Friday, February 20, 2009


Recently, I was able to attend an awesome concert which featured Vota (formerly known as: Casting Pearls) and the David Crowder Band. Vota has changed their name and has also changed their style-they've come a long ways from the punk band I remember from years back (when they opened for Toby Mac). One of their songs-'Honestly', struck a major cord with me. While there's no pun intended there, please go check out their song in the link provided above-click 'honestly' to watch the video.
I know I've talked about brokenness more than once, but again, I felt moved to share this with you. While we're now aware of Matthew 11:28-30 which says: 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.' Too often we forget what we're supposed to do when we are broken. In today's Church there's that unspoken rule of 'don't tell me how you're really doing, just lie'. Think about it next time you meet up with someone in the store-when they ask you 'how are you doing?' What's your knee-jerk response? Something along the lines of: good, good and yourself? or I'm fine and you? And of course, you usually get the same short confirming response that they're alright even though we're all broken.
This is an opportunity for a challenge-next time someone asks...say how it really is. See what their reaction is-do they want to get going and continuing shopping or do they want to take time to listen? Do they offer concern and ask to swap phone numbers or do they really want to sweep it under the rug?
If you listened to the song-do me a favor and look up the lyrics to it too. Read it and meditate on it and tell me what strikes you. I won't lie, there are times that I'm at fault for the very thing I just mentioned-for the sake of time and the sake of saving face, I have given the usual 'call and response' answer-but it's just not true. However, it's all about making a commitment to do better-to better oneself.
So honestly, is it any wonder why the church is so divided? Why there's a 'I'm right and your wrong' mentality? It's because we're all broken and unwilling to yield to the God of love and share our concerns in a truly Christian way that exemplifies Jesus' teachings of loving one another. You've read it in the letters Paul wrote to the people of Corinth-churches back then are no different from churches today. And what Jesus taught wasn't 'radical' or 'unpractical' was so simple that no one was willing to understand and see it from a perspective that wasn't clouded by the fear of loss or the fear of losing control of what shouldn't be controlled in the first place. Christianity is a movement of faith and it's foundation is on the hope that God's promises will come true.
While I won't get into any specifics concerning what God's church continues to argue about, just know that it isn't worth the time because it is merely a distraction that takes away the focus from the true issue-what is God's people doing for God's ministry and the fulfillment of His goals for His church? Is it our agenda or His agenda...what's the guiding principle? Is it based on scripture or is it based on a fear of loss?
So how can one know if their church is healthy? Well, first know that a healthy church isn't without struggle. However, what separates an unhealthy church and a healthy church is their ability to come together as a community of believers that is of the mind of 'if it's God's will, it will happen'-there's faith and prayer in their meeting (before and after) and nothing about it is radical, instead it is actually very practical. I would consider it 'Christianity 101'.
Brokenness unchecked can lead to bitterness and resentment-a thought process that ends up with too many 'knee-jerk' reactions and responses that aren't exactly God motivated. I am not downplaying our economic times or the struggles that many face-include family members who have recently lost jobs and those who face the uncertainty now...rather, I am saying that if we are faithful He will provide.
Jesus himself admitted He was torn, but in the end He said, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” I think Jesus' ability to admit His brokenness and remain humble and open to God's will is what helped Him persevere in spite of His fear of death. Sometimes we know what kind of sacrifice is being asked of us and we have a tendency to turn back because it requires too much of us-more than we're willing to give, but if we remain faithful in Him then how can we fail?
In closing I'd like to offer up a reading from Romans 8:26-32.


Holly said... once again! This is something I definatley have to work on. I am quick to say, I'm good, how are you, but sometimes I catch myself and think, I really should have said this...And sometimes, once in a blue moon, I will really say how I'm really doing. Well done on this blog, it really hit home for me and really is God send that you wrote about something like this as you know how things are REALLY going with me right now, I will definatly work on that, its really good to think about and act on. You're right if you have the faith, God WILL provide. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement, God is definatly working through you in this blog system and you do such a wonderful job! Thanks again for the food for thought! :)

Anonymous said...

Good job Jeff. I agreed with all you've said. I know that we have to work harder for Jesus. In Romans 8:28, says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. It is plain and simple. Thanks Jeff. Keep going. I'm sure that there are people read your blog just don't make comment because got hit the nail on the head.