Loving the Unlovely: Christian Conflicts With Israel

There ought to be things that still break our hearts. IF we consider ourselves to be in some relationship or acquaintanceship with God, then there definitely out to be things that still break our hearts in very tender ways.

I struggle to find the words of what I saw.

There are a people within Christianity who claim to love the Jews people, but they believe that something just like the last Holocaust is possible or even likely to happen again. These said people wish to do their part to protect God’s Chosen People. They believe a redeemed Israel will come out of the calamity, albeit a drastically reduced number.
Some times these people speak so factually it scares me to here their casualness.

But it got worse. …

I once heard a vehement Jew…maybe rabbi, I don’t remember right now…say something along the lines of, “Christians just want to use Jews to bring back their Christ! They don’t care about us!“. As if one religious culture could use or manipulate or sacrifice another. I hate how right he may have been. I could only imagine what he’s seen and heard. I know what I’ve seen and heard makes me sick to think about it, even as I search for the words.

These select group of Christians (fore mentioned) had a portion of them give a message/sermon which I heard about after the fact, although I was at the same camp…I skipped this particular “teacher”.  He spoke from Ezekiel 39:9-16, and he spoke words of mockery.

One of the other seminar attendee’s gladly recount the summary for me. The theory went something like this: after the Jews survive (barely) another world war, then they’ll see Christ and be humbled, then they’ll have to be on cleanup duty for seven months from all the Armageddon that just occurred, and they’ll become even more humbled. Then after that, maybe they’ll be truly reconciled with God.
My heart broke.

These are the Christians who claim to love Israel and love the Jew? What love is this, that delights in their being kept out of their own Holy City and having to do humiliating unclean work of peasants? While what..? The “Christians” get to hang out with the Messiah, partying because they’re so much more fit to be in the Holy City?
No. I do not hear the heart of God in this. No. I will not be with that crowd.

If that was the only way such scriptures could be read, then let me just say, I would set aside “party time” or “ruling and reigning with Christ” and I would go help the Jews with the disgusting, unclean work of picking up corpses and bones left rotting months after the most horrific battle of history.

These things should not be taken so light-heartedly.
Did this teacher even stop for two minutes to consider God’s heart on these things? Or how Christ works over and over again? How is that Christians can take verses like, “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” or “And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses“, but they are only for Christians?
How is it that there is still this idea that one must clean themselves up before God will accept them? How does one clean themselves up with God’s help?

In case you should become curious what is in Ezekiel 39:9-16 and what does it say… may I just offer another point of view? It’s not about Israel going through more disgrace and humbling. By this point in the eschatological story (end of times story), the remaining People of God have already beheld and meet their God in fullness. They are already a priestly people. Now God has put a new love in their hearts where they can’t stand the idea that something -even something defiling- would stand in the way of anyone coming up the Mount of God and meeting with the true God. Therefore, they’re so fervent, that they willing go out, work as hard as they can, for as long as they can, and they will clear the Traveler’s Valley, so anyone…absolutely anyone can come and meet with God.
They are not doing this to earn merit, but out of Love…the Love of God, which we only gain when we experience a personal encounter with God.

I don’t understand the words “I love you” or “love” itself when people hook with circumstantial requirements. Although maybe we all do. Maybe we’re a people who forgotten how to love other just because …just because there is some unmistakable beauty in the depths of another person’s soul, which our soul notices even before we see it or understand it ourselves.
Even if we fail at this… can we just, please, not put God’s name on it?

Can we just have enough respect for a being that would qualify as God to not try to make him into a tyrant or monster at every other turn? Can we just admit we want points for our deeds? Can we just stop putting other people down even though we find disappointment all around us? Can we have a little respect? Can we hope in beauty? Can we stop being mean to those who brought us here?

If we’re going to were the title Christian, could we just believe in the way Christ Jesus lived, and they things he taught? Could we just look at the scriptures without trying to find our own treasures, and just search for God’s heart instead?

Could we stop saying “I love you” just to make it easier to use people? Please… Please stop feeding your hate.

Can we wash one another’s feet just because Jesus called us to servanthood? Can we just act like the thing by which we identify ourselves as?

