Since I started Tweeting, I've written less on my blog...and feel quite guilty about it every time I think about it. Before I end the year, I'd like to reflect on a few great lessons God has been teaching me in the last 12 months.
1. Dying is gain. Paul said it first [Philippians 1:21]. Never more has this spiritual principle found such personal confirmation as in the last year. Through our family relationships with several homeless friends and our timely connection with our African brothers and sisters, I have learned the joy of giving myself and my stuff away. I'm reminded that my money isn't mine. Neither is my house, my clothes, my kids or my time. I'm just a steward of God's resources. And, as often as I sacrifice, lose, give and die, I discover the blessing of true life.
2. The power of words. There's a difference between saying something and having something to say. Through my cautious adoption of Twitter and Facebook, I have been challenged to use social networking as an extension of my ministry. This means that I guard what I write and endeavor to write what matters. Proverbs 18:21 is a powerful reminder of the potential good and evil of subjects and verbs.
3. Holy Spirit proof. I have been fortunate enough to be the bystander of several lives that have been radically changed this year. I study and preach about the Holy Spirit and the inward transformation He accomplishes. But, it's only a theological proposition until you see people start giving their money, their time and their life away to be the biggest blessing to others.
4. I'm never off. As a pastor and a parent, I'm always "on." This is true of every Christian. None of us take a vacation from our life with Christ. We are always influencing our neighbors, employees, community and children...for better or for worse. The question is not whether I'm discipling people but which direction I'm discipling them in.
5. Books, books, books! The written word still has more nutritional value over television any day. Be a voracious reader.
6. One Kingdom. I am terribly tempted to build any number of Kingdoms: my kingdom, my family's kingdom, the kingdom of our church. But, only the Kingdom of God matters. If what I'm doing makes God look so great that I'm forgotten amidst the deafening applause of others for His glory, I'm doing the right thing. Make God famous in all I do.