Fudgee-O’s and the Confessions of A Sugaholic!

Fudgee-O

When I got up on the platform on Sunday morning I never really dreamed that I would be THAT honest about how vulnerable I was to temptation! If you didn’t get a chance to hear the message, you can watch it here.

So while we’re being honest, let’s at least admit that we ALL have problems with “Fudgee-O’s”… it’s simply that your version of temptation may be different than mine. For you it may be pornography, or alcohol, or gambling, or a host of other things.

But we all seem to show up to indulge in these temptations in the same place… the ‘dark playground’; that place that you go to ‘play’ where you know you shouldn’t be, but you still try to get as much fun out of your time there.

The sad reality, and unfortunately I speak from experience, is that the ‘dark playground’ is never really that fun of a place to be in the first place. Yes, for a moment you may get a rush from playing with your ‘toxic toys’, eating all those cookies, downing all that alcohol… but you know that lurking in the shadows are other people, just like you, hoarding their toys trying not to be noticed.

It’s not a fun playground to play in at all. For the whole time you are ‘in’ the playground, there is a part of you crying out, pleading with you to leave your toys on the ground and get out!

I shared James 4:7 on Sunday which says to “stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you.” (NCV). Reading on in verse 8 it shows us how to exactly do that… “Come near to God, and God will come near to you… you who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure.”

Really? All the times I’ve heard people repeat that verse to “come near to God and God will come near to you” is about Him helping me stay out of the ‘dark playground’?!?! Wow!!!! What a revelation! All I have to do is simply choose to start walking towards God instead of the dark playground… and HE will come near to me; perhaps even as fast as the Father looking for the prodigal son!

So… what do we now do with this awesome news?!? There is an answer to the dark playground… and that is the Light of the Father. I know, it seems so simple… and I also know that the playground will keep on calling and telling you that ‘this’ time it will be SO much better than the other times… ALL the cookies will taste as good as the first! But let’s be honest, we all know that is a lie. The pleasure is NEVER worth the pain.

So I’ll walk past those Fudgee-O’s today. Any encounter those cookies have with me never ends well. Instead I’ll choose to come closer to God knowing that He will come closer to me. Because as you and I both know, the longer you stay away from the dark playground, the more you wonder why you ever chose to go play there in the first place.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

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When God says, “Don’t preach.”

when god says don't preach

I’ve been trying to figure out how best to write down my thoughts about what happened at Evangel Church this past Sunday. I thought that if wrote it down on social media it would come off the wrong way. But to not say ‘anything’ I felt was horribly unfair to hiding what God did. So I thought I would blog about it.

Church on Sunday was something I will probably never forget. I’ve had a few days now to think more about what happened; about what God was doing in the hearts of all of us as a church family.

The service was an hour and a half of “God’s agenda… not ours.” From the moment the congregation started singing I knew that something different was going to happen. There was no emotional reprieve… only momentum. With each verse, each chorus, each song the level of anticipation and sense of God’s Presence grew. It was like being on a date between the Maker and the Made that hit it off from the get go and was only getting better as the date went on.

I looked around and people had already started to come up into the altar area on their own. People were hungry. People ARE hungry for what God is doing. By the time I went up after the ‘singing’ (we ended up singing for another 30 minutes afterwards) I called others to join those already up at the front. Called people to come up who were lacking the Presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Called for those who were sick to be prayed for by anyone around them.

There was ministry EVERYWHERE…. People crying. People praying for those who were crying. People standing with hands raised. People curled up on the floor weeping. Presence… everywhere.

Let me be clear. There was no ‘smoking gun’ for the service. No new song. No ‘special’ event that tipped the scales. There wasn’t a new formula for us to now try to mimic.

There was though a sense of expectancy in the room. I could already sense it during the preservice prayer. We were waiting. We were longing. We were desiring more of God.

What I have found over the years is that we only get more of God in our lives one way… by releasing more of ourselves. Surrender. It’s not about God deciding to give us more of Himself. He gave us His Son! He built the broken bridge of relationship all the way over to us… except for one last step. That step is the only step towards God we need to take.

I didn’t feel right preaching on Sunday. It was already noon. Our time of worship made celebrating communion one of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced. We ‘felt’ the joy of what we gained from Jesus’ sacrifice. His Presence.

Jeremiah 2:2 says “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me.” I got to see what I’ve been ‘seeing’ for a long time for Evangel. A Bride totally in love with the Groom; and a Groom loving on the Bride that He laid down His life for.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

Why Should I Read The Bible?

I just came back from vacation. While I was packing before I left, I stared at my Bible and dealt with the “is this going to put my weight over my luggage allowance?” My mind started justifying leaving it behind and then read it on my phone or iPad.

But my Bible is what I use every day as part of my time spent with God. I even underline it with one of those four-colour pens that click (feel like I’m in middle school each time I change colours).

Mike and I did our latest video on why reading the Bible is so important. Take a couple of minutes and hear why we feel like taking time reading the Bible matters so much.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

The Smell of Coffee

I like making coffee in the morning. Smelling that aroma. It fills the room. It let’s everyone know that it’s time to get up and face the day. 

Imagine if we allowed God’s Spirit to fill our lives the same way? Allowed Him to let us know it’s time to face the day. 

Life is better when it starts with a cup of Java. Life is better when it starts with His Spirit even more so. 

At least that’s how I see it,

C

The Smell of Coffee

I like making coffee in the morning. Smelling that aroma. It fills the room. It let’s everyone know that it’s time to get up and face the day. 

Imagine if we allowed God’s Spirit to fill our lives the same way? Allowed Him to let us know it’s time to face the day. 

Life is better when it starts with a cup of Java. Life is better when it starts with His Spirit even more so. 

At least that’s how I see it,

C

Gold Medals Are Made Of Sweat!!!

I’m starting to see more and more advertising about the Olympics. Brazil… I’m sure it will be beautiful to watch that culture celebrate with the other nations the best of the best. 

But no one will accidentally become the best. No world records will be broken by ‘taking a stab at it’… ok… maybe fencing. 

It takes effort! Dedication! Determination! Excelling needs a passion to succeed. 

Not much is different in our Christian lives. We succeed by making every day count. Every moment count. Making our lives count. 

At least that’s how I see it,

C

http://youtu.be/gvrKwUk0T_4

Get Over It!

I think we all have things in our life that we wished we had never done. Mistakes. Bad choices. Failed attempts to do the right thing.

But too often we hang the mantle of our purpose on the coat rack of our past instead of discovering the potential of our purpose by wearing it with courage and conviction.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

PS – Here is a clip from Kerry’s message a couple of weeks ago addressing this very thing. Enjoy.