The video about can also be seen at:
Keep this in perspective… He calls Himself your Father…
The video about can also be seen at:
Keep this in perspective… He calls Himself your Father…
Following our Christmas Eve service, in which we focused on Jesus as the Light of the world during the season of lights, I was approached by a friend and fellow CrossPointer.
He, coming from the medical profession, always has such a unique take on the human body and its relation to spiritual components that I asked him to put his thoughts on paper so I could share them.
Take a minute and think a little more deeply on Jesus being the Light of the world, and how our own bodies can teach us more of what that means.
Thanks Tom for a great piece to think on!
As we come into the world, we develop in utter darkness within the womb. This is life in the most innocent state, our spirit protected by God; just as in the Holy of Holies there is no need for light or fear of darkness.
God knows the darkness, he created it and was present before he divided it from light; God’s sovereignty is absolute, he rules over darkness. He rules over all and has used darkness for his own purposes to hide himself before man. The purpose of God’s delineation of light and darkness was to divide. The Hebrew verb “baw-dal’” is the term for dividing or partitioning. God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. Gen. 1:3-4
The physical sense of sight correlates to the spiritual search for light. The eye captures an image like a camera. Light enters through a small hole called the pupil and is focused on the retina, which is like the film in a camera. The optical lens, much like a lens on a camera, focuses the image onto the retina. The colored ring of the eye, the iris, controls the amount of light entering the eye. The iris constricts when light is bright and dilates when light is dim. Blindness occurs due to darkness; when no light passes thru the lens to focus on the retina total blindness occurs. When we have full functioning of the eye the iris dilates completely when in darkness in an attempt to allow any possible light in.
From the time we are born our spirit, much like our eyes, seeks to acquire light. Having been separated from the purity of God, in darkness we try to comprehend the surroundings. Without light we are without direction, we do not know what darkness contains except what our senses communicate to us. Being born into sin, our only alternative is following the pathway identifying with things known.
Jesus is “The Light of the World” (John 5:12), the gift God gave as an example of how to live. When coming out of darkness into the presence of the light of Christ we are like the physical eye adapting to light. We have no conscious control over the eye adapting to the presence of light. We will adapt just as the iris does, restricting the amount of light on the retina. If the light is too brilliant for the physical eye, it can injure the nerve impulse transmission leading to temporary or permanent blindness, likewise God will give us no more than we can handle. We will follow Christ as the eye follows the light, and we will continually adjust to the brightness of His presence just as, with time, our physical eyes adjust. The vividness and radiance of Christ will escort and direct revealing a truthful image of our circumstances without confusion. God has given us a luminous path providing a return to our inheritance, the divine state to commune in the presence of God. No longer do we have to wander blindly in darkness but are able to see by the gift of His light.
By Tom Miller
An Open Letter…
This is an open letter to everyone who has stopped being a part of the Church. Whether your exit was public and loud, or a quiet and undetected escape. Whether you ran as far and fast as you could, or you slowly walked away, or maybe someone by word or deed pushed you out… this letter is to you. We love you, we need you and we want you to come home.
I am not trying, in anyway, to be the voice of God to you. But, I am trying desperately to be “a” voice for the Church… the body of broken, bruised, sinful and mistake ridden people who really only have one thing in common… Jesus forgave us. We’re asking that you would do the same… would you consider forgiving us for any hurt thats been done, or mistake that was made and attempt to reconnect with fellow strugglers?
I know we all come from different backgrounds, and our stories are as unique as our fingerprints, but please let me speak for “THE” Church for a moment… whatever happened that caused our separation… it’s not worth it and we need to heal.
If you’ve been hurt or offended by someone in the Church, I am sorry. The Church should be a place of love and support, but sometimes we let the letter of the law get in the way of the spirit of the law. We don’t act as loving as we should, and all I can ask is that you forgive us as Christ forgave you. I can promise you this, as long as there are breathing human beings in the Church, there will be problems, but don’t let that rob you of the joy of Christian community. Please forgive and come home.
If you’ve been overlooked or neglected by your Church. Please forgive us. Everyone is important, everyone matters and everyone needs a place at the table. Imperfect people are perfectly good at dropping the ball. I promise you that no one ever wanted you to feel left out, or on the outside. Sometimes we need you to let us know if you’re hurting, lonely, or just feeling disconnected. I know it’s hard to let others know when you’re feeling that way, but believe it or not there are people in Church who would love to meet you right where you are if they just knew. So, if you have “slipped through the cracks”… I am so sorry. No one ever wanted you to feel anything other than valued, included and important. Please, create an opportunity for a second chance and come home.
If you left the Church because you were bored… well, that’s probably legitimate… I believe it’s a sin to take the most exciting story in the world that has the opportunity to bring life into the world, and bore people to death with it. But, if boredom is what derailed you then let me set a couple of questions in front of you: First, isn’t truth still truth, even if it’s boring? You can’t give up on the Message, just because the messengers are an all natural cure for insomnia. Second, if the Church is boring, please take that as your excuse to fix it! Get in the children’s program and make learning the Word fun for the next generation, find a spot in the leadership to positively make some changes from within, ask some of the old school gatekeepers, “What do we have to do to reach your grandchildren?’ and just see that rock and a hard place start to slide like tectonic plates and then feel the earthquake as Church becomes… dare we say it… fun! If you walked away because Church was just bad, we need you to make it better, please come home.
If your life changed drastically, and the Church just didn’t seem to care, I want you to know, the truth is we’re desperate to meet you where you are. A divorce can make you feel like you’ve lost everything, but don’t believe the lie! God says, “Never will I leave, never will I forsake you.” Neither should your Church. Moving to a new city often makes you feel completely unstable, and finding a Church like your old one is almost impossible. Well, that’s actually true, but there’s good news… the people are different, the music’s not even close, and you really loved your old preacher, but despite all that… Jesus is still the same! Sometimes we feel like we’ve just outgrown the Church… we went when we were kids, or we used to be in the youth group, or I liked my old Sunday School class. So, you just kind of drifted away and leaving Church… “just happened”… Those were good days, but they aren’t gone… they just prepared you for what’s next. You have grown, but you haven’t outgrown God. Whatever has changed, remember He is the same yesterday, today and forever… we love you, please come home.
Maybe you left Church because you have struggled with your faith. Doubts, questions and fears have just made it easier to move on, and faith to you is now just a “personal” issue, if it’s anything at all. C’mon, let’s get real for a moment. The reason it’s called faith, is because it can’t be proved. Part of the reality of faith is the struggle… I mean, what did God name His people: Israel, right? You know what that word means don’t you…? Israel means “wrestles with God.” Questions, doubts and the struggle should be embraced in the Church… they are what make us strong enough to survive. In fact, you might have a specific theological issue. Something that you heard taught you don’t like, a teaching that runs counter to culture that’s difficult to embrace, or a legitimate question that you can’t seem to get an answer to… please, stay in the game and wrestle with God and his people until you find peace. Walking away will never answer the question. Imagine that your faith is a boat on the water that’s sinking… diving overboard is not going to fix anything. The only thing that makes sense is to stay in the boat and bail water. So, if you and the Church aren’t on speaking terms anymore because of “the struggle”… please, climb back up in the boat and start bailing water. We need you, come home.
Maybe your out of the Church because “You’ve had it up to here.” Organized religion, hypocrits, the hyper-religious, or the inward-focused, naval gazing culture of the modern Church just turn you off. Well, here we go…
Obviously, I can’t speak to every hurt and every concern felt by everyone, but I can say this: We love you… we want you… we need you… please consider forgiving, trying again, just letting it go and coming home.
We’re the Church, and we’re not the same without you.