Monday, May 31, 2010

Give Life Away

So today and every moment from this one on I wonder can we all do one thing - give our lives away. What is our example for this?

So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, "You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage."
Matthew 20:24-28
On this day of Memorial for all those who have done exactly that for us, I hope that we all can do it for each other. If we are going to be great, we must be a servant to others. If we want love and grace and power in our lives and in this world, we must become a slave to those around us. This is not to say that we allow ourselves to be hurt over and over, but to think of others before ourselves, allowing their needs to become more important after we have loved ourselves. We cannot always just love ourselves, we must allow this love to be given to those around us and have a mind that thinks like God does:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Phillipians 2:5-8

You see if we want to be great, if we want the love of God to be great, we must not cling to our own ego, what we want, what we think should happen, and our "rights." You see it was because Jesus gave up these things that we all worship him, not because he came as a proud human or God, saying hey look at me:

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Phillipians 2:9-11

Become a person who gives life away to others in all the small moments you can.


Monday, May 17, 2010


Change. It comes slowly most of the time. It comes so slowly most of the time that we do not even attempt to change. We do something for a day, a week, a couple of weeks, or even a month if we are really persistant, but we rarely keep at it long enough to see actual change in our lives. We tell ourselves how hard it is to change, and who wants to do hard things when there are easy things available to do!
However, true change and transformation comes from consistent action. We find this hard. We think that we should never be angry, sad, frustrated, or anxious. So when these feelings come up our tendency is to deny that we have these feelings and supress them because we "should have changed by now." We take our everyday lives, the things that we can attend to and be aware of to actually change.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2
So unlike everyone around us, when anger, sadness, dissappointment, anxiety comes up do not deny it, allow it to tell you something about yourself. Become aware of the seed of that negative emotions and focus your attention on God and what you may need to learn. Why am I angry? What is making me so anxious? What am I thinking that is getting me to feel this way? Is what I am thining true? Can I change that thought, action, or belief? How would God want me to think about this situation? How can I have the mind of God, the mind of Christ?
When we deny these things about ourselves, change is impossible! We can not change anything by denying it and acting like it is not there. The seed (the beginning) of my anger, sadness, anxiety is the thing that needs to be transformed so that real change can happen - from the inside out! There is no other way to change - to be transformed! So today become more aware, stop denying what is going on inside of you, recognize where the actions and feelings you do not like are coming from and transform those seeds. This takes time, consistent, daily effort to be aware and alive to your self. Love yourself this way today so that you can love others better!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crazy Love

So what does love move you to do? Does it move you to do "crazy" things? I mean to you radically love all those around you? Do we recognize that we are all connected and that we all need to support, care, and love one another - no matter what we believe, how we think, or what we do? I mean that sounds pretty crazy. We are taught that somehow we need to get ours before someone get theirs and we need to protect ourselves from others - especially those that are different from us.

If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.
2 Corinthians 5:11
Christ's love is the first and last word in everything we do! Is that really true for us? Do we actually live out this truth? Do we love others no matter who they are? I know that we like to say that we do, but do we? If we really had to care for them, talk to them, give to them - would we? I want to challenge us all on this idea. I know we would like to say that we would love anyone, but could we really live this out:
Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. "Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?"
He answered, "What's written in God's Law? How do you interpret it?"
He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself."
"Good answer!" said Jesus. "Do it and you'll live."
Looking for a loophole, he asked, "And just how would you define 'neighbor'?"
Jesus answered by telling a story. "There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
"A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I'll pay you on my way back.'
"What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"
Luke 10:25-36
So Jesus answers this man's question by saying if you want to have eternal life - love!! Love all people, even those you think are not like you and do not believe like you. Just do it! So are we the priest, the religous person, or are we the Samaritan? Even if we think someone is not our responsibility because they do not "believe" maybe we should have some crazy love and find eternal life!

Monday, May 03, 2010


What would it be like to really have a community that loved and accepted everyone? What would it be like to find a place that would allow God to be God? A place where you are given the space to have your life, your spiritual life, within the trust of you and God. A place where you are accepted like that by everyone, and you accept everyone you encounter in this community; yeilding to them, showing mercy, and only doing good deeds. What would that be like? This is my passion: to truly bring this kind of community to people. A place where people can just be people and say and feel as they need and find love. My passion is to fulfill things scripture write about like this:

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:16-18 (NLT)
Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. It's the furthest thing from wisdom—it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats.
Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
James 3:16-18 (The Message)
If we name the name of Christ -"I am a follower of Christ" - then we are called to carry a messege that is like none other in the world. Love. Love. Love. We are not to create communities full of people attempting to out do each other, talk to only those that we think are deserving, or make people do what we think they should do. When we do this scripture states that we will actually create a place of disorder and evil of "every" kind!
However, if we can just love everyone who enters that community, we will find a place that is healthy, robust, lives right, and brings God to the presence of others. Peace will be our constant companion. If we do the hard work of loving - showing no favoritism, no treating people differntly one day than another, and treating everyone with diginity and honor - we will find a community of love, peace, joy - a robust community full of the love, the power, the knowledge, of Christ! I hope you will have the same vision and join me, as well as others, just loving everyone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Move Towards God

Ever feel like God is so far away? I know that we all think, "God where are you?" at times. We feel like we have been left alone and somehow God must not love us, because if God did we would not feel like this. When we feel this way we need to use it has a warning bell, an alarm, a trigger that we must not be acting or thinking in ways that match us up with God's spirit. We must stop and take inventory of what we may have been worried about, angry about, scared about, and change our perspective.

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Philippians 4:6-9
Worries can be our alarm bell that it is time to rejoin God in spirit. How? Fill your mind and meditate on being a peaceful person, a loving person, on what you have, on what you are thankful for, on what is beautiful and good. When we do this we rejoin God, we rejoin Spirit and then we can relax, settle down, because we get a sense of everything working together - harmony. Some notes (circumstances) by themselves sound really bad. However, when you place those notes with other notes, the result is a beautiful harmony.
So today move towards God. Allow what you are concern, worried, scared, angry about to move you toward God, not away from God. All too often we use those feelings to act out some behavior that is not good for us or others in our lives, we do not live in harmony, but torn up and tied up in knots inside. Work on turning those things into prayer and meditations that lead you toward God, to think like God on what is good and beautiful.