Saturday, December 27, 2008

Everybody is somebody.

Everybody is somebody.

"Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

That's a quote from an article a friend sent me the other day. A high school football coach decided to cheer for the other team, a group of players currently serving jail time. In essence, when the world told them they were nobody, this coach showed them that everybody is somebody in God's eyes.

It's a beautiful example of what it means to love your neighbor.

Check it out if you get a chance.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How much?

A friend in Australia sent me this clip. In it, Penn, of the comic duo "Penn & Teller" asks a really bold question after a stranger gives him a Bible. His explanation of why we desperately need to witness to people completely caught me off guard.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

two words, one lie

two words, one lie

The devil is more than willing, and very able, to tell you what a Christian should be.

A Christian should feel happy all the time.
A Christian should be rich.
A Christian should never doubt.
A Christian should know more Bible by now.
A real Christian should never have a marriage that is broken, a child that is run away or a hope that feels small and extinguished.
A real Christian should never be hurt or lonely or sad or angry or stressed or depressed or confused.

Painting a picture of what a Christian should be is perhaps the devil's favorite activity.

But, he will never be able to tell you what a Christian can be.

He cannot plumb the depths of God's love within us.
He cannot fathom the might of God's power within us.
He cannot comprehend the relentless pursuit of God's grace within us.

He cannot tell you what a Christian can be, but he will whisper aggressively what a Christian should be.

The challenge is not to confuse those two words, can and should. Because one produces shame and condemnation, attempting to put limits on a God that is limitless. The other, shines a light on a God in which all things are possible.

Can and should.

Which one do you hear most?

Which one are you listening to?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Awake and asleep.

Awake and asleep.

I read an article in last month’s Men’s Journal about some coal miners that died in a tragic accident. While trapped miles under the earth, with their oxygen running out and death coming quickly, the men decided to write some notes to the people they loved.

One note said:

“It wasn’t bad. I just went to sleep.”

That is a gift,

if you are dying.

That is the only thing you can give your family and the people that love you. That was a kindness, a man letting his family know that he did not suffer. I was overwhelmed by the selflessness of that action. With only a few short breaths left, that man did not focus on the pain he was in, but instead used his last energy to do everything he could to ease the pain of the people he loved.

But if you are alive,

if you still have years ahead of you, if you are still above ground, breathing and living, that note is note a gift.

It is a curse.

It is a note that I wrote to describe my own life for many, many years.

“It wasn’t bad. I just went to sleep.”

Things weren’t horrible, I just went to sleep. I stopped caring about anyone but me. I stopped giving and focused on taking. I let go of risk and settled into a nice, safe, comfortable life.

“It wasn’t bad. I just went to sleep.”

I am tired of living that way. Tired of writing that note. Tired of being those words.

I don’t know if you’re like me and it’s easy for you to fall asleep. Easy to focus on the wrong things. Easy to miss the love and the life and the joy God keeps whispering in the corners of your day.

Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up.

That is my prayer for 2009. That I would not sleep. That I would not live a life that is really not all that alive. That I would remember Revelation 16:15, “blessed is he who stays awake.”

What kind of note will you write this year?