Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"We Communists have a high casualty rate. We're the ones who get shot and hung and lynched and tarred and feathered and jailed and slandered, and ridiculed and fired from our jobs, and in every other way made as uncomfortable as possible. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned. We live in virtual poverty. We turn back to the party every penny we make above what is absolutely necessary to keep us alive.
We Communists don't have the time or the money for many movies, or concerts, or T-bone steaks, or decent homes and new cars. We've been described as fanatics. We are fanatics. Our lives are dominated by one great overshadowing factor: the struggle for world Communism.
We Communists have a philosophy of life which no amount of money could buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty personal selves into a great movement of humanity, and if our personal lives seem hard, or our egos appear to suffer through subordination to the party, then we are adequately compensated by the thought that each of us in his small way is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind.
There is one thing in which I am dead earnest and that is the Communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife and mistress, my bread and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens as time goes on. Therefore I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas and actions according to how they effect the Communist cause and by their attitude toward it. I've already been in jail because of my ideas and if necessary, I'm ready to go before a firing squad."
He's talking about Communism.
Christian, your purpose is much greater than any political ideal. You have something that is worth being zealous about.
The other quote I've been giving thought to is a description by Bishop Ryle of what "zeal" means.
"A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising. thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies,--whether he has health, or whether he has sickness,--whether he is rich, or whether he is poor,--whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offense,--wether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish,--whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise,--whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame,--for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it,--he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes; if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13) If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion."
Friday, August 28, 2009
"Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:1
It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
"Ask and ye shall receive." We grouse before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things. Yet what a splendid audacity a childlike child has! Our Lord says - "Except ye become as little children." Ask, and God will do. Give Jesus Christ a chance, give Him elbow room, and no man will ever do this unless he is at his wits' end. When a man is at his wits' end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get into touch with Reality. Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits' end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
It is not so true that "prayer changes things" as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a man looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man's disposition.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Why is unity crucial?
God could have chosen to reveal Himself in a number of different ways. But He has chosen to use the body to bring people to Himself. He chose weak people, working together in relationship to show His infinite, unfailing love.
God is relationship. He is the trinity. The three working together in absolute submission and harmony makes up one holy, perfect God. Therefore, it makes sense that we must express our relational God through... relationships!
"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Relationships are crucial to express the character of God and relationships are the foundation of unity: first a persons relationship with Christ, than their relationships with other believers.
To be unified, there must be one truth, one goal, and one purpose to unite around. A body will not see anyone saved if they unite around the purpose of having fun.
The only One to unite around is Jesus Christ!
He is worth uniting around. He gives us purpose. He is our truth. Our goal is to become like Him. He is the basis for all our relationships.
Unity is crucial because it sets Christians apart.
A unified body is like 3,000 lbs of dynamite on the gates of hell. One Christian can be a firecracker maybe, but when we work together for the purpose of the Gospel, we cannot be stopped.
Unity comes when the object is Christ.
I had the privilege of being part of a Bible study last year that was extremely unified. So each person went to the activities not because we always did really sweet stuff but because we wanted to be with each other in the body. So I hate Chinese food, but I’d go with my Bible study because I wanted to be with the body! The object wasn't Chinese food it was Christ! =)
It no longer matters what activity you're doing because the purpose is to bring God glory. Your hobbies become the hobbies of the people you are around, the people you are trying to love and the ones you are serving alongside.
"When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NLT)
Unity requires thinking the best of the believers you are serving with.
Unity will grow when you choose to think the best about your brothers and sisters. Satan will attack your mind on this point. You must guard your minds from thinking badly of anyone, and especially those you are serving with. You have to believe that God is just as real in someone else’s life as He is in yours. If you do not believe God is working and convicting them are you really trusting God?
Commit your brothers and sisters to the Lord!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
This point from Oswald Chambers daily devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" stuck with me: Sometimes God lets you know others weaknesses for the sole purpose of getting you to pray for them. You may not be able to do anything about it, but it helps your own heart to commit them to the Lord.
