Friday, June 29, 2012

Stay on Target

Do you remember the Star Wars movies?  I enjoyed watching every one of them.  There is one line that rings in my head today.  It comes from the scene where the rebels are making their run to attack the Death Star.  There is one means of destroying this terrible weapon of the Empire.  It is to hit a small vent shaft with torpedoes.  The Red Team leader makes his run with two comrades by his side.  As they are approaching the shaft, they are attacked by fighters from the Empire.  As their leader, he continues to shout, "Stay on target.  Stay on target."  If you have no idea what I'm talking about or want to see it again, you can go to this link.

In the church we have diverse family situations.  We have singles.  We have marrieds.  We have married with children.  We have empty-nesters.  We have divorced.  We have single parents.  We have folks who are separated and not divorced.  And the enemy, Satan, would love for us to get distracted by attacking us while we stand against his evil empire.  So what does he do?  He separates us according to the "needs" of our circumstances, keeping us focused on those, and not on the real target of keeping Christ at the center of our lives.  The Bible is clear that there are unique challenges and blessings in every circumstance of life.  The single person can devote all their energies unilaterally to whatever their focus in life is.  There is no one else to consider or make decisions with.  Yet singles also face the felt needs of coming home to an empty house; not having someone to share the day with; loneliness; etc.  To explore some of these issues from a Biblical and single's viewpoint, see Luci Swindoll's book Wide My World, Narrow My Bed.  The married person has the joys of sharing life with someone yet also has the need to please their spouse and use their time, energies, etc to fulfill responsibilities to their family.  They are not as free as the single.  The single parent and widow have the need to fully trust the Lord because of the weight of their circumstances.  The other situations listed above have a mixture of all these.  If we solely keep our eyes on the needs, it distracts us from the relationship with Christ and disjoints us from each other.
   I'm not being simplistic.  Just pleading the case to "stay on target."  Its not about my "needs" as a single; its about Christ.  Its not just about pleasing my spouse.  Its about us together as one serving and honoring Christ.  Christ first.  Christ last.  Christ in all.
   We can help and encourage each other about how our needs can be met.  They are met in the context of the family of God.  We just can't allow the felt needs to replace the true core of keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.  If we do, the enemy has won and we are distracted.  Surprisingly enough, when we keep our eyes on target, all the needs get met.  I plead with us all, "Stay on target."

Friday, June 15, 2012

What A Privilege

With Billy Graham at BGEA Headquarters, Charlotte, NC
Someone asked me recently if we received our picture of us with Billy Graham.  We received it a week or two ago and I've posted it here.  While his body is weak (at 94 he's allowed) his mind is still sharp and still focused on the mission.  Everything about his library and the Association headquarters points to Jesus Christ.  The man and his team are mentioned but the obvious intention is to give glory, praise and attention to the grace of God and the salvation provided for us by Jesus.  We felt so privileged to have this opportunity be a part of our journey.

   We will never have a library built in our honor.  But I did think about what we have hanging on our walls, written in our journals, seen in our picture albums, and known from our conversations.  If people walked through the imaginary library of our lives, what would they see and hear?  My prayer is that Jesus would be as centrally evident in our lives as He is in Dr. Graham's library.  What is in your library?