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Archive for July, 2007

The Source of Zeal

Posted by jbharp on July 30, 2007

For the Christian, it is a good thing to have zeal for the Lord. Contrary to this blog title, I am not going to offer any definitive answer of where zeal originates (I just thought it was a cool sounding title). Rather, I’ve been thinking about one source for zeal which seems to be given credit far more than any other: persecution.

It seems that many Xians travel the world and witness professing Xians living in other cultures (as well as many who stay behind but hear the stories of these individuals). These Xian’s lives are truly threatened and in harms way on a daily case. Anyone can easily see the passion and fervor that these people posses under harsh circumstances. Now when the American Xian sees this they impulsively react, understandably, with admiration of the zeal in these people. What follows is a healthy analytical question – “Where does this zeal come from?” The non-analytical process demanded of the answer is what I think is unhealthy. And that answer is: persecution.

These familiar observations lead to nothing more than admiration for our brothers and sisters who are in fact being persecuted. This is nothing wrong of itself. But, what then are we to take away from it for our own growth? Unfortunately, I think many presume that it would do the American Church some good to undergo persecution. Now I cannot say for sure whether all who speak of the zeal in people of persecuted areas are advocating for the American Church to undergo persecution. But the fact of the matter is this; anyone seeking to be zealous for God, should not seek persecution.

There are several ways to have passion, fervor, and zeal for God. But persecution should not be a method crafted to obtain these traits. Persecution undoubtedly can lead to zealots, but zealots do not necessarily come from being persecuted.

A Xian is certain to face persecution at some point in their life, scriptures tell us so. But just because it is guaranteed does not mean it should be pursued. Just think of a money situation. Most everyone will have some financial struggles at some point of their life, and some for their entire life. It is an obvious guarantee of life. We all have to work and we all have to earn money. Even though we are certain to face financial woes, we never intentionally pursue these troubling times. And rightly so. Has anyone intentionally tried to lose their job and become months behind on mortgage and credit card payments just so they can struggle in a area of life that is inevitable? Of course not. Then why would any Christian want to explore persecution just for awakening zeal.

Individually Xians don’t need to pursue persecution. And the American Church does not need to create or encourage a culture that persecutes us. It is my suspicion that the zeal in persecuted Xians was present before the persecution.  

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Go Pokes

Posted by jbharp on July 19, 2007

Here’s a picture of my OSU gang with the Pistol Pete. It was a wonderful gathering of old friends to celebrate the wedding of my good buddy Derek. He and I will be running the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon next year on April 27. Oh boy.

Pistol Pete  Derek and me

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Own it!!!

Posted by jbharp on July 14, 2007

Today I was traveling with a coworker to Missouri Mountian here in Colorado. It’s another 14er that I have attempted once before, but due to weather had to turn around. However, today beautiful sunshine guided us to a great summit on top at 14,197′.

On our way back to Colorado Springs we saw a sign on private property with the message “Stop the Springs from stealing the water” [paraphrase]. It had one of those big red circles with a slash through it over a drop of water. Da da dummmm.

Well, there is a great deal of anger and a fair share of misperceptions toward my wonderful town here in southern Colorado. I am privy enough to hear the discords due to working at Colorado Springs Utilities. This is the jist of it; Apparently several of the surronding areas are upset at Colorado Springs for existing…more specifically for growing and thriving.

It’s an ongoing battle in the water wars of Colorado. I never realized just how precious a commodity water is until I moved out to the Rocky Mountain state. I’ve learned seniority is a huge factor in determining the owner of water. I was fortunate enough to move to a town that had senior rights on several watersheds within the state. But until recently Colorado Springs has not been using this water. It has been left where surrounding communities are free to use it for their own purposes.

There is a huge lack of gratitude in this picture. Water that is the property of Colorado Springs/El Paso County has been free for use to various other areas in the state for generations. The Springs owns the water and other communities have been using it!!! We own it!!! And they are using it!!!! For free!!!!

Now the Springs is saying “Sorry, you can’t use our water for free anymore because we need it for our own livelihood.” And the response is that we are thiefs.

These other communities feel as if their existense is more valid than the Springs. I’m not saying one is more important than the other. But the water rights come down to the rules and statutes that have been put in place. The absence of law and order would put our state and country in a state of chaos.

Sadly, my state (I’m sure there are others) is experience some communities in chaotic mode…I think they should be, first, in a mode of appreciation. Then take some pointers from the planners in Colorado Springs and start looking for honorable, legal ways to grow and thrive.

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CJ & Charlie

Posted by jbharp on July 5, 2007

Just wanted to put up some pictures of me and the dogs from the hike this past weekend. Four legs or two, hiking a 14er is tiring.

cj  charlie  dog sleeping

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Busy June

Posted by jbharp on July 1, 2007

I’ve had a ton of things going on this last month…obviously blogging wasn’t in the mix.

The first two weeks of June I took a trip to Europe – Germany, Sweden, & Norway. I spent the entire time with my friend Dave. One day we went on a bike ride. I also ate a sandwich in Norway. And before leaving I hung out with Mitz in the Frankfurt airport.

Dave and Bike  Bergen Sandwich  Mitz at Frankfurt 

I came home to the Springs for just a few days before I left for Oklahoma and Arkansas to be in some weddings. That’s right…multiple weddings. I was in Pea Ridge for only 16 hours. Yet I did nearly 30 hours of driving. A few of those hours was with my sister-in-law’s nephew Ethan.

ethan and me  erin ryan ethan

At Derek’s reception (an old roommate) I got to take my picture with Pistol Pete. (I’ll have to get it from a friend though – coming soon) Go Pokes!

Then once again back in the Springs for a few days before heading off to the mountains. I did a moonlight 14er hike on Mt Bierstadt and camping with fellow OK State alums. CJ and Charlie went with us and had a blast.

summit  with the dogs 

 June was busy. Hopefully I’ll do more blogging in July.

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