Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On A Mission From God

I was recently in Thailand doing the part of my job as the CEO of The Charis Project that I find most difficult and invigorating and that puts me in the greatest danger of growth and transformation.

I had the privilege and pleasure of spending the trip with my brother and co-founder Wayland Blue. He and I are alike in many ways that we are both divergent from the main population. In the way we think and in our attitudes. We have a great deal of mutual respect and push and support each other in ways that no one else does or can.

This trip was particularly taxing for the Blues Brothers. We, however, take the struggle as a birthright. A great honor we have been entrusted with. Because of the incarnation, because God became human and thereby took into himself humanity, and because of the Spirit that has made us brothers and heirs of the salvation that Jesus has already won, our struggle is direct participation in the very action of God in effecting that salvation in the very dirt of history. Because we are sons of the living God, born of the Spirit and caught up in the very life of Christ we are rulers of the universe. We look at the world and in all truth say, "we own all of this." Because of the incarnation this is our world. We have been given back the dominion that Adam and Eve lost. It is ours to subdue, not as a foreign beachhead but as our rightful inheritance.

We are not settlers or besieged villagers holding out for reinforcements. We are giants of salvation and forgiveness walking the face of the earth. We are not victims of spiritual warfare or disease or the military industrial complex. We are the agents of subversive redemption wherever we step. It is by the active power of our Father that we succeed and fail and in failing we still succeed; such is the radical depth of God's subversive grace. We are not victims, we are free and willingly take on the weight of our freedom in the shining face of the Lord.

This is yours also, the kingdom of God is at your very hand. There is no act so small or menial that it cannot be world shifting.

Go forth and rule.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On The Value Of Beatings

Well, hello again. I will get back to the series I started a while back (part 1part 2part 3) as soon I regain the neural capacity. This time I am going with something more apropos the topics of discussion that are trending in my own home.

My wife is working on an extended project having to do with significance and meaning. You can get a taste of the direction it is heading in this post. Add to that the difficulties of getting by on not quite enough money and the struggles of our ongoing (unpaid) work of revolutionizing the care of at-risk children and and my incessant need to make sense of things and nearly pathological desire for significance and you will end up with some thoughts on the desires of God and our quality of life.

Particularly in developed countries there is this notion that following God should make our life nice and easy. This comes out often when we are making decisions about what to do with our life. I have often heard people say things along the lines of, "If God is behind it (whatever "it" is) then it will work." Usually "it working" means "it will be easy" or "things will fall into place." There are all sorts of biblical precedents that indicate that this is crazy talk. So I won't bother talking about this from that direction. The simple observation that there is rape and murder in the world indicates that what God wants does not necessarily actually take place in the real world. How then can we believe that our endeavors will go more smoothly if God is behind them?

What particularly interests me right now is the way we look to heros of the faith for inspiration. When we do this we more or less look strictly at the final hero status and separate that from what led to the status. We look at the end product of the famous person, the recognized hero and actually look up to the recognition and fame rather than the process that led to it, forgetting that no hero ever has heroism handed to them. Salvation is a thing handed to us through the grace of God. Heroism is something we earn. The only way someone becomes a hero is by getting the crap kicked out of them. That beating is absolutely necessary to the end result. It is through enduring the beatings and holding on and pushing through that one ever has the possibility of achieving heroism.

God has plans in this world. God struggles and has to overcome. Look at the true revelation of the living God. God incarnate in his deepest self revelation in the world. Did Jesus need to push through and overcome adversity to effect salvation? I know, stupid question. To be fully conformed to the image of Christ involves heroism. The struggle itself is an integral part of the path.

Go forth and conquer
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