It’s sad, but very often I lose the excitement of being a disciple of Jesus.  The passion that I have felt for the Him and His work are at times overshadowed, even squelched by my position as a vocational missionary.  One of the truths that has fueled my spiritual passion is knowing that I was uniquely created to serve my Creator.  He has a truly, special plan for me.  So often, I am stunted by organizational mandates, habits, traditional modes of doing and I forget how exciting – truly exciting it can be to follow Jesus and allow Him to use me(just the way I am)  for the benefit of others – even with all my failures and shortcomings.  While organization and structure can be good, even necessary, too often I find myself investing more in the structure, planning, strategies for the benefit of the organization and less on the mission, the real unique mission that God has for me.

Here is to a new season of unhindered service with an expectation of rewarding results.  Here is to the hope that my unique purpose will become part of my vocation rather than a separate pursuit and that fear will not cause me to retreat from seeing that possibility become a reality.

Revothinktion: Is my commitment to my position as a vocational missionary helping or hindering my effectiveness as a disciple of Jesus?

Love, is it a strategy?

Sometimes we harness supposed virtue as a tool for our ulterior purpose rather than for its natural benefit.  At one point in my life I was required to read a book about how to raise support for a non-profit organization. One suggestion was to maintain a tickler file of donor birthdays and send each donor a card annually.  Sure, it’s wise to have a calendar to remind us of significant personal dates i.e. wedding anniversary, child’s birthday.  What’s my motive however? Do I want to remember birthdays because I really care or because I want them to think I do? Am I really concerned for them or more for their investment? Do I stop sending birthday cards when they stop contributing?

The problem is that love or any other virtue can’t simply be programmed, learned from a book or established by a system. Beyond that, how one person demonstrates concern or forgiveness for another is not necessarily how all will express that same virtue, nor should it be.  Healthy relationship is not uniform or programmed.  It is fluid from one unique individual to another.

Unfortunately we can live such self-focused lives that we are in need of practical demonstrations about how love (selfless action) should be expressed just to break us out of habits that we have labelled as loving but that are rather methodical and agenda driven. For those of us in tight-knit faith communities, being genuinely concerned for others without an intent to recruit them is something of which we have may have lost sight.  So, it seems necessary to have conversations about taking cookies to a neighbor or going to a funeral for a co-worker’s grandparent because we have lost our perspective on kindness and generosity.  But be careful; isolating one day to take cookies to all my neighbors because I read it in a book does not mean that I have fulfilled my duty to love them and am now a model neighbor.  It may however be a beginning to a new relationship where you really open your life up to someone else.

Revothinktion: Am I trying to be virtuous because it seems necessary to my organizational/community growth strategy or am I waiting for genuine opportunities to care for others whether they are a part of my life or not?


Right? Or blind?

Have you ever said, “They let their kids play too many video games, OR he’s a workaholic, OR she’s ruining herself with credit cards?”  Some lines of thinking cause us to filter everything as right vs wrong.  While assessing other’s errors, we subtly develop a dilemma for ourselves.  Over time, my opinions create an impossible standard of living for me.  Do I have it all figured out and perform as a great parent, employee, and citizen?  Meanwhile, my focus on the failings of others has me neglecting my own personal growth.  Sure you’re going to have opinions, make suggestions and offer advice, but do you present your every idea as the right way with a blind eye to your own weaknesses?

Revothinktion: What decisions need to be defined as right vs wrong?  What is just my experienced opinion?