"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
My friend Benny Nowell (http://www.sevensonline.org) told me once about a vision he had outside of a place called Freedom tunnel (ironically spelled Freedoom). He witnessed this girl fixing up her heroin to shoot. The vision was that Jesus was standing next to her, His hand on her shoulder eyes fixed on Benny and saying, "it's about time you got here."
The message was that Jesus is waiting for us, for His disciples to arrive in the dark places so we can reflect His light. Many times we get all caught up in taking Jesus to the lost; yet, the fact is HE is waiting for us there. HE is wanting to take me to the lost.
I hear the question frequently, "why would a good God allow suffering; bad things to happen to good people; children to starve...?"
The question I ask in return is, "Why are you allowing it to happen, what are you doing to help?"
We can no longer just sit by and "Occupy Space and Time" we have a responsibility. When Jesus was asked what were the greatest commands, He answered
Love God with all you have.
Love others as yourself.
This is a expository statement on the Ten Commandments. The Law and Prophets (The Old Testament) boil down to these two things Love God, Love everybody else. Why?
Because God created you, and made the sacrifice that frees us from our crap that we choose instead of Him.
Because God created others and they carry His image too.
Ephesians 2 tells us that God saved us not just to be little cute figurines in some cosmic display case, but that we were saved for good works. What are good works? Love others as yourself. Do you feed yourself? Get yourself out of dangerous situations? Clothe yourself? Buy yourself nice things? Then love someone else the same way. I am not saying you alone have to rush out and save everybody, but you can rush out and help someone.
Lets agree to start small and simple, today make it your goal to only use words that build up and encourage those around you. No demeaning jokes, or sarcastic belittling of people. No jokes about Lindsey Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Joe Paterno, THAT person in the office, THAT kid at school, etc...
Look around, take notice, and then act on what you see. Lift some one up today in the name of Jesus Christ, lift someone up.
Society today seems to be fractured and polarizing. The culture that we live in, the television and movies we watch, politics, sports, all boil down to categories into which we place others. Even in church this is difficult to escape, progressive vs conservative, traditional vs liberal, young vs old...the damage we do to others in this labeling and sectioning has been discussed some this week, so what bout the damage to ourselves when we label others?
To decide to place others in a category, or to apply a label to someone may very well be the actual application of the old children's argument "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you." Each time I label others, I am placing a label on myself.
One of the things that is frustrating about today's social climate is the lack of true debate. To simply place a label on another person, and therefore assume that I know their argument blocks any chance of honest give and take discus…
This is a picture put out this week by a group called People Of The Second Chance. This is the latest in a series of posts about who may have wandered out past our limits of a second chance. Here is my initial reaction.
WHAT THE... now just hold on a stinking minute. Have you lost your ever-loving mind? Are you totally crazy? What could you have possibly be thinking? This is a mass murderer, a man who commissioned and planned the murders of men, women and children that refused to cow to his beliefs and demands. How in the world can you even entertain the idea of asking me to give a second chance to a... terroristic zealot like this man.
That was my internal conversation yesterday. Every time I looked at this picture I cringed inside. I even asked my friend Tanner, "do we offer a second chance even if it risks someones life?" Hey said "sometimes that is the price." Me: "that's a steep price." -end of conversation-
I have been between most of my life, between the world of church and “reality.” There has been very few times in my life where I have felt fully accepted, or where I had a sense of really fitting in. I have felt a divide between the world of home, school, work and church. I have also felt I have stood most of my life between two men. Two men who I love with all that I am. Two men that I look up to but quite simply do not fully understand. I cannot understand how two men so much alike in my eyes, who I have so much affection, and who I long to make proud could be so far apart. It has felt like therefore that I must offend one to love another, or that I need to bring them together. So i have lived this life of two worlds and they have collided. So how do I develop grace to all now? I'll start with this. Yesterday I wrote about second chances to men like Osama Bin-Laden. Today I move past that hypothetical situation and speak about actualities. I could write out a list of men, women…