Thursday, October 27, 2011

Simply Put...

When is anything ever simply put? I mean, really simply put? You can say something simply, but then someone else is left wondering. But then again if you try to explain what it is that you're saying, then what you're saying is no longer being said simply. And so this blog post will be, for the most part, not so simply put, although not quite for the same reasons aforementioned.

No, this blog post will have twists and turns, ups and downs, wide angles, smashings, and dizzying spins. I am going to write what comes to my mind with reckless abandon and complete disregard to the common courtesy of writing something simply put for the reader. Running from side to side you'll have to breathe hard and perhaps close your eyes from time to time to keep up and understand what is going on.

When doing something like this it is safe practice to carefully not bother with anything. To continue inch by inch, and just let it all out. As the title suggests however, the main point is "simply put." I will be skirting around the subject here and there, most of it merely unbearable while slipping in the phrase "simply put."

And on that note I will move on to something new. Not knowing things, it's the worst, at least for me, I like to know things. When I don't know things, or parts of things, it stresses me out. At this point I try to figure things out, which either works, or it doesn't. If it doesn't work things just get interesting in the worst way, which is never fun. In the long run it is best to keep me in the loop. To leave me out of the loop is dangerous, it's very windy, and bugs tend to fly into throats...ew.

For those versions of us waiting for something understandable and satiable, it is in the greatest sense of the word, far from happening. I'm not worried about your insubstantial thoughts and hopeful outcomes of what I'm writing. Simply put, go with it. How long must you be going with this tomfoolery you might ask, who knows? Certainly not I or any other Dignitary, President, King, or merchant.

Now for something for the younger audience.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Living Like You're In A Relationship

I'm currently in the process of being trained to be a Young Life leader, which is quite arguably the best decision I have made as of late. I feel I have grown so much in my walk with God while going through training. I have learned many invaluable lessons about living in God and giving it all to him. The one thing that I have learned that has most stuck out to me is how we ought to go through our interactions with other people in a relational way.

Jesus lived and created the perfect template for how we should live our lives. In the context of reaching out to others we have to start with his relationship with his disciples. The 12 disciples were his closest friends, he spent everyday with them. Even though he taught thousands at a time, Jesus spent time with just his 12 disciples and focused on their growth through him.

In the same way, as his disciples living an example of Christ, we can't try saving the whole world. For starters we aren't the ones who save, that's Jesus' job. We also can't spend our energy on leading someone to Christ then moving on to the next. We need to invest our time in just a few, even though it goes against today's Christian view of leading people to Christ. When we invest in just a few, their growth in Christ is much more valuable and fulfilling than when we lead people to Christ as if going through a parade. Jesus focused on the 12, then the 12 went out into the world doing the same as Jesus. They pointed people to him, focused on their growth in Christ, creating a solid foundation for them, and then they themselves did the same.

All this is not to say that Jesus did not care about his relationship with the crowds. He loved them just as much as his disciples, but it is unrealistic to try to create a close relationship with each of several thousands of people. But Jesus wants a close relationship with everyone, and his interactions with others point to intentions of wanting a closer relationship.

So how do we do that? As disciples trying to develop other disciples, how do we focus our time and live in a way that shows to others that we care just as much about a close relationship with them as we do with anyone else? Even if a close relationship never comes of it. We have to be intentionally relational. In other words, live as if each person we interact with could be our next best friend. This doesn't mean that at some point they have to become that, but think about how you interact with your best friends. You confide in them, they know things others might not know, they know you're not perfect. In relationships you always have to give a bit of yourself up, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. You don't have to tell them your deepest secrets, but telling them things that help them realize that you two are quite similar, in the good and the bad ways, is a great first step to pointing them to Christ.

To be Christian means to be a follower of Christ. The definition should be taken as literally as it sounds, to be a follower of Christ, to follow his example. To be a follower of Christ is to be in a relationship with him. It's almost painfully simple, Jesus is all about relationships, and as followers so should we be all about relationships.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pan for your thoughts

It has happened, members of the Bananas Squared group have gotten together and made a video. It took forever. We met once a week and struggled with getting the right shots, using the right props, making a pan float, and so much more. But in the end it was fun and I would do it again. Here is the finished product with Lindsay Brahl starring as Britnee and Austin Keretzman starring as Butch. Enjoy!