Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NORMAL still isn't working

Normal (adjective) – conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

Normal is 48.5% of all American’s receiving some form of government assistances. Normal means it is easier to start a new church than transform an old one. Normal is criticizing instead of mentoring. Normal is judging others by their actions and our selves by our intentions. Normal is being happy because you’re married instead of striving to have a happy marriage. Normal is expecting a different outcome without a different approach or effort. Normal is focusing on our children’s achievements without caring about their character. Normal is more people attend Orphan basketball games than all the churches in our area combined. Normal is blaming others for our problems. Normal is waiting to be asked before stepping forward and leading. Normal is putting our own needs first. Normal is getting revenge for those who have hurt us. Normal is thinking we are not good enough. Normal is avoiding other people not like us. Normal is a church that has good food, decent worship service, and decorates well at Christmas. Normal is praying only when someone is sick or we need help. Normal is more people are more likely to invite a friend, co worker, or family member to a movie than to church. Normal is describing our relationship with Christ as lukewarm. Normal is going through the motions. Normal is consuming more calories than we burn. Normal is the grass is always greener some place else. Normal wants growth without change. Normal is 6 out of 10 churches in the US have an average worship attendance of less than 100 people.

When we look closely at the life and teaching of Jesus we discover that Jesus was not normal. Jesus was weird. Jesus taught us a different, non normal, way to live. We can choose to live our life anyway we wish, we can live a normal life, which cause us extreme anxiety, stress, and deterioration of relationships and health. Jesus shows us a better way. When compared to our society’s way to live, Jesus’ way just seems weird. The Apostle Paul writes to a faith community in Ephesus and says, “And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go..” Paul reminds us that a normal life can lead us to be unable to find reality. Normal has robbed us the ability to think straight. Maybe it’s time to reclaim our life, take control of things, not be influenced by others but be influenced by God. It’s time to stop being normal. It’s time to be weird. Invite someone to join you on this journey as we examine how be can break from the normal and get weird.
Peace, Love & Happiness

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