Water Walking

In the last two months, I have read two books about water walking.  One was non-fiction and the other was Christian fiction.  They were both very good  The non-fiction book is called:  “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” by John Ortberg.

In this book, he talks about our fears and courage.  How so often we stay in the boat because we feel safe and we never to water walking.  Sometimes this can really put a damper on our discipleship for Jesus.  We allow our fears to take over.  We want to stay comfortable in the boat.  So John Ortberg encourages us to have faith, trust in God and step out of the boat.

Let me give you an example of walking on water.  Let’s say we are used to going to church and living in a middle class to upper class neighborhood and that’s where we stay.  That is where we are comfortable.  So we don’t go into the projects to help in drug abuse rehabilitation, feed the poor, tutor children who are struggling, or even help young teenagers in gangs to get off the street.  We know that God wants us to do these things.

We can do these things by loving these people and caring for them.  We can do this by trusting in God to guide us in our ministry and discipleship.  But then we start thinking about the gang violence, drugs, murders, robberies, and so on and we start to freak out.  We start sweating, having stomach aches and our hearts are beating a mile a minute.  Then we say “You know what?  I think I’ll just donate some money, kick back, put my feet up and watch TV.”  But that is not what God wants us to do.  He wants us to serve the poor, the drug dealers, the prostitutes and the gang bangers.  He is telling us to “Come on, get out of the boat, walk on water, trust me. I am God.  I’ve got this.”  With God, we can have the courage to step out of the boat and walk on water.

The second book I just read was called “Water Walker” by Ted Dekker.  This book also talks about water walking.  It talks about a girl who is abducted by her biological mother, but her mother is being brainwashed by a cult leader to raise her a certain way, just so they can receive 1.5 million dollars from a trust fund that her father left.  It eventually gets so bad that the cult leader starts physically abusing the teenager and breaking her leg.  The teenager has a series of dreams where she is encouraged by God’s disciple to get out and walk on water.

She eventually finds the courage to give everything to God and walk on water.  She realizes that her body is just a costume.  No one can steal her joy.  Eventually she will have a spiritual body with God.  So her broken leg doesn’t matter.  She gains the courage to forgive her mother and help her to see the truth of the cult leader’s deceitful was.  She steps out of the boat and puts her full faith in God.  She walks on water and helps others see the truth.

So how are you going to walk on water?  Think about ways you can overcome your fears, put danger aside, and have the courage to be an extreme disciple of Christ.  Start off small.  Take a step at a time.  Be a water walker!

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Love Beyond… July 4, 2016

This morning, I was watching Good Morning America.  They had a lot of 4th of July segments.  The one segment that stuck with me was a commercial/video that was made with John Cena speaking in it. It was a 4th of July video about patriotism, but in the end “love” was the main character of this video.  What he said was short but powerful.

He said something along the lines of “The 4th of July, we celebrate Patriotism, but it is also a day we celebrate Love… love beyond race, age, disabilities, sexuality and religion.”  I might have left some things out, but you get the point.  In the background you saw a Hindu hugging a Muslim, Black hugging White, Christian hugging Muslim, so on and so forth.

I don’t know how many of you remember the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons.  There was one called the “Melting Pot”.  It talked about the great American melting pot.  This country was founded by immigrants, we are a country of all races, cultures, religions and beliefs.  We have been for centuries.  However, over the past centuries we have fought against each other’s races, religions, and cultures.  We have harbored a lot of hatred. Love is better than hatred.

I just read the book, “Love Beyond Reason” by John Ortberg.  He talks about our raggedness. He talks about how God loves our raggedness.  How he loves his “Rag Dolls”.  See, the author talks about how is sister was fond of and loved her rag doll, “Pandy.”  Pandy was a part of the family.  Eventually Pandy was unrecognizable and his sister didn’t want her anymore.  She traded her for a boyfriend.  Well, the Mom couldn’t throw her away, so she wrapped Pandy up in a box and kept her.  When his sister was married, she had her third child and it was a girl.  She took Pandy out of the box, got her fixed up and gave it to her daughter, who kept her and loved her for another 15 years.

See, we are like “Pandy”.  We are ragged.  We have faults.  We do bad things, we are lonely and the list goes on.  But God still loves us.  Let’s go beyond that…. Jesus came to love the raggedness, the most ragged, unrecognizable, unlovable people on the planet.  He loved them.  We are called to do the same.  I know I have written about it a lot, but “love” is so powerful.  In the world, there is a lot of hate and not enough love.  There are even Christians that are so hateful.  As Christians, we should be able to love beyond race, religion, sexuality, disabilities, age, and whatever else that comes to mind.

We should love beyond others raggedness.  Love Beyond Reasons.  Let’s try to look past their skin color, sexuality, religion, disabilities, diseases, faults and age.  Love others.

Love Beyond Reason…. Love Beyond…. Love