Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Seek ye first...

I had a really interesting time in the prayer room today. God never ceases to amaze me. He really takes an interest in simple run-of-the-mill human beings. That is indescribably incredible. More later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

this grace thing

I just had breakfast with a good friend. For the past couple of months, we have been reading some things that have been causing us to work back through our understanding of grace. Not our intellectual understanding, but our heart understanding. Walking this out is simple, and yet profoundly difficult. It goes against our very nature, which is to want to depend on ourselves for our own righteousness before God. We started to pray together, and as I was praying, I felt like the Holy Spirit revealed my heart to me. I stopped suddenly, looked at him in wild-eyed intensity, and said, "I cant need it!" I cant "need" to be free and pure in my walk before the Lord. I cant "need" that freedom in order to feel like I am accepted by Him. To the extent that I "need" it, I am still walking in my own righteousness; I am still trying to earn His love. I need to want it, I want to want it, but I need to be free from the "need" for it. What I "need" is fully supplied in the grace and mercy of God. When I am fully satisfied in what He has provided, then I am free to walk in the love that flows from gratitude in the knowledge of His goodness and beauty. Then I can experience what Paul describes as "the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith." Faith working through love, righteous living as an expression of thankful worship. An acceptable offering.

Make sense?

Lord, give me clear and simple understanding of your ways.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It works...

Fasting and prayer.... it really works. We are called to war, and these are two of our main weapons.

We are called to war...

Monday, March 21, 2005

more evidence

I was thinking about my children today. I do that often. Many times, every day, each one. Nothing is more important to me in this life than for them to be healthy and happy and fulfilled. I was driving down the highway, listening to my "good buddy" Greg Boyd talk about the cross. He was explaining what was happening when Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world. In illustration, he talked about how he would gladly lay down his own life for any of his three children. He said that if any one of them were to get cancer, he would take that cancer into himself if it would mean that they would be healed. And if they all three got cancer, he would take on all of their cancers at once, to see them healthy and whole. And I thought to myself... I would do that. I would do that in a heartbeat. There wouldnt be a moment's hesitation. I am not bragging. I am not trying to say how wonderful or holy I am. Its just a fact that I would do anything possible to see my children experience and enjoy all the incredible gifts of love that God has for them. As I thought about it, my heart filled with wonder at Him. He is the only explanation for that kind of love. I am not some wonderful, exceptional person. Far from it. I am about as average as you can get, and by nature, very self-absorbed. But I would do anything for those kids, and the reality of God and His incomprehensible love is the only explanation for that love in my heart.

(well..... they ARE pretty awesome kids, but I am not that awesome to love them that way with out some supernatural help.)

God is good.... in all His ways.... and we are blessed beyond our understanding.

Thank you Lord....

Friday, March 18, 2005

hearts revealed

Luke 2:34-35
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed-- and a sword will pierce even your own soul-- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. "

Interesting. One of the first things said about Jesus after his birth is that "thoughts from many hearts will be revealed." Its so easy to concentrate on behaviour. Outward appearances. We can put on a good show even with a dark heart. We can even fool ourselves. We can avoid all the obvious sins, the ones people can see. But God is after something deeper. He wants to give us a pure heart. He wants His love to go to the very depths of our being. He wants our behaviour to simply reflect the inner transformation that His Spirit is working in us. And He has promised to complete that process, He has said He will complete the work He has begun in us. I want to cooperate with Him in that, but even when I dont, He is still working to free me from whatever hinders that cooperation. He will have His way in me, and all I can do is respond with worshipful gratitude. Its grace, from beginning to end.

Thank you....

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness." A very simple passage of scripture. But... that is one of the most awesome statements ever written. This is our only hope, that His mercies never end. New every morning. Forever and ever. Incredible. Wonderful.

Thank you...

Friday, March 11, 2005

The battle rages on....

This world we live in looks like a pretty friendly place. And actually, thats what it was created to be. But its not, and we need to have our eyes opened to see that. Its a war zone. Its a battlefield. We are told that "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." That should be a sobering statement to us. That phrase should have a major impact on the way we look at our lives each day. The scripture says a lot of things about this world we live in. Most are not good. Yet, many of us who would call ourselves followers of Jesus appear to love this world with a great passion. We want to enjoy it to the fullest. We get lost in our headlong pursuit of the pleasures this life has to offer. In the midst of that, we lose sight of the calling that Jesus has set before us. He wants us to stand against this world system. He wants us to "lay down our lives" to demonstrate the wonders of His love, and the greater reality of His kingdom. James wrote a challenging statement:

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

I dont want to say too much about this, as it could sound judgemental and self-righteous, but this a passage of scripture that western "christianity" almost wholly ignores. Or worse yet, we take it and use it to create a legalistic, fear-driven religious system that is ultimately just as selfish and carnal as loving this world. We humans..... we think we are so smart. Most of the time we are clueless. We dont know that we dont know. I am more grateful every day for the wonderful, gracious mercy of God.

Lord, let me see clearly, every day. Let me see this world the way you see it. Let me love people the way you love them, and hate the kingdom of this world that enslaves them. Let me see what it means to be like Abraham, a friend of God, rather than a friend of this world. And let me do it in the spirit of Jesus, with a heart full of mercy and grace.


Friday, March 04, 2005

Someone put something in my coffee... Posted by Hello

He's crazy I tell ya..... Posted by Hello