I should say patch of sand given I live near the desert…
Maybe it is time for us to see the Kingdom of God as the thing of importance rather than our little patch of it. Instead of our own brand we could build partnerships and gospel unity for the fame of Christ in our cities.
I promise this is where the good stuff is. Outposts of Jesus’ new reality working in unison not to draw a crowd but to see the Kingdom go forth for the glory of God.
Let’s do it.
I have noticed something quite worrisome as of late. No one pays attention. There seems to be too much information coming at us each day and to be honest, we are all narcisistic so we have little attention span for worthwhile things unless we are convinced they are about us.
The email that you receive but don’t read. The article you skim without absorbing (that’s me). The conversation you can’t track with because your mind is across the room. Noise upon noise and we don’t know how to listen right, hear what is said or read what is written. (Knowing this I realize the slim chance anyone will read this!)
Then reading a book on Missions by Andy Johnson I came across this gem:
“I once rented a vacation apartment on the sixth floor of a building with no elevator. The owner had been very clear in every email, stating, “This apartment is on the sixth floor and there is no elevator.” Still, the significance of her disclosure didn’t really hit me until I was panting on the fifth-floor landing, hauling suitcase number two of three up the winding stairs. Yet, as I stood there trying to remember the symptoms of a heart attack, I couldn’t feel angry toward the owner. She had been up-front about it, all along. I should have paid more attention.”
Oh man, this is good. We all have stories like this because we don’t pay enough attention.
Think about it. Awaken to what’s important. And please pay attention!
There are plenty of times that I tell my kids “no.” But there are also plenty of times I say “yes!”
And nearly once a week I say yes to donuts. Sure, I like them myself, but I have also raise kids that enjoy the special treat!
While parenting is most often about convincing your kids to endure pain to get better (take the gross medicine to heal) it is also teaching each other how to chase and embrace joy.
What are the things you can say yes to today to dig up a smile in your family or friends? Or just uncover your own smile?! Go for it.
Be it a donut, a string of silly jokes, a dance party, or petting every dog you meet in the park, go for it.
Some days, donuts will do, will you?
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend, someone I highly value and am thankful for his friendship. But it has been a long time since we discussed things of theology and the church.
Now we are both Christians, trusting in Jesus for salvation, but my writing, teaching, and church experience lands me within what some would call the Reformed tradition.
To this I found my friend sharing a view of “reformed” theology that was foreign to me. Almost as if it would be a perspective shaped by someone antagonistic rather than inquisitive. But the banter was light-hearted and no one was harmed!
I did conclude the conversation however by encouraging my friend that he needed more “reformed” friends. Given the more you know they less likely you are to have a mistaken view.
This goes for all of us. Certainly outside but especially inside the church. For whatever reason God has allowed us to have a varying set of doctrines and views all within the realm of orthodox. And it is important to know we are all kingdom citizens with faith in Jesus. We don’t need to always agree or give up our biblically-formed beliefs but we probably need more friends outside of our tribe so we at least understand each other better.
There is much to learn from many movements but we will never learn it if we are cloistered with our brand exclusively. So the Reformed guy hangs with some Arminians, Charismatics dine with the Lutherans, Presbyterians drink a beer with Baptists (wait that would never work!). You get the point.
Branch out. Get some friends from another tribe, people you love that think differently. Because Jesus can handle it. And you will be better for it.