Warm, bright sun
Waking up to scents and seasons of new beginnings
Stretching and moving
Raised face to feel the toasty rays
Vibrant and alive
Arms reaching upward
Chill in the air
Gathering clouds blanket the sky
Head dropped down
Questions and doubt
Pages and pages of words
Arms still reaching…reaching
I am still growing
This morning I did a quick Facebook check before heading out the door and found status after status complaining about the latest changes made to Facebook.
Honestly, my initial thought was, “Are you kidding me?” – as in, Are you kidding me that people are complaining about Facebook? See, Facebook is free to use. If you don’t like the changes made, whether it be in formatting or privacy policies, you can delete your account and join another social networking site (or not). Pretty simple stuff.
I made the decision to make a statement regarding these complaints. My statement was thus: “If all of the Christians who have been complaining about the Facebook changes would get this worked up about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, then we might be getting some kingdom work done.”
My intent was not to ruffle feathers or cause debate, but I knew that statement might open the door to opinions differing from my own. And that’s absolutely fine. I would have to say that I can agree to disagree with folks on A LOT of things. But when it comes to kingdom work and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I’m going to have to stand my ground…even if people disagree with me or don’t necessarily like what I have to say.
See…I view the changes made to Facebook as what may be termed as a “first world problem”. In other words, it is only something that people in the Western world would complain about. Let’s see…some other first world problems…”I missed ‘The Bachelor’ tonight! Nobody spoil it for me!!”….”I cannot get cell reception on campus!”…”I don’t like the worship music that is used on Sunday morning.”…these are just examples. Western thought is so wrapped up in “me”, “I’, “mine” that we often cannot see past the tip of our noses to the others around us.
If you haven’t noticed lately, people around us are dying and going to hell. Bottom line. Truth. It is happening locally, around your city, around your state, around the country, and around the world. So what are we doing about it? This is not to say that you cannot have a TV show that you like to watch, or sports events that you attend or view on a regular basis…it is even okay to spend some time connecting and sharing with others on places like Facebook (gasp). What is NOT okay is being so settled in our blessings that we complain when something with NO ETERNAL VALUE changes! When we are so wrapped up in ourselves and what belongs to us and our stuff that we overlook the fact that we have SO MUCH MORE than so many others…there is a disconnect, there is a problem. What I pointed out in my status update today was not in regard to time management (although I could discuss that in a completely different blog post). Rather it was in regard to getting worked up, because I read some status updates today from people who were worked up about Facebook changing stuff up once again. And I thought to myself – If we, as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, got that worked up about those around us that are lost, we might see a lot more people coming to know Christ as their personal Savior. And, if you wanted to apply some time management thinking into that, you could say that if believers took the time they spent complaining about “stuff” and spent it on the lost more people would get to know about Jesus. Hey, remember where these thoughts originated…in my mind and in my spirit. They are speaking to me, perhaps even more so than anyone else! No pointing fingers here. Instead, I’m reaching out a hand. Maybe I’m raising my hand first. Because I know that I slip and complain about things that have no eternal value. So perhaps I should re-state: If we, as the people of God, would spread the Gospel with the some umph and passion that we complain with, more people would come to know Jesus.
Think about the book of Exodus, how God rescues the Israelites from slavery and oppression. He starts them on a journey (and is going along with them) to a land that He will deliver into their hands. A really good land that will be theirs to keep. He makes sure they have everything they need….but they still complain. We are modern-day children of Israel prone to complain about stuff, what we have, and what we do not have…when God has laid out before us every single thing that we NEED.
We are a blessed people in this country. To those who have been given much, much is expected and required. So let’s stop complaining about how they’ve changed Facebook yet again, and pour out blessing on a world that needs to know God.
…that I am not perfect. I know no human being that is perfect. No one has perfect theology or perfect beliefs or perfect opinions. No one denomination has it all completely right. I open my mouth and wonder where the words that tumble from my tongue have come from. I speak stupidly just as quickly as any of my brothers or sisters in Christ. I mess up. We mess up. We are broken people, and the only way we are made whole and beautiful is through Jesus Christ. I’m not holier than you and you are not holier than me. Jesus is THE Holy One. Any holiness or righteousness attributed to us is in Christ…grace…mercy. Only these…only He makes us worthy.
God, have mercy on us still. Please do not remove your patient mercy from our lives.
I am amazed by the flight of time.
As a child, summers felt like an eternity and being at school what just about the longest chunk of time ever. Grown-ups would tell me that when I became an adult time would go by faster. I wasn’t quite sure I believed them.
