Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not a Fan: week 1: feeling alive

Started a new church-wide study tonight with Kyle Idleman's Not a Fan... During discussion we were asked to imagine a time that we felt truly alive and our focus was not on ourselves. For me, I feel most alive in the first few split seconds of recognizing the rapid deterioration of a patient who is headed to cardiac/respiratory arrest.
In that moment, all of the skill, knowledge, and some instinct culminate deep down, and I am in my element. The utter chaos of a code is like a hurricane; violent, intense, relentless... But at the center of that chaos there has to be those who serve as the "eye"... We feel most at peace within this storm. It feels natural, and we see order and beauty in these moments.

So, that's what makes me feel most alive... I truly believe that God has blessed me in ways that allow me to thrive in such circumstances, and I try to remember that it is only to His glory and greatness that I am able to perform these tasks. But I often struggle with my pride... forgetting that without Him I could do nothing, not the least of which to help a patient in need. When I can keep the focus on my Lord before, during, and after a code... not only do I feel alive, but also, I feel grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to serve in such a great way.

A great start to this study, to this point I feel that the fan/follower designation must be viewed on a continuum. We all fall on the spectrum somewhere between being simply a fan of Jesus, or truly being a committed follower of Christ. We should strive to, every day, decide to move closer to being a follower. I hope I do just that.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


God promises things... He does it quite often. Not only does God make promises, but (like the perfect father He is) God keeps those promises. Over and over again in the Bible we see God promising things to both those who honor Him and those who do not. Then, at some time in the future, we see those promises kept, both for the good, and the destruction of those to whom the promise was made. I ramble through these thoughts to say this... what makes us think that the promises that God has made to us are any different? Perhaps for some it is the lack of a father figure that is to be an example to us of who God is, and how God loves us. If our earthly father has failed and harmed us, then how are we supposed to be excited about a God that is our Heavenly father? For those of us who have amazing earthly fathers, maybe we blow off the present promises of God because, despite our best efforts, we just simply are terrible at faith. We don't trust anything, up to and including God's very existence. If we have trouble firmly placing a belief in His existence, then how can we believe in His promises? The Bible is too old, it was written by crazy zealots, those people are soooo out of touch with the reality of today... this list continues for awhile. Sooner or later, this list boils down to one thing, pride. Pride says that, ultimately, I don't care if God is real or not, and even more so, I don't care about what He promises, cause I am in control, and I know best... But what does God think of that? God says, as the man Jesus, that the proud will be made humble and the humble shall be exalted. He says, basically, "Look, either live with humility, or I will humiliate you." We are warned to either live with reverence and humility in the presence of God, or, at some point, between now and eternity, God will humiliate you as only He can. Far more a warning for those who claim to know God, and be in relationship with Christ, than those who don't... those who live apart from Christ will meet a known and determined humiliation in the reality of Hell. Those who claim a relationship with God, through Christ, humility is demanded in order to serve others, without it, our humiliation could be being deemed unfit to serve God in a meaningful way. Outside of the ongoing, conscious torment of Hell, I can't imagine a pain worse than being deemed useless to God. God makes promises, and He keeps them... both for the good, and the destruction of those to whom promises have been made. He gives us the choice, humility or humiliation- we are free to choose either, the consequence of the choice is clear.