Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After having spent the last 17 years in ONE community of believers, I read this and pondered the number of times we were invited into the homes of people we served along side of. Which for some at the top of the hierarchy was NEVER. I'm not really blaming them (well, perhaps a little), but the BUSYness of our lives WITHIN the local church environment. I can count on two hands (with fingers to spare) the number of times we were invited into fellow-servant's homes. Maybe THAT'S why our relationships, in the end, were ultimately so superficial.

"The home provides the perfect setting for relationships to get beyond the superficial and head into deeper waters. Friendships begin to take hold in such environments where we have the time to explore one another's lives. If you lack the kind of relationships you desire, look at how often you invite people into extended opportunities for relationship.

...too many people shy away from hospitality because they think their home has to be spotless and the meal scrumptious. The whole point of opening the door to new friendships is not to impress people, but to be real. IF we don't break away from the need to put on our best face, we will never develop genuine relationships. Everything doesn't have to be perfect. We can order pizza, throw hotdogs on the grill, or make sandwiches. What's important is unhurried time together to let people see into our lives."

From Authentic Relationships by Wayne and Clay Jacobsen

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Life Focused on Others

If you have ever shared friendships with others-focused people, you know what a treasure those friends are. They take an interest in you just because they care. Their concern is not tied to their own needs and desires in the relationship. Their care for you demands nothing in return and rejoices just to see you blessed. They open their life like a book and let you read it freely. You don't ever have to guess what they are thinking, because they will come right out and tell you, and they make you feel safe enough so that you don't have to pretend with them. They offer their counsel freely but never demand that you follow it. They give you the freedom to disagree and the flexibility to do things differently from how they would do it without ever compromising their love for you.

Almost without asking they would give you the shirt off their back if they knew you needed it, but they won't always give you everything you want. They look past your faults and celebrate your promise and offer their help to get you there. You may not see them for months or years at a time, but the next time your paths cross, you will feel as though you have never been apart. When they say they will pray for you, you know they will. When you go through your darkest moments, they will stay by your side. They will let their presence comfort you even when the right words escape them.

Such friends find their origin in God's heart.

From Authentic Relationships by Wayne and Clay Jacobsen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Gnosticism, Armenianism, Calvinism, Universalism, Trinitarianism….need I go on? Just take off the ISM, add IST, and you have the practitioner of each particular entry.

You get the point. There are a LOT of ISM'S in the (limitless) world of Christian Theology. I'm convinced most people don't actually know what they mean. They are thrown around by people who have a need to put others into categories – "He believes X-ISM, so he is an X-IST", OR, "He's now in error – he's an (insert your favorite IST-ending word here)". And make no mistake about it – the offending word is probably whispered and the implied brand, heretic, is allowed to hang in the air.

HE will not be pigeon-holed into an ISM – HE is a person who wants a REAL, LIVE, VIBRANT, PERSONAL relationship with each of us.

Not one single ISM brings us any closer to knowing Him better.