Life WITH God

April 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

I’ve spent a lost of time and space recently exploring ways Not to relate to God.

- We explored the false pretense saying God is required to bless us for right lifestyle.
Truth, although powerful and needed, can actually be a substitute for relationship with God.
- The consumer God mindset, where He becomes your WalMart was analyzed.
- And we contemplated how being active and living on mission can subtlety replace God in our lives.

All of these posts and explorations have been inspired by the most thought provoking book I have read in a long time.

With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to GodWith: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani shows how the change of a simple preposition can affect our walk with God.

Make Moments

April 15, 2014 — Leave a comment

Just as we pulled up to join the convoy of safari vehicles, the leopard we had been tracking jumped from his tree and sped off into the bushes.

We just missed our moment.

The setting was Krueger National Park in South Africa. I was taking my parents on a safari during their visit to our family.

We had marked a tree in the park as a leopard dining area, having seen an impala carcass hanging from its branches. A fresh kill would surely give us our elusive leopard sighting.

Our guide parked the vehicle and we waited. One by one, the other tourists departed for other pursuits. Our guide suggested we wait.

How often in life to we miss amazing moments because we are in a hurry to our next appointment?
Do we miss the gems life has to offer because we do not slow down enough to even notice?

See the Good

April 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

Many times in missions, we speak of the difficulties with greater frequency than the good things.

We talk about racism.
We speak of our various phases of culture shock.
Stories of being hurt by those we work with abound.
Even at times, we venture into difficult topics like trauma or loss.

What of the positive? Can we see the good in people and our nations?

I don’t mean newsletter stories of lives changed or projects completed.

What do we love about the people we work with?
What traits are present in the cultures or nations we work in which serve to glorify God?

Since all human beings are made in the image of God, there are glimpses of the Almighty which shine through in all peoples, cultures, and nations.

We can easily point out the negatives of a culture, but what of the positives?

We hear a lot today about Christians filling the church chairs, but not doing much with their faith other than being spectators

“Those lazy, unmotivated Christians, they just sit in the pews!”

What are we saying? Real Christians are on God’s mission, engaging in God’s calling. We quote James of faith without action is dead.

So, we move:

“From” to “For”
“Taking” to “Giving”
“Spectators” to “Participants”
“Consumers” to “Servants

This is good right?

Yes. Please let me be clear. This is good!

But as with all things there can be a subtle danger.

We can move to focusing on God’s mission and lose focus on God himself.

We hear, “Real Christians give their lives to God’s mission!”

Then the question lies in how much mission is enough mission. How much lukewarmness or laziness is too much?

Climb higher? Work harder?

We live in a consumer driven culture today and can easily allow this influence to creep into our walk with God.

At our very core, we want to feel happy and get whatever we desire, more than glorifying God, learning obedience, or serving others.

In this view, it is not long before God exists to satisfy our consumer desires.

God is not like WalMart.

It is true that God is the “Father of Lights” who gives good gifts to his children. He says, “Come, seek, knock, and ask

But when receiving God’s gifts becomes the single aspect of our relationship with God, we treat Him like a department store.

A consumer mindset is very destructive. Everything’s value is determined by it’s usefulness to me.