Check out my wife’s new store. This is only some of the products she will be selling. More things to come. Proud of her. #CrossmyHeart check it out on #FB www.facebook.com/cross-my-heart
I’ve been battling with the idea of a “trendy Jesus” in my head since I read about it in “Blue Like Jazz”, a book by Donald Miller. A great book. I am busy reading Blue Like Jazz for the second time now and it is even better than the first time I read it.
There is a part in the book that Donald discusses a christian writer he looks up to, this writer is coming to Don’s home town to do a book reading/signing. He very much looks forward to seeing the guy and hearing about his new book, but in stead of reading from his new book the guy starts talking about other religions and starts mixing it up with Jesus and some other gods from other religions and how Allah is his hero.
This angers Don and the more the guy continues talking about religion the more Don get’s angry at the guy and starts liking him less and less. Don later comes to realize that the guy is following a “trendy Jesus”. A Jesus that is fitting for him, and as I read this I realize that we all do the same, maybe not in the same fashion but we all try to fit Jesus into our story rather than trying to fit into His.
I wondered about the idea of a “trendy Jesus”. On my jog this morning I talked to God about it, and asked Him to explain it to me, and I believe he did, and I believe it to be relevant.
I started thinking about Jesus as skinny jeans, this may seem weird and disrespectful, but this is what I came up with. The “skinny jeans Jesus” is more relevant in our live’s than any other Jesus. I am sure of this.
Why skinny jeans you would ask? I used to wear skinny jeans, I used to be thin enough to do so, and I have to be honest… I enjoyed wearing them. Back then I used to go the the shop and try on skinny’s until I found one that suit me perfectly. I would go through 10 pairs until I found the one perfect for my build. And I believe that this is what we do with Jesus and church; we try on different ones until we find the one that suits our build perfectly.
Unfortunately Jesus isn’t something that fits into our thought patterns. Jesus is God and God is all-mighty, omnipotent, all present, God is simply too big to be used in this manner, He outstretches our thoughts and imagination by immeasurable amounts. You cannot fit the idea of the creator into the mind of the creation. And thus we start creating “trendy jesus’s” we try and comprehend Him, we try and we fail every time.
We have to make peace with the fact that Jesus is not something/someone to be understood, someone we can keep fitting on until we find the correct formula that bonds with our lifestyle, it simply does not work this way. He never will be until we see Him face to face, only then we will be able to fathom Him, I hope.
There is so much more I want to talk about on this matter, but I think this is enough to think about for now. I will write some more later on regarding the same topic.
For now, I hope you can understand that you cannot understand God, and I hope you can make peace with that. The less you try and understand God, the more you will. I hope this makes sense.
I forget… I forget how amazing Your love is God, I forget too easily all the promises I make to You in my prayers, but i am quick to remember Your promises, even if I forsake my promises and calling.
I am not worthy… I am not worthy of anything that you bestow upon me with Your ever gracious hands, quick to give, quick to pick up and quick to hold me when I call so undeserving on Your mighty name.
I am ashamed… I am ashamed of myself, for too long have I keep my mouth shut about the wrong that surrounds me. And with this contrite heart I come to you once more and from the inside I shout that You once more restore me.
I am humbled… I am humbled by Your ever present Spirit that not once let my hand go. For I know truly know that I carry a broken heart and that I do not hold together, but You hold me everything together, You hold me together. In You I hold together.
Forgive me. Hear me. Hold me.
My wife and I attended a silent service yesterday at a church. It was beautiful. God spoke to me. “Be still and know that I am God.”
There was a moment they requested us to just be still…
A definition for “still”; Deep Silence and calm; Stillness.
This is hard for me as I always try and keep myself busy with something, be it to start praying or thinking of the 8pm movie that I will be missing, anything but being in deep silence and calm. I noticed yesterday that for me it is tough to be still. And I believe God told me why by placing the following words on my heart.
"Seems we are afraid of the silence,
We are afraid to be still.
You say, “Be still and know that I am God”
In the silence we are quiet
In the silence we confront ourselves
In the Silence we are uncomfortable
And when we are uncomfortable, You work.
In the silence we are so afraid
In the silence we hear Your voice
In the silence, You breath
Breath Your life into me.”
I hope you enjoy this and find that we need to be still…
Yesterday was Valentines day. My day started off great, until I was on my way to work and my yoghurt tipped over on the carpet of the passenger side floor. This destroyed my mood at that moment.
The ironic thing is; the night before while reading a book by Donal Miller I learned that we shouldn’t always react, we should try and gather ourselves first before acting, because most of the time we do act while in offended or wronged circumstances we do not act rationally and most often make mistakes we later regret. This was my “new” mission in life, to not “always react”.
It went well and when my yoghurt did tip over on the floor, I sat back, took a deep breath and… Shouted some of the worse cuss words my mouth could utter while banging my fists on the steering wheel. I immediately realized that I had just failed myself. I prayed about it, asked God to help me and thanked Him that he gave me a test so soon after re-discovering this important lesson in life. Immediately after cooling down, I could think about it and immediately made a plan as to how I would get the yoghurt from my car floor and believe it or not, everything turned out well.
