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Monday, October 8, 2012

Hidden Treasures

This beautiful hidden treasure is in China, Guilin. The so called Crystal Palace lies 790 feet deep in the Reed Flute Cave. I was fascinated by the picture when I saw it. To me, it looks like a whole new world I would love to live in and explore. 

Then I thought, why on earth would God put something so incredible - 790 feet below the surface of the earth? At that depth, who can enjoy it's beauty and marvel at it's creation? It seems such a waste to have something so breath taking in a place that it can not be fully appreciated.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was just like God to do that. I believe that there are hidden treasures that we miss in a lot of places in our lives. Whether it is the snuggle of a child because we are to "busy", or stopping to admire a sunset because we are late to the next "thing" - we miss things because we don't actively search for God's hidden treasures in every situation and every moment of every day. 

Even in the toughest of times, His treasures are there. Like the friend who prays for you when God brings you to their mind, even though you may never know it.

So, take a moment and admire this beautiful underground wonderland and remember to  take time to find the hidden treasures God has for you each and every day. It's easier said than done, but I sure am gonna try. Why? Because it's worth it! 

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3

Saturday, October 6, 2012

In Name Only

I was reading an article out of the newest edition of Relevant Magazine (you should totally subscribe btw) about how our things are made. In one part of the article it highlighted the story that came out a few years ago about a man who bought an iPhone and while band new - was loaded with 1 picture on it. 

She became known as iPhone girl in the media and was the factory worker in China who helped get the phone ready for shipping to it's new home. The pictures went viral and all of the sudden the coveted technical device became so much more to people. Everyone began to realize the lives that were attached to each and every piece of consumer product we buy. This one in particular spawned a firestorm of media coverage highlighting the appalling work conditions of people in the factories in that part of the world. 

People became outraged as they found details about the people who work for mere pennies in horrid conditions to supply us with the things we think we "need" so badly. As I was reading I found myself joining that group who was outraged about this injustice. It is wrong - just plain wrong.

The question was - What could I do about it?

I find myself feeling this way from time to time. Moved by the injustice in the world and ready to go and fight for those who are effected by it. 

I am heart broken for those caught in the human trafficking trade. 

I am disgusted by the fact that so many go without clean water each day. 

And now... I can add sweat shop conditions to my ever growing list of things to pick up my sword for.


As quickly as I was up in arms, it seems I had moved on. Back to my comfortable life in suburbia. iPhone girl was a distant memory and my phone was once again the instrument that makes my life easy. 

Why is that? Why is it that I fall in to the complacency that plagues our society and leaves others in this world to fight for even the smallest measure of things that most of us consider our "rights" as those living in the good ole USA.

God has been challenging me over the last few days as I have pondered what I am to do about this pathetic problem I have. Am I going to be an activist in word only - or will me deeds speak louder than my words? Will I not just talk about it, but actually do something about it?

The same could be said for the majority of us I think. It is nice to know I am not in this boat alone, but I hope that each of you reading this will be as haunted by these questions as I am. 

This is not just about social activism here people. It is about the very lives of human beings. And as much as God's heart breaks for the injustice of this world he designed to be perfect and is clearly NOT, His heart breaks even more for the souls of people who do not know Him. The people who are going to spend eternity without Him. 

And why is that?

Because for most of us - we "talk" a better Christian game than we actually act out in our every day lives. (preaching to myself here)

I have felt a change coming in my life for a while now. I am still unsure what that means or looks like, but I know God is breaking my heart for certain injustices in this world and for those who do not know Him and His love for them.

God has been challenging me, so now I challenge you.

What are YOU going to do about it?

Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words. 1 John 3:18 (gwt 1995)