Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The world must see a difference in the lives of those who claim to have been in God's presence.  There is no exception to this truth in the Scriptures or in the history of the church.

Moses - Abraham - David - Isaiah - Ezekiel - Mary Magdalene - Peter - Paul - you name them.

'If you have been with God, you will reflect Him in greater measure.'

If you have been with God, you will reflect Him in greater measure.  How can we think that, after having been in His presence - touched and moved by Him - that our human lives remain unchanged?  How is that possible?

If you have been with Him, you reflect Him.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I loved the meeting of 30 men yesterday after church to beef up the Ironmen Giving Back ministry here at KFA.  The ministry is to assist single moms/women and widows with odd jobs and help around their homes - yard work, handyman jobs, clean up, leaky faucets, loose hinges, drywall patching, small electrical jobs, you name it.  The ministry takes place the 3rd Saturday morning of each month, unless there is an emergency that requires quicker response.

The passion of the men in the room to just serve and help was amaaaaaaa-zing.  

If you are a widow or single mom and need help of some kind around your house, notify us at www.kenoshafirst.com.  

If you know of someone who could use our help, let them know we're available.

If you're a man and want to put your God-given skills and abilities to good use for the Kingdom, make us aware of what areas you're skilled in and we'll put you on the contact list.

Many thanks to  Matt Hedstrom for heading up this ministry.  I love his heart for helping others.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Today was the dedication of our amazing granddaughter, Ruby Layne Lee (parents Darren & Allison Lee).  She was dedicated at Oak Hills Church in Eagan, MN.  Sure wish we could have been there.  She is 3 months old and is just about the cutest little girl you're going to see all year ...

And be blessed.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Those of us in the 'clergy' (I hate that word - it sounds like a disease to me - "I just got back from the doc and he says I have 'clergy') have had opportunity for off-the-record accounts with people who didn't know we were 'clergy.'

It's happened to me at the hospital, at the gym, at the grocery store, at the library, at the beach, at restaurants, you name it.

'If opportunity doesn't knock, then build a door.'  -- Milton Berle

Witness this fairly typical exchange, after the guy at the gym has used about 47 curse words, mostly beginning with 'F,' in a verbal paragraph with only 63 words total:

'So, what do you do for a living?'

'You don't want to know.'

'What do you mean, I don't want to know?'

'Just trust me.  It will ruin the rest of your workout if I tell you' (which of course piques his interest all the more).

'What are you, an IRS guy or something?'

'No.  Worse.  I'm a pastor.'

'Oh, my God.'  (Sorry, but that's pretty much the typical response.  At least it brings them closer to Jesus.)

'Why didn't you tell me that sooner?'

'I don't know; it didn't really come up until now.'

'So ... you don't really look like a pastor.'

I never tell them that's pretty much my goal (even when I'm on the clock).

At that point, you can see the mental gears churning.  The 'F' bombs reduce by at least 50%, though they don't disappear.  Either way, a door of opportunity has opened.  That's what we pray for any time we enter a place.  And when God opens it, it's up to us to walk through.

'Pray ... that God would open to us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ ... ' (Colossians 4:3)

And be blessed.

Friday, January 27, 2012


TODAY ... January 27th, 2012 ... is National Chocolate Cake Day.  That fact is significant enough in my life that it rises to the level of 'blog for the day.'

This is an example of a pretty near perfect looking piece.
I am accepting free offers and donations throughout the weekend.

And be blessed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


We have made a decision at KFA that just about the most important thing we can do is to make reaching non-churchgoing people a priority.  We're always grappling with that, but at the end of the day, we know it's about people who are headed for eternal separation from God unless something happens in their life.  

It was Jesus' mission - to seek and save the lost - so it has to be our mission as well.  Everything else is second-place.

That has impacted how we spend some of our money.  It has impacted the music we do, our church calendar, the way we communicate the Gospel, how we view our community and how we live our lives outside of our meetings.

Just about every pastor and church who has put searching, non-churchgoing people at the top of their ladder has come up against criticism from sincere already churched people.  'You are dumbing down the Gospel.  We want to go deeper.  We need to be fed.' 

But we have come to the conclusion that the definition of 'mature' as it regards a follower of Christ is not 'How much do you know?' but 'How do you love?' 

And be blessed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


It was great to be invited last evening to speak at InterVarsity at Carthage College.  I always love being with the students there.

I had a chance to be part of their series the has centered on growing in Christ.  I spoke about 'guarding your heart.'  It's a message I need as much as they.

