Friday, September 22, 2006

love for God is love for others

I have been challenged in my heart of late to practice love. To love meaning to do good for others no matter who they are, or what they have done, or may do, or are doing. To give my best to them. To hope the best for them. Not simply to do no harm or to think no ill of them, for that is what love can so easily come to mean. To bless everyone I meet by the way I think of them, talk to them, and what I am able to do for them. I am challenged to truly love as God loves. To love and not condmen even every one of us has faults worthy of condeming.

It seems to me like this is the kind of love demonstrated by Jesus, the visible image of the invisible God. He loved people, he did not condone all their actions but neither is he condemning to them, yet somehow so many of these people saw their need to change. Why do christians feel as though we need to be the group that condemns and points out the worse in everyone and everything. Why wouyld anyone want to attend a church like that, or what is more, serve a God that is like that. I do not think our God is like that. He is loving without condmening. When face to face with God we all see not with our eyes but with our hearts where we need healing and then our God transforms us into his image.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

views from the inside

Have you ever worked hard to decorate something, create a piece of art, plan and execute a festival or event? When you are doing these things it is next to impossible to see the true effect of it. Or maybe another way to state the last sentence would be to say there is no good way for you to be objective about what you have accomplished.

I wonder and believe to be true that we as people have no way of understanding who we really are in the order of creation. For example, we look at nature and see a stunning display of color, shape, and sound. We are awed by it and call it beautiful. But what if nature looks at people and calls us beautiful. What if nature realizes a truth that we are not able to observe because we are on the inside. That truth being that you and I are the sons of God. Maybe all of the rest of creation is in awe of you and I as we follow Christ and are even "hidden in Christ". I think people are far more beautiful than people can realize.

C.S. Lewis writes in his article The Weight of Glory "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as now you meet...only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. ... There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal... it is with immortals we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."

As we follow Christ daily we become the latter, without Christ we can only become the former. So, there is no room for those who follow Christ to be proud of themselves for without Christ we are monsters. In Christ we are being transformed into creatures of incredible glory and splendor such as now exists only in our minds as a thing we long for, believing it to be true, but with no way to comprehend the truth of its effect on us.

For today this is what is rattling in my mind
God be with you

Thursday, September 14, 2006

so limited

So often I feel so limited, so trapped, so small. Then today as I was praying the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the story of Moses. Specifically how he kept trying to talk god out of using him to secure the release of the Israelites from Egypt. Then the Holy Spirit guided my own mind to ponder how many times have made myself useless simply by not allowing myself to take a step of faith. In the midst of my thoughts I very often become paralyzed by what may not work. Sure I need to analyze a situation or opportunity, but I do not need to be paralyzed. I think my life could be so much more fulfilling to myself and others if I only let go of my insecurities and self doubts and allowed God to work more fully through me. Moses is a great example of this to me.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What if...

I love the following story it is truly a picture of the world in which we live and the world in whcih we should live. May we all grow older and wiser like this...enjoy...

His name is John. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it. One day John decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so John starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. John gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!) By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward John. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, a three-piece suit, and a pocket watch. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves, "You can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?"

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking, "The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do." And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to John and worships with him so he won't be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget."