Brandon Moore's blog

Like the sun in the morning. . .

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I can only know God in how he reveals himself to me. I can't just study God on my own terms or diagnose God based upon objective observations. God is to me and my understanding, only how He has revealed himself to be. This doesn't limit God, though it does limit my understanding of him.

He has revealed himself through nature, through His word, through humans, and, most passionately, through Christ. (The book I'm reading now called Christ plays in 10,000 places talks about many other areas where God is revealed.) So any understanding or comprehension of God is seen through these lenses, and I cannot understand God without these lenses. Yet God exists beyond all these lenses, as their creator, and He is not limited to our own limitations of His understanding.

We understand this when we speak of God's omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. We understand that God is to big to be grasped, as well as we can grasp it anyway. Yet in the last few weeks I have struggled with something along these same lines, yet different.

We accept that God is limitless, but forget that just as he is limitless so are the qualities that he has poured upon this world. In Hosea God speaks concerning his mercy and love for the adultress Israel. He says in chapter 11,
"My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man."
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Though our understanding of God's mercy and love is limited to only that which he has revealed to us, he is not limited by these same graces. Though I can only comprehend mercy through it's interaction on a human level, which is beautiful to tears as we experience it, how much greater is the mercy and love that is being poured upon this world by a God who has no limits. Just as Paul prays concerning the church in Ephesus,
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"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Come and sit on the back porch with me. The breeze is slight on this summer evening, but the sun is too busy playing through the clouds to heat the air. The grass is green and feels good on bare feet. Tree's stand nearly still, only occasionally shifting their weight in discomfort. There is a noisy silence all around. Chorused by crickets, birds, a distant mower. Muted with my long, deep breath.

"Is this part of my faith?" I ask as I catch a rabbit stirring out of the corner of my eye. I watch him nibble about the grass.

"Am I just eating the grass?" The question sounds dumb as I release, and the look on your face says that you agree. But you are too kind to say anything and the silence once again drifts over us.

I disturb the silence once again, but this time with just the beginning of a word. I'm not exactly sure what to say, but I need response and I need dialogue. So I begin anyway.

"Do you ever feel like God's just packaged?" Your look tells me to explain. "Sometimes I just feel like I've bought God how I wanted him. Then I put him in a pretty package with a cool new label, and now I'm trying to sell him, but only as the way I bought him to begin with, only now he's better. Does that make any sense?" You don't say anything. You don't have to. I know it doesn't make any sense.

"Like God's an old Mustang with a big V8, but the body is a little rusty and the paint has faded. And there's no CD player, but it's still cool cause it's an old Mustang. Are you following me?" I don't wait for a reply. "And I've given the 'stang a new paint job, and restored all the parts and Bondoed the rust. I'm in the middle of putting in a new system, and I'm debating whether it's right to put subs in a classic car or not? But the car looks awesome, and it drives beautifully. I cruise down the street and people look at me. And that V8 has a lot of power." I sit up on the edge of my seat and look at you as my words flow out faster. "I know not everyone likes Mustangs, but if they get in mine I know they'll like it, cause how could they not like it. It's classic and cool. It's ancient and modern."

I let the words slip of my tongue, and slide back deeper into my seat. You still don't say anything, and you're just looking into the clouds. I don't know if you don't want to have this conversation, if you're thinking about what I said, or if you're just thinking I'm an idiot.

I slip in during the bark of a dog across the yard. "I just don't want to make God into my Mustang, because then he's just another idol I worship. You know what I mean?"

Friday, June 16, 2006

You wish you were a youth intern! Post #1

Well if I'm going to do this whole intern thing this summer you're gonna do it with me!

Today I woke to the sound of my own groaning. Still feeling nauseas from bad McDonalds I'd had two days before, I stumble into the shower and then into my clothes. Cargo shorts, a T-shirt, and sandles. "Maybe I am becoming a youth minister." I thought to myself as I grabbed my keys and headed out the door of someone elses house that I was temporarily calling home. I clocked in as I pulled into the parking lot of the middle school. To help with my nausea I had committed to attending an eight grade Jazz Band concert, and watching my friend Chris blow his horn. What I was unaware of was that the show choir as well as the seventh grade Jazz Band was performing before Chris took the stage.

The show choir entered to the tune of "footloose" while twirling, spinning, and sometimes chasing hula hoops. As this was taking place, a sweet older woman politely informed the audience that they could all get in shape by doing this simple hula hooping workout. Immediately images of the parents and grandparents around me dancing to "footloose" with their color coordinated hula hoops and spandex outfits filled my mind. I put my head down in shame at my laughter. After a pleasent applause was a slow ballad to which the show choir did some sort of choreography that brought flashes of Napoleon Dynamite and "the rose."

