Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obligation to God

This title is a bit misleading for it is only a minor part of the whole. I'm reading a fantastic book, which is an introduction to Covenant Theology. I am incredibly thankful for it as I've longed for a good introduction to this particular theological framework. The book is Far as the Curse is Found by Michael Williams. The thought that has been thrilling my soul...in a very simple yet profound way: Covenant relationship always precedes obligation. God calls us into relationship with Him before obligations are required. He wants relationship, then obligation flows out from the joy of being in relationship with Him. Not very profound as I type and re-read...but profound when I actually stop and meditate on the wonder of it. He's called me in to a relationship with Himself. Creator desiring the created. Thanks Father.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Paul sings Nessun Dorma high quality video/sound widescreen 16:9

This video has the ability to produce tears. I don't even know why it makes me weepy really...just does.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Loving God with All Your Mind

Working in an institution of higher ed. is sometimes extremely encouraging. At times, the 'headiness' can be a subtle environment for pride to sneak in a destroy, but overall, I'm pleased to be in an envoronment where thinking is encouraged. Christ himself encourages this when he calls us to "love the Lord your God...with all your mind." In many of your conversations, does it not seem that it is unpopular to think? In a recent e-mail from a professor on campus, I've been reminded that many times, people simply interact with issues on the emotional level...how it makes them feel...not fully engaging logic and reason. Don't get me wrong: I think we all long for our emotional fulfillment as well, but for our worship to be holistic, I believe that our emotion should flow from engaging our minds with truth.
It's the times in worship that I engage my mind with the truth of what I'm singing that I find myself in tears.
My challenge today...find people who stir your mind...even if you don't agree with them. Talk with them...be intentional about having heady conversations...but then...don't let it stop there...worship the God who gave you the ability to think.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pulling Rank

An interesting thing occurred last night. I received a disturbing line of communication in e-mail format. I don't know if it had poor motives behind it, but is was enough to prompt me to think about pulling rank. It's abusive to pull rank, and I think we're all prone to it on some level. I'm not a parent yet, but I imagine it would be easy to pull the 'because I'm dad' card. I AM a husband, and in years past, I borderlined on pulling the leadership card. I've seen pastors pull the 'submit' card in order to quell 'divisiveness' that really was dialogue for the purpose of growth, personal and corporate.
Don't get me wrong, I think rank has its place, just the abuse of it is where the rub comes.
I'm glad God doesn't pull rank...we'd all be crushed without hope.
"He who knew no sin became sin for us......"
He is good.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Submitting to Sovereignty

25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.”

This passage from 2 Samuel 15 caused me to, once again, rejoice in God's sovereignty through David's statement. Am I confident enough in God's good purposes even to say to Him, "Do what seems good to You," even if it means that I am the object of his displeasure? This statement of David's is packed with trust in God's sovereign purposes. How many TV preachers proclaim this gospel: God does what pleases Him, and that might mean my harm, not my prosperity....and He's still good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This calls for introspection

Last night, listening to a speaker, I found myself challenged and enthralled by this statement:

"Shame blinds your ability to differentiate between a statement of value and an observation."

I found this to be the one statement that I walked away mulling over in my mind. He went on to explain what he meant. If you are doing laundry and your spouse (or fill in whatever relationship applies here) says to you, "Don't put the colors with the whites," and you hear, "You are an awful embarassment of a husband. Why are you so idiotic that you don't know this?" rather than hearing the simple assesment and observation, there are some issues there to deal with. You will be a difficult person to live with. Because then, of course, the resulting train of events...you turn inward, look hurt, spouse says, "What's wrong?", you say "Nothing.", you learn to mask more behavior, conform to avoid shame...cycle continues, issues get pushed deeper.

I just found it to be fascinating. If you have a shame history in your upbringing, maybe you can identify?

The speaker was William Paul Young, author of The Shack. This book has generated some theological controversy, and I have some of my own minor issues, but if I can say...he was one of the most honest men that I have ever seen on a stage. Hands down. His love for Jesus is real and intense. His humility is the most genuine I have seen, with no attempts to 'be humble.' His sensitivity to God and people is near angelic. The Church would look vastly different were it filled with men like him...but I'm aware that God is growing His church in His own way...and I'm satisfied with that.