experienced tragedy and pain and has received forgiveness and hope from an incomparable, all surpassing, powerful God. I’ve come to understand that the dusty, dirty, broken clay jar path is much more beautiful than any other path I could have ever taken. I’m so grateful to be on this journey, this authentic adventure, in this old, broken down vessel. And I pray that you will see the beauty in your clay pot story too.