Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Dying to Live

Tomb StoneSo over the last few weeks I have been pondering the act of dying.  Really been thinking about what it means and what it looks like to die to self and experience resurrection from it.  The passage which comes to mind is of course, Luke 9:23: If anyone is to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow  me.  If we sit and meditate on that for a while there are certainly actions which come to mind.  Radical and ordinary, everyday actions which can be lived out now.  Although the ordinary seem to be quite radical when I think about practicing them! 

Here is another thought – think about all of the things which you know of where death brings life.  A little list I have come up with is the following.

  • Food must die before we eat it (or at least this is the healthy way of eating).
  • If you burn/kill the land it will come back more alive.
  • The eco system has death bringing life built into the heart of it – worm, eaten by bird, bird eaten by cat, cat dies and the grandchildren of the original worm eats the dead cat….
  • Stories of people giving their life to save another, somehow brings life into us.
  • Someone doing something sacrificial for us brings life to us (death to self here)
  • For someone to live a new life, their old life must first die.

On and on the list can go, but I thought this was pretty interesting.  Somehow, the gospel is built into the very fabric of so many things – death brings life!!!!

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Incompetent, I am

IncompetenceThere are not that many things which are truly freeing in life.  I have run into quite a number of things which have the impression of being freeing, however, they end up dealing more bondage (or I end up making it more bondage than it should be).  For me, one such thing is coffee.  I love me some!  Especially when I have had a rough morning.  The caffeine gives me energy, it gives me freedom, it gives me open eyes!  However, with all the things it gives, I have become somewhat a slave to it (If you are wondering, the reason I have put “somewhat” is because I am in denial).  If I do not have it then I am miserable with a headache, moody with shortness – both in stature and temprament. 

So this past week I have learned something which gives freedom.  This is the idea of starting my day with the understanding that I will be incompetent today.  Randy shared a bit about his mantra and this was the first part.  I have been chewing on this idea and the more I do the more I recieve from it. 

I am a fallen, I am not perfect, I am in need of grace.  You see, I am one of those people whose toughest critics are themselves.  But when I think about this, I end up practicing grace on myself.  Let me just say, there is Freedom in this action!  The interesting thing about this is that when I have intentionally done this, I end up doing the same with those around me.  Funny how that is…. 

Not sure how, but I want to incorporate this somewhere in my montra!

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This past Sunday morning our topic of study was that of prayer.  There were 2 passages we looked at in particular.  Firstly, we looked at the Mark 9.  This was to follow up from last week, where we talked about doubt.  At the end of this passage, Jesus told the disciples that the reason why they could not cast a demon out was because this particular one could only be done through prayer.  One of the main things which came out of the discussion was our reliance and our understanding that God does things.  Maybe the disciples were praying, but it was not working?  Maybe this was because they were thinking it was more about them than about what God can do.  Just before this Jesus calls them an unbelieving generation.  This is possibly due to their lack of belief in what God can do.  They had belief…but it was in themselves, rather than in what God is able to do.  

The other passage was the Lord’s prayer, Luke’s version.  The main thing which came out of this passage was how the disciples came to Jesus and asked him how to pray.  I guess I kind of read between the lines here.  I hear them being upset because when they are praying nothing is happening.  So they go to Jesus and want to know what is going on….”Teach us to pray Jesus.”  Oh how this resonates with me.  I find comfort in these kinds of things.  It even makes more sense when you think about this in regards to what Jesus tells them about how to pray…

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Room for doubt

A little while ago I had a post about one of the quotes I read in a book I have been reading called Life of Pi.  The quote was on doubt not being a good choice for a philosophy of life.  I still think this is an unhealthy choice, however I would like to say a little something about having doubt.

I believe doubt is something which is healthy.  Sunday morning we had a discussion on a passage in scripture which had a man crying out, “I believe, but help my unbelief!”  The more discussed this, the more we started to realize not only the reality of doubt (Meaning we all have doubts.) but also the need for such. 

Growing up, I guess I kind of thought doubt was something which was frowned upon in my Christian walk.  Where there were doubts there was weakness.  This was not something which was said or taught overtly, but it kind of crept into the mind.  I guess I began to get fundamental about this kind of thinking and was not able to be surprised.  Could doubt lead to being surprised….?  

I believe a healthy doubt challenges us to go deeper.  It makes us question what we think is true or real.  This is a good thing.  Think about Jesus and his interactions with some of the Pharisees for a second.  In challenging their way of thinking, they must have had to doubt where they were.  This caused growth did it not?  If they did not change, then they did not doubt where they were.  

The charge I guess in this is to embrace our doubts and go further.  Do not quit looking deeper.  The scary part of doubt is that it could cause us to stop looking….yet it should cause us to look further!

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