Quality of Life Part 2

April 15, 2010

I went to church on Easter Sunday.  Everyone seemed so excited.  They had a chance to dress up, enjoy a sensitive, well-crafted sermon about Jesus’ sacrifice, and then have a wonderful meal with family, followed by chocolate eggs or bunnies. I also enjoy these Easter delights, but instead of being distracted by them I tried to follow through on my self-assigned project from the previous blog – to consider what “quality of life” I desire in light of the Resurrection. Read the rest of this entry »

Quality of Life: Part 1

April 4, 2010

My twenties are officially over.  A decade of so much yet so little.  There were many defining moments; experiences have fossilized and become my character, become Aaron Salvatore.  Now I enter a new decade, finally somewhat secure about who I am and ready to apply that “i am” to the world around me.  Guess I can start calling myself an adult.

Accordingly, I’m already having thoughts like one.  Such as, “In the years to come, what kind of quality of life will I choose for myself?”  I was actually thinking this yesterday, the day before 30, but it seems to be a great transition from an oar-less raft in the open sea, to some more thoughtful navigation.  Read the rest of this entry »

Trying to love

March 26, 2010

I live among an inspiring community of believers, but seldom do I realize it.  Tonight I walked around the prayer room doing my personal devotion prayers, and I started thinking about the people who surround me every night.  I thought, “Jesus really loves these people.  He has a personal history and a deep affection for each person in here.”
Then I realized that in the Bible He calls us to tap into that same love.  We are called not to be self-satisfying, but the greatest servants of all.  I considered my dilemma:  How do I love these people like You God?  How do I get out of my little bubble?  There is so much life going on around me, so many lives to influence and lead closer to Him.

This got me thinking about a quote I recently heard:  “To have relationship with God, one must restrain from relationship with Man.”

There are three different reactions to this quote, and since I heard it, I’ve had them all.  In summary, the answers are either, “True, False or both true and false.”  Before reading on and hearing my reaction, I suggest stopping and considering your own response.   Read the rest of this entry »

Perspective

January 3, 2010

The tangible power of eternity presses down upon our short lives with an overwhelming presence.  Like beach sands poured upon an anthill, like a single snowflake descending on the plains of Antarctica, our allotted times are swallowed up by the great eternal.  Our short stories have abrupt endings, lost in a page-less forever.  All of our ambitions are swept away, our temporal goods and life visions, callings and destinies are a few leaves hanging by an aged twig, easily broken by a strong wind.  All of our circumstances are stones crushed beneath the weight of a shifting mountain.

Have ownership of nothing lest you be stripped of everything.  If our futures are not tied down by the weights of eternity they will float away into nothingness like the helium in a single balloon released into the sky.

Temporal desires can never be recovered, their end is insignificance.

Eternity is not just a future hope, it has a present expression which is violent against temporal things.  Everything that doesn’t have life in eternity will be killed by this reality eventually.  We can grieve over the loss of many things on the day our life ends, but wisdom says to let eternity bring some loss now instead of then.

Super-Saint or Servant or …

November 19, 2009

  • He was a man of great boldness, willing to stand for truth in the face of all opposition.
  • He was full of faith and had indisputable wisdom.
  • He was a great historian, well versed in the pentateuch and the prophets, especially concerning the Christ.
  • He witnessed the glory of God and saw Jesus resurrected.
  • His countenance shone like that of an angel.
  • He forgave his enemies for the most appalling sin against him, embodying Jesus’ prophecy, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
  • The assault against him started the first widespread persecution against the Church, precipitating the first major evangelistic campaign throughout the nations.
  • He was the Church’s first martyr.

Read the rest of this entry »

A sea with no bottom

October 18, 2009

Your words dive into my shallow heart creating depth

and the capacity to know,

to feel,

to experience

communion with the beating heart

of the man in heaven.

Scripture tells us that the heart of man is wicked and deceitful.

Let me not be fooled by twisted intentions of

selfish love – which is not love at all –

but an attachment to empty treasure chests.

Speak to me.

Put Your pure heart into mine,

at first foreign,

but soon familiar,

the divine nature of the unfallen heart of man –

A sea with no bottom.

A sky without horizon.

I met a strung-out, incoherent, overly emotional crack-addict named Ramon.  He looked me straight in the eyes, and while tightly embracing my hand, told me how much God loved me.  He was right.

The night before, my group and I had attended a prayer meeting in the inner-city that is focused on reaching men like Ramon with the gospel.  They pray and worship for an hour and then provide food for the homeless.  I had been at this meeting about a dozen times in the past and always found it amusing to watch this population pray at the microphone.  I mean, I now work for the International House of Prayer – part of my occupation is to lead people in prayer.  We use the right lingo, we pray in a positive and uplifting manner, and we try not to get too personal.  But homeless people do things a little differently – they create their own model. They get behind that pulpit and share testimonies, preach mini-sermons, cast out devils and sometimes say border-line heretical statements.  This particular night wasn’t much different than the previous ones, until the spotlight I was shining on everyone else was turned around, shining into the deep caverns inside of me.  What I saw was alarming. Read the rest of this entry »