Sunday, November 15, 2009

You cannot experience the depth of your spiritual account until you access it in the breadth of your life circumstance. http://is.gd/4VHL6

Posted via email from jeffharris's posterous

Happy 75th!

Today is my father's 75th birthday! He is a son of an alcoholic. He was in the mentally challenged classes until the 7th grade when he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He felt called to the ministry and when he told his dad he was going to be a preacher he was kicked out of his home. At the age of 18 he became a pastor, later married and went off to seminary and then his PhD. My mom would read his books to him in order for his dyslexia not to slow him. He was a ntaionally televised minister who has traveled to over 100 countries preaching the Gospel. For the last 57 years he has faithfully proclaimed Jesus and personally lived out his faith. Today he will stand in the pulpit at First Baptist Kerrville--he cannot retire from his calling and he has not tired of the joy of proclaiming Jesus. He's my hero, my friend and my faither.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Never Tire

I was sitting at a swim meet with a friend watching our boys compete. My friend has heard my story and for several years has remained cordially resistant to Christ. Somehow or another the conversation turned to the state of the world, etc. and he said it's kind of 'scary.' I again had the opportunity to share my ONE Story, that brief one line statement that preceded "and that's why I'm not scared." He paused and said, "Yeah, I guess that's right." The crowd cheered and our attention went back to the swim meet but the seed again was cast. I still hope my friend will fall for Christ the way I have and that's why I keep telling the story.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sabbatical

I was feeling guilty the other day thinking about going away on sabbatical. I thought how selfish to not be working, to not be with my family and then a friend gave me Wayne Cordeiro’s book “Leading on Empty.” We all need to rest. Too few of us even follow the biblical mandate for one day a week much less a sabbatical year or a monthly retreat day. We think it’s too impractical—but then so is burn out, depression, divorce, and open heart surgery. So I put some things in perspective and am now preparing my heart and my soul for renewal. Maybe it’s time for a little impractical retreat in your life.

**I will be on sabbatical May-July.**

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Facebook for Christ

Facebook is a phenomenon of social networking where you can re-connect with old friends and admittedly people you vaguely remember. My wife and I have been re-connecting with friends from what seems like a lifetime ago and yet we have found some amazing relationships that we would have jettisoned had it not been for the Facebook phenomenon. I have been able to tell my ONE story and Jody has been able to share what God is doing in her life. Facebook is famous for inch-deep relationships but also for reconnecting with meaningful friendships that slipped somewhere along the way. We have decided to use each of these to influence others for Christ.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Risen

“What evidence?” I was asked. Well, I said there is the historically documented empty tomb by the Roman guards as recounted by Josephus. There are the eye witness accounts by the disciples. The radically changed lives of those very same disciples who at the threat of death testified to what they had seen. The of course there is Paul, the ‘Osama Bin Laden’ against the early church who is now the leader of the early church. Then I said, “If this were a court of law and this was on trial and we had physical evidence and eye witness accounts and the charges against us were conspiracy…is there reasonable doubt that we wouldn’t be convicted of conspiracy?” You bet! But even more—He lives, and He lives in me. The Christ I see in you and the one you see in me is proof enough. He is risen, He is alive and He is alive in you.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Twitter

Twitter is communicating in under 140 characters. The challenge is to communicate something meaningful.

I was once blind now I see. Now you try.

Follow my twitter: onelifetime

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Childlike Faith

My daughter, Sydney, started public school two years ago largely due to sensing it was God’s calling for her to be salt and light. Since then she has led four of her friends to faith in Christ and is actively inviting kids to the OneTen movement here at Grace Point. Today, Kite Day, my little girls have invited a neighborhood girl to come and hear the Gospel story of Jesus and we continue to hope, pray and trust that our neighbors’ lives will be wrecked for the Gospel. It is a simple, natural thing to tell friends about what has changed your life. It is a simple childlike thing to tell friends about what you’re excited about. Sometimes when we lose those childlike friendships we make it complex--but faith and faithfulness are simple, childlike and world-changing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Be On Guard

I was riding along a trail that I cut over a year ago--I know it well. It was a perfect spring day and I had my head phones on and I was just lost in my surroundings. As I was heading down a wooded stretch I began to hear what sounded, through my headphones, a sea of locusts. It was that all too familiar sound and my heart began to race I looked down and around and I had just past a coiling 5 foot rattle snake. I hammered the pedals out of there! This is an all too familiar occurrence in our lives; a familiar path, lost in the surroundings of familiarity, not realizing something has changed--something potentially catastrophic. Be alert, always on guard, the enemy is waiting.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Drawing Outside the Rule Box

Last night my wife said to me “drawing outside the rule box again are you?” She has a knack for mixing metaphors in a strangely accurate way. Drawing outside the lines, breaking the rules and thinking outside the box all were morphed into a pretty accurate summation of the line of reasoning I was pursuing at the time. Parables are powerful forms of communication because they carry so much truth in such a small package--they are timeless and in a few words we can carry profound meaning. In a few words we can also say nothing: j fkna tou psnas airs or the same letters JFK NATO UPS NASA IRS. They are the exact same letters in the same order just bunched together in ways that connect shared meaning. So when my wife says to me “drawing outside the rule box” she is drawing on depth of meaning that has been bunched together in order to communicate. We have all done this with our ONE stories recently: I was blind and now I see. I was a prodigal who found his way home. I was seeking meaning and found it in Christ. In a short powerful way we can condense our story into a meaningful parable.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Long Journey Home Begins by Considering the Father

