Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

On My Mind #33: What I Want Written on My Tomb

Recently our church hosted a marriage seminar.  It was called “Art of Marriage” and it was excellent.  The final session challenged couples to think about the legacy they will leave behind one day.  A sobering thought, yes, but it made me think about what I’d want on my tomb.

Here’s my best stab at it as of now:  “He had one identity.”

It is my sincere hope that in marriage, in relationships, in preaching, in every day life there would be little doubt left as to my identity.  I hope by the way I live, by the way I think, by the way decisions are made that little doubt would be left as to my identity.

We are told in the Bible that when we are in Christ we are a new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come.  I hope if my funeral were next week that there would be little doubt.  I hope if my funeral is at a natural time (say 50 years from now), that God would grow and mature me even more into a person who lived with sincere and single focus: to serve Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s my prayer.  I can look back and be encouraged because God has grown me by leaps and bounds.  I hope and pray he’ll continue to do it.  And I pray everyone will continue to know for what purpose I live each and every day.

I don’t want any confusion about my identity.  What about you?

Monday Links and Bullets 5.28.12

As usual, good challenging reading in the links I’m sharing.  Some of my own thoughts below.

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK(S) OF THE WEEK

–I am going to be racing (or should I say enduring) 50 miles this fall for two purposes.  1) Raising some money for a great cause.  2) Challenging people to do something they’ve never done before. I’d love it if you’d consider being a part!

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Four marks of Christianity that bears fruit.

Six ways to minimize sin.  This is very challenging.

Why men love video games and porn so much.

–I found this challenging.  It talks about crucifying your ministry – is our ministry too important to us?

A lot of people are pointing this guy to characterize all Christians.  First, they’re wrong.  Second, this guy’s an idiot and is in no way qualified to be a pastor.  Third, why are the idiots listening to him saying amen?

MISCELLANEOUS

–MONEY: Facebook could destroy the economy (one person’s opinion at least)

–SPORTS: Why Milwaukee’s baseball fans are among the best (and a great comparison to Cleveland).

–PARENTING:  Parents should read this.  Does the internet influence your kids too much?

BULLET THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

  • Lexi:  “Did you turn on the air?”  Me: “Yes.”  Lexi: “Does Mommy know?”  —- the answer to this is yes. HA!
  • Memorial Day is a great reminder of what has happened for our freedom to be secured.
  • The link above about minimizing sin is really something everyone should consider.  It’s very revealing if we’re honest about it.
  • Prayer is so necessary.
  • I read a post online about pastors being some of the loneliest men in a local church.  It made me think why that might be the case.
  • Seems like a lot of people think it’s a sin to have a lot of money and do what you want with it.  I feel a rant coming.
  • The conference finals in the NBA should be very interesting in both the east and the west.
  • Baseball this year is going to be increasingly more interesting.  Can’t wait to see how things develop.
  • Have you been discipled?  Have you ever made a disciple?

Have a great holiday.  Stay cool everyone.

Kevin’s 50 Miles for Justice – A Challenge of Faith and Life. Will You Be A Part?

I am excited to announce that I am launching into a specific challenge over the next several months.  Between today, May 26, and Saturday November 3, I am embarking on Kevin’s 50 miles for Justice – a Challenge of Faith and Life.  Here is the What, the Why, and the How You Can Be a Part.

WHAT

On Saturday November 3rd I’m going to attempt to run 50 miles all at once.  And since I think that’s mentally and physically going to be a very difficult task, I’m doing it raise money for a cause – the International Justice Mission.  (Visit this website and see below for more on the fundraising part.) I’m also challenging people I know and people who read this blog to do something they’ve never done before.

WHY

There are some very simple reasons I’m doing this.  Here they are:

  • I want to honor Jesus with my life.  He died on the cross to free people from sin.  I believe the Bible speaks very clearly about justice and freedom.
  • I want to challenge people to do something with their life they’ve never done before.
  • I want to have motivation for my training.
  • No one should ever be bored.  I’m trying to help people think about how to combat boredom.
  • I would love to be a part of saving children and/or adults from international sex trafficking and slavery.  I’d also love it if more people became aware of this global crisis and got involved.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN BE A PART

There are some main ways I’m challenging you to be a part of this specific journey in my life.

1. Pray that God would be glorified.

Seriously, if I am glorified in all this, it’s a big waste.  No one needs another person and another cause.  I hope this is an encouragement to others that brings glory to God.  Nothing more, nothing less.

