I have been taking a journey back to the simples of my faith and trying to just get back at the core of why and what it means to be a Christ follower. Sometimes I believe I get so caught up in the deep that I lose sight of the Simple. I have been reading a Book called “The Spirit of Disciplines- understanding how God changes lives” by Dallas Willard. He is painting the picture of the importance of spiritual disciplines and the growth and power that that has in our daily lives. Sometimes Fundamentals are not given enough weight and value, and the power that they hold. Some how in all this the church has painted the deeds of our lives as not as valuable as the faith that we hold. But I believe that as James has put it so clearly it say this- ‘But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18’ the deeds of our lives are not as much about what we do, but they are a reflection of our heart and faith as we choose to follow Christ. We have deeds not because we are trying to earn anything but because our faith in Christ produces Fruit that in turn will be called deeds. There are so many Christians today that have lives that are powerless and really live no different than those who profess no belief in Christ at all. These disciplines have been looked down upon as things you do to earn Salvation, but what I am learning is that these disciplines are the very things that bring us to what I believe Christ came to fulfill and that is “life in abundance”. I think that if we really get a true understanding of lets say, the power of prayer, the reading of gods word, fasting, worship, and things of this nature we will begin to realize that they are more for our good than anything else. God doesn’t need any of things to be God, he just is. These things are what bring us to life and free us from the things that kill our hearts. God is for us and the power of these disciplines, are to bring us to a place of what it means to be apart of the kingdom of God. I believe that if our motives are just one thing and that is to please God then the power of this Gospel will do great things in our lives. So look at it this way, I read my word not because I was told to but because I believe that it pleases my father and that it is by the truth and truth alone that sets are hearts free. I read it because I have put my faith in something that is much great than my self! I pray not because I need something but because it brings me closer to the heart of God, And it is at his heart that we find the answers to all that plague our lives.
Category Archives: christ
I made a cool little video of cohen! thought I would share! hope you enjoy
This was an older post from an old blog that I felt like republishing. enjoy!
I would have to say I am a fan of Starbucks. Now before you judge me and throw out everything I have ever written or sung let me explain.
How many times have you gone to some random coffee shop and ordered your usual, and gotten something not even close to what you remember a good cup of coffee tasting like. Well for me this happens a lot.
Now in Seattle to get a bad cup of coffee, well you have to kind a work to find one. It is more rare here than in other places. But as I travel all the time, and my coffee experiences out side of my city walls are well, an adventure to say the lease.
My drink of choice is an Iced Americano. I love them. No sugar, no milk, just an iced black cup of pure coffee goodness. You are probably saying ick. That sounds so nasty, and to some it probably is. It is strong and bitter and well tastes just like coffee, cause that’s what it is. Straight black coffee, and I love it.
So here is why I like Starbucks. I always know, what I am getting. Nothing to fancy but it is constant, and to me, well worth my searching of a local Bucks. Now every once in a blue moon when the bucks is nowhere to be found I stumble into a local coffee house to find my self pleasantly surprise. But more times then not, they are like you want what? How do I make that, and well that is a huge, run for the border, don’t do it, it is going to taste like poo, kind a of find.
Anyways all that to say, I went to Starbucks today and I didn’t want you to judge my reasoning of why I went there. Ha.
Something I have been talking about is “finding the simples” in life. Finding those moments of God in the everyday things we see so often.
Today it was raining, in good old Seattle. Who would of thought? I was sitting in one of those comfy little chairs that the bucks seems to fill there stores with. I was reading and well kind a just watching the people around me, go about their business.
Today there was this man who was sitting in the corner by the window reading a book and seemed completely oblivious to anything going on around him. He seemed to be somewhere else and was finding great Joy there.
Now let me take a sec and set him up. Cause he wasn’t the normal guy I would picture sitting in Starbucks and reading a book.
He had very shaggy hair, and a straggly bread and cloths that seemed to be from a few generations back. He was somewhat dirty and kind of looked like he needed a shower. He had very soft eyes, and well if you have ever seen the American Picture of Jesus, well he was quite close, minus the white robe. Now if I were to have past him on the street I would probably just have jumped to the conclusion that he was just another local homeless man. And well maybe he was, but I don’t usually see homeless men reading the bible and hanging out in a Starbucks.
As I watched him reading I was just really taken but the way he would read for a moment and then stare off into space sifting through the findings that he was discovering in the book that lay before him. He seemed so taken by it, as if it was the only thing in life that even mattered to him, and at that, maybe it was.
I wanted so bad to just go and sit down with him, and listen to what he had to say. To hear his story, and what had lead him to the Starbucks in which we sat.
