3.29.2010

world-views

there is one stream of thought that says what you feel is who you are. you cannot deny evolution, nature, nurture, and your inner being.

there is another stream of thought that says what you feel is who you once were. but through Christ, you are denying evolution, nature, nurture, and your inner being so that you can be more like Jesus.

you are not who your mom or your teachers or your pastors or your guilty conscience say you are.

you are who Christ says you are.

and that is His.

choose your world-view.

one leads to hope and growth.

the other leads to apathy, despair and death.

love and let yourself live, friends.

3.24.2010

why do you seek the living among the dead?

for those of you that know me, you know that i've spent the last few days traveling.

while driving by myself, i brought some good jams -- some old, some new -- ...music that I haven't really been able to listen to in the manner i would like, for lyrics and for bass-lines. :)

and i found myself really enjoying Derek Webb's newest cd: Stockholm Syndrome.

I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word. i am convicted, burdened, and hopeful as a result of his lyrics. I like the style. Electronica is fun. :)

Webb got huge press with the song, What Matter's More -- where he used the words, sh** and da**, and seemingly supports the GLBT community by telling all the "Christians" (who are calling out gay people for sin while "denying all the dying of the remedy") that their priorities are in the wrong place.

The songs are thoughtful and thought-provoking. I'm still trying to listen and sort them out.

Jena and Jimmy is incredibly intriguing ("if you give me your love, and i'll give you my love/gonna take one kiss to shut you up", but also possibly discussing Civil rights?); Spirit vs. Kick Drum is convicting ("I don't want the Spirit, i want a kick drum/I don't want the Son, I want a jury of peers/I don't want the Father, I want a vending machine")...how often we live that way.

But the song that has really struck me this week is Freddy, Please.

DWebb wrote it about Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church...you know them. The ones who picket at soldiers' funerals and proclaim that every problem we've had--every natural disaster and every death--is due to homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers.

There is a line in it that says,

"The stone's been rolled away/And you're picketing my grave for loving the things you hate/But why do you seek the living among the dead"

and, geez.

Yes.

We get frustrated with the world for not "doing holy things" but the holy things are not to be expected from people that don't know God! They are dead. Dead people can't do anything. They do what they can do. And that is to be dead.

It's different to call out a [person who wholly follows Christ] on having an abortion or being a drunk or fostering an illicit relationship than to call out a [person who finds no value or joy in Christ] - we are set apart to show people what life could look like in light of Christ. Joy, hope, peace, miracles, wholeness. Lives free of addiction, free of hate and malice, free of pride and bondage.

Living in community and in love.

And we picket the things that we say God says are wrong; we complain and get uncomfortable to be around them...and rightly so! They should have no part in our lives...but we cannot and do not have the authority to remove them from the lives of people who don't think that Jesus is the one way to wholeness. Only God can do that -- for the heart of every man is in His hand.

Our judgment of the world around us is putting the cart before the horse.

We want "them" to get to know Jesus, but to clean themselves up at the same time. Immediate gratification.

We want great stories to tell people, stories with bows on them. Stories like the ones that Billy Graham can tell--we said a few words and 100000 people came to know Christ.

But that isn't where the transformation into the life of Christ occurs.

It's happening today. Now, fifteen minutes from now, tomorrow, next week, and next year. We are seeking to be made new--transformed. We have stuff and ways that we think that are bad. They are of the world. Some of us struggle with gluttony or laziness. Some of us struggle with pride. Some of us struggle with sexual sins. Some of us struggle with wanting to meet our own needs over the needs of others, and some of us struggle with not taking care of ourselves, and to only care for other people.

Some of us struggle with all of the above.

But all of us struggle.






and we are learning.

we are growing.

we are fighting pains, addictions, and pressures that are not necessarily borne from our wrongdoings, but just from the very fact that we live in a fallen world. Rape, murder, natural disasters, accidents, incest, molestation, suicide, depression...we are constantly affected by these things and we didn't ask for them.

but we move on.

we fight.

every step is a battle.

but Christ is the center and the head.

we are to seek to live in a way that is wholly pure and directed towards being like Him.

as Christians, the only label we should allow on our life is "Christ-follower".

everything else:

Glutton
Sluggard
Homosexual
Adulterer
Cheater
Liar
Murderer
Deviant

is to be laid at His feet, and buried with Death.

Our fulfillment doesn't come in chasing the desires that our instigated by our flesh, but from chasing God.

We are not the world.

We must not seek the living among the dead.

But we must seek to bring the dead back to life.

And there is only One who can do that.

and while we wait and we seek to bring other people to this Love that we know,
we are to walk alongside our brothers and sisters who may falter, who may be stuck in sin and in bondage,

because we are often stuck in sin and bondage, too.

but there is hope for us,
and just like there is hope for us,
there is hope for our friends and family who feel there is no hope.

Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.
He came for the sick.
He came for the hurting.
He came to renew our minds and soften our hearts.

May we seek the same.

3.17.2010

BEARSTOCK

i am so frustrated about so many things right now.

mostly, i am sick.
secondly, i feel weighed down by complaints from myself and others. as i complain here. sorry.
thirdly, sometimes i feel like how we are supposed to live is so clear, and sometimes it just isn't.
fourthly, i have a lot to do.
fifthly, i don't know. my heart just feels heavy.

i suppose i should unpack a few things. i would like to. but mostly, i just wanted to share, somewhere, that i'm frustrated, and couldn't do it on twitter or facebook, because people actually read that and i didn't want to seem too complainy. ugh.

thanks for listening.

maybe i'll share something poignant here, soon.