January 15, 2012

IN THE LINE OF FIRE


I´ve been thinking about THE COST.  Counting it.  Weighing it.

Because right now it´s very personal.

There has always been a cost to bringing the gospel to resistant places - both historically and now through the current-day persecuted Church.  Those living for Christ in difficult places have known suffering and have had to count the cost many times a day.

I haven´t had to live like that.

Our call has involved sacrifices on many different levels.  Family, personal, health, emotional, security, social, educational, etc.  But when was the last time I actually feared for my life?  Feared for one of my kids? (there was that summer Jenna was in Kashmir...) My travelling husband?

And when was the last time I made a choice that actually put us in the line of fire for THE CAUSE?

It´s not that our work has not taken us to some of these resistant places.  And it´s not that we haven´t worked closely with some who have to live under these life-fearing situations.  But for various reasons (and for some I cannot put in print here) we are making a choice to go there.  And so, I am asking myself, "Am I willing to lose my husband for the cause of the gospel?  Am I willing to raise my children alone?  Would I be willing to give my life and leave my children motherless?  Or what will I do if one of my children make that choice?"

Heavy, huh?

One of my heroes, Jim Elliot, wrote what are now some very famous words:  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."  We know how his story finished...or rather, how it began.

My story is still being written.

But I would never want it´s end to be The End.  I want it to be just The Beginning.  The beginning of something far greater...the beginning of something eternal...the beginning of something remarkable for the King who has loved me so.

Choosing the line of fire for the One who is worthy?  You bet.

January 12, 2012

DESIRE OF THE NATIONS



The DESIRE of the nations is JESUS.

They don´t desire the Church (ouch!).  Or more Christian workers (regardless of their color or passport).  Certainly not more of the west. It´s not more NGO´s or ambassadors or humanitarian efforts.  Not better education or more global opportunities or economic strategies or better infrastructures in the mega societies of our world today. 

It´s HIM.  The hidden-through-the-ages-mystery-revealed CHRIST.  He´s the ONE  all the nations long for.

The problem?  They don´t know it yet.  Any more than does your pre-Christian neighbor or co-worker, fellow student or relative.  But the worldwide restlessness among the nations is INCREDIBLE right now.  We are seeing things of historic proportions.  Kingdoms are toppling, leaders are being deposed, there is an "uproar among the nations".  There is REVOLUTION.  

How about a KINGDOM OF GOD REVOLUTION?

How about a REVOLUTION-REVELATION of who the DESIRE is truly for?

And while we´re at it...how´s your DESIRE??

I hope you´re aligned with the nations...they´ve got it right.



Photo courtesy of Digital Trekker.

January 1, 2012

WHERE GOD MEETS YOU






"When I come home, God meets me here..."

Wow.  That has to be one of the most powerful - and wonderful - statements I have ever heard.

My oldest daughter said it recently at the end of two weeks with us at Christmastime.  We hadn´t seen her for one whole long year and we were drinking in every day with her.

What is it about home that creates an environment where we can meet God?  Is it the people that lead or inspire you?  Is it the welcoming sense of belonging that lets you be truly transparent?  Is it the familiar atmosphere that you´ve missed and that breathes comfortableness & cherished memories & unconditional love?  Or is it in the heart-history of traditions, stories told, Scriptures opened, songs sung, prayers breathed together?

For us I think it is some of all of that but also because we have been on a spiritual journey together over the years.  At times Dad has lead it, other times Mom and now, often one of the kids leads it. And in each of our kids´ journeys with God, the home has been a place for discovery, for conversation, sometimes for animated theological debates.  Sometimes these have been painful, revealing, humbling. Sometimes we have had to "agree to disagree" on certain theological points.  But there has always been love.  And an encouragement to try new expressions and new veins of thinking.  To question Mom and Dad´s ways of doing things and beliefs.  To make your belief system & spirituality your own.

Some people never come home to this.  Either because there is no faith or perhaps because there is a kind of rigid faith present which allows no space for discovery...or questions...or exploration.

While we have done what we could, I know it has been GRACE that has covered our meager efforts.  Like the line in the song Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle:  ¨In all that I´ve done wrong, I know I  must´ve done something right to deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night...¨  In the end, it is only that there is a mysterious GRACE present in our home.  Something unexplainable yet palpable.

I feel awed and blessed to be living in a family space where God meets us - right here at home.

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