Labeling Our Sin Does Not Stop Us

How many time a day do you say something that you wish you would not have? Do you ever think something you know is wrong, but think it anyways? Is it a goal of yours to be gentle and compassionate, but it is so hard to forgive and quit being stubborn?

These are all things that go on in my life that I am constantly dealing with.

Warning, Cigarette Carton, Smoking Kills

I shot this photo in the Istanbul, Turkey Airport Duty-Free Store

I am a big supporter of the missionaries working in the country of Ukraine.

There is a ton to pray about. This video will bring you up to speed on who I work with as a Missions pastor, and how has been involved over the years with spreading the message of Jesus in Ukraine for the past 20 years.

Pray for Ukraine!

“Remember – 3 things from Ephesians 2:1-10”
by Matt Shaw

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I have an act to forget things. When I was in elementary school, my private school had memory class. We had to memorize parts of a catechism and bible passages to go along. For some reason this was my hardest subject. I could study, study, and study some more, and it seemed that I would forget. It is so easy to forget things if we are not careful.

So many times we focus on our present circumstances and press on to the future. I encourage you to look to the past to reflect on things sacrifices that have gone before you to get you were you are today. Also, we can learn from the past to not make the same mistakes others have.

Ephesians 2:1–10 urges believers in Jesus to remember 3 things.

3 Things to Remember

  1. Remember who you were. Eph 2:1–3

  2. Remember what God has done. Eph 2:4–6

  3. Remember where you are going. Eph 2:7

Remembering these three things give us our testimony to share with people who don’t know Jesus.

Comparing Yourself to Others

This is a devotional my wife Kristen wrote.

Gal 3:26-29
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

Comparing yourself to others is a huge problem today.

Whether it be your career, talent, marriage, or the way we raise our children. We all lead different lives, and in God’s eyes, no one is better than another. He certainly doesn’t love us any different! In Gal 3:28 is says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

3 Reasons We Need Patience

I talk with many young adults, and have felt in my own life many times, about how they are frustrated with their life circumstances, wanting something more.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

So many times we as people want the future to happen now. We want our present life to change; whither the desire to be married, achiving a job promotion, healing of a loved one, your standard of living to increase, significant weight loss, misbehaving children to mind, etc.

In our microwave society this problem of discontentment has increased our need for instantanious results. We are always looking to the future with big eyes, and want to be there NOW!

We know we should be patient, but many times we find ourself seeking big things that don’t allow us to have time to be patient. So why am I not patient and content with my circumstances?

Traveling to Ukraine

At the Church
Today was a day of travel. Like any international trip, it take a while to get in the air flying. We started our day meeting at the church. All of our suitcases were well packed and ready to go. Until we realized that we still had a ton of stuff to fit in our suitcases and we were over weigh. Carl and Sharon Roberts got back from the Ukraine the week before, and were really excited to send a group of ‘young men’ (as their prayers kept stating) to the mission field. Carl ended up running home to get me a larger suitcase, and Clare Ulrich brought a military style duffle bag for us to pack full. We finally fit everything in with the proper weight, prayed together holding hands, and were off in Bills 4-door black Jeep Wrangler.

The drive to O’hare
Three hours to Chicago went fairly fast. With all of our excitement we ended up talking the whole way. It is fun to get to know the guys better. When we were planning the trip, I felt that it was good to have guys who get along and who would work hard without complaining. I got both. There were 4 tolls. The first was fun. When we pulled up to the window to pay the first of the $3.60 tax, I gave Bill a Starburst out of the bag I was eating of John’s. When he handed her the Starburst, we knew it was a first for her. She asked, “Did you do anything to it?” we said, “No” and she proceeded to ask if we were really in ‘The Amazing Race.’ We laughed and I think she thought we were serious. The Starburst trick didn’t work for the rest of the toll booth workers, but we sure made her day. As we dreamed up a plan of how to get out of a ticket from a cop by using a similar excuse as Argo did, John put his camera in the front window. I think we were paying attention when Bill suddenly yelled, “crap” and swerved barley making the exit. That was close. more laughter as Bill said “ I hope you weren’t recording.”

We stopped at the O’hare oasis. grabbed Subway (John got chicken and Mac&Cheese, his key diet staples) and we were back on the last stretch.

When we arrived in the parking garage Bill booked, the Intercontinental hotel, it was fun to watch him park the Jeep in small narrow parking spots. The jeep has a horrible turn radius, so we kept going up to find a double spot. We finally carted out luggage down to the hotel lobby to be greeted by very well dressed business men in suites. We were totally out of place. We were waring out green camp teeshirt with Amazing Race logo and had multiple bags. We boarded the shuttle after it arrived in 15mins and went to the terminal.

