Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It's important to note that Rob doesn't say that springs are God or Jesus, instead he makes the distinction that the 'springs' are merely statements and beliefs about our faith that help aid us in our growth and understanding of God.
Now, what I'm about to share may confuse you because I plan to use some terms that are used in the theological arena when discussing God. I decided to do so since Rob brought up Moses wanting proof of God-just like many of us still do and because he shed some light on something I think too many Christians hold to.
First, lets talk about Moses. Here we find him asking God what he should tell the Israelites when they ask 'What is his name?'. Interesting huh? Not much has changed since his day...we still seek proof and reassurances about what's happening with our world, our money, our lives. For example if a friend asks to borrow some money, the knee-jerk reaction is to say: what for? It's a question...we want to wrap our heads around the request-we want to know.
When it comes to God and all these questions we feel we need to answer-like why do bad things happen to good people, we are really seeking comfort to questions we can't fathom. Here's a quote from Job and I know not many will like it: 'Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?' Deep huh?
Boethius is one of my favorite medieval philosophers because he wrestled with this whole God thing-he too tried to wrap his head around the Almighty. While I'm not in my office to give you the name of the resource, I will tell you a brief background-you see, he finds himself in prison and an angel visits him and he has a conversation about how he didn't deserve to be in jail...he didn't do anything wrong (again, going back to one of the major questions everyone thinks and or asks about: why do bad things happen to good people)...during his time in jail he has an epiphany! He realizes that our capacity to know is limited. For example...an ant doesn't know why you're destroying their home while you mow your lawn or water the garden, they just know that you're destroying it-which is why some ants, like red ants attack you while you sit at a picnic, you may have destroyed their home or killed some family members!
And so the application can be made to us...we try to use 'anthropomorphic' terms (ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially in this case God) in order to describe our God-as we try to wrap our heads around His plan. Another great example of using such a way to describe things-even in the Bible would be from Revelation 21:21.
So now you get the idea of why Moses sought to explain God...because we all still do. It's habit for us. Which leads us to the bricks! Of course they too need a bit of an explanation...take for example the story of God creating the world in six days-are those literal days or not? Now, there are some who take a lot of what the Bible says-New Testament and Old, literally, however, I believe we shouldn't otherwise we would have a lot of people with no hands or eyes because of what they've done or thought. Here's what Jesus said-what do you think?
What I'm trying to get at, like Rob was in his book, is that if you defend a 'wall' (a set of doctrines) then you leave no room for flexibility or for God's mysteriousness to exist-instead, you answer it and put Him in a box. The second you rethink or even question one of the bricks-wait did Jesus really say I should cut my eyes out because it caused me to stare and lustfully think about someone?-then the whole wall crumbles. Sure, the wall seems rigid and strong, but it has a falseness to it-people begin to ignore the danger of such thinking...God is bigger than our walls, our doctrines, and our situation.
So the question becomes...are you flexible and pliable-like clay in the potters hands or are you stiff like a brick unwilling to think for yourself or even imagine a God beyond our limited powers and abilities?

Monday, January 26, 2009


Earlier today I read an article and I thought I would share it with you. It's about a coach who was fired. Share your thoughts on what you think about the whole ordeal.
Of course, you don't have to be a sports fan to have an opinion on the matter...so everyone should feel free to share their thoughts. And tomorrow or even later tonight I should have another Rob Bell reflection to share.
Until then...enjoy and write a comment on the above article-the link is in bold.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Have you ever jumped on a trampoline? Do you remember how much fun it was? And did you ever utilize a friends jump to maximize your jump/flight? Ahhh, the excitement! Of course, I do recall jamming myself up pretty good too-miscalculating a friends jump to enhance my ejection.
I think Rob Bell's imagery here is helpful because I think it applies well to life in general-mind, body, and soul. Throughout our lives we've experienced the ups and downs, the highs and lows of what this life has to offer. We suffered our fair share of 'jams', but what keeps us going is the experience of the highs-not the lows. While we sometimes try to attain the same experience of our past, it is impossible because with each new day comes a new high.
Lets take the imagery a bit further, lets dig deeper into the whole 'springs' of life-that which make it possible for us to take flight, that help enable us to grow and see more of what God has intended for us.
The first set of springs that pop into my mind are the mentors in our lives and that could be family and friends. Without them we wouldn't have much of a support system and many of us wouldn't be where we are today without their encouragement and support through the good times and bad times. They are the 'infrastructure' or core of our trampoline of life. They are the ones we turn to when there is a crisis or when we face uncertainty. All of the people that helped shape us were provided by our loving Father and the bi product of their investment is us-our character, who we are when no one is looking.
The second set that comes to mind is of a spiritual nature. And I would have to say it's the enabling spirit of the Holy Spirit. While we recall Christ's words and message it is the Holy Spirit that enables us to take bold steps in His name-just like the disciples. The power of the Holy Spirit can move a person, a community, or a nation.
As time moves and we grow older our understanding of things change, they are stretched and flexed making us more effective as believers-we are able to share our understanding and experiences of the Holy with others because our looking lens has been altered.
The challenge is to keep using the trampoline of life-don't be scared of how high you can jump or think of the return to normalcy. This life has it's ebbs and flows and as God's children we need to continually discuss, study, experience, and reflect on our ever growing understanding of God. Don't be shy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


