When Faith Gets "Messy"

I have said it before, but I continue to be intrigued by what happens when we accept Gods call to live in community with one another. When we honestly share in one anothers burdens, we expose ourselves to what, in my opinion, becomes the hardest part of our faith. The “questions that have no answers” become living examples and challenge the very core of our finite understanding of an infinite God. When all of this happens, faith gets “messy”.

Faith doesn’t just get “messy” in community, it can get messy when we look in the mirror. I believe when we open ourselves to “whatever God has planned for us”, it can be the ultimate “be careful what you wish for”. We want the drive thru version of understanding and knowing Gods plan for our lives. It would be so much easier if we could just pull up, receive our instructions (good or bad) and drive away with a purpose. That’s not often how it works. We are asked to wait. We are forced to use our own understanding of what would happen if (insert calling here). Our plans and calculations get in the way and faith gets “messy”.

This morning as I pondered both the examples of so many I know where faith has gotten “messy” and even in my own life, I was reminded of a very important point. God never promised our faith wouldn’t get messy. Hard as I searched the concordance, I couldn’t find a single scriptural reference for that. He never promised smooth sailing. He never promised drive thru discernment. He asked for obedience. He asked that we trust that God is so much bigger than our understanding. He asked that we trust even more when faith gets “messy”.

Somewhere in the Middle” by Casting Crowns

CD Review – Casting Crowns

999_1 I have always had this conspiracy theory that record labels and artists follow a pattern to get more $$ from the people that enjoy their music. If you follow the pattern it goes like this… Artist makes 2 CD’s, a Greatest Hits and then a Christmas CD. With this in mind, when I saw that Casting Crowns was coming out with a Christmas CD, it came with a bit of a roll of the eyes. I gotta say this to Mark Hall and the gang….MY FAULT!

I know Christmas is only a few short weeks away, but this CD is a great download and purchase for this season. I am convinced there are only like 10 or 20 Christmas songs and every band remakes them and sells it. Yet Casting Crowns found away to re-mix some of their own music (“While You Were Sleeping“) and great worship songs (“Christmas Offering“) like the one below. While there are a few of the familiar favorites on this CD (“Silent Night“, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful“), they have done a great job.

So if you are looking for a CD to put in the car or iPod this season, I highly recommend “Peace On Earth” by Casting Crowns. Mark and the gang have done a great job of reminding each of us of the reason for the season. I even enjoyed it enough to not consider it a conspiracy theory!

Christmas Offering” by Casting Crowns from the CD “Peace on Earth

Weight Loss Challenge

So there you have it! Two guys I have the utmost respect and admiration for. Whose team are you on and will you be joining in the challenge? You gotta admit that the “Casting Pounds” line was hilarious. Vote early, vote often!

Movie Review – "Fireproof"

Monday night Heather and I finally had the opportunity to go see the movie “Fireproof” (thanks Amanda and Dave). I know we’re pretty late in seeing this, but it was worth the wait. I’m always a bit hesitant when I go see a movie that everyone tells me is great because it sets the bar before I even get there. It did not disappoint though. Yes, the acting was less then Academy Award, but I anticipated that going in. You need to see past that to the message. It’s a message we all need to hear.

Being the way I am wired, I was checking out the music that played throughout the movie. The placement of “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns was perfect. To take nothing away from the movie, I will just say it is worth seeing if you have not already. It is the definition of a date movie. You can also check out the soundtrack (here). They covered a lot of ground in this film so I wanted to take some time to think it all over. This song by Warren Barfield (featured in the film) really gives the best summary of the message of Fireproof.

Love is not a fight, but something worth fighting for“.