Friday, August 28, 2015

My/Our Responsibility as Christians

This morning I started reading the DesiringGod post from John Piper ( and I had a full thought come blasting into my brain. I have this venue here so I'll use it.

My responsibility as a Christian is to be a human being that lives rightly, loves unconditionally, and speaks truth in love. I say "human being" because these words bring to mind a picture of God's magnificent creation, mankind. Being a member of that creation I want to represent it in the most mature and thoughtful way. I want to steward my humanity as a reflection of God's divinity. I want to show how great God is by responsibly living my life as a human who loves his neighbor as himself.

Living rightly encompasses that kind of attitude and humility. I want to be a gracious, kind, person. What I've learned over the years is I'm not equipped to do that alone. God has to work on my faults, sins, attitudes, and failings through prayer, my wife and my church. To represent Christ I need to be fixed.

Loving unconditionally includes loving those who might be living a life in opposition to God's way of living. I love my wife, my kids, my friends and neighbors but I love them in different ways. I show them different degrees of intimacy and vulnerability. I show them God's love in much the same ways. The blog linked above talks about expressing your views on homosexuality on social media. In my opinion people should sparingly do that in any public forums. Talk with your friends, talk with your family, talk with strangers amicably. Don't condemn and chide those you barely know, with opinions or even scripture. God made each person unique. Each person has struggles unique to their life. Telling someone they are wrong serves no purpose but to spread hate and cause division.

Speaking the truth in love is what we should do, but not on social media. Do it in person. Do it on the phone. Do it in writing, on actual paper. Be connected and grow closer to those you disagree with by expressing your opinions openly in a way where they will be able to express theirs back. Your life is meant to reflect Christ's and Christ died for expressing his love openly, and in a way where others could express their opinions back. We aren't to be any different.

This brings me back to my responsibility. My picture of the human being I should be. I should be a loving husband, a devoted father, a close friend, a good neighbor. I have sometimes failed in those spheres. My actions should come out of love and not out of what cheese burger I did or did not eat. I need to picture the beautiful, eternal, perfect creation that God intended when he made mankind and rely on God's grace and strength to mold me. Shaping a lump of clay like me into that requires time, attention and love. God has infinite amounts of all of those.

God, please bring my life, bit by bit, toward the picture you intended it to be.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Walking by the Spirit

Deciding to walk by the Spirit and actually doing it are completly different things. About two weeks ago I made a conscious decision to walk in the Holy Spirit in my everyday life, while at work, while at home, while doing anything. It didn't turn out like I expected. I had high expectations and low results. 

The most notable thing that happened is I forgot to even think about God. This may be the worst inspirational post ever but to me it's a step in the right direction. I have made it to the conscious incompetence step. I'm aware that I don't live my life in a way that constantly consults the leading of the spirit and I'm aware it needs to change. 

What will I do now? The same. But I will start smaller. Let's simply pray at lunch. 

(Park Street is a good place to pray too)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Echo Chamber of the Mind

I had a thought last night that has had me thinking since. It was a disturbing thought that made it difficult to sleep until I could find the positive side of it. Mainly, that we are essentially echo chambers to whatever stream of vibration we focus on. What I mean is that our minds have a tendency to reiterate, regurgitate, rehash and dwell on the same things over and over. But what bounces around in there is determined by where we face our microphone so to speak. When I think about this I get a picture of a TV screen that is facing a video camera that's attached to it. So when a tiny change occurs in the image there is a feedback loop that goes on forever, from camera to TV, over and over. However, with our minds it's magnified and combined with whatever has been previously been focused on. The mind takes all of this and blends it and makes you. Partially this had me thinking "I am completely at the mercy of whatever I focus on."  And then it also had me thinking that people are extremely predictable. Find out what TV, books, people and other influences they are looking at and you'll find it almost perfectly reflected in their future thoughts and actions. This is why the bible can shape our hearts and minds. We will become whatever we stick our echo chamber near. 

The next thought related to this is that our childhood thoughts and "echoes" are stronger than the ones we create now. And if we start trying to change the frequency of the echoes, discord happens!  

Our minds need harmony. We need to be in accord and consistent throughout. For example say you grew up following the teachings of the Koran. You then come to America and learn about Jesus. You will have a very hard time becoming a Christian when there are so many different chords and melodies in your head that clang against what you have vibrating in your head already. 

I think it's possible to change but it's going to cause a lot of discomfort and a lack of peace for a long time. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Life with the Holy Spirit

Our lives are meant to be lived with the Holy Spirit. I was reading Acts 2 and as I was it occurred to me I hadn't been living with the Holy Spirit! I had been trying maintain this Christian life without the source of all life. 

My heart is excited to wake up tomorrow and breathe in the new air. A day with my God lived out integrated and whole. 

That's what it is you see. Separating any part of our lives from the influence of God is to compartmentalize. I want to make sure I'm living an integrated life. That means I will be asking Him continually what to do next. How to stand, how to walk, who to talk to, when to listen, when to speak. What to work on, how to answer my email, how to address my boss, and how to talk to my coworkers. 

Yes up until now the freedom of doing that stuff on my own seemed good but I've messed it all up. I am done trying to be self sufficient. I need my God, every hour. 


Today I had a lovely thought, a thought that sent me into a bit of a happiness whirlwind. I could be a writer in heaven. This delighted me. One of the reasons many people have trouble with the idea of heaven, other than the obvious (athieism, agnosticism, humanism) is because they think they'll be bored there. This is a tragedy. Heaven should be thought of as a place of joy and fulfillment. If you're purpose is to write, then you will write and love every minute of it. If your purpose is to create music you'll do that. God has a purpose for each of us and when his creation is restored it will work perfectly, with everything and everyone doing what they were made for, perfectly.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


There appears to be something about obedience that I have been missing. I want to do God's will but I also want to follow my own. Why is denying yourself better than indulging? When Ada disobeys me I find it incredibly frustrating because I'm not in control of her actions. Could it be that God finds it frustrating that He isn't in control?

No, He is always in control.

Then what is the real issue? He wants me to live in reality! In reality, regardless of my obedience, God is in control. If I live in accord with His will then while I live I'll be happy while He is in control. Otherwise I will be frustrated and cursed.