5 Months in the Mirror

My friend Larry and I had breakfast yesterday. Without question, that conversation always includes sports and politics. But since being able to meet again after COVID lockdown, the conversation is more about what we’re observing and experiencing through these unusual times.

One thing we both agreed on: who people are is being exposed. 

  • If they are go-getters, they are still getting it. They may have to do it differently, but they are still going, still getting.
  • If they are glass-half-emptyites, they are having a hard time even picking up the cup.
  • If they are people people, they are figuring out how to stay engaged and connected.
  • If they are get-by-with-as-little-work-as-possible apostles, they may never vote to come back to an environment built on responsibility.

A reference was made that we’ve all been forced to look in the mirror. Some are fine with what they saw because they were already, for the most part, used to looking in the mirror and making adjustments. Others, well, they were taken back by what they saw. So they had a choice to make-which is the reality we all have when we look in the mirror. And good on us when we choose to do something, make adjustments, with the stuff we observe that needs improvement.

Larry stopped shocking me years ago; however, when he started a sentence with,”My favorite Michael Jackson song,” I thought he might be showing his first symptom of a new virus strand. When I let him continue, he made a good connection. 

So after five months of looking in the mirror, what are you doing with what you see? What conversations are you and God having about what you are both seeing?


Jesus’ Lifestyle

If you want to experience the life of Jesus, you have to adopt the lifestyle of Jesus.

In prepping for a talk, this John Mark Comer quote from The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry made the notes.

If you were to make a list that described Jesus’ lifestyle, what would you include? I made a list of five. Here they are with scripture that illustrate them.

  1. For his Father. “If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10
  2. Balance. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” Luke 2:52
  3. Prayer.  “Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After he said goodbye to them, he went away to the mountain to pray.” Mark 6:45-46
  4. Non-materialistic. “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ Or ‘What will we drink?’ Or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:31-33
  5. People. “When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36

What else would you add? Consider completing this for a devotional exercise and reply with your thoughts.

Fruity Fridays: Complicated Kindness

(A series about the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5)

post by Eric Vorhies 

Kindness is something I struggle with.

I am not saying that I am inherently mean. It’s just that I have a very matter of fact way of dealing with people. I chalk it up to being a task-oriented person. 

I like tasks. They are simple. They generally have a beginning and an ending…They can be completed.

People and their feelings are not so nice and easy. They are complicated. And sometimes, we, ourselves, don’t even know why we feel one way or choose to do a certain thing. How do two people, who are uncertain about how things should be done or even how they feel about it, come together on common ground? In a world where people are hurt because someone didn’t like their Instagram post, I am lost on how to validate some people’s thoughts, opinions, actions, and feelings…but…then there is kindness.

The power of kindness is that it bridges my humanity to that of another person. 

The only way I know this is by trying to look at the Bible through the lens of modern times. If Jesus were walking with us today as he did back then, Jesus would be at the bar hanging out with drunks, hookers, and IRS agents. He wouldn’t be doing anything wrong, but we would still wonder why he was there when he could be hanging out with us. He would also make time in his busy schedule to stop and hang out with kids and to visit people at the hospital. The more I think about it the more I realize that kindness bridges two people that are different. 

It is easy to see and accept us and them — Christians and non-Christians, Americans and everyone else, Republican and Democrats. But kindness gives us the opportunity to see more than that…to see people as…you know, people. That’s what Jesus was doing his entire ministry. He marginalized the difference between His divinity and our sinfulness by being kind. 

I will never say it is easy. Remember, I am a task-oriented person. But when I catch myself missing a moment to show kindness, I try to imitate Christ by loving first and in truth and action. Because despite any apparent differences, I am just like every other person — a human in need of the Gospel — and by showing kindness, I can show others who Christ is.