three nameless men

i'm still on my journey through the gospels, and will admit that i've not gotten as far as i'd have liked to. i'm still in the gospel of luke (the one i started in), but it is clear that from Jesus' standpoint, one simply cannot be a follower of him without being a disciple.

this reality, for anyone who has been a Christ-follower for any period of time isn't really news... but sadly, most of the time, many tend to live like these two things have little in common.

this morning, as i read chapter 9, i came across three conversations Jesus had at the end of the chapter. each conversation happened with a different, unnamed man, and while each was different, Jesus response was very much the same.
nameless man #1: "i will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus: "foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Jesus: "follow me."
nameless man #2: "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
Jesus: "let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

nameless man #3: "i will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family."
Jesus: "no one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
three men. three different requests... and it seems to me, three different things that we tend to hold on to tighter than we hold on to God.

first, our security.
second, our responsibilities.
third, our reputation.

if you're anything like me, this cuts right to the heart, and leaves me quoting my small group's special paraphrase of Isaiah 6:5, "i suck."

Jesus never once sugar-coated the path for those who follow him. why on earth do we?


boredom's fruit

this morning, here in airdrie, alberta, there hasn't been a whole lot going on. so, what do i decide to do?

well, you're looking at it. this new blog design, a template by pannasmontata templates, compliments my somewhat whimsical mood for the day.

i probably should stop ignoring my family now, and start getting ready to go to calgary. or do something about the suitcases that seem to have exploded all over the room that i have commandeered. or maybe even eat breakfast.

it really is a good thing that i don't own a laptop...



it's christmas morning, and as i sit here in the dark at my parent's place, i have to admit that i feels less like christmas, and more like i just finished running a marathon with my whole life.

usually my christmas morning, pre-family awakening posts are of my favorite for the year, but today, i don't seem to be very inspired. perhaps due to the pace of my life these past weeks, or lack of sleep, or the fact that i haven't had much time to do ANY writing at all lately...excuses all.

but the fact remains that today we celebrate the birth of Emmanuel, 'God with us', and i don't know about you, but of all the names referring to Jesus in the Bible, this one is my favorite. probably because i need all the reminder i can get that in spite of what madness, busyness or banality that life throws at me, i am never alone.

Our God is with us...



i just realized that i am choosing to trust God for a situation that has been haunting me, not because he is God and trustworthy, but because i know that if i don't trust him, i will go crazy worrying about it.

do you think it matters why we choose to trust?

hello, old friend

listening: over the rhine's snow angels
drinking: starbucks' christmas blend
reading: the gospel of luke

it feels like a million years since last i sat down to write. to give you a bit more clarity into my life this month, let me tell you that i just noticed yesterday that the calendar on my refrigerator that i {usually} write everything in my life down on, still says 'november'. i probably should fix that.

anyway, once again, i have been derailed by francis chan's crazy love. this book is seriously wrecking me...which, to be honest, is a good, albeit painful, thing.

in the chapter 'serving leftovers to a holy God', francis chan asks his readers the question, 'can you be a christian without being a disciple?' then proceeds to challenge them to put down his book, and read the gospels to get your own answer for the question.

i am sure if any Christ follower answered this question off the top of their heads, the answer would be 'no.' but the question that immediately follows that is, why don't more of us actually live like we believe that this is true?

this whole thing has begun a time of crazy introspection and examination in my life, and over these holiday weeks, my goal is to read all four gospels, and use them as a kind of litmus test for my life. so far, i'm not stacking up well.

thank God for grace...


i'm still alive!

it seems as though it's been a lifetime since i've last posted. since december 2, i have had eight meetings, painted five four-foot canvas, finished writing {and rewriting, editing and re-editing} the text for christmas in the city, temporarily moved offices, had four rehearsals & one CITC performance, and drank more cafe americanos than any one person should have in that time frame... maybe it has been a lifetime!

all this to say, i am done much of what has made this month madness. and will be back writing soon...very soon.

thanx for your patience!


just enough...

last night at small group, inspired by a francis chan video, my small group and i talked about committing this whole month to praying at least once a day the prayer the found in proverbs 30:7-9.

Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

give me only my daily bread.
this prayer touches so many things...so many things that if i'm honest i'm not entirely excited to face. contentment issues. trust issues. dependence/independence issues. but at its heart, lies the question that we keep coming back to every week during 'the story' series at PORTICO, can God be trusted? and a question that each of us must wrestle with until we can live in peace with the answer.

so, our plan is to individually pray this prayer every day this month, and for those not brave enough to want to pray it today, their prayer will be to ask God for the strength and courage to pray such a bold, life-altering prayer.

in all of this, the words of gary haugen (ijm) from the leadership summit 2008 keep playing and replaying in the back of my mind:
Jesus didn't come to make us safe. he came to make us brave.

this is my prayer this morning...make us brave, Lord.


speaking of waiting...

for those of you who don't know, i have started a separate devotional blog, primarily for the purpose of this season of advent, which began yesterday, but also because i've been wanting to do something like this for some time.

it's called pieces of devotion, and please feel free to join me on this advent journey.

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