Something changes when you know God’s heart beyond the best doctrinal choices. When God doesn’t fit into our given options, we have a chance at expanding our world, our minds, and our hearts.

When Jesus had his infamous “angry moment” in the Temple, flipping tables and driving out the money changers… you need to understand the unspoken things that happened there. The context, if you will.  In those days, people sold potential sacrifices just outside the inner temple area, in an area known as the court of Gentiles. It was all the closer Gentiles were allowed to get towards the Holy God of Israel. Whether out of spite, commerce greed, or necessity of the day this area (the court of the Gentiles) had become so packed that barely anyone could walk around in it -because of the buying, selling, and trading taking place- let alone have a quiet moment to worship a still distant God.
So Jesus comes in see all this taking place and quotes the scripture, “My house will be called a house of prayer” …and the rest of the sentence is “for all nations”.

Hebraically, this is how you quote scriptures, in part. Because ever elementary age child learned the scriptures by heart. …or nearly. It’s iron sharping iron to quote part and have those around you quote the rest to you and still understand the greater picture of what’s being said. Kind of like we do with movie quotes nowadays.

So in this famous “angry moment” of Jesus at the Temple, we see God’s heart is broken in that Israel (and their religious system) isn’t taking seriously being the People of God and priestly to all nations. So I can only imagine if there comes a time when the Messiah shows up, and restores the fullness of all things, then these people too will see the truth about even this detail in the covenant.

When God shows up everything changes.

It would be absolutely impractical to have a half love for the Jew now, merely waiting for Jesus to come and rub their faces in it, and to think that will be enough to be a catalyst for their “full salvation”. It’s absurd!
If we want to make a difference in the darkest times, we must know God’s heart. We must know God’s heart beyond doctrinal correctness. We must not despise one we call our brother. We must see the beauty of what God is doing beyond our own selves and our reward.

Love is nothing if it is not lavish and strong to those who are weak and far off. And if our love is nothing, than so are we.

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Not Superheroes, Just Friends

About a month and half ago, a friend of ours confessed he need to turn himself in for DUI. We prayed with him and have prayed for him since then.  A few weeks after that, another friend told us about his agonizing relapse, we listened, and he asked us to pray he’d get into detox. Maybe a month later, a different friend of ours found out his wife was cheating on him and planning to leave him. We were able to be with him that day, and spent the night keeping him company and being available.

We’re not miracle workers. We don’t change the world with our prayers. But we believe this is who we are meant to be. We believe this is what resurrection life looks like. We are thankful for those who will let us know when their life isn’t perfect and they need some support. Not everyone will tell us, not everyone will let us help or pray or sit with them and listen. Not everyone can trust, hope, or call out for help. We are thankful that God has made these friends strong enough to include us.

Somehow, I don’t think people imagine this as the good Christian life. We don’t evangelize (as its known to be), we don’t seal them with cliches, we don’t tell them everything will be okay. We just try to be available, try to pray, try to believe with them.
…and personally I can’t imagine much else to be the “Christian thing to do”.

We’ve never once stopped to think or accuse the devil. We’ve not yet become overwhelmed. Instead we thank God that these fine people have entrusted us with their tough situations. We thank God that we’ve been able to look into their faces, and hear it from them. We’ve thanked God that we are able to pray with/for them, and fully believe God will strength the weak hands and feeble knees. We know they need the prayers. We all do.

My husband and I are searching for a new place to live, and it’s frustrating. We haven’t found an open door, and we start to get a little put out with God. What does he want from us anyway? We’re trying! Then something happens… not to us but to whom we love …and we get quiet. We remember to be thankful. Although our current residence is limiting, and we’re ready to move forward, we are still a part of life. Life is not out there, somewhere, someday, instead…it is today. With all the bad and good and waiting, it still counts as life.

If I have to take a moment to remember this, to think about it, and to let the gratitude sink in, then I’m sure I’m not the only one.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, addictions and cheaters, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

And this is why we believe that we are already part of the resurrection life. In life we feel pain, we share heartbreak, we hope in unseen circumstances, we fall and get up again, we sorrow, we rejoice, we try. WE do this together. We include one another in these adventures -which at times seem to lead nowhere- and we pray. We include God.

