Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Back Where I Come From

As I sit and enjoy the crisp, fall breeze, i am reminded of being "back where i come from". THe phrase stems from a country song that i really enjoy, but nonetheless Kenny Chesney is not the point of this blog. Although he may be in the future. Sometimes I have learned that "back where I come from" may not always be the best place for me. God has placed in us a longing for home, but really is home? Is home where the heart is? Is home where you grew up? I have an intense longing for home, but unfortunately as i have trekked back to Kentucky, i have realized that home is where God is. My heart has missed God for awhile, i have neglected my relationship with HIm due to a few personal issues that i am/was angry with God about. I have ran from home, and ran towards places and things that fulfill my desires. My desires are not what i am called too, i am called to God's desires. I left Kentucky because i thought being back home would be magical and nostalgic. Rather than nostalgia, i have felt loneliness and a longing for community, the same community that i ran from back in KY. This moment, as i watch the illuminating orange sun set, has made me understand that their is no home, except where God is. We long for the kingdom of God not a location on earth that will make us happy. No matter where we are we must realize that God is where our home is. Our home is in eschaton, in heaven. Instead of wasting away and slowly dying on earth by searching for that perfect place to call home, we must realize that our home is to come. While we are in the waiting room of life we should not forget who we are. We should live for home, a home that is perfect and a home that we will be residents of in the not to far off future. So i challenge myself and all to quit "wasting away in ardent longingville" slowly dying, and instead live for our home by LIVING for Him. We are all busy dying when we should be passionately living for what means the most to us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I hate this ol' place and what it represents
I hate who i was and who i ended up since

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Preveiw of the coming weeks

Time to get back into the world of blogging after a prolonged absence...i need it, it needs me...therefore its time to go. Been real contemplative over the past month, its time to release it. Start with a preview upon some topics. 1. Life is Unpredictable, but girls are predictable. 2. There is no such thing as a magic city (well, maybe atlanta) 3. Slaving myself out by letting others define who i am and why that sucks 4. Learning to live in Christ's love, not my own love of self and others. 5. Hating myself and how that affects my walk and interpersonal relations 6. Becoming a man and the fears and depressions that go along with job hunting. (or WHy i feel inadequate even though i am a very qualified individual and how that effects my mindset and outlook) 7. Why i fear that i will become the old man at starbucks with the raggedy beard and white hair reading the newspaper. This along with movie and music reviews, along with rants on realationships with the opposite sex...Coming soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Traversing the unforeseen future

Learning to trust God with your entire life is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. I always hold back parts of my life, or try and take control of them as i cannot see God's plan. I see nothing but a dark emptiness of a future, where i can see nothing....except for the next step by the light of God's lamp of direction and guidance. It feels helpless and at times i just wanna grab the reigns and illumine the path with the artificial light of my choices. The overwhelming feeling i have right now is that God needs to be in control of it all, yet i hold on to way too much. I have no plans, but i do have a general direction. Do I follow this light that God is providing to me, or do i go back to my own sight and try and navigate blindly through the darkness hoping to land where i need or want to be. It is not easy being in the dark as to the future of my life, but it is not my life, it is God's life. The theme of my blog in the first post i had was "my life, for God's glory" (albeit in German)Why must i let my fears and anxiety take over? I feel like peter, he sees Christ and knows where to go. Peter faithfully steps out amongst the waves and he is oblivious to his surroundings, he only knows to go towards his Lord...then in a moment he notices the storm and the fact that he is on water....and begins to sink. I do not want to sink, i want to stay my focus upon Christ and his matter if i cannot see the future or the direction anywhere other than the step or two in front of me. Maybe in these times when we feel helpless, we are in the best position with God...maybe, just maybe God uses those who are in such a low position to raise himself up to the world...hopefully God can use me as i continue to traverse the unknown path in front of me

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's not about giving to God (doing) to receive things from Him, it's about receiving from God in order that we might give to others (his love)

We give our lives to God, all of it, but our actions aren't given in order to receive, they are given in order to serve.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Healthy Fear

