How Far Would I Go?

In reading this quote from Heidi Baker (of Iris Ministries) in her and Rolland’s book called There is Always Enough, I felt really challenged to consider at what point would I stop, or where would I consider that this was enough in what I am doing for God? Would I turn around and stop because I felt uncomfortable or things weren’t going as I wanted them?

She says of the times that they were living in Mozambique during the days of the floods:

With our tent blown down and sagging into the swampy ground, we packed into our makeship dining room for worship, tracking water and mud everywhere. Bugs crawled in our hair. We were all hot and wet with perspiration. When the power went off, we carried on against the roar of a generator…

We were taking care of about seven hundred people daily at our own center, including our Mozambican staff, workers and students. And every day, even until late at night, the poor and desperate around us came for more – food, jobs, medicine, cement, money. We were crowded. Our hygiene was marginal. Our food was basic. We did the best we could medically… (p.82)

And then she ends all of this with:

And still God chose to love us and show Himself, filling our community of faith with the good things of His Spirit. (p.83)

It seemed to me that she understood the circumstances and did not deny them, yet was able to look beyond them and see the wonderful things that were also happening during the time, and acknowledge the awesome things that God was still doing in the midst of the difficulties.

I want that sort of faith. That sort of life.

I Don’t Want to Be Like Them

While browsing around on the Internet, I came across a website called PostSecret where people can send in a secret that they have never told anyone via postcards. There is some sad stuff there, but this card was the one that impacted me the most. The sad thing is that in a lot of ways he is right.

It is really sad that there are so many people calling themselves Christian and yet do not seem to live in any way that is attractive to others. If Christ attracted multitudes with his life, and we are repelling them with our life there must be a massive discrepancy between the two. Perhaps we are not even Christians… after all, shouldn’t a Christ-ian be just that… a “little Christ”? So where is the similarity between the two???

Uninvolved Commitment

In church the other day, I started looking around at those that were there. The service continued.

The pastor spoke and gave a prayer. Another person, known to be associated with the activities of the church, stood up to speak about the meetings and activities happening for the week. The singers led everybody in worship, and the musicians provided the music.

All the while that this happened, the people sitting down listened, sang, and bowed their heads at the appropriate moments. They were all very polite through the whole proceedings, as the delegated few continued their activities in running the whole service. The thing was that they just never really got involved. They simply sat there the whole time. Passive receivers.

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Why Aren’t We Persecuted?

Something has been bothering me lately. The more I read in the Bible, and the more that I read about amazing revolutions of God where countries were turned around, the more the theme of persecution appears on a recurring basis. This has prompted me to ask the question: Why are we not being persecuted?

The Bible says quite clearly that if we follow Jesus then we should expect to be persecuted like He was. It seems that only those people that become “radical” experience this. People that break with the traditions and go out and start telling people about Christ and God and who do not pull any punches are also experiencing a lot of resistance. So where does that leave the rest of us?

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I learned something about myself today. It was when I was crossing from one country to another. Argentina to Brazil actually. Even though I have done this literally dozens of times now and know that there is nothing to fear, I still do. It is like some sort of unknown that rises up inside of me.

My Fear
Today, I discovered that my fear is actually based on control… and losing it. During that moment that I am between borders, I have no control at all over my circumstances. Anything may and could well happen, and I have no say at all. That scares me.

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The Unfounded Fear of a Sinner’s Response

Lately I have been wanting to seek God out more, to pray more, and to get out there and evangelize more. Actually, talking on evangelizing, I have been lamenting my weakness in declaring my faith to others when I talk with them. When they have asked me things, I often simply say that I am working to instill values in kids and help orphans and other bits and pieces like that… skirting around the core and principle fact that I am a Christian who believes in God and am working here because He has called me here. This changed completely last night.

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What Are They Looking For?

In church today I was not too involved with the whole proceedings. Sometimes I am but other times I am not. Today was one of those times. The thing that was bothering me tonight was a young 10 year old girl. I knew her. She sat not too far from me.

It was obvious that she was not enjoying being there. Her actions spoke loudly that she was just passing time until this service thing was all over. Nothing about it caught her attention. A church kid since very young, she had seen it all before. She was not impressed.

What is it that really will catch the attention of these kids? Why are we trying to ritualise them? Force them into the same square boxes that we were forced into? What will it serve to do this? What should we really be doing?

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Why Don’t We Do What We Know We Should Do?

I guess this sort of affects everybody. It certainly affects me.

How is it that even though I know the right things to do, I seem to head off onto whatever tangent that ends up being easier. It is not that I cannot do the hard things. On the contrary, I have done them many times before… but it never seems to be consistently. Why is this?

Why is it that I can start a new habit, but never see it turn into one? That I can want to do something really badly, but never seem to find time for it? That I can know what I should do, but never actually get around to doing it?

I can provide many answers for it, ranging from super-spiritual nonsense to ridiculously pragmatic. The issue really is not WHY I do these things, but actually HOW do I start doing the right things. After all, even if I don’t know how a car works, if it goes then I can drive it. I don’t even want to know why… I just want to do it. The right thing that is.

The Riches of a Western Nation

I live in Argentina. Now Argentina is not a poor country. In fact, the people here have it pretty good. But back in 2001 the economy collapsed, and many people lost everything they had. This crash has caused a great widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots. My home is with those that have, although they do not have like those in western worlds. Actually, most people from western worlds would say that we are the have-nots.

In most if not all of the western worlds, people spend to satisfy their desires. Not their needs. People spend to keep up with the fashions, to keep up with the Jones’, or just for the sake of spending. Money is a commodity, not a necessity. I speak in generalities of course, as there are equally people that have very little money in these countries too. But the majority do not need to think about where their next meal is coming from.

The problem as I see it, is that we have forgotten what our needs really are… and see our wants as part of our needs. Basic essentials include: a roof over our heads (warmth and shelter), food in our stomachs, clothing on our backs, and someone to love us and to love. If we have these items then we can live rich lives.

But what happens when your roof is a mansion, with clothing draped over the floor that is designed to be trodden over. What happens if the food in our stomachs is excessive, and the waste has to be thrown out for nobody can eat any more. What is it when the clothing on our backs has lost meaning in function and labels and form take precedence, with no expense spared to acquire the current trends. What have we come to when the person offerring true love is rejected for the offer of cheap sex.

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Why this blog?

Since this is my first entry, I thought I would tell you a little about why I have created this blog…

I am a Christian, and have been for over 20 years. Wow, that sounds pretty scary when I put it like that. During this time, I have been “churched” in many different places of many different sizes and denominations. I have met some wonderful people during this time, and not all of them fit the “mould” for a church. Not all of them fit the “mould” for what the churches tell me is a Christian either.

And this is one of the key reasons for this blog. A search for what is a “True Christian”? Or is there no such thing? Why do we do the things that we do? Why does it seem that there is little if any reality to the words and themes that we talk about in the church? Basically, why are we the way we are, and is it Biblical?

There seems to be many things that happen to me through the days that cause me to re-think my beliefs, to re-examine this world that I am in. To look at what I am doing and ask why. To wonder how I might be able to be part of the solution, and not just part of the problem.

Musings… that hopefully will turn into actions…