Friday, June 11, 2004

Won't be posting anything new for a couple of weeks. Going to Camp Wiregrass this Sunday (June 13) and then going to IMPACT at Lipscomb University the next week. Such is my life in the summer. I'm sure I'll have lots of thought to post when I return.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

More Than Morality
I was recently listening to a lesson by Tony Campolo in which he said that piety was the great American sin. He implied that we use piety to pat ourselves on the back and feel good about ourselves and then completely ignore the mission of Christ. Ouch! That stings a little, doesn't it? The fact is that when Jesus talks about morality, he treats it like a kidergarden subject. "Of course you should live a moral life." he seems to say, "Why are you still trying to figure that out?" Then He makes weird statements like telling the people that their "righteousness should exceed that of the Pharissees." This makes no sense if rigteousness equals morality. In truth, rightiousness is so much more than that. It involves living on purpose. It not only involves my personal conduct, it goes beyond that to the way I (am used to) affect the world.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I like M. Night Shyamalon's movies. I liked The 6th Sense (even though some of my wife's friends told me the end before I saw it). I liked Signs (even though a movie about an alien invasion is an odd vehicle for a positive message about faith.) But, most of all I loved Unbreakable (the one with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson). The beginning of the movie has a very sad feel to it. The main character's (Willis') life isn't what he wants it to be. He goes on to describe a sadness that he can't rid himself emptiness of unknown origin. Jackson's charater suggests to him the possibility that the sadness might come from the fact that he isn't doing what he was meant to do or, stated differently, he isn't being who he was created to be. As Willis' character learns how he is gifted, discovers his purpose, and begins to live it out, the sadness goes away. The void begins to be filled. With the exception of a very strange plot twist at the end, his life comes together. I really identify with that metaphor, although I don't know that I'm at the end of it yet. My Christianity somehow felt empty. I carried around this sadness that sometimes masked itself as cynicism. It finally began to dawn on my that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing. My definition of the Gospel and my understanding of the kingdom were off. I had bought into a christianity that was all about me and my salvation and it turned out to be mind numbingly empty. Then I began to see that Jesus was calling me into His mission. He was inviting me to join Him in His adventure. The God of the Universe had a dream for this place and these people and He wanted to use me, of all people, to help make that dream a reality. He had gifted me with special abilities so that I could be used for His God-sized dreams. The purpose God has for me isn't about my personal prosperity, or where I live or which job I take (although I trust Him on all of those things). It has to do with making the world what He dreams for it to be (the church too). The void is filling up and the sadness/cynicism is lifting. The God who dreams, who calls, and who equips makes those who step into His vision unbreakable