Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Anticipation and Anxiety

Serving on the Pastor Search Committee for our church has given me the opportunity to get to know some people I wouldn't have had the time to do otherwise and it has allowed me to hear the thoughts of others regarding not only the status/direction of FBCH but also what they perceive as the current status of the Church as a whole in America. These conversations have been honest, open and very exciting to be a part of. When open dialogue is promoted between two or more people who have similar desires, those conversations can quickly explode into something that is much bigger than what might have been the original topic or focus. Sometimes you don't even realize what has taken place until you reflect on it at a later time.

I've had several of these conversations over the past few weeks with people on the PSC, staff members of both FBCH and Redeemer, as well as college students and members of our Sunday School class. Each one of them has left me excited and wondering what God has planned for FBCH's future (and Redeemer's) as well as for me. I know in the short term that life will be amazingly crazy with a new baby in the mix and all that goes along with that as well as the possibility of losing my job. However, it is the longer term stuff that I am anxiously awaiting - to see how God moves me from where I am now to where He wants me to be and how He does all that needs to in order for that change to take place.

My prayer is that I would be willing to take the steps that He has for me, trusting that He has a plan for me and will protect and provide for me. This is the stuff that everyone struggles with - the letting go of control and following God as He leads without trying to push God where I think I need to go. That's where I need to make sure I am - resting in the God of my comfort and supplication for He is my Provider, Sustainer, Savior and Creator.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Abortion - Destroying God's Knitting Work

I wanted to capture these thoughts about abortion from John Piper video below...

Piper quotes Psalm 139:13-14 - "I am mysteriously, wonderfully made" - in the original language it reads "I am being knit together in my mother's womb..." "Who is the knitter?" The knitter is not nature, the knitter is God.

"What's happening in a woman's tummy is God is at work. God is making a human being."

Piper on the "ambiguity of the moment of personhood":
"Clearly life is there from the beginning... If life, if soul, if personhood happens by God's creative decree and you are not sure where, which way are you going to push it? And who can be dogmatic here? I mean, who can say that 'I know for absolute certainty that it's the breath the baby takes where life, where human personhood is imparted'. Or 'I know that when the brain stem is this big and he flitches his eyes, God has made him a person'. Or 'I know that when these chromosomes come together Bang! God has created a person'. Frankly... All I know is this: I am going to err on the side of not killing a person."

"Ultimately, it's because God is at work. And if He is supreme, leave His knitting work alone."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Preaching Versus Singing

I came across this video today from Desiring God featuring Bob Kauflin discussing the similarities of singing and preaching. Obviously, this guy is really into music and it is his job, but I find his parallels between the two refreshing.

I also find that I have been truly blessed this summer to have had the opportunity to lead worship at a church where this these thoughts are practiced weekly. It's not about music versus preaching. It's about pointing people to God through Scripture and through the use of God-honoring, Biblically sound music...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Phelps' Photo Phinish

If you've been breathing in America for the past week, you've no doubt heard about Michael Phelps and his now successful attempt to win 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Sports Illustrated has a frame-by-frame underwater look at how Phelps won the 100 meter butterfly by .01 seconds. It's pretty incredible.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Glad Jesus Wept

I came across the following paragraph in this post today by Michael Scott Kelley and I enjoyed it so I am sharing it:
We have the tendency as Christians to not give each other permission to grieve loss in our lives. We tell each other that everything will be okay in heaven someday, or that God is using this tragic event in our lives for His glory. Those things may be true, but notice that Jesus does neither in this passage. He offers no theological explanation for suffering. He does not offer a Hallmark card of sympathy. Instead, He weeps.
I'm glad that Jesus didn't live a clean life. He didn't live in a secure bubble, surrounded by people just like Him. He couldn't for several reasons. The first reason, of course, is that there wasn't anyone else like Him on earth. The second reason is that, through His many interactions with these different people we are able to learn more about God and what is required to be saved. The third reason, and the reason that most excites me at the moment is that by living a dirty life trudging about in the dirt with strangers, sinners and people that hated Him, Christ made Himself entirely relatable and common. He knew what it felt like to hurt with and for others and He wasn't afraid to express that sorry or agony in very public ways.

I need to be better about living with the people I am around and being real with them in times of hurt, pain and insecurity. In those moments perhaps I can be a momentary reflection of Christ in His perfection - as He weeped for His pain and that of His friends while trusting that the end outcome was in God's control (which of course was His control).