in it, matt carter says things about the Church that ive felt, but not been able to put into words. kinda like intuition but im pretty sure its more the Holy Spirit than my anything. he talks about how God can detest our worship. and that,
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27 NIV
its been challenging for me and if you want to hear it, let me know.
but to take that a step further, i cant help but believe that our current state of affairs in the united states is a slap in the face of the Christian.
the way i see it, its not the governments place to provide help to the poor and needy in this country. or food to the hungry, or clothes to the unclothed, shelter for the homeless. its the job of the Church. matt. 25.
yet all we choose to do is hate the men who are unsuccessfully trying to fill the void of our disobedience.
churches fleeing to the suburbs to avoid the inner-city. there are too many homeless people there.
church members fleeing the country to do ministry over seas. the people here dont deserve our love.
church calendars littered with events to bring in the types of people that we want inside the walls. thats basically what Jesus did. only its the opposite.
he spoke on suffering. the suffering we are called to as Christ followers. the whole thing was very joel osteen-esque.
as i sat in that small, one room, country church, surrounded by 150 year old stone walls rising twenty feet into a cracked and leaking ceiling, i found some truth.
Christ suffered while he we a member of the human race. therefore my life here will not be all cowboys games and hot wings either. and that is worth rejoicing over.
we bring perspective to photos, and a story that each viewer can imagine for themselves.
i love the ones on the north face website. adventurers trek miles into remote territories, packing heavy cameras and other equipment, to discover landscapes that would make even a mommas boy detest their cozy suburbia.
managed to save.
(its one of my life dreams that i would be able to survive a survival situation and have heroic stories to tell about my adventure. stories that that even i couldnt ruin. im just not a good story teller.)
but its the contrast between nature and man that is so powerful to me. the little men, head to toe in the latest and coolest north face gear, become beautifully insignificant amidst the glories of an awesome God.
i love seeing creation towering over mankinds self-righteousness.
on the opposite side of that idea, i think God likes pictures with people in them too. that really makes Him who He is. a brilliantly inconceivable deity, who calls the stars by name, the maker of love, music, logic, and grace. He knows me. He wants me to be in the picture.
i had the great privilege of being a part of a weekend retreat for the youth group of an old friend labor day weekend. i hope it was a beneficial experience for the students that attended, but i know it was good for me.
it was good to travel to austin, great to be on the road and in a cool city. it was great to play some music with a great guitarist and worship leader, and i got to try out some new ideas musically that turned out really sweet (if i do say so myself...). i needed those things. i need to feel inspired in order to function well. i need to ponder in order to keep my mind on track.
the guy leading worship has issues, but he does harbor some pretty interesting ideas. every time we get together we always seem to get into these discussions about the christian church and our, ever so, humble critiques of the institution. normally i hate these conversations, most likely because those that want to discuss this are typically arrogant college students who somehow imagine that their a minus in an intro to new testament class gives them the credentials to revolutionize the american christian church with “new” ideas about how it how should should operate and ultimately cater to their “needs”. but these conversations arnt like that. they do turn into arguments on a fairly regular basis, but that is just part of the give and take.
so its about 9pm on a monday and its past my bed time. im watching bear gryles take on the wilderness of vietnam. but i have to get up quite early.
how early you say? when i wake up, the clocks are still sleeping. time is bobble-headin it from an antique wooden chair precariously perched in the corner. i wake him to the sound of my boots hitting the floor. he jerks and mumbles a disoriented, yet quite conscious line (hes always warning me to let him be), and so i begin my day with a smile.
im learning more and more about a side of God that has always been strange to me. God as my friend. im still not a fan of "i am a friend of God", but ive never labeled it as hypocrisy.
the trinity is awesome.