Salt and light or sour lemons?

Today’s blog is a “venting” blog, but hang in there, I think it’s worth the read.  Of course, if you’re one of the 3 people who actually reads this, it probably doesn’t matter a whole lot to you.  But maybe you know someone you can forward it to.

So here’s the situation.  I work as an IT consultant / network engineer for a tech company.  We provide a wide variety of IT services to small businesses that cannot justify the cost of hiring their own IT network administrator.

One of the types of client that we have the least of is churches and small businesses running as a Christian ministry.  (It could be a counseling service, a para-church Christian organization, or something like that.)

Here’s the reason why: Christian ministries and churches in general make for terrible IT clients.  It’s not that we don’t want to service Christian ministries and churches, we’ll accept just about any type of client out there.  But we’ve had to break relationships with Christian ministries because they (again, in general) are the worst type of client when it comes to paying their invoices, and are really difficult clients to deal with.  Not that the IT side is too challenging or difficult for us, but that the people we have to relate to and work with are really difficult to work with.

Right now we have 2 Christian IT clients, (out of the several dozen clients that we service) and one of them is my church.  I’m glad to say that as far as I know my church has been good at paying their bills, they haven’t complained about anything to us, things are going well.  They are by far the exception to the rule in my experience.  Perhaps it is because their IT provider is also one of their parishioners, and they don’t want to cause a rift in that relationship.  This may be true, but I also know that they were very careful to relate well and did their best to be a good testimony to the previous IT provider as well.  Like I said, the exception to the rule, in my experience.

Here’s a prime example.  The other Christian ministry we have as a client is a return client that I went to see today.  As typically happens during my visit, something unexpected came up. It’s IT, so it’s fairly common for unexpected issues to arise during a visit.  This one happened to be the discovery that antivirus protection for their systems was not included in their contract, and thus changed the amount of money they would have to pay for our services.  They had assumed that antivirus protection will be covered, but it isn’t.  Nowhere in the contract does it state that antivirus is provided free of charge, it’s just an assumption they made.

Well the drama that ensued was . . . to be expected, actually.  In fact, it fit very nicely into the bad experiences I’ve had with Christian ministries.  Big dramatic sighs, several repeated complaints about the unexpected cost, etc.  I finished my work and left the client as quickly as I could, promising to have one of my superiors call to resolve the situation, while still feeling like somehow it was supposed to be my fault that they had made a poor assumption and had not read their contract completely.

This may sound like a minor issue, and in fact it is.  We had one Christian ministry client threaten to sue us a couple of years ago for not being able to rescue their data after a server crash when they were not getting good backups, and would not listen to us tell them they needed to replace their backup system because they were not getting good backups.  That’s the level of experience we’ve had with Christian ministries.

I understand that small Christian ministries and churches are strapped for money.  It’s almost the definition of Christian ministry in the world these days.  Small Christian ministry / church = no money.  I get that.

I also understand that people working for Christian ministries are often overworked and underpaid.  Because money is so tight, and there is so much need and so much work to accomplish, workers are often stressed and stretched way farther than they should be.  Trust me, I know.  My wife is an elementary principal for a private Christian school.  She works 60-80 hours a week and still has trouble figuring out how to get it all done and balance work and home life.

But when I left this client today, some Scriptures were running through my mind that I wanted to write on a sticky note and stick on her computer monitor:

Matthew 5:14 – “you are the light of the world”

I Thessalonians 5:16 – “be joyful always”

I Thessalonians 5:18 – “in everything give thanks”

Philippians 2:14 – “do all things without complaining”

I’m not perfect, I don’t have any of these commands down pat.  I’m sure that I break them every day.  And I realize the extent of God’s grace in my own life as a result of my own shortcomings.  I don’t expect other people to have it all together and put together.

But when an outside vendor comes into your office, and the only thing that person hears and experiences is negativity and complaining, then they leave with a rather negative outlook on Christianity as a whole.  The phrase that goes through their minds is “if that’s how Christians are, why would I want to be one?”

It’s a sad travesty to our testimony as Christians when we do such a poor job of portraying the grace and love that God has poured out on us.  It’s also a terrible witness when we call vendors and complain about every invoice in order to try to get it reduced because we’re so strapped for cash.

Please, if you’re part of a Christian ministry, understand that every single interaction that you have with outside people who are possibly / probably unsaved is going to leave an impression about your faith.

