Oct 21, 2009

I press... or Love is not a commodity. Your Choice.

So, I've written one blog & I already have writer's block.  Is that even possible?  Don't you have to be a writer to have writer's block?  I blame it on my mom.  After writing my 1st blog, my mom tells me I'm the greatest & should write a book.  I get it.  Moms are supposed to tell their sons that they are the greatest & mom, I love you for it, but it took me hours to write one blog.  At that rate, if I hoped to ever see a book of mine published in my lifetime, I should have started writing full-time when I was 11.  It's not that I don't have things to write about.  I have over a dozen voice memos on my iPhone with different blog topics.  The problem is, they all seem to make me look self deprecating & whiny.  I don't think I'm that whiny, but every time I think of something to write, it just points back to me being a broken mess.

For instance, one blog idea was to write about unconditional love.  I was going to title it "Love is not a commodity".  I wanted to just open a discussion on unconditional love.  What is it?  Have you ever experienced it?  What does it look like?  Are you capable of reciprocating it?  As I thought of all these things, I started to realize that I use love as a commodity.  If you are of value to me, I will give you my love.  If you are not meeting my demands, I will withhold it.  I don't do this consciously, but I do it.  I consider myself a very compassionate & caring person, but when I look closer, I don't know that I truly love anyone "unconditionally"... I look at how Jesus loves & I don't come close.  I mean, I suppose I love some people unconditionally some of the time, but Jesus loved all the people perfectly all the time.

I have a roommate.  His name is Jeff.  He is one of the most humble people I know.  This past Sunday evening we were at home looking forward to a chill night just hanging out & watching football.  He got a call from a friend in need & without the least bit of bad attitude due to his evening being interrupted, he went to their aid.  With a smile on his face, he left the house to serve our friend because they were in need & he loves them.  I sat there after he left & thought of how I would have responded if I'd answered the phone.  I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been as pretty & nice.  I would have pouted & whined, kicked & screamed.  I think I probably would have ultimately done the same thing Jeff did, but not as willingly & lovingly.  It bothers me that this is true of me.  Sin is a cancer that destroys our souls.  I have selfishness cancer.  I feel like I need several large doses of some Jesus chemo to eradicate this crap from my soul.  I want to love people wholly & unconditionally, but can't do that as long as I'm selfish & stupid.

How did Jesus do it?  It's crazy when you think about it.  He loves us.  He has always loved us.  We don't have to impress Him or do everything right for Him to love us, He just does it.  He loves you & me, the homeless guy on the street, the murderer in jail, the adulterous pastor, the homosexual couple next door, all of us, unconditionally & without fail.  The Bible says in Romans 5:6 that "when we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners".  That's nuts!  If you've seen The Passion of the Christ, you have an idea of what He endured when he was beaten & murdered.  The Bible says that he did that just for me, and not while I was praising Him & worshiping Him, but when I was a jacked up, rebellious fool who would have spit in His face like the rest of them did.  I don't think I could do that for the people I love most & Jesus did it for the very people that were nailing Him to the cross.

Okay, enough rambling.  What are your thoughts on unconditional love?  Can we ever really live up to that?  Can we love Jesus as He loves us?  Can we love the people we disagree with?  Truly love them & lay down our lives for them?  I want to. 

Well, there you have it.  In true self deprecating fashion, I have written the blog I didn't know how to write without being self deprecating.  I guess that's just how it goes.  Paul said in Philippians 3:12 "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."  I press...
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Oct 10, 2009

I'm terrible at this

I've had this blog for some time now & have yet to post anything.  I really want to give this another shot though.  It is very likely nobody will read this, but that's not the point.  I think I need an outlet like this.  I need a place where I can ramble about nothing at all & not care if it's grammatically correct or for that matter, politically correct.  Speaking of politics, did President Obama really win the Nobel Peace Prize?  Really?!  He had just taken office when the nomination deadline came in February.  He hadn't even had time to redecorate his bedroom at the White House, much less effect change worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.  I want President Obama to succeed.  I want every one of our Presidents to succeed, if success means a better America.  I just think we might be jumping the gun in honoring President Obama as the greatest man to walk the planet.

I digress... only a couple of sentences in to my first blog & the rambling has already began.  You should probably get used to that.  Sorry.  Now, this may be the last apology I make on here.  At least I want it to be, but it likely won't be.  I care too much about what you think of me, so I'll probably feel like apologizing a lot.  I want to be able to write something that is intimate, vulnerable & real.  I want to write what I'm really thinking, even if it's wrong and not feel like I have to make apologies for it.  I don't want to filter myself like I always do.  I don't want to feel like I always have to try & be spiritual or profound or right or PC.  I want to be secure enough to not care if  that lowers someone's opinion of me.

The reality is that I am a weak, broken, insecure person that really needs Jesus to have any hope of "normalcy" in life.  I have tons of doubts & fears at times. I don't want to fail so I often don't even try.  I'm selfish & prideful.  I'm insecure.  Even as I write this now, I'm afraid that you'll read it & think I'm pathetic.  You probably won't because you're broken too, but the truth is, apart from the redeeming grace of Jesus, I am pathetic.  Any good qualities, strengths or characteristics that I may embody are only present because Jesus lives inside of me. Jesus said that He is the vine & we are His branches and that apart from Him we can do nothing.  Man, my life is a testament to that.  Without Jesus, I'm a solid mess.  We all are & we all know it, but my insecurity tells me that I can't let anyone see it.  I have to smile & say everything is okay.  Well, it's not always okay.  Life & all its struggles is hard & sometimes sucks.  I'm not saying that I should start allowing myself to whine & moan and be all "Woe is me", but I am saying I need to stop acting like I've got it all figured out.  I don't.  I actually have SO little figured out.  I feel like Paul when he said "I know nothing but Christ & Him crucified" or something like that. You get the point.  I know that I love God & owe all I have and more to Him.  I know that life sucked without Him & now I have hope for the future.  Before Jesus I was a drug-addicted, depressed, lonely, angry mess.  Now I am none of those things, except for the mess part.  I'm still a mess, but now I have peace.  Even with all my crap & doubts & fears, I have peace.  I have a spiritual family that puts up with me & loves me in spite of my crap.  I owe them so much...  I am such a jerk sometimes.  My insecurities bleed all over them and make a mess of things & they still love me.  It baffles me.  In fact, most everything about Jesus baffles me.

Well, I wrote a lot more than I intended to.  I think I just kept writing because it would delay me from having to hit the "Publish Post" button at the bottom of my screen.  It's big & orange and taunting me.  Well, let's just get this over with...

From my blog at:  http://likeaburningfire.blogspot.com/
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