Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DON'T LIVE UNDER THE BIG THUMB OF FEAR

Fear is profoundly bossy.  It highly prefers the chief seat at your table.  Our days take hits like crazy due to this manic, self-indulgent, obsessive personality which insists on air-time.  Yet, there is Good News from Above.  Faith is toxic to fear!

Inner conflict is surely a spiritual matter.  Faith and Fear stand in opposing corners of the Boxing Ring.  Because both are "inner" matters, we are engaged in perpetual slug fests for each wants to be crowned Champion.

Awaken to the dynamic of believing!  Faith isn't a step in some salvationalistic code.  It is the revised road map for all who wish to experience life rather than just a getting-by existence.  See the sheer wonder of hope and joy and meaning...from...within!  You are not average.  You were never created to live under the Big Thumb of fear.

To believe is not for the weak.  Faith is neither cowardly nor timid.  Rather it is the reason to hope when there isn't any, to celebrate when all others assume the party is over, and to anticipate another Sonrise when darkness shrouds midday.

Believe.  Dare....to believe....for God delights in blessing those who trust Him!!

Fear....go to the back of the bus and sit down!  Now!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

GOD KNOWS HOW TO.....

W A I T could almost be regarded as a four-letter word.  We fundamentally, basically, over-all like to do many things in life without the interference of being forced to wait.  Yet, I've found it to be well beyond average in meaning and importance.  It carries impacting power.  To wait is often to restrain self in order to allow God to work from His timing rather than our insecure and self-induced weak management of life.

In the very beginning of the book of Acts (1:4), the disciples are told not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised.  Two things seem to be going on: (1) they don't have much to go on as to why other than a promise is coming, and (2) they don't know what the promise would mean.  Their immediate response would be typical and understandable as they offered immediate inquiry.

And the response they got?  It is not for you to know (1:7).  Talk about vulnerable leaders!  These willing followers are clueless; very likely a bit bewildered.  They are commanded to wait on who-would-know-what.  How will they know when "it" happens?  What if "it" happens and they missed it because they should have been alert; but they missed it?

The W A I T was for the incoming arrival of the Holy Spirit!  The moment was so lively that, when it eventually took place, these men never got over it....ever!  Their lives, hearts, minds, and ministries were converted to a newness that would change them in such a way that they would never be the same.  This took place all because they took one major step that a hurried world notes as a waste of time; they waited.

I cheer you on.  In a very accelerated society of which one is yanked to and fro by demanding hurry, slow down.  Stop.  Wait.  Anticipate God showing up at the end of your wait.  Look for Him when you don't have the information as to how long to wait nor for what you should be watching.  This is the wild dynamic of God.

We must be quite careful else we will step in and be god because we don't feel He's quick enough.

W A I T I N G is a powerful spiritual thread for every individual.  Try not to bypass nor abort progress because you are impatient.  God knows how to...manage your time.

Friday, July 07, 2017

BE THE FULLER, BRIGHTER, BETTER YOU!

You, my friend, are more than you can imagine....so keep imagining.  You are an implement of God designed to be more than you can be, to think farther than you can think, and to believe more thoroughly than you can believe.

We are not in this landscape called Life all by ourselves.  God so promised to partner with us that He has set up shop within our very hearts and minds.  He's lightweight so there's no burden of our carrying Him within.  He's the Grand Visionary so we are not stumped as to how to handle the most tedious dilemmas.  And, He's waiting....waiting on us to lean into Him for hope and wonder and the more-than-we-can-fathom style of living.

We are talking about you.  Yes!  You!

Refuse the gnarly snags of daily existence.  Arise to the wonder of it all.  Don't miss out...own your own life.  Yes, you are the decider.  You are the believer.  Determine to be the fuller, brighter, better you than you have ever been up to this point.  Discover your own awe which resides in direct connection to the Holy Spirit of God!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

JESUS CUT AGAINST THE GRAIN OF RELIGION

Jesus is the most fascinating personality ever!  His name has been, however, reduced as basically meaningless in public square throughout the world because of cowardly followers as myself.  Rather than being noted as an ultra-brave soldier who carried his own execution tool upon his back, Jesus is regarded with incredible indifference from bar to golf course to church pew.  No wonder Christianity struggles to make impact.  It has become devoted to plan far more than to the man.