I fear so often the result of what might happen that I miss out on what could happen. I feel as if this man had something I didn’t have; yet that is probably just a feeling I had. Never the less I still wish I had talked to him. I still have his picture so deeply imbedded in my mind. Hopefully I will see him again, and maybe this time I will go and hear what it was that he was finding.
As of now, to me, he is, the man in the corner.
A couple days ago I received some news that hit me so hard I truly felt I could not breath. The pain was way over my head. My mind started racing and thinking to my self that I didn’t know how to handle the blow of what i had just been given. As I wrestle for 2 days with anger and hurt, trying not to be bitter and choosing to walk in what we are called to walk in, that being forgiveness. it is one thing to claim we can forgive but is really different to lay down your pain and choose love. You could say that Good Friday this year was the realest it has ever been. That i truly felt a death of sorts. But as I sit here today focusing on the Risen Savior I am reminded that the reason Jesus died was for the breaking of sin and pain and death. I stand here today believing on the name of our lord Jesus, knowing that he is the only one who can save us from our messy lives.
I spent this Easter very alone. I longed today for family more than I have ever longed, but knowing that some how everything is going to be OK. Gods love does not change no matter the storms that life throw our way. Today I prayed and prayed that God would rise in me and in all of you. That his realness and truth would burst forth and life would be new.
I covet your prayers so much! I don’t know how to face the storm that lay in front of me.
if you can find the time to lift my life up, I ask that you pray Gods Strength in me that I might walk upright and to choose righteousness in the storms that I know I am going to soon battle my way through.
Tonight I watched Forest Gump and I would say that it has been a long while since I had seen it. I do say a great movie, and I think I had forgotten how good it really was. As I found myself lost in the character of Tom Hanks, my heart fell victim to his simply way of life. Live life honest and full and never look back wishing you would had done this or that. There is something about a good story that brings hope to our lives and stirs something deeper inside of us, or at least in me.
I wept all through the movie, not because of the story of Forest Gump but because of the story of my own life. I was saddened tonight at the fact that I sometimes just shut off. That I let my life go into what I would call, Autopilot. I am coming to the realization that sometimes to face the truth, it hurts, and it hurts a lot, and in order to heal and over come we have to face the mountains that lay before us. Just sometimes it is easier to not feel or least that is the lie that tempts us.
I want to love myself! That is in a way that says that I am satisfied with whom God has made me to be. I am learning that in order to love others we must first learn to love our selves. That until we feel true value of who we are there is no way we can see value in other people. I believe that is why the bible teaches us to love others the way we would love ourselves.
I was talking with a good friend tonight about the way we see ourselves. About how that view alters the way we live and the things we do. If we feel small or dumb, useless or ugly it affects how we act and the life we live. Yet if we feel beautiful and loved we radiate with joy for there is nothing better in the world than to be fully loved. I am trying to let the love of God penetrate my hardened heart. You see I have a hard time seeing the good in myself. I struggle with the view of who I am more than you would ever know. You might think that because I stand on a stage that somehow I am granted some kind of bubble the shields me from all the impaling hurts this life throws at us but it is far from the truth. I am insecure and scared just like the rest of us that is if we really get honest with our selves.
But the truth is that we are perfectly and wonderfully made in the image of God. That regardless of our history and our fault that God still sees the potential of greatness within our human shells. We are the making of his hands and the wonder and glory of who he is.
We are his masterpiece!
“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
And now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through out all generations, forever and ever, amen.” Ephesians 3:16-21
I was reading in my journal this morning and came across this scripture out of Ephesians. Sometimes it’s hard for me to rest in the fact that God loves us perfectly. I know my sin and selfishness all to well, and if it were me, I would not find a place of love for myself. It is incredible to me that God finds us lovely. That some how he can see through our mess and see something that is beautiful and without blemish, and what I think is even more amazing is the fact that his love for us is the very thing that brings him glory. There is nothing that we have done, or that we are doing or even that we are going to do that can separate us from the love and glory of God.
Jesus please forgive us of our messy lives, and our inability to love fully. Please give us the grace to rest in the fact that it is by you and your glory only that we might find life. I give you my life today and pray that I have the strength and courage to lay down my life tomorrow and everyday after. I pray for strength to trust in your unfailing love. I ask for your shelter from the lies of this world and the clarity to see the truth that only you give. I ask for joy to rise in our hearts that our lives might become pictures of an unfailing love, and an unfailing God. Let us boast only in the cross that has conquered all death and let your love transform our minds to see the world through your eyes. Amen!