Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where Clouds Come From

Ever had a day or season that seemed cloudy or overcast from the inside out? I know I have. As a matter of fact some days seem as Gray as Dorian all the way into my soul; yet knowledge and feelings are two different things.

On the one hand I know certain things because I’ve read them or experienced them. On the other hand, I feel certain things not because I’ve read or experienced them, but simply feel them because that’s how reality is created, by feeling it.

Oh you may disagree, but check out your reality and ask yourself how you feel. If you feel good, then it’s likely what you’ve experienced or are experiencing matches with your learned expectations. If you feel bad in any particular way, its likely expectations are going unmet.

So where do clouds come from? I’m no Mr. Science, but it goes something like this. As I understand it, clouds are a cumulative association of H2O molecules; the more molecules the more visible the cloud. Dark clouds and vast areas of overcast sky are densely packed molecules. Often on very cloudy days rain falls from these dark clouds until enough water leaks out that they change composition and lighten up, sort of.

So what do clouds and feelings have to do with anything? Well, my take on them is this. Much like the formation of clouds, so too with the formation of cumulative feelings, ultimately leading to down pours of emotion. When the conditions or situations are just such, condensation occurs. Whether it’s the condensing of H2O molecules or feelings; both result in the eclipsing of the sun, and thus living in benign shadows becomes our reality. Therefore now there is no “condensation” on those who are in Christ Jesus. Think about it.

You know, maybe that’s why they drink lots of coffee and listen to Nirvana in Portland? Portland averages 222 cloudy days annually. If Portland were a person we’d call her depressed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Portland, coffee and even some Nirvana music, but I sure don’t want two thirds of my days being cloudy from the inside out, so what does a person do? How does a person get the sun to shine – on the inside?

Your responses are important to me; I’m working on a big-LIFE-science-project. Thanks.


Five Common Denominators of True Disciples of Jesus Christ

Knowing we'll give an account of our lives leads us to the Second Common Denominator of all True Disciples of Jesus Christ; LOVE. Yup, love. I know it seems so poetic, but since most of humanity could not keep the Ten Commandments and the myriad of other laws found in the Bible, Jesus left us with just two.

Your great, great, great, great… great grand parents Adam and Eve had one command or law and can you believe they broke it. Just one and they couldn’t even keep it. We’re no different, except we’ve been given a New Command; LOVE. Jesus told us all the law and the prophets hung on this one word; LOVE.

I remember way back in 1969 or so, my brother Martin brought an 8 track tape home, and it was call Upon This Rock, by Larry Norman. I remember listening to that tape over and over, not even knowing who this singer song writer was, but I liked what I heard. Over the years I came to love his music and it always championed the notion of LOVE.

Now granted, Larry’s music sprung from that rebel love generation sound, but nonetheless it was peppered with prophetic calls to LOVE as Jesus loved. And love is one of those things that is better caught than taught. My apology to those of you who’ve not caught any recently.

But what is life without LOVE? Not much. This might be a great time to highlight a couple of scripture passages that nicely define what love is and what love is like. First Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5:22-23 give a nice framework to determine your LOVE quotient. Even Jesus tells us that LOVE is about giving and laying down your life for another, done that recently? I could name a few of my friends that are doing that right now.

Paul the Apostle even wrote a description of God’s love towards us while we were utterly hopeless and nasty sinning rascals. The truth is and was and always will be God LOVES us. He never stops LOVING us. So actually if you want to measure your LOVE quotient, ask yourself if you’ve stopped loving someone recently, if so, you’re not following Jesus. He never stops loving ANYONE; even the perpetual sinner.

Oh they may never be saved by His loving grace, but He will NEVER STOP LOVING THEM even as they pass into eternity and out of relationship opportunity with Him and His Father. Man that would be hell, wouldn’t it?

Monday, November 15, 2010


Five Common Denominators of True Disciples of Jesus Christ

All too often the challenge of being a Christian comes at such a perceived expense that many choose not to follow the path Jesus trod. And unfortunately for those many who take the broad way, destruction is their final destiny. And while they fly down the broad way of this time proven exit strategy, they rarely if ever realize their eternal decline. It just feels too natural to be wrong.

As I meditate on the comprehensive truth of the biblical knowledge I’ve assimilated (which is actually very little), I realize it’s minimal as compared to the comprehensive truth of God Himself. So as I process what I have and attempt a humble assimilation of more revelation, I’ve come to a conclusion; True Disciples of Jesus Christ will share Five Common Denominators.

Come with me as I explore and express what I believe God has given me for such a time as this: right now.

Knowing that the Bible teaches we are all dead in our trespasses before grace through faith brings saving life, all people start at dead, though they look alive. Yet being physically alive is not the same as living alive in Him. The First Common Denominator of all who choose to follow Him is the call and command to LIVE.

That’s right, live. We’ve been brought to life to live for Him, in Him, and by Him. Anything less is NOT life in Christ. For when we came to know Him as Savior and Lord, there also came the distinct relational call and command to LIVE.

You may find that funny, since we all tend to live in this world. I mean really, if I’m writing this and you’re reading it, you and I must be living; right? Yet what Jesus teaches us takes us to a greater level than just day by day existence here on this planet.

As True Disciples of Jesus Christ we are called and commanded to LIVE. For who would want a religion, let alone a relationship, that did not include of the opportunity to LIVE, despite the fact our earthly home has been tainted by the curse of sin.

Living in Him brings about genuine freedom, never bondage or condemnation. So when was the last time you decided to really LIVE? For some, the idea of living it up in Christ means doing whatever you want with complete amnesty attached to all behaviors. I don’t think that’s the life He’s called and commanded for us; because frankly all things are lawful but not everything is wise or pragmatic.

Yet without knowing it, many Christians live far from the genuine call to LIVE. The kind of living that we are given opportunity in Him is about taking a big slice of life and savoring every bite. It’s about sharing the beauty and taste of all that is good and bearing the burden of others as they taste and experience the ugly of all that is bad. Community, friendships, patience, air, food, rest, snow, green plants, a new born baby, a dearly departed friend, a fast car, a tender letter, a warm blanket, a tasty cup of coffee; need I say more? Do you LIVE or do you simply exist?

For as we LIVE we actually find places where He fits into the life we’ve been given. As I posture NOT for myself, but for the better of others, life turns Kodachrome right before my very eyes. Albeit there are days, I do enjoy the cloister of an empty house, a good book and black coffee, I also enjoy the rabble of friends and family.

If I ever sky dive, I’m sure I would love it. Do you get what I’m saying? Life IN HIM IS GOOD, even when it’s bad. And that’s esoteric. Go and LIVE. Don’t just waste your life, but spend it sowing into others, enjoying all that is good and shun that which is evil. But LIVE. For each of us has only so much time and then we will meet Him face to face and give an account of our lives.