The theme song from the original CSI always captured my attention. With poor hearing I expect it was a few years before I figured out exactly what all the words were…but the lead in; “Who are you…” always sucked me in—“Tell me, who you are…I really want to know”. Of course, almost predictably, they found out who the “who” was by end of show.
It’s not quite that easy with the Book of James. Continue reading
I’m not sure I’d call it an epiphany, but it certainly was a somewhat startling realization.
Recently, I’ve reentered the sport of cycling. I’ve been out of the sport for over a dozen years so getting back in the saddle has been a challenge. A fun challenge. Of course, as might be the case with anyone, I keep thinking I should be able to do what I used to do on a bike or in the gym, but the realization is—NOT. It’s frustrating at times, but then again I’m not in my fifties anymore.
The other day while I was driving over to my local bike shop I began thinking about what I hoped to accomplish in the sport. Did I think it was possible to ever get to a level of fitness that I enjoyed years ago? Could I race again? Then it hit me. The answer was a resounding “No!” Not because I couldn’t but because I wasn’t thinking correctly. I was thinking like someone who rides a bike and not like a cyclist. There’s a big difference. There’s more to being good on a bike than eating power bars, drinking Gatorade and logging miles on the road.
As I pondered that, I began to think of the struggles I have in my faith-life. It didn’t take long to make the transition. All too often I think like someone who goes to church and not like a Christ-follower. There’s a big difference. There’s more to being a follower of Christ than just going to Bible study, attending church, or volunteering for a service project.
The Apostle Paul encourages the Philippians with these words, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…” In other words, think like Christ not like a church goer. Think sacrifice, obedience, even death because that is how Christ thought and acted. A tall order for even the most sincere.
When I think of the Apostle’s challenge it’s rather daunting. I’m more comfortable with the churchy things. Not so comfortable conforming to the image of Christ. Sometimes I think I’m covered with more goat hair than sheep’s wool.
Looks like I need to wake up in more than one area.
On my bookcase I have a single puzzle piece, a yellow #2 pencil, and a relay baton. They all have a specific purpose for being there and I look at them often and think of that purpose. Today, I also noticed a book that I’ve had on my bookshelf wherever we’ve moved: from IL, to OH, to TX, to NC. It’s a book a friend gave me well over twenty years ago. Continue reading
When new followers join this blog, I’m usually enticed to take a look at their blog in order to get a sense of who’s tagging along with me. Recently I stepped over to the Minstrel’s wife blog and read a piece she had posted on praise. When I read her wonderful testimony of praise, I started thinking about how different individual Christ-followers can be and how Christ-followers express their faith differently.
What the Minstrel’s wife posted is not a genre which necessarily reflects my particular passion for Christ. Yes, there are times of worship, study and prayer when my emotions and the joy of being loved by the Master take over. But that’s rare, although enjoyed when it happens. Her echo of a deep-seated passion for Christ is not one I often hear in the neighborhood where I reside. And that’s okay. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, at the conclusion of worship, our pastor challenged us to pray—genuinely pray for our “enemies.” Based on the last paragraph of chapter 5 in Matthew’s gospel, He outlined four things we could do, that would demonstrate love toward our “enemies”;
4 Ways to Love Your Enemies: Continue reading