"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Maybe he was right, This is lame.

A few years ago, my brother was living with us for a while. I cannot begin to describe in a few lines what his life had been like, but suffice it to say that while here, he was trying to kick a heroine habit.

One night, my brother and I were out in the back yard talking about life. He had many amazing things to talk about. And some very sad things as well. We talked about a lot, including thoughts on God. My brother was a strong agnostic. He sensed that there must be something out there, but the God of the Bible (as he interpreted him, anyway) was not appealing to him at all.

During the course of our conversation, I invited him to attend church with me the next day. He said that he had not been in a church in over 20 years, but that he would come.

After the service was over, we talked about it. I had hoped that the preachers words might have struck a cord with him. But it was a short conversation, and it went something like this...

Me: What did you think of the service this morning?

Him: I thought it was lame.

Me: Oh. How about Mexican for lunch?

Him: Sure, I like Mexican.

Lame! I couldn't believe it, and wasn't sure how to respond. But now, looking back, I wonder if he was right. The sermon hit me because the preacher said all the things I already knew and agreed with. Nothing to challenge me and apparently nothing to challenge my brother with either.

I guess I have become a little more critical lately. Not of God, just of what we do as a church. (See previous post if you have a strong stomach.)

My brother is gone now. Took his life when he couldn't muster the strength on his own to kick the habit. And he was dead set against letting God or any other higher power do it for him. I miss him, and I wish I had the chance to tell him that he was right.

I don't want to be a lame Christian. Not anymore.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another Weekend...

Another weekend, hoping to get caught up on some things, reality being quite different.

Spent a couple of hours this morning packing things for a container truck that will be shipped to Haiti. My wife and kids were there too. It really showed me some things. Like, how fortunate and blessed we are in this country. We have so much readily available to us here in terms of medicines, clothes, supplies. It showed me how selfish we are too. So much of the stuff that we packaged would have been put out in the trash if not for someone saying, "Hey, I know someone who would love to have that stuff." T-shirts that were slightly misprinted. Small bottles of shampoo and mouthwash (that we unpacked by the 100's, checking each lid was tight because many were not), boxes of allergy meds that we also unpacked because they came in such large boxes from the distributor when in reality there were such little bottles of pills inside, and space is at a premium when shipping things.

I love that my daughter said she had fun helping, and that my son was always looking for another job to do when he finished with something. I love that more than sitting around the house watching Saturday morning cartoons.

I have a lot to do this weekend, and a busy week ahead. But I gave up some precious time this morning, and got back so much in return.

How busy are you? Because sometimes in the midst of busyness we lose focus. I am glad that this morning I had some things put back in focus.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yes He is.

We are finishing up a study in Philippians (video series by Matt Chandler)in our Sunday School class. In the 11th session, he goes into detail about the life of the Apostle Paul. Wow! What a guy. Such highs and such lows, and through it all he manages to stay focused on the cross.

I want that.

Not that I want the pain, but I want the ability to be content regardless of circumstance. I am tired of being comfortable. God calls me to learn contentment, not live in comfort.

When there is so much of God to be had, why do we settle for finite things that in the end never do satisfy?