Saturday, October 29, 2005

Too hard for me!!

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” - G.K. Chesterton
Oh how these words sum up my life. That’s right it’s confession time. I am a man who struggles desperately to be a Christian. I struggle all the time against my Lazy/Self-seeking/Rich/Prideful/Couldn’t care less attitude. Far to often I am more than content to sit on my butt and watch TV… or worse, I am willing to workout spend time with my wife, hang out with friends, and do whatever I want to do... until it comes time to take up my cross and follow….
Luke 11:27-28 “As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd yelled out, “God bless your mother – the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” Jesus replied, “but even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
Could those woman’s words be the same as we sometimes say? “You are blessed because you now know the salvation of Christ! Bless those people who’ve made commitments, bless those people who told them.” But Jesus says to us NO! You’re blessed if you can put the words of God into practice. Those who feed the hungry, stand against oppression! Those are the people who are truly blessed. Again in Luke Jesus says, “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished.” (Lk12:47) GULP! If I know what I should do, but I don’t do it, that means I am responsible for the consequences of my choice. Why? Well I think it has to do with this quote, "To believe is to act as if something were so." I’m sure if I was smarted I could reason this away and claim that it means something different from what it is saying, BUT I’m not smarter and it looks to me like it is saying if I truly belive in Christ, then I NEED to ACT on those beliefs. If I don’t act on those things, then I am blatently disobeying my master, and I deserve to be punished.
But what can I do? And so we come back to Chesterton, “it has been found difficult and left untried.” I don’t want to be another failed Christian, and I certianly don’t want Christ to be ashamed of me on Judgement day and I certianly don’t want to be punished for disobeying my master. I feel a lot like Paul in Romans 7. I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do. I wish that I could just claim “there is no condmenation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1) but that seems to easy. Surely there must be something more something that I am missing. Is Christianity as easy as Romans 8:1 or is Chesterton right??

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Hey everyone, well since my post about being busy (run 'till ya drop) I have gotten super busy. But I got this from another youth pastor and I think that it is a very practical way for us to slow our lives down. Enjoy!

A Certain Cure for Busyness

Publicly post half of your tasks and announce that you will no longer be doing them. Within a week you’ll discover: a) others will be doing those tasks; b) no one is doing them, but they didn’t need to be done after all; or c) you’re fired—which frees you to find a job that’s less busy.

Go through an entire day without a pager, phone, cell-phone, voicemail, email, answering machine, and watch. By the end of the day you’ll discover: a) human contact is pleasant and valuable; b) people appreciate your laid-back approach; or c) you’re fired—which frees you to find a job that’s less busy.

Practice saying “no” in front of a mirror until it’s natural and convincing. You’ll discover: a) a sense of empowerment over your life; b) the humble realization that you are not the Messiah; or c) you’re fired—which frees you to find a job that’s less busy.

Fall from a stepladder and sustain moderate injuries. While recuperating in the hospital you’ll discover: a) most of your deadlines were self-imposed and unnecessary; b) the value of admitting your limitations and receiving help; or c) you’re fired—which frees you to find a job that’s less busy.

written by Ryan Ahlgrim (pastor of First Mennonite Church, Indianapolis, Indiana)