Do we love Christ or desire Him?

Love and desire are not the same.

I love chocolate cake! We often confuse the two.  When we say “I love chocolate cake!” we deceive ourselves.  We don’t love it. We want to eat it! If we loved it, we’d care for it.

 Desire is simple and often reckless.  We need to manage it carefully to avoid causing harm.  Desire is the intention to change something, to reject what it is in favor of what it could be something  better, more secure, more pleasing.  Love is the intention to let that thing be for its own sake.  Love saves and serves and sacrifices.  Desire uses and consumes.  This begs an important question for  each of us.  Do we love Christ or desire Him?  It’s not just a matter of semantics arguing over the fine definition of words.  Our answer to this basic question will indicate whether we live to serve Him or  use Him.  How often do we follow Him because of what we can get from Him rather than give to Him?  How often do we couch the gospel in terms of reward rather than repentance  what we will gain?

 To love Christ is to make Him the center of our attention, with no selfish ambition.  Do we “come to Christ” to honor Him or be honored by Him?  Love and desire are not the same, and to the extent that we confuse the two we diminish our discipleship and ourselves.  When we worship the Lord for our benefit, it inevitably becomes a source of dissatisfaction and conflict.  When we serve others to meet our need for affirmation, it eventually feels hollow.  When we pray with only our needs in focus, the words shrivel in our mouths.  Loves looks outward.  Desire looks inward.  Love gives.  Desire takes.  Love submits.  Desire controls.  Love releases.  Desire holds tight.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35 (NIV)

We might equally ask ourselves whether our marriages are marked by love or desire; whether we treat our children with authentic love or thinly disguised desire.  But as followers of Jesus, the issue is just as critical.  Love is a gift, without strings, without expectations.

May we love Him (and those around us) more purely today.

After the laughter is gone, taking a stand against suicide!

2012-02-12 23.22.40Today we lost a great Actor-comedian, Robin Williams died this morning at 63. While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that his death was a suicide, a rep did issue this statement. “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss”.  Suicide touches all of us in some ways, maybe it’s well known Actor like Robin, or maybe a friends we know lost someone close to them.  It might be even closer than that, it might have touched someone in your family, a brother, sister, ant or uncle or other loved one.  I know because it’s touched my life, hearing from my step-brother about his brother taking his own life. Then I meet my girlfriend Angela and learned about how she lost her brother.

Suicide has touched my life too as I have lived with it most of my life.  YES, I have wanted to take my own life more than just once.  We have to talk about suicide and not pretend it will go away if we just look the other way.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report over 36,000 suicides annually. This translates to roughly four suicides per hour in this country, greater than the number of homicide or motor vehicle related fatalities. Suicide occurs in all parts of our society and in all regions, affecting people of all ages. No group is immune but there are some groups at greater risk. For instance, men are four times more likely than women to die of suicide and older men have been an often overlooked group with a particularly high suicide rate.

We need to talk about the warning signs and how suicide has touched our lives. We have to let our loved ones know it’s OK to openly talk about wanted to harm them and there is hope.  They don’t have to go this alone, all it takes is someone taking the time to listen to them.  That’s what I want when I get so depressed that I don’t see any hope.  Just a hand to help us past a moment in time when all we think all is lost.  Someone has to talk a stand and start showing people that feel depressed they are loved no matter what.

March 2011 a young lady take her own life by jumping off a bridge in Iowa City onto Interstate 80 early one morning, where she was hit by a semitrailer and killed. I know what it’s like to feel so overwhelmed that you just can’t see any hope for living. Yes, I have been to that point in my life where I wanted to end it all. I felt so alone, no hope for tomorrow but that was before I found the love of Jesus Christ and my local church. I didn’t know this young beautiful lady at all but her death touched me in a way that I can’t express! That night, I just keep saying, “she didn’t have to do this” and how sad I was for her family, friends, the driver of the semi and the first responder and Law enforcement officers.

As I was on my way to church the next Sunday morning, I felt God calling me to step up and talk to our congregation about what I was feeling. When we are feeling depressed, sad or what ever, we can’t go it alone and covering it up doesn’t help. I you think the person you care for knows how much you care for them, don’t just think they know! Tell them, show them everyday how much you love them no matter how bad they feel. If you’re dealing with depression and can talk about it, DO IT! Let’s not hide it any more, show others who are facing the same thing that they too are not alone and can come to you if they want too. Life is so wonderful, and Jesus died on the cross to give us new life and no matter what you have done or what your going through, his family of believers love you and you can trust them.  You’re not alone and if you think that ending your life is all you have left, please don’t! Let me know, I will do everything I can for you. You are loved more than you know and better days are ahead.

