As she sat in the auditorium with her friends her mind was in “wander mode.” There was a time when she used to hang on every word the pastor said and write notes and want to go discuss her ideas after the service. Church had connected for her back then.
Since you can see you will have to imagine what it would be like to live in a world you have never seen. Folks have tried to describe things to you and you have Read the rest of this entry
When Robert wore a suit to church we immediately knew we’d done something seriously wrong. Read the rest of this entry
Pat was a screamer. She’d worked as a clerk in the government office in her small town for about ten years and she was entrenched. She hated to actually do anything unless it involved others knowing how hard her job was and how lucky they were to have her in their office. In our weaker moments of honesty none of us could think of her presence as being remotely related to good luck. Yet the fact remained, she held the key to getting certain things done and not everyone enjoyed the security of tenure like Pat did. Read the rest of this entry
While Jesus accepts us as we are he never intends for us to stay that way. When we meet someone and decide they need to change it usually results in warfare. The divorce courts are full of cases like that! The problem we run into is a clash Read the rest of this entry
Towards the end of his time with his disciples Jesus told them something that would carry them through the rest of their lives, come “hell or high-water” they would have these words to stabilize themselves: “You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” 1 Chosen! Chosen! Chosen?
How did they qualify to be chosen? By daring to act on the revelation they received!
Matthew had been a hated tax collector and he was probably quite wealthy but when Jesus invited him to leave it all to follow him, he didn’t hesitate. He saw and he willingly followed. Faith collided with his life and he rearranged his life to fit; he chose the way of faith and now the master of faith had chosen him. It still works like that. If we won’t modify our lives to accommodate our faith we never get to be chosen. We must do something with the things shown to us or their true value escapes us. It is likely the other disciples weren’t exactly excited about Matthew joining them. They had opinions about paying taxes and stronger opinions about thieving tax collectors! Tax collectors were the lackeys of the Roman occupiers! Despised traitors! Read the rest of this entry
Mark and Brian had just stepped off the school bus. Brian turned to yell at his friend Tommy who was still on the bus when he heard a screech and a metallic thud. Turning, he realized he couldn’t see Mark. Eager to get home to play with his pet rabbit Mark had run across the road and into the path of an on-coming car. If he ever saw that car he didn’t see it for long. The driver should have stopped for the flashing red lights, Mark should not have run across the road. Brian should have been paying attention to his little brother. Should have, would have, didn’t. No one ever blamed Brian but Brian blamed himself. He was the responsible nine-year old who should have stopped Mark. He “knew” his parents expected him to be responsible and he “knew” he’d let them down. He watched them grieving and “knew” that it was his fault. He had caused them this pain. He didn’t tell anyone his true thoughts but his perception of the event and its cause changed him. He carried that load for twelve more years before it became completely unbearable. He ended his own life.
My self-esteem affects everything about me and everything I do (for better or for worse). I see myself as a loser nerd and everyone will treat me that way; I think I’m the life and soul of every party and everyone acts like its true, everywhere I go I bring FUN; I see myself as a success and things work out for me; I perceive myself as being in charge and have no difficulty abusing and bullying others; I think I’m inferior so I accept abuse like it is somehow normal. Weight battles, school, career, financial survival and prosperity, the ability to take risks – the list is long and involves every part of life.
Does this suggest that the way to make it big in life is to dream up a hyper-positive image of myself and watch the world flock to admire me? The answer is, Read the rest of this entry
Last blog raised the issue that we all need a transformational encounter with God. It sounds so easy but it is also messy and personally challenging. We will never beat our own alcohol issues or be able to help our family and friends with theirs until we begin the process of personal transformation. Facing our issues instead of hiding them is the reality of faith. Such an encounter demands a confidence in Jesus – conditional love doesn’t hack it.
But letting go is hard to do! How do you let go? It can be incredibly hard for those who have been hurt to ever let go of it and risk getting hurt again – this becomes a barrier to faith and a prison to life. We are locked into the past and unwilling to take the risk of breaking free from it. What is ahead is not clear to us, others say it is ok but they haven’t experienced what we’ve been through and they are not risking what we must risk.