Author: Neil Schultz

I like to help church leaders and their spouses become resilient and healthy in their ministries.
The Investment of My Life

The Investment of My Life

For the average chum living in America during the 21st century who has a wife and children, the typical experience is going to work, coming home, time with family, then going to bed, only to expect the same the next day. Weekends are what is aspired to, and life becomes just what happens in-between vacations.

Subjects such as purpose, passion, destiny, dreams and mission are ethereal concepts at best, and are ideas heard about only the movies or in a good book. Life becomes merely existence, with few goals of long-lasting value that will leave a legacy for those of following generations.

This is not the life I want to live!

What is my purpose in life? Why did God create Neil Schultz? What are those organizations and activities that are of long-lasting value that transcends me and my family? What is my unique contribution to those organizations and activities? Unlike video games, I have only ONE life to live. What ought to be the Investment of My Life?

I believe that there is only one God in the universe. Although He is One God, He is also Three (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). He is the Creator of everything in existence. This God is a personal God, who desired a relationship with the pinnacle of His creation, humans. Unfortunately, the first humans trampled on Him and His ways by doubting God’s good heart and disobeying Him.

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and Messiah of Israel. He came to save Israel (back in the first century AD) from their sins and begin His kingdom. Since the leaders of Israel rejected Him as their Messiah, He turned to plan B–to include gentiles into His kingdom. He soonafter died on behalf of all humanity’s sin on a Roman cross under the political hand of Pontius Pilate and the leaders of Israel. He is Master of all the universe, One who is worthy of my worship, discipleship, friendship, and love. His death bought my life. His loneliness on the cross bought my fellowship with God and with other believers, called the Church.

The Church is the hope of the world. Apart from the nuclear family, this is the most important organization/organism on this planet.

MORE TO COME…

Questions about Jesus’ Family

Questions about Jesus’ Family

While Jesus was on earth:

* How did Jesus relate to his earthly/biological family members?
– His dad?
– His mom?
– His sisters?
– His brothers?
– His uncles?
– His aunts?
– His cousins?

* How did Jesus honor His parents?
– Was it ever hard to do so?
– If Jesus had non-believing parents, what would He have done?
– What would He have done if He had my parents and brother?

* How did Jesus handle the criticism/gossip of His family?
* Did His family ever misunderstand Him or misinterpret things He said or did?
* Why did Jesus never marry? Would it have been sinful if He had done so?
* If Jesus were married and had kids, how many would He have had?
* How did Jesus handle disappointments from His family?
* Did He ever have expectations of His family?

What are you looking for?

What are you looking for?

If you’re looking for porn, this is not the blog to go.

If you’re looking for great sex, get married to a member of the opposite sex and enjoy!

If you want great sex, then a great relationship is a MUST! Try cultivating communication and servanthood with each other and then see what happens in the bedroom. Praying together is another way to foster intimacy with one another.

What Are You Passionate About?

What Are You Passionate About?

Recently, I was asked what I am passionate about.

As www.dictionary.com defines it, ‘passion’ means: “Boundless enthusiasm,” “The object of such enthusiasm.” Some synonyms for the word are fervor, fire, zeal, or ardor.

So what am I passionate about? What are those things I have boundless enthusiasm over? What are those activities I simply MUST engage in, whether at home or in my career? My answer is IECHO.

In this order, I simply MUST:
1. Inspire
2. Encourage
3. Coach
4. Heal
5. Organize

That’s it… IECHO is a simple helpful acronym for what I am passionate about.

What are YOU passionate about?

My Personal Approach to Theology

My Personal Approach to Theology

This was a position paper I wrote back in October 2000 for a Theology class at Dallas Theological Seminary on my “My Personal Approach to Theology.”

Upon entering Dallas Theological Seminary, I have had a butterflies-in-my-stomach sense of overwhelming anxiety that I don’t have the self-discipline, brainpower or motivation to succeed in theological studies. My fear in attending seminary has been that I would become a “theological egg-head”, and have a great working knowledge of how to dissect the Bible to its minutiae while not being in ministry and using what I’ve learned to affect me or people I connect with. My approach to theology is similar to some, and yet may be so distant from others.

