Tag Archives: Bono

What will you do?

I call myself a Christian because I want to live my life close to Jesus Christ.  I would love nothing more than to know that this blog helps you to live your life closer to him as well.  But I understand that the name “Jesus Christ” may make you want to scream and run the other direction.  Or you may feel that you would have to “check your brain at the door” before you could call yourself a Christian.  CS Lewis said, “I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of evidence is against it.  That is not the point at which Faith comes in.”  I completely agree.

The Apostle Paul didn’t instruct us “to be transformed by the removal of your mind”,* but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. (Rom. 12:2)  I believe that the weight of evidence is for Christianity and that Faith transformed me when God renewed my mind.    I know that God loves you and wants to transform you, but you have to want to be transformed.  I can pray for your transformation, but ultimately, God is the one responsible for drawing you to Him (John 6:44).

And when He does draw you, will you call Jesus your “Lord and Savior”?  Your “Ruler and Redeemer”?  Or is that all “Christianese”?  How about “Leader and Forgiver”?  Maybe that’s better, but it brings up another point.  What do I need to be forgiven of?  I haven’t done anything wrong.  I’m a good person.  That’s where I was almost 21 years ago.

You could say that the world’s largest religion is called “Good-personism”.*  Just make sure that, at the end of your life, your “good” outweighs your “bad”.  Sounds simple enough.  But how do you know when you’ve done enough? How much is enough?  And what if you’ve done something really horrible?  How much good do you have to do to make up for that?  And what if your definition of “really horrible” is vastly different from my definition of “really horrible”?  Maybe there’s a better way.  Maybe that way is called “Christianity”.

Christianity is the only religion where:*

1) Everyone is welcome
2) Everyone gets in the exact same way
3) Everyone can meet the requirement

So, how do you get in?  You turn to Jesus.  That’s it.  Sounds simple, right?  Well, if you’ve never done it, it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do.  Why?  We don’t want anyone telling us what to do.  Especially not in America.  We have our rights, after all.  We should be able to do what we want.  We’ve got to look out for #1.  So, why would we, in our right minds, give control of our lives over to someone else?  We’ve got to be pretty darn sure that whoever we give control over to has our best interests in mind.

I can tell you, from my own personal experience, that Jesus does have our best interests in mind.  But that’s something you need to experience for yourself, if you are open and willing to ask for it.  And consider this.  Most people who reject Christianity still say that Jesus was a good teacher, a good moral leader. But consider what he said about himself.

Here’s a link to the Book of John in BibleGateway.com.  Jesus makes some pretty outlandish statements about himself: “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9); “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11); “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:21).  Good teachers and good moral leaders don’t walk around claiming to be God, but Jesus did.

Jesus doesn’t give us the option to say that he’s a good, moral teacher.  Either he’s a liar or a lunatic or he’s the Lord.*  Those are our only options.

Here’s what Bono had to say about Jesus in an interview posted on Glenn Beck’s website on 3-31-15:

“It’s a defining question for Christian.  Who was Christ?  I don’t think you’re let off easily by saying he was a great thinker or great philosopher.  Because, actually, he went around saying he was the Messiah.  That’s why he was crucified.  He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God.  So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts.  Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes.  I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium.  And I find it hard to accept that all the millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter.  I don’t believe it.”

Check out the 3 minute interview by clicking here.

But, really, here’s the bigger question to ask yourself:

If I became a Christian today, what would happen tomorrow?  What would the consequences be?  How would my life have to change if I were to believe this?*

So, we come back to the fact that we have to want to turn to Jesus.  And that’s what is so hard.  Humility is brutal.  Saying “no” to ourselves and “yes” to something better feels excruciating in the moment.  Do you know where the word “excruciating” came from?  That word was created to describe the act of being crucified.  That’s what was done for us. We have turned away from God, but Jesus died to pay for all of our “turning away“.

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
-Isaiah 53:6

What will you do with Jesus?

If you’d like to chat more, feel free to email me at jbjbac@gmail.com.

*Special thank you to Abdu Murray, Chris Zarbaugh and CS Lewis for this content.

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DreamSpace

If you knew me back in 2011, you probably received the following from me via email.  A lot has happened since then, but I wanted to post the original email here before I continue the story.

“I had the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit at Kensington on August 11 & 12.  After 2 solid days of incredible vision-casting, I envisioned droves of people coming up to pastors all around the world, overflowing with ideas.  But, in my mind, I could imagine the pastors being stuck with answers like “I’ll keep that in mind”, “I’ll pray for you”, “maybe you should talk to so-and-so”, or simply “go out and do that” without a structured way to funnel these ideas.

Craig McGlassion spoke at Clinton Twp on August 7 and quoted Zig Ziglar:
“The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.”

We all have something to give, but we don’t know what to do with it, or we think it’s too little, so our ideas fizzle out.  What if there were a world-wide on-line connection point where we could post our big dreams and our small offerings?  It would be searchable, categorized by subject and location, so that we can find one another.  Imagine something like eBay or Facebook, connecting people all over the world, but for the purpose of fulfilling our dreams together.

Once we connect and fulfill that dream, we can post pictures and tell our story.  How the two moms with a burden to pray for their neighborhood found one another, only blocks away, so that 2 or more could gather in His name.  How the farmers market grower with too many carrots at the end of the day got connected with the soup kitchen who could use his carrots to help feed 100’s.  How the up and coming generation, inspired by the likes of Bono and Mother Teresa, with their passion for connection and social change, found each other, worked together and saw their dreams fulfilled.

Come for daily encouragement by reading the stories and seeing the pictures of dreams fulfilled.  Come to post your meager offerings (just 2 fish?  just 5 loaves?) and watch how, together, we can feed thousands.  Come to offer your talents, your creativity, your “I’m nobody and my little talent isn’t worth anything on it’s own” and see how God will piece us together into his beautiful mosaic, shine His light through us and show off His masterpiece.  Come to DreamSpace.

John and I are trying to find out if something like this already exists, but have found little with a “grassroots” Craig’s List/ Facebook feel.  We’re looking for our “next step” and that’s where you come in.  Maybe you have some direction you can offer, maybe you can forward this e-mail, or maybe you can simply pray for us or for those who may already be working on this somewhere in our world.  God bless our country and this world.  May we all be a blessing to one another.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
-Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

Thanks for reading and dreaming along with me.
Blessings,
-Beth”

Click here for part 2: DreamSpace Continued

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