When my pain gets acute enough I begin to seek relief and it is then that I consider that there is a better way a truer reality and inevitably it is that reality that is home. Not the home made by moms and dads that this world offers but in the arms of the Father who waits, who gave, who gives still. Prior to the pig pen, our sense of entitlement leads us to pleasure and pacifying and gratifying our desires. When that falters and the money runs out in self-reliance we slop the pigs, resenting the state of affairs but still willful enough to hold out Maybe we cast blame, or angrily judge or accuse but soon enough we break and we acknowledge what we have always known to be true. We are loved, we have a home and we can return their in complete acceptance where we are received with joy and we see the joy in the eye of our Father. It is what we have always longed for and in that moment we know--we at last are home. What all the treasures and pleasures could not satisfy the joyful delight of the Father fills and satisfies…brokenness is the beginning to the pathway home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

God"s glory implies less of me

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 says “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord are being transformed into his likeness with every increasing glory which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

As the Spirit of God has control of my life greater Glory is reflected: more of him less of me. As I pursue my glory, less of the Spirit emanates from my life. The duality of motive is so profound in my alone. I tend to want to point to T.V. preachers or well marketed and slick self promoters and yet in my own heart there is no less competition for personal glory that vies for the place of God. Where his Spirit is in increasing measure so His glory is revealed in increasing measure: more of him, less of me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mind the Gap

The chime on my phone went off right as I was deliberating whether or not to send the email. Normally I would have just trudged right through and sent it but I have been measuring conflict a lot more and trying to avoid needless drama. This, however, would not go away and the chime gave me the impetus to address the issue. Conflict is inevitable and yet we must with yielded hearts and a biblical framework approach the circumstance through relationship. After the dust settled the conflict wasn’t conflict at all but rather a miscommunication--I’m so glad I responded in faith. Relationships that weather conflict are stronger and richer and capable of greater.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gazing into the Night time sky

Starry Night Shine

A million miles into darkness you shine,

Starry night shine-reflection of the sun.

An unmoving testimony cutting through the night,

Starry night shine, all that is right, shine.

A guiding light in all the confusion

Starry night shine-leading me home.

Holding out brilliant reminders of hope in the darkness

Starry night shine-sending me promised love-

And I will shine like the midnight starry night shine

And I will run, no not in vain…light shine.


Posted via email from jeffharris's posterous

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Waiting in this Life

Moses was a shepherd for forty years prior to God calling him. He wandered around for another forty prior to coming to the edge of the Promised Land. So much of Scripture is waiting, with long gaps of looking toward the fulfillment of God’s promise while abiding on His sustaining presence. So much of our lives are quick fixes and immediate indulgences and yet the object of our desires do not sustain. God sustains us and yet the ultimate satisfaction is always future, always just beyond reach. We are so destination focused that we miss the sustaining presence along the way. Last night I sat down with my fourteen year old, we talked about life and struggles that come; she asked if I could help her with her devotional life. Close to twelve years ago I wrote about this day in my journal and waited, forgot and now remembered. God is faithful when we are not but sometimes what we think is immediate is only a glimpse at what will be. Patiently following is both a discipline to be learned and a process.

Monday, February 16, 2009

PrePosterously Posterous

The wonder of communication is that it is powerful and yet delicate. Imagine posting to all your social networks with the power of one click. That is what Posterous attempts to provide. Right now I’m emailing, blogging, facebooking and twittering. It’s almost too much, but if it works I can do all at one time and communicate widely. The implications move far beyond social networking into the communication and the power of the Gospel. So here it goes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hallmark Holiday

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. As I was out tracking down my prey, I ran into a sea of men searching for candy, jewelry, flowers, perfume, lingerie and other assorted apparel. This is the annual day we tell people that we love them. It's so nice to have a day on the calendar or else we might forget. Then, of course, the standard chocolate, perfume and flower gifts really evidently work for most women. I'm guessing this is very different than when Paul said "I am compelled" to preach the gospel. Don't get me wrong—I love my wife and I want to tell her and express that to her through words, actions and gifts, I just don't particularly like a "hallmark" holiday to make it uniform. Hopefully she gets presents, words and actions regularly enough that even if there were no Valentine’s Day she would know she is loved. When I think of Christ's love for me do I realize it only at Easter and Christmas? Or is our relationship so rich that without those dates I would remember, I would honor, I would tell and I would act?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dancing

