Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great blogs

As I do things throughout the day, i think of great ideas that I want to flesh out in my blogs. By the time I get sat down to write the blog, the ideas are gone. The bummer is so often, I am in places like the shower, where it's not real practical to write them down. I try to trace my thoughts back and think about my ponderences lately, but they seem to elusive. It's frustrating.

I think it testifies to my fractured-ess. I think about and try to do so many things at once, and then I get frustrated when I feel like I haven’t accomplished as much as I would like, or think I should have.

I need to work on the being still that is found so much in scripture. Pray for me this week that I will learn to be still, than I will focus and be content with what I can accomplish, and not try to do more than I possible.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I would like for the title of this blog to be a spiritual metaphor, but I really have a headache. A big fat smokin headache. Do you wonder why God created stuff like this? Why did God create the headache, or heartburn (which I also have) or things like that. It's not going to kill me, it hasn't even kept me from blogging. It's a nusience, but nothing fatal. I think there are three answers. One is to make sure I know I have limits. There is a God, I'm not Him. Two is because of the flawed nature of human kind, we have less than perfect bodies, which is why we look forward so much to eternity. The last is to teach me paticence. A headache is for my good, my spiritual growth and maturity. I hope I learn it soon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

So where's the revival

So I'm having a thought. More of a question really. I have heard lots and lots of talk about revival and spiritual awakening for a number of years. I’ve been told to pray for it, I’ve heard it starts with me, I’ve heard that it’s coming. I have been watching, and seen a few small glimpses of revival, there hasn’t been a Great Awakening in the modern day in the United States. Why?

1st, Jesus said :
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-14 (ESV)

So if we ask, He will do it. So why don’t we have revival? Is it because of hardened hearts? Maybe, but I think it’s something even more illusive. I think it’s a function of individuality. In John 17, Jesus prayed we would be one. In 1 Peter 2, we are told be become Living Stones to construct a spiritual house. Paul calls us the Body of Christ. There is unity in the scripture. There is individuality today. We do things alone, for me, for my growth. My devotion, my prayer life, my worship experience, my salvation, it’s become very much about me. I think that if we can start to move towards Biblical unity, then we would be much more prone to see revival and awakening.

So how do we do it? We build community, we give and we share. We are open and talk to one another, we pray with one another, we serve along side one another. The hardest part is we become dependant upon one another. When we come to the point that we cannot live or function without the other members of the body of Christ, then I think we will begin to see and live out what causes Revival.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Study to show yourself approved

Have you heard that verse, study to show thyself approved? I use the King James for a reason, because the word "study" is found primarily in the King James.

Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, 2 Tim 2:15 (ASV)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, 2 Tim 2:15 (ESV)

Work hard so God can approve you. 2 Tim 2:15 (NLT)

Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of 2 Tim 2:15 (MSG)

So why do we know it as study? If you look at the Greek Word σπουδάζω can be translated as study, endeavour, labor, be diligent, etc. So how should we read this verse? Are we studying or working, laboring or examining.

Here is what I think. We have often separated study from working. We learn things sometimes that we never use. I studied a lot of Geology in High School, and don't use any of it. There are things we have all learned, and studied and don't apply.

If we examine the entire verse in the King James, it states:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 (KJV)

We study to rightly apply the word of truth to our lives. We are diligent to be Holy before God. It's not enough to just know, Jesus said not to be just hearers but doers of the word. Study, by all means study and read and know the word. Without the word, we will be ashamed when our works are examined. We study and know the word so that we can apply it to our lives.

Let me add my own translation. Be diligent in your study to show yourself to a Holy God, as a worker who doesn't need to hide his work, correctly applying the word to his life. 2 Timothy 2:15 Dan Barnes version.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

the passions of your former ignorance

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 (ESV)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jer 17:9 (ESV)

So I read that verse in 1 Peter today, and thought of the verse in Jeremiah. I think they are connected. I am doing some research and reading on classroom management. Kids misbehave when the motivation is greater than the fear of punishment. When they want something more than they don't want to be in trouble. I think we keep that motivation as we get older. We often don't consider the consequences of our actions.

We know that God tells us to stay away from things that will harm us. I know that God wants me to avoid things for my good, just like when I tell my kids no cookies before dinner. It's because I don't want them to fill up on junk food, I want them to eat good food to help them grow. So why don't my kids listen to me, and why don't I listen to God. I just think about the cookie, not the long term ramifications of the cookie. As I get older, the ramifications of the cookie are more and more . . . pronounced.

Thanks Peter for showing me the answer. So often I let myself be conformed to my passions, to the desires of the flesh. When Jeremiah talks about the heart being deceitful and desperately wicked, he is referring to the center of the human, to the seat of the flesh. This is where emotions, passions and desires are born.

The un-regenerate heart is self focused. Often the heart of a believer focuses on emotions and passions that are not fully focused on God. How often do we "follow our hearts" and act on our emotions? I have looked in the scripture, I've never see it say to follow your heart. It says that God will grant you the desires of your heart, but that's only if you lean not on your understanding. . . . which is often not what we do when we "follow our hearts". Let me know what you think, I am wondering about how to be spirit led vs. emotion led. How do you know the difference? How do you decern?

My thoughts? One is it's always scriptural. Two, it more moral centered than emotion centered. The difference between conscious and guilt. I think it's only learned by spending time with Jesus and knowing the shepherd's voice. What do you think?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

logic chopping

There is this raging debate about this new church called the "emergent church". Have you seen it? Heard about it? I have listened to some of it and read some of it. If you see it, run away. It's logic chopping. Why do we have to chop up logic to be "relevent"? Some things have been unchanged throughout human history. People have always done many of the same things. We have always eaten, always sleep, always breathe. It seems common sense, but we haven't updated the basics of life. There is no "modern" way to sleep, or "postmodern" way to eat. We still put the food in our mouths, chew and swallow.

So God has been God longer than man has been man. Why are we trying to reinvent Him? Jesus is Jesus, the Spirit is the Spirit, the Word is the Word. You can't change them, improve them, or make them "postmodern". So quit. I know that most of those in the emergent church won't read my blog. I know that McLaren will never read my blog, but Brian, if you do, cut it out. Stop trying to make God become a "postmodern", or "deconstruct" the scripture. The center in Lacanian theory is non-existant, which causes it to collapse, which causes deconstruction. You can't be a beleiver in a real and living God as the center and believe that the center doesn't hold. It's logic chopping, stop trying to be cool. Stop trying to be "postmodern". Eat, sleep, pray and trust. That's it.

It doesn't have to be new, it doesn't have to be "postmodern" or the new idea of what "relevent" is. It just has to be true. I hate logic chopping.