Friday, January 6, 2017

What's wrong with being "Confident?"

I heard that song on the radio, and asked myself the same question. What IS wrong with being confident? Truly, nothing. If you are properly defining the word "confident".

I heard a different song that got me thinking about this. The songs couldn't be more different. This other song was written centuries ago. In Latin, it's known as "Adeste Fideles" in English "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." If you know me, you know I'm a total Word Nerd and love learning the roots, origins and etymology of words. So naturally, I was curious about these Latin In our church, as in others as well, we sing it in latin, and one of the words looked familiar: FIDELES.

It comes from the word FIDES which means Faith. This version of the word FAITH (thanks to means  "trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief,"  

So, CON FIDES means "with much FAITH."  

Am I living my life like one of those "Fideles" being invited to "Adeste"?  Am I truly "Full of Faith"?  FULL?  

Con Fides.  "With much faith" is the kind of mindset that allowed Mary to say Yes to whatever God had in mind for her life.  "Fideles" is the mindset that the disciples took with them everywhere they went to proclaim the gospel to all who would listen.  

Con-Fidence is what I wish for everyone this New Year!  In 2017, May you be filled with FAITH that whatever it brings with it, He will love us through it.  Let's have CONFIDENCE that whoever dies this year will experience a peaceful death. Let's have CONFIDENCE that the new people born this year will be a blessing to the world they inherit. 

Let's all go forward, boldly into 2017 with the CONFIDENCE, the fullness of Faith, that our words and actions will reflect that Faith in our hearts, and the Love of the one we have Faith in.    

Oh come, let us adore him.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The God of "Jacob"

"Jacob" screams at the top of his lungs, "JESUS CHRIST!!!"

You can hear him all the way down the hallway, slamming his chair against a wall and crashing anything he can reach onto the floor.  "GOD!!!" Oh my GODDD!!" He screams, unleashing the fury that he just can't contain any longer.  A stream of obscenities leaves his lips next, that you wouldn't think a second grader would know.

He does know them.  He listened to his mother and father scream them at each other well into the night.  Again. They screamed and fought well after the "good kids" of the neighborhood were in bed, tucked in by parents who love them, and love each other.  They pushed and shoved each other into the early hours of the morning, while "Jacob" cowered in his room, trying to sleep, but afraid. Would the police come tonight? Again? Honest to God, he just wanted to sleep!

Now here he is.  No sleep.  No meds.  No shower.  No breakfast.  He made it to school because he got himself  up and around in time to catch the bus, and now he's exhausted.  He came to school with an attitude.  I wonder why.

"Jacob" does the only thing he knows to do.  He screams and swears because he has learned that's what adults do when they're angry and afraid and at the end of their rope.

"Jacob" does something else, too.  Something he doesn't understand, and may not even realize he's doing it.

"Jacob" prays.

He screams the name of a savior he needs desperately, but doesn't know personally.  He screams the name of the Creator who made him and put him here.  He's terrified.  He needs God!  He calls him by name! If you listen, you can hear the urgency in his voice, along with the anger and fear.  He doesn't use the loving tone you will hear in any church, but it is, none the less, the only prayer this kid knows.

He doesn't know what "God" means, but he's screaming out for help!  He's looking for someone that will love him and care for him.  He's so very DESPERATE for a SAVIOR!! He's looking for someone who will stand between him and certain destruction.

Amidst the stream of obscenities, is a plea for help to the God of this "Jacob", and all the "Jacobs" of the world. He is the God of every kid that struggles.  Every kid that fails. He's the God of every family that screams and hits and curses their way through long nights, and the police who come to protect them. He is the God of every messed up, addicted, hyperactive or just plain "naughty" kid, teen and adult there is. He hears those prayers, and he loves them.  

Pray for all the Jacobs of the world. When you see them, don't be so quick to judge. Help them with your prayers.