Tag Archives: jesus

Guestrooms for Jesus

Guestrooms for JesusI’ve probably mentioned this before, and if you haven’t heard it from me, hopefully you’ve had someone in your life who was crazy enough to say it.
In most cities (every one that I’ve actually seen the statistics compared), there are more abandoned housing units then there are homeless. That is to say specifically, there is enough housing for everyone. Of course, the red tape of our society usually prevents this solution from becoming a reality.
Also, in most cities, even if we are extremely conservative with our statistics, there appears to be many Bible-believing church-attending “Christians.” And of those Christians, even with conservative estimates, I would guess there are many more empty “guest bedrooms” in those homes then there are homeless out on the streets.

Even with this reality, we have plenty of excuses as to why my correlation (The “Christians” [who are supposed to practice hospitality, see Romans 12] with Empty Guest Bedrooms : Homeless Ratio) simply is not appropriate or feasible.
“Many homeless have mental conditions, that would make it unsafe for my family.”
“Most homeless have drug and alcohol problems which would put my families lives in danger.”
“And God calls us to protect our family and be wise” [sidenote: Can someone please show me where in the Bible it say that to “protect” our family is a top priority?]

We have within our means the ability to radically live out the Christian calling of caring for the needy and practicing hospitality, and we are content to pass off some lame excuse.
Here’s why it’s lame. Keeping your family (and the people on the street) safe is a wonderful thing, really it is. Mental conditions should be treated, drug and alcohol problems should be controlled, nobody should be hurting or threatening anybody; but what does that have to do with opening your home to someone else?

Let me just cut to the chase. You are to be validated in your concerns. But, now it’s time to problem solve and find a solution for bringing together your desire for the well-being of all, and your calling to radically follow Christ.
If people (including many Christians) can spend thousands of dollars solving the problems of remodeling their outdated bathroom, or upgrading to a state of the art kitchen, then I think we can also put our minds and money to creating homes that can accommodate those who need a place to stay.

Maybe you put an outside door on the guest room and a regular locked door into the house. Or you remodel the office or the space above the garage to have not only a bedroom but a bathroom and a small kitchenette.  Use your imagination, you could go more elaborate or more practical, but look to solve problems rather then make excuses.

Maybe for some it means downsizing their home till it accommodates the basic needs for their immediate family and they then use the freed up additional wealth and resources to contribute to a community that is meeting the needs of the homeless.

Stop making lame excuses that justify your apathy to following Christ call. Instead have some fun and remodel your house (and in doing so open yourself to following Christ in ways you’ve never considered before)!


As the trend of using internet phone is increasing, demand of voip software is increasing with the same speed. People are switching rapidly from land line to internet phone system, because of the low call rates and fast connectivity. As skype phone users can make calls by dialing the local number of the company, allotted to the subscribers. You can estimate the quality of broadband services provided by different internet service providers on the basis of voip comparison.

Lame Excuses Probably Won’t Get You in Either

I might be the only one, but Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats freaks me out sometimes. I’m a Christian, I don’t really shy away from that, and as such I believe there is an afterlife, like some form of Heaven and Hell (though probably not quite in the way we’re typically describing it).  As you might know most Christian’s also believe that your eternal destiny is not something you earn by racking up a certain number of goody points above and beyond your dirty little secrets, I agree with that too (specific details are probably for another time).

Jesus’ parable, from what I can see is the most straightforward, and longest, passage specifically talking about the afterlife that I see in the Bible. And if I may paraphrase, Jesus basically says, “Feed the Poor or Go to Hell.”

What has struck me recently is how many terribly lame excuses I make as to why I am not doing that. My excuses seem to run directly parallel to those who say in the parable, “When did we see you hungry…” and quite frankly that scares me.  I think I’ll probably go into some examples in other posts, but for now I’m sure you can come up with a handful of your own that you’ve likely made in the last few days.

The crazy thing about it is that, we’ve some how surrounded ourselves with people who are perfectly content with our excuses. We don’t have people around us we will call us out, challenge us, and rebuke us for such pitiful attempts at justification.

