Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Those Christians"

I haven't posted anything exciting lately because, well, nothing that was super "blog-worthy" has happened since New Mexico. However, this past week, Daniel got a job, started back to seminary, I started the seminary wives' class, we have the opportunity to go to India, I got 5 days off work in a row and we actually stayed HOME, and we're preparing for a trip to Arkansas with our good friends Brett and Laura Beth, and Bobby and Vanessa, and maybe a few other special friends that it's been way to long to visit with.

Job: Daniel is now working for Rockhaven Learning Center here in Fort Worth. He was originally hired to be what they called a Site Director (he would have been over the tutors and a liaison to the school and RLC), but RLC recently found out that the schools were going to be charging an outrageous amount of money for them to use the school's classrooms so they won't be tutoring in the schools this year. So Daniel is now officially a tutor. Thanks to "no child left behind" and your tax dollars, Daniel is now employed.

Seminary: Daniel is taking 13 hours this semester. He's in his 3rd semester of Greek, and also taking Church History, Old Testament, and New Testament. And he's still loving it. He's like a school-aged boy who comes home and has to tell mom everything he's learned during the day. Except he's a grown man and comes home to his wife and is teaching her in the process. I had my first seminary wives class last Tuesday. There are over 100 wives in the class. Four of the women in my church are taking the class with me. It's going to be an interesting class as the teacher is the president of the seminary's wife, and she is Superwoman. She does it all and I'm excited to learn from her.

India: This past Sunday our pastor told us about a trip to India at the end of the year. He's invited Daniel and I to go. There is a friend of our Pastor who has started over 200 churches around his area, a Bible college (or a few, not sure), and children's homes for orphans. Daniel will go to teach at the college and encourage the believers. I will be going to hopefully help with some basic medical needs, love on some precious children of God, and encourage the women. We are still praying about this trip as it is quite expensive and we currently do not have that kind of money to spend. But we are making sacrifices (selling things, not buying things - not animals) and seeing how God leads our finances in the next week or so. Please be in prayer about this decision.

5 days off: Not a very exciting time around the Bray house. Lots of sleeping, cleaning, watching movies, and playing with Jack.

Arkansas: I actually got the entire Labor Day weekend off so we are heading to Arkansas for some camping, hiking, and rock climbing with some amazing friends! We had originally tried to get a bunch of our couple friends from MS to join in, but people have jobs and other plans so that didn't work out.
Now for the Title of this blog. Daniel read this to me earlier today as we were discussing what it truly means to be a Christian and what it should look like to the world. In his Church History class, their textbook had this anonymous letter that was from the second century. It is referring to Christians of the early church.

"For Christians are not differentiated from other people by country, language, or customs; you see, they do not live in cities of their own, or speak some strange dialect or have some peculiar lifestyle.
This teaching of theirs has not been contrived by the invention and speculation of inquisitive men; nor are they propagating mere human teaching as some people do. They live in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put them. They follow local customs in clothing, food and other aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us the wonderful and certainly unusual form of their own citizenship.
They live in their own native lands, but as aliens; as citizens, they share all things with others; but like aliens, suffer all things. Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and every native land as a foreign country.
They marry and have children just like everyone else; but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are at present 'in the flesh' but they do not live 'according to the flesh'. They are passing their days on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed laws, and go beyond the laws in their own lives.
They love everyone, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich. They are short of everything and yet have plenty of all things. They are dishonored and yet gain glory through dishonor.
Their names are blackened and yet they are cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as aliens, and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any reason for their hostility.
To put it simply -- the soul is to the body as Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all parts of the body and Christians through all cities of the world. The soul is in the body but is not of the body; Christians are in the world but not of the world."

We don't know if this person was a Christian or not, but just think, what if he was a non-Christian and this is how he recognized believers of the early church. Is this what non-believers see in Christians today? Christians were not luke-warm in the early Church. They stood up for beliefs and defended their faith and were ultimately killed for it in many cases. We are so consumed by the world sometimes, we forget what we truly live for. This world has damaged us as followers of Christ. We are sidetracked so often with material possessions, worries, money, and our day-to-day lives, when really it's all about our relationship with our Father and the love that he wants us to show others. So I guess the question is are you one of "those Christians"?

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