Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It is difficult to put into words what I experienced as I listened to and watched the stories being told. Rather than share from my point of view, I thought I'd pass on the advice given to me ~ "you just have to see it for yourself ~ it's sooooo good"!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
His whole life on earth, from beginning to end, was destined solely to have followers and to make admirers impossible. Christ came into the world with the purpose of saving, not instructing it. At the same time - as is implied in His saving work - He came to be the Pattern, to leave footprints for the person who would join Him, who would become a follower. This is why Christ was born and lived and died in lowliness. It is absolutely impossible for anyone to sneak away from the Pattern with excuse and evasion on the basis that it, after all, possessed earthly and worldly advantages that He did not have. In that sense, to admire Christ is the false invention of a later age, aided by the presumption of "loftiness." No, there is absolutely nothing to admire in Jesus, unless you want to admire poverty, misery, and contempt.
What then, is the difference between an admirer and a follower? A follower is or strives to be what he admires. An admirer, however, keeps himself personally detached. He fails to see that what is admired involves a claim upon him, and thus he fails to be or strive to be what he admires. To want to admire instead of to follow Christ is not necessarily an invention by bad people. No, it is more an invention by those who spinelessly keep themselves detached, who keep themselves at a safe distance. Admirers are related to the admired only through the excitement of the imagination. To them He is like an actor on the stage except that, this being real life, the effect He produces is somewhat stronger. But for their part, admirers make the same demands that are made in the theater: to sit safe and calm.
Admirers are only too willing to serve Christ as long as proper caution is exercised, lest one personally come in contact with danger. They refuse to accept that Christ's life is a demand. In actual fact, they are offended by Him. His radical, bizarre character so offends them that when they honestly see Christ for who He is, they are no longer able to experience the tranquility they so much seek after. They know full well that to associate with Him too closely amounts to being up for examination. Even though He says nothing against them personally, they know that His life tacitly judges theirs. And Christ's life indeed makes it manifest, terrifyingly manifest, what dreadful untruth it is to admire the truth instead of following it. When there is no danger, when there is a dead calm, when everything is favorable to our Christianity, then it is all too easy to confuse an admirer with a follower. And this can happen very quietly. The admirer can be under the delusion that the position he takes is the true one, when all he is doing is playing it safe. Give heed, therefore, to the call of discipleship!
If you have any knowledge at all of human nature, who can doubt that Judas was an admirer of Christ! And we know that Christ at the beginning of his work had many admirers. Judas was precisely such an admirer and thus later became a traitor. It is not hard to imagine that those who only admire the truth will, when danger appears, become traitors. The admirer is infatuated with the false security of greatness; but if there is any inconvenience or trouble, he pulls back. Admiring the truth, instead of following it, is just as dubious a fire as the fire of erotic love, which at the turn of the hand can be changed into exactly the opposite, to hate, jealousy, and revenge...
...Now suppose that there is no longer any special danger, as it no doubt is in so many of our Christian countries, bound up with publicly confessing Christ. Suppose there is no longer need to journey in the night. The difference between following and admiring still remains. Forget about danger connected with confessing Christ and think rather of the real danger which is inescapably bound up with being a Christian. Does not the Way - Christ's requirement to die to the world and deny self - does this not contain enough danger?
The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in word he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, will not reconstruct his life, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires.
Not so for the follower. No, no. The follower aspires with all his strength to be what he admires. And then, remarkably enough, even though he is living amongst a "Christian people," he incurs the same peril as he did when it was dangerous to openly confess Christ. And because of the follower's life, it will become evident who the admirers are, for the admirers will become agitated with him. Even these words will disturb many - but then they must likewise belong to the admirers.
Excerpt from Bread and Wine ~ Readings for Lent and Easter p 55-60
Monday, March 21, 2011
This is how we know God’s Spirit is active among us—when the kingdom of God is breaking free. Whenever hearts are awakening to God’s life and whenever transformation is happening, we know that the Spirit is bringing us God’s kingdom.
~ Excerpt from Our Daily Journey Mar 21, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Needs across the globe are endless, creating massive opportunity to bring hope to the broken and light in the darkest places. Do Something Now is a direct response to meet specific needs by opening the door as wide as we can, inviting everyone to join in the movement. And is now available online for anyone to give, from anywhere, at anytime.
So check out dosomethingnow.com. Five incredible causes, plus an opportunity to bring relief to Japan in these post quake/tsunami days. All of which have incredible needs that can be met easily as we each give a little to add to the 5 million already raised since 2007!
On our own, we each can make a difference, but together we are a force for good that exponentially surpasses what we can do alone. Small sacrifices can make a huge difference. Join the movement and invite others to follow.
Together we're a force for good. Follow your heart. Do Something Now.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Basil of Caesarea, a fourth century bishop and monk, asked, “Are you not a robber, you who consider your own that which has been given you solely to distribute to others? This bread which you have set aside is the bread of the hungry; this garment you have locked away is the clothing of the naked; those shoes which you let rot are the shoes of him who is barefoot; those riches you have hoarded are the riches of the poor.”
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
~ Shane Claiborne
Friday, March 4, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
~ Donald Miller