Thursday, May 22, 2008

I See Light

I added the picture (to the right) to my blog because the title is I see light and somehow found its way into our collection of pictures from Guatemala. I say somehow but truly believe it is a symbolic picture (as well as a real picture) of the spiritual condition in Guatemala. I love this picture because of the light not simply slipping in a crack, but pouring in a major opening, God is working in Guatemala, He has been working in Guatemala and He will continue to work in Guatemala long after we are gone. We are humbled by the calling of God to Guatemala! For so long the people of Guatemala have been trapped in a life of worshipping inanimate gods that they hoped would bring fertilization to their crops, health to their bodies and joy to their life. They have often given in homage, things they cannot afford to give away for nothing in return.
In the area of Lake Atitlan, the local deity is Maximon, an actual wooden carved idol, who is dressed in a suit and fedora, he also wears about ten ties for some reason, I can’t stand one much less ten, but then again this idol is not alive so…
Anyway, before a person’s conversion to Christianity, most indigenous Mayans have incorporated this idol worship with their faith in Catholicism. The above mentioned picture reminds me so much of the darkness that these people are in as a result of the syncretism of their faith. I wish I could say that when a Mayan converts to Christianity that they have a full understanding of God being all they need, but unfortunately that is not the case. It seems that the Christianity (I dare not state a percentage) they engage in is just one more thing they can add to a life of faith.
Sarah and I have wonderful friends all over Guatemala who are engaged in the ministry with Mayans, and as a result have shared with us the vision God has given them. We look with anxious nervousness to the time God has set for us to be in Guatemala full time, we are presently working with churches and individuals who will partner with us to help us engage in this vision. The great thing about the vision we have been given is that God Himself has seen what the Guatemalans need in their life of faith and put that vision on our hearts.
When you think of that picture remember the spiritual darkness of all people who do not know Jesus Christ, foreign and here in the states. Pray for the missionaries that are sharing their faith and the churches who are reaching out to the lost. As missionaries, we are not bringing God to these places, and I am quoting Rob Bell here, “If love is in these places, if laughter is in these places, if joy is in these places then God is there!” We are I guess (revealing) God to them through these things. Pray for us as God prepares us to do His will.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Will equal rights really be equal?

Will equal rights really be equal? I am posing this question with about a thousand follow up questions. The question is posed in light of a conversation I had with my deeply intelligent wife the other night. How we got to this conversation I will never know, but I think it was a rabbit trail off of the question I had regarding atheists/antitheist and why they cared if I chose to believe in a higher power. The question dissolved into the thought that in light of atheists/antitheist (i will call them a/a from now on) may get what they want in politics, education, marriages, etc. If they get what they want we will be left with our beliefs in our hand and wondering what happened. If we look back to history, ahh history, we find that when the original colonies were established, the reading of Scripture was a hallmark of education, if they learned nothing else they learned to read and what book was most owned by people moving to the new world in search of RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, the Bible. I understand a/a thoughts in that the "Christians are takin' over", but why are so many people (politicians) so fired up about getting our vote, why do politicians have such a hard time passing laws that are opposed to moral/ethical ideals. Sure a/a are a minority, but they are a minority that is fighting against people whose beliefs in their mind don't exist. Was that statement clear? I know I may be setting up straw man arguments for myself, but at this point in the game "Can this many people be wrong?" Is it possible that people for thousands of years have gotten it all wrong and the few people among those years who thought and believed that no god existed had it right? Don't get tied down with popular vote vs delegates won, this is not about Al Gore!! Although I think that I have strayed from my original premise about equal rights ever being equal, and honestly the answer is no! At some point someone will disagree with the amount of CO2 released into the air by cattle in Texas and blame someone for it, just as quickly as some will disagree with the phrase "one nation under God" in the pledge or the fact that religious groups have to meet as a school group and not just an unscheduled meeting of teens who love Jesus. I remember my mother telling me about Jesus Freaks in her high school in Baton Rouge, whatever happened to those days, weren't those the days of civil rights!!!!!! Wow how things have changed, I wonder what would happen if a young man/woman sat outside their school, or even in the quad, with a guitar and some close friends and started singing praise songs? Would their civil rights be infringed upon, because someone who is opposed was offended? I think our hippy parents would wonder what happened and did all the work they did in bringing civil rights awareness about really help or hurt the American landscape? I have question after question and sadly no answer, but this: I still love Jesus, regardless of who is in office, I know that God is in control and so what if I do! I know that God placed people positions of power (Daniel 4:17, Romans 13:1-2). I leave this blog as it began with questions and if you have read Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, that might be a good thing, questions are what keep us from stagnating. So, will equal rights ever be equal? Ask me when my body is perfected and we are standing in the presence of the Almighty and He judges those who just as equally chose not to serve Him.