073: Okay, I am trying to keep up with my posting

It has been a while, I know. I have a lot of time consuming tasks that I have been doing. As result, my blog has been suffering. Marriage takes a lot of effort and time and intentional living. But it is…

Well, I actually had written a whole lot on here.  But somehow it all got deleted.  Thanks wordpress.com.

I wrote about Isaiah 44-45.  Some interesting things that I have been thinking about.  The main point I made was that God creates all things, even righteousness, goodness, and salvation.  So I cannot seek things in my life that will bring me a false righteousness, goodness, and salvation.  But, rather, seek the Lord–just as Matthew 6 says.

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072: Too long, it’s been far too long

It has truly been too long since I’ve last written a blog entry.  So much has happd, and I have so much to write about.  But where to start?

I last wrote on 12/2/2008.  Over two months ago.  So since then, I have gotten married to the most lovely and incredibly bautiful Heather Walter, now taking the name Heather Margio.  Thus, my life has changed quite a bit.  I am not longer living with a group of sloppy, messy guys, but my wife gets the chance to live with one soppy, messy guy–in fact, she gets the chance every day for the rest of her life. But, all kidding aside, I love being with her.  And I really am not that messy.  It’s true I do have to work on it, but I can be a pretty clean guy.

It has been such an awesome season of my life, getting married.  I love being able to talk to my best friend every day.  I love waking up and seeing her.  I love to share my intermost thoughts with her before we go to bed.  And I love giving her a back tickle before she falls fast asleep.  She has changed my life in so many ways, and because I love who I am, I love her ever more.  I think that is an important thing about love in the first place.  If you can love who you are, then you can love other people.  I feel that applies to a lot of situations.

In fact, there was a time in my life, years ago, when I didn’t love who I was, for I lived in guilt and shame.  It was hard to breathe.  Every thought led to a pain that stroke deep in my heart.  I hated who I had become.  But just as God always does, He loves us before we ever love ourselves.  And thus, I am here today, loving the woman of my dreams.

For a little humor.  Here is what’s been going on at Wesley, when we get a little free time:

http://www.facebook.com/v/49374069823

071: Back in Action

I’m back in action from a brief, welcomed, and relaxing trip to Sneedville, Tennessee with the Walter family.  I enjoyed the cool air, the mountainous landscape, and the endless chatter and laughter accompanied by the tranquil stream outside the front door.  I remember Friday morning, after Thanksgiving, I was the first one up: for some reason, I couldn’t sleep.  So after showering, I threw on a jacket and headed for the front porch.  The gentle, cool air met my face with a soothing surprise, not harsh in anyway, as I opened the front door.  Quickly, I hurried through the threshold to close the front door, as to not let too much of the near freezing air in.  And I sat comfortably on the hanging bench swing.  Calmed by the gentle stream a few paces away, I rocked back and forth.  I couldn’t help but listen in on the stream.  It’s symphony was simple, perhaps three or four notes, and a melody, repetitious and steady.  I was mesmerized in short and found myself drifting further and further into the little intricacies of the streams symphony.  It was perfect for this particular morning.

Now, back to the action.  I am back in Orlando, hurried back into the swing of things, and unhappily met with the temptations of the world I live in.  It is amazing how the evil one can see right into our weakness and strike.  Returning home from a trip away, met with little temptation thoughout its entirety, I was bombarded with images and thoughts that had not once crossed my thoughts for the previous five days.  How invading and how intrusive!  I find that I have to be on guard continually and be engaging in battle continual.  Now don’t get me wrong, I find this to be the way things should be.  I should not be lazy for any reason at all.  In fact, I love how Song of Solomon 3:1-2 puts it “All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him.”  The speaker, which is actually the bride, sees that her groom is not with her in bed, so she goes out in search of him.  This is the key.  I want to always be in search of God.  I think God likes to see us in search or in pursuit of Him.  Let’s face it, we like to be pursued.  I love it when my fiance is pursuing me, and I am more than positive that she loves it when I am in search of her.  I think there is something to that desire deep in all of us, that is more than likely a direct characteristic of God himself.  He wants to be pursued, but He won’t make us pursue Him like robots, because that would be tyrannical love–kind of an oxymoron.  The point is: pursuit is important.  When I pursue God, I have integrity, courage, purpose, and selfless love.  When I am not pursuing, then I am probably doing whatever it is I want, which usually ends up being something I regret.

