Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hanging on, but to what?

The other day as the shuttle Discovery lifted off into space, it brought along with it an extra passenger - a stowaway. When you see something like this you may think:

  1. Stupid bat
  2. Good, I hate bats
  3. Poor little bat :-(
But the thought that came to me was - why? Why would a bat hang on to a big tank, out in the open like that? Why didn't it fly away when the behemoth below it started to rumble?

Wildlife experts believe the bat was injured and maybe that's why it didn't flee. Maybe it was just too worn out. Maybe it was confused. Maybe it was too afraid to let go - it didn't have the faith to let go and either make it to safety or die trying.

I think people can be a lot like that bat; I know I can. We hang on to what we have our hands around because we know what it is and how to deal with it. We have this false sense of safety because we have this false sense of control.

No one really knows what that little bat was thinking, if bats think that is, but in my mind it was something like this:

"Okay, I made it. I'm just gonna hang on to this big cliff awhile and rest. Man, my wing really hurts. Last time I listen to Bob - that jerk. '...Oh, let's fly over here...lots of good skeeters and nobody hunts this'll be tall cotton for us buddy...' Kind of bright and noisy around here. Nobody from the colony either. I wonder what happened to Bob? I hope I didn't mess up my rotator cuff. The old lady is gonna kill me when I get home.

Whoa! What the heck is that noise? Why is the cliff shaking? What the heck is going on! Should I let go? No, no, ... I'm just gonna hang on. I don't know if I can fly. I better just hang on, it's too risky to move. ... AAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!"

I know, I know, I have issues. Who the heck knows what was going through that little bat's mind. But if it was me, that's probably the way it would have happened - blame Bob and then hang on. The blaming Bob part is a whole 'nother story for 'nother day but the hanging on, yeah that's something a lot of us need to learn to deal with.

To me it's a matter of perspective. That little bat thought he was hanging on to a cliff, something big and solid. Cliffs don't move around a lot. They tend to stay pretty much the same. Except that cliff from a different perspective wasn't all that big or permanent.

We're a lot like that bat. We hang on to what's right in front of us because at this given moment that's what's real to us. It might be a job, a house, or even a bad relationship. It's real and it's now. The problem is we aren't looking at the big picture, but maybe don't want to look at the big picture, or maybe we have a messed up idea of what the big picture is.

So what's all this mean? To me it means we need to stop and check our perspective and to do that we have to be honest with ourselves. That's not always an easy thing to do. We also have to realize that our perspective is going to be based on where we are looking from and what we believe to be true. Without a sound place to start, a belief system, you may find it hard to decide if what you are looking at is right or wrong, true or false, up or down.

So, what's your perspective of your life? Are you hanging on to something solid or something that may end up taking you for a wild ride?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hello? Anyone home?

It's been a really long time since I've posted. Many things have happened since that last post, many things that have made me stop and think.

I'm going to try this again. Perhaps with twittering I'll be able to get some things out of me and down on paper so to speak.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Looking In or Looking Out

Relevant, Missional, Emergent - all the latest buzz words. We keep talking but maybe it's time we start listening.

Maybe everyone needs to stop and ask a few questions such as:

- As a church are we looking in (to grow our local body) or are we looking out (to serve)?
- How much time and energy do we spend internally vs. externally?
- Should we be using our resources to make people comfortable or uncomfortable?
- Am I as an individual acting as a consumer of the church or am I providing for others?

I understand we all need to grow, to learn about following Jesus, and to feel safe. But, we also need to be challenged. Everywhere in the Bible I see Jesus saying come to me but once you get it - GO! You can go because I am in you.

So where do we draw the line? How do we educate and build the local body and still have the energy, resources, and heartfelt desire for those out in the world who need to know Jesus and need to be cared for - the hungry, the thirsty, the lonely, the cold, and those in prison?

Friday, May 26, 2006

What do we really need?

This article at Church Marketing Sucks has me thinking. What do we really need? Maybe this is the root of my problem. It's not that I don't want to serve, it's who I am. Maybe the question is what to we really need to do. Maybe I'm troubled because I feel I'm doing stuff that really doesn't need to be done.

