Shootin’ the rock

I’d like to introduce you to a friend, fellow minister and brother blogger. Dave Rutler is a church planter at The Crossing Wichita.

I asked him for permission to republish one of his posts and he obliged, so, please enjoy this gift to our community.

I follow his blog regularly (and you should too), but this particular post was really exceptional and I loved the basketball analogy. Dave’s take on the fundamentals is exceptional. Take a few moments to read and a lifetime to apply.

Thanks Dave for your friendship, the many games of b-ball we shared, the incalculable cups of coffee consumed and the gift of your ministry.

Shootin’ the Rock
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Dave

I had a great time watching my kiddo practice basketball yesterday. She is pretty new tothe competitive style of play and is learning at a pretty rapid clip. Yesterday was a skills workout, where they were focusing on fundamentals.

It was pretty cool watching the coach start and stop the drills to get them to pay particular attention to their footwork, ball placement and body position. She explained the reason for being picky. She pointed out the benefit of doing it right and the drawback of doing it improperly, or sloppily. As expected, some kids focused hard, slowed down and tried to get it right. Others continued to run through the motions thinking they already knew what they were doing and their play was sufficient.

It made me think about how we, as Jesus followers, live out Christianity. I think we spend a lot of time free-styling, doing the moves we are comfortable with. It is sad to think that many “so-called” mature believers think they are no longer students; that they have nothing to learn. The outcome is a bunch of sloppy play that ends up in losses.

Basketball is a team sport with individual contribution. A good team requires not only individual dedication and talent but also a team mentality. I wonder how effective we have been at fostering this mentality in the church? There are too many people that have lost sight of the basics. They consider them rudimentary and no longer of value. So, instead of paying attention to where their hands are and the placement of their feet and how they handle the Gospel, they are just shooting the rock from downtown.

One drill had the coach putting the kids in position to square up and take a shot. They were positioned to take a bank shot. She explained that it is not the prettiest shot and certainly not the most glamorous shot; but it is the most high percentage shot. She asked the question, “Do you want to look pretty or do you want to score points?”

I wonder if we have gotten caught up in making our lives look pretty or if we are more concerned with taking the high percentage shot. The high percentage shot for a believer deals with being in the right place and doing that which is effective for the kingdom. It means being less concerned with what the crowd thinks about the shot and whether we make the ESPN highlights.

It means focusing on fundamental basics and doing what Jesus called us to do. He was pretty critical of those who added to his message, to those who made it into some kind of show. He was not very happy about the way the Pharisees prayed in public for all to hear when they weren’t praying with a heart to hear God. He wasn’t very happy about the fact that they bragged about keeping the Sabbath but wouldn’t help a desperate and hurting person on that day. They were more concerned with strapping on the Nikes and lofting one from three point land when they had an easy lay up under the basket.

The point is simply that we spend too much time adding frills and thrills to a pretty simple Message. We are playing a pretty sloppy game because we think the basics are for beginners. If we would spend more time concentrating on the basics of loving God and loving people we would score more points, so to speak.

Why Pray Anyway?

Have you ever made a purchase only to be disappointed?

I am always trying to warn my kids, that what they see on TV commercials is almost never what they will have when they get it home.

I sure wish I’d listened to my own advice.

I have an iPhone and iPad, so, I’m constantly looking through the App Store trying to find the latest and greatest stuff to make my life “easier.”

You read the reviews, ask a few people who might know about such things, then lay down the cash and make the purchase.

I’ve been trying to find a way to make my iPad more interactive with our weekend services, and I found this software that sounded like it might do what I needed it to do, possibly, maybe, sort of.

But, when I bought it, it did everything it said it would do, just not what I wanted it to do. So, I tried to manipulate my computer, or projectors and messed with every setting I could find.

Within 24 hours, I had requested a refund for the software purchase and was rebuilding my entire laptop because what I tried to do had destroyed it… I am an idiot.

Continue reading “Why Pray Anyway?”

