BLOG ARCHIVES

  • WHEN GOD CALLS US TO AN ADVENTURE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Growth, Guest Posts

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    Grand Canyon - serious gear for serious weather

    Today I have the honor of guest posting over at Living the Story.  I highly recommend following the blog of Thomas Mason (he recently guest posted here), especially if you want an open and unvarnished looking at walking in faith.

    Have you ever noticed that life has a tendency of tossing us curveballs and hand grenades?

    Life even has the audacity to lay out two or three options that we need to pick from, choices that will forever alter our pilgrimage in this life.  Things like,

    Having a child. 

    Moving across the country or state. 

    Leaving a job.

    To be overly dramatic: sometimes if we don’t change, we die.

    Read the rest here.  Hope to see you there!

    Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight

  • WHEN I PRACTICE SINNING

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Guest Posts

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    JUDO !

    Today I have the privilege of guest posting over at Incite Faith.  Here is a snippet of what you’ll find:

    If you could compete in any Olympic event what would it be?

    If I had to pick, I would go with downhill skiing and curling.  Yes, curling.

    Curling is chess on ice with a lot of strategy and thinking through the shots.  I imagine if I wanted to become good at this game I would need a lot of hours of practice on the ice, strategically placing these stones along the frigid surface.

    When it comes to playing sports and games, practicing is really a no brainer.  You simply need to practice to succeed and hopefully with enough practice you will do well at your task.

    In his first letter, the Apostle John wrote about a practice of a different sport.  No, not wrestling or javelin throwing, instead it’s practicing our sinning and righteousness.

    Check out the rest of the post here.  Hope to see you there!

  • 6 WAYS TO HAVE A HEART LIKE GOD

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Guest Posts

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    Today I have the privilege of introducing a blogger friend of mine Thomas Mason.  I have been encouraged by his open and honest writing style over the past months that I’ve known him.  Thomas blogs over at Living the Story and you can follow him on Twitter @thomas__mason.

     Who can figure God out?

    First, He says His people need to be holy and set apart from sin. Then He says that a man who was an adulterer, murderer and admittedly poor father is a man after His own heart?

    So which is it? How can both be true?

    Yet they are. David is called a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Yet David’s sins are clear, and they aren’t minor sins.

    Perhaps we should ask just what it means to be a man (or woman) after God’s heart, for that is something for which we all should aspire. Obviously we’re not talking about sinless perfection. Paul seems to come the closest to this in the New Testament, who clearly wasn’t sinless, either — before or after salvation.

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PERSON AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART?

    I think it means having a heart the same as God’s. It is having our desires, our motives, our goals, our values and our priorities line up with God’s. It means loving what He loves, hating what He hates, and looking at life as He looks at life. It is having His biblical worldview of things in our minds and His love or righteousness and hate of sin in our hearts. You may see it differently, but in effect, it means being like Jesus. That is God’s ultimate goal for all of us — to be more Christ-like.

    So can we be a person who is after God’s own heart but still sin? Of course we can. John clearly reminds us that we won’t stop sinning (1 John 1:8-10), and Paul experienced this in his life as well (Romans 7). That means that you and I can be after God’s own heart. After all, a heart is internal, so it’s not external actions God is most concerned about. Just being like God externally is hypocrisy and we know how God feels about that. But if our hearts beat with His heart, for the things His heart beats for, then we are after God’s own heart.

    What a wonderful goal in life, what a worthy dream to follow, to have a heart like God. That should be the desire of each of us. What could be better than to have the mind of Christ and the heart of God?

    How can we apply this to our life? What can we do to be more like David, a “man after God’s own heart”?

    HERE ARE 6 WAYS TO HAVE A HEART LIKE GOD:

    1. We should acknowledge God as well as inquire of Him in all situations.
    2. We should fear, honor and reverence God and not treat Him or His grace as something common or unholy.
    3. We should trust God and not give in to fear.
    4. We should obey God with our whole heart, not just partial obedience or an outward showing.
    5. We should be careful in what we promise and do. If we are doing something out of obedience to God, we should not worry what others think. We should care more what God thinks.
    6. When we do fail, we need to be truly repentant, not just before men, but before God.

    Honoring and obeying God should be the first thing we do, not the last thing we think of.

    Photo Credit: jasminedelilah, Creative Commons

  • TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Guest Posts, Story

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    I have the privilege to bring back a blogger-friend who has taught me a lot through her work.  Julie Caulder blogs over at “Incite Faith” and her passion is finding redemption in brokenness.  I have learned a lot through her transparent writings, and I highly recommend subscribing to her blog Incite Faith. More on her follows this post.