This is a challenge for me as well.   What kind of witness am I being to my coworkers and clients?  When they look at me, knowing that I’m a Christian, do they find Christianity appealing or disdainful?  We’re all human, we all have bad days, and we all get stressed out.  As followers of Christ we need to lean on God for strength, and allow Him to produce love, joy, peace, patience, etc., in our lives.

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O to be at peace now that life is here

Contentment.  It’s one of the things I hear the least about in Christian circles.  What is it?  How do you get it?  What does it look like?  Why does it seem like so few Christians have it?  I’d like to tell you about my new book . . . just kidding.

I do want to share my thoughts on this, though, because it’s been on my mind a lot lately.  I think it’s been on my mind a lot because I’ve come to realize just how little of it I actually have.

I would define contentment as the ability to feel happy or satisfied with what you have.  Paul phrased it well in Philippians 4:11-12, saying “I have learned to be content in all circumstances, whether well fed or hungry . . .”

So what is it about our society – or about me, actually – that makes contentment such a rare thing?  Even in Christian circles I see so little contentment.  Why are we so discontent?  Why are we always looking for something more than what we have?

I think it’s because life is hard.  Life is painful and difficult.  And our human nature has a really strong aversion to pain and difficulty.  So we look for something to relieve our pain.  We look for something to take the difficulty away.  That’s why I gained so much weight in the early years of my marriage.  Life was difficult.  Even though my marriage to Steph was my second marriage, and was and has continued to be tremendously better than my first marriage, it was still hard.  We each still had baggage that we came with.  Everything seemed fine and dandy while we were dating, but a few months into our marriage things got difficult.  So I began to relieve the pain by getting sucked into video games and eating and drinking junk food instead of figuring out how to deal with it.  I still haven’t totally figured out how to break this habit – I still comfort eat a lot.

That’s the natural tendency.  We don’t want to face pain and difficulty head on, we want to escape from it.  We all try to escape from it in different ways.  Some of us comfort eat.  Others work longer hours.  Others get into addictions, and then have to go deeper and deeper in order for the addiction to bring us relief from the difficulty of life.

The point is that we feel this sense of restlessness, this longing inside of us that says, “Your life isn’t good enough.”  It tells us that if we only had that one thing – another candy bar, or a soda, or more carbs, for those of us who are comfort eaters.  Or a newer car, maybe a newer phone.  Perhaps a bigger, better TV or entertainment system.  Some new shoes, perhaps?  It tells us that the way to fill that emptiness, that restlessness inside of us is with something material.

It’s actually a lie from the pit of hell.

For a while, it works.  But the problem is, it doesn’t last.  We always need more.  And the more we feed this philosophy, the more chained we get into this thought pattern that there’s something in this material world that will satisfy.

Christians confront this issue with unbelievers to say that we all have a “God-shaped hole” in our lives that only God can fill.  I agree with that completely.  We do have a God-shaped hole that only He can fill.  And salvation in Christ alone provides us not only eternal life, but true life in the present as well.

If that is the case, then why do so many Christians seem like they are chasing after the wind just as much as non-Christians?  If we have Christ in our lives and that God-shaped hole has been filled with God, shouldn’t the discontentment go away?

The answer is yes, it should – if we’re living in the power of Christ in us.  When I’m tied in with God, spending my day in an attitude of prayer, with a heart of thanksgiving and praise, the discontentment, the yearning for something material to satisfy me goes away.  I have no desire for something material to bring me satisfaction because Christ is providing all my needs through His riches in glory.

I Timothy 6:6 says that godliness with contentment is great gain.  I don’t think that necessarily is intended to mean financial gain, but it does apply in some way, because when we are pursuing Christ with all we have (godliness) and with a heart of thanksgiving and praise we remain satisfied with what He has given (contentment), we will no longer waste money trying to bring satisfaction into our lives.  We’ll already have it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So if having contentment with godliness is great gain, then as Christians we should pursue it, right?  Right.  How do we do that?

Philippians 4:6-7 gives us a clue – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace sounds a lot like contentment.  Peace sounds like the opposite of yearning for something more in life.  Peace sounds like I don’t need to comfort eat, or get a bigger TV, or buy new shoes, because I’m okay with what God has given me now.  Peace comes when we bring our pain and life struggles to God, but with thanksgiving instead of with whining and complaining.  With thanksgiving instead of with requests to get more and more stuff.

