Which side of the FINGER POINTER are you on, today?

DISCLAIMER:  Please do not apply this as a personal message to any one person.  It is not.  I just  honestly believe it’s something we should be thinking about; something the Lord is working on in me.  I have spoken many many times on the cultural gap in churches.  Feel free to browse my blog 🙂

FINGER POINTING:  WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?  No matter what, you WILL end up on a side:  Deliverer, receiver, or just plain stuck inImage the middle.

So like I just HAD to dig up this song….it’s from a Christian Punk Band (some of you will debate whether that is possible or not…that is not the “point”) … The date on the link says 2009 but this is from the early 90’s if not 89 or so.  My best friend at the time, her boyfriend (now husband) was the drummer.  I have grown not to be so harsh as I had once been…but despite such MONUMENTAL growth…some still see this within me…..and that’s okay 🙂

Finger Pointer, by Nobody Special (I apologize but the link only works on PC)

Sometimes we do not realize just how hampered our vision is by cultural differences.  Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception, yet BOTH are equally responsible.  “Love in action” can be defined in very different ways from one person to another, from one generation to another, from one part of the country to another.  Maybe you are so busy judging the “pointer’s” delivery, you have not realized that there was a legitimate message to be received.  It’s almost like a double negative!!!  What do we get with a double negative?  🙂  While YES we are to deliver in love…but also respond/receive in love as well.  So let’s remember that when there is communication we have an opportunity to have it be ALL POSITIVE, no matter the delivery, no mater the how it’s received.  So let’s not hamper GROWTH!

Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception; yet BOTH are equally responsible.

Only God can build that perfect bridge of communication between cultures….but will you let Him?  He has built bridges in my life to those that felt to be a millennial of years away from ever understanding and for that I am forever grateful.  Those my friend, are called miracles and they happen ALL THE TIME 🙂

Are we letting people be who they are, or who we think they should be?  Are we letting people take their places in the body based on gifting … or are we trying to make the body into what we think it ought to look like?  These are legitimate church growth questions we all should be asking….That I am asking myself.

Finger pointing generally starts with an expectation.  Some where or some how that expectation fails.  Failed expectation always leads to offense.  We must be on guard!  Flee from offense at every opportunity.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my (our) expectation of others.  After all this all has NOTHING to do with us.  It’s all about what HE wants to do!! In a way that HE wants to…  ❤

Finger pointing generally starts with OUR expectation of others, that fails.  Failed expectations always lead to offense.

Typically it’s failed expectations on BOTH parts.  The pointee:  “Oh but he did not come to me in love! That was just outright not nice!”…or The pointer:  “I’ve told them once, I’ve told them twice, no use in casting perals after swine…”  But we are to have NO EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.  Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

Love must be without hypocrisy.  Detest evil;cling to what is good. 10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit;serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs;pursue hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice;weep with those who weep. 16 Be in agreement with one another.Do not be proud;instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:9-18 HCSB

One of my favorite passages:  Note it gives NO CONDITIONS or exceptions.  It does not say….”Outdo one another in showing honor…as long as he doesn’t cuss”…or ….”associate with the humble, as long as they don’t wear rock and roll T-shirts” … or even….”Share in the saints with their needs; pursue hospitality…..unless they live in the next town over”

Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

There are NO CONDITIONS on love, even if you a called to love a “finger pointer”, or maybe you have been over exercising your own finger, please remember to open your palm once in a while, reach out, and love those you have messages for, and to receive messages given.

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Who are you giving YOUR kids to? Literally?

A recent visit to So. California, included a trip to pick up my nephew from his elementary school.  This is what I found, locked gates, locked classrooms equipped with peep holes.  I found this to be quite disturbing.  I asked my sister about these gates.  She begin to tell me about Sandy Hook, and how it impacted them and as a result them found the following security measures necessary.  Parents are no longer allowed to walk their children to class.  Parents are NOT allowed on campus, if a need arises they must sign in at the office and be escorted to and from the classroom and ultimately off grounds.

ImageI immediately looking at the gates, and fencing around the grounds realized this was no security to keep these kids safe against an insane person with a gun…it was only keeping parents out.  The fences, simply chain link.  The gates, more then enough room to go over the top, even a trash can easily placed for assistance to make the leap for a fast escape for an insane person.  This school simply succeeded in locking parents out, not mad men with guns.  Obviously the parents have accepted this lie.

