Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Trust. It seems its the one thing that's the hardest to come by. Once you gain it, its another thing, entirely, to retain it. It involves a number of issues. Compassion, understanding, patience and, above all, love.

As a child, it never occurred to me that my parents didn't love me. Because of that assurance, the thought of not eating or being clothed never crossed my mind. I got up everyday knowing that everything I needed would not only be provided but done so in such a way that I knew Mom and Dad took pride in what they were doing. They wanted the best for their kids. Does that mean that I always got what I wanted? Absolutely not! (That being said, I was a little spoiled!) What if I had gotten the Yamaha 80 I always wanted? What if I had gotten the endless supply of comic books I always wanted? I was so short sighted, at the time, to understand how much money went into acquiring these things not to mention how much money, time and effort went into maintaining these things. Does that mean that I stopped asking for them? Probably not. I was still learning valuable lessons.

Fast forward. Very similar situation but with a different perspective. Now as an adult with children of my own, I'm given the task of being the provider rather than the provided for. My wife and I get up everyday and immediately start addressing needs for that day. Meals, clothes, baths, school, recreation, clean beds, etc., all vital parts of our children's existence that they take advantage of without a second thought. Chances are, if we are any sort of parents, our kids never have to ask for it. They just have an inherent trust that they will have what they need. What comes next makes your heart melt. "Thank you" or "that meal was great" or "these clothes fit perfectly". Gratitude has a way of making you feel appreciated or complete as a parent. Its the icing on the cake. Next level stuff. It just makes you want to improve your game that much more.

Again, different perspective. I would LOVE to have a recording contract. What if its not in my best interest? Better yet. What if its not God's will for my life? Do I keep on asking until I get what I asked for? It kind of reminds me of Verruca from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as she screams "I want a squirrel!" It sounds a bit hedonistic doesn't it? It makes me want to slap that spoiled little rich kid! How do you think God feels? I once heard Charles Stanley say "We start seeing action when our desires line up with God's will.". Ultimately, God's will for us is to be a reflection of His son Jesus Christ. Does He not know what we need exactly when we need it? Matthew 6:25-34 tells us to not worry about what we will eat or about our bodies or our clothes. (v26) "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

When was the last time you sat at your computer and said "Thank you, God, for this modern convenience....". (now for a moment of silence....) Do you get the picture? We get up everyday and begin our tasks as if we're the ones doing all the work. Seems a bit legalistic doesn't it?! You're not the one who grew the cotton that was used to make the underwear you're wearing! You're not the one who created the seed from which the apple you're eating was grown! Yes, we do a certain amount of work (you can thank Adam for that one!) but we're also given the strength to do that work not to mention the lessons we learn from that work. Again, you have to look at the imagery. Our heavenly Father puts us into parental roles (even though we're His children) so that we can teach our children (who are also His children) so that they can grow to be mature adults (still His children) and teach their children.

To get to the point, God wants us to communicate with Him, make our requests known and, when we get our answer (even if we don't like the answer we get) be thankful. He wants us to develop trust. We lack trust because we don't have a close enough relationship with Him and, as a result, have a lack of understanding. How do we expect to teach what we do not know? He is our father. He loves us. He will provide what we need for today.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


If I'm being completely honest, my reasons for wanting to write this started with selfish and defensive motivations. Hopefully, as you read on, it'll become clear that those kind of motives lead to nothing but a vicious circle of arguments and a very ugly display of a life unbecoming a Christian. What I would like to do instead is take this as an opportunity to encourage those who desire to walk the footsteps of Jesus to stay focused on the author and perfecter of our faith and not be distracted by those who, even with the best of intentions, have been tricked by the deceiver into this facade of religion instead of a relationship with Jesus.

Don't get me wrong. One thing that we don't have enough of within the body of Christ is accountability. Alot of times, we may question the actions of a brother of sister but, because we lack knowledge, we fail to "call them out". That's not to say we should be hanging our dirty laundry out for the world to see. God's word plainly states how we should go to that person, in God's love, and show them what God's word says about the situation at hand and pray that their eyes are opened to the Truth. Jesus said,"If you know me, you will be my disciples and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32) If a lack of knowledge is what's hindering you, the solution is easy. Pick up a copy of God's word, readily available, and begin to read. Personally, I've got several different translations. If I'm feeling scholarly, I'll pick up a KJV and try and decipher old testament lingo. Other times, I'll pick up a NAS or a copy of "The Message" and really enjoy the simplicity of it. Either way, Ask God to speak to you clearly. I believe He wants to.

Wisdom, however, is a different story. Wisdom is actually taking what we know and applying it properly. Sometimes its a lack of wisdom that compels us to speak what we have read but we lack the spiritual maturity to know when to shut up. I get all excited about something I've read or heard and, before you know it, I've opened my mouth and made a train wreck of things. Again, Jesus said,"If you KNOW me...". Not just His words but His heart! There's alot of Christians running around quoting what we all know to be true but, if our words aren't "delivered with grace, as though seasoned with salt" (Col 4:6) then it can have quite the opposite effect! Its like the "bull in a china shop" syndrome.
Wisdom is just one of those things that take time. You could memorize the Bible inside and out and, if you don't know the heart of the Master, you'll still mess up.

Finally, there's faith. Even if we had Solomon's wisdom, I believe God can and will ask us to do things that defies our finite understanding. Whether it be a command to build an ark or whether it be to follow Him straight into the heart of Samaria, as children of God, I believe we have a responsibility to obey first and ask questions later.

"Therefore as you have come to know Jesus Christ, SO WALK IN HIM, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude." (Col 2:6-7)