There are some things that tend to get stuck in your heart - and when they do, they cause huge damage and you have to deal with that because if any of those things get lodged there, you'll spend the rest of your life covering up your own heart ... and there is huge consequence to that because those things will alienate you from God and from others and you’ll never become the person God intends -- a person 'after His own heart,' like David in the Old Testament.  

'Our harsh words don't come from our mouths ... they come from our hearts.'

Jesus taught: 'What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth.  That is what makes him unclean.  Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?'  (That’s a 2,000 year old ANATOMY lesson there.)  'The things that come out of the mouth originate in the heart, and it is these things that make a man unclean.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.''  (Matthew 15:18-20)
Jesus called the crowd and said: “Our harsh words don't come from our mouths.”   

‘Wait a minute; I thought they DID come from my mouth’ -- but NO, they come from my heart.  

Our evil thoughts don't come from our minds.  ‘Wait a minute, I thought my thoughts did come from my mind,’ but no, they come from my heart.  

Murder?  From our hearts?  Adultery?  From our hearts?  Sexual immorality?  From our hearts.  Lying?  Gossip?  Theft?  From our hearts.

That's why Solomon, the wisest guy who ever lived, said: 'Above all else, guard your heart ... ' (Proverbs 4:23).  So let me ask you - what’s going on in there ... in your heart?  Because I know you want to be a man and woman after God’s heart.  To get there, you have to examine it regularly and guard what goes in it.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I had the opportunity to join a couple of our staff pastors today in a meeting at Starbucks with Paul Hurckman from Venture Expeditions (www.ventureexpiditions.org).

Venture heightens awareness and makes significant global impact on trafficking, hunger, clean water, AIDS and HIV, and other justice issues by raising funds via cycling, hiking and running across America and the world.

"Godly people do Godly things -- or they aren't Godly."

Love the passion.  Love the mission.  Love the call of God on people's lives to make a difference.  This is fruit that counts - fruit that lasts.  It is a Divine assignment that takes precedence over the unending tasks that live around us every day.  It is being motivated by the very compassion of God, as if the prodding presence of the Father Himself has moved us to act.  Because it has.  Because He has.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a practical Gospel that is as concerned with doing something as it is with being something.  Good works won't get you into heaven, but once you get new life in Christ, He expects you to do what He did --- for the rest of your life.  Godly people do Godly things -- or they aren't Godly.

Thank you, Paul and associates.  Thank you, Venture Expeditions, for your passion for justice and your love for people, and for doing something about it.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 23, 2012


It was both amazing and exciting to host 18 potential new students to our Journey Ministry College (www.journeycollege.com) at the Glimpse lunch today at KFA (www.kenoshafirst.com)

I love what God is doing thru JMC.  Students are being trained academically, on their way to Bachelor's Degrees in Biblical Studies -- they are being mentored one-on-one by great leaders -- they are doing hands-on ministry thru weekly practicums in youth ministry, evangelism, children's ministries and other areas of specialization.

Look for this to be the wave of the future in ministry training, returning education to the church and to the ministries these students will one day run and operate.

Very exciting.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


SIN.  It was the early church’s problem, and it’s our problem today.  We're not just sinners by choice, we're sinners by nature.  As Adam’s sons and daughters, his sin nature was transmitted to us.  And the result is that we commit acts of sin.  And the only way to deal with the acts of sin is by repentance.  And repentance is a change of heart and a change of mind.  It’s turning in the opposite direction.  It's an acknowledgement and a decision, in light of the holiness and goodness of God that we are sinful and that that is a problem to Him.  And so, we must repent.

But what tends to happen when we think of repentance is that we just think of calling sinners to repent of their sins.  So if you're a drunk, if you're an adulterer, if you're a thief, you need to repent of that and live a holy life.  Sure.  But that’s only half the truth. The other half of the truth is that religious people are also called to repent of their religion. 

"We can never be about rules that men have made ... what you wear, where you go, what you eat or drink."  

Religion is man’s effort to earn the favor of God - and that is an insult to God, because God is a God of grace.  God gives love, salvation and mercy as gifts.  Religion wants to earn them so it can be smug and proud.

That can never be us.  We can never be about rules that men have made ... what you wear, where you go, what you eat or drink.  That is all an offense to God.  Because what tends to happen is that religious people end up calling sinners to repent of their sins and no one ever tells religious people to repent of their religion.  That's why people are attracted to Jesus in a way they're not attracted to religion. 

