I have created a transformation journal blog, to support an effort at my church to get folks sharing their ideas online. The transformation journal was created by Ginghamsburg Church and is a "guided" one year roadtrip with Jesus. Because it involves daily reading, many of my posts here have been reactions to that reading. So far I've been posting some of the same content in both places.
BTW, Ginghamsburg Church does some amazing things to foster faith, community, and commitment. I'll have more to say on my experience at one of their conferences later.
Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived very comfortably. Against her better judgment, she joined a small group. This small group was encouraging it’s members to share their faith journey. The woman was not comfortable doing this, but decided to get it over with sooner than later. Driving home and for many days after, she had this feeling that she had exposed too much in sharing her story. Sort of like the feeling you get after having that dream where you forget to put your clothes on. Turns out she had left her comfort zone. From then on, she found that she was often asked or called to leave her comfort zone. To continue the journey, the woman must learn to live more uncomfortably.
Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. John 14: 11
I believe in miracles, but I’ve always had a difficult time believing some of the miracles described in the Bible. I always thought that believing in these miracles was a requirement to be a “true” Christian. As I read this text, I think I have a different understanding. The miracles Jesus performed were not for my benefit. That is not what I am charged with having faith in. The miracles Jesus performed seem to be directed at those around him who could not believe what he said. I am being directed to have faith in what God is saying to me now or at least to have faith in what God is doing in my life. I think I can try to do that.
What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul? Matthew 16:26
What is a Christian? Is it someone trying to live his or her life by the example set by Christ? I’m afraid that some of the more public figures claiming Christianity are not following the example so well and this causes non-Christians to remain skeptical. Unfortunately, I can’t have much affect on how others behave.
So, what does being a Christian mean to me? I’m not always sure. I wonder at the definition when Jesus says “to save your life, you will lose it”. I’m often caught between faith and doubt. Thinking about all the death and destruction from the tsunami got me wondering about how precarious living actually is. I really could go at any time, but am I ready? What regrets would I have if I were pronounced terminally ill? You don’t hear about terminally ill patients regretting not making more money or being more successful. The regrets are usually about not spending enough time with family and not doing something “meaningful” with their life. How would I live my life differently if I had a near death experience? One survivor from the tsunami talks about a few days ago being another lifetime. How profound that change must be, almost like losing a life and getting a new one.
Maybe having no regrets is a good litmus test for being Christ-like. Maybe growing in Christ feels a little like a “near death” experience.