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Archive for the month “January, 2010”

A Life of Passionate Clarity

The other evening (January 5, 2010) I spoke at Celebrate Recovery at the Love In Action Ministry Center. I spoke on living a life of passionate clarity.  ” There are few things more inspiring than a life lived with passionate clarity.” (Erwin McManus) Everyone has a calling that is given to them by God. There is no one exempt from receiving a calling, because God creates everyone with a purpose. Some people believe that if you are not a minister, an evangelist, or a missionary, then you really don’t have a calling. This is not true. I believe that somewhere down the line, we have missed the true meaning of what being called is all about. We have associated being called as being like Mother Theresa or Billy Graham. Don’t get me wrong, these people did great things for the Kingdom of God. But they are not the only ones that have done great things for God. We must not forget all the teachers, mechanics, stay at home mothers, stay at home fathers, chefs, child care providers, artists, etc. There are many callings. I believe that many of us know that we have received a calling from God, but we allow some things to get in the way of us living out our calling. One thing that keeps us frozen, and not moving forward with our calling, is the thought that we cannot do what it is that God has called us to do. We think our calling is too big for us to handle, and so then we begin to question if we even truly heard from God. Another thing that keeps us frozen is the thought of what others will think. We wonder what people will think of our calling, and even what people will think of us being called. Lastly, I believe we allow the fear of the unknown to keep us frozen. We like our comfort zones, and we don’t want to venture beyond our comfort zones. We are afraid of what might happen-the possibility of failure. Let me let you in a little secret, which really isn’t a secret at all. God knows who He has called. He knows what we are capable of, and He didn’t ask for anyone else’s opinion when He called us. God created us with purpose, and when He called us He promised to equip us. Joshua 1:9 says, “”Have I not commanded you? be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God promises to be by our side in living out our calling. He promises to equip us! Listen, God calls us, equips us, encourages us, and strengthens us. “Whenever God gives you a dream, he raises the bar. God isn’t simply trying to inspire you but to call you to a more heroic life.” (Erwin McManus) God wants to grow us, and living out our calling is vital in doing so. We cannot grow in our faith if we are unwilling to take hold of the dreams, the calling, that God has given us. I want to end this blog by giving you another quote by Erwin McManus, “If he commands you to act, and if you will trust him, you will see all of creation move in concert to accomplish in you what you were created to do.” Trust God, and begin living a life of passionate clarity.

Not Being Afraid to Love the Unlovely

As I was commenting on someone else’s post, I began to think on those whom we find more difficult to love. You know the ones who may have brought us hurt, or the ones whom we would rather not associate it with due to ther choice in lifestyle, and those who may not run in the same circles that we do, due to social status or whatever other circumstances. I was probed to think a little on these people and how we choose to respond to them. Often we walk by them without a second glance, while at other times we may acknowledge them by making eye contact but our hearts are hardened toward them, and we refuse to show them love. Think for a moment though, if the shoe were on the other foot (so to speak). What if we were viewed as the one whom nobody wanted to associate with? What if we were refused love? I imagine we wouldn’t like the feeling to much. Imagine nowif that’s how Christ chose to respond to us. What if when He looked upon us, He looked with disgust and hatred? Oh my at the chills up my spine that just sent me. Not a good feeling at all. Christ looks at us with love, so much love that we can’t even begin to comprehend the measures of His love for us. But He does not love us out of obligation or guilt. He loves us out of His own desire to do so, and He wants us to do the same for others. He wants us to see those whom we would rather not look upon, through His eyes–the eyes of love. He calls us to love those who bring us joy and those who bring us hurt. He calls us to love those inside of our friends circle and those outside of our friend circle. He calls us to love those within our same social status and those outside of our social status. He calls us to love period! No one is exempt from receiving the love of Christ, and we have no right to withhold it from anyone.

I want us to not be afraid to love the unlovely. Love those whom you find it most difficult to love. Love those whom others would rather you not love. Get to know the ones who have backs turned them on a daily basis. Love those who are not accepted as easily. But also love those who are close to you, those who are accepted easier than others, and those whom others love. Love all people. Do not hold back. Do not be afraid. Love. Love like Christ, with no limitations.

“By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NRSV)

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