I AM

by Rich Dixon on July 21, 2014

HAPPY MONDAY!

A vivid contrast inspires today’s word-of-the-week…

I AM

popeye(Okay, it’s two words, but it’s also God’s name so it counts.)

Has anyone (maybe you) ever said, “Hey, that’s just who I am”?

In Exodus 3, Moses asks God for some ID. In response, God essentially says His identity is self-evident.

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

“I AM” is quite a claim. Among other things, it implies permanence, existence beyond circumstance, independence, and completeness. “I AM” sounds like a riddle, but in fact it’s God’s way of setting Himself apart. “I AM” is a name and a description appropriate only for God.

Several decades ago, a famous cartoon character offered a similar claim in his theme song:

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man, I yam what’s I yam, And that’s all what’s I am, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GmUj0cucfc

Popeye’s bold declaration, “I yam what I yam,” reflects the tough, independent American spirit. This is who I am—take it or leave it.

You see the conflict, right?

“I am who I am” is God’s line. He’s the only one who gets to claim permanent, self-evident, independent identity.

It’s Monday. Maybe we should let God be I AM. Let’s let go of “that’s just who I am” and ask “who can I become to serve the people around me?”

Have a great week.

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Gloria A Dios

by Rich Dixon on July 10, 2014

dougOn our recent tour, our teammate Doug was fond of the greeting “Gloria a Dios” (glory to God).

Even when he received a nasty gash on his leg from a stray piece of glass in a  trash bag, he limped to our starting circle with a hearty Gloria a Dios.

I thought it was a great alternative to “How ya doing?” I liked being reminded of our shared commitment, but I found myself asking what might seem like an odd question.

Why should God care whether we glorify Him or not?

I don’t intend to be disrespectful. Quite the opposite—He’s God. Why does it matter to Him whether I even acknowledge Him, much less offer Him the glory for my meager efforts?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

This isn’t a new question for me. I suspect it bubbles to the surface when I’m feeling especially vulnerable or uncomfortable. I suppose a diminished sense of self-worth leads to the notion that my worship won’t matter to God.

Ever been there?

It’s a lie, of course, but I think I get the reasoning twisted around. Maybe you do as well.

It’s certainly true that God doesn’t need me to give Him glory. In fact, He doesn’t need anything from me, you, or anyone else. He’s God.

So why does it matter? The secret is in the second paragraph above—“I liked being reminded…”

Gloria a Dios isn’t for God’s benefit, it’s for mine. Each time Doug repeated the greeting I remembered my connection to the Creator, my dependence on Him. I remembered that the ride was about justice, and that we were letting God use us to set things right for a handful of kids.

God doesn’t need me to glorify Him, but He knows I’m more at peace, more aware, more grounded, when I do.

In the midst of a hectic week when it was so easy to lose focus, Doug’s greeting took me home. I’m grateful.

Gloria a Dios indeed!

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Uncomfortable

HAPPY MONDAY! I’m stating the obvious with today’s word-of-the-week… UNCOMFORTABLE I’m acutely aware today that I don’t like being uncomfortable. It’s awfully easy to write about stepping out of the comfort zone and trusting God, but this morning I feel like retreating. I want a big, wide safety net. I want someone else to take […]

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An Act Of Remembering

We’ve completed our latest tour. I’m eager to get back on a regular schedule, but for today I want to offer a simple image. One of the RICH’S RIDE traditions is Helmets Up. Before each ride we raise our helmets and pause in prayer. It’s a simple acknowledgment that we ride in Jesus’ name. We began the […]

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Comfort

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! I am. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14: 26-27) Jesus didn’t play it safe, and He didn’t seclude […]

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Are You Afraid To Listen?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) The guy at the retreat answered a question about fear in a brutally honest manner. “I’m afraid if I really listen to God, He might tell me to do […]

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Servants And Leaders

PLEASE DON’T HELP! Suppose you noticed someone in obvious distress holding this sign. What would you do? WWJD? Monte’s official title is “service dog,” though many folks call him a “helper dog.” I don’t think the difference is one of semantics. Serving is different than helping. The strong help the weak, the big help the […]

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What’s Justice?

Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17 (Tim Keller) When I was professor at a theological seminary in the mid-eighties, one of my students was a young man named Mark Gornik. One day we were standing at the […]

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Do You Notice?

FRONT RANGE FREEDOM TOUR ’14 is heading down the road. As we ride, I’m sharing our team devotionals with you. I hope you’re enjoying the ride. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. And of course I hope you’ll follow the ride by jumping over to the RICH’S RIDE blog. # # # […]

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Don’t Forget The Milk

FRONT RANGE FREEDOM TOUR ’14 is about to blast off. We’ll gather as a team on Friday and begin our journey on Saturday morning. We’re excited, but I’m going to be a little busy for the next few days. I thought you might enjoy being part of our journey by sharing our daily team devotions. […]

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