“You have abandoned the love you had at first”

God is talking to John, passing out messages to give to key churches in the area (Revelation 2-3).

He tells John that the Ephesian Church is doing a bang-up job. They are keeping the faith, rising up to any challenge that presents itself.

He goes on to say, however, that they have lost their first love.

The longer you have been in ministry, the longer you have walked with Jesus, the easier it is the go through the motions. You’re living in a spiritual deficit, and if you’re like me and are paying off credit card debt, you can agree how easy to go through life looking just fine, but really digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.

Now, you may not feel like you are. You know all the spiritual buttons to hit and when to hit them. You take on greater and greater responsibilities in the church. You may live and breathe Christianity, be a scholar or a worship leader, an event organizer, social warrior, pastor, or elder, and yet still miss out on Christ being your first love.

It’s about passion and priorities. You can pass on everything else, but God knows the difference there.

It’s all about “first.” Seek ye first the kingdom of God, Jesus says (Matthew 6:33). Give Him your firstfruits. Think of the tithe: ten percent, such a small amount, less than we are asked to tip our server. The server needs your money to live, God doesn’t need anything. He created the Universe. He has more riches than quantifiable data can even fairly summarize. For God, it’s all about the heart.

You see, all the other stuff, it can easily get ostentatious, a game show if you will. Jesus speaks of the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41-44). Whereas many around her gave much, yet all for show, the widow gave little, but out a pure desire to worship the LORD.

Works build upon the foundation. Where the foundation is weak, the building crumbles. Where the foundation is strong, the building endures. Paul calls us God’s holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). A temple is a massive structure. A massive structure requires a massive foundation, or all of for not, lest the building fall (Matthew 7:24-27). I have seen spiritual buildings crumble too many times for me not to testify that this is true.

So the love the LORD your God with all your mind, all your heart, and all your strength (Leviticus 23:22). May your temple be high and wide, and your foundation deep. Seek Him first in all things.

We Were Young Once

We were young once

and we can be again

You have to find that thing that helps you come alive

Maybe it’s in the look of a small child

or a new believer

maybe it’s cooking or hiking

or running or knitting or playing sports

or watching a funny movie

maybe it’s going out into the wilderness

or in the heart of a city

What is that thing that makes you come alive?

You need to find it.

Life will not stop.

There are bills to pay and errands to run

and things to do,

but for the love of God and each other find it.

The world is waiting for you to open your eyes

and breathe

and flood back into it like a tidal wave

and give the human race a healthy drink of Spiritual

water

We were young once

We can be again

It’s not a matter of chronos time

it’s right now for the taking

Release Your Inner Geek

We all have stuff we’re passionate about

Could be anything from photography to rock climbing

to hand crafts to My Little Pony

Dude, get down with your groovy self

Connect with those who share in your passion

join the fellowship of the saints

You’re not alone, you are love

have fun stay safe

unlock the inner geek =)

Anything Worth Doing

Some say the goal in life is happiness,

but there are times in life where anything worth doing

will be stressful, involve pain, and make you feel

very different from the happyhappyjoyjoy state we profess to desire.

I say, find the things you find of value, even when they cause you pain.

Pursue those. For life is short, and nothing worth doing is done with eternal ease.

So, help us Lord.

Like Dandelions

The stage is set,

the audience is arriving, sitting down

We are undressing, redressing, getting into character

assuming our roles

Jim calls time and I take the stage, talk to the people

See how their day is, make them grow comfortable

Soon it’s time to go, I give the signal, we start to act

There are hula hoop performance, salsa dances,

excerpts from Joyce and Chekov

The living statue gives an erotic monologue

I sing a song, have my heart broken

and it’s all okay, all good

Tonight we’ll do it again

Then it’s curtain call,

we take a bow.

The audience cheers, we depart for the yellow room

They depart, we change

back into our normal selves, whatever that means

We talk with those who stay behind, clean up,

celebrate our victories, recap anything weird that might have happened

linger in the foyer, not wanting leaving

absorbing all the post-play magic that we can.

Then there are hugs and well wishes,

we get in our cars, we drive off

The next morning, when it’s not a theater night

A strange sense of loss consumes me

a grasping at the wind,

but theater is a moment, and eventually the place will cease its run

and all will move on

like Dandelions

The work never ends

God of life and passion and everything good,

bless my friends as they go on their way.