Threads: Surrender

SURRENDER: Matthew 20:26-28- “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

-fluid & organic with continual movement
-there are no sacred cows
-there’s no length we won’t go to in order to connect people with Jesus
-ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low
-adapting & empowering not controlling
-we’ll put God first no matter what, anything is going to submit to that
-leave the 99 to get the one
-humble, humility, humble submission
-doesn’t mean there isn’t any structure but God is the structure
-show us the best structure that will unleash the full potential of your spirit
-both structure and spirit are always present together; one is never absent of the other

I’ll be honest this sounds more like a list of catch phrases then any deep practical thoughts on Surrender. The word “surrender” is often seen in a negative light, as it is commonly considered as “giving up” or “quitting.” In our day of constant wars the thought of idea that our troops would “surrender” seems weak and cowardly.
Interesting too that the Bible verse referenced above does not even use the word “surrender” instead it’s talking about serving. My personal thought is this idea of surrender makes no sense, unless seen in light of Love. Christ surrendered his power as God and became a human. Husbands surrender their wants and desires to their wives. Like a little child who wants their way, we must surrender our ambitions to a parent who knows what is best for us. Maybe surrender is an out dated word though?
I’ll be honest Surrender does not sound like a easy thing, and it certainly does not seem like an enjoyable thing. It really is a giving up of something.

I guess I see it as odd that a main tenent of our belief system can be this idea of “surrender” and yet we still look so similar in all that we do to our unbelieving neighbor who has no desire to surrender anything?
I know there’s that song “I surrender All” but when besides the song can one declare something like that? Can you make that statement while eating out with your church friends? Can you say you surrendered when your buying that new gadget, when your living in your comfy house, while driving in your luxury car? Can you say you’d surrendered all when enjoying the latest concert, taking a vacation cruise, or watching the game?

It’s a good song and all, but do you know anyone who is really “Surrendering All?”

High Speed Internet really is High Speed

So, thanks to a little storm last night, lightening struck and shorted out our modem. Fortunately, the guy came by today and fixed it. Turns out our old modem sucked big time.
Now I realize we’ve gone almost a year with internet going at about half the speed we’d been paying for. It was decently fast before, but now it’s crazy fast.

Anyways, sorry for the delay this is going to cause in my writing for the week. Hope I catch up quick.

You live with your stuff and the concept of a Sunk Cost.

I’m up late trying my hardest to rid myself of stuff. My friend, Bryan, reminded me that you really do “live” with your stuff. It’s me, my wife and our stuff.
And I have entirely too much stuff. There are some big ticket items to get rid of (including about 100 t-shirts) and I just need to do it ASAP. I’ve posted a lot on Craigslist, hoping to make a few bucks in the process, but then there is this economics lesson nagging at me.

Once you have spent money on something and you own it, that price/value is a sunk cost. If I paid $5 a shirt for the 100 shirts I thought I’d sell at a profit, no matter what happens I’ve already spent that $5, it’s sunk. So, when I have to get rid of them I’m desperately trying to make my $5 back, but the truth is that cost is gone, and their value is only going to be what someone will actually pay for them. If I can’t sell them for $5 a piece it’s silly for me to just keep them because I don’t want to “lose money” on the deal, I already did lose money.

Thank you economics class.
So how much will you pay for these shirts?

Tech Friday: Look up driving directions on google maps

In similar fashion to my last Tech Friday post we are sticking with cool Firefox Bookmarks. Zach asked me to do a driving directions one, rather then a yellow pages one.
So, without further ado here is the way to easily look up directions from your house to anywhere else.

Here’s how to do it (Sorry this is a bit more complicated then I’d like). The Code Below is what you want to edit to create your bookmark. First just add a new bookmark to Firefox (you can bookmark this page). Then go to that bookmark and right click and choose properties. Now you can name it what ever you want. Then your going to paste in the code below (after you’ve edited all the sections: STREETNUMBER, STREETNAME, etc.) into the “Location” box. Finally your going to pick your keyword (mine is dir), and then click okay.

That’s it. Now anytime you want to look up directions you just go up to the address bar (easiest is to hit ctrl+t to open a new tab) and type “dir orlando, fl” or “dir wheaton, il” and your search is done.