When saints pray for a common hope, I believe it’s like going to a concert with a beloved band on stage. It feels like everyone is singing along, the crowd is pressing forward, strangers become friends, there is strength in numbers. There’s also that one weird person who has to yell something like “marry me” or “I love you” to one of the band members…but that’s easily ignore or laughed away.
In a concert like this, people are sweaty, smelly, sometimes pushy, close and pressing closer. Some yell the whole song, some sing, yet we all seem to lose our voice by the end of the night. And we love it! It’s like a sign of hardwork well accomplished. Not only did the band get on stage and perform, but we were all a part of the concert tonight…and it was beautiful.

If you’ve never been to a concert like that, you’re missing out. If you’ve never lived a faith like that, then you’re missing it…missing everything.

One or two of these friends (from the previously stated stories), said to us something along the lines of, “I don’t deserve friends like you” to which my husband perfectly replied, “Everyone deserves friends like us.”

We’re not superheroes. But in real life, we are friends to real people. We love our friends. We are proud of our friends.Our prayers for them pour out more regularly than prayers for ourselves. We are thankful for those who have allowed us to journey with them. We know these aren’t just bad times, but these are times where God is working.  We press on, carrying the burdens of our friends. Hoping. Rising…one more time. We will try. Together we will walk through today.

If this isn’t what faith is suppose to look like, then God help us. It’s the best we’ve got thus far.

Love: What Does It Do?

I’m losing my grip on the things everyone around me seems to believe is reality, and falling into a devasting black hole of desiring love to be true.

Living a life based upon an occupation, that merely pays the bills and then defining yourself by your job, holds no interest for me. Getting a big beautiful house with latest technology and comforts so that I can live in comfort, does not appeal to me. Moving to a place for better pay, better “opportunities”, or comfortable living, is losing its appeal quickly.

It’s crazy, I know.

One of my favorite quotes is: “The call of God is like the call of the sea; no one hears it, but the one who has the nature of the sea in him.”

Comforts of the world don’t call to me. At least not like they once did. Not like I might have imaged as brand new adult. Yes I’d like nicer place to live, I wouldn’t mind having more convent appliances in my house, and generally I have a list of things that could be great to have (or do) one day. But my thoughts and heart have been captured by the stories of people who think their life vain, their existence forgotten, their souls unseen, and yet in hearing the stories I hear Jesus. I see Jesus. I love them. But “how can I help?” is the ever begging question.

As I consider their plight, our hope, and perhaps our difficulties, I think of the words of Jesus. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven.” And it occurs to me, this verse is preached totally wrong. It isn’t about giving money to the poor, because you sold your possessions. It’s about getting rid of the things that are keeping you from giving yourself to those you consider “poor”. Your treasure in heaven is the brethren. It is the love of God you’ve taught your soul to wrap yourself in and identify yourself as. It’s being meek -that’s the treasure! Your treasure is beholding God.

If we don’t see God now, will we see him as God in heaven?

It always mystifies me how Jesus identifies himself, and who he identifies himself with. “The least of these my brethren”, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?”, “whoever welcomes one of these little ones, welcomes me”, “I am the Good shepherd, my sheep hear my voice”

And yet, in the church buildings they teach about Jesus riding the white horse, Jesus the prince of peace, Jesus the king of glory, Jesus the conquer. …But it isn’t how Jesus describes himself, and I’m worried that we’ll miss him, if we don’t know who we’re looking for.

Sure, God can essential wear many hats or be known by many names, but there is something quintessentially important about how God describes himself.   And that important for me to know. I think there is a key to living the Christian life that is found in understanding who God describes himself to be, and as Christians that should go doubly for who Christ Jesus identifies himself as or identifies himself with.

I worry that to miss this is to miss being a Christian, or maybe it’s just to miss out on sainthood. I don’t know. But is seems so pivitiol, so compelling, so counter-culture that I feel sure God has left this evidence on purpose.  That call to “love one another, even as I have loved you”, the call of “no greater love has any man, than this, that he should lay down his life for his friend” these things compel me beyond the surety of how I’ve seen my own forefathers live. It calls me to move beyond modern Chrisitiandom.

