the reckless dad

‪reck·less /rekləs/ adj. without thinking about the consequences. rash, heedless, impetuous, impulsive, daredevil, audacious, madcap‬

Category: Spirituality (page 1 of 3)

The Love of a Savior

Photo credit unknown.

Photo credit unknown.

One of the tenets of Christianity setting apart from other world religions, is the love of a savior. Christianity alone has at its center a God who loves his creation enough to call them children and to die in their place in order to satisfy his wrath upon sin.

Jesus himself draws the stark contrast of this revolutionary approach to life when he comments that few people would die for a good man. What isnt said there, but what is certainly hinted at is that we are not good men. We are sinners. We live in a fallen world and we are bent towards sin. Knowing this, and loving us anyway, our God sacrifices himself to pay the penalty for our sins.

This act is so revolutionary, so extraordinary, so out of the box we as a humanity can scarcely grasp the full weight of what he did or why he did it. Paul writes in Romans, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. While we were still in opposition to him. He loved us enough to move towards us. To take the first step to have a relationship with us. Which is a second tenet separating Christianity from other world religions, God desires to know us personally. He doesn’t sit on a throne far above in the heavens looking down at us, waiting for us to screw up so he can capriciously punish us. Rather, he engages in our lives with us, walking alongside us each day. In fact, his desire is to dwell within us. To live in and through us. Paul also write in one of his letters to the church at Corinth, that as Christ followers we are temples to the Holy Spirit (God’s spirit he sent to dwell within us). In this particular passage, Paul was correcting the Corinthians on their sexual immorality, however the idea that our bodies are temples of the spirit of the almighty God should have broad applications in our lives. Our lives should be lived in such a way that God is glorified by our actions.

As we prepare for today and this weekend, ask ourselves this question: Is God glorified in the way I am living, in my habits and daily routine, in my work, in my attitude and in the way I treat others? If not, now seems like the right time to reorganize our priorities.

Spiritual or Spirit-Filled?

So I went to this new thing we are doing at h2o church called M.o.G. or Men of God. BTW, I made a Spaceballs joke about a mob, part man part dog and got absolutely nowhere with it. I was instantly disappointed at that. Whatever.

Anyway, at this M.o.G., I realized that I have been chasing after the wrong thing. I have bee trying to be a spiritual man. The kind of dude that reads the Bible alone and with his family and who prays alone and with his family because that’s what you are supposed to do as a Christ-follower and someone who works at a church. I wasn’t trying to do it and instill those habits in my boys because it is a part of who I am, but because it is the ‘right thing’ to do.

Who I want to be is a spirit-filled man, not a spiritual man. I want to be the kind of guy who is just like Jesus. I want to be the kind of guy that people look at and they can’t help but to see God overflowing from my life in the way I respond to my wife, kids and anyone else I encounter daily. I want to be the kind of guy that prays and reads the Bible alone and with his family because it is an integral part of who I am. It is a part of me as much as my heart or lungs are a part of me.

I want to be a Christ-follower first and everything else second.

Are you chasing after trying to be spiritual or spirit-filled?

Addicted

There seems to be lots of talk these days about people have addictive personalities. I don’t know if there is such a thing or not, but it seems to be aptly descriptive. I feel like I might be one of those with an addictive (or maybe just obsessive) personality.

Let’s talk about coffee for a minute. In a substance abuse counseling class I wrote a paper that compared my addiction to coffee to a meth-head. The prof didn’t see the comparison. But I found (now that I drink coffee again) there is almost no coffee I won’t drink and no time I won’t drink it. Take my in-laws well watered, uncleaned (granted the water is hard and has sulfur so is rough on a coffee pot) that I have fill with gluten-rich creamer to drink. It is literally killing me. Yet I drink it anyway.

Or what about 7-11 donuts. Also chock full of gluten and I eat them way too often (a problem I had overcome until we moved next to one again). BTW, 7-11 is the sbux of central Florida… They are everywhere.

Also, soft drinks or pop as we call it. Heartburn, here I come! Thanks again 7-11.

Anger, hatred, jealousy and resentment would also make the list of addictions. Fear, anxiety, distrust too. Strangely absent are things like unconditional love. Peace. Joy. Satisfaction no matter the circumstance. Those qualities are present in my life, not with the same regularity.

Why is it so easy to gravitate our addictions towards the things that literally kill us rather than the things which give life?

Who are we cheating with our addictions? Ourselves or our God?

