The concept of change and progress is one of the most fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. We cannot live life if we have no sense of progress or movement forward. Just as fundamental it is to us personally, it is also key in our relationships. Just as we seek progress in our own lives we seek to spread it into the lives of the people around us. There is very little that is more rewarding and enriching than to be able to live a life that is exerting positive influence and change into the lives that we touch.
This week, an article addressing issues and concerns over the condition of the Russian-American church made a big splash on the social media world. Within a few hours, the article got over a thousand hits and dozens of comments. What started out as one young woman sharing her personal concerns for her culture and church quickly became an explosion of strong feelings, opinions and disagreements. Apparently there are many many young people who feel very strongly about challenges within our denomination. Surprised? Not really…
One of the most powerful lessons of 2014 for me has to do with growing in my understanding of what it really means to love others.
When one looks at the biblical narrative, its quite amazing to see how God accomplishes change in the lives of those he desires to reach. He is not what we expect him to be. He does not merely snap his fingers, and presto! All that God does in his work with this fallen world, he does within the framework of a relationship; a process of reaching out and personally touching the hearts of those he seeks to change.
There is very little that is more important in life than the giving and sharing of trust between those who are closest to us. There is very little that gives a true sense of belonging or acceptance. These are the places that we do not have to be anyone or anything but our real selves; where there is true transparency and freedom to say what we think and take life as it comes. Continue reading
We live in a world aching for real love. As noted in the previous post, if we look honestly at ourselves, we see that we are both incapable of giving real love, nor are others around us able to provide it. There is very little that is more central to the human soul than the desire to be truly loved. There is very little that causes more pain and sorrow in life than to have this desire unfulfilled.
This is precisely the point at which the central thrust of the Gospel message of Jesus is directed. This is also what makes the christian message profoundly unique. Continue reading