I know this is my calling to help others dealing with depression and showing them the love that Jesus Christ offers us. I am so thankful that the good Lord gave me new life and new hope so I can try to touch lives that are hurting. It’s OK to let people see who we really are, and we must talk about depression and suicide in our churches, youth groups, small groups, etc every chance we get.  I will takes a stand and talk to any group about my struggles with depression, greed and how it slowly started to control my life.  I am here today because Jesus saved my life, He came into my heart and changed who I was and while my life hasn’t been the easiest living now as a new Christian.  I know He loves me and when I feel like ending it all, I know it’s just a feeling that will pass and I can openly share my feelings because I’m not alone any more.

Blessing and love,

Kent.

Get into the boat.

God granting miracles

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

This Joke got me to thinking about how sometimes we take all the good things God blesses our life with.  We pray for many things and we know what we want but yet when the blessings pass us by because only see what we want to.  God can bless us in many ways  with  things that look the same, maybe a  job, a home or someone to love us.  Our idea of what we want is not going to be the same as what God will offer us, it’s up to us to not over look it and jump in the boat when it comes our direction.

Life

Man, it’s been a long times since if posted any thing about me!  Life is still going on! lol  Yeah, it’s not been easy and I’ve been “burning the candle at both ends” a lot the last month.  I have been blessed with a new church, didn’t plan on changing churches, it just happened.  I been working real hard on starting up my I am second small group and maybe that’s why God lead me to St. Mark’s in Marion.  I’ve been “single” (I hate that word) now for about 2 years and I am OK with it.  I think God wants me to be single, that way I can do more for Him. lol. But I know He doesn’t want us to be alone and I keep praying for to Him that he’ll bring someone into my life.  All that I ask for is that she be a Christian and loves music, any thing else I can deal with.

Last year for my birthday, I got myself a guitar and hope to take lessons.  I wish I would have never gave it up back in JR high!  I’m just not sure that I can learn to play again!  I watch youtube videos and try but my fingers are so big, it’s not easy to finger the frets.  A week after a got my guitar, I was blessed with the opportunity to start working with one of the best country band around this area.  I am so happy to be helping Black Diamond and have the chance to learn from some of the best musicians around.  I also want to try to learn to play keyboards too but what’s been in my heart all of my life is singing!  I never thought I was good enough and until I started to sing with the choir at my old church that  I started to learn that I was wrong.  I have always dreamed of singing on stage (who hasn’t right?) but why?  It’s not about me, it’s my way of expressing what life has taught me and giving hope to others who need it.

Well, stay tuned. I’ll try to post more “Broken Road Reflection” about God, life, love.

Kent

Alone

I have been doing real good being alone.  Working 50 plus hours helps to take my mind off Julie.  This is the first week I have off in over 5 weeks and I sleeped all day!  Went out for dinner and then back home.  I have been getting things set up the way I like them, making it a home, LOL.  Yesterday I asked Julie to add me as a friend on facebook again and she did but then last night she removed me.  I was very hurt, I know the laptop computer I gave her is not working and I post a note that I had another power supply that should work and that she had her Dell desk top hear too.  Don’t know if she’s mad that I posted that to her wall?  I care very much for Julie and I hurt much more than what shows!  I would have never just walked out on her like she did to me.

I don’t like giving up and I need to let go of the pain Julie has caused me but giving up without talking about her problems.  She was mad that I didn’t talk about mine  and it was wrong for me to put up walls.  I am willing to talk, some times I talk too much and end up saying things that I don’t think over real good.  I miss Julie, wish I could talk right now.  I am real depressed, having some bad thoughts.  I can’t kill myself but wish I could.  I feel like you all would never care any way.  All I herd from Julie was how bad I was for her and how unhappy I made her life. 

It’s for the best that I am alone, I’m not lovable, I end up !@#$ things up any way.  I DON’T CARE ANY MORE!  I want to run and hide,  I can’t do this any more.  I have been trying so hard for so long and you just don’t see it!!!!  I did all I could for Julie, I visited her as much as I could when she was in the Abby, been with her in the hospital, cried at night when I couldn’t be with her.  I need someone who will love me back just a little, someone who cares about my feeling too.  I have a right to be who I am, even if it’s not the best I can be at the time.