What an interesting precept to think about-yet we struggle with it everyday as Christians. I'm reading a couple books right now: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and Youth Ministry 3.0 by Marko. Both are amazing books, but I'm more intrigued by what Rob Bell's book has to offer-not to say that Youth Specialties Marko doesn't have anything to share...but lets move on.
Jesus started this movement or this process of working out how to live as God created us to live. He challenged the people of His time to rethink how to live out their faith. I will use a few examples-chew on them and let me know what you think:
Did you read them? What Jesus asked for is something radial...it's about thinking outside the box. Do you think God wants you to go to church every Sunday for worship, Sunday School, Youth Group, Bible Study, or even give money? Of course He does, but he wants you to because you want to-because deep within your heart there's a passion that burns to learn more about Him. All the previously mentioned doesn't hurt, in fact, it helps you grow closer to Him-you may find that His heart isn't far from yours.
It's true that sometimes our thoughts are far from what He would have us think, but that's the beauty of His love-the freedom we enjoy and remember. Times change, God doesn't. Random? Nah, because as we learn, the world around us changes and shifts-people that were once friends fall away and a new chapter begins.
Throughout history there have been those who have been transformed by God's Word-convicted to do things otherwise outside their comfort zone. One of those people is Martin Luther. He saw the injustice the church was causing God's people-he posted his 95 Theses or suggestions the church should consider for reform. Of course that's the word I want to cling to-REFORM. If you get nothing out of the stuff from above-may you remember reform. Not just the Reformation-a truly historical and important part of our past, but the reform that should constantly be taking place within.
Think about it this way-and Rob uses it in his book, think about the most well known painting you can think of. Now think about what painting is the 'best' painting in your mind...imagine if that artist would've announced to everyone: 'stop painting, but your brushes down, there's no need to draw or paint anymore for I have created the ultimate master piece.' Do you think anyone would've listened? Nope.
Which is why God sent His Son to teach us about the evolution of mans heart-the darkness that lingers within and the potential too. You see no one creates the exact same thing-sure, there are some who would go an make a copy at Kinkos, but the idea is to take what was great about the previous work and incorporate it with what works now.
So, how to live as God created us...well, it's a process that's for sure and we are still clay in the potters hand-right? I think from the scriptures we can learn something here...lets not have such hard hearts and be open to what God is teaching us through our frustrations and times of bliss.
Until next time...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Have you heard of the group Mercy Me? Well, I've been listening to them a lot lately and I've stumbled upon a couple songs that have hit me. For today's blog, I've decided to write about 'Grace Tells Another Story'.
In my last blog I mentioned the prodigal son and how God's love for us is a lot like that-we choose to walk away from Him to pursue our own way and in our brokenness find that He's still there. It's hard to admit when we've failed to live up to our own expectations let alone God's. So you don't need to imagine what it would feel like to disappoint someone and to swallow your pride and admit your mistakes, your selfishness, your misguided attempts to be better.
So lets break down the song-if you haven't heard it yet check out this link.
It talks about how 'we've been told the heart is too far gone'. How true? Our culture is all about the fast lane, it's all about the 'get yours while the gettings good'-even at the cost of others feelings. In the end though, we're left feeling quite empty at times huh? And there does come a time when we feel as though we're hopeless.
There's another part of the song that is my favorite: 'but Grace tells us another story, where Grace sends Hopelessness away'. Now, if you look up grace in the dictionary, you'll find a lot of definitions, but I'd like to mention a couple that I like and serve our purposes well read the list:
-Mercy; clemency; pardon: an act of grace.
-Favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity
Theologically speaking:
-The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
-The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them
