Monday, April 14, 2008

The family on the porch of our Carmel, Indiana home.

This past weekend, Deanna was at a women's retreat at Fall's Creek Camp. With her away, Lauren and I spent some time together, eating dinner, watching movies, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed her company.

I also learned something a bit peculiar about her.

Saturday morning, she had a bowl of cereal. As she was eating it, I noticed a dollop of peanut butter on the edge of her bowl. I asked her about it. I had never seen this before.

She carried on about the virtues of this little practice. I don't know when or why or how she began to do this, but it was clearly not a usual practice, so it captured my attention.

I like peanut butter. I like cereal. Other than Cap'n Crunch, I have never mixed the two. Perhaps I've fallen a bit behind, I don't know for sure.

Over the last week or two, I have reconnected with a number of students that I used to work with through various ministries. Facebook, was the way I found them. For those unfamiliar with it, it is an on-line address, where everyone can have their own page with whatever info they want on it. It is a pretty easy way to stay connected to friends.

I need help in this area, cause I am not very good at it. When the Lord moves us from one place to another, I struggle to stay in touch. I am not proud of this, but it is a part of me.

I know the Word tells us that this is not our home. I know that even when I am comfortable in a setting, I still long for that which will only come after Christ returns.

I realize that I am blessed to work among devoted students who love Jesus. The Lord has provided a way for me to be a part of their lives and I enjoy them a great deal.

However, it has been a bit heart wrenching recently, as I reconnect with students from the past, who were seeking hard after Him at that time, that now seem to be far from Him.

Those who used to be "peculiar" and would stand out in this world, have become part of it. They have embraced the things that the world offers, and have become so comfortable with it that they post picture after picture of their forays into the world on their facebook site.

"Incriminating" is the word that comes to mind.

I don't honestly have any idea what is happening in their lives at this point, other than what I can see and read on their web page. Perhaps what they choose to post, isn't reflectice of who they are, I don't really know.

However, it occurs to me that the windows we adorn for people to look into our lives ought to reflect who we are, what we stand for, and what we believe. Even if only in small ways, our lives are visible by what we choose to reveal.

Are we "peculiar?"

Have we come out from the world and been separated by our choices? Do the things we do really reflect well on our Savior? Have we become so comfortable with the world that we allow pictures of ourselves doing that which can only be construed in some sense to be "self-gratifying" because they don't point to Jesus, to represent who and what we stand for to the extent that we post them for others to see?

If who we are cannot be seen in brief glimpses into our lives, there is nothing peculiar about us. If we are truly following Him, if we have really come out from the world and been separated, then our peculiarity will be revealed in ways other than how we choose to eat our cereal.

Neither our lives nor pictures of our lives should reflect to others a disconnect from our Savior. James 3 says, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." It is not a leap to then say, out of the same life should not be reflected both the embrace of the world and of the Savior.

I know that in my distant past, there are probably pictures of me embracing the world. I hope I am mature enough in the present to realize that I cannot point others to Jesus, if I remain tied to that past.

I have been set free from that.

My life needs to be a sacrifice to the Savior. Each day, I learn new ways for that to be lived. This is what I need to show to those who would look into who I am.



At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How true this is dad. How difficult, yet absolutely necessary it is to be "in the world, but not of it."

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Scott Reed said...

Great post. So true. We need to reflect Christ in everything we do.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us struggle with the temptations and lure of this world. I love this little Youtube video that depicits this lure and the way Jesus rescues us from it. Take a look if you wish, it is entitled Dancing with Jesus.

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post today, Brent. Today I heard my daughter on her cell phone speaking with the very friend that led her to Christ. She said, "we need to put God back in the center of our relationship and our friendships" and "we need to hold each other accountable". WOW. If all of our earthly relationships centered around God, this world wouldn't have a chance to infiltrate!! Glory be to God!


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