Category Archives: Uncategorized

What a Baseball Card Taught me about Jesus

When I was a kid, I loved trading baseball cards, but I had no concept of what cards were worth, so I kept it simple: I’d trade anything I owned for the shiniest baseball card available. My older siblings knew this, and they’d pass off a card with a holograph, or tinsel, or glitter while they maneuvered for more valuable cards. They fooled me and I bought it. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because I mistook shiny-ness for value.

One of the most valuable baseball cards of all time- a guy by the name of Honus Wagner- is also one of the plainest. Against an ugly orange background, Honus sits with his protruding nose, hair slicked down the middle, and a Pittsburgh jersey tightly buttoned up his neck. Honus is not much to look at, but his card once sold for $2 million dollars. And you can bet if I’d held that card as a kid, I would’ve given it away for something with a little more bling.

A rich man came to Jesus once and said, “How do I get eternal life? I’ve kept the Ten Commandments, what else can I do?” Jesus answered, “Sell everything you’ve got, give the money to the poor, and follow me.” The man turned and sadly walked away because he couldn’t part with his wealth. Jesus let him go, because Jesus always lets us choose, but that guy chose really really poorly. He chose a shiny ten cent baseball card over $2 mil.

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” This man sold everything he owned, yet we don’t feel sorry for him because his treasure more than made up for it. If I found a Honus Wagner card today for $10,000 at a garage sale, I’d sell my car, and drain my savings, because in the end, my “loss” would be barely noticeable.

I think this is how it works with sin. Satan is a con-artist- a flash-bang vendor who deals in deceit. He’ll dangle shiny-ness in front of us, and rob of us of anything of real value and we fall for it all the time. Any day I choose the world over Jesus, I’ve just bought junk from a snake-oil salesman. 

The only way to stop collecting trash is to believe Jesus is so valuable, so worth it, that no cost is too great to follow Him. So how about it? Do we believe the Kingdom of Heaven is worth everything we’ve got? Will we ditch the glittery baseball cards and go all in for the One who’s worth it?

 

Emily Morrison

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Men Don’t Have Babies

As I sat in a group of human community, my eyes fixed on the speaker. His voice commanded attention. He was not forceful, but he was sure, certain. He had an experience worth sharing. An experience with another human person during the week that birthed fruit. Fruit only nurtured and grown from the Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God. The living God who lives inside of this man with the commanding voice. Not commanding like a military officer. Commanding as in, purposeful direction that one might want to follow. That man shared a story of something so unnatural it could only come from the unnatural nature of man, although it came right out of man. This man.

Men don’t know what it’s like to birth children. It is unnatural for a man to birth a child. Birthing children is amazing and hard and gross and beautiful all at once. Moms don’t worry about growing children in their womb. They worry about what they eat or how they sleep. Moms worry about the things they could do to damage their emerging babe. They don’t worry about growing the baby because they cannot grow a baby by themselves. It’s not like learning to ride a bike. A bike cannot ride itself, yet a baby can grow itself because God is breathing life into that child-being. Likewise, this man could not birth this fruit on his own. Yet, like a mother, he could allow the fruit to be grown in him. He could have done lots of things to sabotage or destroy the fruit. But grow it himself? Nope, not possible.

The fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- can grow in us, develop in us, part through our lips or flow from our hands through deeds. Yet we cannot produce this Holy Spirit grown harvest. As followers of the One True God, we have baby fruits in us. As we know the Lord more and more, obey His word, bask in His presence, follow His advice, and generally become more like Him, these fruits grow. Like a baby, they grow so big, they must come out. No longer contained within us, people see these fruits! They are excited about them. They want to get close to them, experience them, taste the delicious sweetness they offer!

