Life in Christ

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What does it mean to know someone? November 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 8:35 pm

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I woke up this morning thinking of this scripture and I can’t seem to get it off my mind. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus is sharing how some will think they know Him but in the end they really don’t and will not be with Him for eternity.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Several weeks ago I started serving a mega church as the HR Director. I had been attending the church frequently for the last three years and because I had watched people on the platform, followed them on social media and in some cases even prayed for them and cried with them, there was a perception that “I knew them”. It felt strange as they would stop by my office and introduce themselves to me as if we had never met. I realize now that I had been watching them and connecting with the music, message and even life challenges they had shared but I didn’t really know them. I hadn’t ever spent time talking personally with them and if I did, it wasn’t anything more than “small talk”.

I wonder if we can fool ourselves into thinking we know Jesus this same way. We may go to church and listen to a message, we may sit in a small group and hear about how another person is connecting to God through scripture and prayer but do we really know Him? Are we taking the time to invest in a personal relationship with our Lord? Are we allowing God to change out lives and doing His will?

Or will he say to us, “I never knew you…”

 

Just one email September 24, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 4:43 pm

In a world of digital technology it’s so easy to lose sight of boundaries. While flipping through my phone on the weekend or on vacation or even in the evening I’ve often responded to work emails. I’ve told myself it’s just one email, it’s only a minute, it won’t hurt. Unfortunately that’s turned out to be a lie, it’s hurt me and it’s hurt my family. Each email read or response written has caused me to re-engage. It’s taken away the rest and break that my soul and brain have desperately needed. These one minute messages have also meant that I’ve lost out on being fully present with those I love the most.

I’ve been a yes person my entire life. I’ve believed that by doing more, being available, responding promptly and getting it done I would find success. Well, to an extent I have but it’s also cost a great deal. I’ve tuned my husband and children out, I’ve been physically present with them but mentally still at the office. I’ve lost out on conversations they wanted to share and the older they get the more aware they are that I do this. So, they stop talking, stop sharing, stop trying to compete with my phone and my job. I would never admit this but I have put what I do above them on a regular basis. 

I’m not sure about you but something I thought would only take a minute has taken so much more and my hope is that by writing I can hold myself accountable and maybe offer something for you to consider.

 

Essentials September 20, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 12:04 pm

For a while on my trip to work I’ve been listening to Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. I’ve found his writing to be challenging as I have forever ever been a can do person. I haven’t been good at determining what are the absolutes that I need to do, what can be left undone, what can I ask others to do. I have for some time found my value in stepping in and getting it done, not a bad thing right? But, I also then attempt to lead, problem solve, balance family, ministry and school… I have discovered that I am not super woman and therefore need to find a way to learn to do only what is essential. This doesn’t mean doing things half way or good enough but really pouring myself into fewer things to have a greater impact.

As I reflect on this desire and what it looks like to be lived out as a disciple I am finding an even greater sense of clarity. Christ had 3 years of his adult ministry. He had to remain focused on the absolute essentials. And as we see clearly throughout the gospel, his focus was on loving people. It wasn’t on the task of how much time it took to go from this town or that. He was not anxious or distracted by those who were plotting to kill him. He was not frustrated by the time it took when the woman touched his robe and received healing while he was walking through a crowded street. In fact as the disciples tried to run interference and protect his time from being bothered by children, Jesus corrected them. 

So I am left with this desire to only do what is essential and reset my measurement for success not by the number of things accomplished in a given period of time but by how I love others. What would it look like to measure life by the people I have had a chance to befriend, the care given when someone calls at possibly the least convenient time, and the stranger who may just have received a glimpse of Christ in the way I treated them? 

This reset is not easy in our world full of technology, distractions, deadlines and get it done mentality but it may be where we find the truest form of ministry, the only thing that is essential.

 

My lesson for today, Open hands May 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 10:41 pm

This afternoon I was privileged to spend some time with an amazing mentor. As we talked about the different challenges we were facing and where God was leading I realized something, every experience she has encountered has been held with open hands. I on the other hand tend to be a grab on with both hands, I want to passionately run with things as if they are mine.

Looking back at the years I spent with this person gave me a new perspective of holding each season of life and ministry endeavor with open hands. Always presenting them to God to be kept or taken away as he chooses. This obviously requires that we find our security of self not in what we do but in who we are in Christ. A bigger lesson that I am continually taught through the amazing women God has placed in my life. I am challenged to hold everything before Him with open hands and continue to say, “whatever you want Lord, whatever you want”.

