Life Con mi Familia.

July 29, 2010

So I have been living with my family the last few weeks.

On Saturday I am moving to an apartment with friends.  I am kinda sad about it actually.

It has been a year or since I have lived with my family.  And this time I’ve noticed that when you live with family, you learn a lot about yourself.

One thing about my family is that we are very vocal about what we think about one another.  So living with that and seeing that lets me see how my actions make me look to my family members.

Living with my family I have also learned that Luke has a hard time being woken up by my dad.  Which in turn wakes me up.

This summer I have learned a lot about being in a family.  The first part of the summer I was the co-leader of a team in another country, and that was a family learning experience itself.  And now this part of the summer I am relearning what it means to be in my biological family.

Being in a family is hard. You have to care about each other. You have to be around each other a lot whether you want to or not.  Like I mentioned earlier, one reason it’s really hard because you learn a lot about yourself.  Good and bad stuff.

You learn how you treat people.  You learn how you talk to people.  You learn how you react to situations.  You learn so many relational dynamics.

For example, this summer I realized that something my family does is this;  we will wrong a family member in some way, let’s say by teasing them,  then that person will approach the family member, or members and say “hey I don’t like that you said that to me.”

Now my family and I, will usually react by saying, “geez your sensitive”.

This is not cool.  Because basically we tell the person that we’re hurting that it is their own fault for being hurt.  Which may be true to some degree.  But I think if we were to really ask God what he wanted us to do in that situation, it would be to tell the family member we teased, sorry, instead of telling them too bad that hurts your feelings.

This is just one thing I have learned about being in a family.  Now that I have noticed that, I can take that and realize that I need to not do that to people in my life.

Being part of a family is so hard. But it’s worth it.  The pain, the apologies, are all worth it.

And the beautiful thing about Jesus is he wants us all to be family. Let’s be family.

These are just some things that have been on my mind.

Life Lost

July 22, 2010

Something that has been coming up in my thoughts and conversations a lot lately is the idea that God wants our heart.  Not just a little bit of it. But the whole thing.

Not only that idea but that God wants us to surrender our entire life to him.

This is where the Gospel stops being attractive I think.  If you go to people saying “well, yeah, God wants your whole life, he wants you to give up your life for him, I mean don’t kill yourself or anything for Him, but he wants you to do with your life what he wants to do with it.”

That may have sounded jumbled, and that’s because it was.  I feel like that’s how it always comes out in conversations though anyways.

But when we start to talk about this idea of giving up our whole life to God, that’s when I personally think the Good news about Jesus becomes quite unattractive.

I mean who really wants to say here, you can have my life. I know you could use it better than me.

However. That’s what Jesus wants us to say.  This idea of losing our life is part of the Gospel.

Personally I like it.

But sometimes I don’t like it.

I know, I know,  I need to make up my mind.

The reason I like it is that in the moments when I surrender my life completely to Christ, those are the best times for me as a person, I am the most emotionally stable, I hear from God the best, and I grow closer to God among many other things.

Now there are some problems once I surrender my life to Christ.  One problem is that I have to be constantly surrendering it. Not just once. But all the time.

I feel like every day, every hour, every few minutes even, I am faced with whether I am going to give God my life.

Because every day I am faced with options.  And a lot of those options are awesome things.  But a lot of those awesome things aren’t what God has for me.

A lot more often than not, those options are sinful things, things I want to turn to instead of God.  Things I think will fill or satisfy me more than God.

In each of those moments I have the opportunity to lose my life to God. Too often I choose to lose my life to myself, or to sin.

Another problem once we fully surrender is the enemy will blitz us with temptations, and all sorts of other bad stuff that just make life sucky.  And in those times it is even more difficult to tell God that he can have all of my life.  Because for me, it gets hard to surrender when I am being attacked.

Everyday I have to surrender my life to Jesus.  When I do that it’s the best life for me.  It is amazing how much different the state of my heart is when I am letting God do what he wants with my life rather than what I want.

That’s the main struggle, lose my life to God, who does with it amazingly brilliant things that I love with it.

Or

Live my life on my own, and I do stupid things that I hate and don’t really want.

Everyday I want to give God all of my heart. Even with the little things.  The things that we know matter, but treat like they don’t matter that much.

God, help me always surrender to you.

I am going to talk about a principle I love.

Here is a verse from 1 Corinthians 1:18.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

This verse has really been on my heart the last few months.  It’s because when hearing what people believe and why people reject Christ, I hear a lot of different answers.

Often I hear about how judgemental Christians are and how they just want to beat up gay people, and aren’t very smart at all. Stuff like that.  This way saddens me, because although those perspectives are true in some scenarios, it shows that those people don’t have a true view of Christ, or what following Christ really is about.  Somewhere down the line, someone who claimed to be a Christian perverted the view of Christ for those people.

but sometimes

I hear a different perspective. I hear that this idea of Grace is just crazy.  That it doesn’t make sense that God would do everything we need to be in a relationship with Him. That it just sounds foolish and naive.