Just as fresh fruit entices, I was drawn into this man’s story at community group. What unnatural fruit did he bear? He bore patience and gentleness. He was accused of wrong doing when only justice and righteousness was in his heart. In no way did he want to cheat or deceive, yet he was accused of just that. Did he shout, “No! You’re wrong! How could you accuse me?” He did not. Did he sneer, “You’re such an arrogant jerk! You can’t even see the truth in front of your face!”? He did not. Although he was stunned, hurt, and frustrated with the accuser, he responded in GENTLENESS through PATIENCE that he claims did not come from himself. As he walked away from the incident, praying to our Lord for comfort and understanding, he realized that without insemination of our Lord, he would have responded with harsh judgement and hurtful words. Instead, the good work the Lord had began in him long ago came to fruition. The fruition that only comes through submission to the Spirit of the Living God. #fruitofthespirit #theporticochurch

 

Valerie Ramsey

Faith In Action

What Faith In Action means to me

Emma Loyless

 

2015- The year in which the headlines included things such as Planned Parenthood, ISIS, Ferguson. The list could go on and on. So much despair and hopelessness. But, Jesus. He came to bring hope to the hopeless. He came to bring salvation to sinners like me. He came to bring the life to those living in despair. I ask myself often why things as evil as ISIS happen. But some of these questions are too complicated for someone like me to comprehend. Only a God who weaves intricate stories of love and hope can understand the complexities of this world. Only a God who set into motion the earth while the morning stars sang can rescue me from myself. But I do know this: my response to all this evil in the world should not be to turn a blind eye. It should be to be to do good in this world, to bring hope to those who have none.

 

As a believer and follower of Christ, this hope and love that is offered in Jesus Christ is too powerful not share with others. I want others to see how BIG my God is, that he is writing a story for me that is just as important as the story he wrote for Abraham and Sarah, or Paul, or Moses, or Noah. I want others to know that there is no judgement in Christ Jesus, only love. How will people see this love and know who Jesus is if the only time I confess my faith is on Sunday when I listen to the sermon and sing a few worship songs? Those are important, but even James wrote this about works: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead .” James 2:14-17

 

The more I get to know Jesus and learn about what he did while he was here on earth, the more that I realize that he didn’t come to be served, but to serve others in selfless love. As I grow in my faith, I strive to be more and more like Christ in everything I do. I want to meet people where they are just like Jesus did. I want people to know about the hope that I have found in Jesus Christ. Paul encourages us in Philippians 2 to “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!” (v. 5-8).

 

Faith-In-Action is a time where I can get out of the physical building that is the church and actually BE the church. Church should be something we do, not just somewhere we go. Faith-In-Action is a Sunday where I can serve others just because. It’s a Sunday where I can show others the love that Christ has so graciously shown me. It is a Sunday where we can bring the hope of the Gospel to those who might be searching for an answer.

 

Join us Sunday, August 30, as we begin our Faith-In-Action journey to love on others in our community. We are kicking off our first Faith-In-Action Sunday by serving at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. We will be helping to bring back life to this area of our community that so desperately needs some TLC. We are starting small and will have bigger projects at future Faith-In-Action days. If you know of someone in our community such as a widow or elderly couple who could benefit from our help, please contact David Loyless. Below are links to other posts from pastor Lane Corley at Bridge Church in Madisonville, LA (where they have been doing Faith-In-Action for about 5 years now) as well as pictures from Faith-In-Action days that David and I have been able to be apart of.

 

Related Links:

http://lanecorley.com/2011/05/23/faith-in-action-sunday-2/

http://lanecorley.com/2010/01/30/faith-in-action-sunday-this-weekend/

http://lanecorley.com/2012/10/01/faithinaction-sunday-recap/

 

 

Power washing, mowing, raking, and cleaning up the yard of a widow in the south Louisiana area

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Installing a ramp in an elderly widow’s home in Madisonville, LA

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Anyone can serve! Young or old!!!

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Jumping In

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I don’t know if it is engrained in me from all my school years including the ones where I was the teacher, but I still view every August as a beginning to something new.   It is almost like I have a second January 1st where I set new goals, schedules, or even workout habits. Sitting in church this past Sunday, I allowed myself to reflect on where I was a year ago at this time. A year ago, I was in such a place of limbo and uncertainty. Cody and I had been working towards finalizing all our adoption paperwork which had taken up most of my summer, and Henry Todd was about to go to school for the first time. I felt like everything that I knew that was true and our previous way of life was about to change.

