Monday, July 21, 2008

What Christians need to learn from Red Sox fans

Commitment, loyalty, unashamed, worship, headoverheels, belonging: these are the words that come to mind when I think of those fans who love the Red Sox with all their hearts, souls, minds, strength and even their pocketbooks.
Perhaps you are one of those people who have visited the Boston area, gone into a local supermarket and noticed that 4 out of 10 shoppers are outfitted with their Red Sox attire.
I have been a fan all my life (those who hopped on board in the 2004 season, do not realize the sweetness of that World Series since they did not go through the heartbreaking seasons leading up to that time.) When I was growing up, I was one of those crazy fans. Today, I am still a fan but I no longer worship the BoSox.

However, I got to thinking: have you ever been to a Red Sox game in Fenway Park or any other ball park in this country where the Socks are playing? One of the sounds you will hear,
"Let's go Red Sox, Let's go Red Sox" in a collective chant. And the whole feel of the place is electric.
(even at away games) Isn't that how it should be with the Church and the Holy Spirit? If a bunch of folks can get pumped up for a baseball team, then we as the children of the Living God ought to be able to get juiced for Jesus.
Just a thought as we head into the second half of the season.
Go Red Sox!
Glory be to the Son! Whose Age is yet to come.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Who are you?"
What person with faculties intact has not asked this question? or these questions? "Why am I here? What is my purpose? There are many people who wrestle with the deeper questions in life silently or disregard them, leading a life of quiet desperation.

The past few days I have discussed, contemplated and listened to others bring "the meaning of life" questions out into the light. It is a painful. It is exciting. It is like a living organism. There are two words that have come up: identity and wholeness.

A good friend and I were discussing our identity. How do we find our identity in Christ? There is not a simple answer. We talked about the deadly game of comparing ourselves to others and coming up short and how perfectionism plaques us. Our worth is to come from being in Christ.

Then I heard a lecture titled, "What are people for?" The simple answer, this young man came up with comes from the Westminster Catechism question #1, What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever. He said, "this is beautifully put but hard to understand."

My initial thought comes from the Scripture that says, "now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."
In all of life, no matter how mature we are, knowledgeable we have become, the best we will get in this life is seeing in a mirror dimly, yet there is hope! We have hope because we have been redeemed! Everyone is broken and in need.

Please take note: A young friend of mine says, we must preached to ourselves.

There are so many ways to answer the question, "Who am I?" So many directions that we could go in. I would like to begin by rephrasing the question: What was I created for? Danny, the guy who did the lecture at L'Abri gave these three things: creativity, relationship and redemption, as his answer. This is what he found in the Good Book. Those are definitely things I have been tossing around in my mind.
God is our Creator and we were created in His image, so we too are all creative, no exceptions. It comes out in different ways. I just so an older woman walk by the house and I thought and wondered if she crochets or perhaps she is a retired architect, how does her creativity manifest itself? The man who weaves a story or the girl who dances for joy. The woman who does agility trials with her pure bred pup or the little boy who builds a ramp for his match box cars. Any of us could add to the list ad infinitum.
In questionaires about ourselves we are often asked to list our hobbies or interests, does this not make the point that we were made for creativity?
Birth. Death. Marriage. Divorce. Cohabitate. Love. Hate. Communicate. Live. Home. When we hear that a woman has had to deliver her child by herself. We think: aw, it is sad that she was alone to have her baby. The event of a child being born usually includes others. Our desire is for our loved ones not have to face death alone. In some cases, we want to be that some one or we want the one closes to them to be there as they pass from this life and into the next. It takes two baby! Or if you are a Christian, a marriage takes three: my God, my man and me. Although a house may become a home, it is the relationships between people that make it home.
I have a little framed saying that reads: Mother is the heart of the home. Those 7 words are both challenging and encouraging. It reminds me that I am not walking through this life alone, that I was indeed created for relationship.
Referring back to my list. I believe that God is the giver and taker of life, the One who created woman for man in marriage. The Word of God says, "God hates divorce." I think the only thing that God wants us to hate is sin. He has called us to Love people. Ours is to communicate effectively with one another and I believe it is one of the biggest challenges we face. Together we are to live among people. In all of these relationships God wants to have an influence in our lives and I believe the best way (and probably the only way) is for us to be in relationship with Him.
A mere human to be in relationship with the Creator of the Universe. On the screen, that looks almost ludicrous. When we try to look at ourselves among ALL that God has created, we are speck on the face of the globe. I don't think we can ever have even a partial understanding of who God is and the fact that indeed He is able to have a relationship with all of His creation, that He cares so deeply for each of us and is carrying on personal relationships with individual people.
Sinful, broken, imperfect, left for dead, this was the state I was in when my Redeemer invaded my heart and turned my life upside down. One of my favorite songs by Caedmon's Call is Thankful. My favorite part says:
'Cause we're all stillborn and dead in our transgressions
We're shackled up to the sin we hold so dear
So what part can I play in the work of redemption
I can't refuse, I cannot add a thing
so what does it mean to be Redeemed? I looked it up at redeem definition 9. Theology. to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner. As I walk along this pilgrimage that leads to my Eternal Home, I am having a greater awareness of God's Grace in my life. The day of my redemption I knew one thing, that not only was I spiritually lost, I was dead and that the Lord in His mercy saved me from my sins, bought me with His blood, redeemed me from the pit, gave me new life.
I do believe that I am here on purpose and created for His good works. I don't have it all figured out. My lifework at the moment is to finish raising three young people with my husband for God's glory. It is for us to lead them in paths of righteousness. Making hard choices, doing the right thing, making mistakes and making amends, living and loving life together. Creatively speaking, we have chosen to live in lots of different places. It means adjust to lots of changes on a regular basis but having one another and the Lord as our only constant.
I believe a large part of my redemption was to provide my children with a counter-cultural lifestyle and I never would have dreamed of raising and educating children at home. My husband and I did not have a 5, 10 or 15 year plan. Let me emphasize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that type of living, we are just not those type of people. We are living on borrowed time and doing our best to live it to the fullest.

Pax Vobiscum,