Posts Tagged ‘Faith

23
Sep
08

Religious Views

I’ll admit that I’ve become a Facebook junkie. I especially enjoy keeping in touch with our Seesalt family and reconnecting with friends from the past that I actually know. Believing that things should be at least occasionally refreshed, I decided last night to change my response to Political Views (I don’t want to be president) and Religious Views. My response of “I view religion quite often – I strongly prefer a relationship with Jesus” was due to be replaced (but it is still true).

I have a hard time giving normal answers. Actually it’s pretty easy, but not nearly as much fun. Again playing off of the “view” idea, I originally changed it simply to “Far-sighted” and headed for bed. On the way down the hall I began to think that maybe “near-sighted” might have been a better answer. It’s good to be far-sighted – to look ahead, to have vision for the future, to see the bigger picture…  But sometimes as Christians we can focus so much on looking ahead to the sweet by and by  that we forget the here and now. As another cliche goes, we can be so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. 

In Matt. 6:34, Jesus said: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  We certainly do have plenty of trouble to deal with each day. Some problems belong to us – everything from how do I afford gas to what am I supposed to be doing with my life. Other trouble belong to people around us – people to whom we are called to minister. Most of them have at least the problems we have and usually a lot more.  I wondered if I should change my out-of-the-box religious views response to “near-sighted”?

But if we focus too much on the immediate cares of the world, we’re also out of balance. It could probably lead quickly to getting discouraged and giving up. We need balance. I ended up coming back into the International Home Office and changing my Facebook to “Hopefully far-sighted and near-sighted.”

The reality is that on my own I have pretty poor vision. Figuratively speaking I have trouble seeing things up close and far away without a corrective lens. To see clearly I need to filter my views through my relationship with Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2-3 says “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

When our religious view is Jesus, we can see much more clearly – near and far.

08
Jul
08

Football on the Beach

 

The other day, the staff finally went to the beach. Even though most of us are now various shades of red, it was an enjoyable afternoon of hanging out, walking along the shore, reading, and swimming in the ocean. We even played a game of football; a lot of fun, but not actually the game mentioned in the title of this blog.
After spending some time in the ocean, I sat down on my towel to read and I noticed a group of Hispanic guys playing football – otherwise known as soccer here – a dozen or so yards down the shore. And for some reason I was amazed at their footwork. There is something different about how soccer is played; the way in which the footballer runs is another animal from the way I run.
The soccer players were running too, but there was a fluidity and almost a certain grace to their motion. Feet always guiding and finding the ball. A tangle of legs and feet, they would twist and turn yet somehow maintain balance. They rarely move in straight lines; they cut and weave through traffic. Their feet have all the reflexes that our football, basketball, and baseball demand of our hands.
28
Apr
08

The Sound and the Fury

 

This afternoon I was sitting at my desk when I noticed a bolt of lightning in the overcast sky. Obie was in the backyard, so I went outside to bring him in. A few minutes after we got our dog settled, the electricity blinked out and back on. My desk lamp was still flickering when the rain-soaked, rushing wind came charging through. 

 

There are twin bradford pears in our front yard and I watched, in awe but with a twinge of horror, as they bowed in submission to a force I couldn’t even see. As the rain pounded and the trees continued to sway, small pieces of hail began to pelt our house. EA and I just sat there in my office and looked out the window; transfixed by this wild force of nature. And then as suddenly as it had all began, it was finished.

 

When you start listing the adjectives associated with God, wild or furious don’t come in until you are well down the page. I certainly do not think of Yahweh in those terms. I would say He is loving, forgiving, merciful, just, compassionate, and so on. All those of descriptions are true. But I believe we domesticate them a bit in our minds and the natural consequence is that we begin to think of God as safe.

Continue reading ‘The Sound and the Fury’

28
Apr
08

Stillness

vermont sceneHave you ever stopped and listen to how much noise there is around you? When you do this you will be amazed at the background noise that fills our lives and so easily distracts us. This past summer, while on a mission trip to Vermont, I had the privilege of spending a night in one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever been. The spot was located on a mountain in a rather isolated part of the state. The top of the mountain had a small cabin and from the front porch you could see Mt. Washington off to the east, still covered with snow. To the north you could see all the way into Canada. The whole placed look so much like a scene out of “The Sound of Music” that I fully expected Julie Andrews to come dancing over the ridge, singing at the top of her lungs. Prior to our Bible study that evening I took some time to go sit on this big rock that was a little ways away from the cabin. The sun was setting. There was a certain coolness in the breeze. The scent of pines and wildflowers filled the air, and it was very peaceful. As I lay back on the rock and prayed I began to realize that for one of the few times in my life I could not hear any man made sound. In that moment God brought Psalm 46:10 to my mind. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” God spoke to me in the stillness.

Continue reading ‘Stillness’




The Amalgam is a collective of various writers, photographers, artists, and random people in general. This weblog is a collection of their thoughts on faith, life, the arts, sports, and basically anything else. The views of the writers in the Amalgam do not necessarily represent the views of Concoxions Creative Ministries. But where we disagree with them, we still love them.