The thoughts on sin and the repercussions they bring has really burdened me this whole year. Probably due to my own sins that have been the same sins for several years now. They say God punishes the wicked, this is true, but God also warns the righteous (and wicked). Go has been tossing signs at me left and right in regards to refraining from certain sins that have held me back from intimacy with Him. Im not going to go into it, but he has been railing me with signs, and this past week he has revealed to me that the next time it will not be a sign, but a repercussion. What is it to fear God? Its definitely not the same fear you have in a Freddy movie, more like the fear you have of someone that can harm you, but they don't. God has the power to do anything, including harm/judge those he loves. He told me he would do just that. His grace has abounded in my sin recently but he revealed to me this warning. I expect if should heed it. he doesn't just tell you something and it not happen. I have missed out on the fear of God lately, but in that moment i knew that God should be feared. A reverent fear. Like Aslan in C.S. Lewis' works, Chronicles of Narnia. He isnt safe, but he is good. This makes me understand that we must fear God, for he is capable of raining judgment upon us, and he is Omnipotent. I do not fear God due to him being scary....i fear God out of his might, and personally i fear misisng out on Him. He is our treasure, He is our reward. Our lives are to glorify him, without Him we are nothing. (no matter what our insufficient egos tell us....) I fear dissapointing the One who loves me the most. The One who graciously chose me to receive salvation, the one that desires me...(and us) He wants to be with us, when we sin, we choose wordly things over God....i fear the absence of God. That is my fear. I do not want to choose anything that would cause me to be absent from experiencing God. God wants one thing, unfortunately we want more. I pray that i will give God the one thing he wants....ALL of me. I do not want to hold on to sin, the world, or relationships that keep me from experiencing His glory. He is my King, he alone i worship. I desire to be in His presence forwver, when i choose the world i reject that. Those are the times i fear. I have been afraid of who i am in Him, and where he wants me to go. That fear is not healthy, it is of this world and the devil. I relinquish those fears to the one that i fear the most, My King. This verse revealed to me the power of God and the jealousy he has over those he loves (humankind) I fear this God....I want to be with this God, not agianst him. Each moment i choose the world, i reject Him. These verses reveal a God i never want to reject, he is Mighty

If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword;
he has bent and readied his bow;
13he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
making his arrows fiery shafts.
14Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
and is pregnant with mischief
and gives birth to lies.
15He makes a pit, digging it out,
and falls into the hole that he has made.
16His mischief returns upon his own head,
and on his own skull his violence descends.

Psalm 7:12-16

Do you want to be this person...i know that i do not. There is no way in HELL i want to be anything like the person described in these verses.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thoughts from Isaiah

Thinking about the book of Isaiah, the early chapters has brought some interesting thoughts to my brain, thanks to this quote "It is through wealth power and control of ones destiny that human beings become great" Why do we insist on trying to become gods (great), and not rest in the one true God? Looking across the global scape of humanity, it is apparent to me that most people live their lives trying to better themselves and working upon advancement up some sort of hierarchy. Whether that is becoming the CEO of a corporation, becoming the head coach, political aspirations, or even the head pastor. Most people are motivated by some sort of hidden or otherwise blatantly clear agenda to "fix" something that they think only they can fix, or at least contribute to the fix. They thing that the world will be better if they can ascend to greatness. trying to become a god, in our own little way, prevents us from accessing the one true God. We consistently begin to meticulously build up a barrier between us and God. The more we strive to succeed on our own, the more we lose. Our ascension to become "like God" is nothing new. Adam and Eve initiated this thought in our mind. We desire to be in control, we desire to hold the reigns of our life and all the things around us. This is what keeps us from entering into an intimacy with a God who longs for us to interact with Him. We exalt ourselves and others in place of God by looking to "fix" things. We are not capable of fixing or resolving anything significant and meaningful without the power of God in our life. I desire to remove any exaltation that prevents me from interacting with God.The sledgehammer of God is right there and he will knock down the barriers if we submit to His control in our life and in the world. He wants us to desire Him, not our own exaltation. This is what causes idolatry, forgetting who is important and who is in control by trying to take the reigns our self. This leads to sin and separation from the will of God. Everytime we sin, we are are not acting in the will of God. If we are in tune with God, we can avoid sin and thus stay in his will. Of course we will sin, but when we do we must reach up to the thrown in repentance, for Christ is who we need to run towards, not away from. When we try to become gods, we run away from the one who is in control and thus causing choas. May we run to Christ, not away, and fall into His loving arms in rest and adoration. Joy...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Galatians 3

Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?