Peace is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit – the outer result of the inner workings of God in our lives.

Now all I need to do is get it from my head down to my heart and start living it.  Time to start facing life head on and stop trying to escape the difficulty.  Jesus promised us difficulty in life, He also promised He’ll be with us, so we don’t have to feel discontentment, we can rest in Him through a life of thanksgiving and prayer.

Water, air, and noxious, disgusting liquid

And now, for today’s over-analyzed analogy of an analogous analytical nature.  Or something like that.

I saw a post from a friend on my favorite social media site today (am I allowed to say Facebook in a public blog?  Oops.)  Anyway, the post said, “Today is a good day.  God is good.”  So I commented on his post saying that God is good, even when it’s not a good day.

Now I’m not trying to pick on my friend or be mean in any way – and I hope he does not get offended by this, if by some rare chance he even sees it – but I thought of a new way to look at this using a very overused, old, and tired analogy.

Let’s say your day is a glass.  (The kind you drink from – I really don’t care what size, you pick.)  And let’s say that a really good day is a glass that is full of water, a day that is really bland is empty (otherwise known as being full of air), and a day that is absolutely terrible is full of noxious liquid – like the green-ish / brown-ish gunk you see pouring out of drain spouts into the ocean in environmental videos.  Got the picture?  Good.

Some days you’re going to have a glass full of water, other days will be full of air, and some will be full of noxious, poisonous liquid.  But probably most days are going to be a combination of 2 or more of the above.  It will be like a parfait for your day.  A layer of water, then some air, then some noxious liquid, then some more air, then some water, etc.  Yum, I love parfaits!

No one knows what kind of day you will have when your day starts.  And at the end of the day your glass will always be full.  What it is full of depends on your day.  (This “glass is half full / glass is half empty” analogy is hogwash, the glass is always full – half water and half air.)

But let me expand out this analogy ad-nauseum.  You live in a world with 7 billion other glasses out there.  Everyone is having their own day.  Some are better than yours, some are worse.  These glasses are all sitting on the planet.  Let’s call the planet a bar – a really big one.  And all that is served at this bar is water, air, and noxious liquid, or some combination of the three.

Who owns the bar?  God does.  And this bar owner knows what is going on with every single one of those glasses – and the people that are drinking from those glasses as the day goes on.

Do the contents of those 7 billion glasses change the bar owner?  No.  He stays the same.  He loves every single one of the people who are drinking from those glasses, regardless of what the glasses contain.  And he is good.  So good that He sent His Son, who helped build the bar and helps run the place, to die for all those 7 billion people that come back to the bar for a drink every single day.

When a new person comes along, He gets a new glass.  When another person stops coming, that glass is destroyed.  (That would be birth and death, for those who aren’t following.)  But regardless, He knows every person and the contents of their glass, and He cares.  He knows YOU and the contents of YOUR glass.  And He cares.

So let me continue on this rampant path down analogy trail.  Every person who comes to the bar at the beginning of their day has a choice for bartenders.  There are two bartenders.  One is Satan (or one of his minions, if you will), and the other is Jesus Christ.  Now these two bartenders are not equal in stature, power, etc.  No, Jesus is infinitely more powerful than Satan and his motley crew.  So much more powerful that He could wipe all of Satan and his minions out just by thinking them into non-existence.

But He doesn’t.  Why?  Well, one of the reasons is that He chooses not to.  And since He owns the bar, that’s His prerogative.  Another reason is that if He did that, we would not have a choice on which bartender to go to.  And He doesn’t want slaves, He wants willing servants.  So He offers a choice.

Satan likes that we are given a choice, because that means that he has the option to fill some people’s glasses.  And for the most part he only uses air and noxious, poisonous, liquid.  He sells it as water, though.  He convinces us that this noxious, empty waste is going to be very satisfying and fulfilling.  Many people believe him, so each day they ask for him to fill their glass up.  And they are so deceived that they think they are drinking water when they are actually slowly poisoning their lives.

But here’s what so many people have trouble with.  Jesus has the power and ability to stop Satan from filling those glasses with air and noxious liquid and make him fill them with water, but He doesn’t exercise that power in most instances.  When we choose to go to Jesus, He gives us water.  When we go to Satan, we get yucky stuff.

