Posted by abmo on August 24, 2012
John Acuff at Stuff Christians like talked on my birthday about a worship leader that changed the words of an old hymn. The original words that were changed were these….
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
He changed it to a more victorious “Prone to worship, prone to praise.”
Why is it that we have the compulsion to equate God with success? We are currently going to a medium sized congregation and the message Sunday after Sunday is “God will make things better” And don’t get me wrong, I know God is with the leaders and the members of that congregation. But I struggle with that kind of message severely. Perhaps it’s because it’s one side of the coin and that side is held up every Sunday for everybody to see. I believe that this causes the church a lot of harm. Perhaps it’s because discipleship is mostly absent from the church. With discipleship you see the mess. Feel the frustration. Experience the doubt. Sense the pain. Enjoy the laughter. Guess what the hell is going on. Practice boredom. Wasting time. Prone to wander……etc. etc.
Perhaps it’s just me. It’s sometimes easier to not believe. Then we don’t have to struggle with a God that’s not doing His part. I am His child and I want good things to happen but it seems that He is absent from all my good plans. Complain, grieve, lament, moan, mourn, regret, sing the blues, weeping. Do we have to do these things away from Sunday’s? Where nobody can see us? Is Sunday the victorious day and all the other the real life days? Could be. Perhaps I’m out of sync.
John ends his post by saying the following.
We tell each other we’re not prone to wander.
We act like our days of falling down are forever behind us.
And we create environments where no one can be honest.
You can’t share your whole life with somebody when the expectation is that you don’t fail.
You can only share the victories. And if you don’t have any victories that day or week, you better act like you do. Because as a Christian, you shouldn’t be prone to wander. And if you have, you just might not be a real Christian after all.
I love Jesus. That is why I struggle with Him every day. You can join me whenever you want to
Posted in Discernment, Endurance | 4 Comments »
Posted by abmo on August 15, 2012
I’m watching a little bit of the Olympics.(Next time I’m going to take 2 weeks leave and watch until my eyes begin to resemble squares.)
One thing I’ve noticed is the difference of the attitudes between the short distance athletes and long distance runners. The short distance athletes are more arrogant. People make a lot of fuss about them. They walk the walk and talk the talk. It’s almost like they are saying. Look at me. I’m going to dazzle you. Leave you speechless. When I’m finished everybody will love me. There’s a spring in their step. There a buzz in the stadium. Almost everybody knows who Usain Bolt is……but the 5000m, 10000m and the marathon runners? A polite wave to the crowd and thats about it. Not alot of fuss. Why don’t they have the same arrogance or even greater display of superiority? They run a lot farther. They know more about endurance. But the world, it seems, has a greater affinity for the quick. USAIN BOLT IS THE FASTEST MAN ON EARTH!!! Yes, but only under 400 metres.
This got me thinking……..what kind of person exites the church? The flashy, charismatic and the fast or the more endurance inconspicuous type of people? When you think along those lines, what happens when you put the quick and the fast in charge of the distance and vice versa? There is certainly a place for all of us in the church, but I believe we also tend to gravitate more to the “flashy”. It’s kind of natural for us. But perhaps, we should look around us and also find the quiet endurance brothers and sisters. After all, they know something about running for a long time
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Posted by abmo on December 5, 2011
“Jesus came to raise the dead. The only qualification for the gift of the Gospel is to be dead. You don’t have to be smart. You don’t have to be good. You don’t have to be wise. You don’t have to be wonderful. You just have to be dead. That’s it.” Robert Farrar Capon
Posted in Discernment | 1 Comment »
Posted by abmo on October 27, 2011
When I talk about “inclusion” of people … I am not talking only about starting up special schools or residences or creating good soup kitchens or new hospitals … I am not saying we should be kind to such people because they are human beings. Nor it is a question of “normalizing” them in order that they can be “like us,” participate in church services, and go to the movies and the local swimming pool. When I speak of the inclusion of those who are marginalized I am affirming that they have a gift to give us all …The excluded, I believe, live certain values that we all need to discover and to live ourselves before we can become truly human. It is not a question of performing good deeds for those who are excluded but of being open and vulnerable to them in order to receive the life that they can offer; it is to become their friends. … they will change things in us. - Jean Vanier
Posted in Church, Discernment, Family, Love, Quotes | 2 Comments »
Posted by abmo on October 27, 2011
I know it’s late, but I want to congratulate New Zealand for winning the Rugby World Cup. I’ve been rooting for you guys ever since we lost to the Aussies. 24 Years is a long wait. Just wish we could have a Southern/Northern clash every other 4 years :-) In any way, enjoy it. You’ve deserved it.
