Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Vision of Trees

A lady from Teen Challenge shared this vision she had with me. She saw this forrest with all these large old trees and then also many young trees. The young trees had huge branches and bore lots of fruit. But she noticed that they had very tiny roots.

Familiar God

I've been thinking lately about why I often feel so uncomfortable around some really outlandish Christians. I've often felt guilty about it, like maybe I should be that way too and I'm not. I feel uncomfortable when I see great big signs that say things like "Jesus Saves!" and "Now is the time to repent!" or when I see little emblems and shirts and whatnot with phrases like "F.R.O.G.- Fully Rely On God" and you know stuff like that. Or when people off handedly say "What would Jesus do?" or not even necessarily the cliche but just the general. For instance a lady was telling me about how she saw this restaraunt sign that said "Morning Glory: Alcohol and Breakfast" and she covered up "alcohol" with "Jesus". I was really bothered, ya know? And I wondered if maybe I wasn't being radical enough or if I was being too in the world or whatever.

But no. I realized that I feel uncomfortable with that because I don't serve a generic God. I don't serve a cliche God. The Jesus Christ who made me a completely new person, the Jesus who has helped me over and over and over, the Jesus who has healed all my heartbreaks and gotten me through every trial, is not generic. I don't know God as the God who "is like Tide- he gets out the stains." I mean, yes, God does that. God is that guy. God does save and we should fully rely on God and the time is now to repent. But the Lord is so much more personal than that. He's my best friend. I don't recognize this 3rd party God that is publicized and promoted. I don't recognize him that way.

I was watching an interview with the director of the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and his wife told a story about their daughter, how one day she was hearing people talk about her dad being the director of this hit TV show and she said "Whoa. My dad is the director of 'Buffy'." And her mother just laughed and said "Darling, he's been doing this for ten years."

That's how it is. I am so close to Jesus that I don't recognize him in the billboards and the flippant "hallelujahs" and "amens". Come on people! This is our Daddy we're talking about! This is our friend! No one is going to fall in love with the God of the billboard. No one is going to fall in love with a generic Jesus. We should be sharing the personal God, not slapping a "Honk if you love Jesus" sticker on our bumpers and expect to cut into hearts. The word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword. Why don't we start using it and drop these horrible cliches and boring images.

You know, if I had a friend and I was trying to get her hooked up with another friend, I wouldn't tell her "This guy is great. He's tall and nice." She's seen that before. There's nothing enticing about this guy. Instead I'd tell her "He's a botonist, he graduated with his master's degree last year and he volunteers at the old person's home on Saturdays. He listens to good music and plays piano. He's been to Rome several times because his family is from Italy. etc, etc." You tell whats special about him. What makes him more interesting than all the other guys she's known. Lets start being creative and telling people about how interesting our Jesus is. I've never known someone to come to Christ because they've heard "He's good." But lives all over the world are being changed when they hear what he's done to each of us personally. I think the only church sign I've ever seen that I thought was creative was one that said something like "What can change your life?" Then there was one of those negative space images that say Jesus in the negative but you can't see it because our eyes are trained to see positive space. Then underneath it says "The problem is, you can't see it."

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