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”

Thoughts on the Journey Compilation

With the daily podcast, Thoughts on the Journey, moving full steam ahead, I figured I should compile a show for all the current Trying to Follow podcast listeners. Basically this is a compilation of 6 of the daily podcasts I’ve been doing through the month of October. This is being posted in the podcast section so it will show up on the itunes podcast page for all my Trying to Follow listeners.

or Download Here.

Jesus: “…even greater things than these…”

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Usually when I hear folks mention this passage it’s with an attitude of “not sure what he meant, because that’s impossible.” I, on the other hand, seem to find Jesus’ words quite amazing and yet very believable. There are two reasons for this.

One, there are plenty of miracles occuring today. Most of us sitting in our wealth, independent society in the USA have not been privileged to experience the miraculous hand of God in people’s lives, quite the same as it was at work in Jesus’ time. The academics in our society have explained miracles away as a thing of the past, and for us with all our modern technology we don’t see much of a need for a miracle to occur here.
Take a short trip to a great many other places throughout the world and you’ll find out pretty quickly (whether you believe people or not is our choice), that miracles certainly seem to be happening today. I won’t go much into this, because I think we have some strong opinions on these things, but I would argue, there are a lot of folks out there that will testify to God being at work through physical miracles of healing and more.

Second, and this is one that applies to most of us, I think we have each been given plenty of resources to do “greater things” in our lifetimes. I’m not talking about dying on the cross, or literally raising someone out of a grave, but many of the other things are miracles we can help make happen through donation. You could easily feed 10,000 people a meal in your lifetime. You can provide healing treatment for lepers, donate blood or bone marrow so noblemen’s sons might live. We have a great many resources in our midst, let’s make Jesus’ words a reality.

Skepticism about travel

I’m certainly open to other thoughts and opinions on this one, but lately I’ve been pretty skeptical of travel. I’ll explain more later, but I wanted to throw something out there and see how many people wanted to commment back on it.

I’ve always wanted to travel the world, backpack Europe, cruise the USA and South America, and visit lot’s of countries. Now, I’ve felt like all those desires are really just selfish. It just seems wrong when there is so much need in the world for me to be spending my leisure traveling. Even if I did it in the name of “missions” and a desire to help people, I just don’t think it would fly in my mind. I’m feeling lately that my desire to travel is something I need to forego in this lifetime.

Now, I’ve made exceptions, I’ve traveled and will travel to visit family and friends on occassion. I’m not saying you have to stay in one place forever, but short term stuff just seems tough for me to justify in my mind.

I know people will have opinions on this one, let me hear them.

Future writing topics

Through recent conversations, readings and other things I’ve been listening to, I’ve begun a list of things I’d like to write about. The problem with this list is it is a list of things that is going to require me to do a little research, refrencing things and so forth. It won’t be writing off the cuff like I usually do. I think I’m capable of doing this, it’s just going to take a little more effort on my part. I am a poor motivator of myself though. Rather, I do well with interaction and dialogue. That being said here are some short summaries of things I would like to write about soon.

Who am I Trying to Follow?- I’ve been meaning to do this one for a long time. The title of my blog means a lot to me and I’ve realized it probably needs some interpretation. I’d like to write a series of post about who it is I’m trying to follow and more importantly, why. I have hesitated in writing this before because a direct response to this question can often result in misinterpretation. Sometimes, I think it would be better for someone to read my writings and determine from that the answer to the question. This series will come, it just might take me a while to be satisfied enough to post it.

Christianity and Anarchism- I’ve been listening to the audio CD from a recent conference on this topic put on by Jesus Radicals. It’s sparked a renewed interest in me and a desire to articulate my beliefs as it relates to this. Just to get you slightly interested, I think I would say I’m in many ways an anarchist in my beliefs. I would even say, I think Christianity is far more Anarchist then it is capitalist. More to come later.

Universalistic thinking- I don’t know if I just made up that word or not, but this topic is going to be way touchy. This conversation has popped up a number of times in a couple circles I’ve been a part of and I feel the need to articulate some of my thoughts on the issue. If you don’t really know what I’m getting at you might just have to stay tuned for the post. Basically I want to discuss the idea of faith and it’s exclusiveness or lack thereof.

That’s it for now. I’m afraid if I make my list any longer I won’t end up writing on any of them. Hopefully I can post something about one of these topics in the next week, while it is still fresh in my mind. Stay tuned.

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?”