Friday, September 26, 2008
when you're dead...
What will the ripples in the pond be?
What will they say at your funeral?
What will your great, great, great grandchildren say?
What will God say?
The day before we are born God hands every man a bound book in which to write their autobiography. He also hands them a pen, and thus there can be no revisions of what really happened. And then this broken image of God is set loose to collide with planet earth, in the midst of billions of other intertwining stories. Most simply write their lives mindlessly mimicking what others say and do…but…a precious few stop suddenly one day and are awakened to a very different story and song. It calls out to them and collides in them in the midst of beauty, truth, and pain. It calls them home, home to the true author and architect of life. This spiritual supercollider creates a civil war within where each man must either choose to continue his life in ravenous and rebellious autonomy; or let the song become his own and merge with it learning to live life as a jazz improvisation of the song sung in his own unique voice. And if they listen hard enough and understand the song of creation they are liberated. And the liberation, far from fading, becomes a revolution within [building in power and passion day by day]. Eventually what is happening inside must be birthed outward and become a revolution around them, through them. And then their true story starts to collide with those around them with sparks of moral grandeur, spiritual audacity, and missional love the mere biography becomes a Gospel for all eternity to read and be remembered.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We see what we want to. Jack Black in the movie “shallow Hal” sees women only through the lens of their physical appearance and our cultural values of beauty. Then he is given a gift. He becomes in a sense blind to the physical and somehow sees the inner beauty of a woman he then falls in love with. The tricky question then is…which one is truly “seeing?” The Jews of Jesus day were much the same. They had a cultural expectation about what the great rescuer would be like [the messiah]. And while their Bible told them a lot, they tended to see what they wanted to and ignored the rest. Today it’s really the same. People have assumptions and idea about Jesus and God. But very few take the time to really investigate him; really listen and study his words and actions; they know what they want…not…who he is. In essence they want to make him up, and make sure that he makes their “best life now” happen and love them just the way they are. Beyond that cliché…they really aren’t interested. How sad. The God of the universe knocking on a hearts door…and somebody saying [after the ‘knock, knock] “whose there?” God…Jesus. “Jesus / God who?” The Jesus God who loves you! “Oh….i gave at the office…I just stepped out of the shower…I don’t have any cash on me…the mormons were here yesterday give me a break…no I don’t want to take a survey or sign your petition…and Jesus says “I just want to come in and talk…love you…teach you…give you peace and rest…move into the spare bedroom” and we say “sorry lost is on and my Tivo is on the fritz…it’s the 4th quarter hit the road…come back later…I’m calling the police right now…I’ve got a wedding / funeral to go to now isn’t a good time…I’m holding up a finger, guess which one…”
And Like Jessie from Toy Story Jesus is discarded by those he most deeply loves.
No tragedy…not Romeo and Juliet…not Atonement…will ever be as sad. No wonder Jesus said “the son of man has no place to rest.” God’s truest home MAY be in heaven…but he left that place for something he valued even more…YOU!. Your heart…head…soul…you are his truest home.
Pull up the blinds. Unlock the door. Don’t worry about cleaning up [he likes to do it]. Then open the door and let him in. He may look different than expected, a stranger even. But once you get to know him, and you find out just how much he loves you, you will never be the same.
We all long to be loved, and that’s what he wants to do!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
“What do you want?”
I don’t want. I need.
Need to do the laundry,
vacuum, dust, wash, scrub.
He’s coming – I haven’t lit the candles,
the chandelier doesn’t sparkle just so,
rain-dust has dried on my windows.
These stains won’t come out –
call a steamer, chimney sweep,
plumber, landscaper. I need…
some flowers for the table,
cut and watered, captivating
in crystal, I need some time,
just a little more time.
“What are you looking for?”
I looked under the sofa, but it isn’t there,
I even dug between the cushions –
I’ve pulled up goldfish crumbs
and a few dirty pennies, looking.
The trash’s innards are scattered,
soggy tea bags, a broken wine glass,
moldy bread. I combed the cold spaghetti
for some sauce, but all was hardened, stiff.
“Come and see.”
No thanks, I’ve been there before.