I really hope that i NEVER feel that i am perfected by the flesh. We are saved by our faith, and we receive the Spirit by faith. Why would we ever think that we are perfected by doing good works? Perfection comes through Christ, we cannot be perfect until we pass from this earth, where our sanctification will be complete. Is it wrong to do good works? Is it wrong want to be perfect? No and No. The problem lies in the pursuit of perfection and "right" living as opposed to living or Christ and letting HIM be our perfection. We are to live out lives for Christ and resting in the knowledge that HE is our completeness, HE is our perfection. If we do this, we can eliminate the legalism that prevails in the church today. Christ doesn't call us to be something that we are incapable of. We are incapable of true perfection, but we are capable of living a life that represents Christ and advances the truth.
This does not mean that we sin freely, we are still called to be set apart. Living Holy is a part of our serving of Christ, but the motivation is not reward, the motivation is Christ himself. Living for Christ includes doing good works. Doing good works doesn' always include living for Christ. In fact if the good works that you do outside of Christ are being done because you are "supposed" to do it, then you might as well not do it at all. If you do not serve out of Christ, then you are serving out of yourself. This leads to self-righteousness and wrong motives for service. The ONLY motive for service is Christ. Christ calls us to serve others, we do it because we love Christ, we love others through Christ. Christ calls us to love and serve others....It all starts at the cross, not out of ourselves. There can be no room for boasting. "Hey come look how good i look!" is not the right response. We serve because Christ served, any other form of service is not righteous service.
Legalism and Cheap grace....i pray that i escape from one, but not run to the other. run to Christ instead.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

QT on evangelism and teaching.

It's not about how we are saved, it is about WHO we are saved by.

the Christ of all?

After reading Galatians 2 and seeing the way that Peter acted amongst believers, his actions did not appall me. He was eating with the gentiles, apparently as they were and in their tradition, yet when James returned he quickly left and ignored them and went back to the Jews (Christian Jews). The reason that his actions did not appall me: because it was MY actons that appall me. I do the same thing so often. Its like the junior high lunch room. You sit with some of the dorky kids from church because they are your friends, but when the popular kids you are trying to earn points with show up you quickly get up, go sit down and join them. All the while acting as if nothing ever happened with the other people because they are not cool enough or do things differently. THeir traditions and actions are different than the popular kids. This story is not just made up, it was me in many cases throughout my life. If my fraternity brother saw me talking to that girl, or if my political buddies saw me talking to that democrat, or if my church friends saw me talking to that drunkard.....Although the times are different, the idea is similar. The Jews felt superior to the gentiles and the "uncircumcised". Its not that they did not associate with them per se, but rather they often thought that their traditions and ways were beneath them. How dumb is that? Who am I (or Peter) to think that we are too good for another person? I think it is absurd. But i still do it. What does it make me look like, thats the thought running in my head.
In this instance it was talking about how the Jews tried to force the gentiles to live under the Jewish law. But i cant help where my mind goes. It made me think that we so often expect others to live like us, but then we sometimes are embarrassed to be seen associating with the same people. As Christian, we cannot live in a world of blind dogmatism and expectancy that sinners will live like christians or they are unworthy of the church. Preposterous! How can you say that someone who is a sinner must live their life like christ and not do social sins? You cant! You yourself are a sinner, albeit saved by grace, but there was a time where you were no different than these so called "sinners" that must behave like a christian or they are ostrascized from the church. This self-righteousness is so disgusting to me. You cant make a dog meow like a cat, much in the same way you cant make a sinner conform to the christian law. You do not reform someone by their actions, God reforms them through their hearts.
Long post, lots of thoughts, not all on topic but stem from the initial topic. That the Jews and Gentiles serve and worshiped the same God, and the discrimination was unfounded. The idea is that we should be unified, ALL believers. We also should not be the moral police to sinners, instead we should show them the Love of Christ and share with them the gospel of Christ. He who has known no sin, became sin for us. Our debts are paid and we can re communion with a Holy God through His Son in the Holy Spirit. People are not persuaded to become christians by moral policing or lectures or stern headings of "hell". They come to know Christ because they see what Christ has done and understand that they are worthless without His grace. How do they see this? Love. Love for others, servant spirit, and preaching of the convicting truth of Christ. We may be rotten sinners, but in Christ we are pure. You convey this with the true gospel that offends. It offends because no one wants to admit they are nothing and that another person is everything. Ego, Pride. Christ is everything, we must die to ourselves and allow Him to take control. This is the answer to unity.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Becoming a Cool Monk (or Galatians remix pt 2)

