Thursday, January 26, 2017

The catalyst.

"Christianity cannot be a theory. Jesus is so much better than a theory. He's so much better than a good sermon. He's a radical catalyst toward a way of living that's not of this world."

The word catalyst is defined as being a substance that causes a chemical reaction to occur or the prime agent of any change. The prime agent of any change...I think that all of us can look at our stories and pick out people and situations that have caused great change in our lives.

In my life I could easily name and recall moments and encounters that have greatly impacted the trajectory of my life. Encounters that have redirected areas of my life and caused me to completely change a behavior or even a certain mindset.

Jesus is no ordinary catalyst. I say that because when I truly began to know Jesus and allow him into my heart he didn't just change one area of my life he got his hands on every single aspect of my ordinary and mediocre life. Jesus was not just a chapter added to my story but rather he truly became my whole story.

Jesus is not just a theory. He's not just a man in history that had great ideals and at times spoke in circles and parables. Jesus is not just words on a page or the topic of a really great sermon. Jesus is alive and more than anything he desires to be invited into the inner most parts of your life...he desires to be invited into your heart.

I don't have much to say this week. I don't have a long post filled with thoughtful concepts and ideas and opinions...the only thing I have this week is my life's greatest truth. Jesus came to this earth for you and he came to this earth for me. He came to bring us home and invite us into a life of fellowship and love.

He's not just a theory or a good sermon....he's the greatest catalyst that this world will ever know and his name is Jesus.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mr. President.

And just like that
we all looked up
and eight years was over

For years we watched in awe
as you took an office not created for you.

The laughter
the soulful songs
the human reactions and expressions

We smiled along with your joy
and released tears as you cried.

whether it's widely recognized
or highly debated
You've created a legacy

It seems like the years flew by faster than we realized
and in just a few short days
you'll be the past
and someone else will be in charge

But please know that the posts
the letters
the support
won't stop when your spot is left vacant

You've inspired millions.

Where there was once an imagined person
a fairy tale character
that matched our skin tone
and understood our slang

a person that didn't stop at sympathizing
but took a step further to empathize

A figure that was once only a dream
came to life the moment you took that oath.

The first person I ever voted for
looked like
spoke like
walked like
and sang like me.

A sight for sore eyes he was.

Far from perfect
and even farther from blameless
you made mistakes
you stumbled
you had to retrace a few steps
but you did so with a grace
that will always be admired.

A President that invited change
encouraged hope
and loved the lost.

Thank you for your service
and for your sacrifice.

Thank you for your courage
and your humility.

Thank you for hearing the feedback
and not being destroyed by the criticism.

Thank you for always fighting for us.
and for understanding what I mean by "us."

You are respected.

You are human,

You are missed.

You are our President.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Loving people well.

Happy New Year! I really can't believe that it's already 2017. Last year flew by so quickly I feel like I blinked twice and it was over. As I start on this trek that is the new year I do so with a resolve to live life a little differently.

In 2017, before anything else, I want to love God and people well. For so long I've been the type of person that simply returned the love I was given. I showed people the kindness and the love that they showed me and never sought to surpass their level of affection.

If someone was mean to me or didn't go out of their way to be nice then I wouldn't go out of my way either. I've never felt bad about loving people conditionally, until now. For the last few months I haven't been able to shake the sense that I'm doing a disservice to myself and others with the way that I love.

It's risky to love people. If I'm speaking for just myself, it's hard to put my heart on the line especially when I'm not sure if my feelings are going to be reciprocated or even welcomed.

For a while now, I've really been trying to reflect and embody the life of Christ. The more that I dive into the example of Jesus, the more I realize that loving without any expectations of what you'll get in return was his specialty.

When I look at scripture, when I evaluate the life of Christ and the way that God loves, it's very clear and without question that God loves without condition. He loved us so much that he gave his son to die for our sins so that we could, if we so choose to accept it, have eternal life.

I can't imagine giving my life for someone who would never appreciate it, never acknowledge it, never thank me for it...yet that's what Christ did. Jesus gave his life so that humans like you and I, would have a chance at eternal life if we wanted it. Jesus had no guarantees that people would accept his offer or love him in return and he died anyway. Despite the uncertainty, despite the pain, Jesus loved us anyway.

I feel like I'm at a crossroad in my life and my walk of faith. I can't continue to love with condition. I can't keep being the person that only puts their heart on the line when it's safe. I can't do all of those things and continue to call myself a follower of Christ. I just can't do it.

This year won't be easy. It will be a journey of putting my feelings and everything that 27 years of living in this world has taught me aside in order to love people the way that Christ loves me. To be a vessel of Christ's love with every person that I come in contact with. It won't be something that I'm perfect at or that I get down in a day but it's something that I'm committed to, something that I won't give up on.

So cheers to loving people and God well. May we embody his sacrifice, his grace and his approach at life. May we aim to love without condition and project that love into the lives of everyone we encounter.