Grace is something that is beyond measure and beyond our capacity to understand. Especially in times of need when we feel as though we are unworthy of such consideration or such a gift. You find grace in families. If you're a teenager or can remember when were you a teenager...you can recall there were times when mom and dad had you 'dead to rights'-caught you red handed in a lie, or whatever it may be. You know you deserved whatever the consequences they deemed reasonable, but were shocked to find out you were 'let off the hook'. You punishment didn't fit the crime! This time it wasn't too harsh in your eyes, but too easy.
Which brings me to the next part...sometimes this whole grace thing makes life too easy. It often opens the door to habitually breaking rules, pushing the envelope, and even doing things you know are very wrong. Whether it be drinking, smoking, doing drugs, or even having sex. It's a slippery slope you know, rationalizing your mistakes and minimizing God's grace. Too often we get into this mindset of 'it doesn't matter'...God forgives right? So that means if I can't be perfect, why try to shut out these desires-why not give in? If it gets out of hand, I can always stop and ask for forgiveness.
WRONG! Grace isn't your crutch or excuse to screw up, it's your life line for those times when you screw up without intending to cross a line. A classic example would be to tell a lie to protect a friend that comes back to bite you in the butt once the secret is out and they finally give in and tell the truth...then you have to answer to friends and family for your hand in it. Perhaps it's a poor example, but it's the best I could come up with on the spot.
In closing, I'd just like to say that I think we need to make a change-not just in our routine, but of the heart. Because that's what God is after...our heart. We shouldn't take for granted His love or the love and forgiveness of others. Then we learn nothing other than selfish thoughts and deeds. Our good deeds become hollow and that's not what they should be. So be thinking about how grace has another story to tell...you are never beyond saving grace.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Paul writes in Romans 8:38 what he was convinced concerning God's love.
I have finished two books recently: Mike Yaconelli's 'Messy Spirituality' and 'Survivors' by Howver & Hutchinson. Both are books I think everyone should read regardless of their situation concerning their journey.
We all know that in this life there is struggle. And when it comes to living the life of a Christian, there's a constant struggle between free will (our will) and God's will. There are many lessons I can think of concerning Mike's book because he helped me better understand the truth about the spiritual life...it's messy! A lot of what he said wasn't new to me, it's just that he provided a different looking lens. Instead of kicking myself for not being a 'good' enough Christian or focusing on failure to be my motivation...I should focus on my desire to change. Because if I were to focus on only the negative, there will come a time when I throw in the towel and give up...walk away and that's not what God wants for me.
Jeremiah 29:11 talks of God's plans and hopes for us all and I think it's time that we stop trying to convince ourselves that we're always falling short and unworthy of God's love because if you recall the story of the Prodigal Son you would realize that God's love for us is seriously ridiculous!
So I am convinced...God loves me I mean look at all He provides for me-family, friends, a job, and health. What will it take you to be convinced He loves you? If He hasn't struck you down dead for trying to deceive your God, your parents, your friends or anyone else that is God's children...then I think you're worthy and you too should be convinced.

My apologies...

I apologies to all my faithful followers-not like I have a cult, but to all those who look forward to reading little snippets of my reflections. I promise to have some 'Spiritual Junkfood' for you later today. I have finished up my two books and plan to share.
So bare with me, I have a meeting this afternoon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Attention all parents and youth:
There is NO YOUTH GROUP tonight due to road conditions. Holly and I are unable to come back in time due to the blowing snow and ice still on the roads this morning.
Accordig to 'Safe Travel USA' which gives detailed information and even pictures of current road conditions travel isn't recommended due to spots of ice, blowing snow, and snow build up on bridges.
Please pass this on to everyone you know from youth group-including other parents.
Please pray for safe travels as we will be trying to come home later at 12pm-we both have to work tomorrow too.