Thursday, January 15, 2009

we really only have one thing.

So with some of the situations that I find myself in as of the last few weeks, situations that are dealing with others and the struggles of life they are facing. I have come to see and realize many things, one being how much I love my wife and how in love I am with her. Knowing that she will always fight for us is such a comfort and such an encouragement.

But also with being in all of these situations, I've also realized that what we call the "Church" today and the "Christian faith" is really about how well we as Christians can hide our sin. Now realize I'm as guilty as anyone and I'm working on changing this, but we all do this, we all try to measure the depth of our spirituality by how little we are sinning or at least try to convince others and ourselves how little we are sinning. See the problem with this is that it causes us to live in fear, in fear that others will find out.

Derek Webb says that "the best thing is that your sin would be exposed on the 5 o'clock news." We become so tired and drained from trying to hide our sin from everyone else. You see if we, being you and me, and you and me being the people that we truly are at the core of our being, not this person that we try to get everyone to see and believe who we are, but the person that we are when its just us, all the doubts, scars, bruises and all the junk in our lives, that person. If we had our sins exposed like that, and you saw the real me or the real you, so that you could know me for who I really am, that way I didn't have the option to hide anymore, so that Jesus was really the only person and thing that I could grab hold of and hold onto.

And that's really all we have anyway.

Jesus knows our sins, as if they have been on the news, he knows you and I better than we know ourselves and he forgives us. We should take an immense amount of joy in this, in the fact that our sins are real and that our Savior is real.

You see by the time I probably finish this blog or by the time you read this, and if not by then, it will definitely happen by the time you fall asleep tonight, we will be thinking of ways to try to hide our sin from other people.

The Christian life is not about living like this. We must come to grips about who we really are and be willing to admit and confess such things before each other.

And once we admit these things and confess our struggles and then even more than that confess that they are real and even bigger than that, confess that our Savior is real. We then begin to give others around us permission to admit the junk in their life, to admit their struggles, to admit the realness of this life, to admit the realness of needing a real Savior.

Maybe we just need to start preaching and living out the Gospel and words of Jesus in a way in which we believe it. In a way that gives others around us permission to believe in it too.

"No wonder, statistically, our church is losing relevance by the day. it's no wonder we are so stagnant, we don't believe the Gospel. It has not failed us, we have just failed to believe it." - Derek Webb

Saturday, January 10, 2009

. . . the almost . . .

its the beautiful things that get us. perhaps the greatest seduction is not the ANTI-GOD, but the ALMOST*GOD. poisonous fruit can look pretty tasty. thats what is so dangerous about ideas like FREEDOM, PEACE AND JUSTICE. they are all seductive qualities, close to the heart of GOD. after all, its the beautiful things we kill and die for. and its the beautiful we market, exploit, brand and counterfeit.

and enslaved by the pursuit of freedom. nations fighting for peace end up perpetuating the very violence they seek to destroy. serpents are slippery and slimy things.

MOST of the ugliness in the human narrative comes from a distorted quest to possess beauty. COVETING begins with appreciating blessings. MURDER begins with a hunger for justice. LUST begins with a recognition of beauty. GLUTTONY begins when our enjoyment of the delectable gifts of GOD starts to consume us. IDOLATRY begins when our seeing a reflection of God in something beautiful leads to our thinking that the beautiful image bearer is worthy of WORSHIP.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Top 5

So I've been hounded by a few people to give my top albums of 2008 and I realize that it is a little late, but that's ok, we're just 7 days into 2009 so here are my favorite albums that were released in 2008.

5 - Seeing Things - Jakob Dylan (I didn't like it the first time I listened to it, so I gave it a few more listens and now I have a hard time shutting it off and it ended up on my top 5)

4 - Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer EP's - Jon Foreman (I know those are 4 different albums in and of themselves, but they are too hard to pull apart for me and since I just did a top 5, they will have to work so get over it.)

3 - Thing of the Past - Vetiver (The title fits the music that follows when you open and place the CD in and listen. Just like a good beer, Thing of the Past is smooth and golden.)

2 - Pink & Blue - Waterdeep (If you don't know this band, shame on you. They always surprise me with a new sounding album and this one is no different. With a mix of thought provoking, trippy and melodic, upbeat, intriguing and spiritually cognitive. Give it a listen)

1 - Viva la Vida - Coldplay (Just when you think you have them figured out, you realize you don't.)

So there you have it. . .I was going to try to do a top ten but I had trouble finding albums that I liked that much to go there, so you are stuck with 5, sorry. I will give an honorable mention, Simple Times by Joshua Radin and Gossip in the Grain by Ray LaMontagne, but I just couldn't put them on the list, but thought they should be mentioned at least.