Disengage for Love

I’m sure there are  hundreds of “unplug” articles floating around the world wide webs so I figured I would give you one more. It seems like such an easy thing to do, but then again I’m typing one on a computer that you’re reading on a phone or computer.

Too many nights go by at my house that we watch a television show while we watch videos on our phone or peruse facebook. A lot of the time what is on the television isn’t even important, just that it is there with its calming background noise.

The wife will show me a video that I never seem to find as funny as she does, and I will show her something that she will either tell me to turn off or look at me blankly as if to say “so what?” Funny how two people that are so completely different in tastes and opinions can come together so beautifully in holy matrimony, and people say God doesn’t exist.

The point is that we are only interacting at a base level. We aren’t experiencing the deepness and vast potential of the intimacy that God intended in a marriage.  We are casting the most precious gift we have down the toilet, our time.

We have roughly three hours in the evenings where the kid is in bed and we are both still semi-awake. Many times this is just wasted on silly shows and social media. How much greater would the return on my time investment be if my wife and I were praying together, studying the word together, or doing anything that would bring glory to the Lord besides just numbing out our minds?

I understand that many men and women feel like, “This is my me time. I have been mommy, daddy, worker, etc. all day and now this is my time to relax.” What wonders will the Lord work when we give Him our “me” time. When we say Lord I’m tired, I’m wore out, I really just want to veg out in front of the tv or phone; but you are a holy God and worthy of my worship.

With God’s grace, some prayers, and a little bit of never surrender attitude we can all move a little deeper into His presence and His invigorating joy by denying our “me” and putting it on the cross.

The hour is late, the night is dark, but the Fire is here.

God’s Pool

Summer is upon us and in full swing. The pools are open and kids are screaming to go.  What’s not to love, you get in and you feel better. I want to talk to you today about God’s pool aka his presence. This post is biased towards believing Christians. If you don’t know Christ as your Lord and savior  there is no time like the present.

Moving right along, God’s presence is just like a pool. The more I watch my family swim the more I see how it is a perfect analogy for Christians. You have all sorts of different approaches some with the same results, and some with drastically worse results. Lets take a look at our different type of pool goer’s.

First up is toe dipper. This person places their foot in and quickly decides the water is much too cold. They head back to the  concession stand for some nachos and look to find a shade spot. They miss the wonders of the water by judging it before fully experiencing it.

Next is “waistline’s fine” This is the person that decides to step into the water to their waist. While they are enjoying many of the
benefits of the water, they are missing half of the point. Every single splash that touches their upper body is sheer pain. They fight tooth and nail to make sure they don’t get splashed with more water or end up any deeper.

Slow grind finds their way from their feet to their head at the pace of a snail. They do eventually end up enjoying the depths and joys of the pool, however it is at a sometimes incredibly frustrating pace. Along with “waistline” he faces more burns than necessary.

Lastly is cannonball. In he goes full boar. He is jolted and shocked by the water he has found himself in. He flounders  himself around in an adjustment period.  He soon swims away and is carrying on about his business of leisurely pool time.

Obviously toe dipper is the worst of our friends, for he will never know the joy of the water. Now waist line and slow grind are both enjoying the water. Slow grind may not get deeper levels as quickly as others, but he will get there if he stays the course. Cannonball is the most joyous of the lot. I will explain why that is in a moment, but notice that they do all have one thing in common. Every one of them is enjoying the water, and everyone of them is facing the burn of the sun.

Cannonball has decided to cast off hesitation and doubt. He so desperately wants to be free of the burning sun that he doesn’t bother to ask the worst question a man can ask. How cold is the water. The question must be how terrible is my condition? The water hits his flesh with the same cold calculation as it does the others. He comes out of the pain more quickly than the others though.

One other thing to consider is the decision to get out of God’s pool after spending some time in it.  The air that once burnt you is now ice cold. If you run back to the pool you find it is warmer and more inviting than it was before. This kind of relationship doesn’t happen over night, but if we chase after it we can all find ourselves warm and at home in the presence of our Lord.

Authors Note: My apologies if this article was not as detailed and well though out as I had originally hoped in my head. I wrote it late at night amidst lectures from my pregnant wife about love, food, and jokes. Oh the bliss of marriage 🙂

Life in the Infirmary

What is the purpose of the infirmary? Is it not to  care for and restore to duty casualties of war?  Now this may be too simplistic and some veterans may object to my view, but just humor me to make my point. A soldier doesn’t enter in with hopes of taking up residency, the hope is to recover and return to the fight.

The church building is the infirmary. People come in with holes in their souls from the mortars and mines of the enemy. Jesus the great physician brings them to life, sees them up, and trains them to battle. He then commands us to go and find recruits and train them.

It seems to me that in my experience of attending  the infirmary we can become addicted to the medicine because it makes us feel good. Instead of returning to the war as we were commanded, it is far more comforting to sit around and talk about the battles we’ve been through.

We step outside the doors and recall the horrors of war. Better we rationalize to stay low  and not incur any more damage than we have already. We come the following week to the infirmary asking for medical attention for scratches obtained hiding in the bushes.

Soon we lose our ability to heal from small wounds. We count trivial unintended wounds, as are common among folks training for war, as debilitating. We will just have to stay in the infirmary a little longer.

The controlled climate, the lack of confrontation, the absence of suffering for the cause; yes indeed this infirmary has some perks.  The problem though is that we grow weak, our brothers on the battle field bleed and die for a lack of numbers, and eventually the enemy will take the land and the infirmary.

Please don’t misinterpret the last sentence to say that satan would ever be victorious against the Lord. I am simply stating that if you hide in the four walls of a church and no longer make war in the spirit realm; let this siren shake you. Faith without works is dead.