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     100% recycled calendar

    As 2014 approached, I told myself I wasn’t make any new year resolutions. While I appreciate the effort most people put towards making them, if we’re honest, resolutions don’t last. For the past few years, my only resolve was to draw closer to God.  God always shows up to remind me of His truth and what He’s been telling me lately has brought both fear and comfort. Fear in knowing our days are numbered but comfort knowing we’re only promised today and need to make the most of today and right now.

    God’s Word is absolute and stands firm through waves of uncertainty, insecurity, and trial. Most of us either deny His truth or don’t spend enough time meditating on it to take His Word seriously.

    Everything He has spoken clearly to me brings both joy and pain. It’s been through a discerning spirit God has revealed what most of us spend our life ignoring. Our days are numbered. If we let this truth sink into the depths of our core, we wouldn’t make resolutions, goals, or resolve to do better at anything, we’d start right now this very moment.

    Last year, I told myself I’d write more, be a better friend, and be more intentional.  I hardly wrote, though I made friends, I wasn’t intentional with everyone I needed to be. Looking back on last year, I failed. I failed at everything. I allowed myself to become distracted and busy. I allowed myself to miss the point of why I’m here, why we’re all here; To put God first above everything and then walk with others loving them the way His son loves us.

    All we have is right now and we need to seize every moment and live it like it’s our last. Jesus seized every moment and so should we.

    The more I think about the fragility of life and how numbered our days are, I’m more aware of what I need to say and do to others who have impacted my life.  Before we know it, time will pass and so will our life.  Things we promise ourselves to do now may not be accomplished tomorrow, they’ll be left undone. All we have is the breath of today. 

    It is my prayer for all of us as we walk into a new year, we will learn to seize every opportunity and teach ourselves to number our days. 

    Psalm 90:12

    12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

    Photo: Natasha Mileshina via Compfight

    SiteJulie Caulder has a passion for people and meeting them where they are in their struggle. She believes in the power of transparent community and in God’s redemptive grace. Her life motto is: “Love God, Love Others, Go!” You can connect with Julie on Twitter @InciteFaith

  • FINDING GRACE AT 2 AM

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Story

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    Lucy

    I received the privilege of guest posting over at More Than A Beard this past week and here is an excerpt:

    I used to think that I was a servant, and would always go out of my way to help others.  However, that idealized portrait of myself dissipated when the cries in the middle of the night from my daughter Lucy began last month.

    My inward response was, “Kristen, you go change her.”

    In my mind, the logic was flawless.  She needed to be up to feed her anyway.  I, on the other hand, should be allowed to get more sleep.  Although it seemed logical, I am not sure that my wife appreciated my wisdom.

    The truth is that when I was most vulnerable and without any excuses, I found myself not the saint that I had always imagined.  I even considered faking sleep at times that first week or two so I wouldn’t have to leave my cozy bed.

    To read more, find the post here.

  • “STOP OBJECTIFYING ME!” SINCERELY, THE HOLY SPIRIT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Guest Posts, Theology

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    Today I am pleased to bring back a friend on my blog.  Jon Varner is a bright, well spoken guy who is also a Baptist (don’t hold that against him). 
    He tweets @jcvarner and be sure to go check out Jon’s new blog.

    Take it away, Jon!

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    HS Jon Varner

    Hi Everyone. This is Jon again. I’m assuming at this point Jeremy and Kristen have welcomed their daughter into the world. That is an assumption on my part because I am writing this before her due date but this will post at least a week later. You see good bloggers, like Jeremy, work on posts in advance. I on the other hand like to write stuff and post immediately. I’m kind of a slacker in that way. So Jeremy is forcing me out of my procrastination comfort zone.

    In my previous post I discussed with you the concept of Perichoresis. Today we are going to look at similar topic, one that Jeremy has been covering the past few weeks. Today we’re going to take a brief look at an important idea regarding the Holy Spirit. If you want to read the other ones you can find them here.

    Let’s be frank here. If I was the Holy Spirit I would be a little bummed out. I would be thinking to myself “Guys like Jeremy are always calling me shy and everyone always seems to forget about me. Often they even think the Trinity is Father, Son, and Holy Bible. And then the people who really like me do super crazy stuff. Like wave flags around, push people over, and talk in a language that only I understand all the while looking weird. Having fans like these don’t add much to your street cred.” But alas I am not the Holy Spirit and that is a good thing.

