Thursday, June 25, 2009
Representing the love of Christ is one the hardest and best part of serving Jesus. It demands a putting away of the self service and self love that accompanies our humanity and picking up the risky habit of loving others before considering ourselves. I have been reading the book "Crazy Love," by Francis Chan. It is one of those wonderful, horrible, convicting but life changing kinds of books that I wish every believer would read. In it the author challenges the reader to take the love chapter, I Corinthians 13 and substitute our name for love. Example: Cyndi is patient and kind, Cyndi does not envy or boast; she is not arrogant or rude. Cyndi does not insist on her own way; she is not irritable or resentful; she does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. Cyndi bears all things, she believes all things, she hopes all things, she endures all things..... You get it! I feel like such a liar when I read this, but Cyndi is supposed to represent this love of God. It is a high calling and an unnatural one for the natural man cannot work the righteousness of God. It needs to be hard to grasp and we need to be totally dependant on God to climb it. It is seeking His Kingdom before our own pleasure, it is loving humanity with all of its baggage and annoyances. It is the putting on of the character of God Himself and it is NOT optional. So often, as he did with the saints of old, he shows up in our lives, tells us to follow Him, gives us little or no direction, and says "trust me." It is a hard walk, this love and obedience of God. But it is a life of great reward, God has said, both in eternity and "in this life also." God calls us to take the risk of love, of following, of being His representative and pulling men out of darkness and onto the same road of joy that we walk. It is not easy but it is peaceful, it is full of joy. I would rather live my worst day with my Lord, then any other day without Him. He is good, full of mercy and peace and He has given us the body of Christ for encouragement and companionship along the way.
Posted by Random Thoughts at 11:05 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sometimes when life is uncertain it is hard to hear His voice. There are days when it seems that it is enough to get through a day. These are the days when I draw from the well I have drunk from the many years before. It is on these days that it is good that I took the time to know the Savior I profess and that He is my dwelling place. It is on these days it is good that I know my family prays for me. It is good on those days to remind myself of those things God has already done in my life. When the Children of Israel had a momentous event that God brought them through they made an altar of remembrance. I have not built those altars of remembrance. I wish I had done so in some way but I do remember His kindnesses to me. I can think back and remember His goodness and mercy and cling to that memory for the present trial. There is no one like our God! He is mighty and His ways are good. God leads us along this journey. He does not take any days off and while He might not have chosen for us some of the paths we end up on, He does not leave us in our mudpiles, but instead picks us up with forgivness and mercy, washes us clean, and leads us to the path that goes home. Praise be to our God!
Posted by Random Thoughts at 12:35 AM
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Do you ever wonder why life here in God's creation is so unsatisfying in itself? Why our plans and pursuits, our dreams and experiences often leave us so empty and tired? I was thinking of the quote by Saint Augustine, "Lord, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee." We are born with a longing for God. In Psalm 42 the psalmist paints the picture of this longing and passion with the words, "As the deer pants for the water so my soul pants after God." A friend recently asked me what I thought her passion was. She wanted some input from the outside and I was finding it an impossibility to answer. She is artistic so I thought about that. She loves honesty and authenticity. She is fiercely protective of her family. I thought of all these things but realized that they are only parts of her, not the passion of her. You see, there is a passion built into every man, a passion for God. It is the true passion of all mankind and it is our joy and privilege to help people on this journey of life to find that true passion that gives meaning to life. We were born to answer the call of God, to discover the passion that calms our restless hearts and that focuses and directs our days upon the earth. The gifts He gives us become a part of the passion. They are not mere talents to be enjoyed and shared, but gifts to be used with joy for the glory of God. In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell recognized the pleasure God took in his running and used that running to the glory of God. He did not assume that running was to be his all but he also did not cast it aside as not spiritual enough. And God used that running mightily. Running is not Eric's story, God is Eric's story. You see, we are all called, not to talents, or places, or deeds. We were called to Him. I am called to Him. He is to be my passion. He has called me to Himself and my heart is restless unless it rests in Him. There are days of restlessness that are only calmed by connecting with my Savior, there are times of restlessness that come when I am disobedient and sin. Those times are only helped by repentance and connection with my Savior. There are days when I do not know what He has called me to do. On those days I can remember that He has called me to Himself and find my peace in drawing near. I was born for Him, He is my passion and my calling. Whether you are an artist or teacher or musician or any number of other talents, your passion and calling are the same as mine. You are called to Him who calms the restless soul and gives purpose and direction to each child who draws near to Him. My friends passion is the same as my own for He has called each of us to Himself.
Posted by Random Thoughts at 9:11 PM
Monday, June 1, 2009
You are not where you are or in your circumstances by accident. I can say that with confidence. We are either where God has placed us, which is a good thing. Or, we are in a place we have chosen, not so good. Or, we are in a place chosen by another's selfish choices, not always pleasant but still in God's hands. In any of these situations we can feel bad or good but there is only one place we are free. It is Christ that sets us free. When we are free in Him and commited to following Him then we can be at rest in our circumstances. Even if anothers choices leave us in a perilous place we can be sure that God allowed it and that He has a plan for our good. We can know that if we are commited to Him and find ourselves enduring hardship, that it is for His glory and our good. Freedom leaves us room for joy whatever the circumstance. Freedom trusts in difficulty and rejoices in abundance. Freedom is the only place to live. It is for our freedom that Christ died. It was for our freedom that He sacrificed everything. It is with freedom that we serve God. It is with freedom that we worship our creator. It is with freedom that we draw others to their liberty. I have been set free, regardless of what my circumstances might say! Iwish I always walked in that freedom. Too often I am plagued by fear and doubt. I wonder about the future and agonize over problems I cannot solve. I hesitate instead of putting my total trust in my Savior. I find myself worrying instead of trusting. I am praying for more freedom, to be able to rejoice in every circumstance as Paul did. Until then I wander between trust and trouble, feeling on the verge of unraveling while attempting to move forward on this journey of faith. It is a haphazard journey through a fallen world.
Posted by Random Thoughts at 10:27 PM