Run to Him

As human power and achievement grow, our capacity to see God decreases. In areas torn apart by war and disaster you learn to depend on God quickly, instinctively. You run to him. Our advancements do nothing but cloud our vision from that which is essential to our souls. Our minds remain numbly distracted. And a sick emptiness consumes us as our heart senses the impending doom.

Escape. Break free. Run to God as fast as you can. Your soul depends upon it.

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Who is my neighbor?

Who is my neighbor?Any effort we put forth to help our neighbor makes a difference… or does it?

We don’t have to sacrifice everything and live in the slums of New York, Buenos Aires or Karachi, but we must move out of our comfort zone to make a difference.

If you feel moved to give, then give.

If you feel moved to have a coffee with a friend or family member in need, then pick up the phone.

The Spirit calls out to us constantly. We just have to listen.

The more you sacrifice, the more you suffer on behalf of others — the greater the impact. If it costs you little, it is not likely to help much. Give of yourself.

We all want to change the world, but many times we don’t want to be part of the world that needs help. When we move out of our comfort zone, we must rely on God to move forward. The farther we move out, the more we seek God. When we immerse ourselves in a place of need, the Spirit has much greater access to heal and to help.

This does not mean ignore the wisdom of prudence, but a bigger mistake would be to ignore the call.

Run a bit of risk.

Risk the discomfort, the loss of personal time or money. Give what appears difficult for you to give. It starts with giving mercy and forgiveness.

We do a good job of exalting Christ, but we hedge our bets when it comes to imitating him. I do not believe in faith based on works or good deeds, but I do believe that faith in Jesus produces works of miraculous proportions.

It might mean just hugging someone you have not hugged for years.

Or maybe just saying “I love you”.

Image LicenseAttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Dawn Endico.

Free ticket to heaven

perishableHow absurd it all is I used to think. I used to believe that the Christian faith was the pinnacle of insanity and self-delusion. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” says Paul (1 Cor 18). And there it is: I was perishing.

So what did I believe in then? Maybe it was the – “as-long-as-I’m-not-hurting-anyone-then-I’m-OK” – philosophy. What a great distance there was between where I was then and where I am now. Back then I was incredibly selfish, arrogant and vain. But nobody – or not so many – recognized it. “He’s a good guy,” they used to say.

So I subscribed to the “good guy” gospel. As long as I was  good  everything would be fine. It was a step in the right direction as before this it was all about trying to satisfy insatiable desires of the eyes, flesh and ego. Still, this “good guy” was a long way from the truth.

I look at the incredible distance between belief and unbelief. Can it be that the two are so far apart? Belief in Jesus basically comes in two flavors. One is that Jesus was a good guy, he helped the less fortunate and we should embrace his example. This is all true.

Then we have the second type of belief — that Jesus is a Savior. That he saves souls.

In my darker days, the idea of a Savior was abhorrent to me because this meant recognizing my sin. Back then I loved my selfishness, arrogance and vanity. I weaved an intricate web to hide from God. I went to great lengths to deny that not only was I headed to hell, but that I was already there. Not hurting anyone? I was inflicting mortal wounds upon myself. When I finally heard the Lord knocking my heart was bleeding profusely.

“Do you want to be made well?” He asked me.

And I answered, “Yes. Yes Lord, make me well.”

So Jesus Christ reached down and pulled me out of the pit and set me on my feet. Looking back, I see how different things were back then. What a great distance – or not?

Even now, I am not the “good guy” that I think I am or want to be. I am not so far from the wretched man of my past. Nastiness still can rear its ugly head in my life, but the difference is now I hate the wrong in my life. In the past I embraced it. I have been made clean and whole but not by any great effort of mine to be a “good guy”.

Instead, I have a free ticket to heaven. Why? Because, like the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, I know I have been forgiven of very, very much. And because of this I can love very much.

The distance between the sinner and the saint is not great. The greatness lies in recognizing the love Jesus pours out for you.

Luke 7:38

Image source: Attribution Some rights reserved by diongillard (I cropped the image and added the text.)

Afraid?

One of the wisest persons I know is 7 years old. He’s the one that told my wife one day…

“Mice are afraid of cats. Cats are afraid of dogs. Dogs are afraid of their owners. And the owners are afraid of monsters.”

“And who are the monsters afraid of?” my wife asked.

“The LIGHT!”

Never be afraid…

light of the world

Image source: flickr Darren Johnson… I cropped the picture and added the text.

Sunshine Award

Okay… I have to confess and apologize. I never acknowledged the importance of these awards. Others have nominated me and I turned them down. I was an award snob. And I was lazy. I’ve learned so much about this blogging thing, and it is all about community. So when I was nominated by Jamie at happy little wallflower I knew I had to accept. Jamie is one of the most loyal and supportive bloggers I know. Right off the bat she made me feel as if we were friends.

Another reason I avoided these awards it that I know praise is dangerous… at least for me. It feeds my pride and that is a beast better left unfed.

So again, if I offended anyone by not accepting past nominations, I’m sorry. I’ll do better from now on. So here goes:

Those receiving the Sunshine award should:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer some questions about yourself
  • Nominate some other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!
And the nominees are… (drumroll)…
Tammy at Wing and a Prayer Farm. Tammy’s blog is unique. She shares her insights about life, love and faith through her experiences as a mom, wife and farm keeper. The pictures are stunning and the blog is just all goodness. It makes you dearly want to visit their farm in Southern Vermont. It’s a great escape for me from the city life.
And..
Cristal at Refusing to Tiptoe. Cristal is a woman of faith, and it shines brilliantly in her blog posts. She is creative and gifted in her writing. I have been inspired many times by her reflections. I’ll never forget reading her post, Cowgirl up {when life knocks you off your horse}. From there on I was hooked.
Okay, now the questions…

1. What is your favorite movie?

Cinderalla Man.

2. Do you have any regrets? 

Thousands. I’ve been forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten.

3. What is the last book you read?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Fantastic.

4. What is your favorite color?

Blue.

5. If you could be any character from “LOST” which one would you be and why?

I have no idea what “LOST” is.

6. What is your favorite song?

Can’t honestly think of one favorite.

7. What is your biggest fear?

Hurting others in the name of religion. Unfortunately, I have seen this fear come to fruition.

8. What are your pet peeves?

Rudeness. Selfishness. Pride. I peeve myself to various degrees.

9. What are your greatest strengths?

My intellect and my desire for perfection. These, coincidentally, my great weaknesses also.

10. If you were a Star Trek® character, which one would it be?

Spock. Logically.