Don’t make the same mistake twice

Over the last few weeks I have been studying the book of Hebrews with some awesome guys.

I’ll be honest, it’s a tough book. It’s tough enough that most scholars aren’t even really sure who wrote it, but they are confident that it lines up with Scripture and is a valuable part of our Bible.

As the name implies, it was written to Hebrews, so even though it’s a New Testament book it reflects back on much of what happened in the Hebrew nation of the Old Testament. In the first quarter of the book, there is a warning that basically goes like this: “Do not make the same mistakes you saw those who came before you make.” (Hebrews 3:16-4:2)

Pretty easy advice, eh?

Not so much.

  • Have you ever seen somebody run into a car because they were watching a wreck on the other side of the road?
  • Have you ever seen someone fail a test because they cheated off someone dumber than they were?
  • Have you ever told your children not to do something and explained a specific consequence, only to walk out of the room and have them do exactly what you told them not to do?

We humans are difficult that way. Kind of slow, a little rebellious and continually irritating. (Resist the urge to put these labels on someone else… if you’re human, this applies to us all)

Continue reading “Don’t make the same mistake twice”

The Spiritual Discipline of REMAINing

John 15:7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you…

These words of Jesus were the subject of the weekend services in our church (CrossPoint Church) over the past weekend. I promised a blog entry with some resources and further instruction on “how to” remain in Jesus and have His words remain in you. Well, here you go.

Below the video are several clickable resources that either link you to different resource sites, or connect to downloadable resources. Many blessings!

Remain from Andy Addis on Vimeo.

Matthew 13:45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.


Bible Study Card:

Simply right click to copy or save card to your hard drive

Are You Ready To Rumble?

A great Passage from the book of Judges speaks to our lives today:

The Test from Andy Addis on Vimeo.

Judges 3

1 These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience)

What are the lessons here?

1. Sometimes its not the devil

2. God will test His own

3. God wants us ready to fight

Getting degunkified

Cleaning out the muck and mire of our lives, we need to remove the junk that flowed into, but never flowed out of our lives.

It’s a process called confession that comes with a promise from God: He is faithful, He will forgive, He will heal.

Don’t miss out on the incredible Christian discipline called confession. It’s how we get degunkified!

Untitled from Andy Addis on Vimeo.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Don’t come up short

I’ve been really excited about the possibilities that I feel God has planted in my heart. It’s a been a real season of risk, faith, hope and awesomecrediblephenomness. Yes, thats what you do when you don’t have a word for it.

In this season I have recognized a pattern in me that I have also seen in others and in many Scriptural stories. I’d like to share it with you.

The Dream Process from Andy Addis on Vimeo.

Here’s the process…

1. God plants a dream in you

2. Hope is you believing in what is yet unseen, and you go public with the dream

3. Faith gets you through the hard times as you trust the arm of the Lord is not too short

4. Reality comes when the dream arrives

Don’t bailout in any part of this process! Its too important to give up.

Numbers 11:23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

Isaiah 59:1 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.

Isaiah 50:2 When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you?

The long way around

My wife and I are never closer to divorce than when she is right.

Just kidding. We’ve already ruled out divorce as an option, but homicide… well.

Once again, just kidding.

Seriously, it really peeves me when my wife and I are engaged in passionate discourse (aka fighting) and in the midst of the battle it becomes abundantly clear that she is right.

The one time that happened was really rough on me.

You know that feeling that you have been missing the obvious? That the answer has been right there all along and you’ve just been too blind, busy or bored to pick up on it.

No? Just me? Hmm. Continue reading “The long way around”

Just to make it today…

I can’t believe how 80s I am.

Every time I think, or hear, the phrase “You’ve got to pray,” I envision MC Hammer pants. That can’t be healthy.

But, here we go… You’ve got to pray (just to make it today… wow, it is an illness).

Communication is essential to any relationship, and without it the relationship will wither and die. Or, at least go into a period of hibernation until the spring thaw. Continue reading “Just to make it today…”