Thursday, October 28, 2010

Live Like We Mean It!

I'd like to pick up on a quote from my most recent post to this blog - "In this moment, anything is possible"....

It's a great concept. I used the phrase to describe a pivotal point in the history of the United States. But, in and through Jesus, it's true every single day.

Sometimes we engage situations that are - by definition - life changing; I'm talking about things such as beginning a new job, taking marriage vows, the birth of a new child, paying off a huge debt, becoming a committed Jesus-follower for the first time. It's fairly easy to see how such pivotal experiences set up the potentiality for new possibilities.

But what I'm talking about today is the vast and largely untapped potential vested in each and every moment of our day-to-day lives!

  • Too many people let even the big opportunities pass by, and they miss out on what is possible even in face of a huge change; instead of moving forward, they let the old patterns continue to hem in their lives... That's tragic on so many levels.
  • But we don't have to wait for The New Year... or Moving to a new town... Joining another church... Starting a different job... BECAUSE THE MOMENT IS NOW!!!
This is the heart of "Live like we mean it". Because God is inviting us to New Life. Today. Right now. Every "right now".

Because of Jesus, in THIS moment, anything is possible!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In this moment... anything is possible!

This is not the easiest blog to keep up! The page was established to go along with my third book "The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian." The idea was for an interactive blog, where book readers would come to share their thoughts about faith, and where the author (that's me) would respond, facilitate conversation, and generally engage in dialog with readers.

Nice idea, but it hasn't happened. Almost no-one has come to the page in response to the prompts inside and on the back cover of my book. So... what to do? Here the page sits, and it does generate some occasional traffic.

I was thinking about this just a couple of days ago at Appomattox, the site of the final series of battles and maneuvers that marked the end of America's Civil War. I was wondering about what message to share on this blog - and it has to be different, not the same as my daily musings at A life Examined....

Appomattox was a chance to begin over. In fact, the terms Grant offered Lee were amazingly generous. Soldiers from the North shared food and supplies with Confederates. President Lincoln looked for unity and forgiveness and reconciliation. There didn't have to be any more hate...

But once the ball got rolling, and Lincoln was assassinated, and the tendency of people to act selfishly kicked in, and politics began to have their way, well, things didn't go so much as planned at the outset of peace.

Look at the photograph! Imagine that road, lined with 6,000 Union soldiers. Now see if you can add in 28,000 Confederates, marching along to lay down their weapons and their ammunition and their battle-flags. Now see if you can visualize General Chamberlain as he orders his men, "Present.... arms!" And 6,000 Yankees lift their weapons in respect to the defeated Southerners.

In that moment, anything was possible.

Isn't it like that when we chose to follow Jesus? We limp into the presence of God, defeated and desperate. Then, instead of contempt, Jesus lifts us up! Our spirits are restored and - in that moment - anything is possible...

So why do we back away from reconciliation and continue to isolate ourselves? Why do we continue to limp along like we have no resources at our disposal? Why don't we live in the fullness and the joy of the renewed relationship? Why are we afraid to change?

These are some of the questions we must face if we are to move away from a part-time faith and into Real Life With Christ.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The view from the mountain...

Mount Washington, New Hampshire! There's nothing like being on top of the world! Mount Washington advertises "The World's Worst Weather!" - but the experience was well worth the sudden plummet to around 12 degrees F. The views were spectacular and the clarity was other-worldly.

Mountain top experiences are wonderful, but then we get to live back down in the valley most of the time. The key is to understand that God is as much a part of our day-to-day lives as he is in those amazing moments of clarity and perspective.

So today I'm looking up at the mountain (from the deck of our vacation condo). I can't see near as much as I did yesterday, but I'm resting with confidence in the knowledge that everything God showed me on the mountain is still 100% true. Maybe even more so, because day I'm living in the truth of yesterday's mountaintop experience.

Peace and blessings - DEREK

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration for my Holy and Faithful Friends....

Both my Sunday morning class and my Sunday evening small group are in the process of reading Paul's Letter to the Colossians. I especially love the opening greeting. "To the holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ at Colosse: Grace and Peace to you from God our Father."

When I first said, "Wouldn't it be cool if the Apostle Paul walked in here and said, Good morning, holy and faithful friends," there was a general murmur of dissent. More than one of of my Sunday morning group said there was no way they could be accurately described as holy.

I appreciate the humility, but fact is most of us misunderstand the meaning of the word holy. Holy simply means to "set apart" for something special. So, this week, I asked for some examples of how my friends had responded to the imperative to be holy... to walk in the fact of their holiness... to act and interact proactively in a faithful response... to live as if being holy was a fait accompli....

They shared some remarkable stories. So this week, for "homework", I have asked everyone to keep the image of "holy and faithful" front and center in their consciousness. Because there is a lot of power in proactive belief. Seeing ourselves - positively - as people both commissioned and equipped to be holy and faithful will likely produce observable results.

And it doesn't matter what we're up to, who we're with, and what circumstances are at play. Our mission is still the same, simple and clear cut. Live in the truth of our salvation. We have been commissioned to participate in "Kingdom Life". Kingdom living necessarily involves walking in the light as children of the light.

It's Monday morning, holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and Peace to you from God our Father.