The time flew by. When they were smaller, the Dad/Daughter Dance seemed to grind out slowly, but with each passing year those two hours grow shorter. They hang with their friends more, can get their own punch and as they grow older the days near when they may not want to go “dance” with daddy or their lives will take them far away. For now, I got to dance with my girls. The older, more mature and awkwardly dancing with dad, the younger, nestled in my arms excited about balloons and cookies. All three of them still my girls, still dancing. There’s a strange awareness that I am preparing them for someone and a slow realization that that someone is beyond my control. I prepare them still: to be loved, cherished and honored and so I try to show them what they should look for in a man. I hope and I dance.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Technology

My daughter and I were at the Sprint store activating an old phone because she dropped her Phone in the tub. She was texting with her “dry” hand and somehow the phone slipped and ‘took a bath.’ The store clerk was amused, my daughter and her really connected because the store clerk has lost or broken 13 phones in the last year. The whole scenario made me reflect on the intrusiveness of technology in my life. Instant messaging, texting, my blackberry that has to be babysat—when will I have space to be still and know? There is no high tech quick fix for devotion.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Coincidence

My son and I pulled into the car wash and as I was dropping quarters into the vacuum a twenty something man asked if he could borrow my phone. He assured me he wasn’t going to run off or anything. I willingly handed over my phone and continued to vacuum. He stepped away from the noise in order to place his call, after he finished he shared “my brother and I got into a fight and he drove off with my phone and my wallet.” I asked if he needed a ride and he said, “that would be great. Could you take me over to the Wal-mart since my brother is there?” So we piled into the car, my son a bit wide eyed, and we dropped him at the Wal-mart. On the way we talked and he asked me, “So, what do you do?” And I told him I was a pastor at Grace Point. Through this brief dialogue I told him I didn’t think there were any coincidences and that God had has our paths cross. I didn’t have a lot of time with this young man but my son and I did our best to communicate our love for Christ and his need. My son on the way home was energized by the encounter—we had helped someone and we had pointed them toward Christ in a brief but powerful interaction.

No Coincidence

My son and I pulled into the car wash and as I was dropping quarters into the vacuum a twenty something man asked if he could borrow my phone. He assured me he wasn’t going to run off or anything. I willingly handed over my phone and continued to vacuum. He stepped away from the noise in order to place his call, after he finished he shared “my brother and I got into a fight and he drove off with my phone and my wallet.” I asked if he needed a ride and he said, “that would be great. Could you take me over to the Wal-mart since my brother is there?” So we piled into the car, my son a bit wide eyed, and we dropped him at the Wal-mart. On the way we talked and he asked me, “So, what do you do?” And I told him I was a pastor at Grace Point. Through this brief dialogue I told him I didn’t think there were any coincidences and that God had has our paths cross. I didn’t have a lot of time with this young man but my son and I did our best to communicate our love for Christ and his need. My son on the way home was energized by the encounter—we had helped someone and we had pointed them toward Christ in a brief but powerful interaction.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Zone

I’ve been riding bikes for five years now and I’ve made a few improvements. About two years ago I hit a plateau both in overall fitness and in cardio gains. A friend of mine asked me about my heart rate recently and if I was riding in my zone. I told him hadn’t really focused on my heart rate—I just ride. The next time we rode I wore my heart rate monitor and we rode the same ride we’d been riding for over a year. He’s younger and in great shape and so his perfect heart rate zone is my “anaerobic” or not so perfect zone. Come to find out I’d been exercising ruthlessly wrong. I was riding hard and fast to keep up with stronger, fitter riders but not riding in the zone that was most conducive to me making fitness gains. Sometimes in life we have to exert less energy to make greater gains, sometimes we have to work smarter not harder, sometimes we have focus on our training rather than just keep doing what we’ve always done.

Friday, January 16, 2009

In My Element

Last night on my way home from BridgePoint Church in Houston I camped at Bluff Creek Ranch, which is a working ranch that has 10 miles of single, versatile track full of beautiful piney woods. I camped in my Honda Element. My plan was to plug a hot pot into my converter for coffee and oatmeal but the converter and hot pot didn't like each other. Instead I got out in the 30 degree cool of the morning and went old school. It was the best cup of coffee I've had in a while.

video

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cable

We did it: we canceled our cable! We had gone from no cable to cable about two years ago and that is when the slippery slope started. Slowly our time as individuals and as a family began to gravitate toward the television. So after the holidays and way too much T.V., I decided it was time. We still have T.V. via the internet if we want it but we have to go look for it rather than surfing channels. We play more games, we read more and if we are watching it’s as a family. I didn’t watch any football and I didn’t miss anything apparently. It’s not a decision for everyone but it does represent how little benign things slowly creep in and vie for importance. I would challenge you to identify the time, and relationship drains in your life.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wii

During the holidays I was over at a friend’s house and he was showing me his Nintendo Wii. We sat down and he showed me the golf game on this virtual interactive gaming system. The motions were life like and the graphics phenomenal and I was hooked! I said, “I could do this all day” and he said, “I don’t know about that, the other day I played so long and then suddenly I got up—I couldn’t even look at it anymore, I was sick of it!” There are so many things in my life just like that, virtual pleasures that I indulge in until I just get sick. Real pleasures you never tire of because they were designed to walk in, live in and truly enjoy. Virtual pleasures are quick and easy, entertaining and amusing but they do not last and they do not satisfy.