Persecution Causes the Necessary To Become Important

Last night a student asked if we should put ourselves in places of persecution so that our faith grows. It is a good question.

This answer is inspired by 2 Thessalonians 1

Of course the answer is hard. The answer that I want to give is NO! Your faith can grow without struggle. But the true answer is YES! Yes I think we should strive to do hard things that push us to the boundaries.

What I really mean to say is that we should push beyond our boundaries. That is where our faith grows. Here is the scenario. God calls you to take a stance. That specific stance scares you. “People will make fun. People will unfriend me. People will think less of me. People will…” Fear is a boundary.

It is a boundary that consumes too many of us. Go do the thing that God has called you to that really scares you. That is where you grow. Persecution may come. No, persecution will come as you stand on the principles of scripture. SO WHAT?

In the midst of persecution the necessary becomes important and the unnecessary falls away.

Can you imagine being in a secret house church in a middle eastern country when suddenly you fall under attack by men who want to kill you? Immediately you decide what is important and all else is left behind.

The necessary becomes important and the unnecessary falls away.

I have too much junk. I worry too much about that junk. Think of all the physical, financial, and mental effort that has gone into that junk. When persecution comes that stuff will be unnecessary.

So why is that junk necessary now?

I have to be honest, I don’t yet pray for persecution to come. Maybe I should. Maybe I will one day.

I know it is coming. There is a day that there will no longer be in middle moral ground. You will have to take sides. You will have to join the battle for the kingdom or you will fall victim to the enemy.

I guess what I am getting at is prepare now. Get in the battle now. Decide what is important now. Fight the good fight now.

Do something that the Lord has called you to now.

 

 

This Has Really Got Me To Thinking!

I came across this story about Teddy Roosevelt in a blog post by Seth Barnes. The blog post is called The Red Pill of Commitment In the post he puts forth the challenge to read this story aloud each day. I am taking the challenge. Will You? You can read more by clicking the title above.

The following is from the article:

Teddy Roosevelt showed us what a life of commitment in the face of fear looked like. Once he was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin while giving a speech. He didn’t let the bleeding or the pain stop him from giving the speech. 
Roosevelt gave us a brilliant summary of his philosophy:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again.

Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

What do you think?

Elijah Elkins

Planting Mars [Ep.003] – Elijah Elkins

“The more things you measure, the more you can feel like you aren’t measuring up.” – Elijah Elkins

In this episode of Planting Mars I interview entrepreneur Elijah Elkins.

Elijah is a Productivity advisor and Entrepreneur. He founded ElijahElkins.com and AVODA and co-founded Spruce. Elijah helps business leaders and companies with their productivity technology.
Elijah has some great insights into life, business, and how he makes sure he is always moving toward his goals each day. He also shares why he believes the Lord has called him to a life of business as mission.
In this interview Elijah will share with you:
  • The way he handles his social media feeds during work days.
  • His goal to read the entire ESV Study Bible in a year. (Including the footnotes)
  • The key scripture that keeps him motivated.
  • The way he sets up his day for success.
  • Some great ideas that help him remain productive.

Along with so much more. I hope you enjoy this interview with Elijah Elkins. It was a lot of fun for me.


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Selected Links for the Episode:

Connect with Elijah Elkins

Twitter                Facebook                LinkedIn                ElijahElkins.com

Other Links Mentioned in the Show.

AVODA

Third Path

Evernote

Plan

trello

Organic English Tea

Books Mentioned:

The Cure: What If God Isn’t Who You Think He is and Neither Are you?

Knowing God

Knowledge of The Holy

Show Notes:

[4:30] Elijah’s Background Information

[8:40] Is it a challenge for you to live in the moment? “Yes. We have a severe case of modern life.”

[9:30] What are some ways that you live in the moment? Elijah explains a plan for productivity called time blocking.

[10:20] Turn off your social media during the day to remain productive. “If I don’t need it then I don’t want it coming my way.”

[11:00] A more detailed description of time blocking.

[13:00] How do you always make sure you are taking action on your dreams?

[13:48] Elijah explains how he plans to reach his goal of reading the entire ESV Study bible this year (Including the study notes).

[14:40] Are there any other apps that help you reach your goals?

[16:30] AVODA is endeavoring to put many different productivity applications into one view.

[18:55] What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?

[21:30] What is a key quote or scripture that motivates you each day? Matthew 24:14

[22:55] “Only Jesus and his gospel will make all things new and remove all of the pain.”

[24:50] Do you have some type of morning routine? “The routine is slightly more fixed than the times.” “Run in the morning to get an early win.”

