January 27, 2012

The Pain and Joy of the Kingdom

A couple of days ago, my good friend Lindy and I were talking about the different Bible classes we're in, and some of the subject matter that comes up. She spoke of the thought that so many of us have about what it will be like "when we see Jesus", in terms of how Heaven will be. That part of our discussion stuck with me, and brought up some disquieting thoughts in me.

He comes to bring a sword, not peace. Not to fight earthly wars, but to attack and pierce my selfishness and contentment. His Word slicing my soul and spirit, judging my heart.

His Kingdom is in our midst/within us. Luke 17:21 can be read both ways. It's in the sometimes vast gap between us, and in the depth of our own being.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. But I have to reach out my hand to touch it.

January 24, 2012

Who Am I, Part Three: A Brother

There are a lot of times that I really wish I could find, and be with God completely in my solitude. It would be a lot less painful to just go and sit under my personal bodhi tree and be at one with Him, rather than looking for Him where he is truly to be found.

The sunken eyes of the hungry children. The cries and tears of the widow. The anger of the betrayed. The nameless dread of the condemned prisoner.

In other words, in you; in the hunger, loneliness, anger, and fear that is in you.

You scare me.

Who Am I, Part Two: The Orphan

In my previous post, I wrote of who I am in God's view, in terms of a relationship with Him, and His promises. It's important to understand who I am in relationship to myself, and why I so desperately need the gifts He offers.

I'm a fraud.

A lying, deceitful fraud.

Ask me how I'm doing, and I'll tell you that I'm feeling great, and everything is fine. Can't have you thinking I'm weak or needy. I'll even pretend to be interested in how you're doing, but in my mind, a dozen things are vying for the top position of my attention. Important things, mind you, like worrying about something that may or may not happen tomorrow, or trying to set aside some time for self-loathing.

The funny thing is that when my mind is occupied with those boogeymen and imagined needs, I rarely stop to think about what my true needs are.

Who Am I: The Adopted

It's a cool, rainy day today. Sitting in my workshop, watching the rain fall, I'm thinking about a question posed in a Bible class that I currently attend: Who am I, really?

Looking below the surface at this question brings up a lot of strong feelings in me. Am I my mistakes, my errors, my failures? Many days, I feel that way. But those define me only if I choose to let them; they are simply a part of me and what I have done in life.

January 1, 2012

New Year's Day

It's going to be a good day, and I believe this year will be better than the last (all in all, last year was much better for me than many previous years.)

One thing I know that will be better is my spiritual growth. We have some great classes coming up at our church, and I'll be able to participate in several of them. I think I'm looking forward to that the most this year. Along with that comes feeding my soul better things. I have several books on my Kindle by N. T. Wright, Henri Nouwen, Francis Chan, Rob Bell, and others that I will get through in the first quarter this year.