Confessions · Meditation

Twinkies, St. Francis, and Hippies.

This week is the beginning of a sad dawn for America. The death of the Twinkie. (Clinched fist raised in the air, Twinkie in the other hand, gangster tear running down my cheek.) Nah, just kidding. I haven’t bought a Twinkie in years and my understanding of food now has superseded my ability to enjoy a Twinkie. It would be more nutritious to swallow a spoon full of sugar and eat a cardboard box.

The thing is, I’ve been thinking about many things lately that relate to what I’ve just shared- In the midst of our great progression in this modern age, will wisdom ever “yo-yo” us back?

I met someone famous yesterday, Aswan North, the lead singer of one of my favorite rock bands. He is a cool dude, with an awesome story, and a gentle spirit. After I met him I almost immediately began an inner dialogue about fame, popularity, and riches. It wasn’t a pleasant dialogue. I’ve had this dialogue plenty of times. It’s what the world offers to us to chase after. It’s what many people chase after day in and day out. And it’s deeply affecting the christian religious world.

These goals are so very alluring and yet wisdom, in the form of the New Testament, tells us that they are harmful.

On a very practical level, I’ve been struggling with my usage of social media on my computer. It’s the way that I stay in touch with family and friends. It’s the way I “minister” to others. It’s also what keeps me distracted from getting much accomplished in the non-digital world. I’m a really clever and beloved guy in the digital world, I’m actually kind of popular… but at what expense? Continue reading “Twinkies, St. Francis, and Hippies.”

Meditation

inward wandering

What am I going to eat today? I need to make coffee? How much money do I have? Is it cold outside? I need a new jacket? No, I don’t. I need to save my money. What”s on TV tonight? What can I watch? Who can I hang out with tonight? I wonder what they think of me? I can’t wait to spend time with God. He makes me feel so good. I have to go to work today though. I wish I didn’t. I wish I could work on my art, or maybe read some books and go to the gym. I need to get to the gym. I love reading. And I love watching movies. I can’t stand what’s happening with the presidential election right now. Maybe I should post something on Facebook about it. Continue reading “inward wandering”

Meditation

Starting the day in Christ

Morning routines with God are like the preparing for a car trip. Cranking up the engine, warming it up. Checking the fluid levels, topping off ones that are low. Making sure the tires are good and windows are clean. Then you’re set to go most anywhere and do most anything. Then when in the middle of your daily norms you can hit the “gas” in your car loving the experience of being “on the road”.

The preparation makes way for the purpose. Oh, what a joy to live awakened to the present Christ.

Meditation

Preparing the Ground

After five years of being away I’ve recently returned to a company I use to work for. With a ton of stories to tell and with a few new faces to build new relationships with I’ve been so very thankful to be back working in a place where I feel so very loved and respected.

The other day I was talking with a new friend in one of the back areas of my workplace. With the proper level of discernment and tact I brought up The Faith in the midst of our conversation. Surprisingly there was a great amount of grace for that type of conversation. In the past there has always been a battle to establish the that kind of spiritual freedom in the unseen. Sometimes it’s taken months to push back the enemy’s stronghold before I receive the freedom to represent Christ fully in the midst of the people in a place. But, surprisingly I already had the freedom to be me in the midst of this place. As I walked away from that conversation I started talking with God about it. Saying, “Man, there must be some Christians around here plowing the ground and making room for Jesus.” As soon as I started in on this conversation with God I felt Him say, “This is what you’ve done when you were here before.” My hair was standing on end when I received this word. And I’ve been reeling at the profundity of it.

I know that what is done in the Spirit has an eternal effect. And I know how God is looking for people to parter with Him. But somehow this situation has baffled me. Especially as I think about the years I’ve been mostly out of relationship with the people I use to work with there and I hadn’t even met many of the newer employees. And yet somehow God had been working freely in the midst of these folks while I was away because of the plowing I had done earlier. Wow. God is amazing. Hope this encourages you where you are.

