Posts Tagged ‘faith promise living’

In my family, one of our all-time favorite movies is “What about Bob”.  In fact, I cannot spend at least 5 minutes around my cousin Eben without him quoting a scene from the movie.  The last time we visited Atlanta, Eben made a special trip to Blockbuster to rent What About Bob.  Then we watched it and laughed over and over again like it was the first time we had ever seen it.

If you remember the movie, when Bob met Dr Marvin for the first time, Leo gave him the following advice:

When you leave this office, don’t think about everything you have to do in order to get out of the building, just think to what you must do to get out of this room, and when you get to the hall, deal with that hall,and so …You see ? Baby steps !

Baby Steps!

Too many times when making a New Year resolution – I always think too BIG!  I always have good intentions, but what ultimately happens is that by the end of January (or sometimes by the end of the 1ST WEEK of January), I’ve already lost focus and my resolution has been forgotten.  This year I’m taking a different approach. Baby Steps!  Instead of thinking what I must to do make it to next December with my resolution, I’m going to try and make it to February.

You may ask: But the headline of this blog post has the word “ENTIRE” in it.  Did I read that right?  HOW IS THIS BABY STEPS!?!  Good question.  And I agree.  But… for me the baby part of it is the 30 days.  If I can get through the 30 days, then I will make a commitment to continue a reading plan for the next 30 days, etc.

Upon reading some “year-end reviews” from some of my favorite writers/bloggers/pastors – I came across this idea.  An intense New Testament reading plan that a church in North Carolina did at the beginning of last year.  The concept was simple: Read through the ENTIRE New Testament in 30 days. To help us not get too overwhelmed, the 30 days actually includes “Grace Days” which allow you to catch up if you missed anything or fell behind.  My plan is to begin on Monday, January 10.

I’m curious if any of you would like to join me on this journey.  Yes, it will be intense and aggressive and will mean making a serious short-term commitment.  It will require probably at least 30-45 mins of reading a day.  But if you’re serious about it – you will find was to use the time you are probably currently wasting to read your Bible.  For example, I have an hour to eat lunch every day – does it really take me an hour to eat lunch?  Doubtful – therefore I will be able to use some time there to read the Bible.

If you are interested in seeing the schedule, visit this website, and click on “reading plan”.  Remember, this plan was created for 2010 so the dates don’t line up exactly with 2011 dates.

If you decide to join me – please let me know in the comments or via email at matt.riggins80@gmail.com and I can include you on encouraging texts/emails throughout the 30 days.

After all – what’s a better way to start out your New Year by deciding to read the Bible more.  It’s almost like a vacation!

Have a great vacation everyone! (Me too!) <— sorry a little What about Bob inside joke there.

Are You Likable?

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Ben Arment, who has a blog here, had a simple post this morning on The Likability Factor.  His bottom line:

Never overestimate your likability factor. =)

Whether you like it or not… your likability factor affects the perception others have towards you.  Whether it’s business, ministry or life, it affects how others respond to you, whether they respect you, want to listen to you, want to work together with you, enjoy being around you, include you in their “inner-circle”, want to grow with you.

Our day-to-day decisions (big and small), how we respond to our circumstances, and general dialog have a lot to do with creating a high likability factor.

Am I likable?  I like to think I am.  I think most of my friends would say that I am.  But what about strangers at the grocery store, or someone I’m waiting behind at a Red Box kiosk, or someone that has offended me and I hold a grudge against them, or someone that is introvert and doesn’t communicate well, or someone who disagrees with me, or someone I disagree with, or someone that works for me?

Would they consider me likable?

I’m not sure.  Truth is, in most cases I listed above… probably not.

The reality is that sometimes I become so focused on my selfishness, my schedule, and my insecurities that I fail to respond and take advantage of opportunities that would help increase my likability factor.  By responding differently, I could potentially create the possibility to change someones life, or at the very least make their day a little brighter.

I am going to try a little harder this week to be more likable.

Are you likable?

A few weeks ago, I did a post on Faith Promise Living.  I want to follow up on that post with some verses that I heard during a Francis Chan message at Catalyst 2010.  I don’t want to analyze these verses, just put them in word for word and let you read them.  (The Bold emphasis is mine)

1 John 3:16-17 – We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Ez 16:49 – Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.

