I have a fondness for SNL's skit with Will Ferrel and Chris Kattan. Dancing around trying to find someone who will dance with them too. During my freshman year my buddy Eric and I performed our own rendition and took 2nd place in our High School talent show. Sometimes I find my self wandering our church and that song is playing in my head, if you see a little head bob you can be sure of it. But I like that question What is Love? Is it tangible, is it demonstrated, do you feel it, do you know it? Recently I've come to terms that my son does not know how much my wife and I love him. We would literally do anything for this kid. I'm also starting to think anyone in our church's nursery would do anything for him as well as they constantly tell me stories about how fun he is to watch and play with. Even the other girls in the toddler room recently were chasing him around trying to kiss him, he of course is like his father (In Jr. High).
But I've always equated love with this campy teen movie I saw with my mom as a kid. Where a boy who's always been in love with this girl, during a robbery, jumps in front of a bullet to save her life. He ends up dying, but don't worry he comes back from the dead, as a zombie. (Yeah I know weird movie). But is that all love is. I have to be ready for those I love to be shot at and jump in front of a bullet for them. Scripture say's "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 Jn 3:16 So laying it down is the key part. I wonder why God couldn't have allowed Jesus to die an old man perhaps pass away in his sleep but he's tortured, beaten to a bloody pulp. Is this to make me feel bad? A reminder that every time I sin I pierce the skin of Jesus?I believe it's to show us how much God Loves us. That he would go to unfathomable lengths even seek us out to the point of the worse death ever.
This is hard to fathom especially when I'm told to Love. I'll be completely honest I don't always want to love. I'm pretty sure I'm selfish 90% of the day. I am constantly looking for ways to put my self ahead. The times you see me love I can assure you it is not me but Christ who is in me. And for His Amazing Grace I am so thankful. I couldn't do it on my own. As I get older I hope that less of me exists and more of Christ is revealed but sometimes it seems like a long journey that I would need all of eternity to accomplish. A song that has been challenging me since 7th grade is Jars of Clay's World's Apart, a song asking God to take our world apart, this one line gets me everytime,
"and serve the ones that I despise speak the words I can't deny watch the world I used to love fall to dust and thrown away"
For me to know what true love is I have to serve the ones I despise. Am I capable of that I even struggle serving those people who I enjoy hanging out with. When we allow the Holy Spirit to move us this action becomes a reality. Love takes the form of action how we listen, how we sacrifice for people. So Love actually can be tangible. Hopefully when we demonstrate it people can feel and know it. I want to be made perfect in His Love no longer asking how much do people love me rather How much do I love those I despise.
"If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." -1 Jn 4:20-21
Why is talking about the most important things left unsaid? I have agonized the meaning in scripture that refers to "All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." 1 Cor. 6:18b It appears sexual sin is a greater issue then we give it credit. And of course it naturally becomes the one thing no one really wants to discuss.
I spoke at our College Group at church this past week and found myself wanting them all to know that we can hide our secret struggles, but it still continues to eat away at our relationship with God. Whether male or female, there is a tendency to believe only guys struggle with this temptation but more often than not there are many women who struggling but on an emotional level.
But with all this said there needs to be the grace on the other end. Many never want to open up about their struggles due to the fact they expect to be thrown to the curb by other people. How are we then suppose to act when someone confesses, hopefully with open arms.
I found this article and am hoping it blesses others as we take a hold of our rightful place in God's Kingdom.
"The essence of chastity is not the suppression of lust, but the total orientation of one's life towards a goal. Without such a goal, chastity is bound to become ridiculous. Chastity is the sine qua non of lucidity and concentration." — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. -Pablo Neruda
I believe I've gotten to a place that looks at Christianity religiously. The funny thing is I've often preached against allowing Christianity being a religion rather allow it to be a relationship with Christ. Yet I have even deceived myself in the process allowing my rituals and do's and don'ts to become almost phariseetical. Perhaps originally I was in pursuit of Christ but over time I've sought how I look in the church rather than how Christ looks in my life. This of course is not good.
