Sunday, April 5, 2015

For a long time we were in the dark. We continued to run from our Father, ever since the falling. That day that we decided not to trust Him and to go our own way, even though He gave us every reason to follow His. We were children, disobeying the parameters meant to keep us from harm and heartbreak. We decided we knew better than the One who made it all, the One who always was, and always will be. We committed treason against our King and Creator. Then started the running.

We continued to move away, not entirely certain why we were doing it. Maybe at first it was out of guilt or shame for the things we had done. Then perhaps that guilt turned to bitterness and anger toward our Father, whom we let down, whom we betrayed. "Who was He to make the rules"? "Who was He to tell us what to do"?

The further we ran the more we became about ourselves. We put high the things we wanted and put low the One we needed. We made much of ourselves and declared that we were our own gods. That we had control over the world we did nothing to create. We took what we wanted, then murdered to keep it. We built ourselves up, made much of our own, and with bitter obstinacy shook fists at the sky.

We grew farther from Him still. We continued to build our debt of wickedness. We chose to be greedy and vain. We murdered brothers and sisters over pieces of ground and bits of metal. We made war on nations and drank the blood of our enemies. In our eyes we were great despite the darkness we burned on our souls. We decided that we deserved to be gods. We deserved to kill, and steal, and rape freely, without punishment. We deserved no consequences, because in our eyes we diluted what was wrong and fooled into thinking it was right. We truly and hopelessly lost. But, too foolish to realize it.

From the beginning of our rebellion, God stayed his hand. He warned that our disobedience would lead to death. The firsts of His mercies were that death did not strike us the moment we turned from Him. He could have wiped the slate clean and started over. He could have eradicated us from time in that moment. He chose not to. A Father's love for His children kept us from receiving the punishment we deserved.

Judgment of the guilty was withheld. Stayed for a time. Despite the debt of sin we continued to accrue. Each wicked choice we made built stronger the wall between us and the Father who loved us. And yet, he remained patient. Working the terrible things against Him and each other into good. Even in our attempts to sabotage, His plan remained perfect. His rescue mission was secure.

God knew that the things we had done separated us from Him forever. There was no turning back; there was no ritual that we could do to make ourselves and our home whole again. We tried, so many times. We tried to fix the gap ourselves. When we could not do it, we created false gods in hopes that they could. Some of us were too ashamed, or too stubborn to ask our Father for help, some of us forgot he was there at all. Even then, He was working for us. He was establishing the time and place to fix this brokenness.

Because there was no way we could every pay our debts. Because there was no way we could fix ourselves, fill our holes, He came to do it. He made Himself into the flesh of man. He lowered Himself to come to us. Because He, Jesus was God he lived a perfect human life. He had no sin or wickedness in Him. His soul did not have the black stains that we all contained. He grew and lived amongst us. He dwelled, ate, slept, taught, and performed miracles that only God could with us.

Because He was God and because He was perfect He was able to fix our broken world. He was able to rescue us from the pit of sin we cast ourselves in. We captured Him almost to the point of death. We spat on and mocked Him. A great fever of wickedness and sin overcame us. And even then, our Father was working it into good. On a hill we executed the man named Jesus. We nailed His flesh and bones to a tree and left Him there to die. We watched as His last breaths poured out of Him. Unknowingly fulfilling the plan of our Father to rescue us, to make us whole again.

We did not know it then but in that movement, the debt we made, the crimes we committed were pardoned. The wrath that we so justly deserved from the beginning was poured out from God onto God so that all that we destroyed could be fixed again. Every sin we ever committed or will commit was and is forgiven. Our debts wiped clean. The separation between us and our Father destroyed.

This reunion was made complete three days later. Jesus, who was dead, breathed in life again. He stayed among us, spending forty more days on this earth. Then in front of many of us ascended back into heaven, taking His rightful place in His kingdom.

This is the good news, this is the Gospel. All the brokenness and hurt in us can be made new. We can be made whole. Creation cries out for renewal. We wait patiently for Jesus to return and finish His restoration of the earth. There will come a day where all the darkness we have in us will be gone forever. Death will be no more. Things will go back to the perfection of its original state. Eternity spent in glory of our loving Father.

Friday, April 3, 2015

I have been thinking a lot lately about the finite nature of life. I know this is not something that people generally like to talk about. In fact, most people spend a lot of time and energy trying to forget it.

We like to fool ourselves. That time, is limitless and death is something so far away that it can’t be seen. Reality shows that death is something that comes incredibly fast, for some even faster! We either live out our lives into a ripe old age, wondering where the time has gone in the end. Or, we could die tomorrow or five minutes from now. That is the thing about death, it is illusive.

