Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
By and large I think I’m a healthy. I workout at least four times a week, only drink water, try to eat healthy meals throughout the day, and take vitamins (when I remember). But it’s not until I’m forced to chart my exact caloric intake, measure ounces of meat, and take bodily measurements that I’m forced to physically see how unhealthy of a person I am.
Occasionally I’ll Tweet about my food-fest of gluttonous proportions, take a picture of a heavenly dish of food, or confess a caloric trespass, but I’m usually quiet on my blog about my eating habits. Why? Because I want to give the allusion that I’m healthy in every aspect of my life. That’s the funny thing about a blog—you can create the allusion of who you desire to be. It’s like the nerd version of mySpace.
In attempts to change this, I will be daily writing post by the following rules:
- Live biblically for two weeks according to New Testament standards.
- Adhere to the moral laws of the Old Testament.*
- Promise to the loyal blog readers that I will not quit for two weeks.
*I have studied and love Old Testament teaching, but there is a distinction between moral laws and ritual laws. The moral laws are the ones found in the Ten Commandments: no killing, no coveting, and so forth. I’ll follow those. Ritual laws are the ones about avoiding bacon, not getting tattoos, and not shaving the corners of your head (like Orthodox Jews). In my survey of scripture, Jesus made those rules obsolete through His death on the cross.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I'm at the Cultivate09 conference and tomorrow I'll be at StoryChicago, but I fully intend on journaling my experiences. Conferences are like kindergarten to me. You know, the nervousness of trying something new, outside of Mom's warm arms and into a world of opinionated and crazy personalities. Not like I would really KNOW what kindergarten is like--I was homeschooled. But imagine it would be like this. Minus the naps and animal crackers.
It would be remiss not to mention today I begin my Living Biblically experiment. I'm not sure if now is the time to start, but, as the natives would say, Eh, get over yourself! So I'm doin' this. I'm updating Twitter and occassionally my facebook, so if you want to join the ride, you're more than welcome to!
Sent from my iPhone
Monday, October 26, 2009
I didn’t even see her at first. Her question threw me off. Her skin was weathered and aged, her hair matted and frayed. It was over 95 degrees and she was dressed in a grey sweat suit and jacket. She was homeless and hot and asking for something to drink.
I’m not sure I even acknowledged her existence. I was distracted and annoyed that I had been pulled from my focus. I mumbled something of a half-truth as I walked into the store to pickup card stock and lanyards for our thanksgiving event, because you see, I’m busy and important and planning a big event to help people. Oh yes, that’s right, I want to serve the homeless! The working poor! The hungry!
And then it hit me. The woman standing outside the air-conditioned store was the exact person I was aiming to help. Yet I didn’t even know what she asked of me.
I walked outside, looked for the grey sweat suit and found the exhausted woman sitting in the shade. She saw me coming and asked me for something to drink, but she stopped mid-sentence upon recognizing it was the same woman who ignored her at the door. I sat down next to her and asked what she needed. All she wanted was water. And all I wanted was a slap in the face.
I make Life complicated. Yes, complicated. It doesn’t have to be intertwined with layers of deeds and plans and budgets. At the core of this is simplicity. As I heard this weekend while visiting a church, live simply so that others can simply live. In one act of kindness, I was able to love this woman like Jesus would have. By serving man, I was able to serve God and live out Matthew 9:41, For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
Food for thought: What are simple ways you can help others simply live? When was the last time you took less so someone could have more? Live like Jesus. Give what you have. Love out loud.
Friday, October 23, 2009
William J. Schnoebelen, a former witch high priest, on Halloween:
As a former witch high priest now saved by Jesus, I was astonished by how many Christians let their kids celebrate Halloween. Some churches even sponsor “haunted houses” and similar events on what is the Number One satanic “helliday” of the year. Halloween used to be called Samhain, and is still celebrated as an ancient pagan festival of the dead by witches all over the world. Unfortunately, just giving the date a “holy” name like All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve cannot change its grisly character. Halloween is an occasion when the ancient gods (actually demons) are worshiped with human sacrifice. The apostle Paul warns us: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Cor. 10:20).
If you are a Christian parent, God has given you a precious responsibility in your children. Remember, their ability to resist spiritual wickedness is much less than yours. If you allow your children to participate in Halloween (Trick or Treating, costume parties, etc.) you are allowing them to play on “the devil’s turf,” and Satan will definitely press his home court advantage. You are opening up doorways into their young lives for evil by bringing them into a kind of “fellowship” with these ancient “gods.”
