Saturday, June 27, 2009
The past month has been interesting.
Blessings: made some awesome new friends who I instantly bonded with, got a job, saw Aaron, have had a lot of free time to spend with the Lord.
However, I feel like I've been distracted. I stopped working out as consistently as I used to, I've started spending more and more time with people that I probably shouldn't.
Some days, I feel so content with my relationship with God. I can't even explain it. But somehow, negative thoughts creep in and bring me down. I'm training myself not to dwell on those things, rather on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Paul always gives great advice.
I really wanna see Robbie Seay in concert on Sunday. I need to be in a place of corporate worship soon. That's when I feel closest to God.
I feel like I've been spending a lot of time in the Word lately, but I feel like the more I draw near to Him the farther I feel away from him. Does that make sense? The more I learn about His compassion, grace, and mercy the more clearly can I feel the depth of our fall and the weight of it all.
Well, it's getting late, and I have to go in to work in 6 hrs. I should try to rest.
My favorite Psalm....
You are kind, God! Please have pity on me. You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins. Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt. I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me.I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born. But you want complete honesty, so teach me true wisdom. Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow. Let me be happy and joyful! You crushed my bones, now let them celebrate. Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt. Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again. Don't chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey! I will teach sinners your Law, and they will return to you. Keep me from any deadly sin. Only you can save me! Then I will shout and sing about your power to save. Help me to speak, and I will praise you, Lord. Offerings and sacrifices are not what you want. The way to please you is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts. This is the kind of sacrifice you won't refuse.
Please pray for me! My prayer is the same as David's "create pure thoughts in me, and make me faithful again....Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey!"
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"You are the greatest man that ever lived," one would say.
"O king, there can never be another as mighty as you," another would insist.
"Your highness, there is nothing you cannot do," someone would smile.
"Great Canute, you are the monarch of all," another would sing. "Nothing in this world dares to disobey you."
The king was a man of sense, and he grew tired of hearing such foolish speeches.
One day he was walking by the seashore, and his officers and courtiers were with him, praising him as usual. Canute decided to teach them a lesson.
"So you say I am the greatest man in the world?" he asked them.
"O king," they cried, "there never has been anyone as mighty as you, and there never be anyone so great, ever again!"
"And you say all things obey me?" Canute asked.
"Absolutely!" they said. "The world bows before you, and gives you honor."
"I see," the king answered. "In that case, bring me my chair, and we will go down to the water."
"At once, your majesty!" They scrambled to carry his royal chair over the sands.
"Bring it closer to the sea," Canute called. "Put it right here, right at the water's edge." He sat down and surveyed the ocean before him. "I notice the tide is coming in. Do you think it will stop if I give the command?"
His officers were puzzled, but they did not dare say no. "Give the order, O great king, and it will obey," one of then assured him.
"Very well. Sea," cried Canute, "I command you to come no further! Waves, stop your rolling!. Surf, stop your pounding! Do not dare touch my feet!"
He waited a moment, quietly, and a tiny wave rushed up the sand and lapped at his feet.
"How dare you!" Canute shouted. "Ocean, turn back now! I have ordered you to retreat before me, and now you must obey! Go back!"
And in answer another wave swept forward and curled around the king's feet. The tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king's chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood before him, alarmed, and wondering whether he was not mad.
"Well, my friends," Canute said, "it seems I do not have quite so much power as you would have me believe. Perhaps you have learned something today. Perhaps now you will remember there is only one King who is all-powerful, and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. I suggest you reserve your praises for him."
The royal officers and courtiers hung their heads and looked foolish. And some say Canute took off his crown soon afterward, and never wore it again.
Amazing story! What unworthy things am I praising??? What unworthy things are you praising??
