Thursday, November 29, 2012

Simple Instruction from Jesus to His Disciples

"You received without paying; give without pay."

- Matthew 10:8b

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Life You Save

"What God says, is 'The life you save is the life you lose.' In other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself, and only a life given away for love's sake is a life worth living. To bring his point home, God shows us a man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name. In terms of human wisdom, he was a Perfect Fool. And if you think you can follow him without making something like the same kind of a fool of yourself, you are laboring under not a cross but a delusion." - Frederick Buechner

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forgive Me Asking

One from Propaganda's new album, "Excellent". Beautiful stuff here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Warning to My Readers

A poem from Wendell Berry:

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world.
I am a man as crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natrual.
A wonder is what it is.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17

A sobering reminder that everything and anything good in us is the result of God's grace. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Poverty and the Gospel-Part 4: Life as Intended (continued)

My apologies on being a week since I last posted on this topic. Life has been a bit busy :). Continuing on our topic of what is really at the heart of poverty, and how it applies to the gospel, we have first established that at the heart of Jesus mission was to reclaim or restore life. He came proclaiming the good news of God's Kingdom, whereby everything that was lost in the fall would be restored. Since God came to restore us to our image bearing as God intended,  last week we asked what all does it entail to bear God's image. I broke it down into 4 relationships. In order to fully live as God's image bearers, we were created to be in a vertical relationship with our God, an internal relationship with our selves, a horizontal relationship with others, and also a relationship with creation.

So what did these 4 relationships look like before the Fall? What were they intended to look like? To see this, we will look at Genesis 1 and 2.

Let's start by looking at our vertical relationship. First, as image bearers, human beings were made to worship. This is innate inside of every human. We all worship something. In the beginning, before sin entered the world, God, our Heavenly Father and Creator was the sole object of our worship. In fact, God was so much the sole object of our worship that there wasn't even a need for a separate time for worship (like church on Sunday's) because Adam's entire life was worship. All of his days and in everything he did, Adam was worshipping God. It must have been awesome to be able to worship God in all activities in an unhindered fashion.

Something else that defined Adam's vertical relationship with his Creator was intimacy. Notice that in Genesis 1 and 2, Adam talked openly with God. There was no separation or barriers. Adam was able to stand and communicate with God with complete transparency, openness and confidence. There was complete harmony. God walked with Adam in the garden. Adam lived completely in God's presence.

Lastly, as it was intended, there was a proper Creator/creature distinction. The main reason why life was perfect before the entrance of Sin was the way in which Adam rightly lived under God's loving and righteous eternal rule. The only way life can be in order or harmony, is if we are living under our Creator's intentions. Now, at first this may seem like God is a bit like an overbearing task master who demands that we stay in line with him. To this, we must realize that God's intends for us to live under his loving and righteous rule because it is 100% good for us. He doesn't demand that we live under him because he's mad, or wants us to suffer. Rather, we suffer when we choose to be our own God. We suffer when we lose this Creator/creature distinction. When we look at the effects of the Fall, we will see this more clearly. But, it is safe to say that life as intended includes humans, as God's image bearers, living an unhindered life of worship before their Creator with constant relational intimacy between us and our God.