Thursday, June 18, 2009

Are You A Fan.....or a Follower?

For the great majority of people, being a fan is energizing (especially when our team is winning), inspiring, and easy. Easy, because it does not require any effort, training, or commitment. It only takes a voice, a sign, a hat, t-shirt, bumper sticker and you are set. The downside to being a fan is that they have a great tendency to be unpredictable, unfaithful, and unhappy when their team is in a slump.

Conversely, the follower stays the course, is undaunted, and not swayed by adversity. Being a follower of Christ requires that we have this kind of drive and determination, despite the circumstances or conditions around us. A follower of Christ does not win every game, (like the fan expects) but realizes that there is an entire season yet to play, an eternity with Christ to be gained!

So which one are you? A fan who changes with the wind, or the follower who stays focused on whats ahead...I like the way the Apostle Paul put it:

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from His perspective." Col. 3:1,2 Message

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Lies Beneath...

Remember the last time you lost it emotionally? It might have been toward your wife, your children, a co-worker, or the guy who just cut you off this morning on your way to work. Each one of us struggle with the handling of our emotions, and some better than others. When was the last time you took an interior look at what lies beneath the surface of your life? And investigated the hidden places in your life...the places where the real struggles are?

I have been reading a provoking book for the past 6 months entitled: "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality." The author is Peter Scazzero, a Pastor in Queens, NY. Peter contends that, "It's impossible to be spiritually mature, while remaining emotionally immature." And goes on to flesh out reasons why so many Christians, even Pastor's struggle with emotional immaturity. He goes on to suggest that as an Iceberg is deceptive by its tip, so too is emotional health and spirituality when it comes to our lives. As the Psalmist cries out, "Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong--then guide me on the road to eternal life." (Ps. 139:23-4) The Message.

Even though you might have had many real and helpful spiritual experiences in certain areas of your life, instrinsically you could be suffering, even severely from emotional pain or anxiety. The good news there is help and hope for you...but it is going to take time to allow the Holy Spirit to unravel the layers of emotional pain and anger that has been buried deep within. You see, the Lord never stops the process of change in may be stagnated by our stubbornness and free will for a time...but He never gives up on let Him in completely and begin to let out the emotional will be more at peace with yourself and with God!