Friday, December 23, 2011

Being ourselves all the time

As I walked outside recently, I saw--and heard--a young man singing. It wasn't like he was singing under his breath, mind you. No, he was singing loud enough for people several feet away to hear. Now I must admit that at first I was a bit embarrassed for him. After all, you just don't do that kind of thing, right? The more I thought about it, it seemed downright sad.

Not sad, as in he's a sad case for doing what he did. Sad, as in I'm a sad person for thinking like that. We're a sad society if we put down a person for doing what he or she loves (as long as it's not harmful in general, of course) outside of what's considered a "normal" setting.

I hope that for his sake he's had family and friends who encourage his giftedness in song (yes, he sang quite well). It sure seems that if he has been looked at oddly or even spoken to derogatorily, that hasn't slowed him down in expressing his love for music. Tragically, I would imagine that many--most--of us either stifle ourselves, or allow others to stifle us when our "song" yearns to be expressed in "abnormal" settings.

Imagine a world where a singer sings when they feel the spirit move them. Where I write the moment words start to come. Where my wife, a daycare teacher who dearly loves children and is so gifted with them, could just walk up to a group of toddlers wherever she sees them and bring smiles to their little faces. Where my stepson does a freestyle rap just because he wants to. Whatever the person's pleasure & talent, what if they could do what they loved when they loved to do it?

I realize, of course, we all have responsibilities that must be attended to. We can't always be singing, or writing, or teaching, or building. But maybe we can do a little more of those things than we do now.

We celebrate the birth of Christ in memory of God becoming flesh, and living and dying and rising again for our eternal hope. Maybe His life can be an example in that as He said what He said and did what He did, whenever and wherever, during His time on earth, His primary concern was that it all was for His Father's pleasure. We know He was mocked and insulted, and eventually abused and crucified, for being...well, Himself. And for those of us who put our trust in Him, our lives and our eternities are filled with so much more hope as a result.

Too often, however, we're more concerned with our temporal comfort and our acceptance by others, than by our often unrealized yet very real need to fulfill the deep longing within us by being and doing what God created us to do when and where possible (not just when and where we won't be ridiculed). I pray that as we remember the "rebel" Christ, and that young man who just did what was on his heart, we'll put a smile in God's heart when who we are is more evident throughout the day. May you all have a blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Helpless?: “My helpless friend, your helplessness is the most powerful plea which rises up to the tender father-heart of God. You think that everything is closed to you because you cannot pray. My friend, your helplessness is the very essence of prayer.” O. Hallesby

“So too the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance” (Romans 8:26 AMP).

Repost: The Most Important Institution in the World

I hope us believers can truly understand our true impact on the world around us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reducing worship to words

"But Nero looked carefully at Petronius, whose praises were desired by him always before every other, and who said,--
"'If it is a question of music, Orpheus must at the moment be as yellow from envy as Lucan, who is here present; and as to the verses, I am sorry that they are not worse, for I might find proper words to praise them'"  (Quo Vadis, pg 66).

Though this is describing the worship of the goddess Venus (to the dismay of Nero, who longed for such worship himself), I love how similar words ("as to the verses, I am sorry that they are not worse, for I might find proper words to praise them") could be used for how worship in the heavens for our Lord Jesus might be described. Human words can barely even begin to tell of God's glory. How amazing it will be when we Christians get to heaven and, in our glorified bodies, can so much more adequately express our adoration and love for God. As a writer who is always looking for the best words, and the best ways to arrange those words, it will be such a relief and a joy to finally "arrive."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Drowned by unbelief

"Hey, what are you doing"
"What do you mean? I'm going to walk over to there."
"To the other side of the lake?"
"What lake?"
"'What lake?' you ask? You don't see it? Well, you'll find out soon enough!"
"Whatever. I've heard people talk about lakes, know, the whole water thing. I just don't believe in all that."
"Yeah, I can kinda tell, judging by the dirt and grime all over you."
"I'm as clean as I want to be. Who needs this supposed 'water'?"
"OK, now I can understand how people who are poor, or physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves, might not be able to keep clean. But unless they have no concept of cleanliness, they'd most likely think if they were like you, they'd want to get cleaned up more if they could. You seem to have it together...uh, mostly."
"Well, other than not being able to get a job."
"Why were you turned down?"
"They keep saying I need to get cleaned up. And can you believe they tell me that as I wear my thousand dollar suit?"
"And don't bathe."
"Are we going back to that again? Look, it's time for my walk."
"Do you realize how deep it is, and how far you have to go?"
"(Glug glug)."
3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 3-4, 6; ESV)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New blog description

I updated it to be more clear about what this blog is about, and gave more info about the type of content I will be submitting. I welcome any comments, links, etc, that you feel will show forth the theme of what I'm trying to say (and I'm sure many of you can say it better than I can--hence the reposts I will put on here).