Living life large as a Christian is my meme for those of us blessed with the opportunity to reside in a post-Christian West. Our kinship with first and second century Christians is painfully apparent to all of us who can read a headline. Christian persecution and martyrdom is higher than at any time in history. We are under attack everywhere, all the time, without let up. So how do we actually live into our faith under these circumstances?
The books I write about living the Christian faith address these issues. This blog will reflect the topics and ideas I write about as an author. Some days, most days I hope, will showcase my call to encourage you. Like Barnabas, I want to leave you with something that lifts you, encourages your relationship with God, helps you on your journey, provides some insight, and makes your day better than before you read my words. Other times I might just express our common frustration at living in a madhouse. You know, just like real life!
In a more perfect world, I would be more light-hearted and jazzy. But God molded me into a serious, quiet, scholarly sort of person, but for fun He gave me a silly sense of humor. I hope to shine that humor on the lives we lead, our struggles, our triumphs, our guts and glory.
Over a lifetime of loving art, playing music as a pianist, and seeing the creation God made, I understand we love beauty and want to glorify God with our best artistic efforts. Maybe I can do some of that here: I can reflect back to you the beauty of loving God and loving God’s people. It is not an easy thing for me to do, it might not be easy for you either. In between the messes are the transcendent moments of glory in God’s presence. I live for those moments.
Our lives are messy and loving is messy. Living life large, especially as a Christian, means we run into grimy situations, broken people, puzzling ideas, and somehow we have to get through it all. God promises we can do just that; He promises there is a way to manage our faith no matter what happens. When you believe this your life will be transformed!
This is a special invitation to you, your family, friends and colleagues. Walk with me on this journey and let us encourage each other. Because we belong to God, we belong to each other. We know the truth and the truth will set us free.
Remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, so let us put down the negative and focus on God. We have an obligation to God and ourselves to be alive in our walk in the world, but not to be like all the lost in the world. If you follow any of the authors of columns on faith and culture you know how difficult it is to be apart from the culture. Yet we are admonished to stand firm, maintain our Christian principles, keep our families looking toward God. Not an easy task. I think puppy training is a snap compared to all that work. (I have a new puppy who is a hyperactive rocket on four legs and makes me feel like a fool in this training phase!)
Don’t say I didn’t warn you about being serious! But God wants us to laugh, love, and enjoy the life He gave us. Just as a reminder, I will recall the wedding at Cana. Jesus and His family were invited to a big wedding celebration. Jesus performed His first miracle by helping the host. The host ran out of wine for his guests, so Jesus turned water into wine for him. That is not the action of a sour, dour, joyless man. If Jesus can enjoy Himself at a celebration, surely you can have some fun!
Living large is a concept that generally refers a sumptuous or extravagant lifestyle. But it can mean living a life that is truly alive and alive for Christ. You can’t actually have everything you want, but you can have a life worth living. You know possessing material things won’t help you when your family members die. Having power and influence won’t save you from illness and death. Money won’t keep you safe, happy, joyful, contented or make people love you. All that is obvious. Living for God is a privilege and we are blessed to be able to do it.
In this crazy election year, I want to give some advice to all voters about the candidates running for public office. First, they are offering themselves to be a servant of the voters. Never forget that. Hold the politicians accountable. Second, even being president of the United States won’t bring happiness, fulfillment or solve problems. Politicians are mere mortals who cannot control the universe. Never believe the lies about changing the whole world. Only God can do that.
Trust God, put your life in His hands. Have fun with your family, friends, and colleagues. It’s a wild ride, take advantage of the good and live by God’s strength through the bad.