That's the phrase Chele claimed for Steve's lay-off from Nike. And I like it. Set free. It's not even so much about being set free from something as it is set free for something. I know that sounds kinda weird - really it's both the same thing I guess. But being set free from something has you spending most of your energy thinking about that which has locked you and held you back and kept you from freedom... Setting free FOR something... that makes you focus on future, what's ahead, what can be, what's to be, what will be... it means new things, new places, new adventures, stretching wings, new perspectives, new realities... new life.

This isn't something that's "new" either. Life is full of times where things are just hunky-dorry and going great... and times when things get (or need) a little shaking up. I've been thinking about this a lot lately - for the obvious reasons (like Steve losing his job), but also in that I'm finding more and more that some things I assume or take for granted are just not the same anymore... take the concept of a relationship with Jesus.

Now, for those who are Christ-followers, you're in. For those of you who are not, you may think I'm nuts. Hang on...in both cases... let me explain. I do with all my heart believe that God's story is that of a redemption journey - one of bringing people to Him. He was literally in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve... He created them (and us) and wants to be in relationship/community (friendship if you will) with them (and us). And over and over in the Bible, we see stories of God doing just that --- calling humanity back to Himself --- and giving us eternal "freedom" with Him. =) Smile. Sigh. Rest.

Now - for many when you say "relationship" - there is a bunch of baggage. There's a bunch of disappointment, negative emotion, expectation that's not met, brokenness... And if that's your picture of what a relationship is... and then you say something about a relationship with Jesus, it's no wonder people who are trying to think about Jesus are stopped in their tracks. If that's you... I don't blame you. Who would want to think about being in a "relationship" with Jesus? The last thing you want is something broken, unreliable, pain-ridden... Not all relationships are like that... there are some that have lasted a really long time and then split. There are some who say they're for a lifetime and end a month (or even a week) later. That picture of relationship can mar the whole concept of what God hopes for each of us...

I read a quote today that honestly has be kinda stuck... because I love it. Because it's easy to say things like, that's how it used to be...or that doesn't really work now... but... check this out... "Christ's community is a way of life that incarnates into and challenges any and every culture, in every time, in every place." J. Campbell (actually was quoted in a book I'm reading right now called Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer & David Putman.) Here's why I love the quote. It's true.

Having community with Jesus doesn't go out of style. Being in community Jesus doesn't go out of date. Living in community with Jesus doesn't expire. Jesus isn't old school. Jesus is always relevant, always consistent, always vital, always pertinent, always life-changing, always life-altering, always freeing. Being in community/relationship with Jesus isn't life in a cage watching the world go by... it's a freedom to fly understanding who you are and Who's you are. And that freedom is the same today as it was when Jesus walked among the earth... it's the same in the USA as it is in Germany, Russia, Botswana, Papau New Guinea and everywhere else on the planet...

"They" (whoever they are) say that the biggest needs people have are to be loved and accepted. Whether you see that as relationship or community... it's do-able. It can be real. I may know you well, or I may not know you at all... but Someone does. Community or relationship or friendship with God isn't dependent on where you live, what you do... or put another way... God's love for you isn't dependent on where you live, or what you do, or what you've done, or what job you have, or what clothes you where, or what country you reside or born in, or what family you're in, or what shows you watch, or what cage you're in. God loves you. Period. He does. You may or may not realize it...but He does. Sitting wherever you are right now --- He loves you.

community or relationship or friendship is a two-way street. It's a conscious commitment by at least 2... God is committed... and I don't know how that hits you today --- as something totally "new" --- or a sweet reminder --- but, I hope either way it makes you think a little... and be challenged or encouraged... and set free...

P.S. And Steve... I believe in you babe. I know we don't know what's next...but whatever it is... we're in it, together... you, and me, & our kiddos... and Jesus. What else could we possibly ask for?? I love you.

P.P.S.S. Steve is starting his 40 days of blogging in the a.m. So be sure to check it out too!!



©2009 Until... | by TNB