Categories
Christian Living evangelism

Skateboarders Welcome

The young man was standing like a statue on the shoulder of a busy four lane highway. He appeared fixated on something at a church next to the road.

Driving closer, I saw the skateboard. “Oh, I bet he’s looking for a good parking lot to ride.”

But he took off –kicking his way down the emergency lane of a major thoroughfare.

When I passed him I noticed: no helmet, no pads and no reflective clothing. The cherry on top was a huge pair of headphones over his ears.

The kid was flirting with disaster.


How many people do we happen upon daily who are, at least spiritually speaking, skateboarding next to a highway? No helmet of salvation, no shield of faith (elbow and knee pads) and no reflective clothing (belt of truth). – Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV)

They stop and stare at churches, while huge headphones blast their favorite tunes.

What are they thinking?

“Is someone like me welcome here? Oh, there’s an “Absolutely No Skateboarding!” sign. I’d better keep kickin’ down the highway.”

In full disclosure, I saw no sign that said not to skateboard at the church. But such things have happened. God’s people could (and should) have a greater positive impact on the world.

But how?

A good first step is to offer a place where people who are flirting with disaster feel welcomed. Somehow we must convince folks that the church is safer than the shoulder of the highway. The power of the gospel can do this–prompt a person to leave the four lane for the narrow path.

But we must be the hands and feet of Christ; and this involves a willingness to get these hands and feet dirty.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Jesus – Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth.

Paul – Galatians 4:19 (MSG)

Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living Five Minute Friday

“Redeem” For Five Minute Friday

When I hear the word redeem, I immediately think of all the coupons I have lying around the house. At some point I thought they could be useful. “Hey! This is for one dollar off my favorite popcorn!” But, almost without fail, I forget about them and they expire. I find them later, crumpled up in the corner of a drawer—useless.

Thank God His redemption never expires. We can be saved from the wrath of God, once and for all, though the blood of Christ.

Thank God his “coupons” NEVER expire.

Please join me tomorrow for something that took longer than five minutes to write.

Help Barb, I’m writing and I can’t stop!

Categories
Christian Living restoration

Lord, Raise the Gates!

A fire sprinkler head broke the other day in the ceiling of a gymnasium at my school. Water came pouring down, soaking the gym floor and flooding an adjacent hallway.

Somehow, the break tripped the fire alarm, causing two huge metal doors to come down on either end of a long hallway. The main wing of the school was no longer easily accessible from the classrooms. The office, library, gyms and cafeteria were all blocked. The only way to get to the heart of the building was to walk around from outside.

Maintenance workers tried all weekend to raise the doors, but to no avail. The building was safe, but the fire suppression system thought there was still a problem. So the doors stayed down.

Here’s a picture I snapped of the hallway. There was this, “The mall is closing now,” vibe about the whole scene.

As the day wore on, with no solution in sight, I heard myself pray, “Lord, raise the gates!” As soon as I said this it hit me, “Hey, that’s straight outta scripture!”

“Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” – Psalm 24:7 (NIV)

A few hours later, two men from the company that installed the alarm system came to the rescue. They patched into a computer, which controlled everything, and the doors were up in no time!


Has something ever been broken between you and someone else? Between you and God?

In such circumstances the doubts can come pouring down— flooding your heart.

When this happens, the suppression doors often lower as well—cutting us off from others AND God. They’re meant to protect us. And they do…for a time. But occasionally the doors get stuck in the down position, even after it’s safe again.

If anyone wants to reach your heart they must go around the long way.

You want to raise the doors, but it’s complicated. So they stay down.

With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Jesus – Matthew 19:26 (NASB)

Lord, raise the gates!

Here are some of my favorite “Raise the Gates” scriptures. Please share one of yours!


“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” -Ephesians 3:20-21 (MSG)

“I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” -Psalm 12:1-2 (GNT)

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” – Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)


Photo by Alessio Rinella on Unsplash