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Showing posts from November, 2012

Fences, Freedom, and a Risky Proposition

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Love
Grace
Mercy Forgiveness
are risky propositions.

They are ideas and mores that do not like to be confined.  By their very nature, they must be free from constraint.

Yet, we like to have boundaries and limits in life.  They make us feel secure.  The fences keep us safe from that which is outside that may attempt to break in, and they keep us secure from that which is within the limits testing what is outside.  We believe that the boundaries help us understand what is right and what is true.  We feel as though they give us parameters within which life seems to make sense. 
If we are honest, the limits do indeed provide such a sense of security for us.  There is nothing implicitly wrong with these limits.  The problem with these barriers is when they become immovable and impermeable, especially to our sense of humanity.

Love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness are boundless.  They fly in the face of our need for boundaries.  They are dangerous because they demand of us something that se…

Sunflowers of Thanksgiving

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Today, I had someone put something amazing on my desk.  Beautiful sunflowers arrived to brighten my day. These sunflowers were given by a student who wanted to share something precious with Tyler, Stephanie, and me (the Aspire Youth Ministries staff).

The sunflowers came with this incredible note attached...
"Every year since we were kids my mom gives me and (my brother) sunflowers to give to the person/people we were most thankful to have in our life that year.  So this year I chose you 3. Thank you so much for everything you guys do! You rock! Happy Thanksgiving!"

I am so thankful for and humbled by this young person who took the time to send a ray of sunshine into our lives through wonderful sunflowers.  This small gesture reminds me that in this busy season of thanksgiving it is so easy to forget the small yet vitally important ways in which we can say thank you to the people in our lives for whom we give thanks.

These flowers changed me and challenged me today.  I realize…

Why Are We?

The why are you here is more important than the how you are here.  The how you are here should grow out of your understanding of the why you are here.  The why you are here has to do with identity; the how has to do with performance.  The why you are here should be rooted in the character of the one who made it possible for you to be here.  If you are secure in your identity as a Child of God, then the need to out-perform everyone else in the incessant search for approval and acceptance ceases.  That need is born out of our insecurities and our fear that we are not good enough.  The Good News is that we cannot earn our standing as a child of God.  Our performance or lack there of cannot make God love you any more or care any less.  We are who we are!  This is why we are here.