Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Girls of Summer

Tonight I find myself in Riverside, California, 70 miles from home. We are watching a softball game, in which my 11 year old daughter and her team is playing for the State Championships. Unbelievable. Long way from home. I need to be less cranky about the long drive in traffic (always here in LA), and embrace these fleeting moments of life.

I will admit, there is nothing quite like the green grass of a ball field, right at twilight. This is a lovely world, sometimes. But, to keep it in the proper context, check this out, and then pray, and maybe even give.

I will let you know the results soon.

Lets Focus on What Really Matters

The Body of Christ. Young and old, rich and poor, strong and weak, confident and fearful. The Scriptures call us to unity, to a life together that is distinct, unique, transformed. Different, set apart, yet completely loving and wonderfully attractive. Its a mystery, and often a journey rather than a destination. Why can this not be our focus?

My old (not that old) friend KC, who is now pastoring at a church in Sacramento, is one fellow who constantly seeks the heart of Christ, and wants to model servant leadership in the best way he knows how. I am so very glad I know him, this morning, I checked his blog and found this and below it, this. As I read these thoughts, I could hear the crack of a wooden bat at a high outside fastball. KC hit it out of the park. I love this guy.

KC's thoughts of Miss Mears stuck me. Henrietta was a woman who was unabashedly focused on introducing people to Christ; it was all that really mattered to her. We have a building at our church named after her. She was influential in the life of many great Christian leaders; Bill Bright, Billy Graham, and Rafer Johnson.

In contrast to this focus, over the past six months, our church has been going through an almost unbelievable time of pain and sadness for many. I have discussed this before here and here. It seems unrelenting.

This past week brought about the resignation of yet another member of the Session, or governing body of the church. But this was no ordinary resignation, this was a resignation filled with fanfare, declarations of persecution, and publicity. Within hours of this resignation, announcements were made on several websites that serve to promote the one-sided view of the staunch supporters of the senior pastor. I will not link to these sites, as they lead to further division of the Body, rather than uniting it.

What should be happening instead? All this blustering, fawning of persecution and secretive plots against the church has me thinking. Thinking about the cross. A single event that towers over history, a day and a weekend that changed everything, everywhere, forever. And yet, we sad, broken, sorry Christian people behave often as if none of this really happened. We are not any different than the world around us. Its all about (me) us, our agendas, our perceptions of who is right and who is wrong. Humility is lost. Excuses abound. Grace has vanished.

Can I state for myself alone that I would be absolutely lost without the transforming grace of Christ. All I own, all those I love, all I hope to do going forward from this day is meaningless without being framed in the light of what Jesus has done for me - and for all of humanity. Its all meaningless without knowing that our lives are lived with a divine purpose in mind. Its all that matters. We have lost our focus. We all need help.

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