078: Big changes need more God

So my life has taken a big turn. There’s been tons of change. The number one biggest thing is that I am now the Interim Director at CFL Wesley. It’s exciting and new, something I would have never imagined doing, but I am glad the Lord has given me this opportunity. I feel like the Lord has me here for a reason, preparing me for something, giving me this chance to grow as a leader.

I’ve been trying to read more stuff. I’m not much of a reader. I grow tired of reading. Nevertheless, I was reading Psalm 69 today, and I found it to have some encouraging things.

First off, Jesus was so dedicated to the Lord. He was so zealous for the Lord, for the Lord’s house even. It says that, “for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.” Jesus had such a passion even for God’s house. The house of God is not actual the person of God. It’s like me being overwhelmed with passion for my house. I’m not. If I was, I would probably be adding more beauty to it. But Jesus is consumed with zeal for His Father’s house. He knows that His Father’s presence dwells there. And what is cool about this is that the Lord’s Spirit dwells in us, in our hearts. Huh? If Jesus is zealous for the place that God’s spirit dwells, then zeal for our hearts (where the Holy Spirit dwells) consumes Him. What an awesome picture! He is zealous for our hearts. He longs to see our hearts made right. The corrupt things of our inner-man made new and clean. Thank you, Lord.

So, I also am working on a hymn based on Psalm 69. Here’s what I got:

I am broken and in need
Where can I find my peace?
The Lord is my salvation
A rock that is high, all my fears will cease

Jesus, your name be praised
My God, I magnify your hand of love
With thanks and melody
You will not despise my song

The Broken hear your praise and smile
Those who long for you shall breathe your life
For your mercy, it is great
And you restore the captive dwelling in great strife

075: The Word of God is to be the breath of my existence

I think one thing that struck me today is that the Lord speaks to me more than just when I am praying, worshiping, or reading my bible.  It’s easy to just expect him to speak to me when I have a quiet time, but today I was reading 2 Kings 6:1-23.  (Thanks to this site I found, which gives the lectionary readings from the Book of Common Prayer and scripture to go with the readings. It’s much easier than getting out the Book of Common prayer and flipping through the back to find the right reading for the day.)  Anyway, enough about the website and back to 2 Kings 6.  In the passage, Elisha prays that his servants eyes would be opened to see the angelic army protecting Elisha.  And when the servants eyes are opened, he sees “horses and chariots of fire.”  Now, when it comes to my faith and my relationship with Jesus, I don’t need to see chariots of fire or whole armies becoming blind; however, I do want see the hand of God in the things around me.  I want to see His motives, His actions, and His ways.  For without seeing Him around me, I am easily inclined to go it on my own, just as the Psalmist says in Psalm 119:109, “I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.”  It’s hard to say that that simple statement is true for my life; in fact, the first part of it is true: “I hold my life in my hand continually.”  I continually go at life my way, by my hand, by my desires. However, I forget His law, because if I did remember it, I would meditating on it all day. Or how I like to look at it, I see His law, or Word, evident, consistent, and persistent in all areas of life, guiding me (“lamp to my feet”) and protecting me (“uphold me according to your promise, that I may live”).  To put all things in terms that I can understand and, hopefully, all people can understand, the Word of God is to be the breath of my existence.  Just as I need breath to survive, I need the Word to live.  I think one way to aid this is memorizing the Scripture and having the mind set that the Lord speaks all day long, because He is always with us.

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.

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.

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.

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.