Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Winning" ???

 I have to tell you that I've heard the word "winning" more times in the last 3 days that I have in the last 3 years combined. This is in reference to the exploits of actor Charlie Sheen who has captivated the attention of the Media world. Sheen's antics on ABC's 20/20 has catapulted him into one of the most twitter followed people on the Planet, as well as headlining the discussion of every comedian actively doing comedy. Whether its Face book, Twitter, Saturday night Live, Cable TV, or just Charlie's web cam, this week he is the talk of America.  So I wanted to take a few minutes to examine Charlie's philosophy on winning, I think that we can learn something.

Charlie Sheen's lifestyle speaks for itself, so my intentions are not to personally bash him in any way. As a matter of fact, I think that CS is the epitome of what the American media says every man should aspire to. I mean Sheen has everything that the world tells us is important, and by the world's standards it's impressive. Check this out:

1) Fame- Charlie has got it! In addition to a string of hit movies, his " Two and a half men"  TV series has been rated among the top 20 programs every season since it aired. Yesterday over 1 Million people signed up to follow Sheen on Twitter.
2) Money- Sheen's estimated paycheck per episode is 1.3 million dollars. Per episode. His web cast 2 days ago advertised his favorite brand of Chocolate milk and a hot dog. The Milk company reported record sales and the hot dog was promptly named the "Charlie dog".
3) Women- Charlies exploits with women are extensive, and he has 2 girls nicknamed the "goddesses" that live with him. One is the Nanny and the other a "porn" star.
 4) Power- When asked if he was afraid to die. Charlie replied:"Dying is for Fools". " I have Tiger blood in me". The reporter for 20/20 went on to ask how he cleaned his life up. His reply: " I blinked my eyes, and I healed my mind" "The partying run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards, all of them look like droopy eyed armless Children".

He has quite a life, a life that he describes as "Winning"! Most Americans would agree, that minus the antics, Charlie would seem to be doing pretty well. However is having Fame, Money, Women and Power really winning in life? The Bible has a different take.

In the Book of Daniel, the king in Babylon named Belshazzar comes to power. This king has everything that Charlie Sheen has and more. He has fame. When he walks the street everyone knows his name. He doesn't have to introduce himself to anyone, they bow and call him King. He has money. He evens drinks from Gold and Silver goblets. He wants for nothing. He has women. Wives and concubines are at his disposal. If he wants a girl, he doesn't have to court or woo her. He just says bring her to me. He also has power. He claps his hands and servants meet his every desire.

One day the King decides to throw a party, for a thousand Lords and his nobles. As the party is at full tilt he commands that everyone should drink from a gold or silver goblet. As people are drinking a sobering moment occurs. What looks like a hand appears and writes on the wall in a language that no one can understand. Daniel is brought in to interpret the words, and here is his translation.

*God has numbered the days of your rein, and He has brought it to an end.
* You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting
* Your kingdom is divided among the Medes and the Persians

That very night Belshazzar, King of the Babylonians was killed. All that he worked for was given to his enemy Darius the Mede.

There is a lesson for ALL of us here. Not just for Charlie. Life is not about Fame, Money, Women, and Power.  No matter how much effort we put into those things, they will never satisfy our lives. The reality is that we can't heal ourselves, and therefore we can't win on our own. Jesus said: "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."-NLT

Real "Winning" only comes by giving our lives to Jesus.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Rising cost of Fuel!

If you see my big Bass truck on the way to a speaking engagement, look closely because you will probably be entertained or at least disturbed! The reason for that is because I love to worship God as I travel down the road, and it usually involves praise music.......LOUD praise music. A number of years ago I made a great discovery that most Christians have heard about, but often times underestimate the power of putting into place. What's the discovery? Lean in and Listen..............True Worship "Fuels" the Christian life. When Christ is the focal point of adoration and praise, His Spirit activates power! This fact can change our lives. Let me explain.

Recently I was in Louisiana for the BASS Classic. On the Saturday of the Classic I had a Wildgame Banquet In Ruston La. As I made the 5 hour drive to up North, I felt tired. I was in the middle of a 13 day road trip away from my family, about to make a 21 day trip and I my focus was totally on me. Then it happened. I was turning the dial on my radio when a song caught my attention. I knew that I had heard it before but it the sound was a bit different. The radio voice says " for the next 2 hours we will be hearing from the recently released "Back to the Rock" album by Petra." When Christ introduced Himself to my heart, Petra was the only contemporary music group that had made any type of real impact in the world. The were the pioneers of the new wave of Christian music. I was introduced to Petra's music the week after I came to know Christ. Their music made a profound impact on my life.

As I drove and listened I began to sing along and praise God. Pretty soon my focus was totally off of me and totally on Him, and my entire outlook on life began to change. As I worshiped in song the Spirit of God began to fill me up. Song number 4 is entitled Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows. I listened to the words, pulled my car over and came undone! I sat in silence and wept realizing that the God of the universe lives in me! Not because I deserved it, but because while I was a sinner, he loved me. I get to tell people about Jesus! In the silence, God spoke to my heart! Chris you GET  to tell people about my Son!

I have to tell you that night and the next Sunday God's Spirit made His presence felt in my life! He moved in amazing ways that weekend! Here are some things that I learned:
1) Worship is essential- If you do not worship, you will not be filled up. My truck can be clean, look shiny, be perfectly maintained, but without fuel its going nowhere. It's the same with worship.
2) Worship costs- It takes time and effort to truly worship. The Bible speaks of the sacrifice of praise. Most Church goers won't pay the price.
3) Worship is why we were created. When we worship something inside radiates.....Yes! We function at our optimum level when worship is accomplished.

If you are feeling sluggish in your Christian Walk, it may be time to check your Fuel gage! Pull into the presence of God and let worship fill you up. It's fuel worth buying!