Ten years ago, I stepped into the shower as I was preparing to get ready to head to the campus of Union University for a Tuesday class that I had. It was my final semester, I was living off-campus, and things were good. Being the cheesy person that I am, we had a shower radio. I turned on the radio to listen to my normal shower favorite. They were talking about a plane hitting a building in New York City. That just sounded absurd to me, and I immediately thought of a small plane. A tiny plane. Then the DJs spoke in distinctly shocked voices, telling us that another plane had hit the other World Trade Tower. The getting ready process is a blur. Probably the quickest I have ever gotten ready to go to school. I called my mother in Norfolk, because my father was still working at the time at the world’s largest naval base. Then news came about the Pentagon…a field in Pennsylvania. My father’s base was on lock-down: no one in and no one out. I rushed to campus and was surprised at how many people had heard nothing about it. Within 30 minutes we were converging into the University Chapel – praying for safety, praying for lives to be saved, praying to wake up from this nightmare.
Those grown-ups were right. When you become an adult, time flies. It slips through your fingers like hourglass sand, but unlike the sand found in an hourglass, it cannot be picked up and held again. You can’t go back and hold that same sand in your hand again. Life becomes a daily picking up of new sand. I look into my hands and cannot comprehend that ten years have come and gone. Am I sure it wasn’t just a couple of years ago that I heard that harrowing news coming out of the shower radio as I was facing a new day? Ten years? Really?
So many people think that time heals all wounds. That is balderdash. I only know of one way to real healing – the kind of healing that really does take place and can last, even if a scar remains. Healing is HIM. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. The things that wound our hearts…that wound our spirits…can only be cured by Jesus. We can try to drown those spirit wounds. We can attempt to philosophize them into wholeness again. We can cling to another person to fill the void and hope that they will be the one who will stitch our hearts back together again. Those things never work, ya’ know. Only Jesus can heal a wounded spirit. Only Jesus can truly heal a broken heart. Jesus is the only One Who loves us enough to really fix us.
Any pain felt in my heart of hearts…any anger that rolled through my mind…after September 11, 2001, Jesus has completely healed. But I know there are so very many who have lived wounded, defeated lives for ten years because of what happened on the morning of that day. Truth is, if you are wounded and defeated you’re not really living. The call from Jesus is, “Come to Me. Let Me take on your wounds. Hand over your anger, prejudice, and bigotry to Me. Now that this is done…rest…and live.
In real life…
Real life brings to mind the everyday part of life. There is laundry to do, cleaning to be done, I need to top off the gas in my truck, I’ve got studying to do, oh yeah! I need to finish that book for my book review, need to wash my hair, are there dishes in the sink…again? That seems like real life.
But because of who I am in Christ, real life revolves around Him. God. Only in Him do I have real life…life that goes beyond the boundaries of this world. Because the Holy Spirit dwells within me this life is real. I have a purpose for living. God has a plan for my life. Jesus died so that I could have life and have it abundantly. For me, real life is abundant life. If it is not, then there is a problem. And it is so easy to get caught up in what this world considers to be real life…what it says qualifies as a “real” life. Maybe looking a certain way, partying, buying into Madison Avenue and the lure of materialism, the people you know, the degrees on your wall, that corner office, the ring on your finger. None of this is REAL LIFE.
In Jesus, we have REAL LIFE. He is the only way, the only truth, and the only LIFE…REAL LIFE.
I am pursuing a degree where I am encouraged to write….every day. I think the idea of that is nice, but I cannot help but wonder what in the world I would write about daily. I would assume beforehand that most of what I would write would be mundane, with a few nuggets and pearls along the way. But if I am going to write every day I cannot escape the desire to write something that matters, either to me or others (mostly others). And it doesn’t help that my mind wanders over so many different topics at any given time. I have difficulty focusing on just one. When I cannot focus on one topic, I tend to meander into the day-to-day happenings. Fact is I could learn much from my daily musings, even if they are mundane to others. Plus I never know when God might use something in my everyday to touch the life of someone else. It seems odd that what we might consider to be mundane or boring could speak life into someone else, but it happens. That is one of the amazing ways God works.
So, I apologize in advance if you visit this blog and are bored with what I offer. Know that I want to write something that matters…and occasionally I will. And other times I will just write and think that I’m throwing out another dull post, but that one post may be something that changes a life for God’s glory.
p.s. I am going to the Living Proof Live simulcast this Saturday and I am SO EXCITED! I was wanting to go to the event in Baltimore at the end of this month, but I just cannot afford it right now. I am happy to have the simulcast to attend. I can probably guarantee that there will be a post about that eventually. 🙂