I don’t say these things to try and be dark or depressing. In fact I am trying to bring things into a perspective, that could actually be freeing! Our culture is so terrible with how we manage our time. We spend our whole lives trying to push through it to get to places in the distance, then we wonder where it all went!

I have been trying to recognize every moment as the gift that it is. I am reminding myself that this minute, this hour, this day is going to come and go. I will never see it again after this. I try to appreciate all the time God gives me. I never know what is going to happen on my way to someplace, or if I am going to wake up after my head hits the pillow that night. Time is such an incredible privilege!

This really brings things down to earth for me. We all long for some kind of recognition, or our lives to be extraordinary. In one hundred years it is extremely likely that no one will know who I was as a person. It is far more likely that in two hundred years no one will even know I existed! Even the popular celebrities of today will face this. For all the fuss people make over them they are here, and will be gone in a blink of an eye. We all fade into the nameless-ness over time.

So what am I worrying about that really needs no worry. My job? My finances? My mark on the world? My mortality? And, what am I not giving enough time to? My God, my wife, my children, my friends? What would I do with every second that I recognize that I can never ever get back.

So knowing all this I have begun to try and remind myself of the importance of time and the need to recognize the gifts I am given in the tiny moments that I am trying to push through. I try to remind myself, that the moment I am in is here and is going to be gone forever! I try to remind myself that the day is an opportunity to make a difference in the people’s lives around me. That it is a chance for God remind me of his love and his purpose, to commune and know him deeper! A chance to love on my wife and kids! Another chance to choose important things!

As a follower of Jesus, I believe in the existence of eternity. Because of the fall, our physical bodies are limited. Our time on this planet is a flash when it was meant to be unending. Knowing this is not an excuse to check out. How we live our lives and run our races matter. Keeping a perspective of limited physical time, helps clarify what is and is not important. How we treat each other matters. How we make each other feel, matters. The things we make ultimate are often things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Money, possessions, the fickle emotion of happiness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it is easier not to sweat the small stuff when you have an eternal perspective. It’s easier to know what is important when you remind yourself that your time on earth is limited, and could be gone tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bad Attitudes

I want to complain. It is my natural go to thought. I wake up and the first thing I think about is how tired I am. I want to write about how "hard" things are for me. Like somehow everything that is wrong with me and wrong with my day, makes me more interesting. If I am honest it's probably an automatic way to try and seek attention, even though it never works.

The truth is I have no right to complain. I am lucky to be breathing when I wake up in the morning, for my heart to be beating. This means that God still has purpose for me, a plan. I have a beautiful wife, two beautiful kids. My basic needs are met on a daily basis and even my unnecessary wants. I live in a country where I am aloud to express my opinion, exercise my faith, without worrying about having my door kicked in and being dragged off, never to be seen again. I am blessed.

The biggest blessing I have is my salvation in Jesus Christ. I have done a lot of running away and procrastinating when it comes to God. He has been patient with me, drawing me close, even when I did not deserve it. I'm blessed with the knowledge of Him, and how He made the world to work. The meaning of life is so simple and beautiful, and yet it eludes so many. My faith is a gift, nothing I have done brought me here. I was not interested in truly knowing Jesus, and he saved me anyway!

Complaining is something I do automatically but it is not something I need to dwell in. I can choose to pass over damaging thoughts. I can choose to think about the good things I have, instead of the momentary issues I am going through. Some days I may win, some days I may lose. I get new grace every morning, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Place

I needed a place. 

A place to organize and write down my thoughts and ideas. I have what you could call a thinking problem. I know that putting the whirling mass of ideas, thoughts, opinions, and daydreams into spoken word is something that I struggle with. I have always written things down a lot better than trying to communicate them from brain to mouth. I have so many things that I feel would be beneficial for me to get them out. 

I don't really expect this blog to become something people read. I don't mind if they do, but I don't have any dreams for it. It is mostly for me. So if you happen to actually read it please know that I am writing without any kind of filter. A filter that I would usually use in order to keep from offending, one that I use a lot in my other social interactions. I am  just kind of dump everything out here. And hopefully, by dumping things out, I can actually get a little bit of organization in my mind.

You see, I tend to picture my mind as a storm. A tornado of some sort. My thoughts whirl around and I get them a little bit at time until they are ripped from me and my focus moves to something else. They do circle around, but you can probably guess this makes things work out a lot slower than if I could keep one thought for as long as I wanted/needed.

 I think that's why writing is so helpful, because it helps pull my focus onto what I am thinking. The storm subsides and I can get an idea out. 

I don't exactly have a good past with blogs. My past is a graveyard of forgotten then deleted blogs. This I hope will be different, but guarantees are pretty limited. 

So that being said, this is the end of my first entry here.