Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't be a Dunce

Living life takes a lot of strength. Living for Christ takes a lot of faith. Scott Peck said "Life is difficult." (The Road Less Traveled) But that was before he knew Christ. Because the cross is relational, connecting us vertically to God the Father and horizontally to other believers, it changes how we live life. In fact with faith in the finished work of Jesus, we are transformed "life live-ers." We are no longer of this world, but of the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ dwells within us! Life in Christ (his yoke) is easy.

This week the motley crew, better known as the Kingdom Bloggers are going to write about what we have learned from each other. You'll gain knowledge of a lot of fun facts which pertain to us. For instance Tony C. does not drink coffee ( I know), Joyce gets a little crazy in church, Tracy knows a lot about mental illness (she needs that knowledge to engage the men of this group!), and Stephanie, well she is passionate about  Jesus! So read on this week, there's a lot more nuggets of truth you can't use at the next Trivial Pursuit game.

It is no secret that even with faith, life is difficult. It is only "putting" our faith in Jesus that makes it any easier. There are certainly some Bible lessons for getting through the tough times. HERE is more on that. I have my own story this past few months as I recover from a heart attack. HERE is the latest on that if you are interested. What makes the journey even more bearable is relationship.

Who would have thought commenting on Tony C Today a few years ago would have led to a friendship that is growing deeper in spite of the thousand miles between us? The open door was an opportunity to pray from him the night before a medical procedure. Since that time I know a lot more about being a southerner because of him - Mountain Dew, sweet tea, and really taking weekends off; the stereotypes are true! And I feel like Elvis lives every time I hear his east Tennessee twang. All kidding aside (which is hard to do with a guy like Tony), I appreciate his prayers. When the T-Man prays, you know that God is listening. I also appreciate his uplifting phone calls when he can fit me on his way from the couch to the bed. Thanks, bro. I hope I am as encouraging to others as you are to me.

I have known Joyce since we went on a mission trip to Norway in 2002. We were part of a team of about 50 Americans and Norwegians. You can read more about that HERE. The truth, I have gotten to know here much better through her blog, Sounds of Hope, and Kingdom Bloggers. She tells the unvarnished truth about real life. I appreciate that because it makes me feel more normal. She makes the simplest religious practice seem exciting; she's a great storyteller too. I wold say Joyce is the pastoral one of the group, often gathering the sheep through Facebook messages and prayer requests. You can count on her for compassion, for prayer and probably for anything else if you need it. All of that comes through in her writing. She likes to have fun too! IE: wearing lampshades in church sounds like a hoot!

Stephanie (when she actually has time to join us on Wednesdays) attended a class that I taught at my church. She gave up 7 Friday evenings (pretty amazing for a 20-something) to hear yours truly carry on about his passion for the Kingdom of God in person. What I know about her is faith, child like faith. She reads the word of God and believes it. I need to be more like that!

Tracy is the member of KB that I know the least. However; it is evident from her writing that she is a reader and doer of the Word of God. I should be more like that. She has been transparent with us about the not so joyous parts of parenting along with the triumphs of kids who make good choices. This crew has a lot of kids ranging newborn to over the hill. As a mental health professional, I have enjoyed her insight into a world that I knew little about. It has released a deeper compassion simply by knowing more about it. So, thanks Tracy.

So there you have it, one of the best life classes I have ever taken is working with these brothers and sisters. 


Tony C said...

A serious laugh out loud! I'm just glad reruns of Hee Haw are hard to find on television or you'd have me lounging on a bale of hay surrounded by pretty girls...wait a second...

Sterotypes are there for a reason I guess.

It's been a true blessing writing with you, talking to you and praying with you. A true blessing.

Joyce Lighari said...

Great blog - how do I top that??? I can't... but one thing - that's not me in that picture. That makes me look older than I am. I'm old but not that old.

Tracy said...

Oh Joyce, you always make me laugh...only a woman would say that!

I really like that picture of Tony & his wife. I'm consistently amazed at his total southern-ness too. I had grandparents from NC who we visited there a few times, and lived in a small town named Jackson Tennessee for a semester of college; Tony just seems to epitomize the things I liked best about the south.

BTW-I'm with Joyce in thinking that I can't top this one. Glad she goes next so I can think more.