But when you realize Jesus lived the life you have not lived, that He lived the life you could never live, that He died the death you should have died, and that He rose to give you a gift you could never earn, then you’re liberated from religion. 

There are those who need to repent of sin.  And there are others who need to repent of religion and tradition and manmade rules and legalisms that are apart from the grace of Jesus.

And be blessed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I traveled to Milwaukee today with three of my favorite people and fellow staff members (Pastors Mat Angulo, Jonathan Foster & Jason Lowe) to teach the third session of Life Development Resources to a couple of the metro church staffs.  We're teaching them to develop their church mission, purposes, values and strategies so we can keep our Wisconsin churches growing and thriving, not merely surviving.

It was great to share the day with my brothers and partners in ministry - great to have them along - great to hear their wisdom - great to be inspired by their insight.

You guys rock.  KFA is blessed to have them as part of the team.

And be blessed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Last year, several church leaders/pastors from around the country met face-to-face to discuss matters of theology, church life and mission.  Some of the conversations got controversial, others confrontational, all passionate.  Here are ten quotes from that forum's website, called 'The Elephant Room' (www.theelephantroom.com).
 10. Matt Chandler – Depth is not the enemy of conversion.

9. Mark Driscoll – It’s a Shepherd’s job to be unloving towards the wolves, OUT OF LOVE for the sheep.

8.  Steven Furtick – It’s easy to say, “Shoot the wolf” until people start calling you the wolf.

7. James MacDonald – If you want only enough of Christ to save yourself, then you probably don’t have enough to do even that.

6. Greg Laurie – If a church doesn’t evangelize, it will fossilize.

5. Mark Driscoll – God’s plan A is humility, God’s plan B is humiliation … to be proud is to pick a fight with God.

4. Greg Laurie – The greatest critics of video sites are people who haven’t attended one.

3. James MacDonald – It’s not wrong to have. It’s wrong when things have you.

2. Perry Noble - (on homosexuality) I think one of the reasons people joke about it is if that if the enemy can get us to laugh at something on a consistent basis, we don’t take it seriously. All media is now geared to make us think it’s funny.

1. David Platt – I think the best way to reach people is to exalt the glory of God.

Your comments are welcomed.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


A huge shout-out to my amazing wife of thirty years on the occasion of her birthday today.

I am most blessed to have found such a fantastic life partner.  The old saying is: 'I married up.'  Never more true.

She's wise and smart and full of common sense.
She's caring.
She's tender with a balanced streak of firmness.
She's a great mom and grandmother (Noni).
She's beautiful.
She has a great sense of humor.
She's techie.
She's respected.
She's a hard worker and good at what she does for a living.
She's a gourmet cook and awesome designer.
She's a great lead pastor's wife.
She loves God with all her heart.
I could go on and on.

Can it get any better?  Nope.

Happy birthday, honey.  As beautiful and amazing as you were thirty years ago.  More, actually.


And be blessed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A lot of believers suffer from what somebody once called the 'rooftop syndrome.'  We become so absorbed in our 'rooftop' worship that we don't want to leave it long enough to take Jesus to the streets. 

Maybe that's more on my head and heart since I just got back from Thailand where our men's team hit the streets every night to talk about Jesus. 

'The mission of the vision is to take it to the street.'

Still -- I believe God is determined to get the Gospel from rooftop to street.  There are people all around us every day who are saying without really saying it out loud: 'I'm lonely - I'm hungry - I'm destitute - I'm confused - I have no purpose - I'm searching - I'm hurting.  Will someone help me?'  Too often we reply: 'Excuse me.  I'm having a vision over here.'

But the mission of the vision is to take it to the street.

When God's presence doesn't produce action, the message becomes meaningless.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Sometimes life doesn't wrap itself up in a nice little package. Sometimes the answer doesn't come when you thought you needed it.  It's late. It's a different answer than you expected.  Sometimes the good guys don't win.

As one young man said, after being injured and requiring several surgeries over several years' time, with many hospital stays, with all kinds of pain and with the chances that life would never be the same - when asked if he thought God had been unfair to him, said: 'Not at all.  The way I figure it, God has all eternity to make it up to me.'

What if we really believed that?  What if that was our default perspective?  I'll confess that I live far too many days without the awareness that I have an eternal home and future.  Discouragement forgets the final destination - that 'no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.'  (I Corinthians 2:9)

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


We are finally back home after 11 days in Thailand.  I loved our team on this trip - loved the ministry - loved watching our guys teach and play with kids during the daytime and then do something so insanely opposite by witnessing to men on the streets at night.  It was like unscrewing your head and turning it around two times every day.  This was an amazing group of guys (see past two blogs).