I love hearing this.

It may be because I am seeing a truth in the Bible come to life.

But I think it is mostly because the beauty of Grace is that to us as humans, it does seem foolish.  Why would we get something we don’t deserve? Why would God not make us jump through hoops? Love is why.

But the reason why I love when the cross is foolish to people simply because I think that they are starting to understand Grace a little bit more. They are starting to see that it is so opposite to the world we live in.  They also usually identify in themselves that they have sin and this forgiveness is something they have not earned.

So to me, I feel like those people are on the right track.  And I feel like I am starting to see a beautiful process of the realization of needing a savior.  Rather than a person just having a distorted view of the cross, it is like they are starting to understand the cross.

There is another side to the coin though. The passage says it foolishness to those who are perishing.  That’s scary.

Recently I hung out with an old friend from high school who I hadn’t hung out with in years. And I forgot how much I loved this person.  And I just got this sense in me that I want to spend eternity with this person.

That’s why it’s scary, there are gonna be some who still perish.  I hate that. But God wants to do something beautiful in their heart, and I want to be apart of that.

Let’s take joy when the cross is foolishness to some rather than some distorted thing, but let’s remember that those people matter, and we don’t want those people to continue to perish in this life, and to perish after they die.

Life Abundant.

July 10, 2010

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Last Sunday I heard this phrase and I started to think about another idea with this passage.  I was wondering how much validity my idea has.  But since last Sunday I have heard that verse mentioned several more times.  It could be coincidence, and this is just my own thoughts but explore with me.

That verse a lot of times is used as a you will be rich, or you will have a happy life or whatever encouraging kind of verse.  And I do think its somewhat of an encouraging kind of verse. But I think there might be more to it.

If someone has had a full life, they are usually someone that has experienced lots of things. Lots of the world, lots of people, lots of family, and lots of emotions.

I think maybe what Christ is saying is not that we get to have a life with abundance in it.  But a full life (which is was the NIV translation even says).  Maybe it means that now with Christ we get to experience so much more.

We get to experience a deeper love for others than ever before.

We get to experience a deeper sadness for those without Christ than ever before.

We get to experience deeper suffering because we now bear the name of Christ as well.

We get to experience deeper joy, deeper hope, deeper satisfaction, deeper almost everything.

I honestly don’t know if Jesus was just talking about the good stuff when he said that.  Because I don’t think I would live a full life if I just lived with all the good stuff.  There is so much I wouldn’t understand.  So many songs that wouldn’t make sense. So many people that I couldn’t share in their hurt with.  So many emotions that I wouldn’t know.

So I can’t say I know exactly what that verse means.  I think though that an abundant life isn’t just the good stuff.  It’s all of life. It’s having a life.  And in that life we have the shepherd who lays down his life for us.

So I just got back from being in another country.

And my life right now sounds like a country song.

I came back to my fiance breaking up with me. I found out someone stole my identity and spent over a couple hundred bucks with it. And because its past the time to have noticed it, I will probably have to pay that bill. My job has been outsourced, so I am not fired but have no work. A couple rings I once bought are past the return date.  And there are boils covering my body.

Okay so the boils thing isn’t true.

And if you’re still reading this you are probably a really good friend. Because when I start to read depressing things like this I usually click on something else because I don’t like to read depressing things.

Why be real on this blog and talk about all my junk? Idk. Cuz I feel like it.

My friend Dayne tells me that in my life when it rains it pours. He told me that before I knew half of these things were happening to me. I really believe him in this moment.  Also I realize that when my life is bad most of my friends lives are good.  So if your my friend and reading this you are probably having a great life right now.

So that’s my life right now.

But something I realized is I might be struck down right now, but I am not destroyed.

That’s a good feeling to have. Because I know a lot of people who have been destroyed by a similar situation.  And I know many people without Christ would feel completely destroyed.

And that’s a beautiful thing about Christ. Right now I just feel like I am getting knocked down.

And Christ keeps picking me back up and saying “you can do it”. Or some kind of inspiring thing like that. But actually I don’t really hear an encouraging “you can do it”. I think maybe it’s just inspiring and hope giving that I don’t have to pick myself back up.

Christ is beautiful. I love him. There is nothing more awesome then realizing that to a higher degree.

People don’t like hard times. And neither do I. But if it helps me glimpse who Christ is, and what he does in my heart, I am down.

And besides that I have gotten to realize the amount of amazing Christ centered friends in my life. That’s always awesome.

So that’s my life. If you have been apart of my life lately I love and thank you. Keep praying for me right now as I am growing up a bit more.

Also if anyone has a spare few thousand dollars I am okay with taking that off your hands.