Tuesday, May 27, 2014


In America we pride ourselves on our rights.

We have the right to freedom of religion, free speech, freedom of the press, the freedom to assemble, the freedom to keep and bear arms.  We have civil rights, women's rights and human rights.  We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  

These rights are all good things.  

The problem comes when we put our rights above Christ.  

This is what happened to the church in Corinth.  All through the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul is trying to convince the church to give up the "rights" found in the Greco- Roman culture for life in Christ.  In the Greco- Roman culture sexual immorality was allowed, some considered it a right of passage for young men to engage is sexual activity with a prostitute (1 Cor 6: 12-20).  It was someone's right to seek litigation if they had endured hardship at anothers expense (1 Cor 6:1-8).  It was someone's right to dine in an idol's temple or eat meat sacrificed to that idol if one's place in society deemed it so (1 Cor 8:1- 13). Paul points out in chapter 9 that he too has rights, rights as an apostle.  Rights he has willingly given up in order to further the gospel message.  

We all have rights, and rights are good. But sometimes our rights are simply not right.  Sometimes, we pursue our rights to the detriment of others.  We work hard for our money and it is OUR money.  We have the right to do what we want with it, buy what we want, and we shouldn't have to share.  Meanwhile our neighbor goes hungry.  It may be our right to to hoard our wealth, but it is not right.

We have the right to pursue our own happiness.  We deserve to be happy just as much as the next person, but when our happiness comes at the expense of others our right is not right.

We have the right to say what we want, watch what we want, do what we want.  But when those rights cause pain to others, cause others to stumble or degrade the name of Christ, our rights are not right.  

Christ had rights too.  As Philippians 2:6--8 points out, he was the very nature of God, equal to him in every way.   Yet he willingly gave up this right and humbled himself, becoming a servant, obedient even to death on a cross.  He had the right to be worshipped, it was his right!  Yet he willingly let that right go so that he might save you and me.  

That is the life we are called to live.  That is the life Paul wanted the Corinthians to live.  We have a lot of rights, and those rights are good.  But they are not always right.  Sometimes we must give up our rights in order to be right with God.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Foundation

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

There are so many strong Christian leaders I have become a fan of over the years;  Francis Chan, Timothy Keller, Beth Moore, the list could go on, yet none of these leaders can lay a foundation on their own.  None of them are strong enough, wise enough, or holy enough.  

Only one can lay the foundation and that is Jesus Christ.

In the third chapter of Corinthians, Paul is frustrated at the Corinthian believers because they insist on dividing into camps.  There are those who follow Paul, those who follow Apollos, and even some who claim to follow Peter, though we have no record of him ever being in Corinth!  Paul responds to this division by reminding the Corinthian church that each of these leaders they follow are all merely workers.  It is the Lord who assigned them their task (1 Cor 3:5).  This reminder still bears repeating today.  Two thousand years after Paul spoke these words, we are faced with more divisions then ever before.  There are Catholic/ Protestant Divisions, divisions between and among denominations, churches, and leaders.  

The foundation for all of this, in Paul's day and in ours, is Jesus Christ.  He is the foundation that all the different workers will build on.  But Paul warns the church of Corinth to be careful what they put on top of this foundation, some materials were made to last and others were not.  Today we have leaders who  promise prosperity for all who believe.  Some leaders tell us we can have it all - the American dream and a strong Christian faith.  Some leaders tell us we can believe what we want and we will all go to heaven.  There are many, many different types of materials that have been placed on the foundation Christ laid.  But only one that is true.  

Paul warns the Corinthian church to choose their materials wisely,  because there will come a day when our work will be shown for what it is.  There too will come a day when  our work will be exposed to fire and it's quality will be tested.  A gospel built on prosperity will crumble when that prosperity does not come, or is taken away.  A gospel built on the American dream will not survive in a third world country.  A gospel in which everyone makes it into heaven will not endure God's sense of justice.  

In first century Corinth and today, the gospel that must be laid on the foundation of Christ is that of Christ himself.  He is the way the truth and the life, the one and only way to eternal life.  He does not promise us prosperity, the American Dream, or  a pain free life, quite the opposite in fact.   But he does promise to love us, provide for us, and carry us through.  

He is our foundation, our building materials, and the only one who can withstand the fire of judgment.  He is our reward.  And HE is the one we should follow.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

This motherhood thing is NOT for sissies!

In my 11 years of parenting our three different children I have been peed on, pooped on and thrown up on, literally, multiple times.  

I have laughed till I cried and cried till I laughed.  I have stomped my feet in frustration, bit my tongue till it bled and screamed at the top of my lungs.

I have wiped noses, wiped butts, wiped tears, and wiped up messes. 

I have carried kids, carried laundry, carried toys, carried burdens and worries, carried books, and carried their hearts in my hands.

I have been lonely, been lost, been overwhelmed, been confused, been hopeless, and been humbled in ways I can't begin to put into words.  

I have loved with a strength I didn't know I had, protected with a determination I didn't know existed and prayed like I never have before.

This is the hardest, funnest, scariest, most joyous thing I have ever done.  

Had I known what all this would take, would I have ever entered into this thing called motherhood?

You bet!  I wouldn't change it for the world!!!

Thank you to all the mother's in this world, including my own, who have walked with me on this walk.  You all have taught me, laughed with me, cried with me, modeled for me, inspired me and motivated me in ways I could never express.  

Thank you!  Happy Mother's Day!