Appalled and Flabbergasted !!

My mother went on my blog last week and saw where I wrote about a wife submitting and obeying her husband. Her response to me was that she was “Appalled that I would ever think that a women should submit to her husband and that she raised me much better than that” It is so funny how both Christians and non-Christians have such a hard time with this. When I explained to my mom what it means to submit as a wife and how a husband has the harder job, as he is to totally lay down his wants, his needs, his feelings and his life, she was a little more understanding of what it means when God tells a women to submit to her husband.

With that being said, I would like to quote Ephesians 5:21 which is the verse right before “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” In verse 21, it says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” This is clearly stating that a husband should also submit to his wife. Then Paul clarifies that even tough both a husband and wife should submit to one another, it is important that the family has a leader as the head of the home. If you look at the structure of any well functioning organization, whether it is a church, military design, McDonalds, law office, police department, or a fortune 500 company, you will see the same thing. All of those organizations have a chain of commands or a structured line of authority. The line of authority has nothing to do with value or importance; it is just that this structure gives functioning organization the best possible opportunity to be successful and prosperous. To be honest, Beth is much more valuable and important to my family than I am. (Especially now that I have $1 million in life insurance) She is the one who takes care of our children, keeps the house in order, takes care of me; she is the link that keeps our family together.

One last thing to note is that if I want to make it easy for my wife to submit to my leadership, than I need to be a servant leader. The problem that the world has with submitting to husbands is that the typical husband is viewed as being a macho, chauvinist, Napoleon complex, little man syndrome, insensitive, my way or the highway, over powering, hole punching, nympho maniac. But when you view that to what a Christian husband should be; loving, compassionate, selfless, serving, God fearing, Christ pursuing, sensitive, a man who doesn’t get angry or pushy, a man who doesn’t raise his voice, a man who listens to his wife, supports his wife, and try’s to do all that he can so that she can be everything that God wants her to be.

Would that man really be hard to submit to? I’ll let you answer that.

Love you momma, Matt

"Matthew Wayne Chewning, Go To Your Room!!"

Do you ever feel like you are at times standing still? In your marriage, in your faith, at your job, as a parent? Lately I have felt like my marriage is good but should be better, my faith is strong but should be stronger, my patience with my kids is OK but should be better, I'm doing well at my job but could be doing better.

I have been convicted by Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I often seem to lean more on my feelings rather than my convictioncs. At times when I feel complacent, down, depressed, restless, inpatient, angry, etc, I have to take a moment to re-focus my mind on Christ. See, when I take a minute to do this and compare my life towards Christ incarnated (Life on earth) and Christ exalted (Jesus exalted on his throne in heaven), I begin to re-new my mind. This is why in Hebrews 12:2 Paul tells us to Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. When I begin to allow Jesus to be my source in all situations, rather than allowing people, Beth, my job, the Internet, sports, etc, to be my source, that is when lasting change can occur. That is when God begins to sanctify me.

Today when I got home from work, I wasn't in the best of moods. It was a long night last night with the kids, I woke up at 6:00am in Daniel's room not remembering how I got there.That usually is a good sign that I didn't sleep well. Anyway, when my amazing wife who Jesus considers my helper (Genesis 2), saw my bad attitude, she encouraged me to go up to my room and pray. For a second I felt like I was 12 years old again and just got sent to my room. At first I was annoyed that she would even tell me to do such a thing, but when I got up there God re-newed my mind as I fixed my eyes on Jesus. Minutes into my time with Jesus in my closet, Beth opened the door only to find me in a pitch black room on my knees. She grabbed me and we prayed together. Together we sat there and were immediately transformed by the renewing of our minds and the fixing of our eyes on Jesus.

Since then, I already feel re-energized and ready to tackle the world again.

A couple of questions you may want to ask yourself like I was forced to ask myself.
1. Do you need to go somewhere where it is pitch black, close the door, fix your eyes on Jesus and renew your mind? (Do you need to be sent to your room?)
2. Do you need to encourage someone to do the same? (Do you need to send someone to their room)
3. Do you feel like your standing still? If so...."Go to your room, NOW"

Stop what you are doing and follow me.

Have you ever wondered why it is sometimes so hard to follow what you feel God is telling you to do or maybe what God is calling you to do? I definitely think that is one of the hardest things to do.

When Jesus was walking the earth 2000 years ago, it is amazing how fast people would drop what they were doing and just begin to follow him. Just listen to how fast these guys dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus in Mark 1: 16-23.

16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 18At once they left their nets and followed him.
19When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
21They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

Why were they so eager to follow Jesus? It doesn't make any sense...or does it. If you look at verse 22, it captures exactly why people were so willing to follow him. It all hinges on his authority. Jesus was already an very authoritative figure in his community. The bible states that he started teaching in the temple at 12 years old. And even at 12, the religious leaders were amazed at his teachings. Now with 18 years of experience under his belt, 18 years of teaching in his community, 18 years of a visible sin-less life, 18 years of leadership experience, 18 years of studying, teaching, and learning the scriptures. After all of that, I guarantee that he already had his place of honor in his community. And here is the answer to the mystery of why people would drop everything to follow him. When a man of that type of authority calls you to follow him, it is an absolute honor to do so. It is no surprise that those men dropped everything to follow Jesus. It would be a dream for a man like that to ask you to follow him.

