Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't Throw Me Under the Bus!

So I was reading this book the other day... a book about social justice and spurring Jesus-followers to get aware and involved.  At one point, the author, in her easy and conversational tone, uses her uppity, Christian, non-social-justice-minded neighbor as an example of bad Jesus-following.  She just put it right in there between HIV/AIDS statistics and the Christmas cookie social.

 I read it, and I thought, "Oh snap!  Girlfriend just threw her neighbor under the BUS!"

And then I wondered if she used her real name.  Even if she didn't, you know her friends (and neighbors--let's not forget the other neighbors) know who she's talking about.  You can just see them standing around in the cul-de-sac chatting, while one with arms akimbo smacks her lips and says, "Girl, you know she be talkin' bout Luanne!"

And I think, poor Luanne.  Now we all know what a schmuck she is.

And I see this all. the. time.  I see it in blogs and books and magazines and... and ... well.. that's pretty much all I read, so blogs, books and magazines.  We are, as a society-- secular or sacred, a culture of full disclosure.  And I wonder, do we disclose too much?
And what we don't disclose, we censor, right?  No one likes censorship... not even people who say they like censorship!
And why is this important?

Well, for me, I've been thinking about what parts of my story to tell, who to tell it to and how and when to tell it.  My story is nearing four decades now.  In telling it, I could throw some people under the bus.  Those that know me, know I'm feisty and a bit like Peter, all too comfortable with brandishing my sword.  Shoot, who am I kidding?  I have thrown people under the bus.
I've sacrificed the reputation of another human being to tell a story.  Sometimes I did it for what felt like very, very good reasons... like you know it was necessary to include the horrible thing someone did in order to see God's greater providence in a situation, or in order to relate to the person I was talking to.
Sometimes, I did it because I was angry and wanted justice.
Sometimes, I did it just for fun.
And a lot of times, I wonder if I should have censored the story.

And I wonder if I'll get thrown under the bus.  Probably.  Will he or she ask permission first?  My sins will find me out, I know.  Will it be in the court of public opinion and social media?
I hope not.

And I don't want to be preachy and moralizing here, but I've been thinking a lot about this and thought that the other five people that read my blog should think about it too!  :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Secret Things

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Deut 29:29

Ah, the 'secret things' verse.  I'm sure there are endless arguments regarding the true meaning of what is 'secret' here.... what is meant for God alone.  And here I've taken this verse right out of context and plucked  it up at the top of this post, AND... I am going to arrogantly state what I think it means.
I'm siding with Calvin on this one.
Some things are not for us to know.  He's told us what we need to know.... it's more than enough to keep us busy.  Really.

Frankly, I'm getting tired of, and too old for, the endless debates.  I've wasted so much time trying to figure out stuff that I now understand is way above my pay-grade.  While I was exercising brain cells ad nauseum, my joints were rusting out.
That's not gospel living.  And if there still be any confusion about that, let it be laid to rest in the gospels themselves.

Tonia posted today a challenge to immerse ourself in gospel.  

Yes.  Jesus' very own words.... definitely revelation I need bother with. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Radical Is as Radical Does

In my small corner of the world my friends and I are reading Radical by David Platt.  We sit at Sunday's table with Orange bound books and our myriad of Bible translations.... reading and re-reading passages of scripture, making confession as we go.   As we probe deeper, we nervously exchange glances with each other... the wind in our sails exhaled, we are all waiting for one of us to say it ... to let us all off the hook.. "it doesn't really mean what he says it means".  But no one does.  One sister fidgets in her seat, while a brother grimaces,  looking down at his fingers smoothing the pages of his well worn Bible.  I glance at the clock and reach for my paper cup of free-trade coffee gone cold.  Luke-warm bitterness that should've been hot.  Huh.  I'm reminded of someone.  I make my confession.  I really didn't know I had lived so many years on the wrong side of a paradigm shift.

"So you cannot be my disciple without giving up everything you own"    - Jesus

I've read that before.  I've read it and went on to chase my material dreams.  I've loved Jesus most of my life... really loved Him.  Somehow I thought sacrifice was washing dishes, folding laundry and schooling little minds.  I was sacrificing b/c after all, I couldn't just go out to lunch or coffee on a whim, like some of my friends could.  Somehow, I confused the freedom to manage my own time, and spend hours each day with my family, and sit on my overstuffed couch, and walk my dog through my upper-middle-class neighborhood, and worship in community within a mile of my house, and drink free-trade coffee out of paper cups as sacrifice.

I am reminded of the anti-drug commercial... the one with the egg.... "this is your brain", and then the fried egg.... "this is your brain on drugs".  And I think my brain is fried.  Really.  I picture a plate of scrambled eggs.... "this is your brain on stuff".

How is it possible to have read Jesus' words as many times as I have and still be so clueless?  Some might read that question and think,... "well, she must not really know Jesus", as they ponder my words from their own La-Z-Boy recliner.
And then..... maybe someone else will read those words... someone who 'gets it' like I haven't.... and say, "I'm going to pray for her and her friends".

I do love Jesus and I do not know what I'm going to do about it.  But I know there is no condemnation in Christ.... I don't know what being faithful will look like tomorrow.... only what it is right now.

If your curiosity is piqued... please go google some people like David Platt, Francis Chan, Katie Davis, Ken Wystma.... a few names out of many who are learning that radical is as radical does.
But make sure you're really interested.... maybe ready is more like it.  It's a dangerous thing to hear the truth and shrug your shoulders and decide to do nothing.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it'd be better to be ignorant.

And if you are reading this and you are further along in your following-Jesus- journey than I am.... will you pray for me and my friends?   We really need it.

And now counting from my abundance of blessings.....

the sight of my children's heads bobbing as they run off to basketball practice
every morning I wake to a day to be spent with them
the kiss I get from my love each morning

finally learning the purpose of fitness


listening to the heart of my Persian friend
him sharing so openly
understanding him better

Wednesday mornings with Patti

His grace in my failure
His mercy

a new friend on Sunday
providentially finding us?