After a half hour of Showchoir there was a leisure switch to the seventh grad Jazz band. The room continued to grow hotter. Midway through the concert I found myself sitting in the wrong section as the show choir quietly (well as quiet as junior high kids can be) began filling the empty seats that surrounded me. Behind me, in front of me, and on either side of me sat Junior High girls who didn't even wait to take a breath before they entered into conversation concerning who liked who, and who was hot vs. cute. I was now sweating in the heat, and begging for shots of Maalox. Another half hour of sqeaky saxaphones and flat trumpets came to a close in a round of applause.

Enter the eight grade Jazz band, glowing in their superiority as the oldest and undoubtely most talented band present in the room. They banged out Jazz beat after Jazz beat, and Chris nailed five solo's, one of which was improv. Afterward I went to talk to him, and a huge smile painted his face. "You, my man, are a stud." I said while giving him a fist bang and nodding my head in appreciation. We chatted for a minute about his solo's and the rest of the concert. As I was walking out he shouted, "Brandon thanks for coming, we'll hang out lata!"

I don't know exactly what God wants of me this summer, but you know Chris may not remember a single class I teach this summer, but his smile told me he'll remember me being at his concert. Sometime I forget that I don't share Christ just when I'm preaching or teaching, but sometimes just when I'm present and listening.

Tommorrow I get up at 6:30 and leave for Uplift at Harding with 12 teenagers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Did you hear the new information on constipation?

NO?

Thats cause it hasn't come out yet!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Yesterday I went on a drive with my grandpa, just me and him. We drove through rolling fields speckled with fresh bails of hay and cut by creeks hidden in tree lines. He showed me where he grew up and we drove through the little down of Philadelphia (MO), where he traded eggs and milk for supplies. He showed me the house where my great-aunt lived her entire life, and where second and third cousins live now. But it wasn't just places, it was names and relationships.

Yet the conversation changed. I don't know how, but he talked like I'd never heard him talk before. I don't know if it was him getting older and wanting to share what he knows, or me getting older and finally being able to listen, but either way his words were real and wise.

First he talked about love. He said to not worry about it, it will come. And it will hit you out of nowhere and you won't be able to think or speak or even breathe. He said it will change everything you want and how you want to get it. And I thought about him loving my grandma like that, and the way I looked at him changed just a bit.

Then he talked about how to live. I was expecting something about hardwork or being dedicated or whatever, but he said something I didn't expect. He said life is about relationships. It's about knowing people and laughing and having a good time with them. He said it's about surrounding yourself with honest, good people, and being the kind of person that deserves to be friends with them.

A year ago this week I wrote about being empty. Being totally dry and drained. A year ago I talked about relationships only letting you down, only being dissapointing.

God is faithful. He doesn't abonden us. He won't leave us empty or dissapointed. He teaches us who we are, and fills our lives with people that always remind us of that.

As we drove, my grandpa spoke, and I listened.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL!!!

It started on Sunday. There were over 60 kids in attendace, which was a pretty good number for this Church. So here is my top ten list from the first few days of VBS.

10. Getting to wear a mexican sombrero in the church building (the theme is a fiesta.)

9. All you can eat cookies and red Kool-aid (if you can sneak them by the snack ladies!)

8. Getting to be partners with Riley (he's my best friend, he's five) during game time.

7. Waterballoons.

6. Watching little face intricately place tissue paper on glue during craft time.

5. Playing follow the leader with three year old Andrew. At one point we laid down upon the grass and he pointed up to the moon, which was just starting to show. I asked him what he thought about the moon, and he informed me that the moon was where aliens lived. I later found out that the aliens are green and have big heads and little body's so we shouldn't be scared of them. Good thing cause I was starting to get worried.

4. Hearing kids answer bible questions at the end of the night. There is something spectacular about the word of good from a 7 year olds perspective, maybe we should all keep it.

3. Singing. You try and sing "I'm in the Lord army" alongside 60 very loud little voices singing and marching in between pews and not smile. It's impossible.

2. After being totally exhausted after a long night, getting to just relax in a folding chair in the busy annex and hold 3 month old Kolby. We both just chilled and watched all the excitement around us.

1. Forgetting my age, and remembering how to approach the Lord. "Can I sit on your lap?"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It’s lonely.

A hundred voices speaking from a hundred people surround bring only silence.

The touch of hands and skin feel as only dust.

Ice cold, spring fed water drinks only thirst.

Spacious star-drenched night skies light only darkness.

The drenching summer sun warms only bitter cold.

A smile on a newborn child lives to only die.

Heart pounding, deep breath moments fill only time.

Overflowing, out-pouring abundance spend only emptiness.

Without Him it’s lonely. Every sunset and sunrise that composes this world is void, and every relationship, every friendship, every love is null.

Without Him it’s only silence, but with Him the world fills in harmonious chorus.

So I rise to dance with the voices and the touches. So I rise to dance refreshed by the water, under the night sky or in the warmth of the sun. I rise to dance to the laugh of a newborn. In the moments and abundance I rise to dance.