Readers of this blog know its rhythm. Each Tuesday is a church / theology post and Thursday is reserved for thoughts and words that motivate me. I hope they motivate you too. As important as church life is to me, it’s not the center of my life. Relating and growing as God’s beloved is.
That being true, I’m launching a new element to this blog called “Ripped.” Ripped is exactly what it sounds like. Over the weekends, I’m going to share with you one page ripped straight from my spiritual journal – unedited…mostly. For daily devotional reading I use The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: New Living Translation. And then I journal whatever God brings up.
When surveyed, church members overwhelming want church leaders to be spiritual women and men. For as much emphasis as church leaders place on leadership, management, theological prowess, and strategy, most folks want their leaders to chase God.
My gut tells me our congregants aren’t nosy. They crave a living witness displaying what seeking God looks like in all it’s beauty and messiness.I know it sounds daunting for church leaders, like it’s all too much, but most folks are looking for models not mentors. A place to see what life with God *can* look like.
Because a full expression of faith is multi-vocal. Life with God is filed with ups and downs, stagnation and exuberance. And what to normalize that experience for people.
You are not alone in your feelings of trusting God and doubting God at the same time. You’re not isolated in questioning how all of God’s past, present, and future activities come together. And it’s not just you who think, “Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve sensed or heard anything from God.”
Here We Go:
Text: Genesis 30:1 – 32:12 & Matthew 10:24 – 11:16
There are myriad ways for God to be with me. In Genesis 31, Jacob keeps having kids – Rachel and Leah seem to be having some kind of baby-making competition. If they were living now, they’d have a reality show on TLC right after Honey Bo0-Boo. They seem to be deluded. They think Jacob will think more of them, perhaps love them over and above the other, if they keep churning out heirs. And who can blame them? In that time and place, giving birth was esentially all that anyone thought a woman was good for. But if Jacob is like most men I’ve known, he’s less concerned with the having of children but the method of reproduction. Yet each of them – Jacob, Rachel, and droopy-eyed Leah – all see their growing nursery as the same them, a blessing.
The same is true of their sheep. Jacob’s sheep keep reproducing. The children and sheep continue to reproduce at a rate that it becomes problem, but ultimately, the excess is seen as blessing.
That’s the category most of us consider “blessing” to be – excess! Money, cars, toys, glory, fame….PLATFORM. I guess I can’t deny it. I’m the chief of sinner’s. I daily want more. More money and more fame would be good, are thoughts that daily cross my mind. I know what I’d use the money for. The money, not so much.
But Matthew 10 paints a different picture of what it means to have God with you. Here Jesus says – when sending out the 12 – how much having God with you will suck. Instead of getting more, they’re asked to leave everything behind. And once you leave everything and everything you’ve known, very few people are going to want to be around you, accept you. Having God with you in Matthew 10 is being sent out as sheep among wolves.
Brother will betray brother…You will be hated by everyone….Welcome to life with God.