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Playing with snakes…

Daily, I receive a devotional from www.sportsmensdevotional.com. This is the one I found in my inbox yesterday. I found it to be so relative I posted it to facebook. As I have thought about it overnight I have to pass it on to as many people as possible. The truth found herein is still moving me.
Sportsmen's Devotional
A Daily Study of God’s Word for Christian Sportsmen March 26, 2012
Today’s Photograph . . . . Timber Rattlesnake (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
II Corinthians 11:3

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (NKJV)
Thoughts

A friend and I were having a conversation recently about rattlesnakes. He told me he was thinking about purchasing a pair of snake gaiters, protective overlays for your pant legs, to protect him from being bit. He went on to say that several thousand people are bitten each year by rattlesnakes.
After our conversation, I began to think and I even did a little research regarding snake bites. l discovered most people get bit while either handling or messing with the snake somehow just before they got bit.
Practicing some simple caution around snakes will probably prevent most bites. I have a friend who is considered a professional with reptiles. He’s been bitten by rattlesnakes four different times which proves the point; if you handle snakes, you’re going to be bit no matter how good you think you are.

(Jimmy S)
Action Point
Isn’t it the same with the Devil? We usually get bit when we are toying with things like temptations, lust, and other ungodly things. Perhaps, we become a bit overly confident and we think we can handle it and nothing will happen to harm our loved ones or ourselves.
Wrong!!! God tells us to simply put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and avoid “handling” things that Satan tries to lure us with and we will avoid his painful and marring bite.

God also directs us to step out of the darkness into His light and He will illuminate our paths away from the traps of Satan.
Sportsmen’s Tip of the Day
Spring or fall mornings and evenings are dangerous times of the year in regard to seeing snakes. Snakes are out more often warming or cooling their bodies. Usually, during the heat of the day, they stay under cover where they can keep cool. Look and listen:
  • Leave snakes alone. Many people are bitten because they try to kill a snake or get a closer look at it.
  • Stay out of tall grass unless you wear thick leather boots and remain on hiking paths as much as possible.
  • Keep hands and feet out of areas you can’t see. Don’t pick up rocks or firewood unless you are out of a snake’s striking distance. A snake can strike half its length.
  • Be cautious and alert when climbing rocks.
Sportsmen’s Devotional | To subscribe to the daily Sportsmens Devotional click here | PO Box 995 | Humboldt | AZ | 86329
Think about this. As a man, boy, male, I have a tendency to do things out of curiosity or just to see if I can. That plays right in to the scheme of the devil. What can I get away with quickly becomes just a little won’t hurt. Tell that to the snake bite victim. Many times I have shared, when our question becomes what can I get away with. We have already taken our eyes of Jesus. The question should always be, What is God’s best for me.

Radical

Someone commented on my post about the book Radical. Which I stated I would keep everyone updated as I read it. He asked me what my thoughts were. It took me some time to respond but finally I did. Here it is. I have made some minor changes to protect the innocent.

I received your comment on my blog a while back and never responded. I am sorry. Yes I have finished Radical and loved the premise of the book. However, I disliked Platt’s push to go oversee’s, and was actually offended at this statement:
“But even if we were [concerned about the needs right around us], we would still be overlooking a foundational biblical truth when we say our hearts are for the United States. As we have sees all over Scripture, God’s heart is for the world. So when we say we have a heart for the United States, we are admitting that we have a meager 5 percent of God’s heart, and we are proud of it. When we say we have a heart for the city we live in, we have less than 1 percent of God’s heart.”
 I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt God has given me a heart for the United States, specifically Denver, CO more specifically Far Northeast Denver.  Several years back I was at a youth conference where my, “leadership” students were challenged to answer the call of the Great Commission. The speaker called out students, specifically those called to oversees missions, asking them what are they doing in their back yard. It may have hit me harder than the students.
I can agree with Platt that the American Dream has a profound effect on the structure of the church and because of that we may be and are missing the mark of the Great Commission. I am convinced the American Church needs to re-adapt itself to the culture surrounding it. The context/culture of the “Holy Lands,” Lawrence, is greatly different from that of Northeast Denver, where Hope Valley is. Platt would look like a lunatic to structure church the way either of us do in our personal contexts. I agree and struggle with Platt on the amount of money the church is spending on buildings and salaries. One source I found,http://library.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=9&page=660, says
Focus on Internal Operations: 85 percent of all church activity and funds is directed toward the internal operations of the congregation, such as staff salaries, utility expenses, and Sunday school materials.
That is staggering. Another quote on the same page says only 5% is spent on missions or evangelism. SERIOUSLY!!! What is the God’s church supposed to be about? But more that those things James 1:27 continued to ring in my ears as I read radical.
 “Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
In no way do I  believe that to be the sole mission of the church. But I hear and ask how can we spend millions on buildings when people are suffering, often times across the street?
Sorry I rambled and ranted a bit.
Hope this finds you well.

