Friday, November 21, 2008

Dirty Hands.

I am echoing a friend and mentor of mine with this post.
It comes following a past couple of weeks of realizing these
things but the perspective in this post really convict me
deep in my spirit, and give me true to desire to actually
do something. I've felt many different ways about the church
in the past few years, and I've come to truly love it. But
there are holes in the "system," and there are flaws just as
I'm sure God knew there would be. But, within the imperfection
and mess ups, there is ALWAYS a way to be Christ. The following
words will put it into perspective.
Thank you to Chad and Mark.

"This week I saw a news article on and headline read "Catholic Church calls For Catholics to repent for voting for Obama." I was so blown away by this. Repent for voting? How confused are we as a body of believers that we really feel as though our vote is so important that it has eternal consequence tied to it? Every Presidential election to which I have paid any attention has consisted of candidates who have campaigned on the back of "moral topics." For Example: How many decades will the republicans campaign against abortion and the democrats campaign for it? How many decades will nothing change?

All of this has made me think about whether or not we really think that voting is all we have to do as believers? The church is obviously saying that there are eternal implications tied to our vote and we all become moral activists when it comes to voting. How does this happen? Do we, as the body of Christ, really believe that our vote is the end all, be all, expression of our allegiance to Jesus? My pastor phrased it in a much more convicting way this past Sunday. He said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "an overwhelming amount of Christians will vote for a republican because said candidate opposes Abortion. But how many of those voting Christians would actually do more than just talk, vote, etc and actually do something about it?" It's really easy to vote for the guy that opposes abortion and it's really easy to protest outside of abortion clinics but what if we all gave those girls considering an abortion an option? What if we said "I hate abortion, and I hate that you are in this position, don't kill your baby, I'll adopt it."

You see, I don't think that Christians are really willing to get their hands dirty. I think we all talk a GREAT talk but we definitely don't walk that walk and we DEFINITELY do not take that cross with us. I'm one of them! Shane Claiborne said it best in his book "Irresistible Revolution" when talking about the wealthy in America. He said that most wealthy Christian people don't know how to help the poor. They don't understand poverty. They definitely do not want to get in the trenches and tear down walls and make connections and invest in the poor and destitute and this is why we have The Salvation Army and Goodwill and Soup Kitchens, Shelters, etc. The wealthy can write a check, send some clothes and food and that is ample care. Shane then goes on to say that when we get to heaven, he doesn't imagine Jesus will say, "when I was hungry, you gave food to the pantry to feed me. When I needed clothes, you sent them to the salvation army so they could clothe me. When I need a place to sleep you wrote a check to the local shelter so they could house me."

So how do we live intentionally? I think abortion is murder, but will I adopt a child? I think poverty, homelessness, starvation, etc are all atrocities but will I commit to redistributing wealth, will I live simply, will I open my home to house someone? Will I invest in another life and make sure their most basic needs are met? It's a tough thing picking up my cross. In fact, most days I would like to leave it in the garage. So how do we do it? I want to start doing it."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Want To Write.

To you, but I've no idea who you are.
My desire to pick you up when you fall.
To put my arms around you when you are weak.
A hand for you to hold, and a heart for you to have.
I look ahead to the wonderful things you will do.
And how proud I am of you & that I somehow contributed.
Simply by encouraging you; I suspect you're more
than capable of doing great things of your own accord.

But I'm also proud of the man you will help me become.
I'm aware that marriage is an opportunity to extend our
love to another, and for a man it is to treat our bride
just as our God treats his Bride; his beautiful church.
I can only hope to maintain an attitude and lifestyle
of selflessness through in my years to come.

Let it not be the beauty of an exterior, but her heart
that beats for Christ. If the eyes are aligned with the
heart, beauty will then be defined as far more than curves
and bone structure. I long for the days ahead, but am
thankful even so for this time of growth to help me
become the husband, father, and son I need to be.
I've asked asked of my father, for the heart of my saviour.
For the eyes of my saviour.
The compassion, the love, his generosity, tenacity, wisdom
as well as the many many qualities he possessed.

In one of the latest podcasts from Matt Chandler that I've
listened to, he is teaching to us men about the biblical
standards we are called to. It has become a great desire
and life fulfillment to be those things someday.
God knows my heart, he knows the desires and the things I'm
most passionate about. He has given me a zeal for the life
that I'd lost for sometime, and I'm honored that he would
use me to reach people and give me the ability to create.
The opportunities before me have come at no coincidence
following an important decision I felt very led to make
from him.
I cannot wait to see what comes about from the things he's
placed before me, and the people that I will get to know
because of them. And assuredly, one day, I'm sure she will
come along within the midst of all he's got planned.

He is in control.
Less of me and more of you God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It Takes A Thief.

You can leave if you want
It's not that hard
I'll make it easy for you baby.
You can leave if you want
However you'd like
Just make sure to do it safely.

Oh, you don't love me anymore
And I don't blame you love
It happened once before.
Oh, you don't need me by your side.
Not since I left your love
Like a thief in the night.

Find me a pen
To write on your skin
So I can always be with you.
It never rains
If you don't give in
So I've turned in to misuse.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Awesome (god)cast.

I owe a great debt to my good friend Mike Havens at
Boulevard Christian Church, I have found a gem of
a podcast from a church I actually used to attend from
my Dalls, TX days. The church is The Village Church in
Highland,TX - The Pastor is Matt Chandler. I think one
of the reasons I love this particular podcast so much
is because I think, if I were to be a preacher I would
probably do it just like that.
I find myself laughing, loving, and truly engaging in
these sermons Matt has to offer. I hope many of you begin
to share similar podcasts/resources with me as well as
I am always looking for more insight and guidance within
my growth in Christ.

One thing Mike pointed out to me in one of our recent
meetings was how we are basically saved, and right now
we are in the season of being sanctified for his glory.
This was a subconscious breakthrough, reason being that
I'm notorious for beating myself up over sin. I feel
there is a standard that I need to meet for my God, and
when I fail to meet that standard I am asahmed; rather
I should be embracing God's grace and not abusing it.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer puts it simply as "cheap grace." In
his amazing book, The Cost of Discipleship he explains
that simply. I don't wanna give it all away, so I highly
recommend this book to anyone that is seriously struggling
with sin and how to deal with it. He's a modern day saint
who was martyred during the Nazi era in Germany. This
book gives an example (like the bible of course) of a man
who's pursuit for holiness is untamed and relentless.
You can find a link to the book on my menu to the right
of the entry.

And last but not least, the podcast.
Follow this link, and enjoy.

Seek Jesus.