Friday, January 27, 2012

Delight Myself

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  – Psalm 37: 4

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6: 33

Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
-- Matthew 10: 38-39

I’m just caught up in the reality that God is everything for me and to me – the fullness of the Trinity -  Father, Son & Holy Spirit.  God is everything I want and need.

I’ve been among Christians who confess that that mindset is destructive to the mission of the church, and it just makes people in the church uncomfortable.   It’s fine to worship God, but get busy.

If I don’t delight myself in my heavenly Father than the heart desires of the hungry being fed and the naked being clothed and the lonely being visited will never be accomplished.

In seeking the goodness of God manifested in my life and through me to the world will provide the abundance that’s necessary to do all that’s important.  Seeking first His kingdom is putting God first in my passions and compassions.

This way of life will bring its own cost.  Do I accept the cross (cost) in order to find my destiny?   

Thursday, January 19, 2012

They Booed Ron Paul

At this point, it’s probably been written about a lot on blogs and columns around the country.  I’ve only seen it mentioned once and that was on The Daily Show, but it’s my turn.

At a recent debate among the Republican presidential candidates gathered in South Carolina, Ron Paul talked about our country’s foreign policy.  He said that maybe we should adopt a Golden Rule policy – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Before he finished his thought, the boos rained down from the audience and practically drowned out the candidate’s voice.  With that, if I were Congressman Paul, I would have thought and maybe said, “Alright!  It’s on now!”

Paul tapped a vain and, with it, a nerve.  Paul quoted Luke 6: 31.  I’ve always thought, idealistically, obviously, that our principles as a country were grounded in divine revelation.  So, it’s interesting to hear a candidate for the highest office in the land quoting scripture as a means to propose a change in foreign policy – how we treat other people in the world – get booed and suddenly become a irrelevant candidate in one evening in South Carolina.

Good for Ron Paul.  I agree with him on this point.  It certainly would save our human and monetary resources in this country to not go into senseless wars and kill brown people readily.  Most importantly for me, the word of God trumps all other political rhetoric when it’s a means to convict those in power to change the way they think and act.

What are the principles this country stands on and is willing to defend?  Many folks all along the waterfront would have a small list of answers consistent regardless of their party affiliation.  How many of them would have booed Ron Paul that night?  I would have clapped and cheered.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

I've Believed Lies

For as much as I want to deny it, I can’t deny the fact that I believe lies about myself.

I read a recent article my bishop wrote about faith and works.  It was good, and I affirm what he wrote to be worthwhile.  I go through periods in my life that whenever I hear or read authority figures state what needs to be happening and what is not being done, I take it personally.  Some may say that I’m simply convicted of sloth and sin.  I say that the feelings I have are not godly sorrow but painful shame.

The shame is not based in reality but based in words and spiritual impressions of condemnation.  I know enough to say that condemnation is not birthed from the goodness of God in Christ.  I, also, know that many in the church believe that what I just declared is simply wrong. 

Well, I know what godly sorrow feels like in my spirit, and I’m growing more soberly familiar with what condemnation feels like.  I use to affirm it and allow it to enslave me in pain and fear and use religious dysfunction to permit condemnation to have it’s way in me, usually through tactics of fear and shame.  This wouldn’t lose its grip on me until several days had passed. 

I’ve believed lies about myself for a long time.  I’m tired of such a belief system that justifies shame and fear.  I have decided to be more intentional in being aware of when these feelings arrive, and to state that condemnation is not from my Father (sorry if you disagree – maybe you need to find another blog).  I have, also, decided to ask my Father to bring to me godly sorrow for particular sins that lie unaddressed so that I can confess them as sin and know anew Godly forgiveness in mercy and grace.

The lies stem from my belief that God is not happy with me and, in fact, is mad at me for not doing all that He requires.  I’ve preached regularly that God is not angry with us.  He simply wants us to believe it and to act accordingly.  For those that read this and feel a bit betrayed because I preach what I’m not believing for myself, please forgive me and pray for me.  My heavenly Daddy is doing a work in me, and I am very thankful.

The truth is that my heavenly Daddy loves me, no matter what.  I am created in the image of Daddy.  Jesus was the model, and he died in my place getting what I desire so that I would receive what He deserved.  I am the righteousness of God gifted in some things by the Spirit but not responsible for everything.  I’m not responsible for everything, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Lastly, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3: 17).  Freedom means I am free.  Free means I am not enslaved in strongholds but free to be all that God is in me.  Praise God.  Pray for me.