    The Person of the Holy Spirit

    However, I do share one important similarity with the Holy Spirit that is often neglected when discussing him. The similarity is that we both exist as persons. It seems that people regularly forget that the Holy Spirit is indeed a person. If you notice in all of Jeremy’s posts about the Holy Spirit he has used the masculine pronoun to describe said person. This is a tradition that has good standing. In John 14:26 Jesus states “he will teach you.” You see Jesus didn’t say it. He gave credence to the personhood of the Holy Spirit.

    So if he is a “he” and not an “it” why do we so often view him otherwise? I think it is because we don’t clearly understand him so it is easier to think of him as an “it.” There may be other various reasons but that is one in particular and unfortunately we don’t have the space to dive deeper into this idea.

    This also means we need to be willing to change our thinking. No person likes to be objectified; so we shouldn’t objectify him. We need to alter our thinking. Often this is best done by our actions. To begin to change this idea I’d like to encourage you to begin interacting with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. In your mind pray to him specifically and refer to him as a him instead of it.

    This is a complex thought that I think is best changed through simple actions over a period of time. Don’t expect immediate change. But strive to change you thought process by your actions. Be ok to take it slow. If you give it enough time you might just wake up and notice that you’re automatically thinking of him as a him.

    Now may you this week be aware of the dynamic present person, known as the Holy Spirit, in your lives.

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    Jon Varner is a graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, the longest seminary name in the world. JV Guest PhotoLike me (Jeremy) he is about to have his first child or has had it depending on when you read this. Unlike me he is going to have a boy. For him that is a good thing because the thought of a daughter scares the you know what out of him. He is passionate about people consistently pursuing God and this includes better understanding him. In the next few years he hopes to plant a church in California. He tweets @jcvarner and be sure to check out Jon’s blog!

  • THE MIS-FOCUS OF SIN

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Guest Posts, Theology

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    While I am out bonding with my beautiful daughter, I have the great privilege of bringing a dear friend to the blog.  Johnny Rocha has helped shape my story, as he tirelessly reminds me of our part in the story of God righting the world.  Learn about him more following this post, on his blog, and in the Twittersphere @JGRocha .  So without further delay, take it away, Johnny!

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    Archery World Cup 

    Growing up I had two very different church experiences. When I was in elementary and middle school, I attended a more traditional Lutheran church, and then when I was a freshman in high school I switched over to an Assemblies of God church in town. Looking back, I see how both handled the idea of sin very differently.

    Ignoring Sin

    When I was in the Lutheran church, we didn’t talk about sin very much. We talked about church history, learned the books of the Bible, and talked a lot about loving people like Jesus did, but we didn’t spend too much time focusing on the sin and death He saved us from.

    Consumed by Sin

    The Assemblies church, on the other hand, talked a whole lot about sin. Anger, lust, sexual impurity, drug addiction, gossip, stealing – the list just kept going. We talked a lot about what we shouldn’t do and what we needed to stop doing. We talked about how Jesus came to save us from these things, and we lamented that we kept putting Him back on the cross by making the same wrong choice over and over again. I remember spending so much time feeling bad about the choices I made, wondering if Jesus still loved me or forgave me. If you’re in the same camp let me tell you this: He does and He has.

    Healthy View of Sin

    I think a lot of us make the same two mistakes when it comes to sin: We either totally ignore sin in our lives, or we focus on it night and day letting it consume our thoughts.

    I’ve come to realize that both of these mindsets, though often rooted in good intentions, are dangerous and ultimately selfish. Why? Because they both revolve around me instead of Him.

    Let me make this clear – sin is a cancer. We cannot tolerate it. Not even a little bit. It is pure death; the exact opposite of the abundant life Jesus intends for us. We cannot ignore it and let it fester because it will rot us from the inside out. At the same time it does us little good to let our mistakes and shortcomings consume our thoughts and energy. Instead of dwelling on our past mistakes and shortcomings we need to seek the life of freedom and joy God desires for us both now in and our future.

    The mis-focus of sin is that we often look to ourselves when we should instead look to Him! Does our selfishness know no bounds? When we’re wrapped up in the shame and guilt of our pasts we are unable to live in the freedom of unencumbered love that Christ Jesus died to give us. Let us come to a place where we look at our past, at the world, at all the things that are so tempting but ultimately meaningless, and instead look onward and upward, grit our teeth, and say to ourselves, “It’s not about me, it’s about Him. Today I choose to follow Jesus.”

