Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stop and Smell the Flowers

     Often I feel as if my mind is a ticking time bomb, just waiting to explode. It is said that the average human has on average 70,000 different thoughts per day. (I'm convinced it's even more for females.) Our mental activity holds incredible influence over our attitude, our dealings with others, our activities, and even our overall health. Christ emphasizes this idea in Philippians 4:8. 

     "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

     As I mentioned before, my routinely oriented thought pattern allows little room for spontaneity. While To-Do lists and outlines have their place, Christ desires for us to live, and live abundantly in Him, which often necessitates a life outside of a To-Do list, or legalistic rules.

     One of my favorite prayers (below) reminds me that even in unforeseen events, all things are sent by God. Having the false expectation that all will work out exactly according to plan can get us into a lot of trouble. 

Prayer for the Beginning of the Day

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.

This prayer releases our own ambitions and expectations for the day, and surrenders our will to His. Christ may beckon us to serve His Kingdom in an unconventional manner. 

So, stop a minute and smell the flowers.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Quest Commences

To solely write and ponder on living incarnationally would be the equivalent of scarfing down a delectable hot fudge ice cream sundae while simultaneously deeply desiring weight loss. Therefore, I have decided to begin a quest of my own - searching for ways in which I may embody the values and characteristics of my Savior.

I want my quest to be:
* Authentic
* Genuine
* Divine Inspired
* Unrehearsed, open to Christ’s prompting -- and yet, proactive on my part.
* Purposeful

My hope is that more than the quest itself, I will remember the spirit in which I approach it. Being an extremely orderly person that functions on routine, it is difficult for me to leave space for the spontaneity that The Kingdom requires. Therefore, may this endeavor serve as a beneficial spiritual lesson built on prayer and Godly wisdom.

And thus, the quest begins.

And the Word became Flesh

To embody an idea, we must first have a model. The model in which people are intent on embodying into their lifestyle, philosophy, or belief system may vary from person to person. For some, this may be a political party, for others, an organic, vegetarian, or vegan organization. In the post modern society in which we live, the possibilities for ideologies like these are endless.
As Christians, our ultimate model is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not only a model, or an idea - but rather the true incarnation, the true manifestation and embodiment of The Supreme Deity.

We are able to observe Christ’s;

Jesus Christ is the closest representation of a God who has often been deemed distant and mysterious. Observing Christ’s teachings and lifestyle, we find insight to who God is, what he is like, and what he desires to be found in His creation. By adopting the attributes that Christ so beautifully demonstrates and reveals to us, we breathe life into otherwise meaningless words. For instance, one could eloquently and clearly describe the color red to a blind friend. However, until the individual experiences the color red, will he have a full understanding of what the color red is. Likewise, a person could describe love until they are blue in the face, but until they experience love for themselves, they will not understand it.

I wish to find authentic ways in which to live incarnationally. Thus, the pondering begins.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Vocational Calling

Philippians 2::
 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
 6who, although He existed in the form of God,did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.