Wednesday, December 24, 2008

all about christmas

if you "don't like christmas" for one of the following reasons, please stop.

i'm just as guilty of feeling these things as you are, but stop.

 - "we have so much...they don't" "its just not fair!" "it's not right"
 - "people are SO materialistic"
 - "christmas is so commercial, seriously..."
 - "i don't have family or friends and i'm lonely" (sometimes translated "i don't like my family or my friends and i'm lonely")
 - "it's so tacky, and the carols never stop"

yes, these are all annoying, but that's all they are. they have no more authority over christmas than an obnoxious guest at a dinner party. 

we celebrate because after thousands of years of sin, and hundreds of years of captivity a son came to earth, who was God, and died for us.

its not about feeling guilty - if you feel there is an injustice being done by you receiving a gift and some other kid in africa not receiving a gift then the other 363 days of the year you should be feeling just as guilty too. this injustice is a daily thing. stop feeling guilty, jesus came. now start moving your life to a more chain-breaking lifestyle.

christmas was the ultimate chain-breaker. injustice ruled over our lives, we were bound by sin, and we were under an evil rule. jesus came and broke sin, and set us free.

thats christmas. rejoice, celebrate, be joyful. 

if you have ever disliked christmas i invite you to let it go. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

after all the mountains

i just finished rereading the last battle (the seventh book of the chronicles of narnia) and i would greatly recommend reading it (again).

if you don't want to know how it ends don't read this. 

anyway, it shot things in to perspective for me. 

all our lives we have these "mountaintop experiences" with God. 

(mountaintop referring to when the disciples were on the mountain and Jesus went up in to the sky with moses and elijah to chill for a bit, then the disciples realized how powerful he was and never wanted to stop worshipping on that mountain)

in these times we get so excited by Gods power, that we are filled with an overflowing love love, and an incomparable joy. 

we never want these times to end.

but like the disciples we have to go back to the world and try and live lives as the citizens of heaven we are.

similarly every time the pevensies (lucy peter and edmund - susan denies her narnian citizenship and loses her inheritance) go to narnia they have their own mountaintop experience with aslan.

but eventually they have to leave and go back to the 'real world' to live according to their citizenship.

the last paragraph of the last battle says that they were all sad and aslan asked them why.

they replied that they thought they would have to go back as usual.

i feel that sentiment a lot on retreats, or at worship gatherings.

then aslan says "there was a train accident...the dream is over the morning is come, your holiday has begun"

thats what i hope for.

i knew i was going to heaven, but i never realized it in that way. one day this world will be like a dream and i will be in the real world, the one we've all been practicing for. the world where there will be no more tears, and we will not be able to feel pain. that abundant love and joy we feel in worship will be the only thing we can ever experience, and as cs lewis put it in his book everything good: further up, further in. neverending.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

great night

tonight was great. seriously, great, and my God is SO good. 

a woman named doreen irvine wrote an awesome line in her book that has always stuck with me. "when God enters your life all the colours in the world seem brighter"

heres what made me think of that:

on my way home i met a really nice pakistani man in a santa hat, he said to me "the snow should start at 7 in the morning" then we laughed together for a bit, and i paid him for gas (yeah!). then i went outside and filled my car up with gas, when an old man with big glasses that enlarged his eyes got out of his car, walked up to me and said (in a thick german accent) "boy! don't you know it's winter (vinter)!" then we talked for a bit and finished by laughing at how hot my heater was. 

then as if the night wasn't already great, i went to tim hortons (don't tell my manager), and the woman told me what i wanted wasn't on the menu. so i sighed and ordered a plain iced cap. then i drove up and the girl took my money, and smiled, and i asked her how she was, she said "great!" and finished with a big smile and said "merry christmas!!!". the smile she showed me reflected a great deal of joy, and made her one of the most beautiful people i saw all day. 

all this at one truck stop! 
nothing special happened, but in every single person God's creativity was SO prevalent, and i got to see that in the space of 10 minutes after making a detour on my way home. isn't joy wonderful?

and then in addition to that:
i got to chill with one of the BEST families EVER - the drivers!!!!!!!!!