It calls me to question love. Not if love is safe, but is it real? Is it worth risking ones own welling being to change the lives of others? Because if it’s not worth that, what exactly is it worth?  I’m afraid I don’t understand.

How can the comforts of a couch and cable outweigh the strong call of love? Even at the price of tears, it still seems like a bargain to choose love. To risk love. To find out if what God has created us to be is enough when we come together. My reality says its sufficient to start, and that’s how the kingdom of God is built.

Does anyone else in Christianity believe this stuff anymore? Does anyone hear and reply to the call of God? Or has Jesus become or moral sprinkles on our happy life? I fear a people who don’t want to know the God they say they serve. Who don’t want to look into his face and love him. Who don’t want to come together to help. Who think the government will legislate morality, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, befriend the lonely.  I fear a people who don’t desire to do, because they so lavish themselves in “grace”.

The parable of the sheep and goats, scares the hell out of me, because the difference is so subtle that the people themselves didn’t know it. But it comes from the same man who said, “if you were children of Abraham (the father of faith) then you would act like it.”  It seems so easy. It seems so obvious. But are we paying attention? Are we willing? Or are we already so invested in the proper things, that we do not have time for extracurricular Jesus activities? But it’s not extracurricular, it’s essential core to life …a life of love. But are we a people who believe in the power of Love? …In our dark world?  Or do we only believe in love in our safe confines, and according to our modern day systems?

Can the love of God really change the world, just because Jesus believed in would? Does modern Christanity really believe in Jesus anymore? …Do we?

Does Jesus Give Bad Advice? Church and Isis Part 2

 

 

I’ve come to see that Christianity is starting to have a major personality split. Maybe it’s not a new thing, maybe my seeing it is new.

Since news of the terrorist attacks in Paris I’ve vaguely watched the reactions of people, but even with attempting to mind my own business, I’m still shocked by what I do notice.

Hate, self-preservation, my rights, “those people”, blame-game, responsibility shift, closed-hearts-closed-eyes, politics first God second…maybe second, …and that’s just to mention a few.

I’m surprised.
Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am.

So it turns out Christianity sometimes means modern Evangelical Christian, and all the crazy things that goes with that.
Other times Christianity means one who seeks God’s own heart, and all the crazy things that goes with that.

Apparently it is ok to be a Christian hate our current political enemies and anyone we think might be slightly  related to them, and still say your prayers, go to church, and pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is heaven“, ect.
Apparently sometimes politics has to do what it has to do and we all should huttle together under that, and then later on we can pray for “those people” when it’s safe to consider them as actual people again. In the meantime, however, it’s best that we use our social media to let everyone know how despicable they really are.
Apparently if you’re part of the modern day Evangelical Christian, then it’s ok.

However, I suppose if you want to seek God’s heart at all times there might become some struggles like:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Maybe Jesus gives bad advice?

I mean it’s not like Jesus expects the world to change if we live according to his words right? And of course, it’s the responsibility of the modern Evangelical to change the world, right? So maybe we should just reconsider these Jesus words. Maybe if we only apply these words inside the “church” system, then we can get them to mean something that could make Jesus right and us right at the same time.

…Or maybe we could be challenged that we have a God who believes the way to change the world is a different kind of wisdom than that which the world itself uses. The principalities use one kind of “wisdom” and then God uses a different kind of wisdom.  And the two wisdoms cannot be consolidated into the best of both worlds. Nor do they need to be.

There use to be this old saint who would always say, “Crisis reveals, and ultimate crisis reveals absolutely.”

We aren’t even in trouble yet. There is a crisis on our doorstep and so many want to ignore it and tell “those people” to go away. Go to “other Muslim nations”. This reveals who we are. What we’re prepare for. What our character is. …and not as a nation, but as a people. A people who claim God is Love. A people who claim to have the answers. A people who claim they don’t understand why the youngest generations are leaving the “church” and not coming back.

