Thursday, May 5, 2011

Corner Man

Corner Man--At the junction of the ropes (a corner of the ring) where a boxer rests between rounds his second, the corner man advises him, gives him water, tries to reduce swelling and stop bleeding.

Who do you want in your corner?
I choose the courageous over the careful
the discerning over the proud...
I choose those who depend on Jesus before they depend on prophecy or what friends say.
Who choose what God wants over what they want.

If I am in a ring, If I were in fight,
I would want in my corner...
a team who will tell me where I am wrong and what I can improve, who were observant of all that occured and can prep me with what worked and what didn't...
a team who will rub my musscles unaware of my sweat.
I would trust a corner man who believes in me, who coaches me
If I were ever to find myself in the ring.

I apply this to life because in following Jesus, everyday can be a battle.
In my corner, there will not be people who are just going to tell me what they think I want to hear or people that have their own agenda or think that they are by default any better than I am or that I am better than them. They will not be those who make assumptions and judgement calls based on hueretics.
I want to learn and grow and live by the Spirit. I want to trust in the gifts that the Lord has given me. Through every storm I want that trust to be a strong house built on a rock.
How I could sometimes wish God didn't make us so darn relational, but he did. It is up to us to be careful what we do, and don't do, with that.
Who has God appointed to be in our corners, not because it is easy, fun, a good social networking move, or even convenient?
As I pray for my team, as well as who's corner God wants me in... I have made a very certain decision who my Corner Man is in my life...take a wild guess :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

beyond "it's all Jesus"

I don't know what to write about. I have so much I want to say, so many scriptures and verses and quotes I want to use to illustrate this lesson I've learned and that point I want to make. But here I am in front of my computer without a clear decision on where to go from here. Seriously. I'll type that word again just to overstate I don't know what to write next...seriously.
(long pause)

You know, I have an anonymous relative who is brutally honest on FB. When something is not to her liking she proclaims it to the cyber world with all the anger, jealousy, and hate in her. Sometimes it can make you laugh, maybe cry. Sometimes it is so annoying to read continuous negativity that some have had to de-friend her, I am sure. But when I think about her I see God loving her so immensely. Waiting for her to just know Him, waiting for her to see that He has been there all along. That he doesn't see anger and resentent but pain and hardship that not many have experienced to understand.

But in my own ignorance I wondered, how can you be so negative, why do you continuously victimize yourself, why do you hold onto the past as though that is who you are today. Why do you compare yourself to everyone seeing them as having a perfect life while you live in misery. Why can't you just be thankful for all that you have been blessed with- you haven't worked a day in your life, you have healthy beautiful children and a man who loves you and provides for you...why are you so bitter!?

The thing is, how can I say I am a follower of Christ yet place so much value in things of this world. How could I throw at her these things as if they must define her happiness and peace- worldly possesions cannot be our measurement of true happiness. It is not in what you have and whether you have a companion providing for you or not. Just like it is not all the places that you have traveled or the family background you come from. Just like it is not how physically attractive you are or alluring and charming, or stylish or rich. All of these things do not matter to God. They do not make you worth anything. Sure counting our blessings may be a good perspective to revisit now and again, mostly for giving thanks to God who provides for us all that we need...still in doing so how do I remember not to depend on these blessings. Not to depend on them to measure my happiness, to define who I am, to set the bar on what to strive for from here.
And what exactly is there to strive for from here? What is going to put these fragments life has left of me back together? What is going to fill my heart so much that it overflows with love? Having the best looking companion? The most stylish wardrobe? Being succesful in all that I do? Completing the next 30 days of Insanity Max? (although that is gonna feel really accomplishing) Sure there are plenty things to be blessed with that will make life more comfortable, but did Jesus die for us so that we can be comfortable? How are we following culture's protocols, yet calling ourselves followers of Christ.

"Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did" 1 John 2:6

I have yet to see with my own eyes what this really looks like today. Yet I strive for this. I am seeking others to show me how, to guide me through and the truth is I am seeking the wrong role-models. If you need someone to role-model Jesus what better place to look than directly to Him.

I am up for the challenge: To deny myself and take up my cross and follow Jesus Christ. Because He is my only hope. Because without Him I am no different from my cousin, lost in pain, anger, saddness, etc. (only manifested differently.)

"The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you--your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything- then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it." -Ian Thomas

But with Him he can use our personalities to show His beauty, through our unique gifts He give us, he can shine His glory in this world. But I need to deny myself. That's a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you think you already do.

I think it goes beyond just saying the words, "it's all Jesus"