Thursday, July 29, 2010

There are so many days when I just long to be in the pure, unadulterated presence of God. Lately I have longed to go to Heaven so I am in a place that revolves around God alone. We will be there to worship Him and Him alone so the distractions and frustrations of the world won't be present.

It's weird to say that I want to go to Heaven because it makes me feel like I have some strange fixation on death. Actually the act of dying is still scary for me. There is no guarantee that it will be quick or painless, and since I'm perfectly human that worries me.

But the promise of renewal and not having to fight to see God is such a comforting thought. Not the kind of comforting thought that allows you to go to sleep at night, but one you might even want to tell people about. There will be inexplicable relief from our struggles, not in this life, but when one day we see God face to face and He welcomes us to how this world should have been.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I cannot stop listening to this song.

And I cannot figure out why.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Matthew 19 16-22

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[e] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[f] No one is good but One, that is, God.[g] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’[h] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”[i]
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[j] What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

This is a story that I had always been confused about since I was a kid. Jesus goes on to say that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven. Until recently I hadn't realized that as this young man goes through his checklist explaining how he had kept the ten commandments that he was actually breaking the very first commandment: You will have no other God's before me.

When the young man first approaches Jesus he calls Him "Good teacher" and Jesus responds by asking why he thought to call Him good when God alone is good. Now I wasn't there, and I certainly can't claim to know what was in Jesus' brain right then, but I think that he responded to the man that way because He knew that man thought that he was good. After all, the reason the young man approaches Jesus in the first place is to find out what good thing he could do to have eternal life, and proceeds to tell Jesus that he'd done everything he needed to do to meet the requirements of a holy God. Can you imagine looking the Righteous Son of God in the eyes and telling Him that you didn't need Him because of your own merits? I can't be so harsh on the man though because I do this every time I try to live out of my own strength and not out of Christ's. So Jesus knows that the young man is the God of his own heart, depending on his own goodness and wealth, so He asks him to give up his idol. And the man is heart broken; he's can't give up what he loves so dearly.

Part of me gets a little mad that Jesus asks for the thing that the man loved so much. But that was the thing that was separating the man from seeing God.

Father, please let nothing hinder me from seeking your face. Just as Moses boldly asked to see you, I want to see you too. Please forgive me for my smallness of faith. You alone should have my heart.

I like to think that maybe this man had a change of heart later. It's probably not likely though, because he didn't see his need for God. That reminds me of a lot of people. Oh that we might walk in the balance of knowing that we are decrepit from the core thus unable to stand in the presence of God, yet so vastly loved that God sent His son so that we could be regenerated and worship Him with our lives.
There's a quote that I remember reading a long time ago that God brings to my mind ever so often. I don't know who said it, but in a moment of God breathed wisdom they said "We trust you with our souls, let us also trust you with our lives."

I like that prayer so much that I wrote it in my Bible. We are so willing to turn our souls over to God if it means we are spared from the fires of Hell, but we aren't willing to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God, in the manner of picking up our Cross daily. I confess that I really do have a hard time trusting God with my life and over the course of this week I became a bit convicted of that as Emily and I looked for a new apartment. I have trouble trusting that God is the God of the universe. Of course I know that in my brain, but in my heart it hasn't quite sunk in. A little band called Anberlin has a song in which they sing, "The more I live the more I see that this life's not about me." Of course, I want everything to be about me. I am radically sinful and self-absorbed and I want God to drop everything in the universe for me so when He doesn't it hurts a little. I wish that I could have a heart of praise. Being made into the image of Christ is a hard, painful process, but a necessary one in order to point all glory and power and praise to Him who died who for me.

Praise God that my life in the flesh has been crucified so I can live by faith. (Gal 2)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Often the reason I struggle to trust God is that I view Him as small and limited.

In a way, I feel like my lack of trust is a defense mechanism. Could it be that I don't trust God because if I don't believe for something and then nothing happens, then I haven't been let down, but if something does happen then I can happily attribute it to God?

I don't know what this line of thinking means other than that my faith is small.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. - C.S. Lewis

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy birthday America.

I love the Declaration of Independence. Brave men fought, and pledged lives and honor to defend their rights.

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yesterday I bought some books. This was a more exciting experience than I anticipated. I guess I hadn't really bought books in a while.

Here is a comprehensive list of my purchases:

A Gathering of Old Men
(11th grade summer reading)
From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature (Geedom)
Nectar in a Sieve (10th grade summer reading)
The Heath Anthology of American Literature (See "From Puritanism...")
1984 (12th grade summer reading)

I was especially excited about the history book and the anthology. These were text books but I got them for 3 dollars each at Ed Mckay's. The REASON I am so excited about these books is because I really do want to know as much as I can about the texts that I'm teaching. I want to be the expert, and this will help me become one.

I am excited to start reading, only I'm not sure when I'll be able to do this since next week is World Changers. Oooh well; I can wait!