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    JR Shot

    Johnny is a speaker, coach, and creative consultant empowering people to discover who they are, whose they are, and use their God breathed gifts and passions to change their world. He has been privileged to speak at camps and churches in California about God’s furious love for His people and what it looks like to be part of His family.

    To find out more about Johnny find him on TwitterFacebook, and his website JohnnyRocha.com

  • DON’T JUST SIT THERE, DANCE!

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Guest Posts, Theology

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    Today I am thrilled to introduce a friend on my blog.  Jon Varner is a bright, well spoken guy who is also a Baptist (don’t hold that against him). 
    He tweets @jcvarner and be sure to check out Jon’s blog.  

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    Varner

    Hello fellow fans of jeremydriley.com. My name is Jon and Jeremy asked me to write up two posts for him while he and Kristen acclimate to their new season of life. It is a huge privilege to write for him during this time. I’m sure he’s posted my bio somewhere so if you want to know more about me you can check that out.

    On my blog I like to discuss topics of theology on a weekly basis. I cover different topics about Christian Theology that I feel help the average person better understand God and their relationship to him. I call it Theology Thursday (if you click on that you will see my original post and why it is important to study theology). With that in mind let’s get into today’s topic: Perichoresis.

     Now if you’ve never heard that word before you might be thinking “what on earth does that mean?” I’m so glad you asked. Perichoresis is a combination of two distinct Greek words. The first word is peri which means around. The second word is chorein, which means to make room for another. According to Michael G. Lawler (some guy you’ve probably never heard of because without seminary I wouldn’t have) the combination of these two words gives the distinct picture of “the dynamic process of making room for another around oneself.” In essence this word picture is describing a constant dance (something Jeremy referenced in this post) that each member of the Trinity is constantly participating in, always moving and making room for the other members.

    Dancers to the Core

    To give a visual image to this while in seminary I took the picture on this post. By taking a picture with an extended exposure I was able to capture the idea of three individuals blending together as they constantly moved and made room for each other. At the same time you can still make out three distinct individuals. When you think of great ballroom dancing you can grasp this concept. Each partner must move in unison with the other; all the while exiting and entering space previously held by their partner. This dance, so to speak, is something God does and lives each and every day. It is at the core of his character. Three distinct persons intertwined in one being.

    Another writer, Molly Marshall, puts it this way:

    “Perichoresis depicts a relationship of mutuality in which persons draw their identity from being related to others. It is an ecstatic dance, in which the Trinitarian persons literally ‘stand outside themselves’ as they evoke the life of their divine counterparts. It is movement, an interplay of self-giving that calls forth reciprocal sharing of life. Perichoresis ‘grasps the circulatory character of the eternal divine life.’ This delightful divine choreography, which calls forth and deepens relationship.”

    Relational to the Core

    And now you must be thinking to yourself “so what? I really hope this Jon guy doesn’t want me to go around dancing all the time.” Well too bad for you because that is exactly what I want. Just kidding. That was sarcasm if the text didn’t translate that well. There are two basic implications of this idea. The first is that God is relational at his core and the second is that each member of the Trinity is constantly giving of himself within the Trinity. These two things are aspects of life that we can imitate. We can live in relationship for “It is not good that the man should be alone” and we can give of ourselves just as Christ did in his incarnation (see Philippians 2:5-11)

    May you this week pursue relationship with others and give yourself away in the process. For this is who God is and who he created you to be.

     

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    Jon Varner is a graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, the longest seminary name in the world. JV Guest PhotoLike me (Jeremy) he is about to have his first child or has had it depending on when you read this. Unlike me he is going to have a boy. For him that is a good thing because the thought of a daughter scares the you know what out of him. He is passionate about people consistently pursuing God and this includes better understanding him. In the next few years he hopes to plant a church in California. He tweets @jcvarner and be sure to check out Jon’s blog!

  • GET UP AND EAT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Growth

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    While I am out bonding with my beautiful daughter, I have the great privilege of bringing a powerful writer.  Julie Caulder blogs over at Incite Faith and her passion is finding redemption in brokenness.  I have learned a lot through her transparent writings, and I highly recommend subscribing to her blog Incite Faith. More on her follows this post.  So without further ado, take it away, Julie!

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    Kitten food

    I have a confession:

    I used to hate reading the Bible.

