Thursday, July 30, 2009

Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty really ticked off Jesus

Forgive me for being bold, but I've really come to believe that Jesus doesn't really care for random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
Randomness is very selective. We really don't do anything randomly, do we? We're spurred on to do a "random act of kindness" to people we want to help out, when our schedule allows for it, when we have enough for ourselves. Do you randomly help people who tick you off?
Senselessness has no purpose. Senseless acts of beauty are not very beautiful at all; they are self-seeking, self-serving and rather cruel. It says "I helped you for no reason" or "I cared for your hurts, well, just because!".
No, I think Jesus wouldn't be down with that purple sticker... He's down with living a transformational life of integrity, one that makes us more lovely and those around us more loved.
I just dropped off a truck-bed full of furniture to Marie and her daughter this morning. A case worker called me and said they could use some help. So I packed up a dresser, two end tables, a coffee table, a kitchen cart, two throw rugs and some kitchen stuff that some folks gave me. I keep this stuff in my garage on purpose to be kind to people who need help.
My wife and I also gave them a set of new dishes and flatware. It says a lot when folks who are struggling get something new. It says when we were shopping, we knew there were some folks who didn't have what we do. It says we spent our money on you and we were committed to finding and helping you. It says "you are worth something new and shiny".
It has a very intentional purpose and is not random at all. It makes my life intentional, and makes the person on the other end feel the same way.
So what did this do?
Marie told me that while she was waiting for me her daughter asked her why I was doing this. "Because sometimes nice people do nice things" she told her. I told them both that's not why I do this. I do this because Christ is always good and gives me everything all the time....and I was just passing some of it along to them. When I gave her the dishes and flatware she was deeply moved. I don't think many people with access to computers know many folks who have furnished their entire lives with second-hand everything. For the first time in nine months that woman and that girl real.
Could you really tell Maria and her daughter they just recipients of randomness and senselessness?
So, do yo get it? Jesus can't stand random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
How can I say this? The cross was not random, nor was it senseless. And as He did, so do we.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Junk on my desk; Jesus' love for the unfinished

Sorry for the poor shot, but my card reader is sick...
So years ago when I was like 9 or so and looking way to much like Danny Partridge, I visited a friend of my uncle's while staying with him one Christmas. He was a hoot this guy...he kinda looked and sounded like a character from one of the old-school claymation Christmas Specials... I remember wire glasses and a plaid vest...

He was (or is if He's still alive)...a crazy rock collector. He had everything from beach pebbles to hunks of rock from African diamond mines that actually had diamonds in them! His house was FULL of this stuff!

He took me around his house and my eyes must have been big as dinner plates...we ended up in his shop where he cut and polished the precious and semi-precious stones. He looked right at me..."Bryan, take any rock you want..." I kinda lost my breath...he was being honest too, no little game for a funny little overweight, freckled, redheaded kid...

I reall don't know why, but in the midst hundreds of really expensive rocks i picked up this's Colorado Agate, a semi-precious gem stone...and it's not even completely polished! The bottom is still rough as well as the top corner that you can see.

" really want that one?"....yes, what is it?

So I've had this half-done rock that's not worth much that I picked out from amongst the largest collection of perfect and expensive rocks....

I keep it now right in front of me on my desk. It reminds me of myself you see, and all of those I find, and all of those whom Christ died for...the unfinished, un-perfect, in-expensive, diamonds-in-the-rough (i could have picked one!)

Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

1 Corinthians 1:26 - 2:2 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-- and the things that are not-- to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." NIV 1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

So, thank God that I am not finished with, yet chosen to polished into the image of the Author of Faith...
"do you really want THAT one".... see, i know the answer is yes...

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.