You Can’t Fly a Watermelon

Watermelon Rocket

You can’t fly a watermelon to the moon. Its rind is not resistant to exiting and entering the atmosphere. It has no fuselage. No fuel. No propulsion. It was not designed to fly to the moon. That’s not even rocket science!

Nothing works right unless it conforms to the realities of its intended trajectory, or path. This is shaped by both external circumstances and intended purpose. In simpler terms that means something won’t be very good at doing a thing it wasn’t meant to do. A rocket flies because engineers account for aerodynamics and gravity. It was designed to meet the specifications needed to navigate external circumstances in order to reach an intended purpose along a planned trajectory. That is rocket science!

God designed you with a purpose in mind. You were built to fulfill his mission in this present reality. Until your life begins to match that purpose—until your desires, thoughts, and actions pursue His purpose—you will be out of sync with his path for you. Until you begin to do the thing you were meant to do everything else will seem underwhelming, unfulfilling, and incomplete.

What’s your trajectory? What’s your course? That is the path he has laid before you. That’s the destiny he wants to rocket you toward.

Have you known all along and been to afraid to engage? Don’t be afraid. Stop. Turn around. Run toward that burning fire in your bones. God put it there. It’s rocket fuel. His Spirit is alive in you pushing you past the point of your fears into the providential place of his purpose and plan.

Have you been inadvertently bouncing around like a pinball? Tilt the table. Lean into God. Ask for his help. Seek him. Say it out loud. Get a little mad about it and tell him how you feel. He knows already. Reject the apathy and confusion that you may have had. Go to the God who has the unmatched perspective. If you’re stuck let God get you out. He will send you right back on track.

You can’t fly a watermelon to the moon, but you can enjoy the sweet refreshing fruit inside. You can enjoy it’s intended purpose, but only by asserting an external force to reach the delicious fruit inside.

God is the architect of physics. He is the engineer of the principles that actually go into real rocket science. He is also the designator of your design. He planned you. He purposed you. He willed you.

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah was freaking out over the calamity and depravity the Jewish people were going through. Stuff they had brought on themselves through generations of neglecting their purpose. Here is what Jeremiah heard from God…

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD ’s Decree. ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:10-13 ‭MSG‬‬

You get that? God decreed it. His plan for you comes from the same vocabulary as “let there be light” and “it is finished”.

God said it. God did it. His plan. His purpose. Your path.

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Hindsight: Add Value

 
I’m older today. Though not exactly old. This last year has brought a few unexpected, yet God-ordained, transitions that have been wonderful blessings in their own right. I’ve learned a lot of stuff in my life. But it all boils down to this.

Learn how to add value to people’s lives and you will never be without friends, job, cause to live for, something that matters, purpose that wakes you up in the morning, and a reason to keep on breathing.

Life is about more than just yourself. Life is about more than having the latest things, wearing the latest things, driving the latest things, knowing the latest things. Life—and the only thing that really matters right when you boil it all down to the bare essentials—is all about connecting to others, and helping others connect to God. The best, broadest, purest, and the simplest way is to learn to live, love, and add value to another person’s life.

Life lived for yourself is a roller coaster, up one day and down the next—good and bad, great and worse. But life lived for others is never about you. It keeps the eye on the prize. It keeps the main thing the main thing.

You can never go wrong not living for yourself. You can never go wrong putting others first.

Another word we use for that sometimes is humility. Sometimes people think humility is about thinking less of yourself. That’s not true. Humility is about thinking of yourself less.

What could be more humbling than a life lived in pursuit of adding value to the lives of others. Agree?
Thanks for reading. God bless.

Peace Out 2014

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2014 Is Over. The last year of our lives has been a roller coaster of awesome. As we get ready to ring in the New Year with family and friends I thought I’d jump on the ol’ blog to share a brief summary of some of what stuck out for the Kings over the last 12 months.

1. Life will always be crazy. Just when you think you have a handle on the wild ride and adjust to the new normal, it all changes again.

2. Enjoy the crazy life. If you don’t enjoy your crazy life, we’ll be honest with yourself, it’s the only one you have, and are ever going to have. Make the most of it. Cherish the awesome. Learn from the not-so-awesome.

3. Money is just money. Make it. Spend it. Save it. Give it. But certainly try not to love it, or even like it.

4. We are just one breath away from heaven’s gate. It’s been a long time since I was reminded of this truth in such a personal way. Make all of your breaths between this one and that one mean something special to those around you.

5. Nothing worth doing comes without work. That doesn’t mean it always has to be hard work, but chances are, if something is actually worth the attempt it will require effort, time, and maybe even a little personal sacrifice.

