What if the Prosperity Gospel is a lie

Time ProsperityIf the Prosperity Gospel is true…

  • Then why was Jesus without a home
  • Then why did Paul rejoice in his suffering
  • Then why did Paul say “When I am weak, then He is strong.”

Is the Prosperity Gospel a lie? No. God desires our lives to be prosperous. But God’s definition of prosperity is different from the world’s. God desires prosperity of righteousness, of love, of joy in Him. Earthly possessions are temporary and of little consequence to our lives eternal.

So why spend so much time praying and asking for God to bless you with temporary things? Ask for God to bless you with eternal things.

I got an iPhone 5 for FREE! …and how you can too!

I am writing this article on the absolutely beautiful 4″ screen of a new iPhone 5, that I have owned for a week, and didn’t pay a dime for. (Okay, so maybe I only typed the first sentence actually on the iPhone, just so I could write that sentence.)

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Did you catch that first part? I got the phone for FREE, and no, I didn’t sweet talk a salesman into giving me a better price–I’m terrible at that stuff. Actually, my bank–the good people at ING Direct–paid for the phone. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and they’re offering the same deal to anyone that receives a pay cheque. Continue reading “I got an iPhone 5 for FREE! …and how you can too!”

From resolutions, to goals, to priorities… in 2012

It’s already the end of February, and I’m only now getting a chance to write a post reflecting on 2011, and looking ahead to 2012. Yes folks–this is a New Year’s resolution post, brought to you by Valentine’s Day, Family Day, and all of the other important days that have already come and gone in 2012.

Reflecting upon 2011, if I were to rate how well the year went based on how many of my planned goals were achieved, I would have to conclude it was a complete and utter failure. Take a look at what I set my sights on more than 12 months ago…

  1. Date my wife, weekly (FAIL — at least not intentionally)
  2. Read through the Bible (FAIL — thank you Youversion for the tools, but it didn’t work)
  3. Run a 5K marathon (PASS — no marathon, but I did go to Bootcamp for 3 months, and continued with P90X afterwards)
  4. Blog weekly (EPIC FAIL — no time)
  5. Read at least one book each month (FAIL — no time)
  6. Continue to progress EIP (FAIL — see reason in 4 & 5)
  7. Choose 2 or 3 people to meet & mentor with (PASS — I did meet & mentor with 3 people, some more than others. But it was a healthy attempt.)
  8. Choose to Save a Life, approach new people (FAIL — I did sign up to be a church greeter, but withdrew after deciding I would need to let something else go to take on more.)
  9. Pay off my student loan (EPIC PASS!!)

Paying off my student loan… when I was praying through this list last year, this is one I fully believe God put on my heart, as it certainly didn’t come out of my own ideas–it was impossible to do. And Julie and I were already aggressively paying down our debt. But I wrote it down anyways, trusting that God would provide if that’s what he wanted us to do.

Do All You Can Do

I’m a strong believer however in the need for a believer to do all that they can to achieve their God-given goals, and God will do His part. We can’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for the miracle to come. In doing all we can, we still need to guard ourselves from taking credit for the end result.

So I figured I needed to get a second job. We had no kids yet, so this was the time to do it. Thankfully God provided me with side project work at my primary workplace, rather than me having to serve up coffee at my local Tim Horton’s. Out of that project has come other opportunities for additional work that was unexpected. So I thank God for how He is blessing me beyond just paying off my student loan.

To be clear, we did not actually pay off my student loan by the end of 2011. However, after our anticipated tax return this year, the loan should be paid off and Julie and I will be… debt… FREE! Woot! That day can’t come fast enough.

Use Your Time Wisely

The downside to this last goal on the list is that it impacted every other goal I had for the year. Really this list is a guide for how I want to use my time in a day, outside of what I’m already obligated to do. Because I was doing extra work in my personal time, suddenly I did not have the time to put into the things I had planned to focus on.

Do I regret doing it? Are you kidding? Who wouldn’t want to be debt free? And we thank God for His timing, as we’re now expecting a child in July. What better time to get out of debt than when you have new expenses coming your way?

2012 Goals

  1. Be a good husband to my pregnant wife and soon to be mother
  2. Be a great father

I suppose what I call goals are now simply priorities.

Question: How are you planning to spend your time this year?