I was reflecting on all the modes of transportation our men's team engaged in during the past 11 days:
City Bus
Songthaew (pictured above)
Back of a pick-up truck
Ox Cart
Tuk-Tuk (pictured below)
... and we used our Legs a lot.

Good to be home though.

And be blessed.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


We're sitting in a beautiful airport lounge in Hong Kong for a 15 hour layover with our Thailand missions team - on our way home.  This is the longest layover I've ever experienced.  Our team took advantage of it by taking the train into Kowloon to visit the night market for a couple of hours this evening.  What an amazing place - loved it.  Thought I'd get thru the entire trip without buying anything at all and then, bam!  Hong Kong.  We opted to spend the night in the deluxe airport lounge instead of traveling all the way into the city with all our luggage for hotel rooms.  The lounge has showers and dinner / breakfast.  Very nice - and quiet.

After doing ministry in Pattaya, Thailand (see Monday's blog), our men's team left the ladies team and travelled to Bangkok.  Our daytime ministry there consisted of partnering with ARK Ministries (YWAM - www.arkintl.org) and at night we continued with the MST Project (www.mstproject.com).

These have been long days.  Starting early in the morning, and not back to our rooms until 1:30 or past - tiring, but so good.

This past week, our men's team has been involved in:

- Ministry in two different Slum Communities of Bangkok - our guys did teaching, played games with the kids, helped clipped their nails, did crafts with them, brought gifts, and just loved on the kids.
- Ministry in schools, where we did some of those same things.  One of the largest schools let us be part of their Kids' Week, so we got to be in a mile-long parade with 200 children, walking the streets of Bangkok in bright colored costumes (the kids, not us).  The guys carried school flags and we even got a group picture taken with the mayor of Bangkok.  

One of the things that moved us so deeply was the comments we received from the ARK group about their appreciation of a group of men who would come all the way to Thailand to love children.  Thailand is a nation desperately in need of appropriate male figures and most of the people who do that kind of work are women, so our team made a huge impression on both the ministry leaders and the children themselves.   

Here are props to my friend, Chris Lenty at the MST Project, as well as his small, but amazing team of passionate warriors - Scott & Michael - who are going to win a city for Jesus.  And to our brand new friend, Amy Brock-Devine and her team at ARK for their vision and love for children at risk in Bangkok.  Blessings on you guys.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 9, 2012


First four days in Pattaya, Thailand - first chance to blog.

Thanks for praying.

It is the most amazing place to be -- with so much of God needed here.  Thousands of men and women (and small children, unbelievably) walking the streets of Pattaya each night surrounded by bars and drunkenness, bawdy entertainment, decadence and sex.

Our six men (Joe Emery, Chris Karnowski, Steve Dutler, Justin Miller, Tom Bonner, David Border) have been incredible in their heart for the lost and their focus to reach men.  Their prayers each night before and after the evening ministry have been passionate.

God has given us the opportunity to do many things while we've been here - with each night ending on Walking Street, the place made famous for girls selling themselves each evening.  It is there that they endeavor to connect with men and share the love of Christ.  It is hard ministry.

So far, our daytime ministries have been:
- To disabled children's homes to pray for them - give them food - sing to them - love them.  Extremely moving moments.
- To a Thai jail, where two of the guys (Justin Miller & Joe Emery) gave their testimonies and we saw six men come to faith in Christ.  We brought lunch and handed out newly bought underwear to the prisoners.  Great to see the huge smiles on their faces when they saw the underwear.
- To 'THE BRIDGE' (www.GCAwareness.com), a new ministry in Pattaya started by Jason & Sarah Ricketts.  Their dream is to care for the young children at night and in the early hours of the morning whose mothers are out 'working' the city each night.  Our team spent the morning and afternoon cleaning, grinding metal, priming, painting, sewing (the ladies, yeah) and a variety of other tasks they need to get done in order to open THE BRIDGE to the public.  Love these guys, the Ricketts.

Our group of ladies (14 of them) have also been serving on their own.  Some of their individual ministries while in Pattaya have been:
- A prayer walk down Walking Street during the daytime.
- Praise & Worship at the Tamar Center.
- To the bars, dividing up, and start relationship building with the bar girls, telling them about Tamar Center.

