Few Things Last Forever
by Jason Cruise
There's a lot of good theology to be found in .38 Special's classic rock anthem of "Hold On Loosely." If you can't recall the song, and pity you my brother if you cannot, in the chorus we are wisely instructed to "Hold on loosely but don't let go. If you cling too tightly, you're gonna lose control."
Jobs come and go. So do friends ... and even people you thought were friends. Money is made, and it's lost, and hopefully made again. People die, and sometimes those people are incredibly close to you. Life is full of insanely bitter defeats, and incredibly sweet victories. There's no way around it, so don't fear it. Do Not Fear It. God is the master genius of forming for us a journey where few things stay the same. You need to praise Him for that, for it creates an awesome sense of dependency for our independent selves.
The great comfort in it all is that by His own words God tells us, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
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by Jason Cruise
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. - James 3:16
As with many men I know, God did me a great favor when He planted my wife into my life twenty years ago. Little did I know then that she would become the one primarily responsible for slowly de-constructing my precious ego. I'm not bitter about it. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.
I feel an impulsive need to offer my disclaimer to the world, for you must realize, friend, what I was up against in my formative, early years. I was an only child. Moreover, I was the only grandchild on one side of the family. Stop right there and you have the perfect storm for a soon-to-be adult with little hope for social harmony. Add to that the truth that I was the son of a PGA Professional and thus became obsessed with the game of golf; thus, I was the ultimate test case of a man-in-the-making with an only child disposition, who also possessed an insane obsession for a game that was all about you and your personal performance. Needless to say, it doesn't take a degree in psychology to surmise that in most situations, whatever "it" was, you can bet it was going to be about me.
Marriage, and the one I'm married to, helped me quickly see how destructive selfish ambition can truly be in this thing we call life.
Selfishness is an emotional baseball bat swung wildly into your circle of relationships. Swing that bat, friend, and things are going to get broke. Selfishness breaks things, and those "things" tend to be real people who are capable of being bruised ... by you. The end result is, as James tells us, disorder and every evil "thing" that comes with it.
The Eyes of the Heart.
by Jason Cruise
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. - Ephesians 1:17-19
When Christ touches you, He touches all of you. He becomes Lord of the whole and not just the part. You cannot wrestle with the God-man and leave only partially affected. Jacob walked forever with a Jabbok limp, and he should have, for it was a life-long reminder of the reality of a tangible God.
In the Hebrew mind, the "heart" was the center-piece of a man. It was the whole inward self. Both the mind and the emotions.
Historically, Christian leadership throughout time has been incredibly skeptical of experiential faith, and it's just simply naïve to live out faith that way. Christianity was based on experience, for we experienced a God in the flesh, and not just the idea of Him. Thus the problem that Pharisees had with Jesus. Approaching God face to face was sensory overload for them; too close to handle.
The problem is that people take experience further than it was intended to be, and they can abuse it by saying things like "God told me ..." No doubt many times in my life God has told me something specific to a situation in time, but I've got to have the maturity to know when it happens, and the willingness to check my motive to determine who is the one doing the speaking!
The same is true with the stoic who believes that all that God never reveals to His followers anything new. That's just not the case. If it were, then why would we need a Holy Spirit who is the "counselor" to guide us in the journey with this God who wrestles with us in our own Jabbok River moments??
Counselors do not counsel retroactively. They must counsel in the moment, yet the counsel is based on wisdom gathered from the mileage gained over both time and the time-honored study of truth. The Spirit counsels us on how to handle the current situation based on the character of God revealed in the past, for He lives in the past, present, and the future.
Wisdom and revelation are not enemies. No, in fact they are brothers, and cannot be separated from His family tree no matter how hard theologians may try.
This Is How I'm Praying For Tim Tebow
by Jason Cruise
The media's fascination with Tim Tebow is, to me, fascinating. I cannot help but grin when I watch skeptics, football commentators, and every other two-bit blogger offer their highly professional, and most often incredibly immature "never have taken a snap in my life but you should listen to me" analysis of Tebow's success. Sports media junkies simply do not know what to do with him.
