Friday, September 30, 2011


Always be about the work of the Kingdom. Do not live Christ when it is convenient; mold your life around Christ. When He is the focus and the joy and the subsistence of your life you will be more effective for Him on accident than you ever would before on purpose.

I feel so inadequate to say that, but it is true. Do I model it in my own life? Do people really see Christ in me? Some say they do, but is it because they know what to look for? Do the spiritually dead see a difference? Some do, but do they know the source of the difference? What needs to change in my so I can really be effective for God? How can I share Him effectively now? These thoughts and the like have been ravaging me. There are so many points of improvement I ought to make. So what if I know more than "average" about the Bible? What does it matter in the end?

St. Francis is credited with saying "Preach all the time, when necessary, use words." That phrase (taken out of context, I am told) has been the cry of the American church. I don't need to tell my friends about Christ, they'll just see I'm different. Maybe not, but maybe so. But what good will it do them? Actions speak louder than words, but some need words in order for the significance of the action(s) to be realized.

We need to tell people, not just live it. We must do both -- Show and Tell -- Christ to the world. Aye, we need to go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel. We need to tell the unreached people groups about the Messiah. But as we are going, we need to tell those around us. We mustn't neglect our co-worker because we are going to Latvia, we mustn't neglect our neighbor because we are going to Chaz, and we mustn't neglect the annoying person beside us on the flight because we're on our way to Siberia. Every person is equally valuable to God.

I have recently realized what a poor, wretched worm I am. Why should God care about me? Why should He save me? Why should He love me? His love itself is an act of mercy. He knows that we cannot do anything of significance on our own. He has compassion for us. What a just, kind, merciful, Judge He is! Perfectly holy, perfectly pure, perfectly ... perfect. Yet He chooses to use us.

I once had a mental picture put in my brain. It was of the ittiest inch-worm in a little glass container on a stick with a few leaves about. There was a ginormous hand - much, much bigger than the glass container (think Gulliver's Travels big) outside the container, providing what was necessary to sustain the little worm. The hand is God, the worm, myself. I'm a peon. Nothing. But He still cares for me.

We are such fickle creatures. We go from Cloud 9 to the depths of loneliness in the passing of a cloud over the sun. Sad to glad because someone smiled at us. Contemplative to rompings because of a hint of a thought that passed us by. I realized as I saw that inch-worm with the ginormous hand's provision that what rocks my world is inconsequential to God. It's okay; He's still going to provide. I read once that we need to stop telling God how big our storms are, and start telling our storms how big our God is. Such is truth. Why the fickleness? Why the drastic changes in perspective? I think a lot of it is due to a lack of faith in God. Our actions show our faith.

So why don't we tell our friends and family about Jesus? We are afraid of offending them. We don't want to cause a rift in the family. All of these are legitimate concerns. From our viewpoint. I wonder what God thinks. I imagine that sometimes He's going - just tell them, stop worrying. I'll take care of the rest; just trust me. Trust my Word.

I know I have a ways a to go. It's easy to become discouraged because of the sin in your life that you just discovered, or that you never really realized was a problem before. Awhile back I had this thought, which occurred recently again to me - instead of being discouraged by noticing sin in our life, we should rejoice! Be encouraged! It means we are still sensitive to the Holy Spirit; God is working on us. We are getting closer to Him! If we weren't, we would think everything was fine and nothing really needed cleaning up in our act. So I encourage both you and myself to walk the walk. Be like Christ. Imitate Him in all you do, but talk the talk too. No, not Christanese. Talk in relate-able, understandable language. Share Christ, share the gospel, give Him glory. For He has done it.

original image source

Friday, September 23, 2011

Like the Waves to the Sand

... people come and go in life. The important thing is the impression they leave behind.

Some friends are like foam - you see them for a time, and then they're gone forever.
Others like the constant wave - being brought back into your life at the proper moment.
Some are like the thin sheet of water that moves up and down on the beach - never completely leaving at all.
Others like the current - never actually physically reaching you, but impacting you anyway.
Some friends are tidal waves - drastically changing your outlook.
Others a gallimaufry of these - constantly helping you sort through yourself and helping you define who you are.
Who am I to you?
Who are you to me?
Only time can tell - for its only through time that the art of the sand that the waves has helped create under the hand of the master is seen.

original image source

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dream Big, Fly High...and Always Remember: You are Your Own Worst Enemy.