If it all collapsed or was blown away, and we were left standing in a field; what would we have left? Would it be enough or would people walk away because there was no more "show?"

What does God really want us to do? What does God tell us that we really need?

Maybe it's time to stop, take a deep breath, and ask Him.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Martha, Mary, and Mahalia?

There's a balance; I know it's out there but for the life of me I can't find it. I'm a Martha, I admit it. But The Martha had it easy in a way. If she stopped working in the kitchen, or serving, or whatever for a little while; it probably wouldn't have bothered anyone or disrupted the time spent with Jesus.

But, what if the task(s) she was doing were necessary so people could sit and listen to Jesus? No that's not right. What if Martha offered to help (like she did) and then the apostles said to her; "Look Martha, we need some mats set out for people to sit on. And it might be hard for people to hear the boss's message so maybe you can set up a bench for him to stand on. Oh, and we're probably going to sing a few songs so we need to make room for the special singers and musicians. That should do it. Oops, almost forgot; we'll have to do something with the kids. We can't have them sitting here all bored. Do you think you could get your other sister Mahalia to watch and entertain them? Oh yeah, and when you get a chance put up these decorations will ya? The place is a little drab and these should help. Great babe. Thanks, we love ya!"

Martha would have been beat! Do you think she would have even heard a word that Jesus said? And what about poor Mahalia, she wasn't even in the freakin' room?

I know, that's way overboard. But some of that is what we do today isn't it? If you have your own building I'm sure there are somethings that "need" to be done each week. Personally we do church in a box - rented space, stuff in a trailer, need to set up and tear down each week.

Question 1: What do we really need when we gather together?

Question 2: How comfortable do we really need to make people?

Question 3: If what we are doing is what we really need, how do we get help for Martha so she doesn't go off the deep end?

Question 4: Where do we draw the line between doing something for God and doing something for others (turning it into a show)?

What's a Martha to do? We want to serve - we can't help it; God made us this way. How can a Martha say "no" when something "needs" to be done and no one else wants to do it? What do we really need to do?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Doing and Being

It seems like so many people accept Christ and then stop. It's as if they say the magic words, ask Jesus into their lives, and then fall into a coma. I just don't get it.

We get this great gift and then we don't do anything with it. We don't explore it, we don't learn about it, we don't use it, we don't share it, and heaven forbid we let it transform us.


That's about it, we just do. We DO church when we need to BE the Church.

Some days I watch them, the smiling zombies, come into service. Forgive me, I know it's not very Christian. It's just that my heart is on fire and when I stare into their blank eyes my heart aches for them. Don't they see what we have been given? Aren't they excited? Are they afraid? Do they not understand? They smile, nod, shake hands, hug, and catch-up on each other's lives. The service starts and the worship music gets the juice flowing. They can feel it, you can see it in them; the Spirit is there. The sermon comes and they follow along. They nod and agree. The Spirit convicts them, He excites them, He stirs something deep inside of them.

And then the service ends. It's as if they are pushing the Spirit out of themselves. There are things to do, places to go, people to see. They talk with a few more people. They put a few chairs away or try to help with some other small task. They've DOne their work for the church. That's good for now. They'll be back again next week, unless there's something more interesting to do. "That was great, I can't wait to get that feeling again." they say.

But before they go; they suggest - "We should..., It would be great if..., What if... ."

"Oh not me of course..., I just don't have the time..., Couldn't you... ." they say.

"This was great." they say. "We'll DO it again next week, if I can make it of course."

Father I thank you for those who do get it, for those who can't get enough. I thank you that I get to BE with these people. For those who help me to grow, those who allow me to serve, and those who put up with me and all my faults. For those who love me because they can't help it. Forgive me for being critical, help me to change. Help me to love like you do and teach me to touch those that just DO.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Why am I doing this? I really don't know to be honest. Perhaps to try something new or perhaps to have a place to ramble on about my thoughts and connect with others. Time will tell I suppose.

In any case, welcome to my blog.