Maybe some of both…

Aliens & Strangers… pt 3 of a Royal Priesthood and a Precious Cornerstone

As I finished up my last post on the ideas of being able to overcome the community-busting sins listed in the first several verse of 1 Peter 2, it occurred to me that I wanted to share a few more thoughts on the ideas of being aliens in this world.  This is terminology that has always appealed to me and sounded familiar yet at the same time difficult to comprehend.  We are not made for this world.  We are made for something bigger, something greater, something else.  We are made for another place.  One of my favorite aliens is Thor from Stargate SG1.  (I snatched this from http://www.newanimal.org/aliens.htm)  I don’t think this is what Peter is talking about when he says we are aliens in this world.  We are not aliens in the sense that we are from another planet, but we are from another ‘place’.

What is it that Peter meant by being aliens and strangers in this world?  He meant that we are created for more… I know I already said that.  It is often missed though.  As I write this, I’m listening to the Catalyst Lab by Alan and Deb Hirsch.  They are talking about various things that we allow to crowd out God and become idols to us.  That’s why realizing we are aliens in this world is so very important.  When we forget that we don’t belong in this world, we allow this world and all it has to offer to become an idol or a myriad of idols to us.

We are not to make our homes here in this world with the things of this world.  Jesus tells us,

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Matthew 6:19-21

If this is true, then when we live as though we belong here then our treasure and our hearts are here in this world.  If we live as though we belong in this world, then we have created idols of the things of this world.

I like what the Scottish theologian William Barclay had to say regarding the need to abstain from the fleshly desires because we are aliens in this world.  He points out that it is essential for us to remove the fleshly lusts from our lives because it further prohibits us from living in the kind of community that Christ calls us to. The fleshly desires Peter talks about is what Barclay enlightens us to know are the human nature apart from God.  It is the unredeemed nature of man, it is the characteristic of the fallen human nature.

This is why it is so critical for us to leave these fleshly desires (which includes malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, slander) in order to be able to build the community that Christ calls us to.  If we haven’t left these out, and other sins for that matter, how are we going to be able to act and live as a holy nation and a royal priesthood?  We can’t, plainly put.

How well we are able to remember and live as aliens who are just passing through directly correlates to how well we are going to be able to function within our calling to be a light shining in the darkness of this world.

Are you living as an alien and stranger in this world, or have you made this world your home and thereby created a life of idols with little to no room for God?

Aliens & Strangers… pt 3 of a Royal Priesthood and a Precious Cornerstone

As I finished up my last post on the ideas of being able to overcome the community-busting sins listed in the first several verse of 1 Peter 2, it occurred to me that I wanted to share a few more thoughts on the ideas of being aliens in this world.  This is terminology that has always appealed to me and sounded familiar yet at the same time difficult to comprehend.  We are not made for this world.  We are made for something bigger, something greater, something else.  We are made for another place.  One of my favorite aliens is Thor from Stargate SG1.  (I snatched this from http://www.newanimal.org/aliens.htm)  I don’t think this is what Peter is talking about when he says we are aliens in this world.  We are not aliens in the sense that we are from another planet, but we are from another ‘place’.

What is it that Peter meant by being aliens and strangers in this world?  He meant that we are created for more… I know I already said that.  It is often missed though.  As I write this, I’m listening to the Catalyst Lab by Alan and Deb Hirsch.  They are talking about various things that we allow to crowd out God and become idols to us.  That’s why realizing we are aliens in this world is so very important.  When we forget that we don’t belong in this world, we allow this world and all it has to offer to become an idol or a myriad of idols to us.

We are not to make our homes here in this world with the things of this world.  Jesus tells us,

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Matthew 6:19-21

If this is true, then when we live as though we belong here then our treasure and our hearts are here in this world.  If we live as though we belong in this world, then we have created idols of the things of this world.

I like what the Scottish theologian William Barclay had to say regarding the need to abstain from the fleshly desires because we are aliens in this world.  He points out that it is essential for us to remove the fleshly lusts from our lives because it further prohibits us from living in the kind of community that Christ calls us to. The fleshly desires Peter talks about is what Barclay enlightens us to know are the human nature apart from God.  It is the unredeemed nature of man, it is the characteristic of the fallen human nature.

This is why it is so critical for us to leave these fleshly desires (which includes malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, slander) in order to be able to build the community that Christ calls us to.  If we haven’t left these out, and other sins for that matter, how are we going to be able to act and live as a holy nation and a royal priesthood?  We can’t, plainly put.

How well we are able to remember and live as aliens who are just passing through directly correlates to how well we are going to be able to function within our calling to be a light shining in the darkness of this world.

Are you living as an alien and stranger in this world, or have you made this world your home and thereby created a life of idols with little to no room for God?

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