Archive for March, 2011

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Collecting on a Debt Owed

March 28, 2011

Ever owed an amount of money that was just impossible for you to pay?  How about having the lender, whether a bank or other type of lending institution, calling in the debt early, as in the full amount.  Not sure if you have ever had to face this type of situation, but it can be extremely overwhelming.  It can cause you to have sleepless nights, overwhelming anxiety, and maybe even cause you to just shut down completely. 

With the economy the state it has been the last few years, there are number of people out there who can identify with this feeling.  It may not be the intent, but rather, the inability to pay such a large sum of money.  Unfortunately, some lenders do not understand this and simply want their money back.  Whatever the measures.

This can be a crippling time for those dealing with such emotions, but this should be the times that we, as Christians, use the situation to help those lost understand the real troublesome debt: sin.  I know in my own situations, it is incredibly overwhelming, causing not only anxiety but immeasurable shame.  In going through this situation, as difficult as it was, I began noticing I reacted to the same way to overwhelming debt as I react normally when I am facing my overwhelming sin. 

In these situations, I tend to try to take charge, cast blame, blow up, withdraw, scream, want to cry if I thought it could help, and a whole host of other things.  The same happens, I noticed, when I face my overwhelming sin.  I try to suck up to God by doing good deads, hoping they will win some mercy from Him.  I blame others for my sin, withdraw from prayerlife and my accountability groups… Too many similiarities to mention.  When I find myself completely worn out, I eventually go to God and ask forgiveness.  Why does it have to take so much for me to do the one thing that, as a Christian, I should be willing to do first?

In these times I have to remind myself of Romans 5:

5:1-5 We have Present Peace with God because …
5:6-8 In the Past, Christ died for all sinners so..
5:9-11 In the Future we will Escape from God’’s Wrath
5:12-17 Death came to all men, because all sinned
5:18-20 The gift is not like the trespass. In Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive

This is a tough verse for those of us who are over-achievers.  Those who tend to think we can fix everything if we just have the time.  If, however, you have ever experienced a debt being called in early, you will know, there is not anything you can do in many cases.  Unfortunately, the same will happen with all when Christ returns.  The debt of sin will be called to be paid in full.  If you have given your life to Christ and fully submitted yourself to Him, the death on the cross has paid that debt in full.  However, if you have not made this choice and find your sin debt being called in… there is not a lot of hope. 

In this tough economy, where more of our neighbors, co-workers, and friends are experiencing such desperation, I challenge you to use the time to speak truth into their lives in Christ.  Granted, it will not save them from the financial tribulations they are facing, but it does provide payment for the most important debt they may not even know they have.  This is what we are called to do, this is what we should do.

And for those of us who are saved by Christ’ death on the cross, when we go through these times, we must remember to look at things from an eternal perspective.  Ask yourself, who’s really in charge?  Who’s really the one who knew this situation was coming and has a plan to get you through it?  I know this is a tough pill for me to swallow and oftentimes, I have to remind myself of these things by the hour.  It’s hard to look around and wrestle all of the troubles of life, but it’s times like this, I should look up and remember, it is in Christ alone my hope is found. 

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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SoulPrint by Mark Batterson

March 24, 2011

I am a huge fan of Mark Batterson.  To date, I have read all of his books and have used a number of them in small group studies.  Batterson’s writing style is incredibly conversational and he has a great way of bringing in various aspects of life into the lesson he is trying to convey to the reader.  SoulPrint is no exception.

I can usually tell whether I will like a book by the ability or inability to put it down.  Once I began reading SoulPrint, I found myself totally engulfed and unable to put it down easily.  In it, Batterson’s basic point is: You are unique, and this is a gift from God.

To illustrate this point, he uses several snapshots from the life of King David.  In addition to David, Batterson uses a number of “hindge-point” followers in the Bible to discuss their unique gift from God and how it was used to fulfill the Gospel.  If you are looking for a deep, expositional look at these characters, this is not the book for you.  However, if you are looking for a great read, one that will speak to you on some level and challenge you to go deeper, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy!