Question the norm, the expected, the rational path

As I was talking with a friend this evening, it hit me that this world (society – our lives) is so infiltrated with deception. In particular, I was ranting how men aren’t men anymore. Why can’t we guys take responsibility for our romantic relationships? The women in our lives are constantly attacked with lies about their identity, where to find value, gossip, loneliness, and so much else. So, when God lays out the fact that men need to take responsibility to protect the women – are we not protecting these treasures from the lies they constantly battle? What kind of reassurance is it to the woman to leave her wondering about something so very dear to her (something that likely occupies much of her thought) – her romantic relationship. Blurring the line between the responsibilities of men and women cannot lead to the joy that these relationships were meant to exude. For, how can anything that is apart from God’s perfect plan most full and amazing? Let’s be men; let’s be clear; let’s lead with responsibility and humility; let’s live the full life!

Along similar lines, we have been so brainwashed by our world with a feeling of entitlement, independence (maybe American independence is actually ripping us from what we need the most, dependence on the body of Christ), and arrogance that we don’t even realize it. The Evil one has worked against the goodness in society for generations to where we see tendencies that move us away from God as actual traits that are godly. We are so deceived. “It’s natural, there are good reasons for this mentality, and it’s necessary to exist in this society” – I agree with all of these. However, in the parable of the unmerciful servant, there is a king who forgives a servant, then a servant who doesn’t forgive. Moral of the story – forgive when forgiven. But, Rob Bell goes a step further and points out that maybe it’s not as simple as do X, but it’s a complete perception and society issue. Maybe our world and how it works may be against the God who created us and His design. Take a gander for yourself.

Sermon: http://www.marshill.org/cart/download/062109.mp3

Scripture: Matt 18:21-35; http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matt%2018:21-35;&version=31;

“If I stick with the accounting system, this guy is never going to pay me back.” ~ kings thoughts.

Somebody has to pay the debt. The king pays the price, bears the cost, and dies to the system so that the servant may have a new life. [Sound something like Jesus?]

Forgiveness costs somebody. When we decide to get revenge, we are essentially saying, “I’m not paying for this one.”

What if I chose to pay the cost when somebody sins against me? What if I chose to say, “I’m not going to keep track of all of the wrongs or rights.” What if I didn’t view the world as if there are scales with good on one side and evil on the other? What if I saw the beauty of truth for what it really is – the face of God.

Follow this up with a few songs.

Passion – One Pure And Holy Passion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I17edLkBDCo

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You

Dizmas – Redemption Passion Glory:

This is redemption,
that you would die for me
And this is salvation,
that you would live in me
This is rejection,
that they would all hate me
And this is submission
that I would live holy

Hillsong – In Your Freedom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLJctSXX-fA

In Your freedom I will live
I offer devotion, I offer devotion

Simple Prayer

Jesus, when I skip out on reading your word, postpone prayer, or otherwise neglect our relation, I am totally dissing you. It’s like you go out of your way to hang out with me and I walk right past you with some inaffectionate but polite excuse. You simply stand there in the rain waiting while I go on with the many things I believe are important to do. However, you let me continue to break your heart as your beloved (me) walks away in my own ignorance toward destruction. Oh, how you wish you could control my decisions or that I would listen and believe you enough to do what is best (for all) – what you keep trying to tell me. Oh the frustration you must endure because as your beloved and heart’s desire politely neglects you. Your heart agonizes as you must watch me hurt myself (just as any good parent or lover must endure as their loved ones experience pain).

Compassion – If you love one another…

For me, I neglect to realize the profound joy that exists in my life when life is going along easily. For some reason, I am busy doing life rather than fully existing in life. However, God steps in occasionally and rocks my world just a bit. My parents have been stressed due to both mounting farm chores and health issues. As I came to realize this, I mentioned it to some friends in conversation. This is the opportunity to experience great joy – it’s where the “rubber meets the road.” These friends saw this opportunity and reacted out of love and compassion by immediately volunteering their time and talents to come alongside and carry the burdens of my parents.

