After spending 10 minutes filling out a churchwide survey, the Rock welcomed national speaker and one man dramatic performer Curt Cloninger. For more info about Curt or to help support his ministry, visit curtcloninger.com.
When Curt Cloninger was just a young boy of 13 years old he wanted to go to a party where there would be dancing. He wanted to go because a girl he liked named Suzie would be there and he wanted to dance with her. So his mother taught him how to dance. She encouraged him to avoid the fast dances, and just stick to the slow dances.
When he finally arrived at that party he waited through many fast songs, and when "Muskrat Love" began to play, he asked Suzie to dance with him. She said yes and with her hands on his shoulders, and his hands on the small of her back, they began to rock slowly back and forth. For a few moments they were silent as they danced, but Curt was sure that she was going to break that silence at any moment to tell him how much she liked him.
But those words never came. After moments of silence Suzie finally said, "You have bony shoulders." Needless to say that was the end of Curt's romance with Suzie. He never spoke to her again even though they went on to go to high school together.
Years later when Curt was talking with a friend about high school he was asked about his senior prom, and who he took as a date. However, Curt didn't take a date to senior prom. His friend asked him why he didn't ask Suzie because he knew that she really liked Curt all those years. Things would have been much different had Curt only known the truth
The same is true for us as Christians. What do you think God is like and what does He think of you? Quite often we miss out on the dance with God because we have a false idea of Him and His character.
Weird Ideas About God
Curt Cloninger presented just a few perceptions we may have of God that are completely contrary to who He really is.
Do you think of God like a town sheriff? Is He a God who watches every move you make? Does He make all the rules and punish anyone who dares to break them?
Or do you think of God as your own personal butler? Is He there waiting to tend to your every desire? Is He the kind of God you present a Christmas list to everyday?
Is God just an old man to you, who is so out of touch with humans, that He can't remember our requests, or even hear our prayers?
Or is God just a rough and demanding man who is just too busy for you, and is only concerned with what He deems important?
How you see God is going to determine how you live your life. Therefore, your perception of Him is very important and must be based on what the Bible says and not on what you may think.
A Mutt or a Poodle?
Does God like mutts or purebred poodles better? Curt regaled us with a story about a chicken farmer who was having problems with his chickens being stolen and killed by some animal he had yet to catch. Every attempt to catch whatever it was that was getting to his chickens seemed to fail. So the man decided to get a watchdog.
His wife encouraged him to get a purebred poodle. However, that poodle only served to sit on the couch on a doily looking pretty and clean all the time. Since the poodle was no help he decided to take manners into his own hands again and attempt to catch the animal. So he took his shotgun and shot at the animal, only to have it get away again, wounded, but not dead.
So the next day he went to the pound to find a better watchdog. He had his eye set on a mutt with buck shot wounds on his side and chicken feathers in his mouth. He paid $40 to adopt that mutt from the pound, not to mention the vet bill to fix the mutt up so he could be a good watchdog.
And that man treasured that mutt, and he got to ride in the front seat of his pick-up truck, and that mutt rode proudly along with his owner with his head hanging out the front window, drooling away. Mutts do that because it is their own way of saying, "I'm with him," showing their excitement that their owner picked them from all the other dogs they could have picked.
So what can we gather from all this?
- God loves mutts, and loves to forgive them.
- It's better to admit you're a mutt than to try and live like a poodle.
- The mutt rides in the front of the truck.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Are you trying really hard to do everything just right so that God will be happy? In other words, are you the perfect poodle? Or have you realized that your just chicken stealing mutt in need of someone to adopt you, and take you in, to care for you.
God is nuts about us mutts. He wants us to ride in the front of His truck with our heads hanging out the window showing everybody how excited we are to be His.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states, do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
God adopted us as His own through Christ's blood. Our adoption was paid for by the blood of Christ, which He bore on the cross, and was verified by His resurrection. We don't have to spend our lives trying to get our religious act together. We are delivered from a life of trying to get things right. Our redemption is signed and sealed when we believe.
I'm With Him!
Now we can proudly hang our heads out the passenger side window of God's truck, drooling all over the place in excitement, showing the world that we belong to Christ.
Pastor Dan Stolebarger came up to close this Sunday's message to remind us that we are now members of the Rock Army and we must take that role seriously by involving ourselves in accountability relationships.
Also our focus should be reaching out to the lost. This weekend as we celebrate Easter we have the opportunity to invite those who do not know Christ to the Rock's Easter service at the Cox Arena.
As a member of the Rock Army it is vital as well to devote ourselves to ministry and service. Over the past couple of weeks the Rock held two ministry fairs and over 2800 people signed up for ministry. It is vital that we choose to follow through with our commitments to ministry and service.
Last week we looked at 'yo' money. We must surrender our finances to God, and do with our money to what God calls us to.
We're with Him, so let's take every opportunity to show it as we journey forth as soldiers in the Rock Army.