And then the news about, South African athlete, Oscar Pistorius shooting and killing his girlfriend. This shocked me, and again I started reacting to the news. It bothered me and I was angry at many things, many things that didn’t at all concern me and I started bad mouthing the situation, immediately thinking the guy must be guilty and kind of feeling glad that he isn’t as perfect as the world may have thought.
"Wow, I am doing it again, another test I am failing" I thought to myself. I was reacting again after sitting back and thinking about it for a second. And that is when I realized how flawed our nature as human beings has become.
How we look for something to burn. And the picture of that little cartoon kid, walking around with his magnifying glass, looking for some ants to burn popped into my thoughts. And I knew then, that we are that kid. That boy with issues, looking for mistakes in others to mask his own, looking for people wandering in the grass minding their own business we can burn by focusing the sun on them. We are all this boy.
Maybe Hollywood was trying to tell us something, maybe not. But I do not want to delve into that. The mere point I am trying to make is, we are more likely to bend over to pick up stones then to bend over and take punishment. We so easily point fingers and throw rocks at other, while not forgetting our own mistakes, but in efforts to mask them and hopefully remove attention from us for a another day longer.
We are cowards, hiding in the sins of others, and this makes the world a sad place, a place I am glad I can only call a temporary dwelling.
"I am a nomad a wanderer, I have nowhere to lay my head down, there is no point in putting roots to deep when I am moving on. I am not settling for the unsettling town."
Words I will always hold dear to my heart. There is hope in this, and the hope lies in honesty, we can be honest and not be ashamed of our sins anymore, because Jesus had died for our sins. He forgave us and to Him, no sin is bigger than the other, be it murder or lies, same thing to him. He doesn’t measure it by the act but by the deed, which is sinning.
There is also hope for Oscar, he can be forgiven, even if it is hard. And all other murderers, thieves, rapists, liers, cheaters. We all can be forgiven if we accept the Grace shown on the cross, which still echoes in our lives everyday.
Let’s turn around the magnifying glass and look at our own mistakes before destroying others for theirs.
I heard news of a friend I had great joy in, that he is now exploring the ways of an Atheist. Although this news stole all my joy, it did not steal any of my love for this person. This is not an attempt to condemn this person either, merely the motivation behind what I will be writing about here.
The truth is that the world is looking for freedom, there is so much oppression going about that everybody has a need to feel free from everything. One of the great oppressors is the “christian”.
Jesus had come to abolish sin, to free us from it completely. It states in Romans that there is no more condemnation for those who have been born of Christ. Now, Christians abuse that grace, by walking in judgement toward others who have not yet received that grace.
In my opinion that is why there is such a thing as atheists. From the lyrics of, War of Ages, a Christian metal band…“The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable
And this is true.
We do this, and I too am guilty of this, merely because people see me as a Christian, but I despise the word, I prefer to be called a “brother”, a “co-heir” a “friend”, “family” of Jesus. Because that is what He Himself called us. I make mistakes and I am not afraid to admit to them and I sometimes am, I am a sinner and that is why I can easily accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, even though I did not deserve it. I can accept it, because I need it to feel free from sin and the world and all the pressures that comes therewith.
Let’s get to atheists. Atheists believe in “nothing” that there are not deities. That by itself is a lie, but I will not go into that. I say the biggest thing atheists seek, chase, fight for is; freedom(this is only opinion). Let’s call Freedom their God. Let’s call the the “Freedom Fighters”. They fight to be free from law, free from rules, free from guilt, free from judgement. The William Wallace’s of our time, but fighting for a entire different thing, William Wallace fought for something, something other than himself, he thought for his country and the freedom of his people. Those are all attributes you will find in Jesus’ story.
Atheists fight for their own, everything is about them, their beliefs, non-beliefs, their happiness. William Wallace knew that there is no freedom in fighting for yourself and your own advantageous and he knew that he wouldn’t get far on his own.
I believe they want to escape the disapproval of their peers and Jesus for that matter, and therefore it is easier to believe in “nothing” than to be a disappointment anything. They chase freedom by running from it. There is no freedom in drinking as much as you like, doing drugs, having sex outside of marriage, swearing, dishonoring and the list goes on. You are bound to all those things, I don’t see any freedom in that, I never experienced any freedom in that.
Now I am part of Jesus’ family, where I found true freedom. I am not judging anyone. I am not even judging all the examples I mentioned above, I was merely using examples.
People chase freedom so hard that they become slaves to the very thing that means; to not be a slave to, or be hindered by, or controlled by something. Freedom gets thrown around as lightly as judgments get thrown around by “christians”. Jesus came to set us free from all the things we chase, He knows we will stumble and fall and fail, but He encourages us to never give up. ”…Troubles will come, but be courageous, for I overcame the world.”
Pride also plays a big part in the motivations behind atheism as people are afraid to admit they are wrong, broken, fallen, failures, bad, lost. I am all these things except lost, because I was once lost and am now found. The rest are covered by Jesus’ blood and grace and I do not have to feel ashamed any more. I come from a place of shame, slavery and bondage. I am now free, because I can choose to say no to anything even to Jesus, but I know if I do say no to Him, I will once again fall into slavery of all the other things I despise.
I hopes this makes sense. I sometimes jump around. But I am available, feel free to Facebook or twitter me. I can only share what Jesus has done for me, I can’t do anything more than that.
And I want to leave you this; I am bound. I am bound by Grace and Love. If I have to be bound by anything, let it be those two.