6. Better not bigger. You don’t necessarily need to make something bigger to feel fulfilled. Start by making it better.

7. Hard things are better with friends. Whether you’re camping out on a sidewalk at midnight outside of a Guatemalan hospital or talking the loss of a loved one through with your mentor, hard things are softened by the company of people who love you.

So long 2014. You were pretty good to us, but we are really excited about 2015.

Where Your Heart Is: A Christmas Blog

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Where is your heart? No, I don’t mean nestled beneath your sternum somewhere between your lungs and whatever is over on the other side. Not that heart. You know! Your heart. The metaphysical linchpin of your soul that drives your desires, captains your cares, and pushes your passions.

Where is it? Where does it lay? Where does it stop? Where does it rest? Where does it ache for, hurt for, beat for?

Stop and think about the answer for just a moment. Now check out what Jesus had to say in Matthew chapter six.

It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭21‬ MSG)

So, does where you initially thought that your heart was actually line up with where you are—with where you spend your time. If not then maybe it’s time to give that discrepancy some careful examination. Perhaps there is an absolutely legitimate reason (you know, like a time consuming career) why the two would be different. Or, it could be that where you think your heart is, and where it actually is, is not quite in line. But that’s an easy fix. Knowing really is half the battle. And if there is a difference there that you’re not crazy about ask God to help.

Jesus was the answer to where God’s heart is. He treasures us—and so he came to be with us.

Merry Christmas.

Rescued

“They are your people still, your inheritance whom you powerfully and sovereignly rescued.” (Deuteronomy 9:29 MSG)

Moses is talking to God in this passage. Recounting a series of moments in which he interceded for the wayward Israelites. And this final verse of the chapter paints such a clear picture of God’s work. The powerful and sovereign work of God didn’t stop with the Israelites in the Old Testament.

God rescues! He is the rescuer. He comes into our mess.
Our trouble.
Our problems.
Our pains.
Our selfishness.
Our often self-inflicted upheaval.
Our personal slavery of the soul.
And He rescues.

It may not feel that way or seem that way. Especially when life is beating you up. But God rescues. He does it powerfully. In a demonstration that declares he alone has the ability to do it. He does it sovereignly. With the dignity and veracity of the King of All.

He brings anyone who would come to him into himself. An inheritance. A part of the family.

Yeah, sign me up for that.

grati–W–O–W–tude

What an EPIC week! Weeks like this are rare indeed.

We had the Grand Opening for the church we have been so privileged to help start here in our hometown. It was crazy. Like awesome crazy. The only way I have been able to describe it to people is that it was “happy chaos”.  It wasn’t chaotic because we weren’t prepared. It wasn’t chaotic because anything bad happened. It was chaos because over 910 people showed up…in an ice storm…in Arkansas.  That might not seem like a big deal to you, but in our little River Valley paradise nestled between mountains and the Arkansas River, people just don’t get out in the snow and ice.

And last night we launched our student ministries with an incredible night. It was so good. 

So now I’m sitting here in my “mancave” enjoying the breather. I’m looking forward to my weekend (Friday & Saturday) and getting ready to start it all over again in less than 72 hours. Life is so stinking good right now. I feel blessed beyond my capacity to handle it. It pushes me in the best possible ways. And before I head upstairs to get some sleep I am just trying to share this inexplicable sense of gratitude I am feeling.

It’s always good to be one of God’s kids–but it doesn’t always feel this good. 

Celebrate Halloween

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Why I celebrate Halloween with my family.

We like Halloween in the King house. For us it’s not about spooks, witches, and dead stuff. But it is an awesome opportunity to dress up like a favorite character and have some fun. And we always have a lot of fun.

As a Christian father who happens to be a minister it is really important to me that my son grows up to see how I engage with some of the parts of our culture that evangelicals have made unnecessarily awkward. For years the church has replaced the word Halloween with words like “harvest” or “hallelujah”. Which is fine. But they still celebrate Halloween.

Let’s be honest. Celebrating Halloween is dressing up, and candy, and all of that other stuff that is so great. Doctoring it up and calling it something else doesn’t change what it is. So let’s stop being confusing, unclear, and intellectually dishonest.

Rather than pitch a fit over wording, and get lost defending how we “don’t celebrate Halloween”—my family has decided to do something different. And we know we aren’t the only ones. Instead of pretending like we don’t celebrate it, let’s just fess up to it, go all out, and enjoy it. Let’s see just how much fun we can have. But, and here’s the clincher, let’s redeem it.

So Halloween for the Kings isn’t about demons and darkness. It’s not a celebration of dreariness, death, and decay. It is about life. Enjoying life together. We will be who we are in all of our Nerd-filled wonder, and use this fun day to shine the glory of God around us. Who knows, on a day like Halloween someone just might be paying attention.