God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, pg 27

Wait, that can't be right. Aren't we told to pursue our dreams? Aren't we supposed to dream big and have visionary, innovate solutions and ideas? Aren't we...

No. And, for the record, yes.

No to our typical thinking, but yes if and only if it is a dream God has given us. But even then we must be willing to sacrifice it if he asks it of us, for if our dream is not of him it will be taken away, and for the good. If, however, our dream is of him, he will give it back, in due time, and it will likewise be for the good.

We must sift our dreams, weigh and measure them. "It's all about the call [of God]" - how many time have you heard that? "I've got to find the will of God for my life" - another common phrase. Well think on this: the will of God for your life is not lost and you do not need to go searching the depths of the earth for it. It's right in his Word.

And that's where my trouble lies. Yes, I believe God can and sometimes chooses to direct people in direct, cut-and-dry ways. But that is not normal. The will of God for your life is simple and profound: whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. That is the will of God for my life, for your life.

If we simply did everything for God's glory would we struggle so much with our "life's purpose?" Would we worry so much about the future? If we always choose to do what is most glorifying to God then of course we will be in the center of "his will for our life."

Do you think God will call you to do something you utterly abhor? I, for one, do not believe this. It seems to me that God will not "call you" to be an artist if you have no such ability. God has given each of us particular gifts and abilities to use for his purpose and glory. We need not wonder if we are to be an engineer if math is not your game.

But we should and ought to realize that doing what we are talented at doing for God's glory is not going to come without cost. While I do believe that doing what we are good at for God's glory will be pure joy in many ways, I also believe it will be quite painful. For it is seen throughout the pages of Scripture that he doesn't just desire glory, he desires (and deserves!) all the glory, and the most glory that can possibly be given from any particular situation.

Thus, you will be pruned. You will be broken. You will be grafted and be grafted into. What are the things that you have a desire to do for God's glory? Now, of those things, what do you think, knowing your weaknesses and strengths, would be the hardest for you to do? That, I think, is what God is "calling" you to do.

Why? because it is not easy for us to deny our flesh, so God gets the glory when the flesh is denied. Because it requires refining, and people don't choose to go through fire for the fun of it -- so God gets the glory. Whatever you have a passion for doing that would cause you to bend over backwards to rely on God and deny yourself is, I believe, the call of God. You are your own worst enemy, for as much as you desire to succeed in this role, you also desire to fail and cave into fleshly desires.

But when you follow God and wait on him, he will bear you up high, and you fly. Your dreams will soar. But sometime we take our eyes off of God and start looking around, we fly too high on the wings of selfish ambition, and, like Icarus, we fall. But, unlike Icarus, God catches us. We all fail, sometimes, but that's okay. Because we also know what it's like to leave the ground.

My prayer is that I will follow God's leading and choose to do what gives him the most glory, every time. That I will be able to focus on him in this present he's given me, and not get so caught up in the future I forget that I'm making it, and not get so caught up in the past that I forget to redeem the time. And I pray that God will take me home to be with him when my death will glorify him more than my life.

original image source

Sunday, September 11, 2011


There's been a ladybug on a wall in the red bathroom for weeks now, maybe longer. I think it's dead. It hasn't moved at all since I first noticed it in place.

It doesn't really fit. The ladybug is more orange than red, so it doesn't match the wall color. I keep thinking I should go over and see if it's alive, but surely it couldn't last that long without motion – without food – without water? And besides, what if I knocked it off the wall? It may not fit in the bathroom, but I now visit the same stall everytime I visit this bathroom. 

What if it's moved? What if it's gone? What would it mean? How did the ladybug arrive there anyway? And long has it been there? And how did it die (if it's really dead) stuck to wall of the cinnamon scented bathroom? 

And how does life leave anyway – and how can the dead be beautiful?

I cannot see the lifeless seashells and seastars and not admire their beauty. I love looking for shells at the shore – I love hunting through a broken graveyard. 

People bury and cry over their dead dog and kitten. But we don't shed a tear for a woman murdered in cold blood, or the child that died of abuse. We don't even cry for the man who died in his sleep if we don't know him. 

Isn't there something terribly wrong about that? That we would grieve over a critter, but not over a fellow member of humankind? Are we not worth more than the animals? 

It's a bit morbid of me, I suppose, to have these queries, but isn't it natural to fascinated by that which is unnatural? Shouldn't we live forever?

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