Recently I've been enamored by a couple books that brought this to my attention the main one being The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. (If you like a good read pick it up he also happens to be one of my favorite preachers). In this book he points out not only the sin of the Son who squandered his inheritance but he points out to who Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and then the Oldest son wouldn't partake in the celebration of his returned brother. Frustrated that he was faithful and received no praise for this. Sadly the story ends on this note where the faithful son doesn't have a chance to make amends. (Book is much more detailed and I generalized much it).
So we have two people here those who return to Christ late in the game and those who are faithful and are expecting more. Why would any of us ask for more than salvation itself? Or refuse anyone forgiveness? Perhaps we're all waiting for that, Jesus pat on the back of Job well done. Ultimately I know I have made actions that will only return an earthly reward, but I want to be a follower in Christ despite who's watching I want to serve him in humility in order others may know his Name. Yet I believe in some way every Christian walk runs into an area of pride in their Christian service, like a look at how "Holy" I am! This must be avoided at all cost. In my case I have to be reminded of the audience in which Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees or in other words the religious, and as a follower in Jesus I must keep watch of the coldness of tradition and seek out the warmness of meeting needs.
Haven't written in awhile just been thinking about Oscars and have enjoyed some films this year. Current assumptions for Oscar Nods would be The Fighter, Black Swan, Social Network, and possibly True Grit. Now I would say my desire for Best pic would be a tie between Social Network and The Fighter. Best Actress- Natalie Portman, Best Actor- Tie between Jesse Eisenberg and Jeff Bridges, Supporting Actress- Amy Adams, Supporting Actor- Christian Bale. Now I haven't seen all the movies I would like to see like a King's Speech and 127 Hours but I enjoyed these performances and this would be the route I go. But I don't know if True Grit will get the recognition it deserved because it felt different then your normal Western. What are some of your possible pics for the Oscars?
My wife has attended 2 of the 3 Midnight Showings of Star Wars the least I could do is go see Eclipse with her. Now that sounds like something I could say and get away with the fact that I have actually read all 4 Twilight books, but the truth is my wife asked me to read them I said I would and in between my text books over the past two years I've read all 4 books. I've enjoyed the story. I get that girls are wanting to be sought after it all makes sense to me. But I also know that with all this hype no man will ever match up to the man each girl so desires whether this be Team Edward or Team Jacob. Now the vampire and werewolf stuff aside there is actually a pretty good love story of choice which is the right person for me and even a lesson on some good old traditional values about abstinence. Yeah finally a movie that encourages Abstinence but don't get me wrong there is a lot of kissing before Edward puts the breaks on his physically inclined lady friend. To be perfectly honest my wife and I had a discussion that consisted of whether or not we would allow our teen to watch Eclipse and the truth is it depends. First on who they are as a person. I can see the fantasizing that young boys have for some model can be a detriment to their future relationships the same way that a girl can fantasize about the emotional connection with a man. Both although different can have a significant effect on how we look at our relationships. Now don't miss out what I'm saying. It was a good movie but I think if I had a teen I would watch this film with them. Then after all the hype I would ask them questions. Like why do you think Edward has values about sex after marriage? Now some parents would shy from this but I see this as a great moment to open some discussion. Most shows on tv are worse any ways. There also seemed to be a lot of violence now I am usually comfortable with violence but there were more than one decapitations. What ever that's worth to you. Overall I really enjoyed this film. I still enjoyed New Moon a little more due to the directors choices, but it was still very enjoyable. Side Note, My favorite book was Eclipse which I don't know why it wasn't my favorite film but it was still worth seeing it with all the fans. You have to enjoy a movie when the audience is in to it too. They laugh louder and even clap at times that really are fun and exciting. So far my reviews have been given a lot of praises this summer but I am easily pleased 4.5 out of 5.
If I ever approach a movie that may be questionable in its content I go to http://www.pluggedin.com/movies.aspx which does an excellent job at letting me know why it got the rating it received.