Threads: Design

DESIGN: Romans 12:2 . Luke 2:52 . Genesis 2:7

-real & honest
-living life out of who you are
– the process of becoming that which God intends for us to be
-who you were created to be
-understanding who we are and who God is and the ever-happening transformation
-the way God intended us to live
-being formed into the image of Jesus
-accepting others in their realness
-not just for us but for others
-embracing God’s design for our lives
-becoming truly human

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world” seems to me to be an extremely direct statement on radical living. If anything those words cause me to question everything. It’s my desire not to conform to the world that causes me to ask about the ethics of buying a house, I mean people give me weird looks when I say there are ethics to consider.
We are designed in God’s image. Our Creator has an intended purpose and design for how we are to live. That’s why this life of following Jesus is to be much more wholistic and encompassing then whether we’ve read our Bible in the morning and said our prayers before bed.
God has designed you and created you to live a certain way, not necessarily in the pattern that the world lives. That’s why we shouldn’t assume we should eat like the world does or sleep like the world does. I mean that in the most literal sense: Just because those in our world eat out a lot, or eat a lot of fatty foods, or eat free-trade (cheap due to unjust wages) food, does not mean we are okay to participate as well. Just because many in the world sleep through their education, stay up all hours of the night, or sleep half their day away does not mean each of those things are how we are designed.

And let me remind you God did not intend for our design to be a miserable one. We were created to Glorify God, and God is most glorified when we are most satisfied. We were created to experience joy and pleasure.
If you saw someone with a pogostick in their hand and they where playing with it by tossing it up in the air and catching it again, you’d probably look at them funny and try to explain to them, “That’s not what it’s designed for.”

C.S. Lewis once said:
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

When Mixed Families where illegal

Yesterday marked the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to overturn anti-miscegenation laws. That is not ancient history, it’s just a short time ago. When some of your parent’s where getting married they could not have married a person of a different race (actually only whites and other races couldn’t marry, a black person could happily marry a Korean person).

From The Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

It’s also crazy that so many people don’t even realize that this case exists — that at one time, it was illegal for mixed families to exist in many places. Think about that, and ask yourself, how far have we come? Sure, it’s legal now, but I would caution anyone against celebrating this win and stopping there. If we remain satisfied with the basic rights we are given, we are in huge trouble. Having the right doesn’t negate the fact that there are still many ways that interracial couples are targeted and subjected to racism and discrimination.

Threads: Love

LOVE: Acts 4:32-34 . John 13:35 . Mark 12:29-31

-love God, love others
-not easy, but real
-service, sacrifice, selfless, unwavering
-everyday, exist for other
-breaking down walls
-community (with a cause)
-bigger than us

“Love one Another” is probably one of the most repeated phrases in the New Testament (particularly by this John fellow). And then you got that Love God, Love others stuff Jesus talks about. I start to get the impression that when you boil it all down, if you had to summarize this whole gospel thing, God thing into one word it would have to be “Love.”
My friend gave me a sticker it says: “Love Wins.” Probably already my favorite sticker of all time. Because it seems that’s the truth. In the end, the end of ends, Love Wins. And Love is not a confusing concept, it can be much more clear then we sometimes make faith and action decisions out to be.
When Christ says, “Love your enemies,” I think it’s obvious he means with a deep love, the same love as “love your neighbor as yourself,” the same as loving your own child. It’s true love can be messy, but it’s also a powerful force beyond measure.
Love means loving your great grandchildren and loving creation. Love means loving your neighbors kids and not just your own. Love means loving the man on the corner and not just yourself. Love means loving the starving child and the AIDS stricken villages.
And that Love calls us to some sort of action. That love calls us to recycle and waste less gas and other resources. The love calls us to care about public schools and the education of children. That love calls us to buy less car, less entertainment, less material possessions.

Love is a verb.

Busy weekend

It was a fairly busy weekend and unfortunately I didn’t take much time to sit down and write. I have a LOT of things on my mind that I want to write about, it’s just a matter of finding the time.

Lord willing I’ll have a little time Monday afternoon but we’ll see.

Just to wet your appetite and keep you guessing, here are some titles for possible upcoming posts:

Why I cut up our credit cards
How my wife and I manage to live on $1000 a month (not really)
Weekly Podcast update
The idea of Entitlement
The ethics of space (particularly as it relates to home ownership)
Five steps the church can take to just wages for women
Continued “Threads” series
Pocket Guide to the Bible review
Dear Francis Documentary review
Going to the PAPA Festival
Why Community is important
A nightmare of my demise (it involves coffee and new shoes)

Hope you stay tuned…