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Posted by abmo on April 7, 2010
This year is storming forward. Time is going faster than it should be. I thought there was time to do stuff, only to find out, I was wrong. Why am I talking about time? Well, because my favorite blogger died. And I am not ready for his death. I still wanted to read some of his posts. I wanted to him to be healthy again. I wanted lots of things for him, but as it turns out, dreams are sometimes only dreams.
Everybody knows it by now, but Michael Spencer (I-Monk) died two days ago. I will miss him terribly. I found his blog about three years ago while looking for a few quotes. I loved his writing and read through all his posts in the archives in a week or so. From then on, I-Monk was at the top of my RSS reader. His voice seemed at times like the only sane one in the evangelical wilderness. He made me cry with his struggles and honesty. He did not hide his struggles. Sometimes he used words that I had to look up in a dictionary. He was a genius and if I had to guess, a workaholic. In all his posts were “yes!” moments. You know, when your head suddenly moves up and down as you agree with him. Jesus was at the center of His life and he knew the church inside and out. He knew grace and perhaps that’s why he spoke so easily into our hearts. Brokenness connects with brokenness. Messy understands a mess. And he was a voice for the voiceless.
There are lots of things I do not understand, but the one thing I do not understand is why he could not be longer with us. I know I’m selfish when asking, but we needed his voice in the church. I do not know of a similar voice. But then again, most of my faith “heroes” could have been with us a little longer than they were. Keith Green, Rich Mullins, Mike Yaconelli all died too soon. When Mike Yaconelli died, my wife had to hold me. I cried like a baby. With I-Monk it’s different. I have been mourning the loss of his voice from the time I heard he had cancer. Now I mourn him as a person and I think I will mourn Michael Spencer for a very long time. He was a daily reminder that Jesus loves. And yes, if you are wondering, he is now on my “heroes” list. He would in all likelihood not agree with me. Tough, I’m still on this side of the curtain.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Their loss is so much more than mine. Thank you, Father, for the privilege of reading I-Monk all these years.
Michael Spencer (I-Monk)
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Posted by abmo on March 24, 2010
I just want to highlight two posts I’ve read today. Both tell a story. And it hits close to home. One is Why I’m no longer “Young Earth” from Neil Carter and the other is In the Land of Inconsequence by Dan Edelen.
I don’t think I’ve ever believed the earth is 6000 years young and Neil echoes my sentiments. I think christians are afraid to question the six days because once you start to ask questions there’s no telling where you might stop. It seems to me that those who are very vocal about it, are scared of losing their faith.(as if their faith depended on the Bible.)
The post by Dan is brutal to say the least. It’s a honest look into his life and if we are honest too, our lives as well. He asks the right questions. He has no answers. It’s a good place to be. Looking back and see the promises and the “what if’s”. Meeting God inside the stubbornness of everyday life. Wondering how we got here? It sucks.
I think it’s good to reflect on what was and where we were. But it’s usually the now sobers us up and it’s the now that we have to deal with. The future happens one now after the other. How did I get here? One now at a time. Do I still have dreams left? Yes, but I want God more. Do I sometimes feel stuck? Yes, but God is here in the “stuck”. He was present when the “what if’s” and “what the hell’s” happened. I hope, through everything that has happened so far, that I’ve grown to a place where I will not miss Him again in the now. Luckily for me, God is faithful.
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Posted by abmo on January 8, 2010
It’s now official. I’m terrible at blogging. But I’m actually brilliant at hanging around the blogosphere I’m just not much of a talker about myself. Never got in the habit and I have a phlegmatic personality. A very strong one. It means that I’m easygoing, relaxed and tends to be low-key. My experiences/emotions do not fluctuate much. To me, then, my life is not that interesting. That is why you are not hearing a lot from my side. I’ve said most of what I wanted to say. I had to get it out of my system and now that I have…well you get the picture. More or less, silence.
I know it’s already the new year, but somehow I’m not embracing this one with much enthusiasm. I’m still viewing it from afar. I have no idea why. There is just so much that have to happen this year. I don’t feel ready. It’s sometimes difficult to get me moving and I resent being pushed. I like my comfort zone.
That said, God is as close as ever. I’ll put my hand in His and see what happens. Remind me again in a year’s time to tell you about 2010
To all of you, I’ll pray that you will meet Jesus in interesting ways in the coming year. Have a blessed 2010!!
Posted in Me | 2 Comments »
Posted by abmo on October 23, 2009
This from Frederick Buechner,
Gildas stands on just one leg; the other is gone from the knee down: “Gildas begins hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner and loses his balance. He almost falls in a heap when Brendan leaps forward to catch him. ‘I’m as crippled as the dark world,’ Gildas says. ‘If it comes to that, which one of us isn’t, my dear,’ Brendan replies. For a moment or two, Brendan pauses in thought, and then he says, ‘To lend each other a hand when we’re falling — perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end.‘”
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