Put it this way. For myself, if the CEO of my company called me into his office and told me, "Matt, I have another position for you. You're a little under qualified, but I know that you can do it. I have been leading this company for 18 years and with all of that experience, I think that you are my guy. Matt, what you are doing now is honorable but the new position I have for you will change your world. And don't worry about anything (money, job security, training, a team) I'll take care of all of that for you." Matt, will you take the position? Will you stop what you are doing and follow me?

Can you imagine, if the CEO of my company had a meeting with me and said all of that? Just imagine with me for a second what I would do. I would drop everything so fast it wouldn't even be funny. Why? Because if a man with that type of authority and experience has that type of faith in me, and believes in me like that, it would be an honor to drop what I was doing and follow his lead.

Now, if all of that is true. How much more should we be willing to follow Jesus. A man who promises to never leave us or forsake us. A man who says "Do not be afraid, for I am with you always" Jeremiah 1:8. A man who says that "Through Him, anything is possible" Philippians 4:13. And on top of that, a man who had no sin, and his followers were amazed at him because of his authority. How much more should we be willing to follow that man? And when we say "No", I wont follow Jesus in that area of my life, we are really saying; Jesus, "I just do see you as having that much authority and Jesus, It doesn't impress me that you would have that type of faith in me because your not that valuable to me and I don't think I am that valuable to you." Truth be told, that is sin and we need to repent.

1. In what way is Jesus calling you to follow him?
2. Do you see it as an honor that he is calling you to this, or is it a hassle?
3. What is it that you have to drop in order to follow what he is leading you to do?
4. Are you willing to say "Yes" to Jesus?

Join me in my journey of trying to drop everything and following Jesus.

My Birthday / God's Voice

Yesterday I turned 25 years old. Wow, I am still such a baby. Yesterday was a great day. Beth and her mom made me the greatest gift. Beth bought a down-comforter and created a personalized quilt out of it. She took all of my college T Shirts as well as printing some things on a fabric sheet and made me the coolest quilt. You have to see it to believe it. Its awesome.

Anyway, it was a great Day. We went to church in the morning, Daniel had his first ever basketball practice. Yeah, my boy is the best on his team already. Then we had a few people over for cards and cake. After that Beth took me out on a date. It was a great day.

One thing that was so cool in my conversations with Beth at dinner. She told me that the other day God gave her this burning desire for ministry. That was so cool. As a husband, it is the most encouraging thing to know that my wife is hearing God. As the leader of my home, there is nothing that can lift me up more than knowing that my family is hearing from God.

Habakkuk 2:1-2 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
Key #1 - God’s voice in our hearts sounds like a flow of spontaneous thoughts. Therefore, when I tune to God, I tune to spontaneity.
Key #2 - I must learn to still my own thoughts and emotions, so that I can sense God’s flow of thoughts and emotions within me.
Key #3 - As I pray, I fix the eyes of my heart upon Jesus, seeing in the spirit the dreams and visions of Almighty God.
Key #4 - Journaling, the writing out of our prayers and God’s answers, provides a great new freedom in hearing God’s voice.

Mentored By Many, Saved by One

Last night Frank and I drove 3 1/2 hours to Wilmington for a 2 hour banquet and then drove all the way back to Greensboro. Dr. Bennett was having his banquet for his mentoring men ministry. My initial reaction to going all of the way out there for 2 hours was probably not what it should have been. But when I was there, God really showed me something.

I have had such an unusual opportunity to have people in my life who have literally come along side of me to walk me through many different parts of my life. I can think specifically of men who were there for me in my marriage, ministry, accountability, parenting, early stages of my faith, etc. It is awesome to think back about how God has placed men in my life and how further along I am because of their influence. In the midst of realizing all of this, i realized that I have not yet intentionally taken anyone under my wing. One gentleman said yesterday that "no matter where you are in your walk, there is always someone behind you". That basically means that everyone is qualified to mentor someone or lead someone.

If you are a Christian, you are called to do this. You are called to invest your life in someone who God places in your life. This was the example of Jesus and every single one of his disciples. If that isn't enough, listen to the words of Paul in 1 Thes 2:8 "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us."

Here are the questions I am asking myself and I will pose them to you as well.
1. Who has God given you but you have not yet submitted yourself to investing in them?
2. Why is it not of major importance for you to invest in someone 1 on 1?
3. What will you do to take a 1st step at investing in someone who is behind you?

Lastly, if you want to grow as a christian or person, get a mentor.

Thank you Frank Bishoff, Allen Holmes, Dr Bill Bennett, Dan Byrd, Steve Shomo, Scott Stone, John Austin, Ricky Grant, Kevin Roach, Andre Benson, Cliff Hersey, Adrian Morales, AZ and his kid brother Dan. Thank you all because at one point in my life, I was that kid that God placed in your lap and you were as faithful as you knew how to be.

Lastly, Thank you Beth for putting up with me through all these years. You have had a greater influence on my life than all of those men combined. Second only to Jesus. You'll always be my soul mate, my angel from heaven, my first gift from God.

Thank you. Matt