Tag Archives: living

Justifying Fashion for the Church

Often in Christianity we have to categories. Those things that are sacred, and those items that are secular. Recently I have been seeing more and more how this dichotomy is dangerous and even harmful to the Christian church. There are many perfectly good enterprises that are given up in pursuit of a life that is only sacred.

                God created a world for us to enjoy. We are called to follow Christ wherever we are at. Are plans are to be committed to the Lord whatever they are so long as they are in the character of Christ. When looked at this way, there is a great deal of life that is free to be enjoyed that is normally considered secular.

                Fashion for example. I have had the past had a great deal of difficulty spending money on anything related to clothing. I am more than my clothes and none of it will fit me for very long anyway. I never knew what to do with my friends who invested in a hundred dollar pair of pants, or three hundred dollar shoes. We are very quick to judge this as a waste of money that could be given to the poor.

                But, even a slight comparison to our other judgments will find this lacking. Do we judge the individual who spends three hundred dollars on a ski trip? Or buys a car with leather seats and A/C instead of a minimalist design with no power windows or air conditioning. Do we judge the one that remodels their kitchen? I have never heard of that. These are all things that are ‘expected’ as normal and good. But the judgement is arbitrary.

                Furthermore, I categorize fashion and clothing as one of the arts. How we dress and present ourselves can be as much as a form of art as a canvas. Matching colors, styles, seasonal clothes all with your particular body type in order to convey an image is an art. Especially if that dress conveys an image of your personality in line with who you are. I would be curious to see a fashion guide based on personality.

                Finally, how we present ourselves is important in ministering the gospel of Christ. Just as overtly expensive clothes can make those who are less ‘fortunate’ feel bad, so too cheap of clothing can cut off certain peoples. If you want to minister to the wealthy or LA and Hollywood culture, you had better dress like it. Clothing can also spark conversations.

                Use your money wisely, and follow Christ. In some cultures, it is considered rude not to wear your best. We are the ones that have to look at you all day, not you.

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Obedience as Acting

On an Excellent Life
We as Christians are given two commandments, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor. This is the standard that we have of a life well lived, how well we love God and love other people. Loving God includes, loving other people, and obeying his commands. For, “Those who love me, obey my commandments.”
The simple part is often understanding God’s commandments. Do not let improper speech come from your mouth, be kind, keep no record of wrong, and others. But applying these is difficult. Seeing the connection between a good blessed life and obeying God’s commands is more difficult, that will be the topic for my next blog post.
The second piece is loving other people. My encouragement for living a life worth living is learning to love creatively, intently, and fiercely.
Loving creatively could be hiding surprises all over some ones house, like army men, chocolates, or flowers, for someone to find. It could be leaving a recording of a love message for them to find. You could: draw their favorite activity (even if it is stick figures), compliment something no one gets complimented on, like their elbows, or make them some food. Most importantly, you should do something that points them towards Christ, because the greatest good for everyone is Christ. You can do nothing greater for a fellow person than to bring them one step closer to the creator.
Love intently. Even if you don’t feel like it. Just do it. Be intentional. Plan. Base the idea upon who the person is. Think of their struggles and their joys, connect the act of love to that. God is pleased with water for a child, and he is also pleased with a gift in love.
Love fiercely. Here I have the pleasure of a story. It would be better titled love stubbornly, but it works here.
I was hanging out with a group of friends one day and we decided to get yogurt. As the eight of us crowded into the yogurt shop, one of our friends, who we saw rarely, mentioned he would like something but had no money. When Ashley offered to pay for it, Jeremy was quick to deny the offer. The banter went back and forward for some time. “Well what if we split something?” she pushed. He finally agreed. Then the bantering continued as she tried to pick out flavors he would like. They were last in line, and when they came and sat down at our table, she took the first sweet bite. “Yum.” Then put her spoon down. “I am done”
“What?” Came Jeremy’s reply.
“Yeah, there I had a bite. We shared. You can have the rest.”
So love fiercely, stubbornly, and sometimes with just a bit of mischievousness.


Life Worth Living: Mischievous Love

On an Excellent Life

                We as Christians are given two commandments, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor. This is the standard that we have of a life well lived, how well we love God and love other people. Loving God includes, loving other people, and obeying his commands. For, “Those who love me, obey my commandments.”

                The simple part is often understanding God’s commandments. Do not let improper speech come from your mouth, be kind, keep no record of wrong, and others. But applying these is difficult. Seeing the connection between a good blessed life and obeying God’s commands is more difficult, that will be the topic for my next blog post.

                The second piece is loving other people. My encouragement for living a life worth living is learning to love creatively, intently, and fiercely.

                Loving creatively could be hiding surprises all over some ones house, like army men, chocolates, or flowers, for someone to find. It could be leaving a recording of a love message for them to find. You could: draw their favorite activity (even if it is stick figures), compliment something no one gets complimented on, like their elbows, or make them some food. Most importantly, you should do something that points them towards Christ, because the greatest good for everyone is Christ. You can do nothing greater for a fellow person than to bring them one step closer to the creator.

                Love intently. Even if you don’t feel like it. Just do it. Be intentional. Plan. Base the idea upon who the person is. Think of their struggles and their joys, connect the act of love to that. God is pleased with water for a child, and he is also pleased with a gift in love.

                Love fiercely. Here I have the pleasure of a story. It would be better titled love stubbornly, but it works here.

I was hanging out with a group of friends one day and we decided to get yogurt. As the eight of us crowded into the yogurt shop, one of our friends, who we saw rarely, mentioned he would like something but had no money. When Ashley offered to pay for it, Jeremy was quick to deny the offer. The banter went back and forward for some time. “Well what if we split something?” she pushed. He finally agreed. Then the bantering continued as she tried to pick out flavors he would like. They were last in line, and when they came and sat down at our table, she took the first sweet bite. “Yum.” Then put her spoon down. “I am done”

“What?” Came Jeremy’s reply.

“Yeah, there I had a bite. We shared. You can have the rest.”

So love fiercely, stubbornly, and as I learned from one of my favorite people, sometimes with just a bit of mischievousness.