To say the celebration of Christmas has become part of a secularized marketing juggernaut should not surprise anyone. From the middle of October through the end of the year, people are subjected to an increased and intense campaign to spend money. Our secular culture is an economic one, and consumer spending is the largest piece of the economic engine that drives it.
In preparation for my talk for the MI True Pursuit weekend I wrote some thoughts down. When I shared this stream-of-conscious writing from the Tuesday evening before the retreat with Ross and Mark while we were at Michindoh, they suggested that this would make a great Blog entry. So here are some thoughts…
On a recent podcast I heard John Eldredge ask this question, “is that even a category you think in?” As I listened, I thought about categories. Or as Dan Allender would say, our assumptions by which we see the world, or operate in our world. In the world of spiritual transformation there are some categories which are important for us to understand, but often we give little attention to them, if any.
Relationship has always been the wild card of the human story. It seems to be God’s strategy. It is both the beginning and the goal. Therefore, to understand about community it’s important to look at the beginning.
I am convinced that the story of our childhood determines who we are as adults. As I have said many times before, none of us got through life without being wounded by our parents, siblings, teachers, coaches and so on. None of those people who influenced our lives as children were perfect. No, they had their own stories of brokenness that they were living out of.
I have a big ole NIV Study Bible that I have had for many, many years that I actually don’t read out of that often anymore. The other day I was nudged by the Spirit to pick it up and read out of it. As I picked it up a piece of folded paper fell out in my lap. As I went to stuff it back into my Bible I became curious as to what it was, so I opened it up and began to read. This is what it said…
I used to like to watch the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” hosted by Drew Carey. The show consisted of a panel of three or four performers who create characters, scenes and songs on the spot, in the style of short-form improvisation games. Topics for the games were based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host. While sometimes a little coarse, watching the performers act out different situations on impulse was hilarious.
What keeps us from fully embracing the idea that we have an all-powerful, creator God who will stop at nothing to capture our hearts?
Yes, it’s true we’ve bought into the lies of the enemy and signed up for agreements for things that are not true. Yet, something more is at play . . .
I recently retreated with 6 other men for a weekend. We spent about 44 hours together in a remote but comfortable setting to talk about our spiritual lives, our journeys and our vision for the future. The three of us who planned the weekend made a decision to forgo an agenda and trust the Holy Spirit to lead us during our time together.
At True Pursuit we put a lot of emphasis on the Weekend, meaning the two weekend events the team puts on each year; one in Michigan and the other in Pennsylvania. We tell men the weekend is different from any other Men’s Weekend they might have attended from a church or organization. And we believe we are right! So what follows are some comments from our True Pursuit Team about the weekends and why they are so important to our mission.