Archive for Christianity

Percy

philly2006-064-3.jpg

 

I can still remember that warm summer day in my brother’s garden. I remember the bright sun shinning down on us and the cool from the shade that the trees provided. I remember listening to the birds sing in perfect harmony with each other as they flew from tree to tree. I could feel the vast acres of green grass and tall old oaks call my name; nature’s simplistic yet complex beauty was calling me to rest. I can still taste the sweetness of the fresh raspberries we picked from the bush. I can still feel the communion with my brother as we picked the raspberries and tried not to smash the fragile fruit that had been warmed by the summer sun. I know that we both thought the same thing as the raspberries just seemed to melt in our mouths…the moment seemed perfect, it seemed too good to be true. As I look back I can see God’s perfect grace filling our hearts and the beauty of His love running through our veins. We were so undeserving of that moment and yet completely blessed by it.

 

 As I walked from one garden plot to the next, I ran into a man named Percy. Percy lived in Philadelphia all of his live and had been gardening in the same spot far before my existence. There was some hesitance on my part as he invited me in to “take a look”, but I naturally couldn’t resist. I was amazed at his perfectly formed rows of dirt and how the string that was held up by two sticks did not deviate too far to the left or the right. Percy’s garden put all the other gardens to same…Percy meant business. As I stood and quietly watched Percy carefully plant his garden, I could tell that every action he took was done out of love. His wrinkled brown hands placed each plant in the dirt like a surgeon’s carefully place scalpel. The sweat that dripped off his darkened forehead and onto the ground gave life to the garden and in return the garden thanked him with its vibrant blooms and luscious fruit. As Percy stopped to rest he looked at me and said “drink?” while lifting up his cooler filled with every imaginable off brand soda. I remember saying “no thanks…I have to go”, but the strange thing was that I didn’t. Still to this day I don’t know why I didn’t have a drink with Percy, but I wish that I had. I wish I could have enjoyed the fast approaching dusk with Percy. I wish I could have talked to him a little bit more about his wonderful garden.

 

I often ask my brother if he has seen Percy at the garden, but the usual response is no. My brother hasn’t seen Percy for some time now and his beautiful garden now has weeds and is overgrown. I really didn’t know Percy but I still remember him, I still remember the way he looked and how he loved his garden. I still remember that warm summer day and how it seemed perfect. I can still remember the peace and the presence of God. A garden needs a gardener just as we need God. A garden must be tended to just as we need to be tended to. As the gardener tends to their garden they will eventually see its fruits and as Christ tends to us we will eventually yield His.

 

Breathe in the grace of God.

 

Thanks Percy.

Advertisements

On Gossip Magazines

We are constantly bombarded by the media and its attempt to infiltrate our minds with the latest cultural fads and fleeting passions. We have entire magazines that are devoted to celebrities and their seemingly exotic lifestyle. These gossip magazines are everywhere from local news racks, grocery stores, gas stations and even in your doctor’s office. In fact it’s hard to think of a place where we don’t find these types of magazines or this use of media.

 

One can argue that gossip magazines are not even ethical, the reason being that they portray a false image of reality. As we devote more time into reading about what celebrities walked the red carpet and what fashion designer they were wearing, we become increasingly debased and lose track of the bigger picture. There are greater things in the world that need addressing and far more pressing issues. We must also keep in mind that the media may just be giving us (society) what we really want. Or should we dare to ask if the media giving us what they want us to have? Either way this is a striking reflection upon the world in which we live and the ethics which we live by. I’m hesitant to say that it is wrong to read these types of magazines due to the fact that it’s boarder line legalistic and in fact I’m not even interested in addressing that issue. What I’m interested in is how our society has become consumed by the self. When God’s righteousness and the beauty of Christ’s love have been put on the back burner we must ask ourselves what are we truly living for? These magazines are just a tangible example of how we are living for ourselves. We have lost sight of what really matters and have found ourselves in the midst of self-indulgence. As we begin to look around we can see that we have been given over to our degrading passions and our hearts are becoming increasingly hardened towards God. Gossip magazines are just an example that show us how we have begun to worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). We begin to idolize humanity not recognizing its sinful and completely flawed nature. In fact gossip magazines and this type of media can be actually seen as worship of humanity’s sinful nature. These magazines pride themselves on the lust of the flesh and pride of live. They do not reflect the heart of God but rather the heart of man.

 

I believe that the beauty of man can be celebrated, but with the recognition that God is the creator. All things belong to Him and we have been created in His image and not our own. When we lose focus of this we begin to fill the truth of God with the lies of Satan. Our society has embraced the lies of Satan and has begun to replace the beauty of God with lies that only leave us with insecurities, doubt, passions that can never be quenched and a sense of pride that will never truly be filled.

Beyond Myself

They say that if we do not have a way to express ourselves we will die. Expression has no end nor does it have a beginning. Expression is our thoughts, our pain and our triumphs. We cannot live a life without expression. “Expression is the result of conviction.” Let our lives resound with the expression of God. We are the expression of our loving Father. We are His passion; made in His image through mercy and grace. The promise of eternal life rests within our hearts, our soul longs to be home with the Father. We are strangers in this world; we are lost children trying to find our way back to the home that we so dearly long for. How can I belong to a world that chooses to reap pain and sorrow? How can I live a life without the expression of God? It’s simply like this…I can’t. God has written his word into our hearts and it is calling us back to Him, back into His arms. Though I may struggle to be with Him, I know that He is always with me. There are so may of us that do not and sometimes feel we can not understand God as our father. We have become spiritually frustrated at the emptiness that has found a place within our lives. Hope has now just become a word with little meaning and faith has no assurance. We must hold on to the fact that God is beyond what you can do alone. Let us rest in the fact that we are His beloved.  His love for us is the expression of His victory over death. God has poured all of His soul into our lives; He has chosen us to eternally commune with Him. God is our father, He is our strength in weakness and our rock in this world made of sand.

 

We no longer live in emptiness.

Home

Even as I write the word “Home” I don’t know what I should think or feel. It’s such a powerful word invoking numerous emotions. For some home is a place of comfort and where they feel loved, and for others it’s a place of anguish and pain. Home should be a place of rest; it should be a place where we can take refuge from all the pain in this world. It should be understood that the true sense of the word can only be found in Christ. Home isn’t where we sleep, it isn’t where we eat with our families, spend birthdays and Christmas. Home is where we can never be abused; it’s where we will never be looked down upon or feel unloved.  Home is where we dwell in the presence of Christ. It’s where we are one with Him in the midst of our joy and our suffering. Home is where our loving Father can whisper into our ear that we have been chosen.

Let our home be with Christ, let it be that inner place where we walk beside our loving Father and most compassionate God. Let us come home and look into the eyes and heart of Jesus. Our home is the understanding that we are His sons and daughters; we are the heirs of Christ adopted into His kingdom.