Archive for the 'Love' Category

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 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 10 2015

Pledging Allegiance

Published by under Love

Farewell, farewell today. The sun has risen on the other side of the world. As I sit in the dark, I’m thinking of centuries gone by – when colonists came over from Britain to settle America.

It’s well-known that the Pilgrims came to America seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. What’s less often noted is that the Pilgrims first moved to the Netherlands for that freedom. For 10 years. But, fearing the loss of their British identity, they proposed to British companies the Americas as a new home of religious freedom, cultural preservation, and investment opportunity.

How striking, then, that less than 150 years after landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620, the colonists became restless with being British, cast off affiliations with their ancestors, and sought their own identity as Americans. The call of independence is strong.

And so it is with us. We long to be free. To help us combat this independent streak, we pledge allegiance to a spouse and to our flag. But we less often find ourselves in a position to explicitly, regularly, consciously, and meaningfully pledge allegiance to God and to his Kingdom.

Do you know one of the greatest misfortunes of bible translation? It’s that the word “slave” in Greek is almost always translated as “servant” in English. The Greek word “doulos” (slave) is used more than 130 times in the New Testament. Including one of our favorites in Matthew 25 – “Well done, good and faithful slave.” Not servant. Slave.

Why does it matter? We today have this near obsession with independence and living the life _I_ want. To varying degrees, we’ve become unmoored from God and forgotten that Jesus said apart from him, we could do nothing. We talk regularly about our own dreams and rarely mention the dreams of God in the bible that the lonely and the outcast and the poor be taken care of. We’re independent alright. Too often, we’re independent of God. And that scares me.

James, Jesus’ brother, begins his letter with these words: “James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” Even he considered himself bound to God.

Jesus came to set us free from evil. So we could become slaves of good and righteousness and his ways. May we dream of becoming the slaves he’s intended us to be – conforming to all his commands. Oh, help us do it, Lord!

No responses yet

May 30 2014

Hustle, Love, and Wasted Lives

Published by under Life,Love

I got a question for you.

Why in the world do we hustle so hard after our dreams? What do we imagine waits for us on the other side of our hard work?

Satisfaction? Comfort? Pride? Money? Fame? The admiration of others?

Here’s what scares me: that I’ll work my whole life and never do it with love in my heart. 

If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
_1 Corinthians 13:2-3

Whatever we might gain through hustle can all be negated if we don’t have love. God’s scorecard often looks different than ours but it’s the one that matters.

Crushing it. Killing it. Hustling. Dominating. All good things. But without love, meaningless. 

I’m old enough now to know that love doesn’t naturally flow out of me. Cynicism and sarcasm and discouragement do. So how can I find love?

Ultimately it is only the man who feels quite hopeless about himself who really trusts God.
_Martin Lloyd-Jones

We get love from the one who IS love. 

…God is love.
_1 John 4:8

So my encouragement to myself (and you): get to hustling! Just make sure you’re hustling to God for love, too!

Make us love like you, God!

3 responses so far