Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Middle Aged

Why do they call it "Middle Aged?" Is it a climax, a major turning point for the person as in a novel? Are you at the top of the hill now you begin to descend? "It's all downhill from here," as the saying goes.

But somehow I think life gets better.

Recently I've noticed a shift in my attitude. For the first time in my life I'm not looking to the next thing ahead, what I'll be when I grow up or where I'll live.  I'm beginning to relax and realize that what I have is really pretty good.

I've even pondered the idea of sacrificing the flesh so the spirit in me will grow stronger. No, I'm not going crazy or anything. I haven't actually done any self-sacrificing yet. Maybe that will come in another decade. But the thought alone is startling.

Maybe this is a transition in life where the focus begins to change. A moment in life where eternity begins to seem real.

Hey, Middle Age isn't so bad, and somehow I think it won't be downhill from here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Happiness Deception

Freedom to pursue life, liberty and anything that makes me happy.

Isn't that right? After all we're Americans and personal happiness is our highest goal. Or so it often seems.

Unfortunately the Church in America has bought into the lie that God's highest goal is for us to be happy.

"God would want me to have this, after all, it's what I want, it will make me happy and He is my father who loves me, right?"  ~A common line of reasoning when we're trying to justify our desires.

The truth is, God's highest goal for us is to be mature, holy, obedient, spiritual adults. His desire is for us to grow out of immature selfishness and into selfless love.

Sacrifice is better for us than indulgence.

It is true that He's our Father, but He doesn't want us to be perpetual infants.

Many soldiers have sacrificed to give us freedom in this country. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice to give us freedom from sin and eternal destruction.

Plants offer a great example, when they grow to maturity they give of themselves. An obvious example is a fruit tree, when it matures it bears fruit for us to pick and be nourished. But even weeds give of themselves. For example, Dandelions are full of nutrition and a tea of nettles can offer help against allergies.

Let us stop searching for opportunities to treat ourselves.

Let us search for opportunities to give of ourselves.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Obedience & Death

Why do I resist total obedience?

I'm like a toddler who doesn't understand why I can't touch the hot stove. you say, "No," but it's all I want to do in that moment. Often You allow it that I might learn from the experience.

I need to die to this flesh, trusting that Your knowledge is above my own. Yet I continue to resist Your nudgings to go beyond my comfort zone.

Why do I resist?

Death is a separation of body and spirit, so naturally we resist it. But spiritually we yearn for it in order to be free from the body's limitations and soar with God's Spirit.

Every time we deny the flesh it dies a little.

"If you are living according to the flesh, you must die;
but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
Romans 8:13 (NASB)