 

Living IRL March 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 10:14 pm

I’ve been an FB fanatic for the last couple years. I’m on twitter and linked in but nothing steals more of my time than FB. I have traded in countless hours with my kids, husband, Christ, and just living in real life (IRL) for this crazy social media environment. God has been convicting me to change this for the last several months and I’ve always found excuses, reasons why I HAVE to be on it. After all I manage Asbury’s facebook page so that counts right? Unfortunately, we’ll have to find someone else to post for Asbury or VBS because I have to stop. It’s become and addiction and I’ve never wanted to admit that but, if you follow the posts I’m probably not telling you something you don’t already know. 

Today, I watched the movie, Cyber Bully and I cannot imagine living through the torment that girl faced. High school and college years were hard enough. I cannot imagine hallway, restroom and dorm room conversations online, all the time, for the whole school to comment on, read, and share. I don’t want this for my children and I CANNOT ask them to live to a higher standard than I do.  A good friends teenage daughter has been through it this year, I remember thinking, yup that’s high school, it will pass. But living with it, connected to it, 24-7….. I’m sure it feels like it will NEVER end.  So, thanks for reading. It’s been great to catch up online, always know what the latest and greatest news is and feel like you know what’s happening. But, maybe it’s just a better idea to talk to folks in real life, to be more focused on those God has gifted to me in my family and close friends than the “322” friends on FB. If you want to know how life is, most of you know our first and second homes, we have cell phones, email addresses, all kinds of stuff.I’m sure some will think it’s drastic but if you know me at all, I’m an all or nothing kind of person and the ALL is simply too much. The cost is simply too great.

 

What does it mean to die daily? February 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 2:52 am

Our small group is doing the “not a fan” study by Kyle Idleman and tonight was the most pinching evening yet. The lesson was based on Luke 9:57-62.

As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62 NLT)

The cost is great, and Jesus is not about making discipleship look easy or convenient. He doesn’t allow us to say, can you just wait until I am done caring for my parents, or once my career slows down, or in retirement…, he’s not about allowing us to go party for several weeks while we say “good-bye” to our old life and then follow him. His message is for right now, this moment, TODAY. The bible does speak much into tomorrow, it’s about now.

And, the most challenging part about really following Christ is to die to ourselves, not once, not only on Sundays but everyday. In the video tonight Kyle said, “following Jesus isn’t about trying harder everyday, it’s about dying everyday.”

Dying to what? What does it mean to die to yourself everyday? When this question was asked tonight I could not even speak….. I tried to answer and simply cried. In the last 6 days dying to myself has meant,
Not buying that new shirt I found in Kohls in order to give that money to someone in need.
Giving up a place in the public opinion poll to stand up for what I believe in on Sunday.
Surrendering what has been a comfortable ride for the opportunity to break out of the box on Monday.
Being willing to face head on and deal with my own sin and prejudices before the throne on Friday evening through my amazing Walmart cashier!

You see, at one point or another everything listed above took a higher seat in my life than following Christ. I am sure I would not have admitted to such things but when push came to shove, it’s where I landed.

Being a fan is not for those who desire all the comforts, the easy road and fitting in. Yes, you can still believe in Jesus and observe as a fan. But God will search for and use followers to build the kingdom. Followers who are willing to die…. Each and everyday to follow the only one who can give meaning to life.

Today, I choose to follow Him.

 

Something’s missing November 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimeemccullough @ 11:57 am

Colossians 3:10 “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”

This verse struck me this morning. Specifically, “be renewed as you learn to know your creator…” Getting to know our creator seems to be the most overlooked part of the Christian faith right now. How often are you challenged to just spend time in God’s word? The only way to truly know the God we claim to love, worship and serve is to spend time getting to know Him. Learning who He was, what He did, why He did it, and asking questions when things just don’t seem to make sense.

It’s almost like we’ve totally skipped this part and went straight to trying to live like Him, attempting to love and worship Him. I’m not sure about you but I have a very hard time trying to become like someone I don’t even know. There are so many scary assumptions made when we try to live like Christ and barely know Him.

So I would challenge you today, take this verse and follow its instructions. Be renewed as you get to know your creator and then allow Him to mold you into the person He longs for you to become. Trying to live any other way will always leave you feeling like, there’s something missing….