Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looking back - thinking ahead - living now

Caught in Wash - Dry - Rinse - Repeat

It often feels like everything in our lives demands our attention. We are constantly in a flux of self-doubt or self-conceit and the smallest circumstance pulls us deeper in both extremes. Nostalgia plays a big part in the disappointment that we often feel about our lack of involvement or the winding down of excitement in our lives. Fear of the future is another point of contention that drains us of the courage and fortitude to make a sound and lasting impact in our respective communities. There is a better way, we were made for “more than living”. 

There are plenty of things in my past I’m not proud of and there are even more lost opportunities than I can count, but if I allowed those things to dictate my destiny I would accomplish nothing from here on out. In the same way, dread of not accomplishing anything worthwhile hinders my ability to function accordingly in the immediate.

So what do we do?
We consider all things in the past gone, the only thing the past provides is perspective; everyday is different and poses new challenges so what could we possibly gain from filling ourselves with sorrow over things that are “over”. I’m not saying get over it because that is shallow, simplistic, and in a lot of cases not the best answer. Don’t “get over it”, but allow it to be over. Confront it, let it settle, recognize that the past is a part of you but it isn’t all of you unless you allow it to be.
In the same way we must step into the present with fresh eyes; recognize there is no ideal future we can plan for. It doesn’t exist, there are only the decisions we make right now. I’m always interested in the promises that people make to God because they often involve things that we have little to no control over. Behavior is not entirely under our jurisdiction it’s more a matter of self-release than self-control.
Allow God to be God and have jurisdiction over the past where he works, the future he has prepared and the right now where he draws you into relationship with his Spirit.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

6 Things I Want to Give Away

Had an interesting meeting with the transit “Family/Student Ministries” team this week. (Lots of really innovative plans coming through, btw.) A question was asked on a specific level that I want to ask on a broad level. Namely: “What are 5 or 6 things you want to pour into others that will be meaningful for the rest of their lives?” On a student level this makes sense because you have a few years of consistent teaching, so it naturally follows that we should focus on a few specific things. In the young adult world this also makes sense. But the thing that got my brain fixated on this idea was the application on those we “do life” with. I asked myself a similar question in theSHIFT, but I think I may have asked too little too late. These things should probably be considered before we are preparing to leave.

My list formed pretty quickly, and now I know to start implementing these insights into the conversation a lot earlier and with more purpose.

  1. God isn't about church, God is about us as individuals.
  2. There is no substitution for fellowship and accountability
  3. Personal devotion trumps collective devotion (every time)
  4. CS Lewis knows what he's talkin about
  5. We are all called to "go" and "make disciples" (refusal to do so is a blatant disobedience)
  6. Relationships are God’s way of training you to be more like Jesus. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some things we "DO".

In our sad and clenching attempts to follow God, we so often destroy the very vibrant life and people he came to save.

You see it in churches where guilt and obligation continue to be the driving force of ministry – from smiling but utterly broken group leaders, to sweat drenched parking attendants. From tenured Sunday school teachers to empty offering plates. We must get out of this “made up” mess of “doing church”.

This isn’t my soap box, my concerns lie somewhere else entirely, but this is simple application. The Gospel is a deep exciting life of adventure and actualization. There is nothing stale or empty about it. I’m not questioning whether people are saved I’m questioning whether or not they realize what that means. . .

Simply put: much of the modern church is ill equipped to serve the world and make disciples because we have become full of programs and agendas and empty of life giving power.

Activity cannot substitute incimacy. #DrawClose everything else will take care of itself.

Updates by Email