Last time on the Church and Isis we considered what it means when Jesus talks about being the Good Shepherd of his flock, and how this means we shouldn’t just give up on the lost sheep around us.

What I am saying is IF you are a Christian, then you have a responsibility. This is not a time to wait for politics to clear things up or for “the church” to get itself together. Your responsibility is to: love one another. Pray for your enemies. Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God.
And if you can spare yourself at all… then do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.

Is that enough to change the world? Or is just enough to change who I am? If me, then maybe you. If you then maybe one more person. You do the math. It’s God’s wisdom. Is that enough in this age?

Christians vs Romantics vs God

I did it. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I read another blog about “happy marriage”. No I didn’t read it for ideas, I read it to see how much I would disagree with it. 23 out of 85 I couldn’t agree with the idea or wording. 23 out of 85 statements I couldn’t let slip by without cringing.

When did idealism become so … mediocre?
Maybe some people are scared of idealism, so instead we shot for probability-ism.

Like for instance the phrase “nice guy” when your single these are the words that taste like arsenic.  “Nice guy” is the most general thing you could say about someone and still believe you’ve said something polite about that. It means nothing.

Now in the “married people world”  I’ve found this phrase “good man”. Wow. Really? Nice guys get married and become good men? Great.
We have a problem.

Example: Nice guys are faithful to their woman. So is a good man. So are many abusive men.
Nice guys tell their girlfriends ‘I love you’. A good man tells his wife ‘I love you’. So do many abusive relationship men.
I do not find these things to be crux of a healthy loving relationship.

Do people who worry about “a good marriage” not really know what an unhealthy relationship is? Or the similarities and role playing that can occur in an unhealthy relationship?  Maybe they’re just worried about personal unhappiness?
I am stupefied at the ignorance and the seemingly shut-up-and-take-it Christian attitude I see about relationships. Where does this come from?
Do they truly know what are signs of good or healthy relationship?

This have against the modern view of Christianity: mediocrity.

Thousands, maybe millions of church buildings, preachers, authors, speakers are teaching millions of people how to be a good Christian.
This is problem number one.

Being a good Christian is lie.

God calls for his people to be righteous. Righteous people affect the spirituality and history of the age they live in, merely by being that which God created them to be.

I was caught off guard this last time I read the book of Ruth.
I read about Boaz doing what was right according the laws and statures of Israel, and realized I’m reading about a righteous man.  Which made me think about the story of Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus, and how the Bible calls that particular Joseph a righteous man.
The proof of Joseph was a righteous man was that he was going to quietly separate from his fiance without embarrassing her publicly.  This is a little different than the standard of his time. This is a little different than the standard of our time. Yet this is something God loved about Joseph.

I’ve also notice how many “happy marriage” Christian blogs are against chick flicks and fictional stories of the such. It’s like people blame chick flicks for their unhappiness in relationships. Are these the same people that blame Barbie for their self-image problems?
People, there’s a difference between fiction and reality.
There is also similarities between fiction and reality.

Now some chick flicks are just stupid. I will give you that.
However, many of them stir something within us. Sentiment. Hope. Connection.  …So why are so many blogs, authors, and preachers against this stirring within us as women? What’s so scary about woman who yearn for something beyond the average “good man”?  What’s so scary about a woman who wants to be continual cherished? What’s so terrible about a woman who is waken to the possibility of the rollacoaster of love and the hope for the happy ending?

Who’s got time for that?  …Is that the scary part?
What if someone else is better at it? …Is that the scary part?
Or what am I missing?

God calls men and women to live beyond their standard roles within the era they live in. Instead there another calling for them to answer to, a calling from God. These people were God’s people. God’s righteous. The saints.
Dare I repeat myself?

Who’s got time for that?  …Is that the scary part?
What if someone else is better at it? …Is that the scary part?
Or what am I missing? Don’t you want to know what it’s like? That story that’s worth being the one that is written down. That story that’s worth repeating for ages. Is this too much to ask? Is this the fantasy that mess up the mediocre average.

I’m not a fan of the mediocre average.
I’m a fan of life, of beauty, of God, and true Love stories.