Those of us who are Christians will often go for a mix.  We do go to Jesus for water, but we also let Satan throw in a little air or noxious liquid as well.  Sometimes other people dump stuff into our glass too.  They’ve gone to Satan for noxious junk and air, and they give some of it to us, whether we like it or not.  Then they go back to Satan for more to replenish what they gave us.  Others go to Jesus, get water, give it to others, and then go back to Jesus for more.  (That’s what we’re supposed to do as Christians, by the way.)

So let’s wrap this mess up.

What’s the name of the bar?  Earth.

What’s the name on the glass?  Today.

Who are the bartenders?  Satan and Jesus.

Who are the people at the bar?  You are.  I had hoped you got that part, but oh well.

What kind of day are you having?  I don’t know.  It depends on which bartender you’re going to, and what the people around you are dumping into your glass.

Just remember, if you’re having a good day, God is good.  If you’re having a no-good, rotten, horrible day, God is still good and He’s waiting for you with plenty of water to refresh you.  I suppose I could have just said that instead of writing a 1200 word essay on it, but what fun would that be?

Oh, and by the way, when you go to Jesus to get water, don’t forget to give some to those around you.  You never know how desperately they may need it.  When you’ve given away all you can, just go back to Jesus for more, He’s got an infinite supply.

Now go get a drink of water!

“What is your purpose here” part two

In my last post I talked about my “mid-life crisis” and the resulting feeling of a lack of purpose and vision that this has caused in my life.

A good friend of mine and a former pastor sent me a thought-provoking email in response to that post, essentially saying that our purpose / overriding goal in life is to love God above all else.  (Matthew 22:37)  He went on to say that as we put God first in our lives and love Him above all else, He will show us and lead us in the path He wants us to go.  This is often referred to in Christian circles as the journey of faith, or walking by faith.

In other words, we don’t need to have a specific goal or mission in life with defined parameters.  God just wants us to love Him and pursue Him and allow Him to lead us.  Or, stated another way, He is supposed to be our purpose, our goal, our mission.  Knowing Christ is the ultimate purpose, regardless of where we live or what we do.  (Philippians 3:10)

Sounds fine and dandy on paper.

Some of us struggle more with those abstract concepts than others.  Some of us really do function better when love is expressed by something we do.  In other words, I have a tendency to show my wife I love her by doing the dishes, taking care of the laundry, cleaning the house, cooking supper, helping her at her work when she needs it, taking care of the kids when she’s overwhelmed, etc.  Those are things that I do.  But I do them because I love her, not out of a sense of obligation.  And I have lots of opportunity to show love in this way because my wife works way more hours than I do, and is overwhelmed way more often than I am.

My dad is the same way.  He rarely says the phrase “I love you”, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he does.  He does a lot of things to help us out that I don’t have time or don’t know how to do.  That’s his way of expressing love.

The problem is, God isn’t limited.  (That’s not really a problem, it’s a good thing, but you know what I mean, I hope.)  There’s no way to express love to God by helping Him when He’s overwhelmed or too busy, because those situations don’t exist for Him.  So how do we express love to God?  What does it mean to love God for someone who is very practical, who shows love by helping someone in specific ways?

John 14:15 says, “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.”  And in verse 21 it says “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.”

So maybe loving God does have a practical side to it.  Obeying what Jesus commanded is proof that we love God.  When we do what He tells us to do, then it shows that we love Him.

So what did Jesus tell us to do?

For one, love our neighbors as ourselves.  That pretty much encompasses most everything He taught.  But of course that is almost as abstract as saying that we need to love God – almost.  With people, we can see needs – an elderly neighbor has trouble getting around, so we can mow the lawn for them.  Someone new just moved into the neighborhood, so we can provide a meal for them.  We can provide babysitting for a single parent so that they can have a night out without the kids.  We can volunteer at a bazillion different places.  We can serve at our church.

All of those are great ways to love our neighbors.  However, we still need to make sure that we’re not getting caught up in do, do, do.  Yes, Jesus calls us to serve others, to follow His example.  But these are supposed to be outward expressions of a love for God and for people that is inside of us.

So the answer appears to be twofold.  The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved and need to live by faith.  It also clearly teaches that our faith is expressed by the choices we make and the actions we take in life.

