September 29, 2007

Boundaries? Serve or Surrender?

Boundaries are the invisible lines we draw to define, protect, and maximize who we are. "Boundary Busters" are people who don't respect our boundaries and want to interact with us in ways that are unhealthy and unproductive...perhaps even dysfunctional.

Now as Christ-followers we are to "lay down our lives for others". Christ is our key example...he washed feet, served people and ultimately was nailed down by people as they released their jealousy on him. Did Jesus allow people to "bust his boundaries"?

I want to suggest that there is a difference between "serving" others and "surrendering" to others. I am God's "servant" who serves people. I do not belong to the people, I belong to God. I respond to God's desires, even if that obedience causes me to be merciful to those who don't deserve it, or causes me to place myself in the path of potential physical harm.

I am not driven by the expectations, demands, needs, or desires of people. I live to serve but I "surrender" only to God and not to people. Jesus' life was not taken from him, he freely gave it...He was not captive to the demands or needs of others...he laid down his life to please his Father.

May that be our pattern...strong boundaries, soft hearts to the Spirit.

September 26, 2007

Songs in San Jose

I've never been called "cautious" and I have never been called a "soloist". But I love to illustrate points with song.

So here I am in San Jose at the HP headquarters last week, taping for CCN's nationwide training series for pastors....big gig for a little guy like I decide to sing a few lines from a really powerful song...this was after an internal debate as to whether I should chance it...but I go for it...and right in the a melodic high point...I forget the words...bam...they are I mumble something like "watermelon" end the illustration abruptly...

Was it a matter of being almost 50? Was it God dropping my "smarty pants" in front of multitudes? Whatever...I hated\loved it!

I have often found at my high points my humanity shows up in profound ways. It's a brutal blessing...a chance to look back and laugh at myself and say afresh..."God's got to work or nothing will work!" The dependent life is dangerous and delightful!