 

While I have been in a small group with Portico for the past 12 years, this time joining a small group felt overwhelming to even think about adding another thing to my plate, much a group that Cody would lead and prepare for each week. I also remember wrestling with our decision to be a part of a group in which we weren’t really that close to anyone in the group. Thoughts like “There are no small children in this group, so what will Henry do?” and “No single person is in the same life place as us right now, so what will we have in common?” made me dread our first time meeting. It felt like I was jumping into the deep end with no plan!

 

Even looking back on that makes me feel so ridiculous for worrying about things that seem so petty now, because truly, our life group became our second family this past year. They were the second family that we would desperately need to keep us a float. I had no clue that God was up to BIG things for all of us in the group (which appears to be his MO) so I don’t know why I am still at age 32 still surprised by that. We were a group that saw: job changes, family members battling cancer, eviction notices, loved ones pass away, adoption fails, tough family dynamics, depression and anxiety, miscarriage, and on and on. While that list looks scary typed out and placed together, when I look back all I can see is how my small group changed my perspective and became the church to me as we walked through this season together.

 

When Cody and I went to Utah this past December to adopt a little girl, our life group helped prepare and pray for this quick trip. BUT that doesn’t even touch what they did for us when our adoption did not go through. Instead of coming home to a decorated nursery and Christmas décor that would be hard to face, we came home to a clean house, baby things quietly put away, and verses that covered our home with reminders of God’s provision and faithfulness to our family. I do not know if I have ever been so grateful in my entire life.

 

I could have the absolute worst week, go to our life group on Wednesdays, and come home a changed momma. I saw people in our group who genuinely cared for each other and would drop their own agenda to help each other weekly. It wasn’t just one more night of something to do. It became my night that filled me so I could live on faith for the rest. Our life group, time and time again, helped me to choose joy despite our circumstance.

 

ALL this to say, take the time this week to decide on joining a small group! It is a decision you will never regret. Don’t do it with dread or anxiety, but with excitement of who God is going to weave into your quilt of life for this season. This type of relationship building is hard to accomplish just on Sunday gatherings, but it easily done in the intentional settings of Portico’s small groups. Just jump into the deep end because it might just be the best decision you make!

 

Leslie Bauman

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Sabbath

I have been challenged recently by the idea of practicing Sabbath. I quite honestly was intimidated by the idea as I considered an entire day without working. “There is just too much to do,” I thought, “I cannot afford to spend that much time resting.” And yet, the idea excited me as well. I considered that I would have time to read and write – things I enjoy but do not make time for when I feel like I constantly am working.
Resting is not something I do well and it certainly is not something that comes naturally to me. I enjoy working, and working hard – sometimes to a fault maybe. I have had to be very intentional to not work on my Sabbath. I have had to consider what work is for me and abstain from those activities. While preparing food for the week may help the rest of my week to go better (and maybe even be more restful) cooking is not restful to me. Going to Walmart is not restful to me. Even clothes shopping is not restful to me! Listening to worship music…reading Scripture…journaling…being creative. These activities are restful to me. They are life-giving.
James and I spent most of our day yesterday, doing what I would call spring cleaning. He asked that we block off the day to organize our closets so that they would be more functional. What started as organizing closets became rearranging the pantry, kitchen cabinets, laundry room – practically our entire home. I was dreading it to be quite honest. And yet, I knew that I would work hard on Saturday, and rest on Sunday. At the end of the day, as I reflected on our work, I was quite pleased with the result. I know where things are, and I can reach them (well some of them)! Our home is not cluttered, and it feels good!
I think practicing Sabbath has been somewhat like spring cleaning for me. I kind of dreaded changing my routine since I do not particularly like change, but I needed to reorganize my life so it would be more “functional.” As I reflect on the past three weeks that I have been more intentional about keeping Sabbath, I am quite pleased with the result. I have set priorities. I have made time for things that I enjoy, that give life to me. I think my mind is less “cluttered.” I work hard when it is time to work, and I rest well when it is time to rest. I think overall I am less stressed about work.
As I think about our Spring Cleaning & Paint Party at Portico this weekend, if I am completely honest, I am dreading it a little. I really do not like cleaning. And yet, I am excited to work hard alongside my church family, and I believe we will be pleased with the results. I will work hard on Saturday and rest well on Sunday. We will work hard together this Saturday, and then we will rest together at our spring retreat on April 18th. I can think of no better way to spend time with my church family. Looking forward to fellowshipping with everyone at both events!