Unity requires taking your trials to the Lord first.
I know personally that no human being can handle the rage of emotions in my heart. The chaotic explosions in my heart can only be calmed, sorted, can only be cured and put at peace by the promises of God.
If you are asking others to handle your emotions, and be your source of comfort, you commit idolatry. Putting anyone besides Jesus Christ, between you and God is idolatry.
(See last blog for more about idolatry)
Your relationship with God does not depend on anyone else.
“For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 2:5
Monday, August 10, 2009
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge."
Friday, August 7, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
He comes where He commands us to leave.
"When Jesus had made an end of commanding his disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities." Matthew 11:1.
If when God said "Go," you stayed because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. When you obeyed and left all consequences to God, the Lord went into your city to teach; as long as you would not obey, you were in the way. Watch where you begin to debate and to put what you call duty in competition with your Lord's commands. "I know He told me to go, but then my duty was here;" that means you do not believe that Jesus means what He says.
He teaches where He instructs us not to.
"Master, . . . let us make three tabernacles."
Are we playing the spiritual amateur providence in other lives? Are we so noisy in our instruction of others that God cannot get anywhere near them? We have to keep our mouths shut and our spirits alert. God wants to instruct us in regard to His Son, He wants to turn our times of prayer into mounts of transfiguration, and we will not let Him. When we are certain of the way God is going to work, He will never work in that way any more.
He works where He sends us to wait.
"Tarry ye . . . until . . ." Wait on God and He will work, but don't wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you! Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God? To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told.
These are phases of His ways we rarely recognize.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
These are some lyrics I just typed up... Just what I've been praying and thinking lately. I'd like to hear your thoughts on them to maybe improve them or if any verses come to mind as you read. Pretty rough version.. just thought I'd share because it expresses what I've been thinking and learning recently.
My heart is divided and I cannot unite it
I need your truth to ignite my passion your word should move me to action, Lord
I need your sight to open my eyes to who I am
I’ve been searching and calling I’ve been running and falling
I need your grace to enable me I know I’m forgiven, free, Lord
I need to believe the things that you say are true
And it’s a fight
It’s a struggle
To defeat the enemy’s lies
But my Savior has given me weapons and I will not compromise
Though my heart may rage within me, my purpose remains clear
I will choose to glorify you even when no one is near
You have promised a crown of life for those who stay strong
I am claiming the promise that your plan goes beyond this
I need your light to show me the way I know I’ll meet you someday, Lord
Show me how you give new strength to those who seek
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I share these because they have been a great blessing in my life. I hope you gain as much encouragement from them as I do! =)
"Ye cannot serve the Lord." Joshua 24:19
Have you the slightest reliance on anything other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you? That is what the probing means. It is quite true to say - "I cannot live a holy life," but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. "Ye cannot serve the Lord God"; but you can put yourself in the place where God's almighty power will come through you. Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?
"Nay, but we will serve the Lord." It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment. You say - But God can never have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can't mean me. It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better. The one who has something to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying - "I will serve the Lord."
We say - "If I really could believe!" The point is - If I really will believe. No wonder Jesus Christ lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. "And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." If we really believed that God meant what He said - what should we be like! Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, "No, by nothing," but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to "live and move and have our being" in God ( Acts 17:28 ), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.
If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.
"He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . ." ( Psalm 25:13 ). God will cause us to "dwell in prosperity," keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our "life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. "God is our refuge . . ." ( Psalm 46:1 ). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.
I just thought I'd share this because it was fantastic.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I could sing these girls praises, and tell you of the things God has done through them!
God knew exactly what I needed when He placed me in the Riot this year. He is miraculously kind and infinately gracious to me.
=) It is my joy to serve Him.
