The average American will eat 15 cows, 24 hogs, 900 chickens, and 1,000 lbs. of assorted animals that either fly or swim over the course of their lifetime. That is a great deal of flesh to consume for a body that was originally designed to digest fruit, nuts and vegetables. Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."
The enemy of our souls is out to kill us (John 10:10). The ancient serpent known as Satan has been around long enough to know that if he cannot do it swiftly, then he we attempt to do it slowly and deceitfully. My friends, there is an epidemic not only in our nation, but in the Church; and it's called heart disease. We have been duped and dumbed down as a culture and as a spiritual community as to the dangers of our diet! We have made our bellies our god and have trusted in the advice of the Food and Drug Administration instead of the Sacred Scripture. We have made jokes to ourselves that we are glad we're not Jewish while stuffing our faces with pork and all manner of unhealthy fair at the church potluck dinner. We have smiled with satisfaction after piling it on at a buffet after worship service and praise our children when they eat like horses. Yes, food has become an idol to the American Church, and we are dying for it!
For centuries, our monastic brethren have offered their strength, intellect, and physical bodies to be available for God's use. The most classic and common offering generally came upon the inauguration of a monk or nun's vows, namely the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Upon first glance, the list of untouchables makes us cringe with the thought of vowing to abstain from such things that seem so natural and good. Why would we want be poor? why would we want to abstain from sexual pleasure? And why on earth would I want to give up my autonomy, my independence? After all, this is a democracy!
We hear of Roman Catholic monks, priests, and nuns making vows of poverty, chastity, and charity, but is there place for evangelical or charismatic Christians to make vows to the Lord? Is it even Biblical to make vows? Does the new Testament endorse such practices? And if so, how do I go about making a vow that is proper and pleasing to God?
My wife and i returned from our trip to Northern Michigan last night. After putting nearly 2,000 miles on our mini-van, we are home in good ole Tennessee! Julie's grandmother passed away last week, so we loaded up the van with the two boys and the baby and made the 10 hour trek to Flint from Spring Hill for the funeral, and then drove another 3 hours or so up to Petoskey where Julie spent her childhood. On the last day, we drove up to the Upper Peninsula (across the Mackinac Bridge) to stay the night in her late grandfather's cabin on Lake Michigan. We also celebrated our one year anniversary while we were gone. It was a beautiful time filled with beautiful scenery and beautiful people!
July 7th begins our next "re-monk" cycle! So if you want to join with others who are making small, incremental changes each month that are dramatically affecting their lives in God, then please check out our "re-monk urself" page and join the conversation! What better time than NOW to begin shaping your future?