IT’S RARELY A BLOWOUT BUT USUALLY A SLOW LEAK.

“It’s rarely a blowout… but usually a slow leak.”

In the story of the prodigal son, the younger son sets off to a distant country after asking for his inheritance from his father.  While what he did was arrogant and unbecoming of a Jewish young man that was frowned upon by society and culture for it was like wishing his father’s death.

He had his own idea of living life.  He wanted independence.  But he had no idea what he was getting into.  What he went through hit him like a left hook from Manny Pacquiao.

No one wakes up Monday morning thinking, “Well, well, well… this week is an excellent week to backslide!  I think, it’s a great day to start setting off a different direction from what God has planned for me.”

The younger son drifted.

While that happened to him, it can definitely happen to the best of us.  That is why it is absolutely important to stay connected to the Source.

In John 15:4-5, Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Remember, it’s rarely a blowout… but usually a slow leak.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

Ryan played T-ball last year. Because they were still teaching the kids the basics of the game, the league decided not to keep scores and forget about win-loss cards.

While I understand the reasoning behind it (to encourage the kids and not worry about winning and losing yet), I thought each game at times became pointless.  Why play a game when you don’t know who will win?  Why play against another team if you don’t know who will end up on top?  It’s probably the competitive spirit in me but that’s how I felt.

In the book I am reading, “Creating Community”, there were 3 questions that were posted that we need to answer as a church family.

1. What do we want people to become?

2. What do we want them to do?

3. Where do we want them to go?

For us in Victory, our leaders made it clear.  The goal is to make disciples.  A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, fellowships with other believers and fishes for men.  And finally, what is the venue where they will be discipled and make disciples? Small groups.

1. What do we want people to become? DISCIPLES.

2. What do we want them to do? To honor God and make disciples.  A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, fellowships with other believers and fishes for men.

3. Where do we want them to go? At this point, the best possible way to make disciples and be discipled is in the context of small groups.

All for now…

JOY VS. HAPPINESS

A lot of life is based on the decisions we make… what to do, what to eat, what to wear, who to go with, WHO to serve, when to do what we need to do.

I have yet to hear a telephone receptionist lash out on a caller right off the bat, though I am sure it has happened before. S/he comes to work and decides to be good at what she does – greeting, giving instructions, forwarding calls undergirded by the fact that she has to be nice and cheerful. This has to happen whether she’s had a bad day or not.

Everyday, we have an opportunity to choose. We can start it deciding that it would be a great day (whether it ends up being a good one or not but still learning from every moment) or get sidetracked into misery by every unfortunate mishap.

Tim Hansel made a comment in his book years ago that never left me ever since. He said, “Pain is inevitable but misery is optional.” Deep breath… read it again… “Pain is inevitable but misery is optional.”

Happiness is based on “happenings” but joy goes deeper than that. You can have joy in the midst of the toughest circumstances in life.

There will always be stuff to ruin our day. The question is not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens to us. That marks a leader and a disciple.

Choose joy.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)