Thursday, April 21, 2011

Love, Truth, Fire, and Elephants

"What are you afraid of?  It's time for brother in Christ to act like brothers!  No more sectarian Jesus where brothers act like sisters in a cat fight.  No more sentimental Jesus where brothers get all weepy and sing Kumbaya when the Truth is on the line.  No more watered down Jesus where the approval of pagans comes before proclaiming the truth.  We are brothers."

The Elephant Room from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo.

In all seriousness I don't think I could be anymore excited about this! I am already looking for ways to buy this.  (Side note:  If anyone needs anything done call me and I'll do it for about $50 bucks, and then you can borrow these too!)  All of these men I really respect, a couple have shaped me spiritually in ways they will probably never know, and they all do ministry so differently.  I feel connected to almost every member here in some way, either through sermons or books or even geographically.  I can see and experience the Oneness of the Gospel and the church in how I feel towards them and their congregations.

I feel a background story coming on!

I am bent towards debate, and without the guiding of Christ and me leaning completely on Him this becomes contentious.  I know that now, wish I would have realized it when I was about 5 though!  The interesting part is that I want to please people, I want them to like me but the argumentative side loves putting that me in the back seat.

They both need to be locked in the trunk!

Thankfully, through all sorts of arenas this has been made known to me and over the past several years I have learned that through Christ it can be tamed and aimed in directions like these.  I think a lot, and I am drawn through Acts 14:21 - 22 to Strengthen the Souls of believers.  This does not allow me to disregard making disciples, as I have done in the past, but the passion that I am drawn to is opening Christ followers to the depth and truth of His character through His Word to love and therefore obey Him more.

I'm out to sharpen the iron and I have been and continually need to be careful that the fires that start are from these sparks and not the ones coming from my sword beating my shield.  I am a servant of Christ and I will love my brothers in Him but I am not after their approval, direction maybe, but not approval.

I think Perry Noble said it very well in his blog yesterday, disagreement . . . yes with love at its base.  Vicious attacks because of different thinking . . . this is us allowing spiritual warfare to bring us down and degrade the name of Christ in societies eyes.  They win.

So let the iron sharpen the iron, let the sparks fly, let the fires burn, but let it be done in love to further the gospel of truth not to win or lose a prideful argument.

So what are you afraid of?  That love isn't true or that truth doesn't love?  Because ultimately these go hand in hand or they are worthless.

Truth not founded in love is a lie and love without truth at its foundation isn't love, it's selfish.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Did You Hear?

Bedtime in a crowded bunk looking at books and Bakugan is where I sat with my son.  Hysterical laugher followed by, "stop please!" as he gripped to remove my tickle fingers from his chest.  "You are va blue guy & I am va red guy and you say . . ." simple directions in order to be a part of the fantasies he dreams making his reality more real.

It quickly changes, " You are Goliath & I am David & you say who will fight me."  I respond to his request with a deep raspy voice and a battle ensues with a sling and a fallen giant . . . but right in the middle . . . a creak outside the door!

He freezes and ears perk up like a dog after a treat, eyes wide as his flashlight pierces the darkness towards the door.  "Did you hear that?" he asks, more excited about an adventure than afraid.  "No, I was Goliath," I respond, but he stands confident that his ears did not fail.  And sure enough, the door flings open and he yells, "Mama!"

This past Sunday I heard a pretty clear presentation of the Gospel and saw evidence of response.  I was excited and encouraged.  Since then I have heard at least 4 different variations of how this related to other people, Christ followers, which is incredible to me!

The news that Christ paid the debt for my freedom in Him is unfathomable, it boggles my mind and yet I can get wrapped up in the idea that it is for those who do not believe and the rest of the Bible is the manual to guide me.  This is ignorance, based in my pride.

The Bible IS the Gospel!  Every story, every word, every do and every don't is guiding me to Christ, His character, His love.  It is not about me and what I should do, this is a bi-product of a book to show me who He is.  That is the Gospel and I need to hear it everyday, that these words are His redemptive story for a people He loves in order to bring glory to Himself.

Listen for the creak and shine the light towards the door, this message isn't for them, it's for me . . . it is the power that keeps us in Him.

So, what did you hear?


Monday, April 11, 2011

Vision Clarity

It has been a month since I have posted here.  I left it purposefully.  Seeing the busyness of the month that was coming and deciding to set certain things aside so others would no get neglected, as well as getting a little too wrapped up in the number of comments and views, that I self inflated by accident.

So to restart I will clarify the title and in doing so the vision for what and why I write.

Rambling - This is what I do, I am currently being very challenged to have a point that I am headed to with every thought, sentence, phrase, utterance, both written and spoken.  I have a tenancy, and those who know me are probably smiling and laughing as I write this, to not just chase a rabbit trail but create them and down play the point of my original speech.  This is in the midst of being stopped.

Thoughts - I do this far to often, with the work I do I have the ability to process through all sorts of things throughout the day.  My mind doesn't seem to like the idea of turning off, as much as I would sometimes like it too!  This has been and I suspect will continue to be both satisfactory and troublesome in the future.

Inconsequential - I am a drop in the ocean, a single sand on the beach, a dew here in the morning and gone in the morning.  In the grand scheme I am inconsequential.  Do I matter, certainly!  Don't here me say insignificant.  I am very important to my community, this world and my God as He has created me to change it.  I am inconsequential for 2 reasons:  1.  At times I choose to ignore how to change the world, and  2.  The world will change for His will without me, I am who He DESIRES to use, NOT who He MUST use!

Mind - Because this is where all this mess rattles around forming, shaping, sometimes into a logical argument, sometimes into faith, sometimes into a golden calf.

My ultimate vision is to inspire, encourage, and even entertain a little.  I am after His glory, not my own.

I realize this post is less what I usually write and much more focused, less story, more content if you could call it that!  I will write that way, that is what flows from me, part of who I am, but here I wanted to be intentional and purposeful.

And with that, as my Pastor says, "Go Change the World!"