Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Great Generation

I was reading Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus today and sensed God giving me some real insight on initiative. McManus said "the great tragedy is not the sins we commit, but the life that we fail to live." I immediately thought of King David. He was certainly one of the greatest sinners (adultery, lying, deception & murder). Yet he was accepted and used mightily by God. He was even setup as an example for future generations of God's chosen people.

There were many others who by our standards should not have been God's choice for carrying out His greatest works. Look at Ruth the Moabitess, she wasn't even a Jew but became the great grandmother of King David. Go back a few generations. Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute from Jericho. A prostitute.? She was the mother of Boaz, the husband of Ruth, the great, great grandfather of the King David. Go back about 5 more generations to Judah. Here is a real stand up guy. He gets his widowed daughter-in-law pregnant. But wait its not his fault. He thought that she was a prostitute. Her name was Tamar, the mother of Perez, who was the great, great, great, great grandfather of Boaz. You get the idea. The most astounding thing about this lineage of moral delinquents if that God saw fit to put them in a royal lineage that ultimately led to Jesus (Matt 1). If you read their stories though you will notice that all of them turned from their old lives and took initiative in the new lives that pleased God.

We need to remember that God is in the business of changing lives and making them useful for a purpose. The moral of the story? No matter where you come from or what you have done, you can still become great, great, great (etc.) to God.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lifestyle or Product Loyalty

While watching the finale of American Idol tonight (the first time I have watched the show since the last finale), I noticed something in a coca cola commercial. It was the motto "The Coke side of Life." I immediately thought that they were trying to market their product as a generarional lifestyle like Pepsi did a decade ago using the "Pepsi Generation" marketing campaign. Then I rememberd reading a blog post by Mark Batterson earlire today and had a profound thought (it happens sometimes). He was talking about an interview he read with Howard Schultz, Starbucks chief global strategist. In the interview Shultz says, "It's a very important distinction that people use our stores all over the world as an extension of their daily lives, and sometimes the coffee is subordinate to that."

Wow! Isn't it amazing that the business world is reacting to the personal needs and hunger of a generation of people while the church (for the most part) continues to expect "brand loyalty." Businesses have focused on selling a lifestyle rather than a product while the church tends to focus on a church tradition (product). People want to be part of something larger than themsleves that can bring them a better life. Jesus talked about life change; about new life; about hope for a better tomorrow.