Thursday, October 24, 2013

Living in the Core

In Charles A. Lindbergh's autobiography there is a graphic comparison of what it means to live in the core versus living on the periphery of life. In Lindbergh's words, "The tempo of modern civilization has a centrifugal force that carries us outward from the core of life toward ever-expanding peripheries. We should return frequently to the core, and to basic values ... to natural surroundings, to simplicity and to contemplation. Long ago, I resolved to so arrange my life that I could move back and forth between periphery and core."

Lindbergh even developed the ability to sense immediately where he was living "... on the periphery or in the core. I knew when I felt the sense of 'core,' when the balance of body, mind and sense was reached, when there was no element of pressure, hurry or distraction. I was related to my surroundings yet independent of them in an extraordinary way. The simple was always present; I found it was only through simplicity that I could immerse myself in time until I realized that time offers a release from tempo."

All of us would sign up for a life free from pressure, hurry, and distraction. The great aviator reminds us that the quality of our lives does not depend on how high we can fly or how fast we can go. A happy life happens deep within, in the core, in the quiet center of our lives. When was the last time you sat down at the table, that place of companionship and communion in the middle of you? Someone may be waiting for you to stop by. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Life That I Touch

"No man is an island," Dr. Donne wrote. Or to use another metaphor, humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling. . . . As we move around this world and as we act with kindness, perhaps, or with indifference, or with hostility, toward the people we meet, we too are setting the great spider web a-tremble. The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island. - Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Today Is the Day

Today, October 1, marks the beginning of a new adventure for me and for the people of Memorial Baptist Church. Together we have taken a pledge. We have made a year-long commitment to follow Christ in these five practical steps:
  • To pray for the needs of the world.
  • To read through the Bible.
  • To give sacrificially to a Kingdom cause.
  • To go on mission in a cross-cultural setting.
  • To serve as a committed, devoted part of the church.
As you can see, there's nothing really new or radical in these commitments, just the basics of the Christian life. Yet we often struggle in these areas, hung up somewhere between our good intentions and our misplaced priorities, easily distracted and prone toward self-centeredness. What we need is intentionality, consistency, and the encouragement of our friends who are taking this same journey with us.

I was moved to watch as so many of our people, young and old, stepped forward to sign their names declaring their commitment to follow Christ. What a life-changing blessing this will be for each one who participates. I can't help but wonder what God will accomplish through us as we seek to faithfully follow Him together.

Let me invite you, wherever you are, to join us in this one year commitment. Maybe your faith has faltered in the past with lots of starts and stops without ever making much progress. Come take this journey with us. This can be a revolutionary new beginning for you as you take that crucial step, no longer just a fan of Jesus, but becoming a follower of Jesus. Check out our church's website for encouragement and support, the details, resources, and messages you need to keep your pledge. C'mon and go with us. It's going to be a fantastic journey.

Memorial Baptist Church