Saturday, November 13, 2010

Acts 11 addendum

Some friends offered their responses to Acts 11 and I responded to their their thoughts caused me to really ponder a thing or two...To Friend D, I love your insight that Peter didn't know what was going to happen. That to me is a breathtaking part of the wonderful adventure with God. (Given, sometimes my breath is taken away and sometimes I'm just holding it) I never really know exactly what He is going to do or how He will do it. (Kind of like a roller-coaster in the dark)
To Other Friend D, I echo your words that it does feel like a mountain of granite being impacted with a little, bitty tool, often (the granite mountain and the small screwdriver were pictures of the monumental degree of difficulty and the personal implementation of Friend D's kingdom work). In fact I have been thinking about both of your comments and wondering what would be the difference.

One thing which occurs to me is, that when Peter was sharing, the Gospel was new and it fell on ears and hearts that had not yet heard it. They had not had a chance to harden their hearts to it. Here in America, most folks have some experience with the Bible and likely with Jesus or more specifically with rejecting. I wonder if us privileged Americans have had too much opportunity at the Gift of grace and just hardened our hearts like granite. So when we share seeds of hope and faith from our life's experiences and The Word; it falls on generationally hard and unreceptive soil. Maybe because of the abundant grace of God in this country of freedom, most everyone now has expectations about God, Jesus, Christians, the Bible...most are not from a good example of personal experience with the One True God; rather they stem from the terrible warning many of His "agents" have become or from the devil's "double-agents".

I wonder if Americans have satisfied their spiritual appetites with NASCAR-praying and country-music lyrics which thank God and nod at Jesus. Have our countrymen too long accepted that God Bless America is good enough and likely all that is needed? Has America drunk so wildly at the bar-of-many-ways-to-Heaven that we never noticed it didn't taste too good or satisfy for long?

Have we, as believers ever displayed our true thirst for the Living Water to the world around us for more than a few seconds or perhaps a long and uncomfortable minute? Do we live a life which demonstrates the soulish-satisfaction of a spiritually-well-nourished believer? Sure, we snack on religious chips and relics with bumper stickers, tee-shirts and little rubber bracelets touting John 3:16; but do we seek context and examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith? Have we allowed our hearts to be broken consistently out of concern for the eternal security of others. What does break our hearts on a consistent basis? Why does Starbucks get more face time that Bible study? I just wonder how often do we really share the faith we say we treasure and would die for. I know that I can be in the Word and "prayed up" and pumped up and ready to do some battle for the Lord; but have I gone in that same moment to ask a stranger or family member if they knew for certain that they would have Heaven as their permanent mailing address when they left this life? no. And if I don't go then, when everything is primed for a spiritual encounter (sadly, I think what I mean is when I am in the mood to conduct some spiritual business), when then will I go? If I don't open my mouth when I have all the words ready, how will it ever open? Really, where is my concern? Am I listening to the Father's direction in whatever way He chooses to speak to me and going where He says. Really? Often times I just go about my day as usual not even checking with Him to say "Where?" or "Whom?". I guess I figure I'll just trip over them or they will ask me about the things of God. I say I want to be effective and useful to God; but how do I put that into practice? If I were to describe some of the disciples we have been reading about to my neighbors, would they think those descriptions reminded them of someone they knew? I get that God doesn't need another Peter because He already had him when and where He wanted Him. But He has a Tami here and now ...

I think it's harder here because we are harder. In and out of the Church.

Maybe it's just me and maybe I am a broken tool in God's hand; but I can't see how that matters...HE.IS.GOD.

God, please help me. I don't want to let another soul slip by in life's stream of mediocrity and tolerance. Help me hear You and help me obey for the expansion of Your Kingdom and the praise of Your Great Name.

sorry, I didn't mean to preach or even say more than a couple of lines. like I said, this has been on me for awhile. thanks again for your insights. they have risen up and challenged me.

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