The two teams together ministered on Sunday at Pattaya Full Gospel Church, where I was so blessed to be able to speak.  Their pastor is so very gracious - a lovely man.  The young female interpreter was an absolute joy and I think she preached my message better than I did.  Pretty sure about that.  The team sang a special song all together that we had worked on and the ladies team ministered an amazingly beautiful song in sign language.  A woman came to faith that morning, completely sold out for Jesus.

The two teams also did a beach party with the slum children on Saturday.  The men were in charge of it and it was great to see our guys organize beach games (Justin Miller) for the kids - play with the - throw beach balls and footballs - and play in the ocean with them.  One of our guys (Chris Karnowski) gave the Gospel presentation to the slum children.  Great, fun day.

The teams have worked very hard so far -- this evening, we're gonna ride some elephants.

Tonight the men leave the ladies' team and drive to Bangkok, where we will finish our ministry here in Thailand.  The ladies will meet up with us there on Friday before we fly home.

O yeah -- I ate a scorpion and a grasshopper too.  Big ones.  Scorpion - unimpressive - like crunching metal.  Grasshopper?  Not bad actually - not for an insect, if you know what I mean.

Again, keep praying.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Please pray for us as we travel today to Hong Kong and then on to Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand to do outreach.  We're traveling with 16 other KFA-ers to do ministry toward the slum children of Thailand, in prisons, disabled homes, with YWAM Thailand as well as on the streets doing evangelism with those involved in renting themselves for sex and those coming to purchase such activities.

We would ask for your prayers daily while we're there.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


This is my regular 'beginning-of-the-year' post that evaluates the Top Ten Favorite PK Blogs of the previous year, 2011, according to responses and hits.  Here are my most-read blogs of the year - in order:

1.  'CONDEMNED' (December 12th blog)
By far the most widely read of the year, this short blog was based on Romans 8:1 and was about how you are not condemned - that your connection with God is not broken even though your connection with life sometimes feels like it is.

2.  'FAIL'  (August 21st blog)
A self-reflective blog because I am, at heart, a failure.  Everyone has failed in ways big and small.  This day was an attempt to remind myself I am among them.

3.  'CONFESSION'  (January 28th)
Another short blog - but also personally revealing as well as extremely painful - about what many believers really do when they say, 'I'll pray for you.'

4.  'PSEUDO'  (April 6th)
A blog about six different brands of pseudo-Christians.

5.  'SEUSS'  (January 22nd)
I saw this video of a girl speed-reading a Dr. Seuss story and I couldn't resist posting it.  I was glad so many others liked it too.

6.  'PACKER'  (January 23rd)
Predictably in the Top Ten for rabid Wisconsinites, this day was a tribute to the Green Bay Packers, who ultimately went on to win the Super Bowl last season.

7.  'WORLD CITIES,' U.S. CITIES' and 'WISCONSIN CITIES' (May 28th, May 29th, June 1st)
Kind of whimsical and spontaneous, these were back-to-back-to-back blogs listing cities in Wisconsin, the U.S. and the World that I've never been to but would like to visit one day.

8.  'SOUP'  (June 23rd)
It started out with a review of my favorite hearty soups, but ended in a discourse about being 'hearty' for God.

9.  'GROCERY'  (February 24th)
I loved this blog day because it was a re-telling of something that happened when I spotted a KFA-er at the local grocery store.  Way to go.

10.  'CULTURAL'  (December 15th)
This is a great way to round out the Top Ten - one of my personal favorites - this blog was about cultural containers vs. truth.  I was particularly happy to see this one make the Top Ten because I'm going to speaking at-length on this topic a few weeks from now.

Again - thank you for participating.  Looking forward to the coming year of blogging.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Yesterday, a mom told me she was upset with me as she was leaving KFA (www.kenoshafirst.com).  

My message for the day was 'You're Not the Point.'  The past couple of days blogs have been downloads of parts of that message.  So, it was about how God is God ... God is amazing ... God is the point ... God is the center of the universe ... God is - not you - not me - GOD.

This past weekend at KFA was a 'family day,' when all the kids are with their families in the services.  We have two or three of those a year.  So it seems this particular mom, in order to keep her three kids well-behaved in the service, offered them money - if they would keep track of it - for every time I said the word "GOD" in the message.  So there they sat, with pencil and paper, quietly tallying every time "GOD" got spoken.