Demosthenes had great ambition to become an orator, but suffered natrual limitations as a speaker. Strong desire is essential, but by itself is insufficient. According to Plutarch, "His inarticulate and pronunciation he overcame and rendered more distinct by speaking with pebbles in his mouth." Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty. He used a similar strategy in training his voice, which "he disciplined by declaiming and recruiting speeches or verses when he was out of breath, while running or going up steep places." And to keep himself studying without interruption, "two or three month together," Demosthenes shaved "one half of his head, that so for shame he might not go abroad, though he desired it ever so much."
Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'- Matthew 5:37
The Flies and the Honeypot- Aesop
A jar of honey chanced to spill
Its contents on the windowsill
In many a viscous pool and rill
The flies, attracted by the sweet,
Began so greedily to eat,
They smeared their fragile wings and feet.
With many a twitch and pull in vain
They gasped to get away again,
And died in aromatic pain
O foolish creatures that destroy
Themselves for transitory joy
"He that has not a mastery over his inclinations, he that knows not how to resist the importunity of present pleasure or pain, for the sake of what reason tells him is fit to be done, wants the true principle of virtue and industry, and is in danger never to be good for anything." -John Locke
I hope u enjoyed that. I had to type alllllllllllll of it!!!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord..." Philippians 3.8
I take this to mean that when I get a glimpse of Christ, because he is so infinitely beautiful and valuable, I will naturally give up anything that gets in the way of knowing Him better. Beholding Him is what dulls the power of this world around us. Gazing on Him is what releases us from this awareness of ourselves. Fixing our mind on Him is our only hope of being released from this unrelenting tyranny of self. I find that I spend too much time organizing sin and success in my life. I spend too much time thinking about, well, me. I want what Paul had. I want to be sooooo distracted by the beauty of Christ that I actually forget about myself altogether.
Is it possible? Is it attainable?
I think it is the goal, the prize, the point. I want to know Christ. I want to become, beautifully unaware.
Monday, June 1, 2009
God not only gives us permission to unload on Him, but He actually commands it.
"Pour out your hearts before Him." There it is, right up front, loud and clear. Pour it out. Hold nothing back. Don't filter what's right and what's wrong. If there are no words, don't worry about coherency. God knows our hearts, and He wants it all. The good, the bad, and especially the ugly. Maybe God is simply saying, "Stop trying to make yourself presentable. Stop trying to figure things out on your own. Stop trying to play it safe. Come to me and I'll give you rest. Tell me your problems before you go complaining to a friend. I can handle it."
Being presentable is something I struggle with. I don't think there is one person that I trust enough with all of my worries. Sure, I talk to my friends about issues that come up, but I never unload it on just ONE person. I talk it out, with the ones that I trust. I don't unload on just one person because I don't want to burden them. Also, I'm afraid of being judged. I'm afraid they'll think that I don't have it as together as they thought.
I sometimes get fooled into thinking that if it isn't holy, then I need to keep it secret, but then, maybe that's the only way He can make us holy...when all that darkness is brought into the light.
Think about it. God's very own Son had reservations about the cross, but He brought it to His Father. He sweat blood, but hey, I'm sure glad that He didn't turn to the disciples for counsel. They were asleep.
God wants us to bring our whole hearts before Him. He already knows it, He just wants us to know it. I heard it said once that every man's most desperate desire is to be known completely and loved still.
When we bring everything before the Lord; no sensors, no filters, no reservations, when we finally stand as Adam and Eve once stood, naked and bare in His presence, only then will we see the true measure of His grace and love.
God knowing every dark and hidden place that you've worked so hard to keep secret, and then saying, "You are my child. I love you. I died for love of you." I cannot think of a more confident refuge in all this world or the next.
What have you held back? What are you afraid to bring before Him?
I need to trust in the Lord's forgiveness, it's been bought with the blood of Jesus. There is no stain so deep that it cannot cleanse. I need to pour out my heart, let loose my soul, throw down every question, dream, hope, fear, and failure at the foot of the cross.
The Lord bids us to come.
Come and rest, for He is our refuge. His love never fails.