[27:40] Elijah shares his recipe for his morning cup of tea: Organic English Breakfast Tea with 3 spoonfuls of honey and 2 spoonfuls of cream

[30:30] “The more thing that you measure the more you can feel like you aren’t measuring up.”

[31:30] We discuss goal setting and how we sometimes sabotage our goals.

[32:40] What is really exciting for you and your work right now?

[34:40] Were you scared when you started your first business? What pushed you over that fear?

[41:40] How do you guard your time with your spouse? “Talk to your spouse about what her expectations are for time and activities.”

[44:30] What are some non-negotiables when it comes to your family?

[47:40] What can we learn by thinking about big questions? “Elijah discusses an idea about church planting and business combined in a model to advance the gospel.”

[50:40] Listen as Elijah discusses a vision for the digital nomad.

[53:20] Rapid fire questions.

[55:00] If you could send out one tweet that everyone would read what would it say?

[56:00] What is the best purchase you have made for $50.00 or less in the last 6 months?

[58:00] Where can listeners find you?

Twitter                Facebook                LinkedIn                ElijahElkins.com


Related Posts:

The Task


This Show Is Brought to You By You.

Please consider supporting the continued production of the Planting Mars Podcast by visiting our Patreon site. You can access it by clicking the button below.

Patreon

Thank you for listening!

Keith Baldridge

Planting Mars [Ep. 002] – Keith Baldridge

“Tasks often take a back seat to people.” – Keith Baldridge

In this episode of Planting Mars I interview Pastor Keith Baldridge of The Living Stone Church in Broomfield Colorado. Keith has served in various capacities in ministry over the last several years but is now working to launch the Living Stone Church. Their first service will be on August 21, 2016.

I got to know Keith over the past year as we have taken two mission team to serve with The Living Stone in Broomfield. I can tell you he is the real deal. He loves the Lord, loves his family, and loves the church. I think you will really enjoy our conversation.

In this interview Keith will share with us:

  • the miraculous story that brought him and his family to Broomfield to plant a church.
  • his approach to ministry.
  • the vision God has laid on his heart for The Living Stone Church and for the city of Broomfield.
  • what a win looks like for their ministry there. [It may be different than you think]
  • the challenges that he faces in ministry.
  • the way he ministers to his family.

There is so much more to this interview that you will not want to miss. We also get into the issue of health and Keith tells us what his favorite book is that he is reading right now.

Thank you for listening. I would love to hear your comments in the comment section below.


Subscribe on Android



Selected Links From The Episode:

Connect with Keith Baldridge:

Twitter                 Instagram

Connect with The Living Stone Church:

website                Instagram

Seven Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Wide Mouth w/Flex Cap

Nextdoor: The private social network for your neighborhood.

Show Notes:

[5:38] Keith shares the background about how he wound up in Broomfield Colorado. Keith and His wife felt like they were to plant a church but there was hesitation.

[10:13] God moves through a gift.

[11:48] After looking into planting in several cities the Lord showed them Denver was the place for them.

[12:33] The story comes full circle.

[14:28] What are some ways that Keith stays focused on the present?

[14:58] “Tasks often take a backseat to people.”

[16:38] Keith tells about how he came to the principle of people over tasks.

[17:28] “People Matter above everything else.”

[18:03] What vision has God laid on your heart for the Living Stone Church?

[18:43] “Whatever you measure is what you will focus on.”

[19:08] Keith Describes what a win looks like for the Living Stone Church.

[21:18] What is the biggest challenge you have faced since you have arrived in Broomfield?

[22:26] Keith shares his priority as a pastor.

[24:41] What are some non-negotiables with your family? (You will want to be sure and hear his response)

[26:38] Another non-negotiable for Keith is that he does not hang up his ministry hat when he gets home at night.

[27:16] “Every single day that goes by is one less day that I will have to pour into my girls and pour into my wife.”

[27:58] What is it that motivates you to keep going each day?

[28:22] This one passage: Colossians 1:24-29

[29:56] Paul was focused on pointing people toward Jesus.

[30:58] Keith explains the connection between Mission: Impossible and Colossians 1:24-29

[32:48] “It all boils down to,do you have an eternal perspective?”

[34:58] Here Keith describes what his mornings look like.

[37:58] We discuss issues concerning personal health.

[39:08] Keith talks about why it is important to maintain physical health. (You will want to hear what he shares)

[42:38] Here we discuss what he is really excited about when it comes to The Living Stone Church. In this section he shares a really cool story.

[45:48] “The end goal is to meet needs and to see life transformation.”