Jer 22:16 – He gave justice and help to the poor and needy,and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the Lord.

Matt 25:44-45 – “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

Luke 12:33 – “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.

Luke 14:13-14 – Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”

Rom 12:13 – When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Ps 37:25-26 – Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.The godly always give generous loans to others,and their children are a blessing.

Prov 19:17 – If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you!

Prov 28:27 – Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

Prov 21:13 – Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.

Isa 58:6-7 – “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: … Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

James 1:27 – Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

According to www.globalrichlist.com

…if you make $50,000 a year, you are in the top 1% of the richest people in the world.

…if you make $20,000 a year, you are in the top 12% of the richest people in the world.

…if you make $1000 a year, you are still in the top 44% of the richest people in the world.

…and lastly, if you make $500 A YEAR!, you are still in the top 80% of the richest people in the world.

What that means is that 20% of the worlds population (roughly 1.3 BILLION people) is living on less than $500 a year.  Crazy!

One practical things we can do this year is help out with Samaritan’s Purse.  For only $7 (plus some simple toys and other accessories), you can make a HUGE difference in a needy child’s Christmas this year.

Maybe you or your family would consider sponsoring an orphan in 2011.  Check out my cousin’s website at gpartners.org.   Global Partners can get you set up at $25 / month and 100% of your donation goes directly to the orphanage where your child stays!

Get involved.  Continue FPL… Faith Promise Living.  God is still working on me.  I have LOTS to learn in this thing called the Christian Life.  It’s more like a journey, and in many ways, I feel like I’m just getting started.

Matt 9:36-38 – When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

In our church, we are in the middle of our annual missions emphasis.  It has been a sweet time meeting some of our missionaries and spending some time in “their world”.  I love missions.  My wife and I are committed to missions, and we believe that some day we will be used some how, some way, on the mission field.

As part of the missions emphasis, the members (and non-members) of our church are encouraged to take a step of faith, and make a commitment to give to missions (above our tithes/offerings) a pre-determined amount of money.  This promise is meant to challenge us to do something that on the surface may seem impossible.  It is known as Faith Promise Giving.  The idea is simple: Make a PROMISE, to GIVE, by FAITH.  My wife and I have been faithfully giving to missions each year of our marriage, and we have consistently seen God bless us, and we believe He will continue to do so.

I love the concept of Faith Promise Giving so much that this year I’m proposing that we take this a step further: Faith Promise Living

This still has to be thought out some, but I’m thinking that here at the blog, in our church, and possibly spread to wherever – we could see Faith Promise Living become a reality in people’s lives.  Here are some examples of a Faith Promise Living commitment you and possibly your family could make to God this year:

  • Go on a missions trip
  • Sponsor an Orphan
  • Adopt a child from another country
  • Start a Non-Profit organization
  • Start a blog
  • Volunteer somewhere in your hometown that would give you the opportunity to help those in need
  • Make dinners for neighbors or friends who just have a baby
  • Start a neighborhood bible study / or help group
  • Start a group that gives free oil changes to single moms

The list of possibilities could go on and on.

As you can see… some of these are simple, others would require a serious commitment.  But, if we’re creative enough, we could all do something.

When committing to Faith Promise Living, this may require that you remove something that is currently in your life.  It could be a club, or sports team that you are part of, or perhaps another hobby that you routinely partake in.  You may even need to cut back a few hours at your work.  Would it be hard?  Yes!  But if you choose something that you are passionate about anyway, the joy of serving would be so much more rewarding.

Remember the old saying… if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll be what you’ve always been.

Next time you see a rubber band, pick it up and STRETCH it.  Point it straight into the air and LET IT FLY!  That rubber band cannot fly to it’s max height until it is stretched almost to it’s breaking point.  Sometimes that is how God works in our life as well.  He wants to stretch us and then….

They will soar on wings like eagles;

They will run and not grow weary,

They will walk and not be faint.

Would you be willing to step out on faith?  What will your Faith Promise Living commitment be?  Toss it in the comments section and we can discuss and pray about them together.  I’m praying about what my family and I can do to make a difference this year.

Ask God to stretch you.  Nothing impossible through God.