On Belonging

Upon entering our apartment for lunch today, Aelah was singing this song over and over.

I belong to somebody.

She was correctly singing that line when I first heard her. As you can tell, it turned into something else. Hearing her sing this got me to thinking that, yes, we do belong to Somebody.

If I were to ask, “To whom do you belong?,” you may be apt to respond with disgust to such a question. “I belong to no one!,” we might want to say. We have been conditioned to esteem our individualistic and independent selves. In our consumeristic culture, we have unfortunately associated belonging with ownership. This is a popular and errant understanding of the word. Belonging is not about possession, but about position.

belong | bi-lôNG | • be rightly placed in a specified position.

With this proper understanding of what it means to belong, we wonderfully happen upon a very different answer to the question of our belonging.

Just yesterday, I was given Common Prayer to peruse. As I opened the pages, these are the words that greeted me.

“Re-member-ing” has to do with becoming something new, the body of Christ, in which we lose ourselves in something bigger than ourselves; we are re-membered into a new body.

When we take the wine and bread and eat it, we are digesting Christ – or an even better way of understanding might be that we are made into a new creation as we are digested into the body of Christ. Performing the Eucharist with a community makes us into the body of Christ. As often as Christians take the common elements of bread and wine, they re-member themselves into Jesus. In the Eucharist, we don’t just remember Jesus in general; we remember his suffering. The bread is a broken body, and the wine is poured like shed blood. Both grain and grapes have to be crushed and broken to become something new together. If you are what you eat, the Eucharist is indeed the act of uniting yourself with the one who lovingly suffered at the hands of his enemies.

Maybe this is the greatest sacrament or mystery of our faith – that these broken pieces become one body.

This is where we belong. We belong to Jesus. We belong to His body. As the Church, we belong to one another. Beholden to the wonderful grace and faithfulness of God is our rightful place. Oh, that we might rejoice to sing, “I belong to Somebody!”

Acura MDX

We purchased a new vehicle on Monday – a 2002 Acura MDX w/ 121000 miles. We’ve been on the hunt for a few months and finally found a quality vehicle with third-row seating at an affordable price. The jeep has served us well, but I think Adrienne (and I) will be happy to no longer wrestle with the door latches in the cold of winter – no more being locked out (or locked in). Also, we’ll appreciate the air conditioning and keyless entry.

acura-mdx

Life on Team (feat. NASA)

So, this sounds a lot like team ministry. Here are a few excerpts from the article.

The isolation experience, which will last a year.

The six-strong team will live in close quarters.

Provisions include powdered cheese and canned tuna.

…the human element of exploration and problems that arise living in tight quarters.

I think one of the lessons is that you really can’t prevent interpersonal conflicts. It is going to happen over these long-duration missions, even with the very best people.

I think maybe NASA could have saved some time and money by simply contacting Youth Encounter directly. We’ve been doing this for 50 years!

Now Is It Possible—

Are we going with Jesus in the life we are living now?

This question is hammered deep in the pages of this little pamphlet. This morning at the Prayer League, we were again discussing transitions (we’ve plenty on the horizon). Chuck led us in reminiscing on past directors of the mission and in celebration of God’s faithfulness through the years. We gave thanks for the unique offerings of each preceding director and the way they held to Jesus. Chuck cautioned us on how easily a fellowship can be beset and molested by peripheral concerns during times of transition.

Watch when God shifts your circumstances and see whether you are going with Jesus or siding with the world, the flesh and the devil. We wear His badge, but are we going with Him? (p. 18)

Then, Chuck exhorted us to, in all things, keep with Jesus. This must be our one thing. I pray this be our one thing.

Chambers begins this piece by delving into the topics of blamelessness and fault in the life of those reborn. He addresses the work of sanctification and being without censure before God. He writes of our daily “going out” as Abraham did – even in the “not knowing.” He then moves on to our keeping to they way as we go. It is in glorious surrender that we are made one with Christ and of the same mind. It is the work of the Spirit and its end is that we are kept and keep with Jesus along every way. Let us, then, go out, not knowing the way – confident our God does.

Reflect On Jude 24-25
Luke 22:28-29
Praise God that He is greater than our temptations.
Offer Thanks for Jesus.
Confess every propensity to turn your eyes from Jesus.
Ask God to daily teach you His ways and draw you nearer His will.
Comment: How has “going with Jesus” and “keeping with Jesus” been in your life?
How are we able to keep ourselves abiding in that way – His way?

 

Outdoor Adventures

We’ve enjoyed the outdoors quite well these past few days. Thursday evening saw us at Lake Nokomis for spikeball. They kids and Adrienne enjoyed some time on the playground.

Today, we took a trip to the big farmers market, then spent some time at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. We’d not been there before, but is certainly a great place with some good history.

P.S. Aelah’s curls and Simeon’s cheeks in the slo-mo video are great!

 

Mourning a Loss of Morality

Because of popular news’ oft bias-laden sensationalism, I had no desire to watch the investigative videos regarding Planned Parenthood. Then, feeling the need for some sense of objectivity as I see comments posted here and there, I watched a few. There are times when words fail. This was a time when words fail – a time of silence. Voices have been silenced.

I don’t know what much I can write to process the heart-wrenchingness. Whether Planned Parenthood is actually selling baby parts or, in some twisted way, enabling research is beside the point for me. There is evil afoot and I mourn for the lostness of our society. I will likely not watch any more videos that may be released. I don’t need to gaze upon such evil.

However, there are two things I do want to share with you.

One. It tore me inside to one day be opening our envelope to the celebration of another boy, only to hear those same words (in a video) a few days later as a lab tech sifted through the remains of someone else’s little baby boy.

Two. With the raw and ugly reality of abortion being thrust before us, I think again and again of those women and men who have, once upon a time, made the choice to abort their child. If their moral compass has since been set aright, they are likely suffering – being weighed ever more with guilt, shame, and regret. Pray for these people! May they know forgiveness, consolation, and peace in Jesus.