[46:48] Listen to how he approached fund raisins for the start of The Living Stone Church.

[49:28] “Everything is relational.”

[50:20] “If you are using people as a means to an end then you will fail.”

[54:53] From this point we talk about some fun questions that I ask.

[1:02:58] Where can listeners find you? The Living Stone Church


Related Posts:

It’s About Community

The Task

These Statistics Are Mind Blowing


This Show Is Brought to You By You.

Please consider supporting the continued production of the Planting Mars Podcast by visiting our Patreon site. You can access it by clicking the button below.

Patreon

Thank you for listening!

Planting Mars Podcast Preview Show [EP 001]

In this preview episode of the Planting Mars Podcast I share the vision for the podcast as well as some ideas I have about connections that can be made between church planters, business leaders, start-up founders and others. I believe that we need a generation of young men and women who are inspired to start businesses and church plants for the glory of the Lord and for the advancement of the Gospel.

I also share an idea I have for a business that would be a great asset to gospel advancement globally.

Thanks for checking out this preview episode. I would love to hear your feedback.



Subscribe on Android



Selected Links From Episode:

Sign-up For the Email List here. No Spam ever.

Upwork

Fiverr

Freelancer

Map of 10/40 Window and Map of Global Internet Access

Show Notes:

[:30] Sign-up for the email list to be notified when new episodes are launched.

[:50] What will the podcast be about? That is a very good question. It will cover a variety of topics.

[1:10] I will interview people like:

  •  Church Planters
  • Business Leaders
  • Founders
  • Leaders in Science and Tech

[2:00] Christians need to be on the front lines of human advancement.

[2:30] Business can be a catalyst for the advancement of the gospel.

[5:10] Let me share an idea with you.

  • As we move from an industrialized economy to a freelance economy there are tremendous opportunities to train young people to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
  • Opportunities through Upwork, fiver, freelancer, etc.

[6:20] This is an awesome opportunity for Christians to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.

[7:00] If you take a map that shows the 10/40 window and place it over a map that shows the lack of internet access globally then you will notice they are almost the same. There is a great opportunity here.

[9:10] Next thought. How can we set up a school that teaches young people to be freelancers and missionaries?

[11:45] If you like the show then would you please let others know.

[13:10] If you have ideas for potential guests then let me know in the comment section below.


Related Posts:

Is There Another Way to Provide Support For Global Missions? 6 Opportunities

Culture Creators

The Task

These Statistics are Mind Blowing


This Show Is Brought to You By You.

Please consider supporting the continued production of the Planting Mars Podcast by visiting our Patreon site. You can access it by clicking the button below.

Patreon

Thank You For Your Support!

Taking A Week For Vacation

My family and I have been on vacation for the past few days. We left Texas and traveled through Tennessee and Mississippi to Atlanta. In Atlanta we took the girls to the world of Coke.

That place is a genius idea in marketing. They make you pay to be marketed to the whole time. Genius. When you first go in there is a large movie theater and they show this film that is centered around the lives of different people at various points in their life. The video is shot from the viewers perspective and it feels like you are in the lives of the people in the stories. The conclusion shows that Coke is the unifying force in all of their stories. It is just an amazing piece of marketing work. And I paid 12 bucks to watch it. Ha!

I make light of it but the film is truly moving. There is a point in the film that I teared up a little. Whoever developed this concept truly is a genius because they captured the head and the heart with this film.

After the Coke factory we went to eat and then we headed south. Staying the night in a suburb of Atlanta and today we are heading to Florida for four days. Looking forward to relaxing on the beach.

A few adventure pics:

Photo Aug 02, 3 28 49 PM Photo Aug 02, 1 31 00 PM Photo Aug 02, 12 31 43 PM Photo Aug 02, 12 17 35 PM Photo Aug 01, 6 08 53 PM Photo Aug 01, 10 47 18 AM

The Task

In the service of the king. That is our task. The kingdom is here but not yet fully here.

The king is at hand. The king has come and will return again.

“The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” — Matthew 24:14

This changes our task. Well, this has always been our task but we have lost our focus. We have lowered our eyes.

The task is that the nations would  hear the gospel of the kingdom.

Are you inspired by that task? It seems that many have lost their inspiration. We have lost focus on the task.

We have become caught up in the small, menial tasks of life. Fixing up the house, taking the kids to practice, seeing the world, etc.

We are distracted. Let us lift our eyes and look to the task. Let us look to the coming of the king with hope. Let us look to the king with desperation.

Are you desperate for the task? Are you desperate for the return of the king?

“Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.” – Matthew 24:46

The slave is busy doing the work of his master.