Hearing God’s Voice :: Shut up and listen up (Part 3)

This is the conclusion of the Hearing God’s Voice series. To read Part 1 and 2, click here and here.

Have you ever heard God’s voice? Is that even possible. How do you “follow God’s leading?”

4. Trust your experiences

God is constantly trying to teach us something. He has likely pulled you through a tough situation in the past. What wisdom did you learn Continue reading “Hearing God’s Voice :: Shut up and listen up (Part 3)”

Review: “The Gospel According to Jesus” by Chris Seay

People are not good or bad; they are simply broken, and God has either restored them to shalom or is seeking to restore them to shalom. Imagine seeing people as “broken shalom” or “shalom,” rather than good or bad. If you see them in the midst of broken shalom, it does not allow you to look down on them; instead, it calls you to join God in his redemptive work in their lives. What a beautiful privilege. — pg. 148

When I got my hands on Chris Seay’s The Gospel According to Jesus, I anticipated reading another book where an author attempts to write something “new” about God and the Gospel when in reality they end up simply preaching sermons I’ve heard many times on Sundays–nothing new under the sun.

The Gospel According to Jesus may not rewrite Scripture, but Seay certainly makes a good attempt to raise issues of interpretation that have run rampant for years, blurring the Gospel Continue reading “Review: “The Gospel According to Jesus” by Chris Seay”

Review: “You Were Made to Make A Difference” by Max Lucado and Jenna Lucado Bishop

Purpose in life–don’t we all want to know that we have it? Those who aren’t sure of their purpose, may simply float through life. Those who feel they have it, wake up in the morning with a spring in their step, certain that they’re living for something. In the teen version of You Were Made to Make a Difference by Max Lucado and his daughter Jenna Lucado Bishop, they make a strong case for waking up young people to their pre-existing ability to make a difference in the world.

They start off with the basics, inviting the reader into a relationship with Christ and what that actually looks like practically in a world full of distractions, moving towards acknowledging that they can actually do something to have an impact on this world, and ending with stories, examples, and suggestions of what the reader can then do, taking action on what they’ve learned about themselves. It’s a well laid out progression, repeating Continue reading “Review: “You Were Made to Make A Difference” by Max Lucado and Jenna Lucado Bishop”

Hearing God’s Voice :: Seek Counsel (Part 2)

Many of us when we have a big question to answer in our life, we seek out counsel, and as follower’s of Christ, we’re usually encouraged to “listen to God’s leading.” What? How do I that? What’s God’s leading, other than Christianese? While it certainly isn’t easy to hear God’s voice amongst all the noise of our culture, I believe strongly that it is possible, and should definitely be sought out when you have no easy answers (or perhaps, even when you do have easy answers).

Last week, I began to list some of the things I did when I was seeking God’s direction when considering what school to attend for college. I suggested that we need to keep our head in the Bible. (If you haven’t yet read Part 1, you can do so here.) This week I offer two more suggestions for hearing God’s voice.

Continue reading “Hearing God’s Voice :: Seek Counsel (Part 2)”

Hearing God’s Voice (Part 1)

Many of us when we have a big question to answer in our life, we seek out counsel, and as follower’s of Christ, we’re usually encouraged to “listen to God’s leading.”

What? How do I that? What’s ‘God’s leading,’ other than Christianese?

While it certainly isn’t easy to hear God’s voice amongst all the noise of our culture, I believe strongly that it is possible, and should definitely be sought out when you have no easy answers (or perhaps, even when you do have easy answers). Continue reading “Hearing God’s Voice (Part 1)”

Review: “Max on Life” by Max Lucado

I’ve read a few books by Max Lucado in the past, and I can see why his writing is so appealing to readers, and why his books and material is in high demand. He’s incredibly insightful, and has an ability to take a difficult theological subject, and describe it in simple layman’s terms, accessible to anybody.

This is likely the reason Lucado has received so many one-off questions throughout his career as a minister and author. People seek out that simplified answer to their problems. And Lucado handles the questions listed one-by-one on each page of this book with minimal ease. Yes, he could likely write a book on each subject that this book and the questions are subdivided into, making the answers short and shallow. But I don’t think the people asking the questions were looking for a 400-page textbook. Continue reading “Review: “Max on Life” by Max Lucado”