I’ve talked about this idea of “Love in Action” before (see http://www.jason1365.com/2007/03/11/love-in-action/), but recently I have been on the receiving end of the love. It is completely mind-blowing to receive love through these friends; I am humbled because I do not deserve it, nor can I repay them for their expressed love through service and companionship.

Two passages from Scripture come to mind as I reflect on the blessings of relationship. These passages have continued to resurface over the past couple of years. I am compelled to let these permeate my lifestyle and being; however inept I am now.

John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 John 3:16-18 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

So, to you, friends, you do not know how your service releases the worry from the mind of my parents (in particular my dad). Thank you, the following is for you.

Continue reading Compassion – If you love one another…

I trust you (audioblog)

Control – why do I want to be in control? It makes no sense really, because there is nothing in which I have control except for my own actions in and reactions to the situations of life.

What does it look like to let go of the stresses of my life? For me, I am left to wonder about life when circumstances, pain, and uncertainty hit close to home. When this happens, how do I react? First, I am frustrated at first that things are out of my control. I then question God about what is going on – I want to understand; I want to feel like life (a.k.a. God) is fair. Finally, my God reminds me who He is, His nature, and where I need to be. It’s then up to me to make the decision as to how I will react.

This is my second audio-blog which was recorded on my drive home from the hospital after my mom’s surgery. Enjoy the background music and the noise of the car ride for the 9:32 of this audio-blog.

Audio-blog: I trust you

Beyond what you can bear (audioblog)

My life is driven by my own world view which is driven by the truths of Scripture (as I make the time to reflect). Over time, I wrestle with some ideas around the nature of our world, our God, and how our existence meshes beautifully with the goodness of God. However, there are tough life experiences that call our understanding of God into question. These questions can then lead to a deteriorated (or invigorated) relationship with our God.

This is my first audio-blog which was recorded on a long drive when I was visiting my mom as she was undergoing surgery. If you are going to take the 14:19 to listen to this audio-blog, take the time to read through some of the passages of scripture and ideas that I’m going to wrestle with in this recording. Please enjoy the background music and the noise of the car ride.

Verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
  • Matthew 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Ideas:

  • Sin of commission: is to know something is wrong, and do it anyway; deliberate disobedience to the known will of God
  • Sin of omission: sins of failing to do what we should have done
  • Temped: being compelled to sin (to act in a way that not in complete alignment with the will and nature of God and His goodness)

Audio-blog: Beyond what you can bear

Migration to Bugzilla 3.2.x from custom defect tracking solution

Since I use Google and blog and forum posts frequently to help solve problems, I felt it only appropriate to contribute back to the interwebs some of the solutions I have developed to solve problems. So, here are the details for migrating from a custom defect tracking system in MS Access to Bugzilla 3.2.x. I will be installing this in a Windows environment, but I like to work in the simpler world of Linux and then just copy over the data to Windows (If you want to use Windows as your sandbox, set it up by following https://wiki.mozilla.org/Bugzilla:Win32Install).

Continue reading Migration to Bugzilla 3.2.x from custom defect tracking solution

Ethiopia: Christ is too simple for the adult

While in Ethiopia, my translator, Bareket, shared why he is compelled to teach children of the love of God through Jesus Christ. He started off with a little story.

One day a preacher came home and told his wife that two and a half people came to know Jesus Christ that day. His wife was confused about what he meant by a half a person and asked if her husband implied that a couple and their small child accepted Christ. He replied, “No, the two and a half people refer to the two children and one adult that chose to follow Christ. For the two children have their entire life before them live for Christ’s glory whereas the adult has already wasted half of her life.” Bareket went on to explain that it is much more difficult for an adult submit to Christ because the adult carried much baggage and believes many lies that must first be dispelled before he will be convinced of the truth of Christ.

Bareket focus on teaching the little children of Christ’s love. He reiterated to me that the gospel is so simple and easy to grasp that it’s easier for children to accept than adults because the adults are confounded by its simplicity. Children know they cannot understand everything and don’t need to; however, us adults think we are something greater and need to be able to understand all aspects of everything before we commit. I’m just glad that we don’t live by this mentality for anything else in life – for we’d never commit to anything (name any risk – investments, projects, pursuing new ideas, etc., marriage, children, or our word).