Commentary

From the Future

History has the ability to haunt us. Be it our personal history, family history, or the history of our nation. Yet, the future has a way of bringing us hope, optimism, perseverance, and a bold joy that breaks down the structures of evil.

In recent weeks and months, we have all been reminded as a nation of the extended struggle we’ve had with racial injustice. Although we’ve made gigantic strides ahead throughout the last century, in recent months we’ve witnessed grave injustices in our law enforcement, the tragedy in Charleston, the hate crimes towards local churches and their congregants, and numerous other incidents. It seems that with each of these instances a corporate shudder strikes in us and is a reminder of our painful and shameful past; A past that some choose to use to fuel hatred and bitterness. But for most of us, this past is a very real bruise from which we’re trying to recover. (I think it would be wise to add here that no two of us have had the exact same experiences that would allow any other person to bring complete resolution or speak exactly where we all are. Only God has that capability.)

It seems that no matter how hard we try to outlive our past, with the grave infractions perpetrated by a very small percentage of our population, we are seemingly brought back to square one. I say “seems” because we are so susceptible to allowing the events of the past to dictate our lives. But that does not have to be the case. Continue reading “From the Future”

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Confessions

Progressive Surrender

To say my ambition is dead sounds a little morbid. And an exaggeration. My dreams and visions have had time to reign in my life and for the most part those things had their day. I’ve accomplished things in my life–things that others climbing everest mount-photohaven’t; things to be proud of. But the effort to tame and steer those ferrel dreams has become too much for me. In my pursuit of them I’ve realized that my dreams and how I want them realized are akin to mirages. They seem to be great in the planning and development, but the fulfillment has left me feeling just as empty and dissatisfied as I did when they were unfulfilled.

It seems to me that many, if not all, of those dreams for my life and the people that I envisioned being in them were good and God given. Plans to help others, plans to nurture people and to lay down my life in the process. The thing is–when it comes to participating in God’s Kingdom only Christ’s dream can being fulfilled and it is meticulous and perfect. As much as we, in certain glimpses of time, try and capture the essence of how everything works by making estimations and conclusions, it’s only a matter of time before the proverbial kaleidoscope of time shifts and we find ourselves attempting to make sense of the absolute mayhem that ensued as a result of our decisions. From my estimation most people are in one of 2 stages: the figuring out and controlling stage, or in the stage of becoming aware of how random and seemingly untame this life really is. Continue reading “Progressive Surrender”

Christian · Commentary · Confessions · Meditation · Uncategorized

Not So Among You

My friend Kelsey once introduced me to her dad as her pastor, a title I both love and hate. It’s a biblical term and one that I am called to. I love pastoring and shepherding  people, helping them to get disentangled from the evil that seeks to entrap them. Much to my surprise, Kelsey told me after the fact that I had a funny facial expression when she introduced me. I had no idea at the time but I do know that I have a hard time hiding the way I’m feeling so it made sense. christ-carrying-the-cross-to-his-crucifixion-by-battista

My knee jerk reaction when that title was publicly awarded me has some association with what our culture interprets when they hear the word “pastor”. Nine times out of ten it isn’t good. The other ten percent seems to be a title that people give one another when they have ducked out of their responsibility to walk with God as individuals and rely upon others to represent God for them.

Continue reading “Not So Among You”

Poetry

Towering SkyLine

rockefeller-center

Sometimes my thoughts and opinions feel like buildings that tower over me.
I live in their shadows and am known for their skyline.

I know there is a fruited plain that is more revealing of my Master.
I must strive to go there, to leave my opinions.

To find peace near every bush and orchard flower. To sit by the lake and ponder the beauty of the leveled landscape.

To find rest.

From towering mental riches to the rags of a peace-drenched soul.

Untethered from the order of the dog eat dog,
woven deeply in the Kingdom coming.

Peace.

Christian

The Revolution…

The revolution doesn’t care about Michael Jackson’s secret recordings, Kanye West’s performance, or the latest fashion trends.

The revolution will not be televised…

The revolution will not be on Extreme Home Makeover, Ghost hunter, or Dr. Phil.

revoltThe revolution will not be televised!

The revolution doesn’t need Billy Graham or Martin Luther King Jr. for it’s success. It is not a respecter of Men. The revolution is embodied in the One who turned all the tables. The hair in the biscuit. The Christ with the cross.

The revolution will not be televised.

Blue Jeans, t-shirts, and foul language are not cause for rejection. The revolution will not be televised. In this revolution the condition of the heart is most important. The revolution will not be televised.

It’s not concerned with Benny Hinn’s jet, is not after Creflo’s dollars, or seeking marital counsel from T.D. Jakes.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution is not waiting on an end zone stance pointing to the sky. For the revolution is at hand, in heart, and on the tip of the tongue.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be on Extreme Home Makeover, Ghost hunter, or Dr. Phil.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution doesn’t need Billy Graham or Martin Luther King Jr. for it’s success. It is not a respecter of Men. The revolution is embodied in the One who turned all the tables. The hair in the biscuit. The Christ with the cross.

The revolution will not be televised.

Blue Jeans, t-shirts, and foul language are not cause for rejection. The revolution will not be televised. In this revolution the condition of the heart is most important.

The revolution will not be televised.

It’s not concerned with Benny Hinn’s jet, is not after Creflo’s dollars, or seeking marital counsel from T.D. Jakes.

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution is not waiting on an end zone stance pointing to the sky. For the revolution is at hand, in heart, and on the tip of the tongue.

The revolution will not be televised.

Bible Devotions

Life… Now.

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

We get rewarded in the after life for the persecution we endure here on earth… that’s just gotta be true.

But of the many times Christ speaks of rewards in heaven, like the passage just mentioned from Matthew 5,  I believe Him to be speaking primarily of  the present life, the now life.

Is it really all that likely that all of the apostles and millions of Christians since the earthy ministry of Christ died brutal deaths for a reward that had no use for the here and now? Of course not.  Christ was revealing a truth about the present life, persecution forges faith and relationship to God like no other tool on earth.

As we experience suffering we are given gifts, spiritual gifts, in the heavens.

arrowheadLike a stone beats another stone into an arrowhead, persecution is used to forge out of us a ripened God centered life. Yeah, its painful and troubling, but when this idea is embraced a life of freedom is the result.

Christ said that He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). And we say poor little homeless Jesus, Him had no place to sleep. Truth is that He knew that owning a piece of property was a stupid idea. His Father owns the cattle on a thousand hill, even He, Jesus, created all things. My point is that we think wrongly about what the scripture intended to say. As a result our application gets twisted and as a result of that all of our lives get built on a faulty foundation.

So who has the wrong perspective? Are we missing the point? Maybe Jesus had it right. Maybe the life that is most abundant is a life of complete surrender to God where rejection is the norm. Maybe communion with God in shear breakneck obedience is the way to ultimate freedom now. Maybe cross bearing  has the hope of a present blessing of communion with God, not just the hope of resurrection.

Just think of how the hard times seem to always drive you to God.

This is an aspect of the cross. Take a hard look at it, try it out.

Yeah it’s heavy and it hurts, but by this cross you are given abundant life… now.

Chew on this one and enjoy.