Kiddie Pools and Oceans

Why are Christians so terrified of reaching out to the lost?  We were called to be in the world but not of the world and yet we are afraid to actually go out into the world in any way.  We are terrified of non-Christian music, rated R movies and wearing hats in church.  But we are also afraid of bars, 'bad parts of town', credit cards, public schools, and even Santa Claus (He's not the real reason for the season....surprised you didn't know that [in the voice of Chris Farley in Tommy Boy). When we are afraid long enough, we can become utterly indignant about it.  We find ourselves flaring up our chests at Olive Garden to proudly deny the complimentary taste of wine.  "Proud to say I've never touched the stuff," while the waiter thinks to himself, "Okay, fine!  A simple, 'No thank you.' will suffice.....jerk."

I think it is because if you jump in the deep end without knowing how to swim, you will likely drown.  So why not just stay the heck away from the entire pool?  We are afraid of the world because we can't swim.  We are not confident and strong enough in our faith, beliefs, and stances to not be swayed by the thoughts and ways of the lost.  I think we are afraid because we are not strong enough.

On the other hand, I do not think the fact we cannot swim should keep us away from the kiddie pool or maybe, I know its risky, the shallow end where at least the water comes up to our chests.

We have to learn how to swim and we have to begin getting out of our pool and swim the ocean as we are called to do.

But we are terrified of the world for some reason.  I think that reason is because we are too weak to stay strong while being in the world.  Sure, it's risky and it will come with temptation, but how strong am I?  And if I am truly not strong enough yet, then what have I been doing in the church this whole time?  Have I been strengthening myself enough to get out into the world or am I just going to bask in the kiddie pool for the rest of my life?

* We should know where we are especially weak and stay away from dangerous temptations we KNOW we will fail in, but we cannot avoid the entire pool.

My best friend Augustine

Augustine and I have been hanging out together so much lately that I may need to create a nickname for him as well.  All my good friends have nicknames (or I refer to them by their first name at least...the real friends right?)...Brennan....Ozzie....and Augy?...The Saint?...Stine?...I'll work on it. Today, Augustine said something that actually made me smile right here in the coffee shop.  He is talking about the wonders of being a baby and asking questions of God regarding where was before the womb...what was he before the womb?  After asking many great questions, he writes,

"Do my questions provoke you to smile at me and bid me simply to acknowledge you and praise you for what I do know?"

What a great image and challenge in and of itself!  I love the image of God smiling at all my crazy questions.  I find myself smiling when a child asks, "Does God have feet?" "Whatcha doin?"

I have to think God sits up there and smiles when his children ask him questions.  I'm sure he just smiles at Augustine's questions because they're brilliant, and if he smiles at Augustine, he roars with laughter over my questions.

I can imagine myself telling my daughters, "You know what; just enjoy what you do know and go play."  I can certainly see God telling me, you know a lot of other things about me.  Do not overlook those.  Praise me for those things.

Trust me; I'm a doctor [sorta] - guest post

Today I guest posted at my friend Malisa's page:------ I am sort of a doctor, or I should say I am a doctor of sorts. I have no patients and I prescribe no drugs. I have not exhaustively studied human anatomy to know the inner workings of disease and healing.

I am a pastor and I do have congregants. I prescribe books, music, films, and verses. I have spent years studying the anatomy of the heart, soul, and mind in order to recognize the inner workings of brokenness and the hope of restoration.

Doctors and I both want to see healing and restoration of broken places. Ergo, I am a doctor, right?

Here are a few of my most common more here