Showing posts from April, 2010

Religion vs. Relationship

I've been reading an interesting article from Relevant magazine over the past couple of days. In it, Jack White (marginally famous musician!!) talks about his faith journey. Here is a quote that summarizes his thoughts:

"I don't much care about man's interpretation of religion. What I care about is what God tells me directly."

This is a very profound statement, and one that I hear many folks declaring in one way, shape or form. The issue with spirituality has always been the dichotomy of religion vs. relationship. Religion has often times been given a bad rap, and in some cases rightfully so. Religion is the attempt of humankind to organize thoughts on spirituality. Most faith structures set up and demonstrate a system that if followed will allow the individual to experience a certain level of control regarding their big unanswered questions such as "what is the meaning of life" and "is this life all there is?" What sets Evangelical Christiani…

The Relational Revolution Pt. 2

I was sitting in Swiss Chalet today meeting a group of people for lunch to discuss upcoming funeral plans when I overheard pieces of a conversation that sent my mind spinning forward. Now before you jump to conclusions, I was not purposely eavesdropping, but as I was updating my calendar on my iPod touch, I happened to overhear the people in the booth behind me begin to chat about their work environment. As their conversation continued, I couldn't help but begin to draw several conclusions from what was being shared.

The first emphasis is that relationship is the keystone that underpins absolutely every facet of life. Whether you are looking to succeed in business (people, service industry or otherwise), if your venture is void of relationship it will not succeed. Business is all about customer care. In listening to this conversation I could tell the relationship in this particular work environment was strained. People can smell a rat. When we approach life with anything less than…

Reshape Your Love

Take a look at this video.

The parable of the Good Samaritan is perhaps one of the most well known stories Jesus told. The goal in its' telling is to reshape one's definition of love.

Lately I'm wrestling with the idea of what love is actually all about. I've spent a significant amount of time in thought and prayer regarding this idea of love, and I've come up with three small areas of focus that I believe define what love is. Here is my working definition: love is about being real, being there and speaking truth. When you tell someone that you love them, you are communicating much more that a 2 or 3 word verbal barrage. Instead, you are conveying a message of intentionality. Love is a word that has lost much of its' significance in our society only because it is easily associated with a solitary action, a preference of taste or a fickle feeling. But love is so much more than this! Love is a state of being; love is all consuming; love is a choice. Choosing to l…

The Relational Revolution

There seems to be a movement that is taking place in the realm of youth ministry that is also beginning to shake the foundations of the church at large. It's an old idea with a new flavor, something I lovingly call the Relational Revolution.

This is a movement not for the sake of change, but one that is deeply rooted in the oldest tradition in time: the relationship. At the creation of the world, God chose to create human beings in order to be relationally connected with a piece of His creation. Adam was the first human being created; his body formed out of the dust of the earth and the very breath of God breathed into his nostrils to bring him to life. Interestingly enough, this is the only part of creation where God takes a hands on approach while creating. Every other account in the creation story is a result of God having spoken it into existence.

After the creation of Adam, God sees that it is not good for man to be alone, and so creates Eve through a similar hands on approac…

ReShape Your Life

Take a moment to watch this video here.

What if I were to say to you that God cares less about what we do and more about who we are? When questioned about the importance of the Old Testament law, Jesus responded like this: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Jesus' response leads us to focus on what is at the heart of the biblical code of conduct: relationship. God is far more concerned about where we receive our identity than about what we do, because an accurate, educated biblical identity informs our behavior. Love is the product of relationship, not the product of a code of conduct. True love is experienced when one's identity is rooted in a relational connection with Jesus Christ. Outside of this, love is empty and has no meaning.

There is a second s…

Obstacle or Opportunity?

From time to time I have the privilege of walking with people as they encounter questions for clarification on what they believe as a follower of Christ from their family, friends and co-workers. What is fascinating about these somewhat challenging moments in our lives is that each of these experiences provides us with the opportunity to cast the vision of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.

If you think about it for a moment, when we ask a question we are often looking for clarification are we not? A question is the beginning of the defusion of mis-truth. I can remember the moment that I asked my wife Bonny to marry me. In that moment, I was looking for clarification and affirmation to the truth that I believed in that she did in fact love me and want to spend the rest of her life with me as husband and wife. Thankfully, Bonny responded with the word yes to my question instead of the word no. There was, however, a brief pause in between my initial request and her response, which bri…

Progression leads to Simplicity

One of my most favorite pass times is cooking. I didn't discover this passion until after my high school graduation. At that time I found myself away at college and fending for myself in regards to the accumulation, distribution and consumption of food!! This passion was born out of self-preservation, cause we all know what 3 years of cafeteria food can do "for" the body, right?

My love for food prep continues to this day as I use this passion to serve my family by making dinner most evenings. One of the greatest lessons I've learned about cooking is something that I think I need to be even more aware of in my spiritual walk with Christ. I've been writing about this idea of progression as of late. The basic concept regarding progression is our life's focus. Each of us is moving forward and towards something...this is called progression. As a self-professing follower of Jesus, my focus or my progression needs to be towards Jesus. Often times in our good intent…