I’m doing the debriefing necessary as I unpack my ministry time in India. Every trip that I take I come away with new wisdoms and greater clarity for going forward. My time in India is bringing these same gifts my way.
It was a rousing discussion. I’d presented the following material and out of these simple comparisons conversation after conversation followed. We didn’t have time for all the thoughts and questions and dialogue.
Looking ahead to three months of intense ministry in Uganda has me thinking about the rhythm and required manner in which I’ll navigate those months. And I realize that the manner is the same one as I am on these three weeks of travel and holiday with my folks – Take each day as it comes. Enter fully into what today is about. Don’t live in yesterday, don’t live in tomorrow. Rather, settle into the here and now, engage it, relish it, be intentional within it; savour it.
There are, after all, many ways to be about life. Some live willy-nilly, some live very calculated. Either one has its pluses and minuses.
Continue reading A Rhythm to Live By
I am constantly amazed by the connections of my past experiences with the requirements of my current work.
About twelve weeks ago I was requested by one of our indigenous pastor families in India a resource and Biblical references to assist them with the men in their congregation. Here is the exact request:
“Sister I need a study or a sermon on husband and wife relationship according to Bible or marital life with Christ because in our church we have many broken families. Women are hard working and their husbands are fully drunkards and they beat their wives like anything. Kindly I need a sermon like how they can change their husbands…..”
It took me some time to finish this material. I worked on it in bits and parts, due mostly to the necessity to write in the Spirit of our Lord, to check and double check what I was saying and its accuracy against scripture, and in terms of truly being in service to men who are caught in patterns of spousal abuse.
If you are a woman and you find yourself
decorating and redecorating (will one more specific decoration really make your life complete?)
renovating once again (might it do just the way it is?)
shopping for what you don’t need (how many pairs of pants do you need?)
going to school for yet more education (what if you took what you already knew and started there?)
You just may be avoiding your primary purpose in life.
There is nothing like busy work to keep us from the scary core of what we are to be about.
we tell ourselves that we need just this and that to be right.
the kids to be just a bit older.
x number of dollars before we begin.
our friends and mentors to all understand and give the go-ahead.
I know. I’v been there done that.
I get it.
It’s why I am concerned when I see women spending their days in distraction. When houses are too nice. When clothes are too many. When schooling is more than enough.
It raises warning flags in my mind.
I wonder what kind of emptiness is present.
Passion and vision must have their say for when we don’t loose passion and vision within our lives into something bigger than us it takes form for us – through purchases, through paint for our walls, through one more degree to add to our resume, through numerous pairs of shoes and pants and jackets and purses and bags and…
What are we running from that we must run to all of this?
It seems to me that homosexuality is testing the church – poke at a people and see what comes out. The church in North America has been riding on its laurels for a long time.
In many ways we’ve looked good from the outside, like we are all put together or something (this has always been the goal has it not?)
Each Sunday our clothes are pressed, our shoes are shined, our worship is not too much not too little; we’ve got our culture neatly presented.
And in this there is a stability and a gladness that makes for growth and we have all benefited from this.
Yet here comes open acceptance of homosexuality and out of the mouths and hearts of well-cast Christians flows hatred, contempt, bigotry – the jig is up.
We are being revealed for what we truly are.
Not only are gays and lesbians coming out of the closet but its forcing Christians to come out of the closet.
Screaming damnations reveal our hearts for what is truly there.
God uses everything. Perhaps he’s using homosexuality to reveal our hearts and our understanding of him.
Not too sure we are passing this test.
Is God angry or is God compassionate?
Does God come towards us or does God recoil away from us?
Who is the condemner, God or Satan?
Does God punish us for our sins or is sin the punishment?
Is Hell a place of justice that God sends people to, or is it a place of lostness that he saves us from?
Is God watching people and tattling on them to the authorities or is God journeying alongside us?
Does God bring focus to our mistakes and folly or does he cover them over?
Is God smug about our failure or is he broken over it?
Is God looking down upon your life or is he looking at life through your eyes?
Is God understanding or impatient?
Does the general human experience disgust or delight God?
Is God big enough for everything of your life or not?
Does God expect truth or pretence?
What is God calling you to today?
What we believe about God colours everything about how we do life, how we love people, how we go about ministry, the manner in which we live our days, the conversations we have, the expectations we carry, the disillusionments we end up with, and our general state of happiness.
What do you believe about God?