Friday, August 22, 2008

My love!!!

Saturday I will be at Justin's Memorial service and then head to Neosho, Missouri to speak to combined youth of area churches. I have the privilege of sharing two messages with them.

Deanna has started back to school. Teaching music is a different classroom experience than many as she sees hundreds of children for maybe fifty minutes a week.
She gets to know most of them over the course of a year.

I cannot imagine trying to memorize hundreds of children's names in very short order, at this time of my life. She does so with few complaints, and many stories of getting names wrong and the laughter of children. For the most part they are forgiving.

Yesterday, she was working with a first grade class. First graders are wide eyed and adorable, but often begin the year, intimidated. They are trying to comprehend a full day of school, different building locations for things like art and music, and new teachers.

Being a first grader can be a tough life.

Yesterday, Deanna asked this class to "get in a circle around the piano." Judging from her account of their reaction, they were at a peak of intimidation. Seeing the concept of a circle in their precious little heads and trying to make that come alive around the piano, was a fete they were not prepared for.

Blank stares from some and near panic from others, betrayed their relative cluelessness of the next step.

A para-professional in the room tried to help by offering that these children were only first graders and didn't know what a circle was, yet.

Really? I seem to remember my children learning such things as toddlers when they played with that little 'shape thing' that every parent has. You know, where you put the star through this hole, the square through that one, etc.? I'm pretty sure shapes are reinforced in most families and then for sure in kindergarten.

I don't think lack of knowledge was the issue.

Many times we find that same issue to be prevalent among our brothers and sisters in Christ. We often react to obedience issues as if we don't know enough. Sometimes we even think we don't. The reality is that we generally do have the knowledge, we're just hesitant to put it into action.

For most it is not an issue of still needing "spiritual milk," but one of needing to learn to follow the Lord's leading. Having head knowledge and refusing to ever transfer that into action is keeping many from experiencing the joy of their salvation.

I believe it was from this disposition that Paul often wrote. How can we as a people continue to show a lack of evidence of true change, when we have been transformed? We have been taught so much, and we do so little to reflect it.

Faith is a word nine and a half months pregnant with this idea.

It is implied that steps must be taken when we are unsure what will happen next. We cannot afford to do nothing, when something is required. We allow fear to paralyze us.

The first graders did the same thing, yesterday. They knew what a circle was, they just weren't sure who was going to take the first step, and were not completely convinced they had the knowledge to take a concept and put it into action.

We have the ability to continue to act like first graders if we choose. Or, one by one, we can begin to take steps of faith to live who Jesus is, and change a culture. It's time to stop reading about it and start living it. It's time to stop being inspired by sermons and doing nothing as a result.

We have little time, yet we are living like we have much. Eternity is a concept for us to experience, but not in terms of how long it takes to become obedient. Rather, it is an idea and an experience.

Most of us learn better by experience. However, we do not have the luxury of waiting for the experience of eternity before our obedience to promptings of the Holy Spirit begin. That is where faith comes in.

Our eternity began when we gave our hearts to Christ. In some respects we have already begun to experience it. However, so many of us are still embracing the world with such a fierce grip that we fail to see how remarkable our lives in Him are. That and the fact that we aren't willing to walk out our obedience cripple the church in our culture.

If we can begin to love one person at a time, and do it selflessly, we will begin to gain understanding of what the Bible is all about. Step out in faith. He will not let you fall. The fear that lingers will be chased away by the sweet flavor of obedience. Then understanding will come for all that we have already learned.

Don't wait. Too many need what we can offer.



At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know Bj, but I have a friend that did. From what I've heard, he is an amazing guy. I read some of his stuff...and I can see where he gets his way of words. He was truely inspiring, and made me really want to spread the word. Anyways you have a beautiful soul. God Bless =)

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had never heard of BJ until I read the book about his life, it was awesome and he was an awesome guy. From reading his story it really made me want to do more for my savior. I just got back in church almost 7 years ago and I hate the time I wasted while back in the world. Thanks so much for taking the time to write the book. Really enjoyed it so much. Mary Crowder in Greenback Tenn.


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