O’hare
Checkin and security was a breeze. We had 2 hours left, so Bill and I walked around the airport. 3 people though we were in ‘The Amazing Race,’ which was cool. All we needed was John following us with the camera and no one would doubt. Be boarded the plane with easy, fit our luggage in the overhead compartment, and sat waiting to start taxing to start our 9 hour flight to Finland. The air conditioner they hooked up was blowing hot air. The tube of the airplane felt like a brat being slow cooked at 325 degrees. Unfortunately , The co-pilate had a family emergency, which put us back an hour for take off. I looked at the whole Sky Mall magazine before we even left.

Inflight
THank you ipad! playing Sonic brought me back to childhood. Dinner was good. I got some leftovers from the other guys. :-) Addicted to Temple Run.

3 Reasons Why I Want To Blog

Procrastination has been my largest obstacle for starting my blog. The only way this blog will have meaningful and consistent content is to use some pig-headed discipline to sit down and write this first post on why I want to blog.

It’s fun for me to research and learn new techniques to blog, yet somehow none of this has helped me to start blogging. Books, podcasts, blogs, and gadgets have helped me learn about the topic, but never start.

Another reason I have not started is fear.

5 reflections after my ordination to ministry

1. This is just the start – similar to how your wedding is just the start to a life long commitment, where the last day is more important than the first; your ordination is just the start of a life long commitment to the oath you have just taken. Anyone can get married or say they want to serve Jesus, but the realization will be when we finish life as a faithful pastor and husband.

2. know your calling – as Christians, we have to pray for Jesus’ guidance and calling on our life. For some its education, business, music, coaching, or any other vocation. We as Christians, as well as ministers, we have to go share and mentor people.

3. keep the right motives – As more responsibility and business comes into my life I have to constantly make sure my motives are set at Jesus in charge of my life’s direction and actions as well as loving and serving other people.

4. the standard it high – 1 Tim 3:1–7 talks about the qualifications of people who lead in the Church. These qualifications are set very high because of God’s representatives have to be mature in their faith to show a transformed life through Jesus’ saving power.

5. Enjoy being under authority – authority in our country has greatly depreciated because of pride, lack of trust, and immorality. As a pastor God has placed the Churches elders over me and fellow pastors over and beside me to hold me accountable to Jesus standards, continue in my growth, to encourage, and to correct my mistakes. As a young pastor, it is easy to think you know so mucho, but without the leadership structure Jesus has placed in the Bible, it is easy to fail in my marriage, ministry, or morals.

2 Questions I Was Asked At My Ordination Ceremony

When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a pastor of a local church.

I felt Jesus’ calling on my life. The role of what type of pastor I would be always seemed to change for what group of people I was working with at that time. Yet, now that I have a college degree, a little experience, and a job at a church it is interesting to see what’s the next step.

Ordination

Almost all denominations have some formal process of selecting, choosing, confirming, and commissioning their clergy to officially lead in a church community. I was part of a denomination a few years ago, and the process was rigorous including interviews, tests, time, references, and schooling. My uncle is in the ordination process in the Catholic Church, which has taken him 5 years and countless hours to become an ordained deacon.

Today, I was ordained by my home church, where I also serve in ministry. It was a simple, minimalist service where my lead pastor read 1 Tim 6:11–12, 1 Tim 4:13–16, and 2 Tim 4:1–2,5, and then asked me 2 questions, followed by me kneeling and the elders prayed for me. It was a very special event, comparable to my graduation or wedding ceremony because of the responsibility I am committing my life to serve Jesus in a great capasity.

The 2 questions they asked me to confirm:

  • Do you believe that you are called by God to the life and work of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ?

  • Will you conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel, always uphold the word of God, fulfill His calling on your life, and serve the Lord’s church as long as you are able with God’s help?

My answers were Yes and Amen to these quesions.

5 Ways to Overcome Forgetfulness

The busier our lives get, multiple jobs, kids, church, studies, the list could go on, it is very easy to forget thing. This problem grows when you extend your committments and are counted on by your spouce, team members, and volunteers. Many times I catch myself getting to a place only to realize I forgot something crucial, or even less important. This week has been filled with forgetfulness.

I am in charge of setting up and taring down a booth for my dad’s company. This talks a lot of planning and materials to assemble smoothly. My life has gotten substantially busier over the last few months, and I realized that I have been laxing when planning only to find I foget stuff.