070: two things

What do you think of this?  Me getting married to a hottie, Heather, in 46 days.  Sometimes I cannot even believe it.  I look into her eyes and think, “Are these truly the eyes of my wife?  In weeks, this girl will be my bride.”  Immediately, I am met with joy and fear.  It is scary to think that there will be a person in whom I will put all my trust and all my love, believing that this person will honor and respect me for years to come.  But the joy is surely great.  I know that she is my bride.  There is no other person in the world I would rather be with.  She and I seem to have an unbelievable ability to overcome all things.  God has provided so many amazing things for us, from an apartment, to a bed, to an engagement ring, to a wedding band for me .  And I believe that with our faith in God, all things are possible.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying our faith will provide material wealth.  We both have no desire for great wealth.  I am so happy to be marrying Heather.  She has done so much for me as a person, as a man, and as a Christian.  Her life has been such a beaming example of inegrity, of joy, of trust, and of love.  Plus, she has the most kindness I have ever seen in someone.  I am so blessed to be with her.  I pray continually that I will be the husband she deserves.

I was praying yesterday, and the Lord lead me to Isaiah 1:17.  I have read it before, but this time it was answering a prayer that I have been asking for a time now.  Isaiah 1:15-19 reads:

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

18 “Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land

I have been praying and continue to pray daily for the future of my life: what career should I seek? what should Heather and I do in ministry? what is God’s will for my life?  Although this passage does not directly answer my questions, nevertheless I see an answer.  And becuase I have an answer, I am responsible.  You see, although my answer is not what job God wants me to pursue, the scripture gives God’s explicit will: “…wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight!  Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!  Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us reason together…”  If I first follow the explicit will, then the Spirit’s leading will be spoken clearly.  I will understand.  I feel like I haven’t been so great at this.  But, I see now it’s importance. I must follow what the scripture teaches, then I step where the Spirit leads.

069: thus, i would be but a remnant

well, my life has been going by at light speed.  sorry, but my shift key is not working–no caps letters today.  i do feel like life is passing me by in some respects.  this has been a reoccurring thought in my prayer life and in my perspective on life.  i want to make something special out of every moment.  but i feel like my laziness has just let things slip by, or i should say it has let the opportunities for excitement slip by.  i guess i could say that i want more substance to my life.

i was reading isaiah 10 today–an interesting chapter in the book of isaiah.  it is actually a continuation of chapter 9, kind of finishing up god’s destruction of israel.  although god said he would destroy the house of jacob, god also said that their would be a remnant left.  and this remnant would ‘return to the mighty god’ – isa 10;21.  so, i thought about this.  how would this ever apply to my life…  i really meditated on the part about god pointing out how the remnant remaining turns to god.  there must be parts in my life where destruction needs to come.  there must be patterns that rejoice in iniquity.  these, i pleaded with god, i wanted revealed, so that they could be handed over; thus, i would be but a remnant.  for as mighty as we think we are, there is the height of our pride.  god wants us humble, contrite, poor, and needy.  this is echoed in so many places.  he doesn’t want us moping around all day, just reliant on him.  the humility and the penitent heart are an attitude of provision and of faith, a faith that involves deep trust.  i am not giving these definitions because i understand them; however, i state them in an attempt to understand them.

068: But because of His forgiveness, we are alive, shameless, and loved.

