Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Media Fast: No T.V., Movies, or Internet

I'm doing a "full" media fast. That looks like no television, no movies, and no… Internet.
What fuels me to do this is not to bring condemnation on anyone or necessarily make a statement. (I LOVE media) I do however, have this real desire for the Presence of God abiding in my life. I know too much. I've experienced too much of Him to not pursue Him in such a way; yet, I continually compromise my fellowship with the Holy Spirit through escapism and false fountains. Media doesn't HAVE to be those things, but for me, it has. I have felt over the years a drawing by God to live this way, set apart for Him. A one year consecration is a start. I hope that my capacity for Him, my love for Him, my dependence on His Presence would so be expanded that I would continue in my consecration for the rest of my life.
A consecration is not a means of intrinsic holiness, but it may lead to holiness. Holiness is a true heart position before God that is set apart (Holy) unto Him. I want my heart to catch up with my actions, lest I just have an outward form of godliness as the Pharisees of Jesus' day. I'm not so much "fleeing" as I am "pursuing." (2 Tim 2:22 )
What about "Grace?"
I believe God will give me grace to take up this minor cross as the Holy Spirit gave Jesus grace to take up His.
What about "Relevance?"
Being well informed of the culture around me doesn't equate effective ministry. Jesus released the Holy Spirit for effective ministry, He's the one I'm after.
What will this look like?
Television?; Not that big a deal for me, I already don't watch it. My main T.V. pattern is occasional episodes of "The Office" and yearly Super Bowls.
Movies: A little more close to home. I watch 2 or more movies a month. I hope to spend more time learning to "escape" into the Holy Spirit. (Gal 6:8) Better yet, abide with Him.
Internet: This is where I felt the ouch. My intention is not to open up a browser window for anything except "business." A good portion of our ministry is through the Internet. So, I'll be updating podcasts, blogs, websites and communicating with ministry hosts. I'll be using email mostly. But this does mean no personal social networking sites, and daily news surfing. So I might just end up happier than everyone else, not reading the news!
Again, I'm not so much "fleeing" as I am "pursuing." If you have any questions, or would like to join me (gulp), let me know. I will be checking email. (and ministry blog posts) Consider some form of consecration. It is truly time to seek the Lord, "while He may be found." - Richy Clark

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Unstained Religion

Last night I was painfully reminded, my love has limitations. As I sat there listening to urgent need to take in foster children and particularly those children who have been rescued from the sex –slave industry in America, I found a hard place in my heart. A newborn adopted baby I can handle, but a child who has been severely sexually abused daily for years? What would this do to the “peace” I have fought so hard for to have in my home? This could greatly disrupt the stable home I’ve longed to have for my children. I myself did not grow up in a functional environment and have observed myself striving to create one for my children, what of this? I have a special needs son who has been a life and death battle for the last 9 years, haven’t I had enough pain? How will I pay for this? We are barely making it right now! Oh the horrid reality of restricted love in my heart. I am pained to find such a place. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic, but I’m feeling this. I am cornered by God. Is my love real? Is my “religion” real?

James 1:27 Pure, unstained religion, according to God our Father, is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer and to remain uncorrupted by this world.

Why would James call that “pure” religion? ..Because you can’t fake taking in children in to your home. You can’t fake willfully taking on the burdens of others as your own. Our Christianity in the purest form is “loving God and loving others.” It’s love folks. That’s what you signed up for! And we can only truly love, because He loves us. Real love is unhindered, has no demands, is not restricted in its affections. Oh how I want to love!

I may or may not ever take in the most difficult cases, but I know one thing, I’m pursuing a love with no limitations! I’m pursuing death to any worship of the God of convenience in my life. The cross was inconvenient.

God expand our hearts, break us out of western culture, me centered, self-help, false Christianity. We want the real thing Jesus. May we be Your friends God.

As for me and my house? We will serve the Lord.