“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.

Friendzone?

Guys, let’s be honest: the friendzone is a lie, an imaginary penalty box of self-loathing, and handy gimmick to get us to buy relationship advice.

It’s natural to develop romantic feeling towards those you are close to. Be honest about that. Honor those feelings. When those feelings pop up and sustain themselves, find a appropriate time and place to relate them. If the feelings are met and reciprocated, then great! Have fun. If the feelings are not reciprocated, you have a choice. If they just want to be friends and you’re okay with that, be friends! If you really struggle with it, maybe take a break, step away. You may want to invest in friendship later on, once the hormones die down.

Now, you may have those feelings but choose to invest in the friendship anyway. If you do this begrudgingly, this is not friendship. It will eat at you inside. This is masochism, not love, and relationships are built on love. It’s in this space that the “friendzone” thrives, because it’s easier to commiserate than to own your stuff and take appropriate action.

So, respect your feelings and those of your friend. Be honest and check in. And in all things, excel in love, in whatever form that love may take.

Ditch

I reached out to take your hand

we caught a patch of slush and slid into a ditch,

striking the passenger side into a hill

but we’re fine, everyone’s fine

we pull out

drive home

rent a car

and book our time with insurance-sanctioned

repair shop

and I’m holding your hand again

because things are just things,

but we’re fine,

so everything’s fine.

On Homosexuality

In the beginning, God created male and female

in Their image

In the Gospels, we are told by Jesus

that in heaven we will neither marry nor be given in marriage,

so the matter of who you love is immaterial in the grand scope of eternity.

We see in Sodom quite the antithesis of any loving and platonic,

but rather the byproduct of rape culture

and child molestation prevalent in those times, as it is in ours.

In fact, this practice of older men defiling young boys

carries over to Paul’s day,

where Paul again expressly forbids it.

And then their is Levitical law.

These laws were sanitary by nature,

encouraging people to avoid pork and bottom feeders, both of which carry deadly

parasites,

and to keep their homes clean

In this vein, it is understandable to withhold from sexual relations,

as anything to do with sex or sexuality involves the transmission of fluids,

which may or may not carry blood-born pathogens and sexually transmitted diseases,

and the passages give male homosexual relations extra pause

as anal penetration carries with it addition chance of transmission,

but we are now allowed to eat pork

and we are encouraged to delight in our sexuality,

even though Western culture still retains and rather convoluted relationship with it.

As Jesus said in the Scriptures, never will an iota of the Gospel will be thrown out

or discarded,

but our perception of it is allowed to change.

If not for Jesus’ middle road, we would not have the substitutionary atonement

fulfilling and bypassing the former call for endless sacrifice.

In the same way, we see that God is bigger and wiser than any one of us.

Their perspective is eternal.

You of course are called upon to make your own decisions on the matter,

for we must be sure of our convictions lest we fall into sin, as Paul so warns us.

So, examine the Scriptures and make up your own mind.

Be loved. Be blessed. Thank you for your time.

 

 

Interruption

You walk in while I’m in the midst of yoga

“Sorry to interrupt”

but you have nothing to be sorry for

that’s what love is:

an interruption of the self

and expansion of the mind,

my world shaken like a mixed drink

Interrupt me again and always

my ways, my days

interrupt them

because I love you dearly