Looking for Something?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rest in the Company of Love


It's a fuzzy thing sometimes.

We all know what it is... but when asked to explain it, or what it's purpose is, or why we need to pray... well, there isn't always a clear cut answer.

I know people who pray all the time, but it is always popcorn type prayers, you know? The kind of prayer where you just ask God real quick to do something, say amen, and then just move on.

There is nothing really wrong with it, in fact for new believers or people who have been struggling in their faith, I encourage starting there. My problem with it is that I just don't ever see Jesus do that kind of thing.

And hey. I am guilty of it.

Treating God like a great grandpa who HAS to give me what I want, or some magic genie, or wizard in the sky whose only purpose is to serve at my beck and call.

I just don't see Jesus living or praying like that.

When I approach God, I often to try to persuade Him that I am worthy of something or that He should act on my behalf. But there is no reason God should act on our behalf—none is worthy of His intercession.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Breaking Free

Sometimes what we need to cure our fat egos is a strong dose of God. Long before a certain visionary “discovered” the earth was round, God sat enthroned above the circle of the earth. Long before men were so “enlightened,” God formed the light and the darkness. Long before the first billion dollars was invested in exploring space, God’s own hands stretched out the heavens. Long before there was a “beginning,” God had already planned the end. Like Peter on the mount of transfiguration, we’re so caught up in the tabernacles we want to build that we sometimes miss a fresh revelation of God’s glory right before our eyes. If only we could realize that we make life so much more complicated when our approach to life is “all about me.” Do you know why? Because the rest of the world never cooperates. No one else appears to have gotten the memo. When we see ourselves as the center of the universe, we live in constant frustration because the rest of creation refuses to revolve around us. Life vastly simplifies and satisfaction greatly amplifies when we begin to realize our awesome roles. God is God. Frankly, it’s all about Him. Thank goodness, He is the center of the universe. So how can we live with such a God-centered mentality? Freely! Because with God, it’s all about us. We seek to please Him. He seeks to perfect us—and life works. Not without pain, but with purpose. Without the Potter, clay is just dirt. “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” ( Gen. 2:7 ). “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” ( Isa. 46:9 ).

- Beth Moore, Breaking Free

Thursday, June 12, 2014

God Doesn’t Suffer, But He Did Anyway

This is the first in a series of posts examining characteristics of God. Scholars call this Theology Proper. The point we are seeking to make clear is that what we believe about God is relevant to us today. Justin, the author of this post, lives what he preaches and his heart and mind are focused on helping the Church as a whole wrestle with these concepts and come to a clearer understanding of the God we live for and worship.


Ring Ring…..Ring. Your familiar ringtone stirs you from peaceful sleep. Hello? You muster in a groggy voice. It’s your mom…she….she is in the hospital….they don’t think she has much time. You jolt up in your bed. The next few hours are nothing like you wanted them to be. You rush to throw on some clothes and get to the hospital, details flood in but none of it seems real. Life was perfect only a couple hours ago but now…this. You say goodbye as best as you know how. In the mix of emotions you yell at God and wonder how He let this happen. You want Him to be there. You want Him to fix this…to comfort you. Sure she is in heaven now but what about you? You are the one left with your dad and brother to deal with the aftermath. You are the one who has to live through Christmas without her, Thanksgiving without her, birthdays without her. Through the tears you may only be able to look towards the sky and wonder why.

Does God even care?

Does God suffer? You may have never asked this question, but it needs to be asked. How you decide to answer this question determines how much hope can be found in human suffering. You may have a few questions like:

What about Jesus on the cross? That looks a lot like suffering.

Doesn’t God suffer alongside me? That is how He comforts us isn’t it?

Does a suffering God mean a weaker God? Could an all-powerful God suffer?

Well, the answer may surprise you.

First off, we need to understand that suffering has a couple definitions. The one I’m guessing you think of first has to do with experiencing pain. The definition you may not have thought of means “to be subject to.” If anything else has power over you it could be said that you “suffered” under it. I’m going to ask you to think like a philosopher for a minute. If you are experiencing a painful event in your life you are suffering because it hurts and you are suffering because something beyond you causes you to hurt. The loss of a loved one is beyond you but it causes you pain. You could also talk about anyone who has authority over you as causing you to suffer because you are subject to them. People can suffer under the rule of a king. That doesn’t necessarily mean the suffering is painful. It could just be something or someone causing you to feel or act a certain way. We are going to focus on suffering as in being subject to something because that captures what is ultimately happening when you suffer in a painful way.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Invisible Friends

Have you ever noticed that everybody brings their invisible friends to church? Think about it. When was the last time your were in church and someone (not from your group) voluntarily sat in the seat immediately next to you or your group? If this has ever even happened to you, how comfortable did you feel? Look at how your church fills up before service. No one sits right next to each other. They always leave a seat open for their invisible friends.

I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it does. It screams superficiality. It prohibits real community.