Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Feeling Perplexed

There are a lot of things swirling around in my brain. Theology, music, injustice, poverty, wealth, Jubilee, wealthy actors and politicians preaching to us about ending poverty when they could sell a couple of houses or cars and make a huge dent in poverty, the church being accused of not being the church (which I think is true in some aspects, but I am tired of hearing all the complaints and just want to see the beauty of the church being the church), "Christian Family Fun" nights that have nothing to do with living out the Gospel in our neighborhoods, how much time is wasted in my day, the art of trying to be in the now and not always thinking about what is next but planning on what is right around the corner, liberal theologians that everybody listens to, Shane Claiborne, professional Christians, the King of Kings, and my lovely wife.

And some wonder why my blog takes so long to be updated. Bret Favre needs to hang it up and not play for the Vikings.

I get to preach Sunday which makes me nervous. There is so much to be said, so much that I want to say. I like when people like me, and so I like when people like my sermons. I want people to be changed (I know that this is the work of Holy Spirit - God). I desire for them to not just file it away as another nice talk. I desire God's voice to be heard through the Scriptures. I desire this in our youth ministry. I think however, that I am too serious for some of our youth. I believe some of them want to have fun in our gathering times. Which, I am not the fun Nazi - I just want the time i spend with them to have eternal significance, even if we are playing kick ball. Some would say, lighten up, man. Others would say, if you don't preach truth then who will? I do not want to entertain youth. I desire to make disciples. I think that can be done in a fun and inspirational way, don't get me wrong. It is a balancing act, this "ministry" thing. I mean, I wonder whether my job is really biblically justifiable. If I am a pastor who works with a certain demographic within our congregation and also fulfilling a pastoral role in other ways than, I am cool with that. But to be a "youth minister/director" than I am not sure I am the right man for the job. I mean, that I want people to encounter Jesus, not fads or me or opinions or the funniest videos or ugg...

I have a hard time living out Christ on my own. I need others to help me along. I need the Scriptures to encourage and exhort and discipline and correct and cut and tear and heal and smash and stab and destroy and alarm and disarm and shut my mouth and put words in my mouth and love and cause me to move. I suck at being a professional Christian. I suck at saying the "right" things and playing politics. I am horrible at making sure I connect to everyone. I think that peace is a good thing, but believe that peace will only come when the Prince of Peace reigns on the earth. I will love my neighbor and my enemy but I will trust that God is not letting the righteous be put to shame. I don't look good in public. I am hairy. There are holes in my actions and motives. There is hope.

Jesus is my righteousness. Jesus is my good. Jesus is working in and through me. Jesus is the hope of Glory. Jesus. My God, My Savior, My Jesus.


danton said...

"And some wonder why my blog takes so long to be updated. Bret Favre needs to hang it up and not play for the Vikings." -OUCH, and I agree.

Keep questioning what you (we) do. Self examination in the Light of the King has value - as long as the focus is properly fixed on the the King. For what it is worth, your observations, encouragements, and teachings make me think about my life, actions, behaviors relative to my neighbors and others. Do I genuinely and honestly embrace my life as a Christian, or am I just following a program? I'm encouraged to work alongside you as a disciple of Christ. Your active and passive ministry (blemishes, gaffs, failures, and successes) reflect a commitment to serving Him and His church.

I'm in the boat - not as a passenger, but as one of the untrained, unworthy, and flawed crewmembers. Help me keep my oar in the water and make sure I'm pulling in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

You are a man who openly wears his heart on his sleave – for all to see. And it is a great testimony to me of your heart for those in your care – His youth, specifically, and His church, in general. Is it perfect? Nah. But to see God served by someone with hair (er, flaws) gives me hope in the One that you do serve. May your “zeal” for them (Jesus and His children) never wane and may God use you to greatly affect our hearts to love them both with a similar “zeal.”

I pray you’ll take Paul’s word’s to the Corinthians as your own this week when he said –

2 Cor 7:4-7 ESV
“I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn--fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

May your words and actions this week evoke a Corinthian response in us (vs 11) that our response to God might refresh your Spirit all the more (vs.13).

With Prayers for Peace,