I wanted to write and say thank you to all the girls in my life group. They mean so much to me. I could not have planned better friendships. I could not have chosen more loving people. They truly display God's love to me through their lives, through their service to the Lord, through their love not only for me, but for each other. It is contagious. It is exhilarating.
What an amazing blessing they have been to me.
I'll admit I was fearful at the beginning of the year. I am not what people expect me to be. God has graciously given me "a good name" that I do not deserve. But never once have I felt looked down upon; never once have I felt inferior; never once have I felt like any of the girls in my lifegroup saw me as anything less then what God says I am. Their actions have only ever communicated love out of a pure heart that adores the Lord.
They challenge me.
They encourage me.
I feel revitalized after spending time with each one of them.
Each one is concerned for the other parts, and therefore everyone is taken care of! There is no selfishness. God resides in the temple of each of these women! They let the Lord work through their talents, through their gifts, and through their submission to God's will, I get to know the piece of God that has made His home in their hearts! I get to know God's very own Spirit manifested in these awesome women!!
I have seen very few women love the Lord and serve with their hearts the way you love and serve Him. I've seen you choose to give things up for the purpose of the gospel. (things you very easily could've held onto) I've seen you on your "bad days" and seen God's grace poured out on you in a very real and tangible way. I value your honesty more than anything else besides your love for the Lord. You are real with me, you are real with yourselves, and real with each other. Coming from a life of fakes, your honesty and genuineness is a treasure to me. I am afraid to "need" people. I am afraid of being vulnerable because of the power that someone has when they know you. But I am happy to share my life with you, and I do need each one of you.
I am proud to say that =) because over and over you've shown that you really are God's righteousness! (2 Cor 5!!)
Thank you for loving Jesus.
Thank you for sharing your lives with me.
Thank you for your example!
What a blessing you have been to me! I praise God for you! =)
He has done great things, bless His holy name! =)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I am not content to create anything without meaning. I do not think it is possible. Nothing is arbitrary, even when you mean for something to "not have meaning" that is a meaning in itself!
I am doing a lot of designing, for advertisments, for artistic compositions... etc.
I design things with specific purpose. I create compositions by thinking of what I want to communicate and usually pictures come into my head when I visualize my thoughts... that is were my art work comes from... the pictures in my head that express my thoughts.
So this means that everything I create holds some part of me.
This scares me. I think that's completely logical for me to be fearful. It's like a small portion of my heart for other people to critque.
But more than the fear of people knowing me, is my fear of being "appreciated"
Art is not something to be "appreciated" but something to be accepted and understood.
Don't get me wrong... There is a place for the kind of art work that just "looks pretty", but I would challenge the definition of art as something more than eye candy.
So my fear is not of someone critiquing my technique, or my use of color, my fear is that my work, that is part of me, will not be given the value that I give it myself; that my work will be misunderstood for something it is not; that I will not effectively communicate my heart; that people will not realize that it is my heart. The object becomes me; not a canvas, but my heart in acrylic form.
How does the Lord fit into this?
God is an artist. He created the entire world. I do not think any of His creation is arbitrary either! If I am sinful and human and I am not satisfied to make work that does not hold meaning, do you think that the Holy God of the universe created anything without meaning?
And can I say that I do not think God sent his Son into the world to be "appreciated", but He sent him so we would accept Him, and understand who He is!!
He has put his heart ever before us! Everything He created is an expression of His being! Although fallen and defaced, this Earth still bears the unmistakable marks of a Master Sculptor.
I asked God to be the Lord of my school.. He is showing me that He will be first.
This is what He's taught me so far
I desire to have my work express who Christ is in me.
to be a replication of His masterpieces, of His heart...
I want to only create in a way that reflects what His creation originally reflected!
I want my art to be a mirror that only ever shows God's truth. His Glory.
It is for Him.
It is to make known who He is.
And only ever for these things do I want to create.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
These are just some thoughts, inspired by what God has told us to pray for, and then flowing off of a few things I've been contemplating recently.
Our Father hallowed be thy name