Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
This Porsche Carrera GT, so beautiful, luxurious and powerful, wanted him also; he knew this to be true. He cupped the smooth body, tilting his head, considering the sticker adhered to the window. She was fast and tight, with six-speed manual transmission, redlining at 8400 rpm and a top speed of just over 300 mph.
He turned away, sighing, his desires unfulfilled. Maybe someday.
This post was inspired by velvetverbosity.com 100 word challenge: "sleek"
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Why the drama? My last two Lenten reflections left me looking through the glass darkly, wondering what’s in store for me. I’m determined to follow Jesus, to not be one of those who shrug and turn away, sorrowful but unwilling to let go of the things I know in favor of the things that could be.
This week I’ve been on Spring Break vacation but work demands have mired me in a sea of angst as I’ve struggled with some personnel challenges. This is not an enjoyable part of my role. It is not spiritually rewarding. Employment as a whole though, I must admit, is financially rewarding. It is nice to have income. As much as I dream of making a living through other means, I do not think any of the alternatives I have in mind would be nearly as lucrative.
Ah, lucre, the money…. Is that what I’ve become? A lover of money? No one in scripture who loves money is able to give themselves wholly to Christ. It is easier to wedge a camel through the eye of a needle, right? Am I clinging to employment as a way of avoiding the risk of discipleship? Can I be a disciple while remaining in my current role?
Today I took a leap of faith and paid for 3 years worth of a new domain: FGHart.com. Now I face the challenge of setting it up and putting it to good use. I’m praying for God to grant me singleness of mind and faithful obedience to His will. (2 Chronicles 30:12)
Sunday, March 13, 2011
“You’ve had ample warning. Are your things in order?”
“Yes. No! I….”
“Nothing. It’s just….”
“What? It’s time to go.”
“Is there another way?”
“We’ve done it this way for generations. It’s too late to complain about your lot. You’ve known this was coming. Why are you acting as though it’s a surprise for you?”
“It’s not that. It’s....”
“I know, I know. You put off thinking about it. Now it’s time and you’re not ready. Well you’re going, ready or not. Nothing you say or do will affect your fate. The die is cast. Your fate sealed.”
I’m reminded of two encounters recorded in the Gospels. In one (Matthew 19, Mark 10, Luke 18), Jesus encounters a “good” man. This man, a successful leader in his community, runs up to Jesus, falls on his knees and says, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus points out that only God is good. Then, he asks the man if he knows the Commandments.
The man responds, “Of course! I know the commandments and I always obey them! I have since I was a child.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. He said, “That’s great! There’s only one thing left for you to do. You must sell everything you own and give the proceeds to the poor. Then, follow me.”
The man’s face fell and he went away sad, because he had many possessions. He turned away from Jesus; he walked away from what he was called to do.
In a separate encounter (Matthew 9, Mark 2, Luke 5), Jesus met a Tax Collector. With the label “Tax Collector” we know he must have been considered a “bad” man. Jesus came by the tax booth (where the man was sitting) and said, “Follow me.”
The man got up, left everything and followed Jesus.
Later Jesus declared, “I have not called the righteous, but the sinners to repentance.” So, if only God is righteous then we can conclude we fall into the category of those called to repentance.
Lent is a time of reflection and repentance. It is a time for considering that which separates us from God and, once identified, turning away from those things and turning toward Him, leaving everything to follow Jesus.
A friend of mine pointed out that my personal struggle with managing time is an opportunity for me. For Lent, she suggested, I should turn away from the clock, from unanswered e-mails, dirty dishes, laundry and other demands in order to spend time in prayerful meditation, devotion and worship. More specifically, I am devoting more intentional time pursuing God's call for me.
Q: What are you doing for Lent?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Jesus withdrew from the crowd, walking on rough waters to join his Twelve disciples in boat crossing the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. At the synagogue Capernaum the crowd caught up with him.
Jesus told them, “Don’t work for food that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life, food that the Son of Man will give you.”
They responded, “What should we do to perform God’s works?”
Jesus answered, “To believe in the one He has sent.”
So they asked, “What sign will you give so that we can believe you? After all, our ancestors ate manna during their wilderness wanderings, as it is written ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus clarified, “It isn’t Moses who gives bread from heaven, but my Father who now offers you the true bread from heaven, giving life to the world.”
They said, “Always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger or thirst. Though you’ve seen me in action, you still don’t believe. Everyone the Father gives me will come to me and I will never drive them away, for I have come to do His will. This is the will of the one who sent me; that I shall lose none that he has given me but raise them up at the last day. My Father’s will is that everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life and I will raise them up at the last day.
Jesus’ followers, devoted though they were, found this claim hard to swallow.
Jesus reiterated his promise of eternal life four more times and the people continued to grumble. He then spelled out the promise which is a core tenant of Christian faith. He told them, “Eat my flesh, drink my blood – the true food and drink, the true bread that came down from heaven, the source of eternal life.”
Many of his disciples turned away in response to this difficult message. He asked the Twelve, “Don’t you want to leave also?”
Simon Peter responded, “Where would we go? You offer the words of eternal life. We have come to know you are the Holy One of God.”
As a disciple of Jesus Christ we are called not just to follow him but to not turn away from him when we face the challenges put before us. Lent is a time of discipline and quiet introspection. Don’t turn away from the challenges of life, but embrace those challenges. Remain steadfast. God is calling you to eternal life.