Maybe the secret of a “good marriage” is paying attention the story your living, and the make it one for the ages. Maybe the secret is knowing your story and not attempting to make it into some other story, one that doesn’t exist, one that’s average.

Maybe it’s not about trying to be or copy someone or something else, but by being who God’s created you to be, and by loving your mate and who God’s created them to be. The love story is right there. It’s still unfolding, and it’s beautiful.

Choices, conflict, perseverance, mistakes, connection …it’s got all the makings of a great love story! Unless we decide the best way to have a happy marriage to fill out the medium mediocre, and in that case we are no longer living our love story.

I don’t want to live for a happy marriage according to the assumptions of many of what a “happy marriage” is. I don’t want to keep a checklist for myself and my husband. I don’t want to rely on cliches for life-saving, marriage-saving advice.
I want to love the man I have. I want live the life we have. Take the adventures that we’re given. Grow. Learn. Not be afraid of changes, of goals, or of discussion.

Marriage, Life, Love … they are unique. Not average.
There is a calling beyond the standard of the age/era we live in, and that’s not asking too much. That call is fulfilling. There is more than average, there is more than happy. There is a beauty in the story you’re living. Do that. Live it.

So… Love is Dangerous?

I made the mistake of flipping through some comments on social media other day, about things that related to the Paris attacks. …Generally related.  I didn’t find much about the people who are recovering, and what’s being done to help them. I didn’t find stories about the hundreds of funerals there will unexpectedly be now. I didn’t find any news about what Americain band was playing during the time of the shooting in the theater. Instead I found hate. Sadly it was readily available and flippantly posted.

Facebook, in its usual style, made a way for people to change their profile pictures to be overlaid with the French national flag. Many people have respond and chosen to do this. Even they posted venom. Not specially towards France, but towards reguees who are fleeing these same deadly attacks in their home countries, because they might be the terrorist themselves. They might be spies. They might be dangerous.

They might. What of it?

Does anybody remember or know what it’s like falling love? It’s risky.  There’s a chance the other person won’t like you. There’s a chance the other person is really a jerk. There’s a chance you two aren’t actual compatible. It’s a chance that one takes, when you choose to further love, friendship, or honesty. It’s risky. It could even turn out badly. Do you remember? Has anyone warned you? Because it’s true.

There’s an old saying “you take the bad with the good” and when you attempt to care about others, it’s just a risk one takes.

Love doesn’t cure everything. But Love makes an attempt to bring forth the cure. Thats what changes the world. Love isn’t ignorant, but it is courageous. Some people hate courageousness, because it’s scary, because it’s change, because it’s beyond what they’ve limited themselves into. I know… I’ve seen it.

We aren’t those people.

In the 1830s America made a permit blemish on her history that can’t ever be undone, and ordered what is now known as the Trail of Tears. The government believed it would safest for the Indians to move onto their own prearranged lands or “camps” further away from the “civilized” areas of this growing country. In the 1940s America again grouped a race of people into questionable treatment in confide areas of “government camps” “for their own safety”.  In the 1940s the Nazis also grouped the Jews into ghettos and “camps” “for their own safety”.

In the late 1930s there’s an infamous story about a large ship filled with German Jews who were promised passage to one of the islands in Caribbean. Before the ship arrive the country changed its mind, and refused to give refuge to these desperate passengers. According to that story, that ship sailed all the way up the coast from Miami, FL to NYC no one granted them passage nor would they let one passages step off that ship.

Fear ruled. If they’d come from that country how bad could be for them to return to it? According to the story, it’s believed that none of the Jews on that ship survived the Nazis occupation.  We had a chance to save a boat full of people, if not a few dozen. As a country we refused them all. That’s the worst part. No one was saved and we let it happen. It’s now part of past we can’t change, but instead we must consider.

I get it, people are scared. I see Muslims have the bad rep in the world today. Okay….. But what’s about the Christian Syrians and refugees? Do you know that they also may be seeking freedom?  What about those who hope in a different and better life for their kids?

Do we remember that behind this mass we see as “refugees” and immigrants, that there are actual people there? There are Christian brethren, there are seekers, there are hurt wounded, scared, hopeful, praying people there.