Melissa Mejas

Unity

The Gospel birthed the Church, and God defended it.
God will act to preserve the unity (or integrity) of the Church.
God is relentless in his pursuit to give life and bring unity to His people.
The enemy is relentless in his pursuit to kill, steal, and destroy.
God defends His Church… God. Defends. His. Church.

As I reflect on the story of Ananias and Sapphira, I’m struck by how their single act of hypocrisy could have destroyed the Church in its infant state. I cannot imagine the state in which the Church would be today if God had not so radically defended it at that time. And then, I wonder about the state of the Church today. Are we as unified as we could be? Are we of one heart and one mind, devoted to each other, unselfish and trustworthy in our relationships? How is the enemy trying to destroy us?
Then, my thoughts turn toward myself and to my marriage. In what ways am I a hypocrite? How do I try to appear more righteous than I am? When do I hide behind a mask of false pretense? How does that hurt those in relationship with me? How do I allow a spirit of comparison and jealousy breed a spirit of discontent and disunity in our Body?
As some of you (in our Portico Church body) know and others probably do not, James and I were considering leaving Portico. We actually were in the process of telling people that we were leaving and visiting other churches, when God intervened in a most unexpected way. Through an act that I now believe to be an effort to unite His Body, God spoke through a dear friend, who was willing to take off his own mask and share vulnerably his thoughts about us leaving and about our friendship.
Through this process my prayer was that God would unite James and me in our decision of where to attend church. I cannot imagine how disunity in this decision could have destroyed our marriage in its infant state. I believe that God also acts to preserve the integrity of marriage. What the enemy would have liked to use to destroy us, God used to unite us. We are very united in our decision to stay at Portico and in our belief that God is asking us to be intentional this year…intentional in relationships…intentional in ministry involvement…intentional in acts that will unite His Church.
My prayer for Portico Church is that God will unite us, that we will be of one heart and one mind, devoted to each other, unselfish and trustworthy in our relationships. I pray against acts of hypocrisy meant to tear us apart. I pray against a spirit of comparison, jealousy and discontentment. Instead, I pray for acts of encouragement and humility meant to build us up. I pray that we will do our part to preserve the unity of the Church.

Melissa Mejias

Black Friday

Black Friday this year was the worst Black Friday in the history of Black Fridays. I haven’t heard any stories of crazed shoppers fighting over the last Furby. I haven’t listened as family or friends recounted their horrific shopping experiences at *large discount retail chains.* I also haven’t heard the cries of my newborn baby, and it’s killing me.

Katie and I were due to have a baby today. We weren’t expecting to be able to travel to Florida to spend the holiday with my family. We were banking on late night feeding, the nastiest poop diapers, and we couldn’t have been more excited. For one brief week in March, we were on top of the world. That position came toppling down on the most excruciating Thursday. My vote would be for the last Thursday in March to be called Black Thursday, but I don’t want to further memorialize a day that I won’t ever forget.

Miscarriage is an interesting thing. Most people will tell you that your body is much smarter than you realize, and the female body miscarries for a lot of different reasons. Neither of these things is any condolence.

(Track with me on this one) Miscarriage is also like hitting the lottery. When people find out it has happened to you, everyone you don’t quite know or haven’t spoken to in years wants to become best friends. Obviously not seeking a piece of the prize, they want to share the intimate details of their own experience. For an introvert that was involved in an emotional landslide (who also hates crying in front of people) like Katie, it was extremely difficult. Not being introvert and always willing to cry in front of just about anyone, it was equally traumatic for me but probably easier to process.

One of the most helpful pieces of advice we received was from a fellow Portico girl that Katie grew up around. Katie was very familiar with her experience, so the advice was welcome. She told us that it is ok to be angry. She told us that there will be days that we don’t want to sit in a worship service and pretend everything is ok. There will even be days that you don’t come to church because you just can’t make yourself do it. And all of those things are ok.