Bradshaw was a sandlot-style player who wasn't always pretty to watch, but he was a winner. People hailed him as the greatest, and he certainly was one of the best. So they put him in the Hall of Fame. Brett Favre should be the poster child for every kid who has played ball in the front yard because Favre re-invented the idea that you can have sloppy mechanics at times, throw a ball end over end to complete a pass to make the play happen, and yet be a champion. They call him one of the greatest, and he has proven to be. Yet neither Bradshaw or Favre, as great as they were or have been at the position, were able to run the ball anywhere close to Tebow's level. Making Tebow an ever greater asset. Tebow and the Broncos, at the time of my writing this article, are 7-1, and yet it's not enough. Prophesy for the future sports fans ... he could be 50-1 and it will never, ever be enough ... but not because of Tim. It has nothing to do with Tim.
So what's really going on here? This is what I think everyone should know.
Tim Tebow is going to fail us. He will at some point, because he's just a man. So be careful, Christian community, because Tim isn't the messiah, and he has no desire to try and be Jesus. He's a sinner who is a Jesus follower. So Tim won't always live up to our expectations because we don't live up to our own. So when he does mess up, on the field or off, I hope to see as much Christian buzz on Facebook supporting him with his failures as I do now with his victories, as we celebrate a restored brother as much as did with one who's winning at the moment.
Tim Tebow is a living example of what happens to a person when they decide that a relationship with God is worth talking about publicly. Enter the caveat of him being a NFL quarterback, and you've got a spotlight the size of the sun on you at all times.
Tim Tebow is proof of the words of Christ. "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you." (John 15:18)
This is the reason Tim Tebow is under so much scrutiny.
In the sports world, you can be an accessory to murder (Ray Lewis), you can admit guilt with animal cruelty (Michael Vick), you can send pornographic text messages and still get a contract (Brett Favre), and the list goes on, and on, and on. As long as you can help a franchise win, you are given a pass on virtually every level of depravity known to man. Just don't claim the name of Christ. If you do ... you're going to get every possible attack thrown at you that you can imagine.
If he were a Muslim, he'd be off limits to any ... and I mean ANY ... discussion about his faith. If he were being attacked as a Muslim, our nation's president would most likely comment on it. If he were being ridiculed for wearing the Star of David on his wristband, he'd get some heat, but not much. If he were wearing a rainbow in support of the Gay and Lesbian community, he'd be hailed as a global, tolerant hero. He may even win TIME MAGAZINE's Man of the Year for that one.
Yet if he happens to be someone who supports purity, lives a life that is orphan-conscious, and values being a class act, he's mocked to the point that even when he gets sacked by Detroit's linebacker Stephen Tulloch, Tulloch gets down on one knee to mock Tebow and his God. Only to see it happen again a few plays later by Lion's tight end Matt Stafford.
No friends. What you're seeing here is a world that simply doesn't know what to do with Tim Tebow because they don't know what to do with Tim's God. Therefore, they mock, because, for now, that God is allowing them to do it. That won't always be the case.
God has already spoken to Tim's situation. Here's what He's said:
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:18
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. - Romans 1:28-32
Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. - John 15:20-21
So here's how I'm praying for Tim Tebow.
"Lord Jesus, protect Tim. Protect his body from injury and his character from assault, so that critics are dumbfounded by his success, speechless at his level of play, and confused by his methods on the field. Do it Lord, but not because Tim is an amazing champion and a world class human being, but do it to silence Your enemies who mock Your name and do it for the glory that You deserve."
Jason Cruise is the founder of Mission. Mission was created to "vindicate the fatherless" in a country known as Moldova. To learn more go to www.themissionvision.net Jason is a well known speaker traveling across the country sharing his love for Christ at wildgame dinners and conferences. Jason has created many valuable resources for the outdoorsmen to take them deeper into their walk with their Creator. These items include DVD's, Bibles, and Bible studies.