a better life?

8 06 2009

i know i’ve been such an inconsistent blogger lately.  my apologies.  trying to get back on track now.

at church yesterday, pastor jamie used this excerpt from larry crabb’s book the pressure’s off.  it was incredibly profound for me and i wanted to share it.

you’ve cheapened the requirements of holiness by assuming you can do enough right things to bring about a “better life.” sometimes that works. sometimes it doesn’t. you therefore live with uncertainty and pressure, and you demand to know the way to live that will make your life work as you want.
you maneuver; you do not trust.
you negotiate; you do not worship.
you analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend.
you seek the “better life of God’s blessings today” over the “better hope of God’s presence.

i came away from that with many thoughts, most of which i am still processing.  what thoughts do you have after reading that?





jaded

11 05 2008

“this be the realest thing I ever wrote for sure, after this a lot of folks wont like me no more…” – lyfe jennings

the dictionary defines ‘jaded’ as “tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm; typically after having too much of something”.

yep… i’m jaded, alright. this is going to be a mind dump, so bear with me…

“i wonder if the gospel of love has become the gospel of being right” … dan merchant (author/writer/director of ‘lord, save us from your followers’)

i grew up in a horribly dogmatic and legalistic abomination, i mean denomination. =) i spent the first 25 years of my life surrounded by people who had a warped view of the salvation experience and who were quick to send a lot of people to hell if a strict religious code was not adhered to. they were so concerned with being convinced they were “right”, that in the process they weren’t really loving anybody. i left that church a little over 8 years ago, but in a lot of ways, and for a lot of reasons, i am still coming to terms with various aspects of that whole experience and continue to try to reconcile it with where i am in my life today. religion sucks.

before i go any further, i want to say that i am not angry, and i am not bitter… but if you will indulge me being totally honest here on my blog… i am tired.

i love Jesus and i want my life to reflect the character of Christ to those around me. i want to be an instrument of the grace that I so desperately need every day of my life. the ‘body of Christ’ is beautiful, man! i have been blessed to travel extensively and have met some of the most amazing and beautiful disciples of Christ all over this country and all over the world. so don’t get it twisted… i love the church… but “church”? yeeeeeaaaah… i’m pretty much not feeling it at the moment.

i’m not the only one. i often have these conversations with a few close friends of mine who are also on the same page. “church” isn’t cutting it for our generation. we desire to be a part of a thriving faith community that is making a difference in the lives of those in our respective spheres of influence.

to be fair, i do know that there are churches out there who are doing it… they are doing exactly what I am talking about… they are the hands of feet of Christ, love and justice in action that is the heartbeat of Jesus. but sadly enough they are few and far between.

i believe that the heart of God is for real live faith, love and community in action. however, in my life, i have seen a lot of people whose lives revolve around the sunday morning experience as if it were the apex of what it means to be a christian in america… who are satisfied to be “church people”… but outside of their sunday morning gloriously euphoric spiritual expression, they are having zero effect on the world around them once they walk out the doors.

the great christian paradox seems to be this… that we are quick to go to great lengths to profess our christianity, but yet do so little or nothing to act on that profession. i must wonder, when did we trade in being disciples of Christ for being “christians”? when did we trade in talking with people for talking at them? when did we trade being the church for doing church?

i am not a pastor, a priest or a theologian. i am simply someone who loves Jesus and who legitimately struggles with whether or not my life is a consistent enough reflection of the new life that i have been freely given. i don’t have all the answers. in fact, by comparison i probably have very few of them. i’m just saying something’s missing… i love Jesus, i’m just not sold on all the stuff that we’ve put in between him and us… so yeah… jaded.

i just finished watching an advance copy of “lord, save us from your followers”, a documentary by dan merchant and it got me on this page tonight. it releases june 13, and i am sure you will be hearing a lot more about it very soon. i watched the last 30-40 minutes of the film through tears, thinking “my God, people are hurting, and we’re… in church…”

you can stream the entire film online for $6.99 now. if you are a pastor, show it to your congregation. if you are a parent, show it to your children. challenge those around you… get the dialogue going where you live. be the catalyst to get the people around you off their ass and into the real world… living, loving and looking like Jesus. part of me was a little afraid to post this, but you know what?  i’m tired of acting like i don’t really feel this way… tired of acting like i’m not tired.  so, let the discussion begin…