    I never understood why reading the Word was so important. It seemed more like a chore than a commitment. I never approached the Word with passion and zeal, but with fearful restraint. What I didn’t know then God has since revealed to me now.

    God has revealed to me His Word has the power to transform our heart and renew our minds. When we’re burdened, worried, or afraid, God’s Word has the power to focus our attention where it belongs; on His truth. 

    Spending intimate time with God and reading His Word has been both challenging and convicting. It’s been in His Word I’ve been set free from a 16 year addiction, learned the healing power of forgiveness, and how one simple of act of obedience can transform our life. I had to face many obstacles and trials to get to this point in my life. I hit rock bottom, stayed in my sinful pit, and cursed and damned the Lord for putting me there. I ran from my problems, hid my sins, and lied to myself and others. I was a mess. 

    In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was afraid and ran for His life, then an angel touched him and said “Get up and eat. When trials come out first reaction is to run. We run from our situation and ourselves. We complain about our circumstances and stay in our mess because facing the truth about who we are would mean change. 

    Honestly, I didn’t want to change. I felt the way I was living was justified after all I’ve been through. I played the victim more than leaning on God’s redemptive grace. But God never gave up on me. The more time I spent with Him, He reminded me of His Word. There was something He needed me to know and He was ready to work in my life. His Word needed to pierce every unwilling part of my heart. God wanted to change my life, He wanted to change me, and it was going to start in His Word.

    God Himself gave us everything we need to live an abundant life; Jesus, His Son, The Holy Spirit, and the bread of life, His Word. If the Word of God doesn’t change you from the inside out, then it’s useless.

    I spend time with God in the morning before work, after work, and before bed. Why? Because I know how easy it is to be bogged down by distraction and busyness that we neglect time with the Lord. Like Elijah, we need to “Get up and eat” daily. Our minds are more vulnerable in the morning and God’s Word is what sustains us and gets us through our life and day. To limit our distractions, we need to pick up our Bibles daily and get distracted by His truth, not the noise of the world. God’s Word is the only thing worth being distracted by.

    Everything in God’s Word is truth. It cuts through everything hindering our relationship with Him. It tears down the veil of our hearts and reveals the truth of who we are and what we’re made of. While scary, His Word is necessary to live a life of faithful and relentless obedience.

    No matter where God has you, make it a point to “Get up and eat” daily. God wants to reveal His truth and Himself to you and that’s only possible through His Word.

    God’s Word sustains, comforts and remains.

    How much time are you spending in His Word?

    #heartcheck

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    Julie Caulder has a passion for people and meeting them where they are in their struggle. She believes in the power of transparent community and in God’s redemptive grace. Her life motto is: “Love God, Love Others, Go!” You can connect with Julie on Twitter @InciteFaith

    Photo: Mikael Tigerström via Compfight

  • TOWARD A CIVIL PUBLIC SQUARE: POLITICS AND PERSPECTIVES

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Culture, Guest Posts

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    While I am out preparing to spend time with my (soon-to-be) newborn daughter and wife, I have the great privilege of introducing a college roommate and friend to the blog.  Jesse Segrist has brought a lot of laughter and joy to my life, and he is also a really sharp thinker. 
    Learn about him more following this post.

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    Recruiting some pigeons

    I’m a fan of politics. I love reading political news, opinion pieces, and wrestling thoughtfully with the real issues of our day. But I’ve noticed something over the past few years, and that is a growing rise in hateful and inflammatory rhetoric. The comments on many of the political/current events articles I read end up turning into an endless array of president bashing posts and calls to revolution in order to restore the US to its supposed glory days. And to top it all off (not to mention the thing that irritates me to no end), most of the posts have some type of reference to God, and or Jesus, in them. I started to wonder then, because I had seen the same thing during the Bush administration (only the posts were coming from the other side of the aisle), why was there was so much fearful and hateful rhetoric, especially from Christians? Why were people so angry about all this stuff? So I began to think back into my own life, what happens when I get angry? What are the root causes of this anger and what do I do to quell those feelings?

