Investing My Two Cents

The world of social media is ablaze with controversy this week. I have friends on every side of the current issue – and I love and appreciate each and every one. I appreciate the many and varied opinions. I try to listen and understand the differing perspectives.

Some are harsh and judgmental. Ok, most are harsh and judgmental. We tend to either be condemning of the individual concerned in the controversy or the people who disagree or denounce that person’s choices.

And, believe it or not, I get it. Both sides have some valid points and, most of the time, neither is very compassionate toward the other or is willing to listen.

There are a couple of questions that keep stirring in my mind. First, why is it considered hateful to disagree with someone’s life choices – particularly if they insist on proclaiming those choices to the world?

Secondly, and probably more important for the people to whom I have the opportunity to speak, why would we expect someone we don’t know to listen to our convictions about their lifestyle?

Continue reading Investing My Two Cents

I’ll Come to You

So we went to do laundry yesterday.

That’s no big deal except that our kids that live here went back to school. So Tori and I ventured out, with specific directions, to do some laundry and get some lunch.

In both of the establishments we visited, there was someone there that spoke English to help us communicate back and forth. It was incredibly comforting to find people that were willing to come to where we were in order to help us understand what was being asked or expressed.

I have been, at times, one of those peole who has thought that people coming to my native land should learn the language instead of expecting us to come to them. And, I suppose, it does make a difference when one comes to live in a foreign land. My kids have worked hard at learning the language here and that is indeed an honorable endeavor.

But I have seen the other side just a bit. It’s not about signs and documents. In reality, it’s about serving others.

I want to make something like a vow – to all of those I will have occasion to interact.

I’ll come to you.

I won’t expect you to understand my “christian-ese” and my theological terminology. I won’t expect you to get my cultural references. I won’t expect you to speak my language.

I’ll come to you.

I won’t expect you to wander into the church where I preach. I won’t wait for you to show up for a worship service. I won’t look quizically at you and wonder why you can’t just meet me in the middle.

I may not succeed. I will no doubt fail –  many times in many ways.

But I will try with all that I am.

I’ll come to you.

I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9‬:‭22b-23‬)

Inevitable Christmas Reality

It’s almost here. It’s that sweet and dreadful holiday…Christmas.

We love it…mostly. We hate it…somewhat. We get together with family and it’s sweet. But it’s also hard.

I came across this haunting melody that reflects some of this tension. Give it a listen.

The picture is painted of the sweet but strained gathering with people we love, but people who change. And the sore spots from the past and the tensions created by the change that we know is inevitable are all a part of the gathering. As the lyric so poignantly says,

Our families huddle closely
Betting warmth against the cold
But our bruises seem to surface
Like mud beneath the snow

Being together – gathering closely causes us to bump the sore spots without even trying. But we do so – even as we state our purpose to celebrate the birth of Christ – in our brokenness and incompleteness. We have to – God help us – we MUST see this truth: that’s why He came.
Continue reading Inevitable Christmas Reality