We are commanded not to become involved with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). Both from my experience as a witch, and since getting saved, as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have seen far too many examples of how breaking this command works out in lives. Remember, while we have God’s promise of protection for ourselves and our children, that promise may not hold if we allow our children to celebrate this dark holiday. Case after case has come to us of children in rebellion. In many of these families, the problem can be traced back to the children being exposed to Halloween at a young age. It is hard enough to raise children these days in a Godly way without exposing them to Satan’s realm.”
Thursday, October 22, 2009
My friends roll their eyes when I share my latest harebrained commitment. Everyone knows I'm going to regret these spontaneous decisions, but I don't care. When Life calls me out to the proverbial dance floor, it's as if I have to bust out my windmill head-spin and pop up with the ever-flagrant, You Got Served! Maybe it's the underdog in me. Maybe it's stupidity. All I know is no matter what, I have to rise to the occasion.
I'm reading A.J. Jacobs' latest book, A Year of Biblical Living. I bought the book simply to read about the atheist who decided to take the bible literally. And when I say literally I mean devoting 365 days to living out hilarious adherence to the Old and New Testament. I'm sure people must think I'm like the crazy lady from Venice beach who pushes her grocery cart full of cats and talks to herself, because when I read this book I talk to myself when I'm by myself. Yes, as in out loud. Even worse, I smother laughs and snorts in Starbucks which I try to play off as a coughs. Yes, I'm that cool.
I'm finishing the book and instead of the elation which comes from completion, there's a disconcerting feeling I call conviction. I can't explain it--it's not like a voice or a crop circle that mysteriously appears as a sign. It's something beyond me. Life is challenging me to live biblically. It's straight-up krumping in my face and calling me out to live a life worthy of the gospel (or at least the title of Christian).
I mean, this shouldn't be hard, right? I've read the bible cover-to-cover three times. I've hugged orphans in Mexico and shared Jesus in Japan. I've given money away to homeless people with witty signs and gave a sandwich to the crazy cat-lady from Venice beach. So what can I learn from the Jewish, atheist, germophobic writer who lives in New York? Apparently how to actually live out what I believe.
I'll be blogging about it for a week or so. When will it start? Uh, when you see me doing the Robot and the Roger Rabbit on the dance floor, you'll know it's started.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Whether you are a mother and your children look up to you, a student on campus who people know is a Christian, a leader in ministry, a person of prominence in your field of work, a recent divorcee who is struggling keep balance in your life, WE MUST NOT BE LIKE THE PHARISEES who believed they were fragrant flowers, but were nothing more than stinky socks: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).
Stop faking the funk. We smell and no amount of Dakkar Noir or Cool Water (aka scents of the ghetto) can cover the odor. Be washed with Living Water and anointed with fragrant oil. It is then and only then we can be a sweet aroma unto the Lord (Lev. 3:5b).
Monday, October 12, 2009
As I drove through the rural area en route to my speaking event this weekend something gnawed at my soul. It was money. I knew I was going to be given some form of payment, but I hate dealing with honorariums and speaking fees. Quite honestly, it makes me feel like like I'm prostituting God's word. At the same time, this is how I make my living and I want to accept the blessings of others who appreciate my time. The pendulum swings back and forth on this issue and I vacillate on how to handle this quandary. So I called my mentor who succinctly said, I need to be direct: God's word is free, but gas isn't. Your time and knowledge is worth something. You didn't ask for a specific amount, so just trust that they'll give you what they can afford.
When I left they handed me a beautiful basket full of lovely items... and an envelope with a check. But it was if I was Superman and the white envelope was kryptonite. I couldn't touch it.
Yesterday at the small group study I teach, I ran into a young lady who moved away to school but came into town to visit us. As a student of Biblical Studies and Evangelism, she's like an amazing cross-breed between Joan of Arc and Billy Graham... except really pretty. Everyone squealed when she entered the room because she has a presence that warrants excitement and joy. After the study ended, we got a chance to connect and she shared that she had a large school payment due at school today, she had no idea how she was going to come up with the money, but she trusted God would provide.
Nothing has changed from the days of Acts or the Early Church. We are still called to help those in need, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. In modern vernacular, pay it forward. This is not motivated by President Obama and sharing a piece of the pie. This is loving like we are called to love. So pay it forward today. Do unto others as you would like to be done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009