- Have you ever taken a foreign language class? Or perhaps you speak another language already? It’s hard to learn another language; especially when you’re not living somewhere that the language is regularly used. I took French; or should I say I “bombed” French. I just couldn’t get it. I have only ever used it once since high school – I helped a woman and her son rent ski’s in NJ and the effort to understand each other would have made for a great TV skit. A lot of people, Believers and others, are astonished at how fast Christianity spread globally; it was practiced in Rome within 30 years of Christ’s Passion – and they didn’t have the internet, phones, newspapers, etc. That’s incredible, to say the least. Where are we acting for Christ? Locally or abroad? Do we ever really take the time to “learn” about people we are acting for? To learn their culture, language, demographics, needs, etc? How much do we really understand about millenials, baby boomers, generation XorY-er’s? If we made more of an effort to integrate and understand, how much more quickly and broadly would Christ’s love expand and inspire?
Psalms / 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! How manifold are your works, O LORD! the earth is full of your creatures; R. May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD be glad in his works! Pleasing to him be my theme; I will be glad in the LORD. R. If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. R.
- “Renew the face of the earth.” That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Although, the earth, not the world, is a pretty awesome place – think Grand Canyon, a blue whale, the color change in the Blue Ridge Mountains, etc. If you read through this Psalm, you’ll see that we aren’t asking for God to renew the earth – we are begging him to renew us. Inside; deep inside of us… “When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.” Change starts with each of us – we need to be the examples – especially as Men of Christ. Are we asking God to change us? Really change us? How could each of us allow for a great surrender to Him? Are we begging for His Holy Spirit?
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
- Everybody and every thing that God created has value – Eternal value. The most glaring example of this is the wars that we wage against abortion and euthanasia. But, are we thinking simply enough? The Kid with tattoos blanketed all over his arms holding hands with his same sex partner while wearing a skinhead Nazi t-shirt has Eternal value. It’s there; God made him. Sometimes, we focus way too much on the sinner and not nearly enough on sin. We all sin every day. Nobody is arriving fully on this side of Heaven, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t understand what can torment at a person and drive some questionable decisions. In fact, that same Kid mentioned before is someone that God not only created, but also someone that Christ died for. Here’s the wonderful thing about it – the devil leaves us Men obvious red flags. It’s like he sometimes highlights folks who are potentially struggling and that we might want to love on a little more. Whether or not they receive His love is not our concern – we were made to love – period. Do we look hard enough for those that are in most need of our love? How often do we attempt to love others in the face of the anxiety of being laughed at or dismissed? Who around us right now is waving the red flag of their struggle on their sleeve (sometimes literally) for us to go and love?
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. R.
- Michelle and I love a Christmas song by Amy Grant titled, “Breath of Heaven” (the words are below). It talks about the unfathomable challenge that Mary took on by saying “yes” to God. It is also what we have named our cabin in Blue Ridge, GA. This is unbridled, Eternal responsibility in the form of God’s breath via the Holy Spirit. Once they (or we) receive Him into our Souls, we are on the hook. There is no more, “forgive them for they not what they do”, like Jesus and St. Stephen declared to God on the non-Christians. The Apostles knew. We know. Jesus came back and History shows that He existed, performed Miracles, and changed the world. Acts calls us to be like the Apostles – to be “men who turned the world upside down”. How radical are we in our Faith? Are we willing to lose it all for the sole purpose of loving Jesus and sharing His agape love with others? Our jobs? Our Families? Our material objects? Our social circles?
Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) / by Amy Grant
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your sonI am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now[Chorus:]
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heavenDo you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be strong