There are days; and then there are days that capture your soul. One of those was in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Tahoe. My family, or at six of the nine, went up to Northstar a few days ago and we snowboarded. I enjoy this sport very much. It is so freeing and exhilarating. However, doing it now with my kids puts this sport at a new high. To carve down a hill with my boys, or to cruise through a terrain park with them makes trips to the snow very special in deed. This particular trip was a new one for two of my little grommets. They were boarding for the first time. I was so proud of them. They braved the falls and kept getting back up. Their dad was in their corner and excited about their progress, even when it seemed painful. I know that once they get down the basics, then the mountain will take on a whole new meaning of adventure and excitement. This I think, is what God wants from his kids...a willing spirit of perseverance that leads to hope in the great ride of faith. I look forward to more days like this...Epic!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I find it hard to talk about money in the church. So many misconceptions. However, during this wavering economic crisis I think that I will state some of my feelings about it now. We have often, those within a church culture heard of the term 'tithing.' I think this is good, but it does not get to the core of the gospel of giving and for that matter stewardship. We often think of transactional giving withing the term of tithing. I give my money and in return receive a service, program, or benefit. But what if we gave in a New Covenant way? A "cheerful giving" as the New Testament writers put it? Could we move from a consumer that transacts with God and his people to a covenant member that is being transformed by the gospel? To make this shift requires me to see that my tithe is not me personally being blessed because I gave, but being a blessing because I was able to give. The story of the widow's mite in the gospel of Luke chapter 21 is a person who was not giving her resource out of transaction but transformation. During the kind of economy that we are in right now, this action by the followers of Christ could send a loud signal about the gospel of giving. Especially in regards to that same giving by Christ, who willingly gave up his life for those whom he would save. This transforms a person to be more like Jesus. I want to move out of being a transaction giver to a transformational giver. I would like to be known as one who gives generously and cheerfully rather than obligatory and glum. Is money something that we can give without the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing? Maybe you and I need to see!
Friday, January 2, 2009
It's time to say 'Happy New Year' for the next couple weeks. Certainly many have familiar stories of how they spent their new years eve festivities. The breaking of a new year is always filled with sights, sounds, and statements from previous years. However, there is also a newness to the forementioned years past. This is where I find myself today. Looking into the past a bit to see what needs to be tweaked this year, and hoping for the future of this year to be a bit different than the one before. All this of course is subject to God's plan. I can make plans and dream of a better new year, but one thing is for certain; Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. This faithful fact alone keeps each year in perspective to the next. It also keeps me wanting to seek the Savior Jesus for his plan, direction, and purpose. I hope you take the time to reflect and respond to the new year, and I hope it will be in Jesus. Have a Jesus filled year.