Not a great day to make that deal, mom.  The kids made a haul.  But I salute you.  And thanks to you, KFA mom, for the easy blog day today.  You know who you are.  :)

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


The Westminster Catechism, one of the grand doctrinal statements to come out of the English Reformation of the 17th century, says that "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

Right on.  You exist to worship, praise, love and to make much of God.  That’s why you’re here.  That might make us a little uncomfortable because that’s not where we live.  

Everything in our culture goes another direction ... ‘You’re the point.  It’s about you.  Why shouldn’t you have that?  Why shouldn’t you be thanked?  Why shouldn't you be honored.  You’re entitled.”  Every marketing campaign, even churches -- are built around this philosophy.  “It’s what you deserve.  What do you want?  You can have it.  You’re the point.  You need to be pleased.  You deserve happiness.  God loves you.  He’s for you.  You’re the objective.‘ 

And I want to lovingly tell you ... you’re not.  If we get anything deep into our hearts in 2012, let this be it.  You're not.  In fact, if we look at it Biblically, you’re not even in second place.  God says He's uppermost and then you are to love others better than yourself.  You're bringing home the bronze.  Nothing better than that.  You’re way down the list.  You didn’t even make the cover.  You’re a distant third.

Think how incredibly arrogant it is to say, ‘I’m here for a few seconds in the scope of all eternity and yet, it's about me,' -- or -- 'I know better for me than the One who created all this ... my ideas about purity ... my ideas about marriage ... my ideas about money are better than the One who designed all those things.'

"You exist to worship, praise, love and to make much of God.  That's why you're here."

The love of God toward me as a sinner is not for God to make much of me, it’s Him freeing me to make much of Him.  So when God says, “I’m going to call Kevin Taylor to Myself.  He’s going to be My son.  I’m going to fill Him with the Holy Spirit and he’s going to follow Me,” it’s not God going, “That guy is going to have one prosperous and amazing life, courtesy of Me, Almighty God.”  No, God is freeing me up to make much of Him, because He is the point ... not me ... not you. 

A few years ago in the glory of the Brett Favre years, I had the opportunity to attend a Green Bay Packer game during the regular season at Lambeau Field.  It was my very first time there and I was excited to be in the historic stadium where the Packers play.  We had great seats.  I got the full treatment, including - in all the excitement - a little Miller Lite spilled on me from above and behind.  The Packers won and the place exploded like only Lambeau can.  I was high-fiveing strangers and hugging people I didn’t even know.  It was an electric evening.  I didn’t know I could have that much fun paying twelve dollars for a hotdog.  

But can I tell you what was happening there?  We were simply tapping into this deep, base purpose of our existence, which is worship.  That’s what that was at Lambeau that night.  When you go to that concert and you get that feeling of energy -- buy the t-shirts and gather with other participants to yell and scream at the band and get caught up in this euphoria -- the reason that feels so good is because it’s what you were created for.  The problem is what you’re worshipping continues to fail you.  All that gives way to having to go back to work on Monday morning.  So you have to start looking for another high, another worship opportunity, another experience.  

But what God has enabled me to do by saving me from eternal death is to spend my days making much of Him ... and He never gets old, He never lets me down, He never runs out of areas for me to be amazed at.  If God’s salvation of us is not ultimately about us but rather about setting us free in order to make much of Him, then a billion years from now when we’re in heaven, you and I who are believers will just be scratching the surface of how infinite the glory of God is.

Let’s be crystal clear about why we’re here.  I have to get over me.  You have got to get over you.  You’re not the point, and the more you think you are, the more your life will be enslaved. 

But if you’ll get over you, you’ll have a better marriage.  Because when it’s about you, then your spouse is your servant, given to you by God to make everything better for you.  If you’ll get over you, you’ll be a better parent.  It’s not hard to spot the guy whose world is all about him and even whose kids are all about him.  Because when his kids don’t play well, that’s somehow a reflection on him.  And so the volume gets cranked up in the bleachers, and the jabs at the coaches and even at the kids get cranked up.  When you’re the point, you are easily angered and bothered by others.  When you’re the point and somebody cuts you off in traffic, it was always on purpose.  But when you’re not the point, they just didn’t see you.  See how that works? 

But when it’s not about you, you’re free.  When it’s not about you, you get to extend grace.   When it’s not about you, you get to rest.  When it’s not about you, you believe the best.  When it’s not about you, you get to breathe.  When it’s not about you, you sleep better.  When it’s not about you, you’re happier.

We are not here for ourselves.  We’re here to make much of the God who created us.  What a great way to start 2012.

And be blessed.