No Fear, No Doubt

SimpsonsPicI submitted a photo of myself to the Simpsons website that Simpson-izes images.

This is me.

It looks exactly like me. Except for the gray hair.

Thanks, Jennifer Green, for the link.

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We don’t have to look around and conduct surveys or read books or bring in experts to tell us what our mission in Christian ministry is. We’re assured in Ephesians 2 that God prepares in advance those works for us to do. We can’t open our eyes or drive two blocks or turn around without running into a person or a family or a situation that is desperately crying out for the love of God in Jesus. People all around us are dying for reconciliation. They need forgiveness. They need peace. Their lives are empty without the things only God can give them. And because the mission is all around us, because it surrounds us in its enormity, we’re usually intimidated. It’s too big. The mission is obvious but we don’t know where to start. We’re only one person or one church in a sea of lost people and hopeless circumstances. But if we’ll just step out in faith with the God who gives us the ministry, we can be certain his mission will be accomplished. He works through us and in us. He uses us for his will and his Kingdom. He takes us in our unique settings with our unique talents and quirks and abilities and puts us in places and situations in which those gifts can be utilized for Christian ministry.

It’s only by his grace, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3, that we build on the foundations laid before us. It’s not me, Paul continues in that same letter. It’s not us. We are what we are and we do what we do only by the grace of God. And because it’s a God-given mission that we perform with God-given gifts, nothing else should really matter. We should have no misgivings about risking our reputations to reach out with God’s love to strangers. There should be no hesitation in helping others. We’re not afraid to get out of our houses and church buildings to join the Father’s work in progress.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in Spiritual Care: “I expect naught from myself, everything from the work of Christ. My service has its objectivity in that expectation and by it I am freed from all anxiety about my insufficiency and failure.”

No fear, no doubt.  

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Putting our faith in God — not in our programs and planning or in our abilities — is the key to Christian ministry.

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TeixeiraAdd Mark Teixeira to the LONG list of Texas Rangers who leave Arlington to win championships in another city for another team. There is nobody on that Rangers team who’s wanted to build a winner right here and do great things as a team right here than Teixeira. Nobody.

I don’t blame him. I don’t blame Scott Boras. I blame Tom Hicks. He’s lost another great one. And this one is a team leader who leads with character and work ethic and selflessness. And he wanted to be a Ranger. He wanted to stay. If he could only see some hope of some light at the end of the tunnel some day.

I’ve never rooted for the Braves. But I’m rooting hard for a great guy who’s now playing first base in Atlanta.

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BraceFaceFor the past week Whitney has been chewing gum every day and eating popcorn every night because this morning she finally got her braces. They’re purple. For over a year she’s been talking about getting blue and red braces for the Rangers. But she’s so disgusted with the Teixeira trade that she went with purple. To match her room.

BracesShe and the rest of the Legacy Youth group just left the building for a full day at Six Flags. The kids here are so kind and friendly to Whitney. They’ve been so accepting of her and welcomed her right into the mix. And Carrie-Anne and I are so grateful for that. It’s an answer to fervent prayer.

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DannyReevesThere are 30 more days until football season and today’s #30 is an undrafted quarterback out of South Carolina who played mainly a backup role as a running back with the Dallas Cowboys and then made his mark in the NFL as a Super Bowl coach.

Danny Reeves played for Dallas from 1965-72, actually leading the team in rushing with 757 yards in 1966, the team’s first ever winning season. But he served much more effectively as an assistant coach under Tom Landry for eleven seasons, at one time the front-runner to replace him whenever he decided to step down.

But Reeves couldn’t wait that long. He got the opportunity to coach the Broncos ReevesSIin 1981 and took them to four AFC title games and three Super Bowls, winning NFL Coach of the Year honors three times. He also took the Falcons to a Super Bowl after a four year stint with the Giants. In all, Dan Reeves appeared as a player or a coach in 50 playoff games and nine Super Bowls. He won NFL Coach of the Year five times and he’s the 6th all-time winningest coach in NFL history with 201 victories. And he was Chan Gailey’s little league baseball coach in Americus, Georgia.

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We’re packing up the family and heading down to Marble Falls tomorrow morning for a quick little four day getaway before school starts. We’re going to the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco Wednesday (we try to make Waco and Dublin on alternating years), worshiping with our Marble Falls family Wednesday night, going to Schlitterbahn Thursday, and doing something in Austin on Friday.

The impetus for the trip, though, is Valerie’s movie audition Saturday morning.

We recieved a letter from Primrose Productions Casting about six weeks ago telling us that they, in cooperation with the Marble Falls School District and the Texas Film Commission through Governor Perry’s office, had been scouting out new potential child actors at Colt Elementary School. They spent a couple of weeks secretly observing kids in the classroom, at lunch, and on the playground. And they selected Valerie to audition for a role in a major motion picture they’re going to be filming next year in the Austin area. The audition is at 10:30 Saturday morning. We have no idea what kind of role or what kind of movie they’re talking about. But we’ll be there.

Valerie has a tendency to be incredibly outgoing and funny in front of family and friends and then shut down completely in front of strangers. They’re going to put her on camera and just talk to her Saturday and I have no clue how it’s going to go.

I’ll try to keep up with the blog and the countdown while we’re away. I’ll try.

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LegacyDumpsterLegacy Worship Center Construction Update:

Does this look like progress? A dumpster AND  a port-a-potty! What else could they possibly need before they start actually digging?

Peace,

Allan

3 Comments

  1. Bevo

    You’ve GOT to be kidding! Friends don’t let their friends’ kids root for Teixeira. Sandbagged his final season at Georgia Tech, the Rangers drafted him, he held out despite having not swung a bat in several months, was vocal about how underappreciated he was, makes it to the bigs, steals the hearts of the Rangers faithful, launches exit campaigns against 1.5 managers, returns from the DL and fails to homer only to homer in his first three games in Atlanta. Teixeira is a sandbagger of the worst degree. Please remove TBS from your cable so your children won’t be afflicted with more images of a self-overrated superstar who’s been programmed by Scott Boras. We can only hope the aura of Dale Murphy will show Teixeira what a REAL big-leaguer is like.

  2. Bevo

    Uh, meant to say that Teixeira homered in his first three games in Atlanta…..a failure in the eyes of Rangers fans who felt he should’ve been doing that here. And he’s still a goober.

  3. Allan

    Wow. Harsh words. Sandbagger? That’s tough. All I know is that after every single game — EVERY SINGLE GAME — whether he had just gone 3-4 with 6 rbis in a Rangers win or 0-4 with 3 Ks and an error in a loss, Mark Teixeira was in the batting cage under the stadium, sometimes with a buddy but mostly by himself, taking 100 pitches. Every game. I’ve never seen anybody on that team work harder. Tom Hicks has broken every promise he’s ever made to a Rangers player and fan. I blame him for Mark doing everything in his power to get out.

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