Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Information or Transformation??

It is no secret that we live in an information world. The access to information is growing by leaps and bounds with every passing day. A survey released in December reports there are more than 74 million web sites online, while in 1993 only 130 web sites existed online. Millions of new web pages are created every day with more zeroes and ones proliferating the knowledge plane. But is more better?

Inputting information into a computer does nothing unless the information can be accessed or applied. The same is true for us. Information access is no longer a problem. Our knowledge cups runneth over. But how accessible is the good information? Is it stored in a safe place? And more importantly, can you apply it?

Information can lead to discoveries, but it takes transformation to change the world. And true transformation means being willing to think differently, to act differently and to relate to my world differently. NewSong's journey that we are embarking on has much less to do with information than transformation.This Sunday I am going to call our entire church to participate in a weeklong fast (more on this Sunday). I am asking everyone to begin to prepare their hearts for transformation.

James writes in chapter 1 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

We were created in his image. When we read Scripture, when we hear a message on Sunday applying Scripture to our lives, what do we do with this? Transformation is listening to the word, reading the word and then applying it to our lives. Then it becomes more than information and the image of who we are AND where we are going becomes that much clearer.

Breathing Easier

I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law (Bob and Debra Ferguson) a couple of weeks ago in San Antonio. While I was there, she handed me 2 cds on breathing. The content is about how breathing properly can help reduce stress etc. Ironically, it was while I was in San Antonio that my allergies hit me again.

But as I was practicing my allergy-affected breathing techniques, I was thinking about the phrase "breathing easier". A lot of time that is applied to pressure of some sort. "Wow, now that is over, I can breathe a bit easier". Stress is reduced and hope for a healthier tomorrow can be realized.

In many ways, this "breathing easier" is to be a way of life for Christians. Jesus tells us not to "worry" about the temporal things of this world. Paul tells us to "be anxious for nothing". Worry and anxiety are not fruits of a life in the spirit. They are more the result of bad fruit that can be traced back to some bad seeds that were planted in our thoughts and actions.

My hope for the journey that we are on as a church is that we can take aim at some of these bad seeds and plant some new ones. Right after Paul tells us to be anxious for nothing, he follows it up with some great seed for the seedbed of our minds...

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Ahhhhh.

Now if we take these words to heart and begin filling our heads and ultimately our actions with these words, we should all be able to breathe a little easier.