Sunday, April 17, 2005

getting out of the boat

I asked my son what he learned in Sunday school today and he told me it was about some fishermen. To paraphrase my son – "some guys had been fishing on the right side of their boat all day and caught nothing. Then Jesus came along and told them to try their nets on the left side. Then they caught something like 150 fish!"

When I put this story together with the one from today's sermon (Jesus and Faith) of Peter getting out of the boat, I was struck by another characteristic that faith requires: tenacity, patience, endurance. Getting out of the boat is a huge step, but not only are we often going to sink, we’re going to fall flat on our face in failure. And if we continue to listen to God’s call for us, we’re going to do it over and over again. It would be so great if we could get things right the first time, but we’re human, so I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Working with technology I deal with failure all the time, whether it’s user-errors, software bugs, networks offline, printer jams, and hardware meltdowns. Debugging the problem usually involves trial and error. It can get quite frustrating if I spend a day debugging a problem and get nowhere. But this failure doesn’t stop me – I keep going until some solution is worked out. It might not be the solution I had hoped for, but it’s my job to get technology working. Why does it seem so much easier to give up on God’s call, especially after a failure? I think it may have something to do with our expectations of how we think we should be feeling and others should feel about us after taking up God’s call.

Today I found an example of someone who has gotten out of the boat and is living as a missionary in Africa. It’s not what he expected, it’s difficult, it’s dirty, it’s overwhelming, but it’s what God is calling him to do. His story here.

Friday, April 15, 2005

7 differences between a believer and a disciple

Interesting take on differing worldviews from Victory World Church.

1. Believes in Jesus as Savior but lives for himself.
2. Goes to church to learn about God's Word says.
3. Seeks to know God through religion.
4. Is accountable only to themselves.
5. Serves God based on convenience.
6. Seeks the benefits of God.
7. Chooses path of life that seeks to go higher.

1. Believes in Jesus as Lord and lives to please God.
2. Goes to church to do what what God's Word says.
3. Seeks to know God through relationship.
4. Is accountable to everyone.
5. Serves God based on conviction.
6. Seeks the presence of God.
7. Chooses path of life that seeks to go lower.