I have not posted anything on here lately.  I guess, with my internship at cflwesley.org and all the wedding stuff, I find my thoughts centralized and with a mechanical type of processing.  I think about the things I need to think about, and, honestly, I haven’t taken the time I should with the Lord.  Well, lately, I have, maybe that’s why I am writing.  Anyway, enough with the why I am writing or why I am not writing, let’s get down to business:

I have really been able to encounter the forgiveness of God lately.  And I know your thinking, “He must be really screwing up.”  Because we all know that when we screw up big, God forgives big.  Thus, it appears that we are experiencing his amazing forgiveness.  On the contrary, I feel like I haven’ been screwing up.  In fact, it is during my quiet times that I have been so overcome by the forgiving love of God.  How He is looking for us to seek forgiveness.  Isaiah 1:18 says this, after telling the people of Israel their need to purify themselves and do right, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool'” (NIV).  He says, “Come now, let us reason together.”  He wants to seek sanctification.  We were all once crimson and scarlet, bloodied, half-alive people.  But because of His forgiveness, we are alive, shameless, and loved.  I am so thankful for His forgiving love.  It has brought me so far, and it will take me to great places.  I, now, just wonder where He leads.

067: This song has been running through my head…

Recently, I have been listening to the live IHOP prayer room during my quiet times.  I like how I can always hear something different, or I can hear an old song done differently, with the worship leaders creative spirit added to it.  It just something I look for in worship.  I like things to be new, to be changing, to be evolving, to be growing with my spiritual growth.

I have spoken before about how necessary it is to be intentional, and, frankly, I have failed.  I have not been intentionally repenting, and I have not been intentionally diving into God’s love, by the reading of his word.  I know how necessary the two are.  In fact, I know how much the two improve my life.  I guess the best way to describe me is lazy.  It is nothing I am proud of; it is just something I am working on.  We all have something we are working on.

The fact that there is always something I am working on has been a frustration all my Christian life.  I would love it if the redeeming love of God, I so frequently sing about in worship services, would materialize a solution to all my problems and fears.  I know this sounds far-fetched. But the word of God is clear about God’s intent for redemption.  It is woven throughout the whole Book.  In Psalm 103, for example (which, as a matter of fact, I am currently memorizing,) it says to “forget not all His benefits…(then speaking of God it continues)…who heals all your diseases…who redeems your life from destruction…who satisfies your mouth with good things…”  Trust me this is just one example.  I am certainly not saying the Lord is withholding his “benefits.”  I just want the tangible, material resolve.  In my selfish heart, I want the redemption without offering my life as a living sacrifice.  I want to be healed of all my diseases while I neglect my physical health by gorging myself with fatty, fried foods and not exercising regularly.  I want my mouth to be satisfied with good things without being vulnerable in my conversation with others.  As you can see, I just want free stuff.  I don’t want to pay a price.  In fact, all God’s benefits cost nothing, but they cost everything.  They cost a life of quiet, humble service to a master who gives “…forgiveness…healing…redemption…loving kindness and tender-mercies…satisfaction…renewal” (Ps. 103:3-5, NKJV).

In my life, I know I have recieved each and every one of these.  And I wish I would just hold on to those, put them in the forefront of my mind, because God has done so much for me.  He has truly saved me time and time again.  I’m so thankful for that.  And this thankfulness I speak of is the song that has been running through my head all day.  I am not sure where it came from just that Grace Kim was singing it in the IHOP prayer room, but the words are simple: “I just wanna thank you, thank you, Jesus.  I just wanna thank you, thank you, for you are so good.”  It is so simple and so constructive for my walk.  I do “wanna” thank Jesus for everything, for in thanking, my heart honestly yearns for the Lord.  I am thankful for so much.  So much of my life has been given me without me deserving any of it, but by the grace of God, I am rich with life.  But to whom much is given, much is expected.  And because freely I have recieved, freely I shall give.  I am praying that these, along with thanksgiving, will begin to take charge in my life and in my relationship with Christ.

Really, I can see how this affects my relationship with Heather as well.  I have recieved such unselfish love from the most sweet and beautiful young lady, and so shall I give it back, not out of obligation, but for the Christ, who loved us all first.  In fact, many will know that we are His disciples by our love.  And that is surely a hope and prayer for my future marriage: that she and I will love one another with Christ’s love, so that others will know we are His disciples.

I just feel like my thoughts are rambling on.  There is just so much to say.