Friday, May 28, 2010

Thought of the day

Today was a good day. Got plenty accomplished, not a lot but enough. Mission House is almost complete (pictures and explanation to come soon). Our first intern class moves in this September. Crazy exciting.
Today was a good day for evaluation and reflection. My busy day consisted of driving from one end of the city and back...twice, so I got a fair amount of time to think. The thought that continually puzzled me was, "what are things in modern day life that I would identify as compassion?" I thought through this for a while and came up with some good ideas but I think the realization that I came to was that compassion like very few other things in life is one of those actions that you cant really limit to a spectrum. Compassion, while incredibly easy, is one of those acts that is so great and so much larger than our imaginations that we cant try to categorize it or force it into lists. I guess for me compassion is just one of those things that I hope I get to encounter and pass on each and everyday, no act in particular.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Devil Made Me Do It.

"Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14)

There is a convenience that comes naturally with blaming things on the devil. We, or at least I, have many different ways of saying the ultimate cop-out, "the devil made me do it." Call it spiritual warfare, call it what you wish but what it comes down to is that too often we seem to neglect responsibility for our actions and chalk it up so demonic intervention of the underworlds divinity. I am terrible when it comes to this. -- I do truly believe that as Christ followers we come under attack and must always be on guard, Satan is trying to creep in at all times, I understand that. -- But, I also don't believe that we should relieve ourselves of responsibility because times are tough. I am the worst when it comes to sinning and ignoring the voice inside of me that tells me to stop at the same time. I feel that I have an incredible intuition to act on my gut which gives me absolutely no reason to blame daily sin that is habitual on some force that is greater than I. I would agree that my sin is influenced by darkness but I am not willing to give Satan enough credit to say that he has control over me. I need to be "an instrument of righteousness" and if I am not it is because I am not cutting it, not because "the devil made me do it."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What's the Difference?

There are so many things going on right now that I am very excited for and I realized the other day that I have for some reason neglected to document any of it. With that said I am going to reenter the blogosphere as an outlet for thought in fear that if I keep all of my ideas and thoughts, no matter how bad, trapped up inside I may just go loco.
So first things first. I have had the opportunity to follow a dream laid on my heart. I can truly tell you that I believe that it is a complete divine commissioning and I get to act on it. Its a trip. I am starting a cross-cultural internship program for college-aged students in KCK. Its an opportunity to live in community and experience the love of Christ by being the hands and feet of his exciting ministry. The best part about being a missionary (for lack of a better term) is the demand to rely on people. I will be frank in saying that more so than any other time in my life everything is completely out of my control... I mean my stinkin salary is in the hands of grateful donors who believe in what God is doing through Mission House. Oh yea, the organization is called Mission House. Cool, way more on that some other time.
In my new experience with Mission House I have had the opportunity to meet some really incredible people. I feel absolutely blessed by the people that God has put on my path. Everyone from experienced church planters and progressives of international missions to unemployed illegal immigrants and refugees. I truly feel as if I have the greatest job in the world. God chose me specifically for this!
The other day one of these new friends was asking me a question about a parable in the Gospel of Luke that I will admit is very difficult to grasp especially for those who do not understand the style of Jesus' teachings. The question was about Luke 9: 57-62.

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good‑by to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

The young lady whom I was speaking with posed her confusion and puzzlement due to the fact that Jesus seemed insensitive to the situation that these two men wanted to be with there families. Understandable. I was a bit thrown off to be quite honest when she brought up her question, It wasn't the typical investigative setting but it did get me to think about and wrestle with this passage.
First, I don't think Jesus was very sensitive when it came to his ministry, as far as compassion is concerned he is the most sensitive person to ever walk the face of the earth, as far has his ministry is concerned he is the most focused and passionate man to ever walk the face of the earth. He got it that he was on a mission.

I loved playing baseball as a kid. Absolutely loved it. I was awkward and no one was ever overally
excited to be on my team but I truly enjoyed the game for what it is, a game. There is a science to baseball and that fascinates me. I would try to play baseball every single day in my backyard with my neighbors. Here is the first part that eludes to the science of the sport, variables. The neighbor kids that I grew up around are the variables, if they had things to do that they felt were more important then there was no baseball.
Spiritual life is similar. We are the variables in Jesus' ministry. If we start our ministry with excuses the likelihood of us ever making it to the game are pretty slim. Jesus was making the point that if today you want to leave to say good bye to your family then tomorrow you will find some other loose-end that needs tying up before you commit to following. We must remember that Jesus wasn't insensitive he was passionate and expectant and the inability to commit is not a trait that He looks for on our résumé.

What a great question she posed.
I love my job, have I said that already?