Posts From March 2012
Baby Don’t Hurt Me!
Ever feel strange? Ever feel like you stand out like a soar thumb or a black eye?
I know that I do. There is nothing normal to what I do and how I live. We don’t have normal jobs or careers. We don’t have normal schedules. We don’t have normal hobbies. We don’t have normal connections to people.
Sometimes I desire life to have a normal ebb and flow. I want life to be normal. I want there to be regular ways of life for my family, for my kids. Life, however, is just going to be different for us. It always will be, especially for those that are loving God.
I think that for our life to really be abnormal, our love for others has to be otherworldly. Simply put, we have to love in a way that is out of this world! Certainly it is easy for us love those that will love us back, but what about those that will have no inclination to respond to your love in a positive way? What about those that may hurt you in return for your love of them?
It doesn’t feel good and we might be tempted to react back in a harsh manner. W have to remember the call to go deeper and to keep pressing in. We were purchased with a price… the price of one man’s death because of His extravagant love for us. He doesn’t like what we do always, but He continues to love on us in spite of our own decisions and choices. We have to choose life and choose love even when we aren’t always feeling it.
So go ahead, I dare you! I dare myself! Take this challenge, just like I am doing at this week’s camping conference that I am attending, to go love on those that might not love you back. Do it because He loved you first. Do it because you have an incredible calling on your life to change people’s realities and stick out like a soar thumb or eye.
Love you! Now, let’s go do it together!
Often times in life, I am focusing on things that really have very little eternal or significant value. I like to harp on issues and happenings as though they are going to rattle the foundations of the world or ruin the fabric of time. To me, life becomes a bigger deal in my mind then I should allow it to have. It’s the small stuff that is grabbing my attention and really distracting me from the greater things that matter.
I know that this runs deep in our world and culture. We make mountains out of molehills. The effects of this run deep into our personal lives and impact our families, friends, relationships, and outlooks in life. Unfortunately for me, I don’t always realize that I am doing it, making a bigger deal out of something, until that time has well passed me by.
Perhaps it is time to put on God’s perspective and understanding. The things that are big deals to God probably should be big deals to me, too. It’s time for me to make the main thing, the main thing, instead of being distracted by the small stuff that has little to no Kingdom impact.
I was recently reminded of two important qualities while reading the Bible. One reminder was that whatever I do in my life through doubt and fear is sin. It’s a gentle reminder to continue to walk in faith and operate in belief.
The other reminder is the whole idea of what the Kingdom of God is about in the first place. In Romans 14, it talks about how the Kingdom is not about what you drink or what you eat. It’s about the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit. It’s about right standing with the Lord, and internal peace that says that God will overcome, and a satisfaction with life that builds and breeds contentment in all things.
It’s a matter of what is going on within the hearts of people. All to often, I have made it about something else – the ways we look, what we say, what we are doing, etc. It comes back to what is happening deep down in the hearts of our friends, neighbors, family members, and people that we pass by everyday.
The big deals that we should hold onto is the heart. It is the most valuable and vulnerable place that we have that needs to remain protected. So this is the challenge… to protect what’s going on within each of us. Let’s make sure that it is built up in the faith, rooted in the Kingdom qualities, and being effective at focusing in on what truly matters.
Keep pressing on for the things that matter and we will find how effective our lives can truly be for the Kingdom.
Go get ‘em!
We all have out ways of doing things and our systems that we so desperately cling on to when life is overwhelming. Our systems tell us how things ought to operate and how things shouldn’t function. We like to live in these categorical boxes because in it we find comfort.
I am guilty of being a box thinker. I think if we were honest with ourselves and others, there would be many that would reveal the reality that they, too, live in a box.
I think that there is a time and a place for this, but when these boxes, systems, rules, etc. go against the power and the reality of God then there is a significant problem. It should be noted, too, that God does not defy Himself. He stays true to His definitions, characteristics, and attributes. Truth is truth and cannot be defeated or found false or changed. Our traditions and customs, however, that become idols can become problematic because we somehow believe that these ideals are truth.
The fact is, they aren’t.
Last night in our time with Untorn, we looked at Jesus healing at the “wrong” time and in the “wrong” way or fashion. He “defied” the Sabbath when work is not suppose to take place. And the man that was healed expected to be healed a specific way. Jesus really showed Himself in this moment and blew every misconception out of the water.
By “wrong” perhaps a better word in this case is unexpected. Jesus heals in ways that we don’t see, perceive, or even believe. It’s a challenge to our thinking and our structured boxes. I know at the very least it is for me.
So… the greater question perhaps is how does God want to show Himself in your life and mine? The man hanging by the pool needed to get past and over his expectations. He didn’t even realize that it was Jesus right there offering healing in the first place. It’s similar to the woman at the well in John 4.
I think we need to get to a place where we can withdraw and hear God clearly over the voices of our expectations. The rules that we think are reality, are these made up in our own mind? What is the root of this thinking? These are all questions that need to be explored.
My prayer for us would be that we would have a renewed mind as Paul writes about in Romans 12. It begins in this location, what, how, and even why we are thinking about something a certain way. So be free today with the renewing of your mind. I am going to go for it. I hope that you’ll keep joining me on this incredible journey of being free.
Step out of the box, be free with the renewing of your mind!
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go outside with my son, Seth, on an incredibly gorgeous day. So much for the “winter” season having victory yesterday! My youngest daughter, Breah, was down for her nap and I decided to ask my boy if he wanted to go out and blow bubbles together.
Naturally, he was all over this idea! My kids seem to be “suffering” from a mild case of cabin fever.
So away we went. We were blowing bubbles and enjoying each other for a good half an hour. Out of no where, he puts down his bubble bottle and says to me, “Daddy, I want to chase your bubbles and pop them!”
It made me feel like a kid all over again. Of course, I was all over this idea like he was with mine about going outside in the first place. So away I went and away he went. He ran up and down the driveway looking for bubbles to pop and squash with his feet. It was great!
All of this reminded me of our discussion last night on Untorn. We discussed the pursuits and the things that are worthy to go after. Looking at the father who would walk several miles to meet with Jesus to bring healing for his son, this is a prime example of desperation. The efforts that we pour ourselves into and the things that we go after, are they worthy pursuits? Are these the things that God would want us to go after? If not, what are the adjustments that need to be made in order that the things that we do are worthwhile and redemptive in nature?
There are many opportunities and things that we can go after and pursue. Many of these are good, but few are great. Sometimes we need to chase bubbles and realize that we are playing with our Daddy in Heaven. Sometimes pursuing after these same bubbles are just a use of time that is not eternally beneficial.
We need to hear from God what He wants us to do and be a part of. We also need to see what sort of fruit is being produced from our pursuits. If it is stirring belief in us and others, then it is probably worthwhile. Keep going after these endeavors, for it is about living life in a way that is greater than yourself.
Chase the bubbles, enjoy the moment, and most of all, enjoy Him that allows you to go on these adventures in the first place. Go after the worthwhile things, for these might be difficult in the moment, but in the end there will be no regrets.