So for me, that means I can serve at my church, help those in need as God leads me, and be the best husband/father/network technician/musician/whatever else that I can be – not because I’m trying to impress anyone, but because I love God.  And that is what God wants for me.  That is my purpose.  To love God and let my life show it.

I just hope it does.

“What is your purpose here?”

“Jack Sparrow sent me to settle his debt.”

 

Just kidding. We’re movie junkies in my home, so we have a tendency to quote movie lines in regular conversation on a frequent basis. Having said that, purpose is the topic of today’s blog.

 

A couple of years ago I hit what has become known in western culture as my “mid-life crisis”. Mid-life crisis has been identified as a crisis of identity and/or self-confidence that can occur in early middle age. This has been stereotypically evidenced in American men by a desire to buy a sports car, or a boat, or a bigger house, or attempt a career change, or something like that. Mid-life crisis can also be evidenced by an increased focus on health and lifestyle choices or the desire to look and act young again. Sometimes a mid-life crisis results in depression as a person struggles to keep any level of self-confidence. These changes / struggles seem to be related to a sudden awareness that our lives are halfway over, and we become keenly aware that we are on the downhill slide. “It’s all downhill from here”, as they say. We begin to question the value of our lives, and thus begin to make changes in our lives that we think may increase either our lifespan or our value, or both.

 

Having grown up in a third-world country, the desire for “stuff” has never been a big deal to me. I would prefer that we get rid of half of the stuff we have in my house instead of getting more. (Electronics would be the exception to that rule in my life.) So I have not had a desire to get a boat or a bigger house or a sports car. I have, however, begun to try to lose weight, as I am definitely on the chubby side of the scale. I have also had an increased struggle with depression. This struggle in particular is related to my career and spiritual impact in life. I have struggled significantly with wondering what kind of an impact my life is having for the Lord, should I be moving into full time ministry to fulfill that desire, etc. Part of that struggle is from growing up in a home where my parents were full time missionaries. It became very ingrained in my thinking that Christians serve God by going into full time ministry. Whether that’s actually what God wants for my life or not didn’t really enter into the equation. It was just this automatic assumption that serving God meant full time ministry.

 

This struggle for spiritual significance was compounded significantly when our family moved to a different church a little over a year ago. We went from a small church where I was the worship team leader, on the elder board, had several opportunities to preach on Sunday mornings, and was involved in VBS, Easter egg hunts, etc, to a much larger church, where there is not near as much opportunity for me to use the leadership skills that I believe I’ve been gifted with. Yes, I am involved in the worship teams at the new church, and I enjoy it very much, but my heart still yearns for more.

 

I know that I’m not alone in this struggle. I see it in some of my peers. Christians getting into their early and mid-40’s are struggling to know if they are doing what they should be as far as jobs, struggling to find the real meaning of their lives, and struggling with the rut of American lifestyle.

 

That brings me back to the main topic of this discussion. What is my purpose here? I believe that a lot of the struggles in this so-called mid-life crisis are directly related to this question. How do I define purpose? Is purpose defined by the different roles in my life? If so, then my purpose is to be a Christian, a husband, a father, an active participant in my church, a network technician, etc. But that doesn’t feel like purpose, it feels like a list of roles and responsibilities. So what is purpose? Purpose to me is the over-riding goal or reason that drives me to do what I do. Purpose in this case is similar to vision or mission. What is the vision I have for my life, what is the mission that I am on?

 

Of course it’s easy as a Christian to say that my purpose is to bring glory to God. But what does that mean? I think that’s where I’ve gotten stuck in my life. I’ve never really taken the time to determine what God wants that to mean for me.

 

I don’t just sit around and wait for some big revelation to come and light up the sky, telling me what the vision should be for my life. That may have happened with Paul the Apostle, but I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t typically do things that way. As opportunities come my way, I respond to them according to my priorities. But I’m not sure that I can say, “My purpose in life is to reach children in the third world for Christ”, or “My purpose in life is to reach an unreached area of the world for Christ”, or “My purpose is to be involved in Christian education in America to provide a light for our youth in this culture.” I can’t think of any one goal or vision that I have that drives me.

 

This lack of an over-riding vision or mission for my life leads me to feel a lack of direction and purpose. I do serve the Lord with as many opportunities that come up – helping out with church outreaches, playing on the worship teams, etc. But I don’t feel that these things are contributing to some mission for my life. They are just opportunities for service that I am taking.

