Finding Patience Sooner

On Saturday night, as I watched the Sooners play football, I found myself screaming at the television. On their first two possessions Missouri absolutely schooled the OU secondary on how NOT to run a defense. The result? A quick 14 to 3 lead in the first 9 minutes of the game and an odd sense of deja vu that Missouri would once again topple the Sooners out of their #1 position in the polls.

Looking back it’s strange that I would get so frustrated over the Sooner’s early game performance. I’m not on the team. I’ve never played one down of real football. I’m not even Sooner alumni. I’m just a guy who grew up near Norman and married a girl who bleeds crimson and cream. Yet, in spite of my distant relationship and laughable qualifications for speaking with intelligence on the subject of what it takes to run a defense – let alone win a game – there I was, screaming at my TV and the secondary that virtually placed a red carpet on the field – twice – to escort the Mizzou offense into the end zone. I’m reminded that this is how many of us approach the topic of patience.

Patience is an admirable quality…in someone else. It’s one of those virtues we admire from a distance. We expect immediate satisfaction from others while asking them to have patience with us. The problem is simple. I want what I want when I want it and I want what I want right now!

Impatience is an epidemic in our culture today. We’re not really interested in waiting on much. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty impatient with how long it’s taken to write this post. I can only imagine how impatient you must be to finish it! So, in the spirit of brevity – and in the hope I won’t wear your patience thin – let’s see if we can find some practical wisdom in bullet point form!

  • Patience is being willing to let the process unfold. It’s waiting to judge the quality of the OU defense till the end of the game rather than forming your opinion in the first two plays of the game.
  • Patience provides the margin that helps you adjust to the unavoidable. It’s guaranteed. People will get sick. They will make mistakes. They will need rest. Some will deliberately disappoint. Patience makes it possible to find success in spite of unavoidable circumstances.
  • Patience is deeper than tolerance. Patience is not letting people get by with bad behavior. Patience instructs then gives the instruction time to sink in. Patience confronts the problem then allows maturity to do it’s work.
  • Patience creates space; space to learn, space to understand, space to change your mind, space to rest, space to grow.
  • And now for my favorite truth – Patience is the calm assurance that comes from trusting that God is not finished with us yet.
It’s true. God is still working in you and through for His good pleasure. He is patiently reshaping you into an instrument of His glory and grace. He’s doing the same thing in the people around you. Will you give people and circumstances the space and time they need for the process to work in them.
In the Bible, James 1 tells us that patience has a perfect work – it’s a work that completes you and me. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, in spite of the hurry that you feel, stop now. Take a breath and let patience have it’s perfect work in you. Now – offer that patience to someone else.

God Bless,


Bold Statements

I like bold statements. I like swagger. I like the confidence that comes from knowing you’re right and believing you have the skill and resources necessary to win the day. When I watch football there’s something about seeing my favorite running back push through a pile of thousand pound giants into the end zone to score a touchdown that makes me want to jump up and spike my TV remote!

There’s something special about bold statements and the will to achieve them. I serve at First Baptist Church Owasso. We’ve made some bold statements.

  • We will not be the church that prays small prayers. We will ask God to do the impossible and recognize that if God doesn’t come through, all is lost.
  • We will be the church that goes out of its way to reach people with the love of Jesus. We will go places we’ve never been before and do things we’ve never done before in order to share the gospel with people we’ve not yet met.
  • We will be a generous church. We will give more than we think we can afford and trust God to provide. We will recognize that we are tremendously blessed and that because we have been given much we can give much. We will not shy away from trying to meet the needs of as many people as God entrusts to us. We will be the church that serves people and serves other churches.
  • We will be the church that beats the odds. We will value our relationships more than our own rights or opinions. We will be quick to repent and quick to forgive. Like John 13:35, the world will know we are His disciples because of our love.
Those are some bold statements. Before the ‘we’ is the ‘I’ – before ‘we’ are the church that becomes these things ‘I’ must be the one to do these things.
  • Our church will see answers to impossible prayers when I begin to call on God for impossible things.
  • Our church will connect people with the gospel when I connect with people and love them like Jesus does.
  • Our church will be a generous church when I give generously to the church and to others.
  • Our church will beat the marriage and relationship odds when I value my relationships more than my own rights or opinions.
Bold statements + bold actions = the epic stories we love to hear.