Into the Gaps

Originally posted on Charis: Subject to Change:

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There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.

I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.

Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you…

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Free For All Friday 12.19

santa

Getting down to crunch time with only 6 shopping days left.  At times like this we can use some  Christmas humor.

target dog

My shopping derailed earlier this week when I  joyfully entered Target confident that they would have the one thing I wanted to give my beloved wife and of course the item I sought was missing. A big gap  stared back at me from the shelf.  Undaunted I am still in hot pursuit of this special item. Will I get it in time?

package

Stay tuned, happy shopping and have a great weekend.

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Shine Love

advent1As Christmas closes in the expectation and excitement builds. We count down the days, minutes, seconds.  The church’s countdown is called Advent. During Advent we wait in anticipation of Jesus coming. Excitement builds because with the coming of Jesus we expect light to shine.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light – on those  walking in a land of deep darkness a light has shined. ~ Isaiah 9:2

There is deep darkness in the world today and yet we hope for light.  We believe that even a little light can make a big difference in a dark place. Not light from a good retail holiday or from receiving the right gift or from enjoying seasonal programs or from celebrating family together but the light of Jesus shining into the darkness.

He has shown you what is good and what the Lord requires of you, but  to  act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. ~ Micah 6:8.

Acting  justly, loving mercy and walking humbly shines light. Until Jesus comes, the light of Jesus shines through us. As we wait for Jesus to come, we shine light. Justice requires action. Mercy reflects an attitude.  Both come from walking humbly with God. Walking humbly leads to right attitudes which leads to right action. The Bible never separates right belief from right actions.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says… What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?… Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? ~ James 1

The Bible marries love of neighbor with with specific actions taken.  Right attitude. Right action. Love your neighbor. Walk humbly.  Love mercy. Act Justly.

The Bible is full of this stuff. The book of Job calls this wearing justice or wearing righteousness. Right attitude and right actions are so much a part of us it is what we wear. We get dressed for the day acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly – without proper attitudes and actions we are naked.

I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. ~ Job 29:14

Job then talks about rescuing the needy. Being eyes for the blind, feet for the lame, father for the fatherless, and friend to the outsider.

Right attitude. Right action. Walk humbly. Love mercy. Act justly. Shine light. Job describes the outcome of light shining as “breaking the fangs of the wicked.”  Our love demonstrated in actions results in grabbing the needy from the mouth of evil.  We kick injustice in the teeth. And light shines in the darkness.

The people walking in a land of deep darkness have light. Now a little light and when Jesus comes a light so bright that we no longer need the sun.


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Be Church

church4Much of what passes for proclaiming Jesus is, in actuality, churches concerned with attracting large numbers on Sunday mornings, directing financial resources toward church budgets, and showing Christians how to get in sync with church activities. What’s needed is a wave of churches that are committed to helping you become a missionary in your world…

There have been times in my church-dominated, church-shaped experience when I caught the sound and sight of something entirely different from what I was experiencing. I’m not talking about the plastic happiness of pretend spirituality, nor am I talking about impressive rooms full of rocking-out worshipers.

When I caught sight of something that was so different and real that it captured my attention and drew my spirit, it was always as a person. It was the appeal of a person who chose the way of Jesus and not the way of money, success, popularity, or fame. They were not looking for a bigger crowd. They were not looking to sell books or make their name famous. They did not show up to attract an audience or attention. They showed up to give to others…

The humble servants of Jesus, the believers who serve Christ and his Kingdom asking for nothing, remind me that the beauty of the life of discipleship is “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This life grows in the soil of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. It is the church’s calling to produce disciples who hunger for Jesus.

~ Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity, pp. 159-161)

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Can you trust your gut?

feetThe most accurate tool for measuring trust is human intuition. ~Simon Sinek

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Invitation

Originally posted on Charis: Subject to Change:

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We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything

to work toward something good

and beautiful

when we love Him and accept His invitation

to live according to His plan.

(Romans 8:28 The Voice)

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Some of my favorite words

typewriter-letters

  • Peace – Choosing to love our enemies.
  • Justice – Committed to right wrongs with those at the margins.
  • Hope – Imagine the world as it ought to be.
  • Community – Counter-cultural relationships and connections guided by deep love.
  • Inclusion – An invitation for everyone to the party.
  • Story – Living in the middle of a God’s unfolding narrative.
  • Context – Questions rooted in time and place that unleash creativity and imagination.

What are your favorite words?

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