Finding The Lightswitch In The Dark

The critical surge that finally initiates the pulse of the circuit
Coming as a result of humbling circumstances
After finally breaking down
All of your reasoning
To the truth
The Peace
Our Faith
Hope, Love
Found only in Christ
His return is our hope
That He will gather us up to Himself
And hold us close enough to hear Abba’s heartbeat

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of child birth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:22-25

What Do I Need To Be Saved From?

We are all capable of evil. From the faint thought tinged with disdain to a pre-meditated act of murder, circumstances, environmental factors, self-serving motives, and fear spawn evil thoughts from the heads and evil deeds from the hands of all of us on a daily basis. This much is human nature and it originated in a garden where people were given the opportunity to choose for themselves.

Without a moral standard, what can be considered immoral? The presence in our culture of horrendous acts, scared people, and hate-filled words, and our collective dislike for such things, is a clear indication that both good and bad exist in this world.

Much like gravity’s pull, sin has a profound affect on our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. Without the righteousness of God (manifested in the life of Jesus) serving as a guide, the persistent pull of humankind’s sin nature will drive each of us into the ground.

Being “saved” (as much as I dislike the overused cliche) is all about realizing our individual inabilities to resist engaging in people-hurting, sinful activities, and, instead, humbly turning to Jesus for a better answer and a real standard for living

As long as people fail to live their lives for God, they will be living for themselves and people living for themselves can only be certain of one thing: death.

Building Bridges Instead Of Burning Them

I recently came across another blogger’s post concerning abortion (a topic I don’t usually address on my own) and it occurred to me that there is a real need to shift the focus of the conversation. I will state that I would have to consider myself pro-life, but, I haven’t been the kind of person to picket at an abortion clinic or to criticize a woman in the midst of her dilemma. In my opinion there is a real need for the Christian community to invest its efforts in publicizing adoption as an alternative. Christ instructed us to love others as we love ourselves. He instructed us to be proactive. We need to let those considering abortion know that there is a profoundly positive alternative. As someone who was adopted soon after birth, I can wholeheartedly state that adoption is a very legitimate, responsible, and life-respecting option for someone who is pregnant, but, feels that raising a child isn’t a possible option for them.

My wife is due to give birth to our second child any minute now (literally) and our plan is to adopt our next child. We don’t know who our next child will be or what kind of adoption it will be (international or domestic, open or closed), but, we are hopeful. I know others who are also looking to adopt as well.

Bethany Christian Services Adoption Agency

Adopting.org

Shaohannah’s Hope

An extension on the topic of abortion from author Brennan Manning:

How I treat my brothers and sisters from day to day, whether they be Caucasian, African, Asian, or Hispanic; how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street; how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike; how I deal with ordinary people in their ordinary unbelief on an ordinary day will speak the truth of who I am more poignantly that the pro-life sticker on the bumper of my car. We are not for life simply because we are warding off death. We are sons and daughters of the Most HIgh and are maturing in tenderness to the extent that we are for others – all others – to the extent that no human flesh is strange to us, to the extent that we can touch the hand of another in love, to the extent that for us there are no “others.” -DEVOTIONS FOR RAGAMUFFINS, Pp.288

Alone

My response to a good friend’s question about the Brennan Manning quote featured in the sidebar on this blog:

To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of grace.

From my perspective, in my brokenness, being broken means to have been, at least temporarily, at a point where all of the veneers that I once hid behind have been shattered so that I could finally see with an unobstructed view. Brokenness is a level of clear perspective beyond what I settled for before. Like the night sky without the light pollution. People love light pollution. Thats why cities are so populated. People live in cities because it lessens the distance between them and other people, other things, other distractions. I find my greatest peace when I’m not distracted by the culture and amenities. I think that a lot of people flock to such things – I did at one time – because they don’t want to be alone. Once one has been broken to the point of realizing his or her need for something more and then found a fulfillment of that need that isn’t dependent upon other people, job performance, appearance, or circumstances, one can be alone – apart from culture and amenities – in peace. The light pollution that comes as a result of all of the culture and amenities obscures the infinite. People love light pollution. They love it because it temporarily pacifies their loneliness. I know a few folks who like light pollution.

After publishing this post, I just happened to come across another blog post that I interpret as a natural extension of the perspective portrayed in mine. Check it out.

Childlike

My four-year-old daughter has a habit of picking up rocks from the ground and then giving them to people as gifts. So, it wasn’t a surprise the other day when she came home from daycare with a handful of rocks. This time, however, the rocks weren’t stones that she picked up from the ground. Instead, it turned out that she had taken from another child’s cubby. I spoke to her about the fact that taking somebody else’s things without permission is a sin according to the ten commandments while she sat in time out. The next morning she woke up and, while cuddling with me in the chair, the first subject she talked about was wanting to give the rocks back to Miranda at daycare. I then suggested that she might want to pray to Jesus for forgiveness for taking the rocks. Her voice started to quiver and crack as she said, “Ok,” and proceeded to pray to Jesus for forgiveness for taking the rocks. When she finished I assured her that Jesus has forgiven her, that he was happy that she prayed for forgiveness, and that I was proud of her.

Admittedly, as an adult the concept of God and Christ can seem tangential and abstract at times. The real, visible impact that sin and redemption had on Julia that morning was a breath of fresh air for my life faith and it lent evidence to the words of Christ found in Matthew 18:3:

And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Hypocrite

I feel like I’ve been caught in a slow motion reel lately. Kind of like trying to steer a car with a horribly loose steering mechanism. I see the scenery pass me by and I know that I should have turned back there, but, I can’t seem to change the direction of the car.

I’ve become more aware, lately, of the concept of hypocrisy. My life is tinged with its scent. Though, I do not proclaim verbally that I am any better off than anyone else, the default mental stance that I take often indicates the presence of my subconscious hypocrite.

Intellectually I know that the goal is to have consistency between my thoughts, my words, and my deeds. It seems, though, that when I get one of the three on track, the other two come unglued. On a good day maybe its just one that comes undone, but, still I fall short.

I can’t seem to get over the fact that the truth is right there for my eyes to read in black and white, but, that the devotional-procrastinating, lazy, sensation-driven hypocritical sinner in me wins every day.

I thank God that the sinner’s fall has been obliterated by the present, risen Jesus.

Fear and Forgetfulness

Fear and forgetfulness divert my steps causing me to stumble to my knees
Insecurity was the seed that bled my confidence dry
Teaching me to stay cowered in the trapping torment of the bars that I built

There are times, though, when I fly too high
Like Icarus, I think that the plan has gone off without a hitch and I soar
Until the heat of the sun melts my veneer revealing, through my own rancorous words, a startled and calloused soul

I forgot who I am, you see
My overinflated self-perception sent me flying high for a time
But, now my craft is tangled in the wires and I hang here helpless, but, to accept His grace