Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I am going to write a book one day. I suddenly became certain of it Saturday night while driving to work. Nothing in particular triggered the thought, it just came to me. I've played around with the idea before, but now I'm almost positive that, one day, before I die, I will have a published book sitting on the shelves of one or two people who saw the well-designed cover (which I WILL design myself; therefore it WILL look fabulous) and they hoped that the contents would be at least half as good (no confident boasts there, as of yet). As far as what its about? We'll have to see... but I'm thinking its going to involve a lot of different little stories about hope, faith, and grace. A documentary of sorts. A collection, tied together with some witty narrative. And a great cover. Don't forget the cover...
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
He's made one bad choice after another. He can't hold down a job. At one point in life, he had everything he could ever need but squandered it all away. He's gonna ask for money to buy food with, but really he's saving up for a six-pack...
Maybe I'm the world's biggest jerk here, I don't know. But I'd reckon I'm not the only one who's jumped on a one-way train to Judgment Town when a beggar walks my way.
This is me. That's who I am. My flesh. My nature.
That guy who says hi and hands over a couple bucks?
That's Jesus doing that. Jesus. Not me.
You see, if you happen to see me doing something helpful or nice for somebody, please understand, you are not witnessing an act of kindness. You are witnessing something supernatural. A miracle. A progressive transformation, as I decrease and the Holy Spirit increases within me.
In the Book of Luke, Jesus gives us a clear description of what it means to 'love our neighbor' through a parable about a man who was robbed, stripped naked, and brutally beaten. His attackers left him to die in the ditch along the road. A priest came shortly afterward. Surely the priest would help! But no. The priest carefully crossed to the other side of the road in order to avoid him.
Soon, another passerby came down the road, and just like the priest, he avoided the dying man like a leper.
I am simply called to help. I don't need to know their story. I don't need to know the how's and why's of their circumstances. I don't even need to know if they're just gonna land right back in the ditch I helped them out of. I don't need to know those things.
And neither do you. Simply help.
If we needed to know those things, Jesus would have included it in His parable, but He didn't. But don't take my word for it. Read it yourself HERE.
This way of loving our neighbor, it's not me. It's not within me to do. But it is in the nature of our Creator. And our Creator is within His followers. In fact, we are built to become a dwelling in which God lives (Ephesians 2:22).
If you've asked Him to dwell in you, prepare yourself for awkward eye contact and conversations with smelly people. Prepare yourself to hand over a couple bucks. Be ready to help someone up without knowing if they'll continue to stand on their own or if they'll just fall right back down.
Prepare yourself. Not to do these things. But to watch God do them through you. And thank Him. Thank Him. Thank Him, for using a bunch of jerks like us to demonstrate His Love...
Because that's what we are. Jerks.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I am pumped!
I have an 'A' in the class.
AND have maintained my 4.0 GPA!
I didn't do too hot my last few semesters of undergrad.
So this 4.0 feels fantastic!
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
an emotion related to one's psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Who couldn't use a little more grace in their life?
I highly recommend this book to all Christ-followers who hope to share God's love with others through simple daily interactions (which by definition, should be all Christ-followers, right?)
Look up "Grace Like Rain," by Jeff Petherick, or borrow my copy!
That's over 30,000 deaths a day.
And more than 10 million a year.
This should be our greatest outrage.
But it's far from it.
Instead, we're worrying over who is or who isn't eating Chik-fil-A. We're angry at the guy who pulled out in front of us on our way to work. We curse about the price of gas. We're mad when our favorite TV shows are canceled and when we find a hair in our salad.
Every 2.8 seconds a child dies.
It just doesn't sink in. Why not?
Is it because we're too busy thinking about ourselves?
Or is it because it's too painful to not look away?
All I know is, I don't care enough.
Yes, you read that correctly. I don't care enough.
I'm not nearly as outraged as I should be.
What would my life look like if I WAS as outraged as I should be?
What would the WORLD look like if we were ALL as outraged as we should be?
You can be sure of one thing; things would look different than what they do now.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
I'm pretty sure this is not supposed to be a trick question. After all, it's a "one-minute writer" prompt.
But it's a toughy.
I am twenty-nine.
It's a weird age.
For me, at least.
I've accrued some useful and unique life experiences. I've been around enough to make a plethora of mistakes to learn from. In many ways, I am seasoned.
On the other hand... I feel ill-equipped to tackle the more practical issues in life.
Crisis? I can deal with. Everyday life? More challenging...
So I'm riding the fence on this one, and taking an easy-out:
IDK. Both. Young/old/all-that's-in-between.
How about you?
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
I saw this question being asked on FaceBook today. It caught my attention because, well... the person who posted it often voices their opinion in hateful ways.
I've built relationships with a wide variety of people and I've learned something; nearly everyone is capable of hearing, acknowledging, and at least tolerating opposing views and belief systems when they're presented to them with respect and sensitivity.
FaceBook nasty-grams? Probably not the most effective way to send a message...
This particular FB post I'm referencing was directed towards a couple issues; same-sex relationships and politics. I couldn't help myself but wonder how many gay friends this person has. How many friends with strong opposing politic affiliations?
Did Jesus blast out nasty-grams via the hottest social networks of the time? No! What would that have even been back then? A messenger riding off on a camel with a big 'ol scroll under his arm? Anyway... No! Jesus was not the nasty-gram kinda guy. He was more of the "let's do lunch," type of fellow.
What's my point? Well, first of all, you can't deliver from a distance. You have to be a part of lives to change lives. Second of all, you have to consider your audience and be intentional in your approach. I'm not talking about messing up the message, I'm talking about modifying the messenger. Are you noticing those around you recoil when you voice your opinions? Are words like 'hate' used to describe your tap-dance on the soapbox? Chances are, one of two things are happening:
You're either (1) failing to communicate concisely, comprehensively, considerately, or compassionately... OR (2) The person you're speaking with is feeling convicted of sin in his or her life and wishes to avoid that discomforting truth by deflecting it back onto you, the messenger, as being hateful.
All we can do is BE INTENTIONAL and PRAY. Unpleasant status updates about Obozo lovers and the (insert preferred offensive slang for the LGBT community HERE), are well... just hateful. And although it's not always the case, just remember the old saying, "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck..." Same applies to hate. Quack kindly. Mean ducks suck.