I remember a Christmas when, after all the gifts were received, it still felt empty. Presents cannot be what Christmas is about – anymore that’s just another stressor around Christmas time. Christmas was supposed to be a time of love, joy, and peace. Not running around to find the last gift for every last person.

Advent Conspiracy poses a mostly forgotten idea. Worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all. 

Their website explains this idea better than I can, and they point to some other websites with great alternative ideas. Let’s help people this Christmas, instead of giving gifts that are wasted.

Running the Race

October 12, 2008

Eric Liddell was a strong Christian known for his unique running style. He was an outstanding Scottish athlete who won many races. We can learn a few things from his race.

Crazy windmill – His style of running was described as a “windmill.” He waved his arms as he ran, not exactly orthodox. Be yourself when you run the race, even if others criticize you. It’s not how you run the race, but the very fact that you run for God.

Raised head to the sky – As Eric ran, he many times closed his eyes and turned them up towards heaven. We need to focus, not on our earthly goal, but ultimately on God.

Speed – Eric was an incredibly fast runner. Life is temporary, it is a race.. run your best.

Manly Emotions?

October 8, 2008

Recently, I’ve found myself to be a lot more emotional. It’s funny, the picture we hold of a “man” is a nicely tanned, thin, ripped, masculine man. You know the type – at least from pictures. You know what’s weird? Jesus wasn’t in that picture. 

The Bible says there was nothing to make him attractive to men. (He wasn’t the blue-eyed, caucasian, Americanized Jesus we pretend sometimes. He was probably strong, but not excessively or showy.) I bet when he was on earth he was just like you or me. Weird thought, huh?

I once heard; “To be truly strong, you must learn to be gentle.” (or something like that, I’m paraphrasing.) Basically – it isn’t about big muscles and fake smiles. To be more of a man you need to try to be more like the man. Jesus wasn’t any body builder or anything, he was loving.

What’s a man to you? Someone who is pressing 200 pounds or is holding doors open?

Rotten Treasure Box

September 18, 2008

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:6-10)

We are like an old treasure box. Rotten wood, rusty hinges, buried in dirt. But within us lies a great treasure – worth more than gold and rubies. We as Christians have a message. We are broken people, tired, and not the best-looking. But we should not let this keep us from sharing this treasure with others.

Forget what others think about your appearance. You are a rotten treasure box.

Lights and Sound

September 15, 2008

One part of me wants to give up on this foolish living. The other half of my brain fights for some future. Whenever I start thinking that I’m “something” I’m usually (immediately) humbled by some thought or stupid thing I do. I’m not that great.

At times I want to think I’d like to be famous. To be recognized and “adored.” Foolish, fool-hardy, fool’s talk. I really don’t want that. Frankly, I don’t think I’d make that good of a famous figure – I’m shy, find it hard to connect with people I don’t know, and I continually mess up. I’m not worth idolizing.. not that any of our idols are.

It seems with the more skill I discover and develop I am, again, torn in two directions. One part of me is happy to finally be doing something, it’s great! The other half still tears my self-esteem to the dirt, it says I shouldn’t be here. Why should I be so blessed? I know tons of people so much better than I.

But I digress. What is fame, but a mere image that people create of another person in their mind. Humans putting other humans on pedestals, even though we all end up on the same level after the sun is asleep. Fame is but a flame, flickering high and dying away with the wind.

Blank White

September 11, 2008

What is it like to be perfect? Every thought that passes your mind is pure and beautiful. You never hurt a person’s feelings. The words just flow from your mouth like the waters from the sea. People flock to your strong voice and amiable character. You never sin. Perfection. That must have been what it was for Jesus.
Did he ever get tired of doing everything right? If all he knew was good, then he would never think of doing wrong. But then, he knew all our pains and worldly afflictions. How does one bathe in mud and remain cleaner than newly fallen snow? Perhaps this is it – purely thought.Our souls are created pure, but misguided at times – it is the Spiritual side of us. Since our souls are lost, they mislead our bodies in word and deed. When we take on our human shell it covers our soul and partially guards it from the mud, as a raincoat keeps you from wetness. The human exterior is covered in sin, and seeps through our “coat” and taints our soul. When we are saved our soul is finally cleansed.  

Jesus’ soul was “found” from the beginning, so it never had the chance to drive him off-course. He began with a soul that knew the way – especially considering he was the way. Thus he was able to feel all things without worry of dirt. He knew what was right and did so. . .but I’m still confused myself.

This is my attempt to understand.

True

September 9, 2008

We’ve all been looking for something
we know it’s out there, waiting
we wander from day to day
looking, searching for something new
yet we still linger
we still wonder
is there more than this sunup, sundown 
and nothing in between?

I know you’ve been looking
I’m at your side, my eyes flickering
where is the fire we thought we had
was it only an ember
a meaningless moment
meant to die away with the others
are we ever to be fulfilled by anything?

I’ll tell you
it’s not in films
made of sounds and colors
it’s not in food
even the most elegant
it’s not in people
no matter their status quo
it’s not in late nights
it’s not in walks and oceans and skies
it’s not music or pictures

It’s everywhere
it’s waiting
for you

Realize true love, true life
it’s not where you’re living, 
how you’re living
it’s why you exist
it’s love