Saturday, February 26, 2005

Tearing at the Edges

Today as I was lying in the back of our minivan trying to get some much needed rest I noticed some small tears in the tinting on the windows back there. Not that I hadn't noticed them before, but this time they stood out in a metaphorical manner. These spots were rather tiny, about the size of my pinky nail, but being so very different from their surroundings they cannot help but stand out. As I watched the scenery go by outside it became apparent that there was a need for steady concentration to actually pick out the details going by through these tiny holes. Now one may say that someone with a less diminished capacity would be satisfied with viewing things through the much larger tinted area of window, which offered larger views and greater ease. The problem with this is that it is a tinted view.
This made me think of the life in the Spirit. As Wes Campbell said once, yes we can pray for healing, but the effort it takes to live in that kind of faith is a lot of work. The effort of focussing on that little piece of reality in the back of the minivan was also a lot of work, but it was the only view of reality available. It really is much easier to look at the larger tinted view so as to make it both easier and more acceptable if only for awhile, because remember that I said this reminded me of life in the Spirit with a capital 'S'. He is that constant rip in the tinting that cannot help but catch your eye. He reminds you of what the view really looks like. So every day He lays out the choice for us, will we settle or will we tear at the edges for a better view? Will we hunger or will we sate?

I pray for the courage to tear at the edges....for all of us.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

This Is What We've Been Trying To Say

Some may be put off by the title of the news service, but this article in particular hit the heart of what we have been trying to say. While we here in the west have been trying our best to liberalise our faith to get people interested again, in the so-called third world the Christians are holding to faith and holiness in the face of severe opposition. Why is it that here when we face opposition we say," Oh, I am so sorry, we can change that for you so you can be in our club too." Why is it that after decades of decline we think that any of these tacks are working? This includes the fortress church, the seeker friendly church, the emerging church, and all the other 'churches'. It seems that whenever the church actually stands its ground in the face of oppostion, this is when it grows.
Now please don't take this as some excuse on my part to say that we need to start some kind of protest campaign, or civil uprising. I am not saying that we need to go and find opposition and then stand against it, I am saying that if we are actually standing then the opposition will take care of its self. As much as we love others we will have to get used to the fact that some of those we love will hate us. Some of them will hate with the very fires of hell, but this will not change the fact that we love them and pray for them. While we were in Asia we knew full well that there were Christians being imprisoned and tortured for there faith. We prayed for their release, but we also prayed in thankfulness that God had allowed their persecutors to witness the love of Christ in our brothers and sisters. The Lord showed me these torches burning in their dark cells and bringing light where there was none. This is the love of God, it shines so bright in the darkness, and most especially when the darkness is trying to snuff it.
Unfortunately we do not seem to be able to face opposition without giving in to a burning desire to reconcile it. We are ministers of reconciliation, but we are not in a position to change our faith to acheive this. Only our Father can do that and over the last 2000 years He has never once moved an inch. We must love tenaciously even when the loved one forever hates. We seem to be caught in a place where we think we are protecting some earthly kingdom when we stand and thereby end up hating or at least despising those we stand against. When we see this in ourselves we leap away in fear and disgust. Trouble is we always seem to leap too far.
So let us 'withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.'

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Whatta Woman!!

My most wonderful wife skillfully arranged for a B&B sleepover for us last night. It came complete with a hottub which was delightfully indulged in. We also took in a movie at the theatre that night which we had not done in a long while. We laughed, we loved, we talked, we returned relaxed and ready to go again. Ain't she awesome??!!

Wow, A Message That Makes Cents!

I just read this story and thought this was deserving of some notice. Kinda cool to see the money go the other way. Seed money to boot, and with faith in control rather than man. You go pastor!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

You Go Momma!!

This mom has some great things to say about mommyhood, womanhood and faith in the great I AM.

How Blind Am I?

How many times have you had someone say to you," Hey, if God is real and wants everyone to know Him why doesn't He just show His face?"? How many times have you pondered whether there is any merit to that idea? I know I have on numerous occasions and usually have come to the same conclusion, which is that Jesus did show up and even then very few actually believed Him. He did miracles, raised the dead, rose from the dead and still the people did not believe. Even the Pharisees who had the Roman guards tell them that they saw happen refused to believe.
I think the sad fact of things is that it does not matter what God can show us there will be those who choose the hardness of their hearts and therefore blind their own eyes. Take a look through Revelations some time and you will see this very thing. God unleashes revelations and catastrophes one after another and yet the people who choose to revile Him will not open their eyes and in the end they will choose to cry out to the rocks and mountains to fall on them so they do not have to see the One Who is enthroned forever. It would seem that blindness is a choice and that no amount of revelation can change that.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Will we ever learn?

