Month: October 2010

what do you love?


of course i love Christ.  i love my wife and my children.  i love my parents, my in-laws, and extended family.  i love my friends and the church.

those should all be a given, but what else do we love?

i love a soaring french horn part in a swelling movement of a symphony.

i love the mountains on a crisp Autumn day.

i love hearing a solo piano play the music of Claude Debussy.

i love to see a nutmeg goal or a bicycle kick on the football pitch.

i love to hear someone read original poetry.

i love to see a great 4-6-3 double play.

i love to see amazing works of art.

i love seeing an amazing keeper make a great save at a crucial moment in the match.

i love hearing Frederick Fennell recordings of great band literature.

i love to see an amazing pitcher’s duel in a baseball game.

i love the flavor of a good beer and a fine cigar.

i love sitting and talking with people about the things of life and of God.

what are those little things that you love that make life enjoyable?

You think you got problems…


still getting my butt kicked by Plan B.  in the chapter entitled “Me Too” Pete is talking about authenticity in community.

I’m afraid there is a pervasive assumption in some Christian circles that once you give your life to Christ, once you’ve become a Christian, you need to at least act like you’ve got it together.  I remember once hearing pastor Matt Chandler describe it like this: “We want you to bring your Bible, but not your problems.”

Isn’t that an unfortunate word picture to describe so many of our churches?  Bring your Bible, bring your religion, bring your mask, look pretty.  But whatever you do, don’t be a whiner.  Don’t ask questions, don’t be a pain, don’t be a burden.  This attitude is a community killer, and it’s doing immense damage to the body of Christ. 

I’m not sure exactly where this attitude comes from, but I think it originates with fear.  We don’t want people to share their broken dreams, hurts, and their pain because we’re afraid we won’t have the answers.  Even worse, we might have to face our own brokenness instead of pretending we’re headed for the winner’s circle.

 

so, are you pretending you don’t have problems?  do you act like you have it all together? how would our ministries change if we were real and authentic?  how would our lives begin to heal if we just surrendered these things over to God?

some more great thoughts.


from Pete Wilson’s PlanB

We all have an unpublished list on our hearts of people we think we’re better than…For the most part our list of sins generally involves the ones we personally don’t struggle with much.  You know what sins I think are most despicable to the heart of God?  The ones I don’t usually commit.  The ones that just don’t tempt me–or the ones I fear so much I would never admit it.  Those are the sins on my list, the ones I crusade against. 

Seriously. Isn’t that what we often do as Christians? We do it in groups too–pointing our collective fingers on one set of “bad” sins and choosing to overlook others.

In other words, it’s okay to be prideful as long as you’re not gay.  It’s okay to be greedy as long as you don’t think about having an abortion.  It’s okay to be unloving as long as you don’t drink.

 

What’s on your list?

i’ve been reading…


Pete Wilson’s Plan B

i’m caught up in chapter’s 7 and 8, but this stuck out to me in chapter 8 today.

We’re called to be faithful to God even when it seems He hasn’t been faithful to us.  We’re called to love Him even when we feel abandoned.  We’re called to look for Him even in the midst of darkness.  We’re called to worship Him even through our tears.

are we living up to our calling, or are we allowing our circumstances to dictate how we think God should operate in our lives instead of how He actually does?

benediction from whirlwind…


“So may you be released from always having to understand why everything happens the way that it does.  May this freedom open you up to all sorts of new perspectives.  And may you have the wisdom to know when to say, ‘I spoke once, but now I will say no more’ “

Rob Bell-Whirlwind

another Rob Bell benediction…


“So may you forgive as you’ve been forgiven, may you give to others what’s been given to you, may you set somebody free and find out that it was you, and may you do it today because you might not have the chance tomorrow”

from the Nooma video “Luggage”

have you ever…


had things that you dreamt in your head, way out there things, that you didn’t have the ability to make happen?

that’s where i am right now. 

i will confess i am a little lazy.  i waste time often.  i do spend time reading and thinking, but not a lot of time doing.  how do i take the thoughts and dreams and put pencil to paper and make them happen?  again, as i’ve mentioned before, there is “the fear”, but for goodness sakes. i need to get past that.  i feel like i’m continually making excuses for reasons not to create.  maybe my ability is fine and i just need to do it.  maybe i’m too lazy to do the actual good work. or maybe it’s “the fear”.  but i serve a creating God who is bigger than all of that.

so you pray for me, and i’ll pray for you (token MWS song reference) pray that we can be what God has called us to be.  pray that the dreams we dream can be fleshed out.  pray that the time, resources and ability will be leveraged for kingdom things.

i love Matt Chandler…


even more so now that we rock the same haircut although i’m missing the gnarly brain surgery scar.

every time i hear him speak.  the words that God gives him go straight to my heart.  i know he is only a man, but i believe he has allowed God to use him in a mighty way.  pray for Matt and his family as he is still undergoing cancer treatments.

 i was looking back over some notes from last years Right Now conference in Dallas and these thoughts from his sermon resonated with me again.  it’s amazing to think that God knows what my heart needs and he brings things to my remembrance.

Without a transformation of the heart, good things go bad quickly. 

The gospel is not that you are better than you were yesterday.

You can become a better person without the gospel, but you can not be transformed without it! 

Do you really have a new heart, or are you just trying to manage your sin? 

 IT IS AFFECTION FOR JESUS THAT PUTS SIN TO DEATH, NOT THE WILL OF MEN!!

did you catch that last part?  the part in all capital letters?  read it again.  only a transformed life will result in the death of our sin, because we are too weak to kill it ourselves.  oh that we would love Christ with all of our hearts and that we would be daily transformed and renewed.

another poem…


Why Pain?

Job wondered…

God said, “who are you to question”

Paul asked

God said, “My grace is sufficient”

We still want to know

Why is there pain?

How could a loving God allow such things?

Maybe the bigger question is…

Does love promise the absence of pain?

Even perfect love…

Maybe the pain pushes us to seek the Cure.

Without the  pain, we’d have no need of the Remedy.

Chuck Harris 2010