Tuesday, November 21, 2006

it's all about God stupid!

During the 1992 Clinton campaign, a slogan surfaced to get people's attention,"It's the economy stupid." It must of had some success geting people to focus on the issue. An evangelical thinks Christians should have a similar slogan written on their foreheads or on their shirts that states,"It's about God, stupid!"

What are we about? What are you about? Our culture says, "Life is all about you." We are convinced, "It's all about me." What does God, our Creator, our Designer, what does He say about the subject?

Eph 3:19 -
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Eph 5:18 -
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Colossians 3:16 -
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

It's all about God the Father, Son and Spirit.

Colossians 2:7
You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

Let's not have to have a stupid slogan on our foreheads. Let's remind each other and encourage each other to live for Jesus and pray we become more like Him. Let's stay focused on Jesus:

Colossians 3:1-3 -
1 So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. 2 Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life - even though invisible to spectators - is with Christ in God. He is your life

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Living in Community

Jean Vanier was born in Canada. After his career as a naval officer, he felt moved to change his life. He earned a doctorate in moral philosophy and in 1964 invited two men with Down's Syndrome to leave the institution and live with him. The simple act has turned into the L'Arche movement. The relationships he developed changed his life.

"Living with men and women with mental disabilities has helped me discover what it means to live in communion (community)with someone. To be in communion means to be with someone and to discover that we actually belong together. Communion means accepting people just as they are, with all their limits and inner pain, but also with their gifts and their beauty and their capcity to grow: to see the beauty inside of all the pain. To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: "You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself." We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacity for life, the light that is shining in them.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Measuring True Spirituality

People who are alive:

Experience a full inner life because of knowing God

Are passionate, primarily about knowing God personally - (John 17:3)

Manifest humility and acknowledge a healthy dependence on God - (John 15:5; Romans 12:3)

Demonstrate contentedness and stability, joy and delight - (Proverbs 19:23; Philippians 4: 11 b-12)

Understand themselves as those who possess a unique set of gifts, strengths, and weaknesses - (Psalm 139)

Are able to think clearly and to experience a full range of emotion - (John 11 :33-35; 2 Corinthians 10:5)

Cultivate rich relationships with God and others

Hear and respond appropriately to God in love, obedience, and repentance with minimal coercion - (John 14:21,23)

Demonstrate empathy that leads to appropriate action - (John 11 :33-35)

Effectively engage with other people without being preoccupied with themselves - (Philippians 2:3-4; Hebrews 10:24-25)

Seek godly wisdom and counsel - (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Pay careful attention to "invisible, eternal reality" beyond "visible, temporary reality" - (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Demonstrate a sense of Purpose and Vision

Understand their own "story" (how their longings, wounds, and life themes enable God's plan for their lives) - (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Create a perspective on what God desires to accomplish regardless of their experience - (Hebrews 11: 13-16) Demonstrate confidence in God through boldness of action - (Jeremiah 17:7)

Recognize that they are dead to domination of sin - (Romans 6: 11; 1 Peter 2:24)

Pursue dreams with commitment and endurance - (Acts 20:24; Philippians 3:13-14)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life's journey with purpose

Life is about learning to love.

Sounds good. Can a person learn to love? Depends on one's definition of love.
Is there a universal, unchanging definition for love? Or are we left to our own finite understanding?

As always, if society creates standards based on our whims and wants a slippery slope is created and definitions change based our mood or situation. Where do we find true love?

Life is all about love and relationships - with God and others.

God has told us and showed us how to love through Jesus.

Learning to love is life's most important lesson.

Jesus called it the "greatest commandement" (Matthew 11:28)

Love God, and then love others. Love God first. When we learn who God is and what he says love is, then we learn how to love others the way it was inteneded.