Posts Tagged ‘ministries’

I was driving down the road this afternoon, making my way back to my office when I saw it. A big old bumper sticker, almost stereotypically on a Prius, that said “Jesus is a Liberal.” I almost lost it. He most definitely is not.

To my liberal friends, don’t worry, He’s not a conservative either, and this is not a political post.

Please understand, attaching Jesus to a political ideology is akin to creating Him in our image, which is, to my mind, the most dangerous form of idolatry. Further, it’s about the same as all the people who wanted to crucify Him because He didn’t come to overthrow the Romans. As soon as He didn’t do what they wanted, in their minds it proved He wasn’t the Messiah and so He had to go.

Jesus is not created in our image, we are created in His. Liberal and Conservative (and every political stripe in between) are human constructs that we try to use as litmus tests to see which of our neighbors we have to love and who is on our team. Jesus us above all of that. The standard for our lives is not Liberal or Conservative. The standard for our lives is Jesus. Measuring ourselves by anything less gives us a false sense of security and attaching our faith to our politics will do nothing but alienate the very people Jesus came and died to save. We see this nearly every day on the news. We support people who do reprehensible things because we say they fit our ideology, or we condemn people for past sins even though they’ve repented and fought their way back because they are from the other side of the political aisle. We can and must do better.

To be clear, there were two political parties who tied their faith to their politics in Jesus day, too. The were the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They were political opponents who badgered each other constantly and fought each other bitterly. What finally brought them together was their hatred of Jesus. We can and we must do better than that too.

Jesus is above your politics. If He’s not, you have an idolatry problem. If we would submit to Him, and fall under the authority of His Word, a lot of this political turmoil would go away. Human leaders are all flawed, and so are the rest of us. The only One who will never lead us astray is the risen Lord. He’s not liberal or conservative, He is the ideal man, the perfect leader, and the only One completely worthy of our allegiance.

Don’t worry it’s not that one. It’s one that every artist especially every Christ following artist should know… Flexibility. Flexibility is a trait every artist should have and yet most of us seem to lack it. It manifests mainly in two ways.

The first is in the If only mentality. It only I had this, if only I had that. If only I had more money or better supplies or a better studio or a hotter computer with better software or whatever. You know what they are. Fill in your “if only” here. Literally write it on a piece of paper. Are you done? Good now throw the paper away and look around you. What do you have right now? Stop seeing your scarcity and start looking at what you have and use that. The biggest part of art is creativity, find what you have and use it. Our ancestors used burned sticks for charcoal, berries plants and on and on and on. Appreciate what you have and use it. Make the art you can make with what you have. It’s okay to ask God for more and better but make sure you’re faithfully using what God has given you. Think of times of lack as God building your creativity. He might even be using it to draw you out of yourself and teaching you to collaborate. Regardless of the circumstance, be creative, grateful and be flexible.

The other area we lack flexibility is much more insidious. It’s pride. We’re artists after all and there are certain things we deserve. Get that out of your head right now. The only thing we deserve in this life is Hell and thank God He gave us Jesus so we don’t get what we deserve. Before there was Madonna, there was “pre-madonna” (yes I know it’s really prima donna I was making a joke) and nobody liked her. Nobody really likes a diva either. We put up with their outlandish behavior because of their talents but we don’t like them. As Christ following artists our job is to represent Christ. No one was more entitled to be a Diva than the perfect Son of God and yet the Bible tells us over and over again how he humbled Himself to serve the ones He came to save. We can’t represent Him well by being demanding and inflexible divas. If you have ten minutes to do something, give the best ten minutes you have. If you have a budget of five dollars, use your creativity to make it look like it’s worth a lot more.

Learn the F Word and live it. Be flexible.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Judges 19; Psalm 89,91
You can also download your own chart here.

I look at this video and wonder how it got 1.3 million hits and I have a hard time breaking 100. I wonder more why I am going to try to get it a few more, but here goes.

This actually happened a few miles from my home at the mall I frequent… well frequently. A young lady deeply involved in her texting becomes an involuntary celebrity when she inadvertently trips into the fountain. It really is hilarious. I could use this opportunity to say things like, “thank God she wasn’t driving…” but I’ll use a little more discretion than that.

What I want to talk about is distraction. This young lady clearly had more important things to do than texting, (like watching where she was going) but clearly she had some place she needed to be and so she decided to multitask. So she did the walking on autopilot and attended to the pressing issue at hand or in her hand as the case may be.

How many times have you done that? Oh you may not have fallen into a fountain but you have little memory of what you just did. You have a lot on your mind as you step into your car and before you realize it you’re home (unless something happened that snapped you back to reality). You were distracted.

How much of life do we miss because we’re distracted? How many mistakes have you made because you were distracted? Maybe it’s time to slow down a little and do one thing at a time. After all, hard as it may seem to believe, the world will keep on turning if you’re not running through life at breakneck speed and if you think it will, you need to slow down.

Jesus and His disciples once visited the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha at once got busy, she ran around like a lunatic trying to get everything ready to feed the disciples. (Good thing there wasn’t a fountain there…) Meanwhile Mary sat with Jesus and learned from him. Martha saw this and got ticked. She went to Jesus and ordered him to tell Mary to help her. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

In our lives trying to do great stuff for God, it is really easy to fall into this pattern, but God doesn’t want us to be so distracted that we miss life, and He especially doesn’t want us to miss Him. Slow down, pick the best thing and do it.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Genesis 42, Job 12-14
You can also download your own chart here.