Archives For Perspective

Calcific Bursitis, how do I hate you? Let me count the ways:

You, who have no place being there, have taken up residence in my wife’s shoulder. You were not invited in, and yet unlike the vampires of lore, you pushed your way in. What gives? If I could rebuke you like those TV preachers say, I so would.


You have made her shout, cry, scream, plead, beg, cajole, for some kind, for any kind, of relief.

You have made her long for the pangs of childbirth! Because at least childbirth has an end. It’s a known commodity. You, Calcific Bursitis, are a parasite–hijacking nerve fibers, forestalling the use of an arm, singing a song of woe…

One that goes to 11! And not in a good way.

But your day is coming. It may not be soon enough–as soon as we’d like it–but it’s coming!

For someday, as with all suffering, you will have to give way:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4, ESV).

In the meantime, I hate you, Calcific Bursitis, and all that you do.

While you make us hurt now, these sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be.

Calcific bursitis, thou shalt die! But we, ultimately, shall not!

How has God met you in your place of suffering?

Engaging the Culture

randomlychad  —  August 18, 2011 — 7 Comments
'Paul' photo (c) 2009, Missional Volunteer - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Folks, I know of late I’ve spilled much digital ink regarding J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I promise you that this is not becoming a “Harry Potter” blog. Aside from my love of the books, I used that series as a touchstone to discuss some “disputable matters.” I did this because Harry has become such a large part of our cultural lexicon.

Today, I’d like to peel back the curtain a bit, and delve into what I think is the larger issue: cultural engagement. (Peanut gallery: I see your objection–“In the world, but not of it.” Yes, I know. And, no, that’s not what I’m talking about–worldliness–but rather being engaged, informed, being able to address the issues facing people today, and relate those issues to spiritual truth).

So, yes, today I’m going to talk about cultural engagement, and indeed how reading Harry Potter fits into that paradigm.

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So, Sharideth Smith and I are riding together (along with a whole host of other awesome bloggers) on Bryan Allain’s BlogRocket. She’s guest posting for me here today, and I’m laying some smack down on the ladies over in her crib (hey, turnabout’s fair play, right?). On a related note, in an unfortunate bit–albeit MotorCop approved–of Internet double-parking, I’m also guest posting for Alise Wright. So, please go over there and check out my bearing of soul.

Anyway, with her scintillating snark, and absolutely deadpan sense of of humor, here’s the “Wednesday Addams” of Christian blogging, Sharideth Smith:

'MMA fight' photo (c) 2009, Peter Gordon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

so the pastor wars are on. maybe not directly between the rock star super shepherds, but battle lines have been drawn among the fans.

fans?

yes. fans.

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>captivating eyesphoto © 2007 Ibrahim Iujaz | more info (via: Wylio)

Today, someone I hadn’t seen in awhile complimented me on my weight loss. I thanked him, commiserated a little, wished him well. Then I reflected upon the conversation. I came to these conclusions:

1) Though I know I’m losing weight, it’s not always obvious to me, because I live with my body, and do not necessarily see it changing by degrees.

2) It took a fresh pair of eyes to remind me of this. Because he hadn’t seen me in sometime, my colleague readily spotted the changes that I don’t necessarily notice.

I think spiritual growth is a lot like this. If we are growing in godliness, we aren’t necessarily aware of it, for at least a couple of reasons:

1) Our focus is on God (and others), not ourselves; and,

2) This process of sanctification is, like weight loss, a changing by degrees–it happens gradually, over time.

These are, of course, my opinions, and do not carry the weight of holy writ, but I believe them to be true. I should think that if one was aware of his own godliness that his focus is entirely upon the wrong person. (“Fair I see, sad you see”). Because the closer one draws to God, the more aware he is of his creatureliness, his sinfulness. That, too, is my opinion, but I think it sound.

The difference comes down to perspective, and focus. Just as I don’t see my own weight loss, I am not aware of my own godliness. Because I can’t escape the bounds of my flesh suit, I particularly lack perspective regarding myself. I don’t feel myself growing in the Lord.

This is where community comes in; for it is only in community that perspective, and indeed encouragement, comes. Others can often see us better than we see ourselves–they experience the changes the Lord is birthing oftentimes before we are aware of them ourselves.

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes.

Thanks for reading!

What lessons has life taught you lately about character, commitment, and/or perspective? How have you encouraged someone in their walk with the Lord?