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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Tragedy Strikes Again

It’s a tragedy to see a country completely demolished by one quake of the earth. And it kills me to see hundreds of children homeless once again because orphanages have been completely wiped out.

But what’s more tragic is that it takes something like an earthquake in Haiti, or a plane crashing into the world trade center, or a Tsunami in Indonesia, in order for us to open our eyes, look in that direction, and LOVE people the way we’ve been called to love them in the first place!

Yes, it’s a testament of our capacity for love, when we rise up and do everything we can to give aid to hurting people. But just think of what this world would be like if we lived in the fullness of that capacity all the time.

Last year I had a homeless guy come up to me and give me his gloves . This guy doesn’t have a home, doesn’t know where his next meal is going to come from… he’s walking around with huge holes in his shoes, and he gives me his gloves because it’s raining outside and when we shook hands he noticed mine were cold. When I tried to give them back he said, “No no dear, you need them more than I do”. If he only knew I had 4 pairs of gloves just like them!  Maybe he was right, maybe I did need them.  Maybe I needed them so that I could see what the world is really supposed to look like.

You know why it feels so good to help someone in need? Because that’s what we were created for! You know why it feels so wonderful to love someone more than you love yourself? Because we’re doing the very thing we were created to do…love. We were never meant to live a life on the lookout for ourselves alone. We were meant to know and love God. And if we really knew God, we would know that He is LOVE. Knowing Him more would naturally make us more like Him, and being more like Him would naturally make us love more, and loving more… would make everything less tragic.

*Ending Notes: I did hear that 300 children were adopted (not fostered…adopted) out of Haiti within 2 hours of a need being made known to the state of IN. That’s awesome!
 
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Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Trivia and Truth

I was recently asked to share with the congregation how memorizing scripture has impacted me. There are a lot of things I could have talked about; several ways the Lord has revealed himself through me spending intentional time in His Word. But when I sat down to really think about what I was going to say; hoping that the Lord would give me something worth listening to, this is what He laid on my heart to share…

“It’s not about head knowledge. it’s not about knowing who was related to who in the old testament. It’s not about trivia. It’s about knowing the character of God. It’s about being able to stand up against attacks from the enemy and say, “No! The Lord brought the Israelites out of the desert, He’ll bring me out of this desert to”. How will you know how to love your wives like Christ loves the Church if you don’t look at how He loves? How are we going to stand in reverence before the Lord if we don’t know what makes Him awesome?

We don’t fall more and more in love with people by spending less and less time with them. Likewise, if we want to be a godly, reverent people, passionately in love with Christ…we’re not going to get there by not reading His Word and not praying and not taking advantage of His presence.

It’s not a legalistic thing-don’t let it become that. Reading the Bible won’t save you…but you will know God more. And isn’t that what we’re all meant for”?

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in "Debriefings", Just thinking

 

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Conditional Love?

I have this friend (Ben Poust) who loves to argue. It’s never in a harsh or demeaning way, he just really enjoys not agreeing. He is probably the most intelligent person I know so I tend to get really nervous when talking with him…especially about religion. His Christian upbringing was much more intense than mine, so he knows a LOT more about theology than I do…which makes for even more intimidating conversation.

One time he said to me, “Ok, why would a loving God tell the people that He created ‘you have a choice to love me or not…but if you don’t chose to love me, you can’t be with me’. How is that loving?”

I don’t remember what my response was at the time, but pretty sure I wasn’t satisfied with it afterward. Why is it that it’s always a day later when we think of the “perfect thing” to say? In my case it took me over a year to come up with a semi-good answer to that question. I was spending some time with the Lord the other morning and something made me think of the conversation with Ben, and suddenly this really clear, cohesive, logical response started forming in my head.

Maybe it’s too late to share it with Ben, because that moment passed a long time ago (or maybe he’ll read my blog and fire back some dispute) but it’s worth sharing here for anyone who’s curious…

It’s like a parent telling their children not to do drugs. Now, I’m not a parent, but if I was, I wouldn’t be a good one if I didn’t warn them against drugs. I would say, “Kids, you can choose to do drugs or not to do drugs…but if you chose to do drugs, you won’t be able to love anyone but yourself”. By saying that I’m not saying that if they chose drugs I won’t love them anymore or I’ll disown them, I’m merely pointing out the nature of drugs/addiction. One cannot love anything outside themselves once they’ve conceded to drugs (or alcohol or whatever it is); that’s the nature of addiction; it’s the nature of drugs, they suck you in and you can’t get out until you leave them completely.

So it is with Christ. Him saying, “you can choose to love me, or this world, but if you choose the world you can’t have me; you can’t be with me”. It’s not a selfish thing He’s saying. It’s just the nature of sin and glory. If one chooses to deny His glory so they can be in the world (or live their life w/o any sort of accountability to God), they can’t be with Him because He is glory and glory cannot dwell in sin; it’s the essence of glory: the absence of sin. It’s not a matter of judgment, it’s not a conditional love, and it’s not a lack of ability on God’s part. It’s fact. It’s how good and evil work. It’s us with the lack of ability. We either love God and therefore become part of his Glory, or we don’t love God and force ourselves to be in His absence.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2010 in Just thinking

 

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Snow and Sickness

The first time  snow falls in the winter (or in the fall if you’re from the mid-west) everyone thinks it’s beautiful. It’s so light and fluffy and makes everything look clean; makes you want to cuddle up to someone and drink hot-cocoa by the fireplace. But, as time goes on it becomes a huge bother. You have to shovel your driveway. You have to start your car half an hour before you want to get in it. Yeah sure it’s fun to play in and make snowmen for a while but soon the cold makes your nose want to freeze shut, and your fingers fall off. And let’s be real, snow, and all that it brings with it, can be treacherous and deadly. One could get lost in a blizzard going from their barn to their house and  never make it back. Or they could hit a patch of ice while driving and go right into the ditch, only to be covered with snow… and no one would find them!

Lately, the Lord has allowed me to see my sickness in the same light, only the opposite way. This disease is treacherous. It’s deadly. When you first see it it’s ugly, it’s frightening, it’s so easy to lose yourself in it. But when I can just ride it out; when I can get past the ugliness, even in the dire times, there is beauty to be had.

There’s something beautiful in being brought to the end of yourself. There’s something beautiful to be seen in people loving you through sickness. There’s something magnificent in knowing that there is nothing I can do to stop this disease. I can only walk in the direction I’m called and praise the Lord for giving me the breath to do it.

There’s a freedom in weakness. It’s not a cop-out; it’s not a right to say, “Ok then, I’m just going to live my life carelessly and selfishly, while everyone around me works hard, because I’m dying anyway”. Everyone is “dying anyway”!  It’s an acknowledgment that  this is the life God gave me; this one. And I need to be a good steward of it! It’s an acknowledgment that I am not my own anyway, I belong to the Lord. If I trust Him; if I believe He loves me and that what He does is for my greatest good and His highest glory, then all the fear, and worry, and bitterness will melt away like ice in springtime. And everything becomes beautiful again.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in Just thinking

 

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