I grew up in a caring family of five. My parents are moral, but Jesus Christ was a good expletive and sometimes a distant figure to be feared and remembered on holidays, but only by singing Christmas carols or watching an Easter parade. Growing up in Ramona, California (a town in San Diego County), I was a “good” small-town boy who never went to church except to go to Boy Scout meetings in the early to mid-1980’s. Honestly, I never noticed I had a void in my life. My parents were stable and my dad was always the rock that many people looked up to and I was his biggest fan. My dad and I were close, in fact, the way I view God as my Father today as a 25 year old man is still very affected by how I saw my dad while growing up. Having been born-again at age 17 by putting my faith and trust in Jesus Christ to forgive me of all my sin—past, present and future—through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, I now realize I have a new family. This family has become much closer to me than my earthly family; not being raised in a church environment, I didn’t know what it meant to have an extended family that weren’t even blood relatives.

Upon graduating high school, I attended a public university in San Diego for a year, and then moved on in 1994 to Christian Heritage College in El Cajon, California. It was there where I fell in love with systematic theology, which until that point, I had never even heard of the word. I would be so annoyed by the Bible majors, of which I was one, because a large majority of them would bicker back and forth in these seemingly useless arguments about things that made no sense to me. I would watch young men yell at each other and get upset over theological issues. I guess because of my easy-going personality, I never saw it as an alluring desire to join them in these mealtime dialogued flagellations over theology. I graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Youth ministry in May 1998.

Upon graduation, my 4 year youth ministry internship at a local church ended and they sent my new bride and I to a nearby church about 20 minutes away in order for me to be the Director of Youth and Worship. For two years we served there, and endured much hardship, being newly married and already attacked and beat up from people who could define ‘grace’ for you on paper, but not manifest it in their lives.

It was at this church where I sensed a need and desire to further my theological education at DTS, honing my hermeneutical and homiletical skills in order to be a sharp and excellent Senior Pastor. I don’t perceive I’ll gain a love for the church innately from classes, but that is an internal love from the Lord cultivated outside of formal education. This is the direction we are headed, realizing that God is Sovereign and can change our plans at His whim and desire.

My primary method of theology is the definition of the term: the study of God. It is my goal not only to “study God” while in seminary for formal education, but for the rest of my life attempting to follow Jesus Christ. Being a “theologian”, in my mind, up until the beginning of my seminary career, has had a negative connotation due to negative experiences with the Bible majors at college. I am a theologian, not in the traditional scholarly sense, but as one who seeks to study God’s word and creation and allow the Spirit of God to transform me by its truth.

Perhaps my favorite resource in systematic theology has been the book Basic Theology, by Charles C. Ryrie. It is such a readable, clearly categorized and stimulating work, that I have used it for many of my sermon preparations and personal study times. It does not claim to be an exhaustive work on systematic theology, but is an extensive overview of it.

For several years in my high school career and into my first two years of college, I was involved in several musical groups and ensembles, which cultivated within me a strong skill for performance, stage presence and musical ability. With excellence comes its antithesis of perfectionism, which spawns the sin of a critical and judgmental spirit. When a perfectionist observes anything less, that lesser object is demeaned. It is also indicative to pass judgment without educating myself on the particular matter being judged. I’m learning to search for myself what I believe, rather than passing blind judgment on it or ignorantly believing it. For instance, rather than giving my opinion on something without having any working knowledge of its subject (which is lazy), I am taking initiative to learn about the subject and forming an opinion afterward rather than before.

I realize I do have inherent biases, which have been cultivated both from within, due to personal experiences, and from without, where I heard another person’s opinion about a subject and took their word for it. I’m learning to examine beyond my own biases and vantage point to be able to gain a broadened perspective, as I research a particular subject. This will be my greatest challenge, as I am growing through my inadequacies of dangerously believing something because someone convincingly said so. In other words, I am placing myself in the “student” or “apprentice” role of learning from others.

I hope my theology guides my thinking and my actions for the rest of my life. Since that is the standard I am trying to attain, then it is also my goal to seek to be correct in my theology, according to the Bible. In my teaching, both currently as a Junior High Pastor, and in the future (Lord willing) as a Senior Pastor, I hope my theology guides my shepherding—the way the Elders and I care for the flock, the way the Elders and I lead, as well as the way we “feed”, or teach. Whether it is the topics I choose to teach on, my expository preaching, or my emphases in teaching, I want to major on the Majors and minor on the minors.