Finishing the first chapter of Galatians has brought to the surface a former (and constant) desire that i have had to become a monk, at least temporarily. Monks seclude themselves from the world in cloister of solitude where they meditate on God and are filled with the knowledge and mystery found in God. This sounds attractive to me, yet i dont think i could make it more than a month, check that, more than a week without wondering what is going on in the world of Facebook and Twitter. Therefore i want to be a "cool" monk. But not the kind that lives in the inner city in some cool commune with some trendy Christian/Science Fiction name like, Synergy, Sanctus Virtuosity or The Elements. I want to be a temporary cool monk. Only from time to time. I even have it all planned out. Rent a cabin by a moving bidy of water that has a cool deck with a hot tub. No entirely rustic, but who said i was grizzly adams. Of course i would not want internet acces, but i would enjoy plenty of books that would hel me meditate on Christ and being set apart. Id take a supply of my favorite CAO cigars and live off of bacon, eggs, country ham, steak and beef jerky.
Seriously, when reading about Paul going away for 3 years, i sat and wondered what he did during that time. Im sure he involved himself in some sort of environment that i created, with the intentionality of focusing and seeking Christ. He did this for 3 years. Sometimes i find it hard to do this for 3 minutes. The idea is not that we must separate ourselves for months or years at a time, but rather retreat away to seek His face alone and with intentionality. Christ has called us to love others. We cannot adequately love others with being full of the one who is love Himself, God. Being intentional with prayer, scripture and fellowship is something that i have become convicted of. We are called to separate ourselves from worldly ways, yet id venture out and say that it seems that 90 percent of my life is concerned with the world. That is a generous guesstimate at that. I feel convicted over the way i have been concerned with the world and its ways. "It is when we stop actively loving Him that we find ourselves restless and gravitating toward other means of fulfillment." Francis Chan said it best to me. I find that if we are not intentional with Christ, we definitely gravitate towards the world and find our love in temporary pleasures in the world. Having times that we separate ourselves from all but Christ, is essential to the growth process. There is nothing better than being with Christ in a cabin listening to the flowing water, in the hot tub with a lit cigar and some good worship going. (of course singing worship to my king so loud that the bears, coyotes, and "deliverance folk" would not want to be within 5 miles of the cabin.)
My hope is that as Paul took this time to prepare for ministry, that i would not forget to take time out for the Lord, not just daily, but at times for full weekends-weeks in which the intentionality of worship, listening and meditation will become common place. I want to meet God and experience Him in ways unimaginable. Feeling the glory of his presence and becoming satisfied in His mystery.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Galatians L.C.'s remix pt1

Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am i trying to please man? If i were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

