Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
It does have to do with kissing....and maybe even Holy kissing.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:12
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I'm a regular "lurker" at Grant's blog. I've never met Grant but I have come to respect him through his writing. (I would even encourage you to read his blog regularly....more so than mine!) Grant is a follower of Christ, husband, father, former youth pastor and a new lead pastor. I also believe he is a builder - of relationships and disciples and that he is helping to speed the breaking through of God's Kingdom in the here and now.
When I read the post about the phone call he received from a school district employee regarding his son.....
....it made me joyful. Being the parent of 4 children I can relate to what it's like to get calls like that. Starting off from "Oh no, what's my son done?" and ending at "WOW, that's what MY son has done!" is a great day.
....it made me hopeful. As a Christian, reading about the impact of our attitudes and our serving of others reminds me again it's not about what goes on inside the walls of our churches.
....it made me wonder. How do I respond when someone asks why I do/don't participate in something. And I got hung up on the phrase "Because, I love Jesus". And it has continued to resonate...convict....grow....and just won't leave me. As I have tossed that phrase around in my head I have come to love it. (Yes, you can put the well deserved "Well, duh" in right here.)
"Because I love Jesus" - takes the focus off of me and shines it onto Christ. When I make a God honoring decision and I'm in a position to share the "why" behind that decision I'm tempted to say "because it's the right thing to do (probably true)" or "because that's how I roll (okay, I don't ever say this...I'm too old!)". But if I say "because I love Jesus" then it's not because of MY rightousness....spirituality....individual convictions - it's because of the one who has transformed me and shown me a better way. It immediately points to Christ - opens up the opportunity for others to say "What? - c'mon...are you kidding me" and enter into a conversation that isn't focused on me but on what Christ has done for me. And how cool is that. The chance for seeds to be planted and lives to be changed and relationships to be built.
So, as a Dad, I want to be sure to share that phrase with my kids. To give them that "handle" to use in their conversations. And to continue to use it myself. And that when the phone rings, and it is my child's school......well I can hope can't I?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Fasting: While I don't have a regular schedule that I follow for fasting, it is one discipline that I have found to be very powerful and healthy. (Which of course begs the question why I don't make this a regular habit...hmmm.) Some of the benefits I have found of fasting include:
- Space - by not worrying about what, when, with whom I am going to eat it adds HOURS to my day. Hours that I can use to ponder and/or listen for God.
- Focus - as I turn away from food it automatically reminds me to turn toward God. Without stress, guilt, or other baggage - my focus on God seems to be more "pure" during periods of fasting.
- Humility - this is important for me because I am wired to seek attention. When fasting, I usually have to answer the question "Why aren't you eating lunch?" and then I have a choice - to build myself up (I'm going super-spiritual today, baby!) or to deflect the question with something like...."I'm eating later". To go through the day connected to God...but not overtly sharing that and turning it into a day of "look how hard I work at my relationship with God" day is important for me.
- Fasting also reminds me of God's abundance - that I can get thru a day relying on Him and knowing that He provides, prepares, and perseveres with me through all situations.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
- Letters Across the Divide by David Anderson and Brent Zuercher - I actually have an autographed copy of this book! Apparently I picked it up in 2003. It is a true story of two friends, one African American and the other white, that explores racism, friendship, and faith thru a series of letters they exchange.
- same kind of different As me. by Ron Hall and Denver Moore - I just finished this book a week or so ago and it totally captivated me. It is a true story about a homeless man who started out life as a sharecropper and an upscale art dealer who end up becoming friends. The paths that their lives take to introduce them to each other and the relationships that form because of it are fascinating.
- the beautiful struggle by ta-nehisi coates - I read this book last year probably because I saw someone post about it or read a review in a magazine. It is a beautifully written book. Honestly much of the language that was used was unfamiliar to me - some urban terms, some hip hop, just different. But the phrasing, use of language was too engaging to put down. You should read this review to really get a flavor for this true story of a young black man's journey to adulthood in Baltimore.