Monday, October 31, 2005
Wow what a busy month. I haven't got a chance to write much. God has been teaching me some awesome things I hope to get up soon.
Today I ran across a great picture of my Dad. This was taken several yeas ago when he was out west fighting a fire. I thought I'd put it here to share with all of you.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
God wants to transform your life. Did you know that? As I have let the Father step by step take over my life there are some areas that are very easy to let him step into and cover with his grace and his strength. There are other areas which I struggle with in a cyclical fashion. There is a Chris Rice song “Clumsy” that my heart identifies with every time I hear it.
I’m coming to grips with the reality of sanctification and regeneration as processes not as completed acts. I look at the ideals laid down in scripture and at time feel so unworthy and then I am reminded that God’s grace covers my weaknesses and I am strong because of Him not by myself – AND THAT’S OK! I am in the process of becoming the person I was created to be – I am not there yet nor will I achieve it on this earth. All I can achieve is to continue in the process and to revel in grace.
For many years Romans 12:1&2 have been verses I have tried to live my life around. Phil. 2:12&13 parallels it and the concept is this: by presenting my self as that living sacrifice daily (working out my salvation with fear and trembling) I am continually being transformed into what I was created to be (God works in me to will and to act according to his good purpose).
Transformation is real and it is possible but it is also rarely instantaneous. The scars of our own sins and the sins of others go away slowly (if ever in some folks). To be transparent, many of my scars come in a way from being raised in the church. I never felt I could be quite good enough to earn people’s love and respect let alone God’s and so I learned how to appear holy and yet lived terrified on the inside that people would find out that I was not this perfect person I tried to project. This irony is that as I began releasing the expectations of others many of the hidden sins began falling away. I was being held in captivity by my own self imposed isolation. The voids that the sin had once filled were replaced with relationships.
I think that while we are exploring the past and some of the issues that have brought us to where we are we must work even more actively on building the spiritual disciplines into our lives that will transform us. Our church worked through “The Purpose Driven Life” last year. I was not hit with new truths or lightning bolts form heaven but my life was refreshed and reinvigorated because I was reminded of the basics. I had learned
May you let God’s transforming power run wild today!
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Culture, I've got culture on me!
A friend recently sent me an e-mail pondering our cultural influence on the issue of anger. As I was reading it mind flashed back to my theology professor in college. He said it very simply, “The core of sin is selfishness.” Madison Avenue and the marketing culture has perfected tapping into this “hidden” sinful selfish nature we have. “That’s nice” becomes “I want that” which turns into “I need that” which turns into “I deserve that”. We then break out our credit cards and buy the object of our desires because it will make us happy, fulfilled, smarter, thinner and (insert adjective here). Not only are we left with something that does not meet our true needs but we get to keep paying for it long after the item of our desires had been left by the wayside in a closet or the trash.
Madison Avenues messages are wrapped around “entertainment” on TV and in the movies that compound our problem. In years past TV and Movies tended to try to express the “ideal”. We saw perfect families, well groomed children, hard working moms and dads all in situations that were wholesome, moral and uplifting. Some people saw this and said I want that – if I only had that perfect situation I would be happy. Other people watched that and said this is not truth. I don’t see anything I relate to here. This doesn’t match my life. Many of the people in this second group are behind much or our current media. They have chosen to depict life “accurately”. We now see the broken, immoral, hurting existence that many of these people experienced. One of my wife’s favorite shows is ER. I hate watching it because each time one of the characters begins to find a healthy growing relationship the writers feel the need to tear it apart. I suppose it makes more dramatic television but it is also symptomatic of what I am taking about.
So what is the solution? What is the antidote to the messages we are bombarded with. We are told on one hand by our entertainment that life sucks and then you die and then Madison Avenue steps in and says but if you only have this, look like this, smell like this, drive this car and live in this neighborhood your life will be perfect. If “the core of sin is selfishness” the antidote is living outside oneself.
In Philippians 2:3 & 4 it says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
There is something miraculous that happens when we get our eyes off our own situations and onto others. We begin to become the people we were intended to be. The selfish core of us begins to weaken and we begin to become the vessels of grace and love and hope that God intended. Sin keeps our eyes focus on us and separates us from those around us in the process. When we begin to focus on the needs of others along side our own we begin to find ourselves connected in relationships. We find that what really matters in not the stuff but the people.
Bill Gates' High School Address
Bill Gates gave a speech at
Rule 1 - Life is not fair -- get used to it!
Rule 2 - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 - You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5 - Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it opportunity.
Rule 6 - If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 9 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 - Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Go out and build some family memories of your own.