Tag Archives: Kingdom Culture

Here and Now…

You know those times…when you’d just like to camp out for a bit…when the glimpse In is just too much?  I’m overwhelmed this morning…I’m overwhelmed by the Kingdom.  

What’s that mean?  What’s that really mean?

It means everything.  It means all.  It mean that everything matters.  It means the Kingdom is here and now.  It means we don’t have to wait.  It means…it means that God is for us.  The God of this universe is actually for us!  No guilt.  No pressure.  No competition.  Just love.  His overwhelming love.  We can go in this world and love and be loved! 

Now.  

Not tomorrow.  Not when I have more time.  Not when I get out of debt.  Not when life gets better.  Here and Now. Why wait for Heaven?  Why wait for Heaven…when Jesus says “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  In a world that is constantly reminding us that its’ foundation is fear, power and control…this Kingdom is here and now.  We don’t have to live the way the world lives.  Instead of fear, power and control – we can live by Love, by Hope and by Faith…all things that are His life!  In reality they are Him.  We call them different names, but they’re all Him – distinctively.  We don’t have to project this Life into “another world.”  This reality can be our reality of today.  This changes everything!  This is our Hope – a hope that truly satisfies.

God calls us to live in the tension between two realms, holding them precious together.  He’s telling His story.  Truly, what part will you play today?

There’s so much here.  There’s so much more to come – it’s just too much…

And life could not be more exciting.  Today is the most exciting day of our lives.

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My life is being turned upside down…

I recently had lunch with Steve Kimes, pastor at Anawim Christian Community.  Anawim is Hebrew meaning “the poor people who are going to be blessed because they depend on God.”  They’re a community church of the homeless and mentally ill (not one of popular demographics for American Christians to hang out with).  To clarify – I don’t mean they give annual donations to the mentally ill…and I don’t mean they visit the homeless once a month…I mean they actually are a community made up of the homeless and mentally ill. They actually are homeless and mentally ill. What’s amazing is Steve Kimes looked for churches that would welcome these people – and he realized they’re…well, not really welcome.

Not welcome?  Not welcome at church?  Not really surprising I guess.  People without homes and unstable mental capabilities don’t really work in our “contemporary” church services.  Branding and service-flow has become so important – the truly needy don’t really fit in.

So Steve decided to create a church for and made up of the homeless and mentally ill.  The sad part he says…nobody else really comes.  I’m not sure what’s a bigger tragedy, the fact that nobody “normal” belongs to their community or the fact that the needy aren’t welcome anywhere else?

I went to lunch with Steve because my world’s being turned upside down.  His entire life looked different than mine.  I’ve been a “Christian” since I was 14…but my life really hasn’t looked that different than most everyone else’s.  Why is it that Jesus’ life look enormously different than the worlds…but modern (American) Christians lives really don’t?  Things aren’t adding up.  I’m too comfortable.  American Christianity is too easy – at least what I’ve known as Christianity.  A great test that I’ve recently asked myself is “If you turned the sound of your life off, would it look any different than everybody else’s?”  It’s the answer to this question that is causing my life to be turned upside down. 

Christ called us to be set apart from the world.  Not just on the inside…but on the outside too.  Every part of Christ’s life confounded everyone around Him.  His life looked extremely different than the worlds.  Why do we think our lives should be any different?   If my insides (spirit) has been transformed…how can it not effect my outside?

The Tension:  The inward must effect the outward.  You cannot have one without the other.

 

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