I’ve heard your type; you say you’re different
lamb, light, life, word, savior… yada yada yada
but I know. The water’s better over here,
thank you. Living water? I’ve got mold
growing in mine, does that count?
Living water… is it bottled? No?
The boil alert in town says boil it, or buy it
bottled. Nothing about living water.
I’ll check again and see if it’s safe.
Not safe, but good?… does it come in a jug, then?
My mother said not to talk to strangers.
This living water, it must be a trick. You want me
for my body… oh. You want me for my soul.
That’s odd. Well look, my friend said you weren’t
so bad. Okay, so he said you were the messiah.
I thought that was a bit of a stretch…
you came from where?! Nothing good can come
from there. Where are you staying?
Maybe you can show me this water.
I’ve got a few goldfish crumbs stuck under
my fingernails, do you mind? I only have
a few pennies to offer for your time.
Two cents, really. You want my two cents?
Who are you, really?
Monday, September 8, 2008
This is mostly from Lynda Marshall a Christ follower in the UK. She posted it on a website as a creative way to modernize how the gospel of John has effected het.
Hey, in the beginning which was before or yesterday there was the reason why. The reason why sweat and stink, the reason why cornflakes, the reason why trees, grass, flowers break into purple VW Beatles, Mac’s, feet on babies, faces-hey, faces-there was a reason why when in a moment before now, that which was not, big black all over us became…one of us.
By us I mean the one to one squillion ape-likes, wondering why they like a bad cigarette lighter were snapped into a blue faming moment of existence, and a moment later which was always too soon, not sometimes even able to inhale life they more or less were caught and blown away.
The reason why became flesh and made his dorm and dwelling among the TV sets and buildings with no windows and we did not recognize, kept eyes glued to green screens, quiz shows, news, reality, sports-good feelings, happy endings, never think of this end, this matchstick of a life we are decreasing in the smoke of our vanity.
Hey, stood next to my shoulder this reason why, but I wasn’t looking in the peripheral vision just yet. But I began to see him like Brad Pitt blinking into my fight-club life. And then somewhere, somehow, someday I heard someone say “he loves you!” and it was him and he had been whispering this into a thousand moments I could finally hear.
And then somehow on that beach he unexpectedly breathed into me, and I was suddenly alive and awake for the 1st time.
Yeah the reason why became flesh and blood and we have perceived him, the glory of the one and only, woke up life and the colors in my eyes changed as I saw red, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange for the 1st time. And life cracked open and I climbed out of my shell, and looking down at who I was and feeling the wet water of who I am I smiled.
And deep inside the hey now reason smiled at me and laughed, for now he had made his dwelling within me
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Going away to college, no matter how far or close to home you are, the first few weeks may be a time of home sickness, when you just aren’t feeling like yourself, and when you’re longing for home. Don’t give up on college yet. You can beat it.To begin with, before you even move in, you should start thinking about what items you’d like to have with you. Pictures of family and friends are a must; I have yet to see a college student that doesn’t have pictures of friends around. You can put the pictures in frames and place them around your room in easy to see areas, or you can put them on your wall. If you have anything special from graduation, such as a gift given to you by a group of friends, or something signed, bring that as well. There are no limits to where you can place items such as these. Also, don’t forget pictures of the beloved family pet. You’ll find you’ll start to miss them as well.Other special items such as yearbooks, CD’s and video tapes can help as well. A list of family and friends email addresses and phone numbers will help you feel closer to them as you always have a way to contact those who you are close to. Websites such as Myspace offer a way for people to keep in touch. So if you don’t have all of friends contact information, don’t forget you can find many friends there or on Facebook. After you are moved in, take the time to decorate your dorm room and make it home. It is your home away from home, so make it a place where you are comfortable. However, the joy here is you can now make it your own home away from home. Don’t let it stop you from being creative. Don’t forget it’s important to go out and make friends! Don’t stay in the room the entire time hiding because you’re afraid to meet new people, college is a time where you are supposed to meet them. Have fun. Go to a few events offered during the first weekend you are there, say hi to the person you see on your floor a lot that you keep bumping into. Little contact like that can help you feel more involved with the campus community, and you won’t feel so alone.