Critical Condition. Camp.

Philippians 4:8-9 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

I always love the exhortations and conclusions to Paul’s Epistles. Though fragmented and sometimes without clear transitions, I love how blunt Paul is in some of his closing remarks. It could be because I am blunt and straight forward myself. But I also think it’s because there is such a hefty amount of the Scripture that can be carried over the “principlizing bridge.”

But anywho – I went to camp for the first time EVER this week! It was CRAZY! I ate things that I never knew were edible. I yelled until my voice started sounding like James Earl Jones. I also learned some things about myself.

Since being at CBC I’ve heard a lot of people tell me how critical I am. After hearing it enough, I started believing it. During one of the altar times this past week, however, God revealed to me the positive attribute of what people were saying was negative. I have a passion for the truth. I never understood why I was geared this way – the analytical, neurotic, sometimes insensitive and brutal tendencies I have about proclaiming God’s Word and presenting it the way it was meant to be preached. I didn’t realize I was just trying to put into practice what I’ve learned, knew, and wanted to share to the world.

Sometimes when people don’t understand you, have a different passion then you, or are just plain ignorant, they try to judge you, stereotype you, and change you to fit their thought of who you “should be.” Take what you’ve learned and put it into practice – whether it’s worship, preaching, art, or accounting. God has made you the way you are so you can impact the world around you! Find the positive in what everyone thinks is negative – you’d be surprised how much it changes your self-image!

I am Bobby Hill, and I am passionate about the truth.

And no, this isn’t very applicable to the biblical text.

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Ministers. Missionaries. Momentarily.

Mark 5:18-20 – “As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolishow much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”

I remember sitting in Dr. Haltom’s Synoptic Gospels class learning about this passage. One of the things that really gripped my attention about this passage was the difference in the story between the Synoptics. Matthew documents there being two demon-possessed men, whereas Mark and Luke only document one. “Why is there an inconsistency?” is what I thought.

Upon deeper investigation I realized why Mark and Luke only mentioned one man, instead of both. Mark wanted to focus on the man who came to Jesus after the demon was cast out. This man is significant because Jesus sent him back to be the first missionary to any Gentile people. In my mind, it would seem more logical for Jesus to take this man with him to disciple him. But Jesus sought it better to send him out – to his own people in his own land.

Summer is always difficult because all of us go back to our homes, our internships, or wherever. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged because we are ready to get back to school, or go out and do ministry – to make a difference. This passage really challenged me because Jesus saw it more fit for the man to go back and preach to his own people rather than follow him. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Jesus is putting us where we are now so we can be missionaries in our own right. When we think about just wanting to graduate or get back to school, we need to remember that Jesus has us where we are for a reason – to follow the Great Commission. If you’re home and bogged down, don’t lose heart. If you feel like you aren’t making a difference, than just do what you can. Let us be missionaries wherever we are, whoever we are with, and in everything we do.