My desire in theology is to be orthodox—correct in doctrine, correlative—always seeking the principle, and practical—allowing the Holy Spirit to shape my life by the word of God in this day and age. Jesus Christ is the Master, I am His student.

Revealed Insights from Luke 4:14-5:16

Revealed Insights from Luke 4:14-5:16

Jesus was driven from His hometown of Nazareth by His fellow neighborhood Jews after teaching the synagogue that He is the Messiah who will include performing miracles to Gentiles (4:14-30). We then see Jesus driving out demons with no fear or hesitancy (4:31-37), then healing people and casting more demons out at will (4:38-41).

Next, Jesus goes to a solitary place, I assume just to get some alone time with His Father (4:42; 5:16). This He seemed to do after an intense period of ministry.

He then calls Simon, Andrew, James and John who were all business partners, to be His followers (5:1-11).

The ministry/mission Jesus performed here at the start was synagogue teaching, healing, exorcism and gathering His team of disciples.

As I look for parallels to the life of my family, of which I am the “team leader,” I wonder what is here that I can imitate by the Holy Spirit’s power? Is Jesus’ beginning of His “public” ministry a template for us to follow? As the potential Lead Pastor, should I be teaching in churches, healing people, casting out demons and building my team of disciple-makers?

You are the Master, and I am Your servant. God, Your will be done. Please reveal to me what Your desire is.

Superman Syndrome

Superman Syndrome

Have you ever thought you were alone? Not just for a few hours or days, but truly… intrinsically and hopelessly A-L-O-N-E?

To feel as if feelings don’t exist. Dark and heavy clouds encircling about your soul. A loud quiet captures your equilibrium. A sense of floating aimlessly down a river without any chance of help or support…

Sometimes, that’s what people who help others feel. Some call it “depression.” Others call it “Superman Syndrome.”

When was the last time you saw Superman cry? or have needs? or say “Today is my day off” or “I need a break, I’m tired!”

Yes, it’s a common experience among others-centered people. We feel the lonliness that comes with the territory of ministering to others. We are tempted to encloak ourselves with the “Superman Syndrome.” We want to always be there for others, we want to be the one in the spotlight and receive the praise and gratitude of many for ‘saving the day.’

The only antidote, or better yet, prevention, is to have a trustworthy friend. Someone who is not impressed with you or your acheivements, but who cares about your wounds and is loyal to helping you grow.

We see that Friend in the Holy Spirit of God. He is the One who will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

WAWOT

WAWOT

I just wasted about 20 minutes of my day answering at least 50 advertising questions for an online survey.

The end result is………………………………………….. “You have been automatically entered into our drawing for a chance to win a prize. If you win one of the prizes you will be contacted through the email address at which you received the survey invitation.”

You know, it may have well said, “Sorry, you’re not a winner.”

What a waste of time.

Using Jesus’ Name

Using Jesus’ Name

Oneness of life on earth gives oneness of name. Kids carry their father’s family name because they have his life. Often kids who have a great dad are honored or helped by others just because they are his children. But that wouldn’t go for very long if their character didn’t match their dad’s name (reputation).

Our power in using the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whether with God, people, or demons, depends on the closeness of our spiritual life-union with Jesus. How close are you with Him today?

Virtues from the Fraggles

Virtues from the Fraggles

I was watching the Muppets Family Christmas Special on video yesterday with my infant son (who loves any kind of puppet on the TV) and was intrigued by a song the Fraggles sing called, “Pass it On.” The lyrics reflect a heart of giving in community. As I pondered the significance of this simple children’s song, I agreed with it more and more! I want to pass on to my children and to others the virtues God is installing in me.

Here is a list of twenty virtues we’d like to pass on to our children (in no particular order or rank):
1. Respect
2. Honor
3. Caring
4. Integrity
5. Honesty
6. Modesty
7. Purity
8. Humility
9. Courage
10. Sacrifice
11. Wisdom
12. Contentment
13. Joy
14. Faith
15. Hope
16. Love
17. Introspection
18. Intentionality
19. Gratitude
20. Discipline