Meditation

pacified

My daughter Acadia gets grumpy when she’s hungry. For sometimes long periods of time you can place a pacifier in her mouth and she’ll suck on that thing like a machine…. but when she’s really hungry she’ll realize that no nourishment is coming and she spits that thing out and starts crying like there’s no tomorrow.

I realized that I do the same thing in regard to my connection to God. Often times I wake up and put some kind of pacifier in my mouth. Sometimes I suck on it for long periods of time. It could be some form of entertainment that I get occupied engaging in. Or it could be a person that I’m spending time with. You name it. But until I get connected to the “breast of God” and begin saturating His life I am malnourished and grumpy.

We as human beings are born needing the nourishment of God. There is no substitute for Him in our lives, only pacifiers.

Meditation · Street Corner Devotions

“christian”?!

When I first wrote this it felt very dangerous. I had been questioning whether or not this was helpful, harsh, or even heretical. But then I read some the the words of Christ and His brother James and realized that the same Spirit inspired all three.

Beware of the  false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are  ravenous wolves. You will  know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So  every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on  that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;  depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

 

Jesus in Matthew 7

 

What use is it,  my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,and one of you says to them, “ Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so  faith, if it has no works, is dead, beingby itself.

But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your  faith without the works, and I will  show you my faith  by my works.”You believe that  God is one.  You do well;  the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize,  you foolish fellow, that  faith without works is useless?   Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that  faith was working with his works, and as a result of the  works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called  the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not  Rahab the harlot also justified by works  when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also  faith without works is dead.

 

James Chapter 2

 

I have issues with books that teach people how to be “christians”. I also have issues with “christian” being used as a word to describe something. Like “christian” music or “christian” practices, or “christian” flavored jelly beans.

“christian” is not a descriptor. It’s the identity of a person.

Within the earliest community of those who walked with Jesus it was the outsiders who saw people doing things like Jesus and to mock them called them “Christians” or “little-Christs”.

I know it may sounds like I’m splitting hairs here, but hear me out…

Constantine was one of the first, certainly not the last, ruler/politician to use his “faith” in Christ to perpetuate his popularity. He made it cool to be “christian”. And many chose to describe themselves as “christian”. And as a result of the popularity of self description the church became all but completely diluted. Emerging in shambles after such a fiery beginning. We’re still trying to put some of the pieces together, some of the unspoken truths that were passed down by experience.

This has been one of the most cunning techniques of our adversary over the centuries. He has lifted up false teachers lowering the bar and diluting the truth so that those who have not known God through Christ would believe that they were experiencing a “christian” life.

You may not be able to track with me up to this point, but have you ever met a “christian” who never talked to talk about Christ? Have you met someone who was unforgiving and unloving?  Yet would fight to the death and tell you they we’re “christians”.

So, what do we do? How do we move away from this confusion and self description that leaves us so very scattered brained, leaving a terrible witness to the world?

What we do is walk with Jesus. We love Him and we love our neighbor. And we allow our relationship with Christ to cause such actions through us that others will see them and glorify our Father in heaven. We let others once again identify us as christians. We don’t describe ourselves, we are a new creature, created in the likeness of Christ. We are not a sectioned off group that chants dogma to one another to remind ourselves of what happened 2000 years ago. We live a vibrant life with God through Jesus Christ. We don’t quarantine off a Sabbath to seek God, we live in full connection with God every day. Because it’s our pleasure. We don’t use our status as “christian” to gain respect or to make others feel lesser than. Nor do we hold a message above others heads as if to lure them to a better life that we have. No. We lay down our lives, humble our selves to the least. Reveal the true character of divinity. A measly human life turned over into the hands of God does not need to describe that it is in fact a life turned over. The life should speak for itself.

Meditation

calling…

“Come unto me, all ye labouring and burdened ones, and I will give you rest.”- Matthew 11:28

If your calling from God is simple and easy to understand,

I recommend doing some backtracking and questioning whether or not it’s actually God’s calling you are following.

God has made His calling for us to be in dependance on His constant presence. Which includes many unknowns and variables and requires faith. All of which is for our good. But is not conclusive and easy, it’s relational and active. Your calling is not your identity, you find your identity in God.