Thursday, November 6, 2008

my life this evening:

so i pull into my neighborhood and realize that my usual parking spot is taken, and not only that, there are a ton of cars in front of the house i live in.  ( i need to mention that i am currently living with an older married couple.  they are fantastic and a really lucked out being able to rent a room from them. they are incredibly sweet.)  i quickly remember that today is fernando's birthday, so they must have people over for dinner.  well, that puts a slight hitch in my plans for the evening: make soup, put on sweats, catch up on google reader, then watch some thursday night tv with my ben and jerrys (wow i sound terribly middle-aged and depressing...i'm usually neither).  i spend a few moments considering my options:  is there any place i could go to make dinner and stay out of their way?  nothing comes to mind.  is it totally out of the question to eat my soup cold?  in the car?  yes and yes.  can i forgo dinner tonight and just sneak down into my room, without making a scene trying to make dinner (which is right in the middle of where the party is going on). finally, i suck it up, go inside, quickly heat up my soup and venture down into my room.  i have to admit that my initial attitude about this evening was ugly. but then, as i was reading, i heard the most delightful sound that totally warmed my heart:  happy birthday being sung in the most gloriously thick spanish accents (this is of course because everyone at the party has either immigrated to the us from ecuador or columbia).  after hearing the song this way, i don't think i want to hear it any other way.  it was awesome.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

jesus > the world

I am so thankful that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He is unchanging when all else is in constant turmoil and turnover.  He is faithful, He keeps all promises He makes, His character is trustworthy and true.  

I know a lot of people are really anxious right now with the elections just having wrapped up, and it certainly does look like there is a lot of change on the horizon.  But in all of this, I have sensed the Lord speaking to my heart and giving me hope.  He has called to mind the tough circumstances I've faced in my life and reminded me of what sweet times of growth and sanctification those were.  Sometimes, the Lord has to show us how to let go of what we have been putting our hopes in and what we've come to be dependent on in order for us to have arms wide enough to receive the blessings He has in store. In Phillipians, Paul writes that we are to rejoice in the Lord always.  That word always is such a huge challenge, but it carries such a striking truth.  We can rejoice in Him always because though our circumstances may be dire, we have full confidence in our relationship with Jesus. 

So I am hopeful, for myself and for His church, that in this uncertain time, we would grow in our faith in His certainty.  I am excited to see the sanctifying work Jesus has planned for those who will yield to Him.  I feel certain that the Lord is at work, even in this messy world of ours. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

history is about to be made

On the eve of this historic day, I've decided to make a little history, myself.  Yes that's right, I have decided to take up blogging once again.  I say "again" because this is perhaps the 4th time I've created a blog.

So tonight I read a blog by Bill Hull, who I think is a really brilliant, on point Christian thinker today.  (Here is his blog if you want to check it out 

In his blog he writes about the defeat of the Gospel which he breaks down like this:  The gospel, or salvation, can be broken into three parts: conversion, discipleship and glorification.  The defeat of the gospel comes in when we as Christians in begin to teach that discipleship comes in different "models" or degrees, almost like that of choosing what type of upgrade package you'd purchase for a car.  Instead of looking to the Word to what Christ says about being one of his disciples, we have constructed various levels for ourselves which often reflect very little of the things the Jesus demands of His disciples.  Even the church is guilty at times of labeling as radical what Jesus requires of His followers.  We avoid true discipleship because we erroneously believe that to truly be a disciple would mean more church, more study and more work.  What Jesus really gives is more life!  We miss out on so much because we fail to recognize that Jesus demands a life of true discipleship not because he's arbitrary and capricious and wants to make us jump through hoops, but because He desires for us to really know Him and to live lives that truly reflect His greatness.  

I feel like Bill Hull is right on with this.  During my initial read of his blog, I found myself  not only agreeing, but even thinking of people in my life that I know who have fallen into this sad "designer discipleship" trap.  But the more I think about it now, the more I recognize how much I do this too.  There are times where I stroll through my Christian life as though it's a buffet and I am picking and choosing the things that suit my appetite at present.  I pass some things by because I don't really trust that the Lord asks these things of me for my own good and for the furtherance of His glory and kingdom.   Thankfully, the Lord is full of mercy and grace and He continues to teach me and sanctify my ever wandering heart.

I hope that you will take the time to read some of Bill Hull's blogs.  He's a pretty insightful guy and I've gleaned a lot of wisdom from him.  

Thanks for stopping by!