Sunday, May 31, 2009

A.W. Tozer: On 'All We Really Need'

It's frightening to me just how easy it is to forget this...

"When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself.

"When the Lord divided Canaan among the tribes of Israel, Levi received no share of the land. God said to him simply, `I am thy part and thine inheritance,' and by those words made him richer than all his brethren, richer than all the kings and rajas who have ever lived in the world. And there is a spiritual principle here, a principle still valid for every priest of the Most High God.

"The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ex1615 : Bread For A Wanderer

Psalm 86:3-7
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Psalm 78

Of all the things that may concern us today, none are more significant than THIS. The "things" to which I referred, the stuff we all see on cable news programs and hear on talk radio, are not much more than a smokescreen, a distraction. THIS is the ultimate, the one lasting reality. 

The real crisis regarding the future of our country, our communities, our families... our church? THIS speaks to the answer to that question. 

78:1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the 
Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Psalm 62:8

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 62:8 (NASB)

-He is faithful even when I am not, and yet I am frequently tempted to not trust in Him at all times.
-He is kind, consistent in His love, and able to understand my struggles, and yet I am all too often hesitant to pour out my heart before Him because I am wounded and feel vulnerable.
-God is a refuge for us, let me stop in my tracks and soak in that unchanging reality.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Playing for Change

Ever heard of this? Came across it via a Facebook post the other day. Had never seen it before. Lots of fun. A disclaimer... don't get hung up on any theological implications, just enjoy it for what it is. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Manning Quotes

"In contrast to the domesticated, feel-good Jesus of TV evangelism, who is committed to our financial prosperity, the Christ of John's gospel who has made His home in us invites us to walk with Him daily in humble service even unto death. We may have acquired graduate degrees; we may have mastered biblical principles; we may hold roles of secular and spiritual leadership; and we may have authored books on Christian maturity; and our wits may have been sharpened on the Carborundum [abrasive] wheel of the world. So much the better if they have elicited raw faith, so much the worse for those on the inside track who dismiss union, fusion, and symbiosis [with God] as merely sophisticated metaphors not to be taken literally." (73)

"Words, like anything else used too often, soon depreciate in value, lose their edge, and cease to bite into our lives." (74)

"The revolutionary thinking that God loves me as I am and not as I should be requires radical rethinking and profound emotional readjustment." (75)

"Jesus said you are to love one another as I have loved you, a love that will possibly lead to the bloody, anguished gift of yourself; a love that forgives seventy times seven, that keeps no score of wrongdoing. Jesus said this, this love, is the one criterion, the sole norm, the standard of discipleship in the New Israel of God. He said you're going to be identified as His disciples, not because of your church-going, Bible-toting, or song-singing. No, you'll be identified as His by one sign only: the deep and delicate respect for one another, the cordial love impregnated with reverence for the sacred dimension of the human personality because of the mysterious substitution of Christ for the Christian." (86)

"The apostle Paul may have understood the mind of Jesus better than anyone who ever lived. He sums up his whole understanding of the message of Jesus in Galatians 5:6 when he writes, 'the only thing that matters is the faith that expresses itself in love.' According to Paul's criterion for greatness in the New Israel of God, the person who is most Christlike, closest to the heart of Abba, is not the one who spends the most time in prayer. It's not the one who has the most PhDs. It's not the one who has the most responsibility entrusted to his care. It's not the pastor of the biggest megachurch. No, it's the one who loves the most. That's not my opinion. Those are the words in Galatians 5 that will judge us." (87-8) 

[ Quoted from The Furious Longing of God ]

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Random : 5609

A friend told us yesterday that the most power he has for the gospel is the result of the two darkest days of his life, one as a child and one as a young man. 

Why is this true? I'm not questioning it... quite the opposite... I believe it wholeheartedly... it's my reality too. I guess my real question is why does it have to be this way? Why does God allow it to be this way? Did He cause it to be this way? Is this just another part of His plan that we will never understand in this life? Is it the proof of His power and kindness in using the pain and suffering and brokenness in this world for His glory? 

Did He really need our son to accomplish that?   

It's beyond me.

Another friend recently told my mother that, when he and his wife suffered through two miscarriages many years ago, as well as the pain of never being able to have children, God moved them from all the 'why?' questions to 'what?'... as in, 'what do You want us to do with this?' 

So God, 'what?'

Somehow, in some strange way, our friends' comments are helping me tonight. 

A quote from Brennan Manning... "The seldom-stated truth is that many of us have a longing for God and an aversion to God. Some of us seek Him and flee Him at the same time." 

I get this, especially that last part. I seek Him because He is my source of comfort. I flee Him because He has allowed this pain. 

It's all really confusing and... contradictory.