Martin Luther looks on. Posted by Hello

After 50 years we still have not changed. Our history speaks in so many voices that it becomes hard to hear. Our hearts' cries being drowned out by the marching of boots once again. Listen....

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Daddyhood gets a nod

This is a very cool entry by another bloggin' daddy. You don't hear enough of this kind of wisdom these days.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Teach us to pray

Well, the cat is out of the bag, and more than likely pointing at Tokyo. North Korea came out and stated that they have nuclear arms now. Probably not that great a surprise, but hey, it's like the school yard where the little mouthpiece has pulled a shiff on the bully and now everyones eyes turns to the big guy to see what he is going to do. So what is ol' George gonna do. Who knows? The pickle of it is that there is some justification to the N. Korean point of view. Yes, their human rights track record reads more like the tracks on an addicts veins, with the trail of devastation left in its wake, but they still have a point. Without a big gun how are you gonna tell George to keep his nose out of your business? Having one of his CIA trained lackies in power didn't help Iraq, so trying to be buds is just a bit too tenuous, isn't it?

The point is that as I start to try to pray I find that the old worn out pulpit prayer of
"Oh God, smite thou those evil guys overest there and provest thou thine love over us and our apple pie"
just doesn't cut it. None of the seemingly solution orientated prayers are cutting much in my quiet times anymore. I'm a little tired of trying to figure out what to do and then asking God if He could carry it out for me.
Hey -nudge nudge- thanks Big Guy
. You know what I mean? Now where the less and less has left room for the more and more it is being filled up with asking God what He figures would be the best thing to pray. It says ask according to His will, right?

So, Dad, what do you want to do about all that???

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

All We Need Is Love

Well, it happened again. I had a thought. This happens from time to time and can fill those near me with a sense of dread and foreboding due to the usual fallout from these brain bursts. It is also due to the fact that I just cannot help but share these thoughts with the hapless souls in my vicinity.
This time I was pondering the realm of love and stumbled across an interesting notion. It started out from the verse in 1 John which declares that God is love and from there it began to wander. I don't think I ever really looked at what the ramifications of this verse are, and for a moment I was stupefied. I found in a back closet of my mind a place where I considered that there actually may be different kinds of love and even different levels and in some ethereal detached way God was slotted in there with all these other loves. Somehow it became clear that this is not what John was intimating in his letter. It was more than this. This is where the stupefaction began. I began to wonder about the implications of this verse and what it may mean to the world at large. From my own struggles to allow love a deeper hold in my life I have come to realise that this thing is against every grain in my meager flesh, which by the way loathes my every effort to surrender. The strange thing is that I have this God who is love living in me. His very Spirit is married with mine and yet there is a struggle. I don't even mean in the big things like sharing and spending quality time with my family, I mean even in the niggly little things that pass through my space every day. I struggle in good company though, because every saint before me has testified to this same thing. At this point I let my thoughts wander out of the realm of the saints and into the realm of the pre-saints. What does this mean for them? I was horrified to think that it is very possible that they may never know this love. Shock ran through me as I pondered that they may indeed have cool sensations and deeply inspired actions, but not love. Not love. For all the talk out there about love I have never come across this. I know that deep inside of me it brings a fear of sorts along with a deep desire for those without Christ to know this love. Some may think this is hate literature or something, and others may think it is unduly unkind to God, but I believe this to be true. This is a thought which finally forced its way out of the darkness of my mind and the mixed up God concepts I work through and it took a while probably due to the fact that there are no warm fuzzies here, just filthy rags.

Friday, February 04, 2005

And On That Note

I thought this would dovetail nicely with the last post. See if you can see the joints. (Dovetail...right...ha ha) It was a reply to a question a friend asked about drinking.

The booze thing is more relevant because I do enjoy a good beer (Keith's,
usually). I have not put a restriction on my drinking for the simple reason
that I don't enjoy anything beyond a mild buzz anymore. If anything, though,
I would put a tighter restriction on it. My reason is the desire I have for
unity in the body of Christ. Every time this kind of issue comes up I am
pricked inside by the passage where Paul talked about his knowledge of his
own personal freedom in Christ. He said that even though he knew it was ok
he also knew there were others who did not. He stated that for the sake of
the bond of love between himself and other believers he would abstain from
things he knew he was ok with. Every time I have heard this discussion it is
the ones who know their freedom who hold the expectation over those who do
not. Paul lived it the other way round. I want to love like this. If a beer
becomes more important than my brother in Christ then I need to reassess my
priorities. This isn't sermon on the mount, this is what I think on when I
have a beer like I did tonight. I do intend to abstain completely as a
matter of lifestyle, but I am still wrestling God on this one a bit. (Sucks
though cuz He's always right:) )