Month: July 2011

i had a friend ask me the other day….

“What is God teaching you through all of this?”

i guess at the time i was still pretty hurt and angry.  those feelings subside and then they come right back, but i guess i do know what God is teaching me….

1. nothing suprises Him- He wasn’t like, “How did that happen?” He knew it was going to happen and He will use my situation so that He will be glorified.

2. that a true Resurrection Life is based on choosing Love over Hate-this was made very evident to me at a party i went to and a friend introduced me to his child as one who does that and i wasn’t. so today i choose to love and tomorrow, i’ll have to wake up again and choose love.

3. that apart from Him, i can do nothing-i can’t choose to love unless i’m truly grafted into Him.  that whole vine and branches analogy, it’s true.

4. Galatians chapter 5 has been my heartbeat for the last 4 weeks-i want to be grafted into the vine, so that i can produce good fruit.

 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

so i want to not follow my desires, but live this Resurrection, Kingdom life. God is teaching me to let go of anger, hurt, bitterness and sorrow. i’m sure there will be some poems and songs come out of this, but for now, let’s just pray that i’ll be a tree of LIFE producing the good fruit that God has set out for me to produce.


Context and Voice

My friend Vince Marotte is always talking about conversations and community. He is serious about it. From twitter to his blog, he wants to engage people in conversation, which is why I was very excited to read his new book Context and Voice.

I read the book over the course of a few days.  It’s not a difficult read and Vince and I have had these conversations.  I’m glad he put these ideas in book form to convey them to others.

For me the book breaks down to this one idea.

“Is that interaction moving anyone closer to God?”

In other words are the conversations and the content we are creating using online tools or in our interactions with people moving them further along in their spiritual journey?  The internet and social media are powerful tools.  Are we using them effectively?  Vince makes so many good points about the fact that the internet is not a “community”, but a vehicle to reach communities.

One of my favorite analogies in the book is the idea of Front Door.  He talks about how our Front Door is a welcoming place at our home.  How we paint it, we put the best landscaping near it, the entry way into our home is an inviting special place.  Yet in the church we have misplaced the Front Door and expect people to jump through hoops to gain entry.

“The church greatly underestimates this aspect of front door content. Our tendency is to think that the only virtue that can be had, based on content, is for someone to accept Christ or otherwise move in a direction that puts them in the pew of our church. We have been taught that we haven’t presented the Gospel until we proposition the people consuming our content.”

Vince also does a great job of contrasting content and relational content.  Content is anything that communicates a message. Relational content exists best within the context of a relationship to help the intended message to be understood.  In other words, our content can be insider language at times.

We need to learn how to understand what content is best served inside relationship and identify what content can live outside of relationship and allow people to move in a direction in their spiritual journey toward God.  We need to have a solid understanding of relational content to see where our current content fits in and where content we intend to create will fit.

This book caused me to really sit down and contemplate how I interact with people in general.  The context in which we are interacting and the content that I’m creating to either educate or interact. Vince challenges communities to move from being consumers to content creators  I think the book has great virtue in asking wonderful questions and causing us to think about how we communicate the greatest message ever.

I’ll leave you with Vince’s simple, linear idea of the book.

Culture>Front Door Content>Relationship>Relational Content>Action

Is the story that you are crafting moving people in culture to relationship and ultimately to action?