Sunday, May 22, 2011

In the present I will remain

I was typing up a few notes this evening and accidentally put in a date of 2001 instead of 2011. I stopped to think about what I was doing in May of 2001 and how different life was back then. Loved ones gone from my life now were living in 2001. The events of September 11 had not yet happened. Life found me in college, living at home, and not yet working at the career that launched my work in non-profits.

The memories of 2001 are bittersweet. Sweet because my grandmother and great-grandmother were alive along with thousands killed on 9/11. Bitter with the realization that my beautiful two year old niece had not yet been born, my puppy was not around and friends made along the way weren't there. Experiences and life lessons still waited to be learned. Struggles with unidentified illness and personal crisis were just beginning.

Don't get me wrong, 2001 was great for what 2001 was meant to be. But it couldn't last forever and it didn't. Sometimes I wish I could go back. I wish I could bring Grandma and Granny to the present with me. But it would change so much that God has brought into my life through those times of sorrow and loss. To erase the hard times would be to erase the lessons learned. As much as I want to go back, so much more pulls me forward.

God was with me in 2001 and He will be with me in the days and years to come. For now, He is here in the present and in the present I will remain.

R-O-A (Ready On Arrival)

"What's so special about May 21," my sister-in-law asked over the phone, "there are a lot of people lined up and down the road holding signs and shouting 'Get Ready." My heart sank with this news. Yet another group of people trying to get everyone hyped up about another end of the world prediction. Some even held signs stating "Jesus is Coming on May 21!" My twelve year old niece and I had just talked the day before about "crazy religious nuts;" the ones who are standing in the streets shouting proclamations and casting judgments. My niece had made the comment that those were the very people that give Christians a bad reputation. I agreed. Christians live out the life Christ commanded, not the whimsical fantasies of the world. Sadly, the ones casting judgment and condemning people are the ones the world pays attention to. Just like the group holding signs warning of Judgment Day instead of spending that time living out or speaking out their faith in Christ to a people in need of a Savior. 

In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus gave an example of how we should live our lives in the world around us. "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

It's really sad that so many people are devoting their life's work to figuring out the day the world will end when there's so much more to live for - Jesus Christ! There's a lot of dates floating around out there including May 21, October 21, and December 31 2012. Obviously we don't know the day just as Christ proclaimed in Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." So why waste the time worrying or wondering? There is work to be done and people still waiting to hear about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Doomsday only exists for those who are not secure in Jesus Christ. His coming will be a glorious event. Judgment Day will be a day when we hear with our own ears in person that Christ has covered our sins with his blood and robes of righteousness. As believers we will be welcomed into His eternal Kingdom. Let's keep working to spread the word to be R-O-A or Ready On Arrival whenever the appointed day may be!

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak...You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:35-38, 40).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Daniel Fast Reflections

Check out my blog recapping some key moments in the 21 day Daniel fast my church and I participated in. It's available now as my first official blog with The Jesus Boat Museum. Read the blog here!