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Secondly and I feel more importantly, I had to ask:  What kind of message does this send our children?  That the school is ABOVE parental influence?  That the school is ABOVE parental authority?  Parental influence and authority is demeaned by these actions, purposely by common core.  After all it is the current consensus that our children are not our own but belong to the state?  Don’t agree?  Well then why are our school being allowed to take such actions?  I am appalled at the very idea would be allowed.  However it is the norm in metropolitan areas.  If this is not your experience, it is coming soon to your area!

PARENTS!! You do have a voice, I beg USE IT!  You do have options and choices, USE THEM!  You have full authority to say NO!  If parents do not stand up for their constitutional rights NOW, we fail to teach by example to our children, our most precious asset, that LIBERTY is worth fighting for.

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Are You Stuck In A Bunker?

Having lunch not too long ago with a dear friend we exchanged the latest and greatest happenings with each other.  She began to share how she was not so happy at her new job.  In fact another mutual friend who was also hired on at the same location had already made the decision to quit.  She felt completely out of place, but beyond feeling like a misfit, she struggled with the environment itself.  You see she found herself leaving the quiet of the small country town, where the talk of the week is the bake sale for the kindergarten class or the chili cook off, a place where ol’ time hymns are still sung with spirit on Sunday.  However on Monday she would find herself walking in to an office where she is the oldest one there….a place were tattoos and piercings are the norm and the language is acceptably colorful. nose peircing I understood her awkwardness and identified with it.  However 20 years ago it was I that was reprimanded for coming to the office with a new nose piercing by a manger that could easily pass for my father.   It was I that had to listen to the oldies and cringe as I worked….or better yet get a giggle at the double take I would get each time I added a new streak of color to my hair.  Now I know my attitude was not the best.  I made a point of ruffling feathers of those I had no idea how to identify with.  This lead me to ask myself could we be doing the very same thing to our teen and young adults?  Do we purposely turn down their music?  Are we unnecessarily shooting dirty looks for every four letter word that comes out of their mouth, despite the fact they are not even speaking to us at the time?  Are we unnecessarily trying to “rub” them away because that way we do not have to change?the young

Now I am in no way stating that we should condone bad or mean behavior.  That is not my point.  My point is what are we doing to bring the Lord to the as they are?  In order to do that we must meet them where they are!  You can not drag them out of their world and expect them to be happy in your own little bunker where it is safe.  They will not come.  They will run.  I would run!  So you may not like their language.  That is your problem, not theirs.  They will change their language only when it becomes their own problem.  The only way that will happen is thru the growth of their relationship with Christ.  Christ will work within them…they will need time to grow.   Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.

When you head out to work, to school; do you try to take your bunker with you?  I have seen it!  Of course I am not talking about some kind of huge box on wheels…but I might as well be.  This is an invisible bunker.  The bunker is a place of uniformity and safety.  It is comfortable; it feels like home.  In this bunker, we can be ourselves, accepted for who we are, because we are a lot like everyone around us.  Do you refuse to go where you can not take your bunker?

…One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgement.  Proverbs 18:1

If you choose the way of the bunker you are feeding a very selfish motive, because it’s easy and comfortable.  You will not be put out.  You will not have to “put up” with any annoyances like loud music.  The sound judgement you are ignoring is the Holy Spirit asking you to move…to speak….and most of all to love…Love the unloved….to love the love-less…

One who loves to offend loves strife; one who builds a high threshold invites injury.  Proverbs 17:19

It’s not the young that is causing strife, it’s the ridged held up in their bunkers.  They grumble….”Did you see that kid, they cleaned out the candy bowl”….”we can’t play THAT song (even once a month) it gives us a headache”….”They need to sit still”…..”They are smoking in the parking lot!”  The static can get so loud the message gets lost.  We are the offensive with our conditions and rigidity.  The ridged create a threshold that this generation can not meet.  It’s no longer about meeting Christ, it’s about being “acceptable” to the elite core of the congregation.  The injury could have an impact of eternal consequences.

The bunkers need to be dismantled, the thresholds torn down.  We need to get out in order to get them in.  lost-children1

 

Short video of interest:  http://vimeo.com/226079