Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Grif pics

Some shots of Griffin from a little over a week ago at Kari's sisters wedding in Powell River with her family.

Joanne havin' a laugh with Griffin.

Happy Griffin.

The Grifster.

Griffin in his wedding suit.

Monday, July 23, 2007

To spiritualize or to realize

Well, after a whirlwind introduction to a new life and work at Camp Squeah, I've finally found some time to write. So here it is:

I've been doing some thinking lately on how people, Christians in particular, tend to spiritualize things.
Now let me define the word 'spiritualize' for you. And I don't think this is in any dictionary so you will have to bear with me as I attempt to put into words this sometimes difficult concept. To spiritualize is to emphasize or stress the relative importance of a situation, circumstance, person or phenomenon from a spiritual perspective or its spiritual perspective. Or it is used as a verb to give a spiritual dimension to something that might not have been perceived to have such a dimension previously. Therefore, it usually falls to those who believe in spiritual concepts and worlds and relationships to do this thing called spiritualizing. The word, as I've heard it, is often used to describe how one might OVER emphasize the spiritual nature of a concept, to put far greater value on 'spiritual' matters as opposed to, say, physical matters.

It seems to me, also, that there are great number of Christians who do this 'spiritualizing' quickly and with great affect after they have newly come to know Jesus. After perhaps discovering the spiritual component to their lives to be true and real, and perhaps in an honest attempt to make true that which they are just beginning to understand - namely that God is real, He lives in them, that they are saved/being saved of all that was destroying them, they then try to re-explain all of life through their new found viewpoint.

The danger in over-spiritualizing something is that we put too much value on one thing and in so doing take away truth or value of something else. It seems to me some Christians put so much emphasis on supposedly spiritual matters that they separate completely the reality of the world they live in from its spiritual significance. It appears to me that God had never intended for this to happen or for us to do this. The greatest example we have is our own bodies and souls. We are beings created specifically to integrate perfectly the physical and spiritual worlds. Our spirits reside in our bodies, and even Christ resides with us when He comes to us. To separate our spirits from our bodies is to take away life. The separation of body and spirit is death to us! It was never meant to be. God created us to be these wonderful creatures, created with His image, interacting with Him (Spirit) and all other created things around us (Physical) at the same time. Granted our spiritual nature, without Jesus, is corrupt and dying, much as our bodies die, but they are still inextricably interwoven apurpose.
Over-spiritualizing, as I have experienced it, seems to create religious or spiritual fanatics; religious hypocrites; spiritually & emotionally unhealthy people. Trying to find grand spiritual significance in all of life's circumstances only puffs us up to make us seem more 'spiritual' as though to justify our own existence because we're ashamed, maybe, of our lives before Christ. In my opinion, an ungodly point of view. I believe Jesus pointed out these religious inconsistencies with many people, in particular the priests and pastors of his day, the pharisees and other religious zealots whom He described as: "...whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." Matthew 23:28. It appears to me that the apostle Paul may also have opposed this issue in Colosse with his letter to them: "Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head [Jesus], from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow." Colossians 2:18,19.

Please do not mistake my thoughts as a devaluing of things spiritual. I find that as I mature and learn from Jesus, I discover more and more how important the spiritual aspects of life are as they relate to the physical aspects of life. In fact, I have found that in the tiniest of life's details, there God is at work to produce in me His character and to teach us who He is. I do also believe that it is unhealthy to focus on that which is dying and decaying, our bodies and temporal circumstances, and other things we have no control over. God is present in so many ways that I am not yet aware of that I'm sure it is only due to my inability to see Him that I do not acknowledge just how involved He is in our world and lives ... and often in ways we never expect Him to be. Most especially in places and people and circumstances that we would quickly dismiss as 'unspiritual'.

I wonder if I've made any sense in my attempt to unveil these thoughts. Comments?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Quote from George MacDonald

"... there are victories far worse than defeats; and to overcome an angel too gentle to put out all his strength, and ride away in triumph on the back of a devil, is one of the poorest."

From George MacDonald's story The Wise Woman

Like a little Santa

I love this photo! Just recently taken.
Doesn't he look like a merry little elf? Ha ha ha!