We are going to be previewing this movie on Thursday. Loved the book - have heard great things from Donald Miller at Willow Creek Community Church. He is a Jesus lover and an urban missionary. I can't wait to see how they handle this.
After you finish laughing, some seriousness (just a little):
This famous image (sans quip) is from the story of Jacob who wrestled with the angel of God until he received his demanded blessing.
One would think such action would end in God's spanking Jacob and Jacob being a sad little sinner shunned by the Lord.
Au contraire ... though he did get a little beat up, God rewarded Jacob for his tenacity and faith, & Jacob became 'Israel', the paternal figure from whom God's people, including Jesus, descended... Not to mention the namesake for the Jewish nation into modern day.
What does that say about how we should approach faith? Maybe we aren't as helpless as we think?
So next time you feel like you are getting hit in the face by life...maybe hit back a few times and see what happens.
No I don't. Failure sucks, but this puts it into perspective.
Soooo it is a new year, and I am again on the ol' diet. I'm not really a dieter, but every now and then I decide to go healthy and give up sugars. I inevitably feel better and also <perk> look better.
Now here is the rub: I have a 12 year old son. With a kid that age, there are ALWAYS treats around, today's addition being some delicious looking Entenmen's donuts. I like donuts. I don't feel great when I eat them, but they are TASTY and really fun to eat. Ya.
Ironically, the most reliable predicter of whether one will gain weight in the future is the simple question, have you been on a diet in the last decade? If the answer is YES, then statistically one is likely to gain weight. You read that right, being on a diet makes you MORE likely to gain weight. Not real inspiring for the health-conscious.
So as I am avoiding the donuts, even knowing that by doing so I am pretty well guarunteed to be elbow deep in them in the not to distant future, it gets me thinking about living righteously and temptation. We sure feel better when we avoid negative input (excess spending, lust, over-use of alcohol, etc.) BUT is it like dieting, where our efforts towards avoidance result in inevitable indulgence? Maybe so if we look at the meteoric rise and fall of many prominant Christians.
Is this why the Bible is so full of partying? (Dont be shocked; if you bothered to read it you'd find out it's there.)
Hmmm... conclusion: donuts = proof God wants us to have fun.
Ah well, I'm still not gonna eat one.
Well, one way to confirm it is Christmastime is that the ol' pants are begging to be released from the confines of remaining buttoned as we drive across the not-so-picturesque landscape of late-fall pre-snow Illinois.
Which has led me to finally commit to getting back into the gym.
It has also led me to reflect on the rigor of getting results from the gym. It sort of requires regular attendance, constant attention to collateral damage (like delicious foods), and a good deal of pain and the occasional inability to walk from muscle soreness.
All of this becomes fantastically worth it as the body transforms to its lean, lithe, athletic alter-ego.
But in the weeks and months of meantime, it can be hard to convince oneself the whole bit is better than sitting on the sofa eating chips.
Kinda reminds me of the keystone characteristics of Christianity: servanthood, kindness, generosity, love, non-judgement...etc, etc. They don't exactly just happen.
So for the love of the world's health & wellness, and, well, because it is Christmastime, choose to practice joy.
It won't hurt for long, I promise.
I get a lot of well-intended messages from Christians about the excess commercialism of Christmas. I don't disagree entirely...except this:
Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jarb of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” John 12:3-5
Is blessing someone through a gift so different? As Judas points out, there have always been many 'noble' ways to pass on what we own. Yet, if we are called to be Christlike, and to view others as incarnations of Christ on earth, then both giving and receiving is, in fact, quite holy, quite beautiful, and quite loving.
Stinginess has no such positive attributes. Nor does judgement.