More awesome than all who surround Him…that’s what God is (Psalm 89:7). More powerful than all who came before him…that’s who Jesus is (Matthew 3:11). More than conquerors…that’s what we are when God is for us, pity those who might be against us (Romans 8:37). More than we can ask or imagine…that’s what God is able to do according to his power that is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20). More valuable than birds or flowers…that’s what we are to the Lord and so should our faith be great (Matthew 6: 26-30). More than anyone else, including father, mother, wife, siblings…that’s how much we should love Jesus (Matthew 10:37). More than all the others…that’s what the widow’s penny was since it was all she had; she gave her all (Mark 12:43). More rejoicing!!!….that’s what happens when just one lost soul turns back to God! (Luke 15:7). More fruitful then ever…that’s what happens when God prunes us (John 15:2). More and more in numbers… that’s people becoming disciples when the word is preached in spite of opposition (Acts 5:14). More and more powerful…and baffling!… that’s what Saul became after he was baptized and preached about Jesus fearlessly (Acts 9:22). More noble in character…that’s what the Bereans were simply for receiving the message eagerly and then examining the scriptures daily to make sure what they were believing was true (Acts 17:11). More adequate understanding…that’s what Apollos needed and received when he listened to two disciples share with him more than he already knew about Jesus (Acts 18:26). More grace!!!…that’s what we receive through Jesus whose blood takes away all our sin (Romans 5:15). More glorious than Moses… that’s what the ministry of the Spirit is that we get to have in our lives (2 Corinthians 3:8). More and more!… that’s the other people all over the world that when they receive grace we are filled with joy (2 Corinthians 4:15). More and more love…. that’s what is supposed to abound when we get knowledge and depth of insight (Philippians 1:9).
It’s okay to want more.
It’s okay to not just settle.
While we need to be content, that doesn’t mean that we stop trying to do more, or stop trying to have more, or see more, or don’t want to be more…in fact, being content really means that we’re not waiting to do anything that we ought to do. While in jail the Apostle Paul said he’d learned to be content in every circumstance. He wrote that while in jail. He was often in jail. In fact if being content just meant giving up and staring at the wall we wouldn’t have some of the great books of the bible. Being content for Paul meant that instead of mourning his circumstances and moping and waiting until ‘things were better’ to write, he got quill and pen and changed his world from behind bars. He cared enough to want more (Philippians 4:11).
I want more, how about you?
I’m selective; I don’t want more inches around my waist, I don’t want more days of rain than our beautiful flowers need to have, I don’t want more of a lot of the common sense things no one should want more of: violence, heartache, poverty, pain, disease…
But I still have my bucket list.
I want to see more people happy with faith in God. I want to hear more laughter from children growing up knowing the golden rule. I want to have more deep belly laughs with my wife, and with my friends; maybe around more campfires than restaurants, more beaches than malls, more mountains than backyards.
Yeah, I want more. The movie of my life ain’t over yet and while there’s so many things I’m content with…and thankful, oh soooo thankful for…I don’t just want a ‘bucket list’; I want to finish a bucket list and make two or three…hundred…more before I die; if given the opportunity of course.
Gonna use that one word as a theme maybe a time or two this year. MORE. Could be an acronym. Motorcycles. Oregon. Retreat. E…e…experience…eternal…energy…I stink at acronyms.
Let’s just do more this year. Last year was a good year for many of us. Not so much for some, I understand. But, as a minister for our congregation in Portland, last year was way better than the year before and this year I’m hoping for …more better. Don’t you want more?
Roger wanted more.
Roger wanted more, and Roger ought to know. He’s my big brother. He’s 65. And he got his medicare card and motorcycle license the same day last year. So I invited him to come ride with us in August. He’ll be our guest speaker, pack leader and campfire guru for 4 days. We started two years ago with 7 friends riding to Hell’s Canyon and back so we call it our annual motorcycle retreat and we call ourselves the Hell and Back Gang. Preachers like me like to say hell and damn every chance we can, long as it ain’t really cussing. Last year our group grew…to 10. This year word must have got out that Roger is coming; we have 30 riding and have had to close registration for the event, there’s just no more room at the inn. That’s made me think about next year already. It’s going to have to be like Sturgis or something, only less nudity. I mean NO NUDITY. This year we’re going to start with breakfast at the Roadhouse on Cornelius Pass…
…then ride all day down the unbelievably beautiful Oregon sea coast, eventually stopping at Brookings, Oregon where we’ll spend the night, but not before Roger leads us in a campfire devotional on this beach…
…then we’ll get up, pray on the beach then ride into northern California and back up towards Oregon through the Redwoods National Forest…
…ending up at the bucket list, lifetime destination for a lot of folks…the Lodge on Crater Lake…
…where we’ll have a great night of fellowship, waking up to prayer, breakfast and then revving up for the high desert where after a day of riding through my favorite territory on earth we’ll park our bikes by one of the most famous fishing rivers in the country and get our cabins at the Oasis in Maupin (several of my buddies ride with rod and reels strapped on their saddles) where we’ll be hosted to a barbecue and then starlight devo with Roger….
….then Sunday morning we ride to Portland where we’ll meet with the four wheeled brethren and have a great service, Roger closing out our 2013 ride with a great message, potluck afterwards and farewells…until next year.
And yes, our theme for the retreat this year is…MORE!