Sunday, May 31, 2009


Trying out new technology... posting from my iPhone. In Charlotte-Douglas International on my way to Mississippi for Nativity's last Katrima Relief mission trip. I'll post tonight from the 'bad to great' series. Just seeing how well this works.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

bad to great, part ii

Okay. So believing or realizing that we don't know it all is fundamental to our ability to stay open to God and to this idea. Just like, "How can I have s'more if I haven't had any already?" Anyone? Sandlot?

allow God to redefine 'good' in your life

Let's make this a story. Right now we have a person, Peter, who experiences a loss, perhaps relational, and Peter does not know what to do. He may question God, become angry with God, cry out for help, or just grieve his loss. What does it mean for Peter that God knows the ultimate outcome of this loss and he does not?

Consider a promise from Scripture in his situation.

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love him"
Romans 8:28

The amazing part of that verse is the word 'all.' All things means all things. Things past, things to come, good things, painful things, uncomfortable things, scary things... everything. So the death of his friend is not an exception to this promise. God makes all things work together for good...

That is exactly what is so hard for us to comprehend. How can any loss be good or even become good? You’re saying death can have a positive outcome? Job loss means good is to come, or a disease brings peace? Yes, I am. God makes all things work together for good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

bad to great

Last week, while finishing up a book, a new concept came into my mind. I think it'll be somewhat difficult to communicate, but I'm in love with it so the next few posts will be on this topic:

allow God to redefine 'good' in your life

As humans, we don't get to see the full picture. Some of us are good at forming big picture ideas or long-term planning even casting vision, but never can we see everything. Our points of view are relatively narrow, and our perspectives are limited. My outlook is contained to right here and right now without exception.

God's is not. God is limitless. He is omnipotent and omniscient. He sees past, present and future as one. He knows all.

Accepting these things as fact, let us consider our lives and the events within them. When death, loss, disease, etc. occur, we may be shaken but these two pillars stand firm: (1) we see some things [very few things], and (2) God sees everything.

Naturally, when a good thing happens, it is easy to see the benefits to come, which in turn are easy to attribute to God. But when bad, ugly, evil stuff happens, it is harder to see where any good might lie. Yet in both instances we remain unable to see the ultimate outcome.

I'll stop there for now, but this is something to think about. What does it mean to never be able to see the ultimate outcome? Wouldn't we just have to accept what is, and hope for the best?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

number one

Along with Maria Folsom-Kovarik, the Director of Adult Ministry, I just helped run an orientation for about 25 new ministers at Nativity. As people introduced themselves, their stories ranged from brand new members taking their next step in faith, to professionals looking to apply their knowledge to the church, to older members responding to the call to ministry. It is cool for me to witness these individuals getting involved because it reminds me of an important fact: it's not about me.

That's a radical statement. My default mode is self-centered thinking. In a pinch, I look out for my own tail. It's just what I do. That's why it's so important to be part of a culture, like the one here at Nativity, where people are constantly and consistently giving of themselves.

I heard a new definition of selfishness the other day: it's not how highly you think of yourself, just how often you do. I think that's a pretty good way to put it; not comforting for me, but definitely pertinent. If thoughts create feelings which inspire action, I need to focus my thinking elsewhere. Tonight, I will pray for others, that Christ's light may shine in their lives, and for myself that I may have the presence of mind to see the Christlike behaviors of other Christians and that I have the courage to witness to those who do not know Him.