brad ewing music
thoughts & music around the Gospel
Posted on March 27th, 2015

Stop going to church? Yes, but let me explain. 

I was watching a sermon snippet by Dr. Tony Evans (he's the man) and he was talking about when the demon possessed guy comes up to Jesus. He said the man did the right thing. He brought his demons to Jesus and bowed himself down. He knew Jesus could handle it for him. 

He brought up the point that the man didn't take his demons ("issues") to church, but laid them at the feet of Jesus in submission and worship. 

So often in my life, and your's too I bet, we can easily check the box of going to church, but do we really encounter Jesus? If we don't leave different, then we did not encounter Jesus

Jesus changes things. He walks into a room and things change. Sometimes water turns to wine.  Other times tables get flipped upside down. But things happen. Lives are changed.

Jesus brings change.

This encouragement is not to stop attending church physically cause we all need one another and the Bible says to not forsake the gathering, so tha'ts not the point.

My point is Jesus. He's the center of it all. He can change us from the inside out and wants to. We just have to come willingly to receive all He is and has for us.

Hope that makes sense. May God bless you with more of Himself. 

Posted on March 23rd, 2015

No one likes pain. We run from it. That's why I don't have a tattoo...yet. I think they are so cool and I have a bunch of ideas I want tattooed on my body, but I hate needles. For now, the hatred for needles (pain) outweighs the idea of having a tattoo. Pray for me. I'm a sissy, I know. 

But that's not my reason for this post. I just have been thinking tonight over the past hurts in my life. Whether it was childhood pain or adult life pain, it's there. And it's not always a fun thing to think about it.

But God. There are those words again. But God. He takes our pain and rubs His grace all over like a dry rub on spare ribs, infusing the pain with the flavor of His grace and most importantly with His purpose. How awesome is that thought!?

My encouragement to you is to go there. Let God take what hurts you and turn it around on the enemy to help others draw near to God. That will spit in the face of our enemy (which is always fun) and show the world we serve a huge God who is sovereign over all things, even the painful things.

What are you holding onto that God wants you to release into His hands, so He can bless others by His faithfulness to you. Embrace the pain by faith and watch our God work!

He's waiting.

Posted on February 24th, 2015

There is a tension in ministry that doesn't exist in most jobs, in my opinion. 

If I were a dentist, I would clean teeth. Boom. Smiles all around.
If a lawncare guy, I would mow grass. Boom. I love the smell of fresh cut grass.
If a banker. Loan and make money. Boom. Show me the money. 
If a chef. Cook some mean cajun food and please the masses. Ah-yee.

You get the point. 

But ministry is odd. The goal of ministry work is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, according to Ephesians 4:11-13. However, in ministry, we can easily make it about "butts in the seats", which is not the same as the goal in Ephesians. We absolutely do want more and more people to come and see what God is doing in the body. But the hardest part is that it's hard to "measure" success in a church. It's ultimately God's work done by the Holy Spirit.

As servants, we can do our very best to create an environment where people can grow in their faith, but at the end of the day, it's the peoples' responsibility to respond to the move of God in their hearts. 

I love being a part of a church who keeps this balance well and wants to "guide people to lives of gospel transformation." This is our vision we'll chase together. We'll do all we can do help this happen, but I'm reminded tonight that it's ultimately Jesus' work, so I can rest in that.

O yea, and pray way more.

Posted on January 3rd, 2015

I realized something today. I'm a perfectionist. However, I don't strive for it with everything. Just those things I feel like I can succeed at. I try things and if it is something I see progress in, I continue. If no progress or if there is failure after failure, I will drop it. I hate to lose, no matter what it is. Add competitive to perfectionism and it's a juicy combo. One example is snowboarding. After trying it with lessons and falling on my rump about 100 times, I decided to put it down and go eat hamburgers in the lodge. Not worth the disappointment. A burger wouldn't disappoint me and I knew I could conquer that. :)

I realized today that I do this spiritually. Some days I think, "What's the point of really trying cause I'm going to fail anyway?!" Just being honest here because it feels like a small breakthrough in my journey with God. Maybe His showing me this today will help me in those moments where I don't feel like pursuing Him the way He deserves to be pursued. Crazy how a silly personality trait, a flaw really, can cause so much damage to my walk with God. 

I think the effort now is reminding myself continually of God's unconditional love and that no amount of performance, good or bad, will change his love for me. Wow, that's hard to let that sink in, but I want to. 

Posted on October 9th, 2014

Reading a devotional called A Look At Life From A Deer Stand (by Steve Chapman) that my buddy Matt gave me. Good stuff. Today's lesson was really good. 

In response to Psalm 1, Chapman says, "I want to be that man - bold enough to avoid the pitfall of listening to the lies of those who do not embrace the wisdom of the Lord. I want to walk close to my Creator and not stand where sinners tread back and forth to their wickedness."

As creatures of habit, whitetail deer leave a path where they go. They will wear down a trail through the woods going to and from their normal places of eating and bedding.

This causes me to question my paths. What trail am I leaving? Does the consistent path of my life lead to patterns of wickedness or self-sufficiency? Or does it lead out of my bed and into a consistent walk with Christ?

This is what I desire, but I'm so far from having arrived there.
Thankfully, my Father doesn't quit on His kids.





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