Diversity within Unity

10703819_10204851238539940_9119766261710331167_n (1)Oh Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living,
Sanctuary for You.

When you look at this picture, what is the first thing that you notice? Is it that all the flowers within this image are roses? Is it that they all have petals, all have stems and leaves. Or is it that there is one white rose, amongst twelve red ones?

Last year, I studied church history, and it was both sad and amazing seeing all the little things that split the church again, and again, and again: unleavened vs leavened bread, one cup or many cups, one doctrine vs another doctrine, and so on. The church keeps splitting and segregating itself, even though in John 17:20-23, Jesus prayed: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Continue reading

It’s Okay to be Sad?

250px-039JigglypuffWARNING: There is a spoiler alert.

Last night, I got to see Inside Out, which was a fantastic movie! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it; the trailers do not do this film justice. And though this movie is not a Christian film, I love one of the themes that it hits upon–a theme, which the church itself needs to work on, that it’s okay to be sad.

The church in America has confused happiness and joy.

But wait, aren’t those the same thing? If so, why did Paul write, Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). Are we supposed to be happy when we loose a loved one? or when a man walks it a church and shoots several? Or do you believe that Jesus was happy when he wept (John 11:35), or when he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, or when he was crucified? I say–No! God promises joy, but he does not promise happiness. Continue reading