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The following is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to a friend.
I wrote it a while back, but it still reflects the general theme of my life right now.

“…But for whatever reason, I am a full time student and a transfer, where I posses the light in a room full of dimly lit candles. And being at a ‘Christian’ school, I have the smallest platform I have ever had to share what I believe. And it feels so ridiculous to be playing make believe in bibleland when people are dying and going to hell. But the crux of it all is that God has called to be a musical theatre major at least for now (and yes I will blame Him for that.) and this has stripped me of all the dreams that I had set before me.
And I’ve been frustrated.
“Like, Really God? Musical theatre? Are you high on those clouds? How am I suppose to compare the glory of the unadulterated truth and the convicting word of the redemptive gospel summarized only in the profound simplicity of Christ and him crucified- TO- dancing on the stage in a skirt.?
I mean seriously- what the hell?
I have commited my life to, and set my joy on, telling others about you. This has been my life’s devotion, and it has literally been reduced to THEATRICS.”

And yet these are the thoughts to myself ABOUT God because I don’t have the audacity to tell Him what he already knows I’m thinking.

So I’ve had to ask myself: “How am I supposed to run the race as to receive the prize if all the things that I have prized are gone?”
Because I want to be in full time ministry, I want to see the work of my hands go into His kingdom.
And Jesus is like: “Hey? Why can’t you prize me? Why can’t I be your goal? Why do you constantly have to pursue me in the things that you do, the souls that I win, the goals that you have made to please me? Why can’t you just set your eyes on me?”
And then, while I’m wallowing in – “ugh! Jesus!- that’s just to much to ask.”
Jesus is all like: “And why do you keep saying ‘’What the hell?”
hahaha!

The honest truth is, I want to pursue Christ. Not pursue him with my life, but as my prize.
But I am afraid of myself. I am furosiously afraid and filled with trembling because of myself.
Because its easy to hide behind a role in ministry and devote yourself to a title rather than its purpose. And being in the ministry, I would dance to and from repentance of that.
But, to be in an occupation that focuses on the glory and the idolization of self. To be in an occupation where I will constantly have to check my heart and mind about the things to commit to. To be in an occupation where people will look at me and not immediately be drawn to seeing Christ in me. To be in an occupation where people will falsify the light I testify to because they don’t agree with the calling I have – terrifies me. Terrifies me to my marrow.

So that’s where I am right now. It’s a daily surrender to prize Christ. And little by little He reveals to me that being reduced to theatrics is not so bad, because when I am small He is big.
But he doesn’t reveal it all at once, that’s what makes a life a journey rather than an assembly line.”

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Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

People read the bible for 2 reasons: Information or Formation.

Reading the bible for formative reasons, results in a life that is guided and molded by the inspired word of God.
While reading it for informative reasons, results in a knowledge that puffs up rather than a love that builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).  And rather than becoming a person who grows in spirit and in truth, when you consume the word of God as common information, you recreate into a tool that is used to argue or justify selfish purposes.

There’s a right and a wrong way to do the same thing.
I’ve had many philosophical/theological conversations where the motive was to encourage the other person and thought and perspective: formation. Unfortunately, all too many times my motive instead was to argue or to put the stagnant knowledge I had accumulated on display. And that’s wrong.
But as we allow God to use the bible to form and mold us into his likeness, when we speak of His word, it will flow from us out of love.  

I’ve seen the bible be used to justify the most ridiculous things. Most recently I read an article that argued that common prostitution is not a biblical conflict and therefore okay.

My prayer is that when I read the bible, I allow the spirit to teach me the things of God, rather than studying it like a chore.

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 
However, as it is written: 
   “No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him” -but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

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“[A preacher’s message] is not to rely on theatrics. It is not to rely on technique. It is to rely on God the Holy Spirit Himself to sovereignly work within the hearts of those who sit under his message. [A preachers] duty is to bring the word of the cross to the listeners, and by the power of God and the holy spirit, to come upon his listeners and to bring upon the result…[But] Exposition has given way to entertainment. Theology has been replaced theatrics. Doctrine has been yielded to drama. Profundity has been overcome by popularity. And men are more intent on filling the building than filling pulpit.” -Steve Lawson

Amen, Brother Lawson! Did you catch that? Read it again…

Many churches today have adopted a consumer mentality. No longer is the main intent to make clear the Good news of the cross. Instead, Churches are attempting to fill their pews, and appeal to the ears of their listeners by watering down the message of Jesus Christ in order to make the “sermon” more relevant to the culture rather than the hearts of man. No longer does the sound of ruffling pages fill the sanctuary of a bible believing church, ready to explore the goodness of God’s word. Instead, members of the congregation file into their seats waiting for the show to begin. At the end of the service file out, murmuring to another that the worship was a little off, or where they want to eat lunch, carrying a false sense of satisfaction that they received their spiritual brownie points by attending what we now call the church.

