Saturday, May 31, 2008

Anna Grace- The Spring Shoot

rockin' the chucks

chillin' with uncle chad

whatchu talkin' bout Anna Grace?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

unbelief part 3

Could it be that the heart of a man is in his mind? Often,we hear people say things like, " I've known God in my head all my life, but now I finally know him in my heart as well." Could it be that what they are really saying is, " My cerebral cortex has long believed in God, but now my limbic system has finally gotten the message"? Every culture chooses a body part to anoint as the symbol of a persons essence. For the Hebrews it was the kidneys. For us it's the heart. But ultimately, we're all saying the same thing. Please understand that I am in no way attempting to rob the work of God, or the phenomenon of belief of its mystery. The ways of God will never be fully unraveled. He is God, and can therefore never be fully comprehended by mere mortals like us. At the same time, a basic understanding of how the brain works can help us in our quest for Christ likeness.

So, we've established that to influence a persons core beliefs, we must plunge to the depths of their identity. But don't forget, we're paralyzed, and therefore rendered incapable of saving ourselves or each other. We must pray. Only God can penetrate the many lies that have taken root in the soil of our self-understanding. We must pray fervently and with determination. Our prayer should be like that of the father in Mark 9; " I do believe, help my unbelief!" Could any prayer be more appropriate for our current predicament?

Second, we must reverently, and fearfully drive scripture into the heart of our existence. Be careful, the Word of God is alive and active. It is not applied science. Once it is implanted into your mind, it takes on a life of its own. There is no way to determine what kind of radical rearrangements it may make once it moves in. Again, it's not enough to know God's Word. What matters is whether or not we believe it. Think of God's command to Joshua. He did not tell Israel's new leader to read the Word. He told him to meditate on it. As unromantic as it may seem, there simply is no replacement for memorizing scripture and silently repeating it through the monotony of daily life. Earnest prayer and a humble, yet radical commitment to God's Word are the only means by which our crippled limbs can be rejuvenated.

So rise up Church! You have a message that brings injustice crashing to its knees. A message that breaks the chains of sin, and demolishes the walls that hold souls in isolation. The world is desperate for us to take a dose of our own medicine.

Friday, May 9, 2008

unbelief part 2

Well, it's been two weeks, and I've yet to hear an audible message from the Lord, so I thought I'd just shoot and hope for the best. Just to recap, we've established that the church has been immobilized by unbelief. Two questions remain. First, why do we believe other things more deeply than we believe the promises of God? And second, how can our paralytic predicament be rectified?

To answer our first question, we need look no further than our own childhood. Some of us in the Bible-belt may have heard the Good News at an early age. Yet we had, at that point, already come to believe other things. The world is full of direct and indirect messages about our worth, or lack there of. Since day one, we've been absorbing false messages that have convinced us to trust no one, and to be discontent with our true identities.

There is actually a science behind all of this. At the very base of the human brain, there's a tiny region known as the limbic system. This area has nothing to do with rational thought, but instead deals with emotion, motivation, and instinct. It only makes sense that those things that we've believed the longest are the things that would be buried the deepest in our brain. Essentially, our intellect can believe in God, while the deeper areas of our brain are sold on an entirely different set of ideas. Ultimately, it's those things that we believe down deep that steer us.

Those of us who were raised in Sunday School are well versed on the Word of God. We know the basic plot, and can fill-in much of the details. Unfortunately, what makes a good Bible Trivia player doesn't always make a good disciple. Again, our problem is not what we know. Our problem is what we believe. Put simply, we have ourselves a problem that bypasses our intellect, transcends our analytical capacities, and strikes at the very root of who we are . As common sense would tell us, a deep problem calls for an even deeper solution. We'll get to that next time.