I believe that the masses of indifference toward faith would surrender to Jesus if they could find him.  I'm not saying no one ever finds him, for such a thought is exaggerated.  Yet, the truth is that finding church does not mean one has found the Lamb of God.  Therefore, we who are church simply must restructure our drive to be one of promoting him which would allow him to add newcomers to his church.

If rebellious-toward-church society had any idea how boldly Jesus stood in the face of organized religion, these very ones would open to incredible possibilities of recognizing him as friend, as mentor, as saviour.  He hasn't been hidden by prostitutes nor gamblers nor thieves.  He has been set aside by the very group who believe we are in line with him.  He lost his life/gave his life fighting the crime of religious authoritarians who cared more for their pet doctrines that they did for hurting, lonely, and lost people.

Jesus fascinates me.  As the Son of God, this one saw life for what it surely is; everyone matters to Father.  Those who have the courage to break the mold of ritualism and, yet, remain in the process in order to develop into the personality of Jesus...THANK YOU!!  For those who have never given up on self and on others that we might make progress in being the church with eyes and heart for the hurting, THANK YOU!!  And then for those who are aging in the church; yet have a renewal of heart day by day that keeps you young instead of church grumpy...THANK YOU!!

I say to every person reading this post who doesn't care much for church, for religion, for spiritual direction, I get it.  I don't blame you.  Guys like me tend to shut down one's interest in such things due to our immaturity and our self-centeredness.  Try not to throw out the Saviour with the bath water.  Rebel against ones like myself if you must; but please ponder awakening to the truth that church habits are, at times, causing a blinding glare to restrain you from seeing when the Son is out.

Everyone in church and out, in religious organization and out, have the very same need.  We must know of someone who took the rigors of death and made jelly out of it.  We must meet the only one who was beaten to death on our behalf.  Once we do....we must spend the rest of our days thanking him rather than rejecting him.

Jesus....he's that one who dared to cut against the grain of religion.  The leaders killed him for it.  We praise him for it.  And then....we follow him because of it.  Might you who can't stand church be finding your heart wavering a bit?  Might you be wondering if, rather than  rejecting the idea, you might just be thinking your could be a part of it?  It happened to me.  It may very will be happening to you.  Listen to your own heart.  It will tend to lean toward the voice of God.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

IF YOU HAVE CHANGED, WHY WOULD YOU BELIEVE OTHERS HAVEN'T?

The voice of God via His Word is repetitive with a call to start life over, to be a new person, to arise with a renewed dimension of power and hope and love. If there's a consistent fact about the God dynamic, it is that His people often make adjustments toward the improvement side. Hopefully, we mature.

I venture to guess that you are not the same person you were twenty-five days ago; let alone even twenty-five years ago. You believe differently. You approach problems more maturely. Frankly, in many instances you've simply changed your mind.

So, if we note within ourselves significant changes having taken place, why would we not believe the same would be possible for those within our cluster of stressful contacts? Grievances are carried on far too long. We may note progress within our own walk; but simply forget that those with whom we differ may have grown up at the same pace (or possibly even accelerated beyond us).

Living in begrudgment is a waste of heart-energy. It isn't necessary. Furthermore, it's costly. Our anger and frustration blocks out our enemies and contaminates our friends. Assuming that we are immune from identical mistaken behavior, we chatter with those "on our side" as if we are not just like "them". This practice merely strengthens mistaken barriers.


My guestimation is that, with age, you have changed. Yes, there remains room for improvement; but you've likely come a long way. So why would we not think such inevitable for those among our strained-relationships? Might we drop the grudges and begin to believe in the good side of....us?


