Dark Friday

“We’re celebrating Christs birthday!” a friend of mine exclaimed as we entered store after store, hitting up all the after-thanksgiving shopping sales. I laughed to myself every time he made the declaration, because we both knew full well how ridiculous western Christianity has become.

Do we still serve the same Christ who told the rich young ruler to sell ALL of his possessions? The same Christ who stated “let the dead bury the dead, you follow me“? The same Christ who stated in Luke 14-“those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples?” I think we can all agree that Jesus cared very little about wealth, regardless of what some pastors may say on the television during the wee hours of the morning. If we know this to be true, then why don’t we follow His example?

Are the freedoms of this Nation so great that we must ignore Christs example? Think about that…Do we have it so good here in the U.S that we have the right to refuse His example? To live a life of wealth and gluttony, and forget about the poor, the sick, and the dieing. The very people that Christ came to preach to!

18The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Luke 14:18-19 (Jesus reading from Isaiah)

One passage that has been on my heart lately is Galatians chapter 2, in which Paul and Barnabas go to the apostles Peter and John, and give them a report on there evangelism to the Gentiles. I’ll let the rest speak for itself-

“James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.”- Galations 2:9-10

James, the brother of Jesus, and the apostles Peter and John. Men who grew up with Jesus. Men who walked, talked, laughed, joked, ate, cried, and slept with the very Man we still worship today. What kind of impression did Christ have on their lives? Remember the poor…remember the poor…remember the poor.

Francis Chan is an amazing author, pastor, and speaker. I was thrilled at Passion 2010 when I got to hear him speak, he’s just an amazing down-to-earth guy. My respect for him grew even more after discovering that his church gives 51% of their income back into the community. A body that gives more than it receives. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that Christlike? A missionary once told me: “if you can’t put all of your belongings into a couple of bags, then you’re living in excess.” Whether that’s true or not, his point was clearly made.

How much is too much? Are you giving more than receiving? Do you think of the poor? When was the last time you actually had to give up something for God? Well, it’s 3 A.M and I’m hoping this makes sense.

 

Love.

 

Advertisements

Relevant:Dealing with Crazy Christians

So, just woke up after going to bed too early. I had a bad headache this evening so I had to sleep it off. I think my eyes are going bad. Particularly my left eye, but I’m not sure. If that’s the case, then Bill can finally repay me for all the comments I’ve given him over the years.

If you took the time to read the Relevant article, then I won’t bore you too much with my thoughts. I thought the article was incredibly relevant (yeah lol), especially to us living in the Bible belt. The south, yes, the very place where more Christians persecute rather than endure persecution. The place where churches seem to be in competition with fast food chains. The place were politics, church and government alike, are taught more than the actual good news of Jesus.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” -Matthew 9:36-38

 

Love.

Thanksgiving!

So, I’m sitting in a recliner drinking coffee, with turkey and mashed potatoes in my belly…and fudge stuck on my teeth. Another wonderful Thanksgiving!

I’m so excited about the coming year! I marry the love of my life in May, and soon we’ll have a family of our own. To much of my families dismay, I’m really not sure where Marissa and I will be in five years. I’d like to say that we’ll be homeowners with stable jobs, working within a mega-church, and expecting. But ultimately I know that God is in control. I’m not trying to be cheesy, but usually God does a much better job at leading than I do. Wherever we live, and whatever I do, I know that my life will always be totally committed to the church. I have been called to His ministry, and I’m not sure that “being called” is limited to any specific group of people. I believe Christs call is not limited to just Preachers/teachers, but to all people. I know that this seems elementary, and most of you may agree with that, but how many times do we actually leave ministry up to the church, specifically the church administration.

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. -1st Corinthians 9:19-23

Believe it or not, I’m really talented with teaching the youth. But I’m also good at teaching senior adults, laying sheet rock, organizing events, leading trips, doing landscaping, and making a good pot of coffee. The point I’m trying to make is that my degree does not define my future in the ministry. I must become all things to all people. My ministry must become my focal group.

 

Love

It seems I only like to blog during the fall…

I’ve loved, hurt, laughed, cursed, taught, smoked, ran, slept, listened, ignored, fought, lived…since last you’ve known me. I don’t want to write out everything that’s happened this year, that would be excruciating for all of us here. But I do want you to know what God’s been doing to this pathetic wretch.

This year started off miserably, much like last year. Much like every day since I began to question God and His call on my life. Why would God place me in such a terrible position at such a young age? Why would God allow me to suffer so much pain doing his work?  His ministry! I argued with God, I denied him. We fought. I began to question everything. Apathy, cynicism, and skepticism dominated my thinking. I took that back with me to Williams, and believe it or not, apathy is very contagious at a Christian college. I’ve gossiped, slandered, lied, cussed(alot), and in return I’ve lost friendships, influence and ministry opportunities. To top it all off, I haven’t cared. I honestly have not cared. I could justify my actions with scripture just as easily as you could condemn me for them, so I did not care. I became very prideful, cynical, judgmental, and………………..miserable. Like all mortals who run from God. Like every finite being that attempts to run from it’s infinite creator.

That’s been me for over two years now. Always questioning, arguing, running away. I want to apologize to everyone for not just being who I’ve been, but not allowing God to use me. I’m not saying I’m perfect now and that all is well, but I can assure you that God and I are not yelling at each other anymore. And, his call on my life has been reaffirmed in so many ways that I honestly can not explain it.

 

Love.