Archive - May, 2009

Character Development 101

10 Things I have learned already from my summer – in no particular order….

1) I care way too much about what people think.. and the Bible says I shouldn’t.
2) Do not assume that someone knows Christ because they say they are Christian or that those who know Christ are actually following Him.
4) Self discipline, spiritual discipline, and preparation are essential.
5) You need more than a prayer to navigate a city… maps are useful.. prayers plus maps are your best bet.
6) People who stereotype people based on their denominations are close minded and judgmental… myself included.
7) My appreciation of and desire to affiliate myself with certain organizations, ministries, locations and individuals is much stronger than I realized.
8) My viewpoints are much more conservative, fundamentalist, orthodox, [pick your favorite modifier], than I perceive them to be.
9) I am humbled by my weaknesses, and am truly recognizing that God knows me way better than I think I know myself.
10) Praying for God to reveal to you your character flaws is only a good idea if you really want to know the answer…

Owning it…

… or maybe this should be entitled “celebrating it”.

A few weeks ago, I encouraged a friend to “own it”- her identity, her future, her purpose. As I openly admitted my hypocrisy while the words were coming out of my mouth, I knew that I was far from owning “it” myself.

This last week as been a huge blessing. Reality check. It took over a year to admit it, months to claim it, and a week’s worth of tears and anxieties to speak of it… this week, I was hit hard with reality. At first I mourned it, then I feared it… and then I realized I was lying to myself.

The truth is that: I am beyond excited for “it”. I want it so bad that it is ridiculous. I can think of nothing but it. I want to pursue ministry, charismatic ministry, college ministry, Chi Alpha, DC, seminary, and who knows what else is in store in the future. I want to walk with God through this more than anything else in this world, and I do not think that I am capable of wanting anything more than I want these things that God has spoken to me to come to be… so let’s celebrate.

Celebrate progress… change… growth… potential… opportunity… what God is doing with our lives.

καιρός

Why kairos, why permanently, why now? Inquisitive minds have been wondering about my tattoo. While I didn’t get it for people to ask questions, I am more than happy to answer them…

My tattoo is a marker for what God has done in my life and of what He is yet to do. I got it to glorify Him and to remind myself that He has His arms around me. In the Old Testament, they would use stones as memorials of what God had done to remind themselves of who they were living for and to teach future generations about the greatness of God (Gen. 28:18, Exodus 28:12, Joshua 4:9). In the New Testament, Peter says that we are all living stones being built into a spiritual house for the Lord (1 Peter 2:5). As a living stone, I have engraved a marker on my wrist that I will carry with me everywhere.

The marker is the Greek word Kairos. In ancient Greek, there are two words for time chronos and kairos. Chronos is time as we know it- minutes, days, years. Kairos refers to the opportune time, the moment where something special happens. To elaborate with the help of Wikipedia, ” The term “kairos” is used in theology to describe the qualitative form of time. In rhetoric kairos is “a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with a force if sucess is to be achieved”. In the New Testament kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God”, the time when God acts (e.g. Mark 1.15, the kairos is fulfilled).”

Kairos is God’s time. Both in the sense that it is the time when He will act, and the time in which we are given the opporunity to act. The Holy Spirit works in kairos time, and if we are continually submitting to him, we will notice the opening and respond appropriately. These are the moments where God moves radically and changes things… and moments when we are put in the right place at the right time to act…

Throughout my life I have always clung to the concept that everything happens for a reason. In the midst of rough patches in my childhood, my hope was in the fact that God would provide for the moment and provide a new way in time. He has done that. In His perfect timing, He has been guiding me and molding me my entire life. His plan for my life is perfect. Now as God leads me through a transition from my past into the future, I need to remember kairos more than ever. I will know what He has for me in ministry and in life in time…

I want to be the kind of person that lives in kairos time. When I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me, I want to respond in due time, to take the action that God requires of me. When I get a word for someone, I want to share it with them in kairos. I want to pray, speak, teach, meditate, wait, fight… at the opportune moments. I do not want to miss any moment where God gave me an opportunity to act. I want to live day by day in a chronos world with kairos timing.

For a year and a half, I have written kairos on my wrist to remind me that God has a plan for me and will share the details with me in His perfect timing. That He has done that in the past, and I can trust Him to do so in the future. I also wrote it to remind me of moments where I responded to the Holy Spirit, and God moved in incredible ways in both my life and the lives of others.. and of moments when I have resisted, quenched, and grieved the Spirit instead of responding in due time. I wrote it to remind myself to be obedient to the Spirit because God’s plan and timing are greater than I can understand.

For these reasons, I marked myself. The placement is intentional. I have a biblical word with a deep theological meaning tattooed on my left wrist… an intersection between the blood running from my heart and the work that I do with my hands… a place that I can see often.. and that I often look to for direction- both figuratively and literally, as I tend to glance at my scar… the wording faces me so that I can constantly read it.

The tattoo is also a pact of sorts between me and God. I will trust His kairos, and respond to kairos moments. No more kicking and screaming… no “o’crap” moments… no resistance… no waiting months to obey. This is a new season of life with an intentional move toward ministry… a time to grow deeper with God and to remain in Him, I need to live life in kairos timing.

While some of you have expressed concern with placement and wording and others have questions my motivations… quite frankly, your thoughts and opinions don’t matter. The tattoo is personal… a marker for me to reflect upon God and a reminder to live life solely for Him. Like the stones in the Old Testament though, if others notice my marker and ask… I will delight in the opportunity to tell them about my God and how great He is… the tattoo has already allowed me to have many great conversations about faith and life and God… and I can only hope that it will continue to glorify God as I have a lifetime of carrying this marker.