Monday, July 03, 2017

SCARED TO DEATH IN ORDER TO BE THRILLED TO LIFE!

A God whom we couldn't have thought up on our own has turned to us, reached to us, is revealed to be someone quite other than the God we would have if God were merely a figment of our imagination--God is a Jew from Nazareth who lived briefly, died violently, and rose unexpectedly.  This God scared us to death but also thrilled us to life.....

.....Many Jews expected God to come and save them; few expected God to show up as a homeless man, unmarried, and unemployed.
                                                                     William Willimon (Why Jesus)

Mankind is stuck because the church is more stuck.  Hopelessness abounds when church focus is slanted toward ritual, religiosity, results.  The Good News is that all three of these are crushed by the unimaginable display of Heavenly Father taking form in Earthly Son.  Jesus defied every thing and every place where man thought he could hang his theological hat.

When one reads the Bible...and this is the Divine Revelation standing the test of time...the weird, the wonderful, and the absurd describe the Story.  Nothing is average.  The exciting Truth is that we are to be a part of this Story unfolding; overlapping into the next moment which (as of yesterday) was only known as future.  We are not to enter in as much as we are to realize we have entered in.

Might it be time that we step out of our boats of security and begin walking atop of the waters of uncertainty?  Might this be the thrill for our lives which initially, we must admit, scares us to death?  We are called to move from a lifeless living to a living kind of life full of meaning and power and God's rich glory.

Don't be afraid to step out, step up, and step into the incredible zone of defiant hope.  Do be afraid of never taking the leap.  It's when we make the bold jump that we break the bonds of fear and slip into the freedom of wonder.  Don't stop at being scared to death.  But, be scared to death in order to be thrilled to life!


Friday, June 30, 2017

THE CURIOUS ADAM AND EVE SYNDROME

After all of these years---well centuries really---wouldn't you think that we would have gotten a few things corrected regarding the pathway to being a newly and vastly improved society?  Shouldn't the caliber of inner man have bypassed the hurdles of wear and tear a long time back?  Wouldn't what ailed families, businesses, and even churches have significantly subsided simply because each generation stepped forward/ahead of the last curve of stressful errors?

Wouldn't you think so?

But, no.  Disarray of the human course and disfigurement of the social process seems to find our present day course to have been perpetuated by malfunctioning philosophy of accumulated past.  Even in the church, we are snagged.  Why is this?  What's causing this ongoing mindset which cripples even the best of our best to the extent that current disorder among us is the same ol' story of ages gone by?

Could it be that there is extreme need for each of us to submit in humility?  And think about those two descriptive words (submit/humility).  Especially in any range of leadership, force and power tend to get the Gold Star.  Force and power are marks of strength, we assume, so move that man/that woman up the success ladder!  These two marks were clearly not a part of the leadership of Jesus; the only one who can spare us from this downward spiraling mess we are in.

The Adam and Eve Syndrome is curious, to say the least, for it causes each individual to approach each day with an assumption that, What I think is the correct way to think.  Such isn't necessarily violational until we then move to step two: Everyone should think as I think.  Thus, mankind is stuck just as broken today as the Two were back in the Garden.

The Good News is that there is a way to overcome this societal monster which hungers to ravage the hearts and minds of every one of us.  The formulaic way is that of the Cross.  And, wouldn't you know that the Cross is the very last place each individual wants to be found?  Didn't God mean to say Captain?  CEO?  Foreman?  President (of something)?  Boss (of someone)?  Older sibling?  Longest tenure?  Shouldn't He have come out with an impressive rather than submissive approach to effectivity?

No, the only way to success is not to be found at the top; but is always at the bottom.  Assess each of the aforementioned list.  The successful ones are those who maintain an inner awareness of humility which is the quality (of Jesus) that makes them/leads them to rise effectively to the top.  The curiosity of the Adam and Eve Syndrome is that it is broken while it tries to convince each of us that everyone else is wrong; but never ourselves.   Strangely, we continue to buy into the lie....as did Adam and Eve.