Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I love being adopted!

I recently experienced my 45th birthday. Now I know we are supposed to say we celebrated our birthdays but every year it becomes just another day. But my wife and kids like to celebrate the day and so I join them. However there is a date that approaches a few months after everyone of my birthdays that I do celebrate. Albeit alone. I was born on Feb. 23rd but on May 13th of that same year I was adopted. On Feb 23rd I was given a name and on May 13th I was given a new name with a new life and a new family. So May 13th has become the date I celebrate.
I have no desire to connect with my birth family other than to tell her thank you. I would say, Thank you for making one of the toughest choices a mother ever will have to make. I honor her for this reason.
I love being adopted. My parents (the ones who adopted me) brought me into their family as a full fledged member. I was given a new name with all the rights of that name. I was given the right to participate in every blessing and struggle of that family just as those members born into that family participated. It was and is just as if I always belonged to them.
Did I deserve any of this? No, I had done nothing to earn my way into this family and never was a threat made that if I did not perform to a certain standard would I be sent back. My parents showed me unconditional love and grace.
Today as a Pastor I have the joy of telling people about a God who wants to adopt them into His family where they will know and experience every right of a child of God. I get to share with them how they do not have to deserve it or earn it but that God has paid the price. God shows them unconditional love and grace because he sent His only Son to die on the cross for all of our sins, so that through Jesus we can become a child of God.
So today while I do not celebrate my birthday, I do celebrate my adoption. I have been adopted into the Loewen Family and I have been adopted into the Family of God.
Do you love being adopted too?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I have been reading the biblical account of the judge Samson in recent days. I found myself relating to him all too well. And it is not the Sunday School Samson who we have been taught to look up to as a hero. This man had the anointing of God on him and instead of using it for the glory of God. He was arrogant, he lustfully fed his own pleasures and in the end it was his own arrogance that brought his fall. His fall was deep, he lost all his strength and became the slave and object of humiliation at the hands of his enemies. These enmeis also were the enemy of God, they followed a false god. The saddest consequence of Samson's sin was not that it led to his humiliation but the Phillistines gave their god credit for the capture of Samson. so Samson's sin led to God being humiliated as well.

That truth hit me like a brick. I can handle the consequence of my sin leading to my humiliation but to think that my sins directly bring humiliation of God that is humbling. How could I or any of us be so arrogant, so ignorant. But I also learn from Samson that my actions have consequences. Samson was taken captive by his enemies in the same way we become captive to our own sin. We have humiliating consequences. It is in that humbling moment that God listens to a repentant heart. For Samson his repentance led to restoration and his final act of surrender. In the end God came upon him one more time and he gave his life for the glory of God.

This is our truth for life today. The truth is God, whom we have shamed by our actions, hears our cries of repentance and restores us so that we can serve Him for his glory.

Isn't our God great. He restores us in spite of us. He empowers us then to Glorify Him. Glorify Him.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Time

Life is filled with many firsts; your first steps, your first day of school, your first crush, your first date, your first kiss, your first day driving solo behind the wheel of your Dad's Crown Victoria and many others. I am probably not the first to write about first times when writing my first entry in a blog. That does not take away from the truth that this is my first time and I am excited about trying this new venture and discipline in my life.
I chose the title for my blog, The Path Less Beaten. I chose this title because of the words that Jesus used in the sermon on the mount when he described the path that leads to life and that only a few will find it. That makes it a less beaten path. It is my desire that this space be used to encourage people to find the path and to make their way down that path that leads to a relationship with God. Maybe together we can beat this path down some more.