What will this look like?

How to start a movement

I received the previous video Sunday night and have mulled it over since. What would it look like for Hope Valley Church to begin a movement? Can we do it? The obvious church answer is NO! God has to be the One to do it through us. I have that head knowledge, but what do that look like? My brother, Andy, sent me this video on Monday.

Discipleship

Can you say, WOW!?!?! God is doing something in me that I can’t explain. I want so badly to see the “church” be and build build disciples. I believe that to be God’s  mission for  the church. Is the american church being and building disciples? Is the american church relevant in her culture? My pastor, Bryan, asked me last night if I had read his blog. I hadn’t yet. So, I did. Kollission

What is happening? What is God doing in the heart of Hope Valley? I pray we are seeking His face, through this process. I am dreaming of what HE can do.

In the words of my son…Peace, I’m out.

Church kids

What is the point of my ministry? I just have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head and wonder what is the best way to reach Steamboat. I think the churches for the most part are reaching the “church kids” or students who have some kind of church background. So why continue to do things at church? I believe we all need to be a part of a church body but I don’t think church activities are going to reach the student population. Am I wrong?


This is how I began a post a while back and never finished. A long while back seeing as I have not lived in Steamboat for almost 2 years. A similar thought continues to roll in my mind as I began David Platt’s book Radical this morning. What is the point of church? Why do we gather on Sundays? What does God’s Word say? Does the American Church line up with God’s Word or has it abandoned “Church” for religion and the American Dream. I have my answers but I don’t know that today’s American Church would agree, let alone let me try them. I hope to process them as I read Radical.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts as I read and process.

Exciting Times

As I sit and think about what God has for the future I am excited. Excited for several reasons. First, I believe God is doing something great in my life as well as the life of Hope Valley Church. Secondly, God is going to be honored.

Many have heard me say, “There was a day at the beginning of May that I received three phone calls. Each worse than the previous. Each putting the previous in perspective.” Those three calls were, Kevin’s cholesterol is through the roof, the Buchaneks may move, and Andy and Brandy’s baby girl has a heart defect.

Ya see, I can somewhat control my cholesterol through diet and exercise. It will be a challenge just cause I like to eat. Mama always told me there are two types of people in the world, those who eat to live and those who live to eat. I am in the latter camp, or at least I used to be. I enjoy eating, but my 36 year old body is telling me (or my doctor for my body) I need to take better care of myself. I don’t feel that old and that brings me to the second phone call.

It is no longer a possibility, THE BUCHANEKS ARE MOVING, to Hawaii. Why on earth did God take 8 years to bring me to Denver only to move Korey and Heather after being here 8 months? As sad as it is that they are leaving, I believe I have some resemblance of an answer, at least for me. The experiences I have been though, especially the most recent God has done two things. Brought about the understanding of what my gifts are and prepared me to use them. Back to not feeling all that old. I have to shed the excuse of respecting my elders. That may sound a bit crass but here is the reality in my life. I have chosen to follow the leadership of people older or more experienced than me at times when I knew better, because they were my “elder.” I mean no disrespect but I believe the call that God has placed on my life is one that surpasses the ranks of age and experience. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt God needs me to lead His Bride like never before. With that statement I acknowledge that I can’t lead from behind the flock. I can’t lead where I have not been myself. Which is where the last phone call or actually text comes in.

