Thursday, April 28, 2005

"Human Doings" vs. "Human Beings"

Success: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence ( This is our culture-defined view of success—of achieving—of becoming. But where does it really get us? We end up with a lot of stuff, a lot of stress, and weary souls. The sad part is that this workaholic mentality that has saturated our society has also saturated the Church. We profess to be free, yet live in a self-made prison. We do and do and do—for God—and often still end up missing the point. We think t hat if we do more, we earn more of God’s favor. If we do more, He’ll love us more, like us more, delight in us more, bless us more. We strive to be honored by those around us—to be seen as someone great—someone that has it all together—a “successful Christian.” We cease to be a “human being” and get sucked into an empty existence of a “human doing.”

When Moses asked God’s name, He replied with a resounding, “I AM.” If we look at that grammatically, “I AM” is a form of the verb “to be.” In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT, the word chosen to translate “I AM” was emui, meaning “I am, exist, live, am present.” God was saying that He simply IS…that He exists…that He is Being. It’s something that is so deep it’s hard to wrap our minds around. However, we were created in the image and likeness of this God who is Being, and therefore we are called “human beings.” Our identity is rooted in our “being,” yet our culture wants to continually judge our lives as a success or a failure based upon what we do. Scripture continually points us back to good works, yet those works should be a result of our being—an overflow of our abiding in Christ—not the standard by which we find our worth. As children of the Creator, let us abide in the values and standards that hold to God’s heart, and may our “doing” continue to flow from the core of our “being.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


It's been awhile since I've updated this, and even longer since I've actually written something. I'm going to try to get something out soon...I have some ideas brewing in my heart and mind that are longing to be written down. However, for work I have begun to write a series of devotionals that will eventually be posted somewhere on the website for The Spiritual Formation Dept of The Wesleyan Church ( Here's one...I may post more later...I may take them and expand...we'll see what comes :).

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“My heart is held captive by the Word of God.”
~Martin Luther~

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Out of the 6,913 languages in the world, only 405 of them have an adequate translation of the whole Bible; 1,034 have and adequate New Testament; 883 have some Scripture translated, and over 3,000 are in need of translation.* Those statistics are staggering when you consider the abundance of translations and the easy access we have to any Bible of our choice. There’s the NIV, TNIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, KJV, NKJV, NLT, The Message, The Amplified Bible, and many, many more. Within each of these translations, we then have the chance to make our selection from a study bible, life application bible, worship bible, men’s study bible, women’s study bible, teen study bible, teen life application bible, family bible, bible for newlyweds, children’s bible, one-year bible, chronological bible, and dozens of other specific and made-to-order versions that fit my current season of life. We also get to choose between size (travel edition or the big “preacher bible”?), color (hot pink cool design or straight traditional navy blue?), and make (leather or hardcover?), and as soon as this season is over, I will put that Bible on the shelf next to one or two or seven other versions or translations and may open it once or twice again in my lifetime. It’s pretty amazing, actually.

In America we so easily take for granted the ability to have any translation ranging from the Greek and Hebrew to The Message paraphrase. We walk into Christian bookstores only to find walls covered with choices. Bibles are tossed around, thrown out, and regarded as “just another book.” The Gideons have even put one in each hotel room in America, only to have them sit, unopened, for months, maybe years. The deep reality is that there are thousands of people around the world who go day-in and day-out wishing they could have even one page of the bible we so often take for granted. There are Christians who could die for having Scripture in their possession. There are thousands who will never even live to see the Bible translated into their own language. I pray, this week as we read and study, that our heart would be held captive by the Word we are so privileged to have unlimited access to, and may we be reminded to give praise and thanks for the things we are so quick to take for granted.

* statistics gathered from