Friday, August 21, 2015

A Relationship With Jesus - Deep, Light and Generous

A  relationship with Jesus, the true Vine, is deep. 
In the beginning the branch receives from the Vine without knowing the true depth of the Vine's capacity to give of its wealth. As the branch receives  and releases all that comes freely from the Vine a knowledge of the Vine's depth begins to grow. The branch dives into this depth more and more.  No matter how much the branch draws from Jesus there is always more. What a discovery!

A relationship with Jesus, the true Vine, is light.
Receiving repeatedly from the depths of generosity found in Jesus the branch discovers a great mystery. The deeper the branch dives into Jesus' depths the lighter becomes the task of simply being a branch. Deeper in Jesus means a lightness in being me!  Being a simple, Jesus supported branch makes me the person I enjoy being. 
What a relief!

A relationship with Jesus, the true Vine, is generous.
Finally from depth and lightness in Jesus comes a growing generosity. Releasing love threatens the branch no more.  What threatens the branch is to not release generously.  How can I not love when I have leaned into the depths of Jesus and found Him making my life so much lighter? What an opportunity!

I dive into the depths of Jesus’ love. I am lifted to a life of less weight.  I am inspired to lovingly and generously give. Jesus, the true Vine, promised abundant life and He is that life abiding in me.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


The list of personal orientations seems to be expanding exponentially.
My political orientation is….
My sexual orientation is…
My religious orientation is….
My gender orientation is….
My life orientation is…
My environmental orientation is…
My moral oriention is….
My financial orientation is…

As the list of possible human orientations grows, respect for each person’s orientations has now become one of society’s most passionately defended values. Intolerance of other’s orientations is fast becoming society’s new scarlet letter.  Instead of an “A” for adultery, we may soon see a big public “O” put on people for failing to repect orientations.

The idea that each person should be allowed to freely live their orientations has suddenly become the test of whether a society is progressive and free.  Failure to respect another person’s orientation has now become the new universal sin in many parts of the world.

Where such a concept of progressive orientational freedom will lead a culture will not take  long to come to maturity.  Freedom of orientation is on a roll and won’t take long to reveal its wisdom or lack thereof.   Most orientations have a shelf life of no longer than the human will and then they end.  It would really help if the government put validity dates on our orientations to help us choose!

The idea of giving people freedom of orientation is not new to humanity.  The Bible opens with the story of two humans  and two trees (orientations) in a garden. God told them they could choose their orientation but not control the orientational consequences and validity dates.

Apparently freedom of orientation is at its root a Divine idea.  One might say God created freedom of orientation and He still gives people up to their chosen orientations.

What God did not create was freedom from consequence.  Not all orientations work out well.  Even the most ardent of orientation defenders choke on some orientations!

Following Jesus is an orientation.  So much so, that the true goal of discipleship is to take people to Jesus and leave them there until Jesus becomes their complete orientation.

Jesus is God’s chosen human orientation.  Because He is God’s choice for humans,   Jesus has no expiration date.  No matter how progressive and free we may appear, seems like we just can’t get away from the two trees of  life and death.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “ Jesus (John 10:10)

Bud McCord
Abide International