As i let the fullness of this statement sink in, my mind is filled with thoughts that i don't want to entertain, let alone admit. Luckily, few people read this, let alone know who i am, as i write under a pseudonym. The thoughts of pleasing man over God cause me to shiver with the thought that i long for man's approval most the time. Pleasing man (or woman) seems to be fulfilling, but seeking after this acknowledgment is self-seeking. I seek the approval of man so that they will accept me, or like me for being relevant and interesting. In other words, that i provide some sort of inherent value to them that will cause me to become, to a certain extent, noticed. Then maybe, just maybe, i will become liked by mankind. Then if i should ever be so lucky, i will find a woman who does not disdain my flaws and find love. My life is nothing more than a 1970 VW mini-bus that is trying to get people to "get on board" with my existence enough that i can trick them into thinking that i am really a state-of-the-art tour bus that is full of fun and adventure. I want people to like me and i want them to like me more than i want God to love me sometimes. My life, in its current carnal state, has been in a constant fluctuation of God-World-God-World. I long for God, yet i must not really long for Him because i turn to the pleasures and acceptance of the world over Him.
These words of Paul cut to the current state of my existence. I am not serving God, i am not serving Christ in the manner i am called to. My life needs to be denied. I must deny myself, and take up Christ. Words that sound simple, yet are so hard. What does God want out of us? What do we truly have to offer a God of infinite worth and majesty? A God of love and grace? I have nothing of value to offer God. Absolutely nothing, my life is a failure of existence in which sin perverts my mind and cause me to seek after fleeting pleasures and temporary moments of false joy. Sin has become like a drug that sucks me in and getting that next fix becomes all that my life is about. Drug addicts are reliant upon the next "fix', much like i am reliant on the fleeting pleasures of sin. Going to the depths of a cyclical sin attachment has cause me to become numb to my existence and even the existence of those that i love. I live in a daze of numbness that envelopes all that i am. A Haze that permeates my mind and causes me to become distant from everyone, including my savior. I sometimes feel like i have become the Usain Bolt of running from God, his call on my life as well as running from his commands. My heart cries out to a God of mercy, a God who is graceful and sovereign.
The one thing that comes to my mind in all of the depths of depression from sin, is that He lives. He lives so that i might live. This brings me back to a question. What do we have to offer God? The answer is nothing, but the answer is also everything. We were created as beings that are not complete. And in our incompleteness we have nothing to offer a God who is perfect. We have nothing to offer God for we are sinners, imperfect. We cannot be in the presence of God due to our iniquity. But Chris came to cover us in His blood, each sin we have and will commit have been washed and forgiven by Christ. Christ came and took all of our sin upon himself and died a sinners death in order that we may have access to the father. We are selfish individuals, this is why i say we also have everything to offer Christ. The most difficult thing for a person to do is to deny himself and give it all in self sacrifice. Christ did this, so that we may live with God and be in the presence of his Glory. Although we have nothing to offer Him, if we off everything that we are, we will experience Him. I must give Him ALL of my life, sacrificing all that i am, because he sacrificed all that He was, in order that i can have All that HE is. My life, for His Glory.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baptism is thus the death of our selfishness and self-sufficiency and it is the "likeness of Christ's death", because Christ's death is the unconditional self-surrender. Alex Shmemann

This quote has made me think about the life i lead and the ways i live. I am selfsih and self sufficient. I have lost the denial of my self that i need. Who am I to live a life that is not my own, Who am I to control the things that occur in my life with a filter of worldly gain and interests? My life should be found in Christ and Christ alone. This quote rips to my heart. It hurts me to think of the way my life is lived and how far removed from the image of Christ it is. I desire to realign my life with christ, but to get there i must deny my selfishness and become dependent upon Christ and Christ alone. Nothing the world offers if of value, yet Christ offers the world the only thing that is valuable. Communion with a God of love who WANTS to be with us, who IS with us. How do you find and experience this love? By becoming completely and utterly hungry for what God has, Joy...I desire to be continuously satisfied by a God of love, if i can be satisfied in Him, He WILL be glorified. God IS glory and deserves all that we have to worship Him, not as an all powerful being, but as a loving Father who desires us to passionate long to be in His presence. His presence is constant, we should live our lives with that knowledge in every aspect of life. Worship that is reverent, yet LOUD and joyful, filled with dancing and crying out to a God who WANTS US!! Oh that i should hope my selfishness will dwindle and that my joy in Christ will grow with a insatiable gravitation to His magnificent grace.

Baptism has lost it's beauty in the modern church, the imagery of the ancient church regarding this sacrament is so beautiful, i pray that we can re discover the magnitude of the glorious imagery found in this act. (as well as other sacraments) I wish to write more on this subject, yet i write this as a reminder to myself to approach this topic at a later date.