Aug 28 2015

Doing Good

Published by under Life,Love

All artists used to be starving. Some still are. And it used to be that thinkers made very little money. Now, ideas are the currency we exchange FOR money.

The bible tells us to seek wisdom and understanding like we would gold and silver and precious jewels. Somewhere along the way, we flipped the script and now use wisdom to OBTAIN riches. It’s the commercialization of ideas. Ironically (and inversely), it tends to cheapen them.

We consume ideas like a wood chipper – in through our eyes and ears and out of our minds.

Everyone needs to eat. That’s true. The move to a “knowledge economy” implies we’ll make our money from ideas. But what of an economy that’s more human?

Ideas have undergone a change under the pressures of commercialization, commodification, and quick consumption. And as rocks change with pressure, so do ideas – they get corrupted – a word which literally means “broken into pieces.”

“Grow your tribe so you can monetize them.” That’s an idea. And people readily pursue it. They then come up with ideas so they can sell people more ideas. Sometimes those ideas HELP others. That’s good.

But with our money mindset, it isn’t too hard to figure out why we have so many social problems in the United States.

The homeless? Who can make money from them? No one. They COST us money. So some feel compelled to yell at them: “GET A JOB! Be productive.” Productive how? Productive like a machine? That’s by and large how we value people today – for how closely they can mimic a machine in production.

Criminals? We make money from them while they sit in jails.

Older people? We make money from them while they sit in nursing homes.

Our economy has been organized around an idea that people aren’t really people. People are dollar signs. We act like whatever ills befall our society are unfortunate, but, in truth, they’re only that secondarily. They’re firstly opportunities to make cash. Lots of it.

We’ve yielded human hearts and souls to a new class of robber barons – people profiteering from the weak in our society. They’re paid handsomely to “sweep away” the messy people we don’t want to see.

We don’t have time to labor in understanding psychopathy or gerontology or criminology because we’re too busy laboring to make our living and build our career. Enough with careers! Unless careers lead us to be care-ers.

Oh man! How deeply I long in this moment that the words from an unlikely source – the rapper, Wale – would be true of us!

I took my heart away from money.
I ain’t interested in fame.

We have these problems. We can’t be satisfied with words. What are we gonna DO about it? Our minds need to DWELL on the disconnect we have with our lives, the lives of the weak in our society, and our prevailing thoughts about what makes a “good” life. We need to watch things and read things and talk of things regularly that attack our wrong thinking and compel us to seek DOING good, not just LIVING good or THINKING good.

We live in a broken world with broken ideas which are the result of a money mindset, not a love mindset. Jesus taught against this in Luke 6.

For criminals: “Love your enemies,” Jesus said. “Do good to those who hate you… pray for those who mistreat you.”

For the homeless: “Give to everyone who asks of you,” Jesus said.

For the elderly and everyone else: “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” Jesus said.

May we be known as The People Who Put Together the Weakened and not The People Who Sweep Away the Inconvenient.

Oh, LORD! Show us mercy and change our hearts and minds! Help us to see money for what it really is and let us spend all our days doing good and loving people.

No responses yet

Aug 23 2015

24/7

Published by under Life

We fear the power of the surveillance state – a government that taps into everything we do online and in our daily lives. We need to remember we’re already watched 24/7.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
_Hebrews‬ ‭4:13‬

We’re all untrue to who we say we are. We do things in secret we shouldn’t. That’s ok. It’s very human. But if we were more presently conscious that we’re seen by God, maybe we’d live differently. As it is, we too often do evil and put satan’s ways on the throne. He’ll always lose… And when that happens, we lose…

Your prince’s crown
Cracks and falls down
Your castle – hollow and cold
You’ve wandered so far
From the person you are
Let go, brother, let go.

_Keane – The Frog Prince

Let every security camera and every online login remind us that God is watching. He sees. Nothing in all creation is hidden from his sight. Everything is laid bare before him. May we let go of all that is not from him. One day we’ll meet him face-to-face! May he know us by name and exclaim, “You’re the one who fought to honor me in all your ways!” Amen and amen!

No responses yet

Aug 21 2015

In Love

Published by under Life,Love

This week, my friend told me about his dad who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. What a sad disease. A few months ago, his mom and dad went to a gas station. His dad got out to pump. They left and about five miles down the road, the car died. His mom looked at the receipt. His dad had pumped diesel into the car – and since gasoline cars don’t run on diesel fuel, the car died.

Crazy thing. His dad had no recollection of pumping ANY type of gas. He didn’t remember doing it at all. He blamed my buddy’s mom for it, thinking she pumped it.

Do everything in love.
_1 Corinthians 16:14

We pump a lot into ourselves. We try to fuel up with inspirational sayings and motivational articles/podcasts/videos. But a human being can’t live on those things alone. If we’re not powered by love, we don’t have much chance for success.

Some cars run on diesel. And some humans can run on things other than love. Some of us can, too – for a period of time. But most of us can’t do it in the long-run.

Tired from your lack of motivation? Tired about your lack of consistency? I’m tired of those things in myself.

Maybe we’re deficient in love.

Remain in my love.
_Jesus, John 15:9

How do we manage that?

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
_John 15:10, 12

Our ambition to be famous won’t carry us long. Nor will our desire for excellence. Our social media stats won’t keep us in Jesus’ love.

“Do everything in love.”

Are the selfies in love? Is all our “hustle” in love? Or are we possessed and driven by something else?

Careful, O my soul, in how you answer – examine yourself. God has a receipt of all your doings and all your motivations. Don’t be absent-minded.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.”
_1 John 4:7

Indeed, it does!

The fruit of the Spirit is love…
_Galatians 5:22

Oh, Lord! Let us not be filled with wrong things. Fill us with love so we may love each other with pure hearts that carry us through all obstacles and obstructions. Help us do everything in love!

No responses yet

Aug 18 2015

What Will You Do?

Published by under Life

What are you gonna DO about it? Commentary alone has a very low likelihood of changing anything. There are a million voices on the internet decrying and promoting all kinds of things. Very few carry weight.

What’s in short supply these days is ACTION – people willing to invest their time in long thought and real solutions, not just belly-aching.

“I’m so angry about this topic that I’m going to take a few minutes to jot down a couple furious thoughts.”

It’s the adult version of a toddler temper tantrum. Toddlers quickly forget what they’re so upset about. And so do we.

Some of it can’t be helped. Life is busy and we get distracted. But why do kids throw tantrums? It’s often because they can’t put their frustrations into words so they act it out. As adults, we have the OPPOSITE problem. We have better command of language – we can express ourselves – but we don’t ACT things out.

We have plenty of sayings that put actions above words.

“Put up or shut up.”

“Put your money where your mouth is.”

“Don’t talk about it. Be about it.”

We need to LIVE these words. Will we be pretenders on the sideline or players in the game?

No responses yet

Next »