 

So I wonder if there is more to life than just going to work every day and serving God as much as I can at home and church. Is there something more, something bigger, with greater impact that I am supposed to be doing? Or is this where God wants me to be? Is his mission for my life to shine His light in a secular job scenario as much as I can, and serve Him by contributing to the body of Christ in whatever way I can? Perhaps the purpose of my life is to keep on faithfully doing what I have been doing?

 

Perhaps if I spent less time watching and quoting movies and spent more time in the Word and prayer, I might feel more confident of whether or not that is the case.

A Dying Breed?

This summer we “kidnapped” my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary and took them camping, along with all their kids and grandkids.  It was a special time for our family.

 

My parents spent 43 years on the mission field in “deepest, darkest Africa”.  (The Republic of Chad, for those who are wondering.)  They have survived wars, riots, strange food, sending their kids to boarding school for high school, being away from the culture and family they grew up in, and much more.  I have a great amount of respect for their faith in God and what God has done with their lives.

 

Because of this, we chose to contact as many people as we could think of that they know or have known and asked them to send a note or picture or email or card to help celebrate their golden anniversary.  We took these notes and cards and compiled them into a scrapbook for them to enjoy, and presented it to them while gathered around a campfire one evening that weekend.

 

As we talked together as a family around the campfire that night, the conversation turned to how the times have changed over the past 50 years since they got married and went to the mission field.

 

As we commented and honored my parents for their dedication to the service of the Lord, my mom made the comment that it doesn’t seem like there are as many Christians with that level of dedication anymore.  My response to that was that in my experience there aren’t, and that my parents are part of a dying breed of Christians.

 

The conversation grew quiet at that point for a little while, and I have wondered since then how appropriate my comment was.  But let me explain my perspective on this.

 

My parents believed they were called to the mission field.  Perhaps they were more black and white then some, but their position was that since they were called, that’s where they should be.  So they went.  No matter how tough things got, they stuck it out.  Why?  Because that’s what God had called them to do.

 

Nowadays, it’s rare to hear of someone being in full time missionary work from the time they get married until they are well past retirement age.  I hear a lot about families going home from the mission field because of circumstances going on in their family – one of their children is slightly autistic, or the only option for schooling is boarding school, and they don’t want to “do that to their children”, or there’s a medical issue, and once it’s resolved they don’t make it back out to the field.

 

In that sense, I think my parents are part of a dying breed.  But it doesn’t mean that there are no dedicated Christians out there.  It just means that there don’t seem to be as many people who, when called to the mission field or to full time ministry, fulfill that calling with the level of commitment that my parents had – a commitment that says, “this is where God wants us to be, so no matter what happens, this is where we’re going to be”.

 

More and more Christians that do go to the mission field are going on a part-time basis, and those who go are primarily going where Christianity is fairly well established.  Very few are going to reach the unreached.

 

I can’t judge or tell people that they are not dedicated or committed to following God’s call without implicating myself, however, as I write this in the comfort of my middle-class American home while my kids play the Xbox in front of me.  There was a time when I seriously considered going into missionary work, and certainly the thought of pursuing full time missionary work comes to my mind on a regular basis.

 

But I don’t know that God is calling me to that – in the same way that I’ve considered pastoral ministry but have not felt sure that God is calling me to that either.

 

I do know this: God has called every single one of us to full commitment in our walk with Christ.  He calls us to have a love for Christ greater than anything else – greater than our families, greater than our careers, greater than our comfort zones and our own desires.  And I know that my love for Christ falls very short.

 

So to answer the original question, are my parents part of a dying breed when it comes to their level of commitment to Christ?  Possibly.  Matthew 24:12 says that due to the increase of wickedness in the end times, the love of most will grow cold.  It certainly seems to me that this is starting to come true.  Apathy seems to be a predominant issue in the American church today – apathy that flies directly in the face of walking in love and commitment to Jesus Christ.

 

But really my concern needs to be my own walk with Christ, and how much do I love Jesus and where is my level of commitment to following Him?  That is really the only question that I need to answer in regard to this.  If enough of us believers increase our love and faith and commitment to Christ, then maybe my parents don’t have to be part of a dying breed!