Monday, August 31, 2009

Run to God!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Proverbs 3:5-7 ~The Message

This Proverb has never been more alive to me then this very moment. It's almost like a blast of spiritual menthol! Opening every clogged aspect of my spirit right up. Why? I am about to move my family across country from NY to Atlanta. No promise of a job. Only the overwhelming sense that we have heard God's voice leading us in this direction.

In these final days in NY, I am seeing my great need to run to God. I literally am placing everything in His hands. My wife, children and very existence. I am so far out on a limb, I can't even see the tree!

These are not the musings of an irresponsible idealist whose head is stuck up in the clouds. I promise, I am well grounded and fighting my ever whirling mind demanding that I follow logic and reason. But this time, my spirit is being obeyed over my intellect.

If I run to God, intently, purposely, resolutely is this not faith? If I run to Him, will not my trajectory take me right to where I need to be? In His will? If I run, will He not keep me on track?

I was told recently that God cannot guide a ship if it's tied to the dock. However, He can adjust the course of the vessel that has set sail.

So we cast our lines off and raise the sail and trust the winds of God to guide us. I'll keep you posted. This is exhilarating. Truly. Adrenalin is pumping but I am trusting.

on the run,

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Cost

"Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can't be my disciple." ~Jesus Christ, circa 29AD

This quote is taken from The Message, Luke 14:33 and it really is about as clear cut a requirement as there can be on the cost of following Jesus. However, let's be honest...most of us in the USA don't actually believe Jesus would require our friends, bank accounts, jobs, houses, cars, 401k's, etc., right? C'mon! It's a metaphor or sorts, it has to be. I mean...I can find more popular books on building wealth, having a happy and prosperous life than on embracing material destitution as a follower of Jesus.

I can tell you from a page in my own life that I am being tested to the core on this. Furthermore, in my heart I am praying that He doesn't actually require it all. Look I am being honest here. I can type "the right" words but my humanity is being barbecued at the moment. If he chose to take it all, would I yet praise Him like Job? May I answer, "yes!" However, I am still working through this.

A bright spot in this post? Yes! I watched a movie recently where it was proclaimed that "there are no happy endings." If you hang around this life on earth long enough, it would seem at times this is a correct assumption. However, skip to the end of the story of Job and voilĂ ...a happy ending! Point? It will cost us everything to follow Jesus. It won't always be comfortable here. In the end, there is a fabulous conclusion to the lives of those who follow Jesus.

It has been written that Mother Teresa said, "Riches, both material and spiritual, can choke you if you do not use them fairly. The result is uncontrollable dissatisfaction. Poverty is freedom, so that possessions don’t keep us from sharing or giving of ourselves."

Perhaps as we have our grasp on things pried open and we learn to let go of this life, we will find our anxieties giving way to unimaginable joy as we share what is most important.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Changing the World

“Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision; instead we are always changing the vision.”

- G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1908

This challenges me deeply. I think about what church has become and have to wonder if the vision of church has changed to fit the world? Dare we attempt to change the culture/world? Have we focused on performance and becoming appealing to the world in the name of vision?

Chesterton makes a strong statement that we need to be world changers to see progress. I hear many say that change is hard and not altogether popular. People who are change agents are often despised for disturbing the comfortable.

Our world is changing, yes. With those changes, may we be committed to alter the course when culture is headed in the wrong direction. May we resist the urge to change our vision in the name of relevance.

I think this whole following Jesus stuff is difficult. It costs a lot and accommodates little. Yet it's rather simple. So simple that anyone can do it.

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.


Thursday, August 20, 2009


“Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.” ~Oswald Chambers

This is what I am wrestling with most these days. I WANT to be happy. That's it, right? It's all about what "I" want. I ask myself, "What does it cost to be holy?" If you believe, Chambers, holiness may come at the expense of our happiness. I don't like this!

Simply being honest. I believe God can handle this. Don't you? I believe God won't dispose of us for being honest. He knows our thoughts anyhow.

He knows that I do want to follow Him and be holy. He knows that my humanity isn't going down without a fight.

Perhaps we all have to learn how deeply He loves us. Even in times of hardship when holiness is being worked in us. There's an old hymn:

"Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still."

Here's to Him having HIS WAY in all of us.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

True Friends

August 18, 2009

"For the purpose of this discussion, I’m defining a friend as someone who is with you. They’re with you in times of success, and much more profoundly, in times of defeat. They know the real you, and they like you anyway.

You can’t really run them off. And when you show them a weakness, it only causes them to respect and support you more. It’s a connection that defies logic and enables immense security." ~Steven Furtik

I read this and was struck by it's truth. How much energy is spent in our lives hiding? Hiding because we fear if anyone knew the real us, they would bolt! It is clear to me that people can't handle too much of who we really are. Hence, we guard ourselves vigilantly. However, with friends we can simply BE. They accept us, love us and want to hear it all. THANK GOD for TRUE FRIENDS.

May I be a true friend to others. I am GRATEFUL for my true friends. You know who you are. Perhaps we should spend less time trying to impress others and more time befriending. Less time attempting to be what we are not and accept who we are. In the end, those who surround the real us will be real friends. But what do I know?

your friend,