Speak what is true…

Speak what is true…

Often there are things that happen that i sit back and scratch my head wondering, what did i just actually witness?! Baffling at times are the behaviors, choices, made by people in day to day living. All of which make me question humanity.  To often the Churches response is one of two extremes, total grace or total damnation.

As i type this i am inspired by the lyrics in a Crowder song, “Here’s My Heart”. The line that i am on is, “Here’s my heart Lord….speak what is true” ¬†My mind and heart has been preparing for the shift, from¬†our year long journey through Acts, to our next stop, Colossians. ¬†Paul, speaking truth about the simplicity of Jesus. ¬†It’s the same truth that Jesus spoke often to those¬†He came in contact with, (paraphrasing)¬†“I love you now,¬†go and sin no more”.

The grace and freedom that Jesus taught,¬†Paul speaks of, a heart¬†¬†marked by a transformed life…In Chapter 3:5-8 we read;

So put to death the parts of your life that belong to the earth, such as sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil, desire, and greed (which is idolatry). ¬†The wrath of God is coming upon disobedient people because of these things. You used to live this way, when you were alive to these things But now….

There is a mark of grace we receive, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with its passions and its desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25

Here’s my heart Lord, speak what is true….

You are loved,

cj

The World in Tumult

The World in Tumult

It seems the world has gone mad! i read something today that said there has been a terrorist attack somewhere in the world every 10 days so far this year.  Even with social media putting it in our faces more, the 24 hour news availability…this isn’t something one can just shake off as having “always been like this”.  Racial tension in America is on the rise, fanned by the main stream media and social media. We can choose to be blind, willfully ignorant, or just plain skeptical of its actuality…however, that doesn’t dismiss the fact that many people see it and it is being pushed in our faces.

There is a passage in Matthew, in Chapter 24; where Jesus, foretells the future. In Verse 6 it says, “And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.” The whole chapter is full of warnings of great trials. In fact the only positive thing about it is that in there somewhere, Jesus returns.  It talks about persecution and of a deception so great that even the elect, if possible, will be deceived.

What hope is there, what joy, what blessing? Here is part of the point; our hope, our joy, our blessing isn’t of this world or this age…it is yet to come fully. What we have now is the Spirit within us the Kingdom Come in Power within us that stays our hearts in times of trouble.  Whether or not you believe the end is near or not, one cannot deny the world is a tumultuous place.  That there is unrest in the Nations…here is where i find my hope:

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those that weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”    Romans 12:9-16

You are loved,

cj

For We Are All One

For We Are All One

Today, as i sat in the building in which a small portion of the¬†Church gathers, i listened to our pastor’s impassioned plea for unity. ¬†It hit¬†me, as i heard his words and saw a glimpse of his heart that this is the same conversation i have been having with Rachel our Axiom manager. Just a regular woman, who just happens to be dark complected, a person of color, black, to be PC, African~American. ¬†i can’t pretend to know how it feels to be a person of color, any color other than white, in America.

We could spend lots of time arguing i am sure, all points and sides, from “Black Lives Matter” to “All Lives Matter”. ¬†Simultaneously arguing the same points but blind because neither side can truly understand the other completely.

So, as i sat in the building with the Church i was reminded of this passage in Galatians Chapter 3…beginning with verse 26;

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

The CHURCH must rise up above the racial tension in America. It must begin to show unity in tangible ways to those around us. This isn’t a political issue, although it has been made into one…it is rather a social one. ¬†The Church for all of its flaws, has an opportunity to show Christ. To live out this principle in Galatians. To live out the mandate of Scripture to love, show mercy, have compassion, and live in a place of grace and forgiveness…it is for us, the Church, to walk humbly.

i am thankful that we took 30 teens to camp last week and we were the most diverse group there. i am proud of that fact and felt even better when one of the counselors was talking to me and pointed out the fact. ¬†To be honest, i hadn’t thought about it. ¬†i like to think that i don’t see color, that i live out Galatians everyday. ¬†Not that i am already perfected, but forgetting what is behind, i press on toward the goal of Christ Jesus.

Rejoicing always, i attempt to let my gentleness be an outward expression of who lives within me.  i try not to be anxious but in everything though prayer i am thankfully hopeful. i am paraphrasing parts of Philippians, but let me close with this quote from the same 4:8,9

8¬†Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable‚ÄĒif anything is excellent or praiseworthy‚ÄĒthink about such things.¬†9¬†Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me‚ÄĒput it into practice.¬†And the God of peace¬†will be with you.

You are loved,

cj