Thursday, March 24, 2011

community

These quotes sum up my thoughts on community right now.

God does not reward you for being loved but for loving. So be more frustrated with your failures to love than to be loved.-John Piper

As a servant, your primary responsibility is to be a "friend of the bridegroom." When you see a person who is close to grasping the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been used in the right direction.-Oswald Chambers

He must increase, I must decrease.-John 3:30

Thursday, March 17, 2011

awesome

You know the saying that goes, "when your ears are burning, someone's thinking about you"?

Today, I was just chilling with God, talking to Him about life and stuff, and all of a sudden, I just got the overwhelming feeling that God was smiling at me. And all at once, I felt butterflies in my stomach and my lungs expanded with joy and I couldn't stop myself from grinning. I felt like I was going to explode a volcano of joy and peace on everyone around me!

It was awesome. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gospel

Why is the Gospel so rarely lived out?

We often share the Gospel. We meet up at Musty the Mustang and break off into guy/girl pairs and look for people sitting by themselves so we can ask them if they'd like to take a survey so we can steer them towards spirituality and hopefully share the Gospel with them. I have seen people respond with incredulity when they hear the Gospel. I have seen others astounded by it.

But I have also seen the way people respond to the simple message that God loves him/her regardless of the past, the present and the future; regardless of mistakes and insufficiencies, regardless of "every moment of sin, shame and dishonesty," regardless of our "shallow faith, feeble prayer life and our inconsistent discipleship." To all these, God responds, "I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are and not as you should be. Because you're never going to be as you should be."*

The moment people come to terms with what this means, they usually start crying. It is at this moment where they realize that everything they've searched for; everything they've yearned for is fulfilled in absolute, uncompromising, unshakable and unconditional love. They feel safe, beloved and understood.

And the best part is that we, as ambassadors of Christ, have the opportunity to bring this message to people. We have the privilege of loving God's people.

But do we?

I've realized it's much harder to communicate the true meaning of unconditional love when we feel far from it ourselves. This is why it is so important to prepare our spirits before we go out sharing with others. We must be reminded of what grace looks and feels like in order for us to effectively communicate it to others.

I am constantly reminded of how fragile our egos are. When I see people lash out, when I see them drowning in self-hatred or even pride, I realize these are all just defense mechanisms, designed to block out feelings of shame over our sin.

Fortunately, the Gospel has the power to break through our self defenses. To break though my sense of self-righteousness that I use to not feel the shame of my mistakes. To break through the self-hatred that I feel when I confront my failures. To break through all my barriers of defense until all that is left of me is a little patch of dirty and fertile soil, with the potential for life to grow.

And I realize that all God wanted in the first place was to offer me some sustenance to see me have life abundant.

*Brennan Manning, FTW

Thursday, March 3, 2011

rock

Hug your knees and hold yourself together.

Rock back and forth. Faster and faster. If you keep rocking, you'll keep moving, and if you keep moving, maybe you can convince yourself that you're going somewhere instead of just staying in the same place.

It's just like treading water. You move and move and get nowhere at all.