Monday, June 21, 2010

Under the glass

Under the Glass

Usually when you are looking through a magnifying glass you are trying to get a closer, deeper look at something.

Unfortunately, when people are putting you under the magnifying glass it's not for a positive or good reaso, especially when it comes to your faith. It really saddens me that there are so many self-proclaimed "christians" out there who's only evidence of christianity is that they might attend church somewhere.

There christianity however is based on what they do and don't do an d their judgements of what others are doing or not doing. They spend their waking hours tearing others down, criticizing other christians or churches, or gossiping, or being judgemental, all because they don't fit the belief system or mold they have been ignoranting taught or adapted to themsemselves.

Unfortuantely, many people's belief systems are based on the way they way they were raised, their traditions, comfort zones, or uneducated beliefs, and not based on reality,on God's word, and most of all His truth.

Thye put others under the magnifying glass judging every motive, move, and action and it's an unfair and innacurate judgement.

I love it when people tell me I don't act like a minister, even if they don't mean it as a compliment (many do). I don't want stereotyped or put in a category with others that isn't true. I was called by God not man. I also live my life by God's word and not a denomination, peoples opinions, traditions, or anything else. I am not pefect, I make mistakes, I have faults, and don't always do things the "traditional" or "normal" way, but I will always take God and His Word over anything else, whether others like it, agree with it, or judge me incorrectly.

I want to be under God's magnifying glass, not the world's, not man's, and certainly not some self-absorbed ignorant person. There are reasons churches are dwindling and dying and not growing. There are reasons why so called christians aren't maturing, growing, and making a difference. They need to spend less time inward or self-focused and more God-focused. They need to put down the magnifying glass and pick up the Bible.

Don't live your Christian faith judging others, putting God in a box, or following traditions, legalism, or denominations. Stop focusing on issues that don't matter and start focusing on issues that are real, about salvation, and reaching those who don't yet know God.

"Judge not, or you too willl judged." Matthew 7:1 (NIV)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Commitment or Sentence?

Commitment or Sentence?

That's the question I ponder about marriage these days. I've had several people ask me if i'm nervous or scared, I'm neither. I'm ready, I'm excited, and I'm blessed to be marrying such a wonderful woman. (getting married next friday, June 18th). The question I ponder is really about marriage in general and with people in general. Do they look at marriage as a life long commitment or a life sentence?

It really discourages me the lack of respect people have for marriage vows. It also bums me out the way that married people have tried to discourage my happiness and joy. How many "unhappily married" people have told me, "wait til your married a few years", or "I've been married 3 times it will change", or "stay single", etc....i've honestly heard alot of comments from people like this.

It doesn't discourage me about getting married, it however does annoy me with h0w people view their marriage, treat their marriage, or show honor for their spouse. If you have been maried awhile and you feel this way, then I would say you might be part of the problem and if your marriage stinks, doesn't bring you joy, or makes you negative, then it's half your fault. You either married the wrong person to begin with, your selfish and only take and don't give in your marriage, or you are not living up to the vows you supposedly took.

I don't expect marriage to be no work. I don't expect to be all roses, puppy dogs, rainbows, and bubble gum, but I do expect it to be rewarding, an adventure, and life changing. I don't expect to always be right, get my way, or have it made, but I do expect to grow, learn, and do my part. I don't expect my spouse to be perfect, never make mistakes, or always agree with me, but I do expect her to be patient with me because I'm not perfect, I will make plenty of mistakes, and I won't always agree with her.

Marriage is a journey, not a sprint. Marriage is a commitment, not a decision. Marriage is about growing, sustaining, and maintaining your love, respect, and commitment for your mate, not letting it turn sour, resentful, or complacent. Marriage is partnership and that means both have to carry their weight, contribute their part, and put the other's interest above their own.

I think many people should really hold off getting married, or be more selective in whom they choose to marry. Better yet some should not get married because they'll never be able to love someone as much as they do themselves.

I have alot to learn, but i'm willing and I have a desire to make my bride the happiest woman I can. I never want her to doubt my love and commitment and I want to be able to say those words 10, 20, or 50 years from now, Lord willing.

I want to encourage you if you are married and you are having issues, to work them out. Don't wait for your partner to "change" or do all the work, do your part now. Stop viewing your marriage like you're trapped, a prisoner, or you're a victim. You are the one who said, "I do." If you married the wrong person, try and make it work. Now in cases of infidelity or abuse that is different, my advice is to RUN!

Newly married couples need older mature couples who are married to be examples. We need more married people who are happily married and not afraid to show it or say it. I think the idea of marriage is the longer you are together the closer and deeper in love you grow. I think if God is at the center of your marriage and you strive to build your love on His, there are no limits to where your relationship might go? I know that marriage is a commitment I'm ready to make for life and it's not a life sentence, it's a life commitment.

"Marriage should be honored by all." Hebrews 11:4a(NIV)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

That's What She Said

That's What She Said!

"But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!""
Luke 10:40(NIV)

Jesus came to visit at the home of Martha and Mary. Martha was "busy" with all the preparations, while Mary sat at Jesus feet to listen to His teaching. When Martha complained, Jesus reminded Martha she was worried and upset about all sorts of things, but not what was really important and Mary had chosen that.

Doesn't that sound like many of us? We are always busy or distracted, even better yet, many of us go to church and we are distracted by "church things", "traditions", and things we want and like, yet many times we miss those teaching moments, those times we should be worshipping, or those opportunitie grow.

We are busy making the church building look pretty, or preparing for an event, only not able to enjoy the special concert, service, or revival. We get so consumed with church politics, personal agendas, or set in our ways mentality, that we miss God trying to change us or our church to make it or us grow.

Many times in our lives we get busy with jobs, running kid around, or preparing and plans of something that we miss the simplicity of simply enjoying the moment or the people that make it possible. We need to stop running around and "making plans" and start enjoying the relationships and those around us. We need to take time to simply enjoy the presence of God in our lives and maybe in our church, if we'd actually allow Him to work and move in our church.

Jesus reminded Martha what was really important, not filling drinks, preparing the food, or cleaning the house, but sitting at the feet of Jesus appreciating His presence and listening to His life-changing words. Maybe we need to take time to do that in our lives today?