    Well, if I’m brazenly honest, when I get angry it’s usually because something deep down is causing me to be stressed out, and usually whatever is causing me to be stressed out is some type of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of dying, fear of not having enough finances, fear for my physical safety, so basically, fear. Something deep inside stresses me out so much that my mind becomes clouded with anger at whatever person, object, or thing I believe is causing my discomfort, or allowing it to happen . But, I will argue that this is not the way that us Christians, are supposed to live. So I began to look at many of the posts and many of the arguments that I saw online, and it seems that there’s one central theme to almost all of them, and that seems to be that people are afraid of losing their way of life. They’re afraid of losing the comfort that they have grown accustomed to. And honestly, that’s completely understandable! But, I think that as Christians we should maybe have a greater perspective on the world and our life than just our present comfort. In fact I think as an American church we’ve forgotten some of the great meanings behind passages of scripture found in books like Revelation, Hebrews, and Acts.  For example, the Christians that Revelation was written to were suffering under the persecutions of Nero and other Roman leaders. It was written to say that while this life may have joys and pleasures, heartaches and depressions, there is one coming who will not only destroy and defeat all pain and sorrow, but who will restore, redeem, and resurrect our physical world and bodies and universe, into something new and so good that we are told one day there is better than a thousand elsewhere. So those under this persecution could look towards a hope that was bigger than the terrible circumstances they found themselves in.

    We find in Hebrews chapter 11 stories of Biblical figures who were,

    “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” (Hebrews 11: 35-38, ESV)

    And then in Acts (yeah, I’m a Pentecostal, I had to go there) we see so many stories of Paul and other early Christian leaders escaping death, prison, and just generally bad situations. Sometimes Christians were sent to prison, or accused of doing something wrong, or shipwrecked, or being sent to Prison, or surviving snake bites, etc… And I mean Paul wrote many of his letters from a prison cell in Rome, he did not live a “cushy nerf life.”

    So what am I saying through all of this? Well first off, I am saying that I think churches need to preach a little more about perspective. Now, I am not advocating that we remove ourselves from public discourse or stop having a righteous anger over the great injustices in this world (take abortion for an example), but I think that through a proper kingdom based perspective, we can reframe our arguments in public discourse and use less fearful and hateful rhetoric, realizing that this world is not final, and in fact this country is not final. We are not called to defend a posh and comfortable American life. And that life sure is nice, don’t get me wrong. I love being able to wake up on a Saturday morning, play video games, go out and get coffee, and hang out with friends in the afternoon, grab some dinner at a trendy downtown restaurant, and end the night with a good movie from Redbox or on Netflix. But this is not what God has called us to defend. God has asked us in fact to lay all these things aside. So I think that if we remember some of these base principles next time we hear something about the government coming for us, or some conspiracy to take our rights away, let’s stop for just a moment and consider it reasonably. Let’s respond with peace and in a well thought out manner: because the Kingdom of God is not concerned with the success or failure of any one nation. God can continue to work whether Stalin is in charge or George Washington is in charge. We must keep our sights on this fact that God is in control in any and all situations. Christ has called us not to defend or to seek after a comfortable life but to seek after Him and His kingdom.

    Our mindset should be eternally focused. Not so much that we lose sight of helping those in need in the present, but in fact so eternally minded that all we want to do is bring forth the real Kingdom of God into the here and now by loving the poor, helping the widows, and providing for the orphans and aliens. Again, I want to make sure that what I am saying is not misconstrued as me advocating an isolationist or non-politically active mindset. On the contrary I love politics (as I mentioned earlier) and I think that Christians should be involved in their community and world. But I just think that our perspective should be larger and greater than just focusing about our one lone country or even time period that we exist in. God is God throughout this time and throughout all time. No matter what happens on this planet, come hell or high-water, God will still always be God. And yes, we should stand up for truth and justice when at all possible, but it should be done in a way that always keeps the kingdom of God in mind and in perspective, not the nation of America, China, Japan, Australia, or any other country (however much we think that their political system or economy aligns with scripture).

    Ultimately, if we profess Christ as King, we are citizens of heaven and under an economy of grace, and it is that country which we truly serve, and I believe with that in mind we can approach a national debate on health care, immigration reform, gay marriage, and whatever else we’re discussing at the time, in a much more reasonable light. We should absolutely stay away from conspiracy theories and vindictive and fearful language/rhetoric because we should be a people of peace and of confidence. Christ has won the victory, and we can discuss anything knowing full well that whatever happens, or whatever anyone says, God is still in control.

    Photo: Stéfan via Compfight

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    Jesse R. Segrist earned a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Vanguard University and an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from Macquarie JS PhotoUniversity (Australia). He is currently pursuing an M.Div at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO. He also works full time as a Word Processor at the Assemblies of God World Missions and hopes to one day work in the fields of diplomacy and international Christian missions in Washington D.C. Follow him in the twittersphere @JRSegrist.