 Am I going too far by saying this? Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world… shall we?

Pastor Rob Seagers has been basing his sermons on movie blockbusters and dressing up as their characters. This summer he has performed his message by dressing up as The Hulk, Batman, The Joker, Indiana Jones, and others. To make his sermons more relevant “he sees the movie, then prays about how to extract a biblical message.” For example, Mama Mia, about a bride to be searching for her father, resulted in the sermon “Who’s Your Daddy?” –finding one’s spiritual father. (Information found at Washingtonpost.com)

The Oaks fellowship Church recently had a series entitled: “Theolggins for your Noggins.”
 Their website states: “Lessons are most often learned when our imagination is engaged. Probably no one understood this better or had a more profound effect on generations of children than Dr. Seuss. Many of the more than 40 books he wrote have incredibly deep spiritual parallels. In this series we will rediscover four classic Dr. Seuss stories and learn the practical Biblical truths found in them.” ( http://www.theoaksfellowship.org )

 A Bible study series has been created from the popular sitcom “The Office.” The lessons pertain to how to make the most of your career, addressing issues such as dealing with incompetent bosses or co-workers.

It breaks my heart! What about the bible? The word of God, breathed by God, written to convict and delight the hearts of man! If we teach from the world, how will we ever truly find God?
Its possible for a person to live their life in church, and eternity in hell.

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Now its Easter… Go love your family and read you bible!!
<3Kay.

Isaiah 53:5

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.

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There are times in my life where I find a song that probes the very beat of my heart.

For the time being, this is the song within my soul:

There’s a cry in my heart
For Your glory to fall
For Your presence to fill up my senses
There’s a yearning again
A thirst for discipline
A hunger for things that are deeper

Could You take me beyond?
Could You carry me through?
If I open my heart?
Could I go there with You?
(For I’ve been here before
But I know there’s still more
Oh, Lord, I need to know You)

For what do I have
If I don’t have You, Jesus?
What in this life
Could mean any more?
You are my rock
You are my glory
You are the lifter
Of my head
Lifter of this head

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My heart is so swollen with the Joy and the Love of Christ.

I hope you know what thats like.

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It seems that in Christian culture there are more doctrines than denominations, and the denominations outweigh the people to fill them.
This is troubling to me.
Who is right? Who is mistaking  honest obedience with blatant sin?
“Whos cheatin who? Whos staying true? Who dont even care any more?”

My Sister is 15, and though we both have an intimate relationship with our mother, we both view her very differently.
My sister is characterized by this: She gets caught up with the petty dramas of this world, she’s often cold and not relational, she finds confidence and self worth in her peers, and she’s more concerned about whats cool than whats right, she loves to argue, detached in revealing her thoughts and feelings.
I, on the other hand: am extremely relational, my love language is tough, I seek after righteousness, get in trouble very little, i need to know that my parents are proud of me, i share my thought processes and seek guidance, ect.

I see my mother as more of a companion, while my sister sees her as more of the care giver, and disciplinary.
That is simply because we are at different stages in life. If we were both asked to  describe the same woman, we would describe her very differently. Would all the things be true? Yes
While my sister may say she is very strict. I would argue that she is lenient. Both of these are true.

So what about God? God is a God of complete sovereignty as we orchestrates the story of humanity for His glory and pleasure. God also allows us to have responsibility, to either fulfill or deny.
I fully believe that these juxtaposed ideas can coexsist. Like parallel lines that go on together, and never meet a point of conclusion- Gods power, and Gods allowance cannot satisfy one another, but are both vital to the Christian beliefs.
I believe that though many doctrines do not compliment one another in emphasis, they do depict a small aspect of Gods vast and round character.

We earth dwellers will never witness the other side of the moon as long as we live on the earth, but we cant agrue that it doesnt exsist. You may never witness an aspect of God, but you cannot argue that it doesn’t exist.
I myself feel that i have only acutely witnessed the wrath of God, if at all. But God is a God of wrath.
Those who don’t believe in God, have never excepted Gods kindness. But God is a God of great Kindness in love.

Doctrine is necessary. But not essential. The blood of Christ is essential.
So speak truth in love. Let iron sharpen iron. Allow your concept of God widen as the spirit reveals truth and Gods word confirms it. Know God.
But above everything else- trust in the redemptive work that took place on the cross, because beyond that, all doctrines fail.

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