2. Do something this summer/fall that you’ve never done before.

I’m challenging this happy little group of people who read my blog to do something you’ve never done before.  Get active.  Run a 5K.  Get to know someone you dislike.  Bury the hatchet with someone.  If you’re not a Christian, get some answers about why people are Christians. If you’re a believer, grow in your faith – read the bible between now and November 3rd.  That might mean a little less ice cream and Netflix, but you can do it.  Share your faith with one person per week.  Organize a free car wash in your neighborhood and refuse to let anyone pay you.  I hope these ideas spur your thinking.  Use this summertime to do something!

NOTE:  If you decide to do something and want to encourage others, e-mail me directly at burkholder.kevin@gmail.com.  I’ll be posting blogs over the next several months which will share ideas and encouragement for what others are doing.

3.  And finally, HELP ME RAISE $500 OR MORE FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION.

What do I mean $500 or more?  Here’s how this will work.  I have set up a web page that will track what anyone decides to give.  Is it worth trading a pizza so someone across the globe can be freed from sexual slavery?  If you’d like to contribute, go to this website:

Kevin’s 50 miles for justice.

If the readers of this blog donate a combined $250, my wife and I will match it for a total of $500.  If the readers of this blog donate a combined $500, my wife and I will match it for a total of $1000!!

Please do not feel obligated to give money.  There are passions other people have I am not a part of and I don’t expect them to be offended if I don’t share the same passion.

CONCLUSION

I am excited to spur people in my life to deeper faith in Christ through love and good deeds.  I do that (I hope!) in other intentional ways already.  This is not to diminish any of those.  However, in adding this personal focus over the next several months, I hope to share some encouragement among friends and acquaintances and benefit an organization and a cause I think people should know about.

A usual theme of why I write a blog is this:  be challenged!  So, everyone – BE CHALLENGED!

Friday Link Highlight 5.25.12

Every Friday I feature the article that was most clicked in that week’s Monday post.  It’s always interesting to me to see which ones gain the most traction among the group of people who read my blog.  Here we go with this week’s most clicked link.  As usual, a few of my own thoughts below.

What corporate worship does for us.

A few thoughts:

1. Do we agree with God?

This is a big big deal.  Some people come to large group worship and only want to look good before others.  Some come trying to justify themselves, or to fit in.  This gathering, and Doug Wilson writes, is about agreeing with God. We are sinners.  He defines sin.  Do we agree?

2. Ask the Spirit . . . 

…to give you a right view of yourself.  Is that something we really want?  To know how God is viewing us?  Hmmm…

3. I’ve been experiencing pain and glory recently.

There is pain in realizing your shortcomings, your weaknesses.  There is also glory that the Holy Spirit will work inside you, communicate God’s hatred for you sin, but then also communicate His love and forgiveness because of Christ’s blood shed for our forgiveness.  How powerful – will you go to church this weekend (and in the future) ready for God to work in you as you lift Him up?

Have a great Friday and a safe holiday weekend.

On My Mind #32: My opinion on kids and electronics

So my daughter used her birthday money to buy my old iPhone. It’s not working as a phone at all, so no problems there. It will mostly function as an iPod touch. I am wrestling a bit with this, so here is my opinion. I know there will be some who disagree (as with every opinion). But here are some thoughts which are guiding how we are approaching this.

1. She owns the device, we own the house.
What this means is that yes, she is the full owner of the device. But because we are parents who prefer to be in charge of our home, she will have to use the device according to our guidelines. We love our children and don’t want to overwhelm them with freedom.

2. There will be hours when she can’t use it.
I have been perturbed about the late hour usage of cell phones and devices since I was in youth ministry. Perhaps someone does, but I have no problem collecting the device after certain hours in order to teach the lesson that devices don’t control our lives. Further, there will be time limits on how much it can be used (as we do with other electronics, TV, etc.)

3. There will be certain ways we won’t allow her to use it.
There is no need for a nine year old to have access to the internet on a mobile device. Safari will be disabled. Netflix? Not necessary. Games and music she wants to purchase? Fine. Camera? Good. Other things that come up? We’ll decide as we go along.

4. The bottom line is I believe in balancing freedom with structure.
The more kids show responsibility, the more they should have freedom. They should also see adults living under structure. If you want your kids to be accountable for their usage of the internet, then you should tell them how you are accountable in your life.

I hope this is helpful and makes you think. I’d love to hear how others handle this dicey issue!