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Sanctify

December 16, 2009 2 comments

It’s a word that was thrown around a lot this weekend at our weekly bible study at Lestat’s and at table talk the very next day. We were studying Jesus’ prayer for Himself, His disciples, and the people that would come after. You can read it in John 17.

Jesus prayed to sanctify Himself so that his apostles would be sanctified. “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” – John 17:19.

Sanctify: to make holy, consecrate.

I think it’s a prayer that I need to say. Really glad TC put up  his version of the prayer over at the AAC blog. Another part of the definition was “set apart”. I don’t always feel holy. I struggle with how much a part of this world I allow myself to roll around in the muck with. I feel more like “struggling to free myself of my worldly desires and wants sometimes when it’s convenient for me” than set apart.

This particular blog is somewhat of a bitch also. It was a lot easier when I was reading Luke to get fired up about social justice and the poor than when I have to look inward and beyond when I’m studying John. Probably explains the lack of posts lately.

I’m trying to decide what I need to give up to feel sanctified. I know that I am. Jesus prayed it. That doesn’t mean that I always “feel” it. Unfortunately, thanks to some rather “poopy” life choices my thoughts are an amalgam of lust, Jesus, poker, compassion, vengeance, greed, faith, fear, hope, depravity and so on and so forth. I have to be very intentional about my walk or I fall off into the ditch fairly quickly. Things like Facebook and twitter really feed my already inflated ego and my selfishness. Don’t you want to know what I’m doing RIGHT NOW? Of course you do!

My decision was to cut off most of the electronic media so that maybe I could start having actual face to face human interaction again. First the cell phone. Then the internet at home. That lasted about a week and Letty turned the internet on at home again. And here I am again, pecking away at the keyboard.

I like blogging and reading blogs. That’s going to stay and if anything probably expand. It’s good for me to put what I’m thinking down on paper and I need a creative outlet.

Facebook and Twitter, drastically reduced. Except to keep up with my friends doings and whatnot. No more mafia wars or any of the rest of that crap. A week away from it and I hardly missed it. Maybe an occasional update just to let you know what I’m up to and to exult in another Chargers victory.

The bottom line is that I want to feel sanctified. Holy. Whatever that feels like. Here’s another great part of the prayer:

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” John 17:15-18.

Lord, please sanctify me in the Truth. In You. That’s my prayer for today.

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Park Stalk

September 10, 2009 5 comments

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Ok, that’s the last time I use that term for what we did today. It’s just funny to me. Hopefully someone will come up with something equally catchy for what we did today.

What did we do today, you ask? That’s a good question. Sometimes when God sends you out to something you just do it, even if you’re not quite sure what “that” is. God called us to go to the park today, bring some water and oranges, and hang out looking for people to talk to. I think better yet we were called to listen. Which is sometimes a harder thing.

We met over at 39th Street park (can’t ever remember the real name of it). Sat and talked and reflected about our week so far while we scanned the park for someone to meet.  It was pretty empty except for some kids and their moms at the playground. Even the basketball courts were empty.

I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty nervous about all this. I don’t know if this is in my skill set. I don’t really see myself as an evangelist per se. When no one was at the park I think inside I was quietly going “yes!”. So we said a  prayer and headed off to the Adams Ave Rec center to see if anyone was hanging out over there. Great.

As we rounded the corner at the rec center we saw a couple of guys sleeping on two benches with old blankets covering them.

Me to myself: “Those poor scary guys who I can’t tell what they are about, let’s just let em sleep. They must be really tired and possibly dangerous to waken.”

T.C., walking up to them, “Hey, would you like some water?” Now I’m a little on edge. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to wake up sleeping homeless folk.

Out pops a head. Man, it’s just a kid. A kid with a mohawk. Troy. Says he just got kicked out of his parents house for smoking pot a couple of days ago.  His buddy popped his head out also. Bob.  Long hair stoner kinda guy. Both of them are 18. First they turn us down when we ask them if they want some water and oranges but eventually they relent and accept a couple of bottle of waters from us.

Bob’s pretty quiet and stays on his bench sleeping. Troy, I think he felt obligated to talk to us since we forced him to accept our water. He tells us about how he ended up there, how he might have some issues with pot and drinking and smoking. Actually a really nice kid. Quiet, but he said that’s because of the medication that he’s on.

One of their friends came up while we were talking to them. Keela. She had just left her boyfriend’s place after he kicked her in the head to start off his day. That was our introduction to her. She was definitely the talker of this little group. She has a couple of issues with Christians. The same ones that a lot of us have. Even other Christians. When she was talking I could definitely tell that she had been to a few AA or NA meetings in her time.

She explained her conception of God in much the same way that I did in my last post. TC talked a bit about how a lot of other Christians feel the same way that she does. She was pretty receptive to listening and responding to us which I though was pretty amazing. I kinda told them a little bit of my story of coming to Christ and how I had all the same thoughts and feelings about Jesus and Christianity that they did.

After talking a little more, Keela had to leave.  And that was that. Our first walk was over. Nothing bad had happened. We might have planted a seed. A positive seed. Not one of a condemning God that wanted to send them to Hell but a God that wanted to give the something to drink. Not The God of the Million Dollar Bill Bible Verse Tract but The God that wanted to listen to them.  The God that wanted to give ’em an orange. The God that talks about grace and forgiveness.

Incarnational? I think so.

Welcome

September 2, 2009 4 comments

Welcome to the new blog. The name sounds a little scary though. Maybe I should explain.

I’m not looking for a fight. I don’t believe Jesus was either when He said it. Of course, the truth is probably no one knows exactly what He meant.

So honestly, I’m reaching here. I’m not a theologian. A 21st century stab in the dark to understand something that sounds so compelling, almost a battle cry.

What if He was saying look, I know that you think following Me is going to be the easier, softer way. You can live a sedentary lifestyle, obey all authority, go to church on Sunday, tithe, say a few prayers and not make any waves. I love you, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

I’ve got to tell ya, if you want to pick up your cross and follow Me, then do it, no matter the cost. Really. Follow Me. Live the life I lived, do the things I did. It’s probably going to be harder than you think. It got Me crucified.

To follow Me you are going to have to do and say things that people aren’t going to like. Especially if you say and do it like you mean it. It will cause division. It will pit brother against brother, mother against son. Peace? Not likely in this lifetime. The sword? Once again, Pick up your cross…

What’s the sword? Justice. Feeding the hungry. Standing up for the oppressed. Loving my neighbor. Denying myself. Living simply. Shepherding the lost. Loving Christ.

It’s not fame. It’s not money. It’s not any of the easy answers that this world provides. This is The Way that they talk about in the New Testament. It’s not a primrose path.

So that’s what we are going to talk about on this blog. At least what I’m going to be talking about. The less popular subjects that Jesus talked about. The ones we think was meant for Him and the Apostles but not for us. I hope we can all learn something along the way.

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