YOLO or so they say

I know that there is more after this life, that we have great treasures stored up for us, but I believe that is not our only hope. We are promised in God’s word that we will have abundant life. I believe we are meant to have that life in the here and now. Soon I will be having major surgery. This has me thinking about a few things what is probably the most important would be the activities that make up my daily life. God wants more for his children than to mindlessly go through the motions. As Matthew West has sung, I don’t want to go one more day without His all consuming passion inside of me.

To some degree routine is important, but we can’t trudge through our week waiting for the weekend. In my experience, so much hope et built up for what the weekend will bring, that it is often anticlimactic. The reality can never meet our expectations. We don’t need to wait for the weekend!! Every moment of every day is a gift from our father. Time is an invaluable commodity, once it is gone we can never get it back.

Saint Irenaeus – “The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and to be alive consists in beholding God.”

All of that to say this, draw near to God with all you have. Our great father wants to take us on a great adventure. Now for some, this may indeed mean missions trips into the great unknown, but for most of us it means living out the daily tasks of our lives fully attuned to the Holy Spirit.

A while back I had the opportunity to take dance lessons with an amazing dancer. I had danced in the studio for years growing up, but this idea of having a partner, well that was another thing entirely. At first we, or should I say I, tripped a lot. My focus was too strongly on my own response to the music. It was not until I tuned in to my partner, felt the movement in his hand and waist- small movements to be honest, easily missed, that I began to hear the music through him that I was able to move with him. For me, this was a strong metaphor for our walk with the spirit, my focus must be on him so that I can be aware of His counsel and guidance. I need to see the world and “hear the music” through the Holy Spirit.

This is the adventure! This is where I will be open to opportunities to serve Him in my everyday life. We are called to be the body of Christ, but what is a body disconnected from the head, if not useless? God has called us to so much more than simply existing on this earth and the time to be fully alive is now.

The savior awaits, will you draw near to him and allow him to have this dance?

Reflecting Him for who He is

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:1-2

 

 As I read this, I wonder, do all of my fellow sojourners on the pathway to heaven know what our calling is?  We are called children of God! What awesome love the father does indeed have for us that he would call us His own sons and daughters!  Some of us; however, may wonder what that really means.

 

I think of my own children.  How deeply I love them, what I would do for them, but also I think of all the times I remind them of who they are.  They are children of a father who is a man known in our community, children of parents who have donated and dedicated time to the youth of our neighborhood through sports. That may not seem like a big deal, but many of these children look to my husband as the only father figure they have. He often feels the weight of knowing this. When my children are out in public, I remind them to act in a manner that will not bring shame to our name.  

 

How much greater shame do we bring our father in heaven when we do not behave worthy of being called His children?  We make light of who God is.  I hear the name of God mindlessly spoken as some sort of cultural idiom or turn of phrase.  It is not so much what they say most often, but what they mean (or don’t mean) by it. To hear “God help us” when clearly there is no real respect or faith spoken, when it is more just an exasperated, eye rolling expression, makes me so sad.

 

God is God, He is perfect, He has loved us with a great love, but let us not forget that until we come to Him and are made new we are dead sinners, deserving of His justice and wrath.  It is good and right that we remember that He is Holy and just and His greatest gift to us is the ability to know Him.  By his grace we can approach the unapproachable, but we must be careful not to come to Him from a spirit of entitlement, we have no actual right to be there in and of ourselves.  He is to be honored and only when we truly understand who He is, can we understand who we are and what it means to reflect Him. 

Life and death and definitions

The other day as I was listening to people complain about how awful life was, I felt a bit frustrated. Life. It is the most basic thing we have and in a nation where we are free to do with it anything that we choose, why would we waste any of it complaining about it? Our lives are a gift and if I do not like where I am the thing to do is to work to get myself where I want to be. Change is difficult, but it is not impossible. Right now, I know people who are struggling with losing that gift either through the loss of a loved one or personal health issues that threaten to take away their lives. One example that stands out prominently in my mind is my friend, Jen, who is struggling with the fact that her infant grandson needs a heart transplant. How do you pray that they will find him a heart knowing full well what that will mean in the lives of another family? If all lives have inherent value, who is man to decide what life has more value? Yet, there are times when mankind must make these choices and that is never easy.

Legal definitions must be carefully designed to protect life as much as possible, but the beginning and ending of life must be defined. Last year, there were some who supported a bill that would define the beginning of life and legal personhood at conception. This would be legislation that I could support since I do believe that right from conception that life has value, but what should we do if that life is the very thing that is endangering the life of the mother? In cases where an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, the baby can not survive and most cases mom either will not survive or she will have suffered a rupture that will impair or prevent her from having children in the future. How can a choice that will not allow either life to continue be the right one?

Another difficult definition is the exact moment that one is dead. Is it when the heart stops? Or when the brain is dead? And what does it mean when the heart is beating only because of medication and machines? There is a thin line between a patient being dead long enough to be sure they are not coming back and yet not so long as that the organs can not be donated. We need to have wise people in charge of these decisions. They should not be made by the political powers that be, but by a committee of physicians experienced and qualified to speak to these situations.

I am limited in my wisdom and understanding. I am no doctor, I am just a servant of Christ, so what I can do is pray. Pray that God will grant wisdom to those who can make these decisions. I can be there to stand in the gap for individuals who are dealing with tough situations. The prayer of the saints availeth much.