Let us be about the task. Let us get to work.

 

Planting Mars Podcast Preview Show 001

This is my side project right now. I work on this thing in the early morning hours of the day and sometimes late into the evening. I am in the process of recording a lot of the shows right now and will have a new one live every week starting the last week in August 2016.

I would be honored if you would listen to this preview episode and provide some feedback for me. This preview episode is a monologue where I share the vision for the show as well as some ideas I have been thinking about. When the show goes live I will have a guest on each week that I interview. Listen to this episode for more information on the format and content that the podcast will provide.

After you listen I humbly ask you to do two things:

  1. If you believe this to be worthy of it would you share this episode with others? The share buttons are conveniently located at the bottom of this post. Thank you!
  2. Would you click this link to sign-up for the Planting Mars Podcast email list? I will only use this email to announce the launch of the podcast as well as to let you know when each podcast goes live.

Thank you so much!

Here is a link to a blog post I did about the 10/40 window map in comparison to the global internet coverage map. I reference these maps in this preview episode.

 

I will follow Jesus except…..

What are your exceptions to following Jesus?

It is a question that has been on my mind lately.

Jesus calls us to leave all to follow Him. Our response: “I will follow you except for…”

In Luke 9:58 we find that Jesus had given everything to fulfill His Mission. “Foxes have holes, and birds or the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

I have been on a mission trip this week with about 35 people. It has been interesting to watch the dynamic that has developed. So many of us came on this mission trip to serve the Lord fully but we see where our exceptions are. It is like there is a magnifying glass on our exceptions to following Jesus.

For some it is comfort. “I will follow Jesus if I am comfortable.”

For some it is things. “I will follow Jesus if I can have this thing with me along the way.”

For others it is having their way. “I’m not eating that.”

The list could go on and on but I think you get the point.

Jesus calls us to surrender all. The question I am facing this week is have I? Have I given all of my exceptions up so that I can fully follow Jesus?

The realization sets in this week that exceptions are idols. I have a lot of idols in my life. I idolize myself. I don’t say that with pride. It burdens me deeply. I repent of it daily.

For a long time I avoided using the word idol. I hate the word. I recently realized I hate it because it so strongly identifies the struggles in my life. I thought if I called my idols by another name I would be better off. But no matter what I call them they destroy my relationship with God. Idols. Exceptions. They are all the same.

I love what Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 1:9. “…and you turned to God from idols to serve the true and living God.”

Are you worshiping idols? Do you hold tight to your exceptions? Or do you serve the true and living God?

I know I have a long way to go.

Planting Mars Podcast Coming in Late August

I am currently in the process of batch recording several podcast episodes to be released in late August 2016. Here I provide you with the basic idea for the show along with some of the questions I am asking the guests on the show.

Looking to the future and learning from the past while living in the present. 

Planting Mars Podcast - will focus on conversations about the future. I am specifically interested in talking to church planters as well as business leaders and start-up founders. My theory is that there is a lot that these two groups can learn from each other. I will use the interviews to discover if that theory is true. 

The interviews will focus first on professional questions but I will also ask some personal questions of these leaders to determine how they strive to live an effective life. We can learn a lot from each other and this podcast aims to help you learn all you can in one place. 

Here is the main idea for the podcast:

"In this podcast I will interviews leaders in church planting, tech, science, philosophy, AI, robotics, space exploration, and more. The interviews are centered around the theme "Should we go there..." The interviews are personal as well as professional. Be sure and tune in to this serious, engaging, thought provoking, and fun conversation about the future."
I am intrigued by technology and at the same time worried. I am intrigued in the progress that humanity is making in the area of technological advancement and yet I am left with several questions.
 1). Should we allow technology to take us to the places it seems to be taking us? For example, the Google car is an autonomous vehicle that does not need any human direction. How will we navigate a world of AI (Artificial Intelligence) drivers? What are the ethical and moral ramifications of going this direction?
2). Who are the men and women leading the way in the different areas of technological advancement? What can I learn from them? What drives them to innovate? What are some practical ways that they carry out their goals and ambitions?
3). How can a common person such as myself stay in the conversation and be on the cutting edge of technology?
4). What can I learn? My fourth motive for producing this podcast is rather selfish. I am approaching this as a great learning process for me and hopefully that will help you learn from these interviews as well.

There are many other questions that will come up in the podcast. I take the approach that too many times we have ran headlong into areas of advancement only to find that we should have been asking some important questions along the way. The goal of this podcast is to be on the front edge of that conversation.
I hope these interviews will be fun filled listening events for you.
Look for the podcast to debut late August 2016