Today, I am not holding my snugly, warm baby. I have not been pacing a hospital in the most intense anxiety. I am cuddled up in an uncomfortable condo bed in Florida. Katie and I have been emotionally raw for 8 months now. We have been drained. We are empty. We have very little to offer. We fight on. We fight on because running a marathon in quicksand is a horrible experience. We fight on because, though the emptiness feels like a never-ending hole, we know that only the Spirit of Christ can fill such a hole. Sometime that is hard to see or believe. Often, it is difficult to accept. This Thanksgiving holiday has been one of meager, sparse thankfulness. Today, on the Blackest of Fridays, I declare that I am thankful for a Savior that meets me in the mess, a Savior that loves me in my grief and shame, and a Savior that is a strong reminder that death is not the end. When talking about eternity, Death is only the beginning. #Death2Life

by Philip Haley

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I Gave My Daughter A Cookie by Jarod Stokes

Here is a section from Randy’s Letter:

“The reality is that for the last couple of years, the amount given to Portico has declined.  That brought our church to a budget crossroad this year (Portico’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th).  Either we could cut the budget to reflect the amount actually given during the previous fiscal year(Literally having to cut all of our ministries) or we could adopt a budget that exceeded the amount actually given last year.  The church opted to do the latter at the September HUB.

Therefore, I am asking you to do two things.  

  1. Pray about the amount God would have you give to support the ministries of Portico Church.  
  2. Faithfully give that amount.


”

When my daughter and I go to the mall, we typically go to Chick-Fil-A, followed by shopping or errands. But on the way out, sometimes we get the mini double doozies. She really likes the M&M ones. So, at first we would just split it and I would tell her, “This is for you and Daddy.” This became our thing: we would SPLIT it. So, one time for whatever reason (maybe because I was watching my weight…doubt it), I didn’t give her the instructions to split it. Looking back, I realize that she knew I had not requested a SPLIT. When we got to the car, she had eaten a little more than half. She then gave me the cookie and said, “Dad can you save the rest of this for after my nap?” I said sure, and we pulled out of the parking lot. I wish I had watched her more in the rear view mirror; I wish I had seen fully what was going on. We got about five minutes down the road, and she says, “Dad I want you to have it!” I said “What?” She said, “It’s too much for my tummy, you have it.” Not wanting to pass on the teachable moment, I said, “Thank you. I’m so proud of you for sharing.” So I gave her a small pinch back and ate the rest. Since then she now just tears off half and gives it to me. She smiles real big and says, “Here you go daddy!”

I don’t care about the cookies (that’s not true, I love double doozies), but in comparison, I’m so pumped and overwhelmed that my daughter wants to share with me what I’ve already shared with her. I’m not asking you to give more for the sake of giving more, I’m asking you to share the way Jesus shared. I’m asking you to give like God gave. I’m asking you to be more like Christ. God doesn’t need your charity or your money. He simply wants you to smell like him. He wants you to be his fragrance on earth.

At Portico we have a tube mounted to the wall. It is my favorite avenue of giving to date in my church history. Why? Because you have to think about it. You have to consciously think about putting it in there. Some people have made it a habit… good for them. But giving isn’t really an after thought or a moment of knee jerk adjustment once the trays are being passed. That’s my spin on the TUBE. Some people blame the tube, some people say they’d rather give to a need, some people forget, others just don’t think about it, and some have other reasons for not giving.

HERE is the need. Here is what to remember. This is what I need you to put in the tube…

We will be handing out and mailing covenant cards. We need to manage our budget effectively to be good stewards of what God is giving Portico. These cards will ask you to commit to giving a certain amount to Portico weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. You have two options: anonymously, or you can put your name on it. This is not an accountability exercise. It can be if you would like someone to hold you to that, however, we just simply need to know where every penny is going.

We want our kids’ ministry, creative ministry, outreach ministry, worship ministry, and others to be able to do what we believe God has called them to do. Our church is in need for the money to support those ministries.

Please pray about it. Pray for WISDOM for our leaders. Pray for growth in our giving. Pray for humility, and most importantly pray that the Holy Spirit is moving us all in the direction we are to go as church.

At the end of the day my daughter and I share cookies all the time. She loves to make them for me, and I love to give her an extra one when her mom is not looking. God wants a relationship with you that is deeper than a Sunday experience, more than song, more than a tithe, and more than an after thought. He wants you to actively and passionately seek him with all your heart. God has blessed you with a church who loves you deeply. Let us know how we can help you GIVE in ways that bring eternal life to this community and those around us.