In a time of crisis for the whole Miller family, God has been good. I have gotten to spend time with each one of my brothers, parents, wife and children in prayer over Baby Girl. (Right now that is what Andy and Brandy are calling her, poor kid will probably grow up with that name.) I don’t remember the last time if ever that I prayed with Josh. I find that sad. I have found, and maybe it is just me, God has allowed me to lead my family through this time. I know the pain is still there but I believe without a doubt that God used me to bring words of comfort and affirmation of Jehovah Raffa, God the Healer to my family. Now I get to do that same type of thing for Hope Valley.

I never really put all that together in that way until I started writing a few moments ago. God, You are good!

Here am i. send me

David, Panama

Well I have spent the last few days in David, Panama. I love it here. I can fully expect God to work in miraculous ways. as I say that I know that I do not have those same expectations at home and that is a sin. While here if I just stay out of the way, God moves. It is awesome. This week I got to be a part of some amazing stuff. I saw a public school principal give permission for our team to openly share Jesus, a Panamanian man broken and repentant before God say do as You please with me, the President of David’s Chamber of Commerce openly say Christ is good for the workers and in turn good for the companies. I also saw the passion of a fellow Youth Worker, new in the field yet deeply desiring to see God move in the lives of not just his students but their parents and the whole church.

I want for this in Steamboat Springs. Do I have not because I ask not? Life is full of questions, full of wonder. I need now more than ever to daily rely on God. Life is good, but I can not accomplish the tasks before me. I am really realizing my lack of ability to minister. I have told students and believe true service or ministry comes out of the overflow. I have not lived it. 

After writing last time I almost decided not to post it because I felt like I was church bashing. I probably was. I am sorry. I apologize to you the reader but mostly to God. The Church is flawed because of me. Because God has allowed humans to…be human.

What changed my point of view? Why the change of heart?
I spent some time with a very wise man yesterday. He has been doing ministry in Colorado for nearly 30 years. He is full of wisdom. As we spoke about the church and its need to be more missional he asked, “Do you really feel like you don’t have the freedom to be missional in your church?” I had to reply with a resounding, “No!” I live in a place and serve under a pastor that allow me the freedom to do ministry however God leads, no hesitations.

I have to be willing to break out of the mold.

Lets begin…

So I stated this blog in September and this is only my second post. I really have a lot to say don’t I?
I love Ed Stetzer and David Putman’s book, “Breaking the Missional Code.” It really puts into words how I believe we need to “do church.” So many people are doing church, the religious thing and the message is not going past the pews, chews or stadium seating. I would tell you this suck but I have trouble taking it out of the church as well. In their book Stetzer and Putman discuss how the church has moved from its original purpose, the Great Commission. A lot is mentioned about church planting. When I moved to Oklahoma I could not believe how many SBC church there were not to mention the other denominations. There is a church on every street comer. I could not believe that Oklahoma needed another church. Now, after “doing church” in Oklahoma, I believe more along the lines that each church has a purpose and possibly an affinity group to reach. What is yours, mine, ours? In Colorado we don’t have the buffet of churches that the bible belt does. Which means to grow we must be appealing to a larger variety of people. But I don’t want to be appealing…

Stetzer and Putman also discuss how we should learn from international missionaries. We send them to language school, teach them about culture. What do we do in the US? I had a front row seat to what we do here. A new pastor came in and basically implemented what he had done at his previous church. If it worked at a somewhere else it will work here too. Problem was he moved from metropolitan Texas to rural Oklahoma. We should be just like international missionaries we need to go to language school and learn about the culture where we live.

It is easy to see the church as a country club and I believe many are. Serving only club members. We are missing the point. The focus of the church cannot not be on the church. It has to be on the community in which God placed it.

I could rant about the issues of the church for hours…what am I doing to change the perception and the direction?

blogging

Kevin and blogging, writing, sharing thoughts…go together like oil and water. This is hard for me. I have written 2 sentences and it has taken 10 minutes. But I really believe that after some of the stuff I have read, which is also new to me, I have some things I need to just talk through. Read at your leisure and comment as you please.