At this point the question doesn’t seem to be what do we think about taking refugees in, but do we believe in people anymore?
Do we believe that Love has the power to change things? Do we believe that our lives effect others lives? Or are we comfortable cloistered away from danger, away from others that it’s not our problem, because it doesn’t effect our lives?

It effects me.

Do you see people when you see the pictures of the refugees and immigrants? Can you see any people? Find one. Find a face. Find a family. Think about them. Love them. Pray for them. Hope for them. Consider them.

Love is dangerous. It’s risky, it’s scary, it’s unpredictable.  And in light of all that, it’s still worth it.

Find one. Love one.
Because that’s how you change the world.

Today, fear is not my author. I hope we all remember that we have a choose. We have a voice. and we are but one. One makes a difference.

Remembering the Resurrection Life

You know how it is when you hear the amazing stories of faith? Not just the ones out of the Bible, but the ones where the Body of Christ is actually acting like the people of God without a second thought. Have you heard any of those recently? My husband & I use to listen to this one preacher who was able to tell many stories where God’s people provided for one another.
One lady who was working full-time and raising her three kids could barely afford rent, and so an older couple in the church asked if they could meet with her and seek God’s will on these issues. She agreed and they setup an evening to meet. The couple arrived to her apartment to pick her up and drove a few block away to another house that the lady didn’t recognize, where they all get out. …And then something crazy happened. The older couple hand her house keys and said to her, “it’s yours, the deed is in your name.” The older couple had bought it out right and given it to her, so that she wouldn’t have to worry about housing bills anymore.

We’ve heard stories about “ding dong ditch” in the fashion of people leaving groceries on the doorstep of families in need. We’ve heard about a single-mom who received a car (fully paid for) so she wouldn’t have to worry about getting to work, or spending obscene hours on a bus instead with her kids. And the preacher who told most of these stories simply said “it’s living the resurrection life”.

I remember these stories from 4 or 5 years ago, and I remember my husband & I saying that we wish we were part of something like that. But God said to us, at that time, “You are the resurrection life for the people around you.”  I guarantee we’ve never bought anyone a car or a house! But we have bought or shared groceries from time to time. We did help someone who wasn’t sure where money would come from. We have assisted people setup their weddings, so that they could enjoy it all the more. We have paid for a few things here and there … but really… does that compare to the stories we’ve heard?

In some ways, my husband and I are becoming poorer in earthly things, although we still have many things and God has provided for us. We have worked hard for the little we have, and we have been still and learned to deal with less. We have enjoyed all the seasons of these last 7-5 years. We have learned much. Possible the greatest thing we have learned to is pour ourselves out as a drink offering (Philippians 2:13-17 & 2 Kings 4:1-7). Meaning that as long as we have something to ourselves, we are still willing to give and to share what we have.

Having less things and dependable income possibly allows us to share more of who we are and our heart to those who are willing to receive such a thing. We do realize that some people don’t want to share in deeper things, but for everyone who doesn’t want that there are many more who are crying out for it. God hears this cry, I believe, and sends us (and our prayers) to these different people. Right now, I wouldn’t say that my husband & I have touched many lives with this “resurrection life” which we are called to, but for the few we have, they have impacted us to greatly that we are only more willing to be lead by God. Even if our leading is to be in the wilderness as some of the prophets and men of God were in their days. It’s amazing that where ever we might be, we believe that God means to use us and our prayers to bring this “resurrection life” to those who have been crying out for it in the night.

We all want to know that if there is a God, that it’s a Living God who cares. What better way for a relational God to express this, than through his people who have already put their hope in him?
I want be part of the living expression of a God who cares. Just like the great stories of faith of people both from the Bible and from our day and age, I want to be a willing vessel who believes in God more than earthly circumstances around us. There’s so many people who need to know that God cares and he’s real, that it seems just ridiculous to be watching out for our own selves as number one.

Love is made perfect in the sharing, not in isolating until perfection. Resurrection Life can only be made real in the living, because it takes more than good words to prove the legitimacy of these most sacred things. Let’s try this together.