Some Things Leave A Mark

What events have marked your life? Experiences that have forever shaped who you are? It may have been a series of hard days that you lived through, a trip you took, or a moment you shared with someone important. Or maybe it was just a simple blip on the radar, a book you read, or a great conversation. When I consider who I am today – the good and the bad, my passions and personality, habits and viewpoints – I recall a handful of moments that have informed who I am and my perspective on life.

I remember being a little girl sitting down for the first few times with watercolor paints, blank paper, and my imagination. It was usually on a Sunday afternoon after I’d complained one too many times that I was bored. Mom would set me up on the floor in our foyer beside our glass door, looking out into the front yard. I’d paint flowers for what felt like hours. It was there that I began to fall in love with creating and discovered a practice that I’ve carried with me ever since.

I remember as a teenager the summer my parents packing my two siblings and I into a mini-van with a pop-up camper in tow, headed out onto the open road for a couple of weeks. My Dad said we were driving to Idaho, making whatever stops we wanted along the way. Mom sat in the front seat with a fold-out map and thick guide that listed campsite possibilities. We camped in a different place most nights, and a few times we drove late into the night because we weren’t sure how to find the site we were looking for – we’re talking pre-cell phone, pre-GPS days here! We saw the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Mount Rushmore, and many other beautiful places on that trip. It was then that I fell in love with traveling, taking adventures, and the beauty of this world. I vowed to see and experience as much as I could and find adventure often….both practices that I still carry with me today.

When it comes to my relationship with the Lord, few things have shaped me like a sermon I heard 7 or 8 years ago about the Lord’s Prayer. God’s Spirit used that pastor to forever alter my viewpoint of God, how I interact with Him, and what my prayer-life looks like. I’d likely recited the Lord’s Prayer hundreds of times by that point and had had it committed to memory so long that I can’t remember when or how I did it. And until that sermon, the Lord’s Prayer was just that…something I recited but never considered. Never had I wondered why Jesus said it, what implications it could have in my life, and definitely not whether I prayed with sincerity. The moment that sermon was finished, I knew I had to change some things. I knew it was time to really talk to God, time to be sincere about what was in my heart, and time to beg the Lord to make my heart more like His and really mean it.

The most difficult part of the Lord’s Prayer for me back then –and still today – is the section that says “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” The difficulty lies in the fact that it’s GOD’s kingdom, not mine, that I’m supposed to be praying towards. And I don’t know about you, but I really, really like being in charge of my own kingdom.

As Portico Church wraps up our Kingdom of God series this coming Sunday, I’m not sure of a more fitting passage to talk about than this section of the Lord’s Prayer. My prayer heading into our time together on Sunday is that God would use this very often recited, but rarely authentically prayed passage to leave a mark on you as it has on me.

See you Sunday! Libby

Heart Homework

As Randy led us through Psalm 86 last week, he focused our attention on having an undivided heart.

11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

 

We were asked to spend some time this week thinking through what is going on in our lives that results in having a divided heart.  Meditating on this over the past couple of days led me to think about the invitation that Jesus would extend to potential disciples… Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he would say to people “If you want to be my disciple…” or “If you want to follow me…”  These statements would be followed by some renunciation… and I mean some serious renunciation!  The type of thing that today would only be expected from some larger-than-life heroic super-Christian.  Deny yourself? Sell all your possession?  Let the dead bury the dead?  Don’t worry?  Don’t have enemies?  Surely Jesus didn’t expect these types of actions from a new convert?

 

But perhaps what Jesus understood was that these renunciations were necessary in order to create room in the lives of these disciples for a new way of doing things, for a new way of understanding God’s kingdom.  And so we too can practice the discipline of renouncing… not that renouncing in and of itself makes us holy, but it creates space where the holiness of God can dwell and reorder our lives or said differently, give us an undivided heart, that we may fear His name.

 

Many renunciations are a lifelong struggle and God in his infinite mercies will guide us, but don’t be like those potential disciples who upon Jesus’ invitation put down their head and turned away disappointed.

 

May you have a keen ear to hear that which Jesus is calling you to renounce,

Curtis