Five Years Later

Five years ago today I decided to see how long I could go without drinking carbonated beverages. At the time, I had no real goal other than to see how long it would take before I finally gave in.

Well, it’s been five years later and I still haven’t caved. I do occasionally have dreams where I have a coke, but post-REM, I have no desire for one.

If you want a moral out of this, try this one on for size. You accomplish any goal one step at a time, one day at a time. You move mountains one handful of dirt at a time.

The deciding factor is how badly you want to change. If your desire for change outweighs your desire for comfort and for familiarity, you will change. If not, you won’t.

Not deeply profound, I know. Dr. Phil probably said it better. I’m here to testify that I’m living proof to what happens when you take that first step. If I can change, anyone can change.

All it takes is that proverbial first step.

Watch me dream about having a Dr. Pepper tonight.

 

More Borrowed Wisdom From One Mr. Lewis

I have the crud, so I invited a guest blogger to share his thoughts. Well, I copied and pasted from something C. S. Lewis wrote. It blew my fuzzy, hay-fevered mind. I hope it blows your mind as well.

“An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God.

But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him.

But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God—that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him.

You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying—the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on—the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal.

So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers. The man is being caught up into the higher kinds of life—what I called Zoe or spiritual life: he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).

You’re welcome.

Praying starts and ends with God. Sure, I bring my needs and wants to God, but sometimes there are no words. Sometimes, I need to know that God inside of me is praying to the God above me through the God in Christ who is beside me.

That’s prayer.

 

Thoughts on Authenticity and the New Testament Church

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I’ve been reading over Acts 2:42-47 lately and I am struck by how radically different the Early Church was from my own experience of Church. For one thing, we in the South (me included) talk about “going to church,” while the early believers talked about “being the church” and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Church for them was not a place or an event, but a shared way of life.

Where is the sense of awe? Where are the signs and wonders? By that I don’t mean crazy gibberish, but the genuine miraculous moving of God among His people. I think part of the answer is that the early believers spent so much time together. They fellowshipped and broke bread together DAILY. We do good if we see each other twice a week. They shared everything. They were willing to sacrifice of themselves to help fellow believers. They were of one mind, one purpose and had one goal– to lift up Jesus in such a way that He would draw all people to Himself.

They faced a level of persecution that we know nothing about. There was no room for casual Christianity, because to proclaim “Jesus is Lord” was to risk torture and death. I have never faced that in my life.

How do we change course? I know for me, that if I am comfortable and satisfied with the way things are, the staus quo, I will never change. Only with a holy discontent can I seek the face of God to bring the change in my life. When we are willing to take off our masks and be real, to stop talking Christianese and Sunday School answers and be brutally honest about ourselves, then we see change. Only God can initiated that in His people, but we have to want it.

Who’s with me? Who’s tired of just going to church? I see the main problem with the American Church everytime I look in the mirror.  I am the main problem. If I want to see change, I have to be the change. I must desperately want God to change me, to transform me, to live through me in the Person of His Son, Jesus, and through His Holy Spirit.

It’s time to break up our shallow ground and seek the Lord. Who’s with me?