Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Paul's admonition is so powerful and so encouraging that I want to leave you with that same encouragement.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Message)10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
"A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he don't want to. Best not to look in there." Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
As I read this excerpt I thought about a Bill Mallonee song that says, "Gotta keep a sharp eye on your heart and the company it keeps, you know the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
Our heart can be a deceitful thing if we don't keep it in check. It's easier and safer just to examine our mind rather than search the depths of our sinful heart.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.I read this passage one morning while on our St. Louis Mission Trip and it struck me in a unique way. God taught me a lot about myself on that trip. He reminded me that deep down I am a sinner still in need of a savior. I want to share with you some thoughts I jotted down that morning as I reflected on these verses. Like the beach journal entries they are unedited and raw.
"Vs. 12: We are God's chosen people because we have been adopted into his family, into his Kingdom. So Paul tells us to put on these Godly characteristics of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience...all things that we need this week.
Vs. 13: Bear with each other. Put up with each other's crap and be willing to forgive each other remembering that God in Christ has forgiven us of every stupid sin we have committed. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do but it is essential to life as a believer.
Vs.14: Over all these virtues put on love which binds them together. Elsewhere the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins. That's why God reached down and saved us. That's why as we live together as a community of faith we are called to love each other. I say I love you a lot to people, not to abuse the phrase or make it hollow but because I want people to know that even when I am selfish, stupid, and sin against them that ultimately I love them! For me, that cancels out everything else, unfortunately it doesn't always flesh itself out that way. I hate to be harsh because I don't want people to think I don't love them. Love is the greatest thing in the world, a glimpse into the heart of God, so let us genuinely love each other."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I couldn't go to sleep last night and then I woke up early...I'm sure part of it was not being with Cyd (I never sleep well when we are apart.) Anyway, I decided to get up even though everyone else is fast asleep. As I sit on the balcony the sun is trying to peek through the cloud cover on the horizon. Directly below the sun is a lone shrimp boat withe its nets in the water. The struggling sun reminds me of the struggle we have in our culture of light with darkness, good with evil. The struggle to live each day with one foot in front of the other, embodying faith in Christ. This picturesque scene this morning also provides a glimpse of hope that we have as Christians. So many people in our world are without hope. Life has beat them down, circumstances have damaged them but the gospel holds forth the promise of hope. Hope in God who remains faithful in the midst of our faithlessness. Hope is the breaking dawn on Easter morning as the stone is rolled away to reveal an empty tomb not a lifeless savior. God has never promised us that life would be easy and peaceful and full of 8 hours of sleep a night, but he has promised us that he will be with us throughout all of life. He is as constant as the sun rising every morning and the waves rolling in on the shore. Our hope is not in things and circumstances but in the sovereign Lord and creator who has revealed himself through Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.
The beach is such a peaceful place. In the movement of the wind you can feel the presence of God. His hands wrapping around you and constantly feeling his presence. The salt air reminds me that God has called Christians to be salt and light. Salt gives things flavor and beckons to us to give meaning and flavor to our lives, to the people and culture around us...to make a difference in the world around us for the sake of the gospel. As I sat on the beach today and watched the waves lap against the sand I was reminded of God's relentless pursuit of us. The heart of God yearns for community, for relationship with his people. This was after all the reason he called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldean. God doesn't need us but still he wants us and pursues a relationship with us. As the waves crashed on the beach, forever trying to reach the top of the sand dunes, I thought about how much God loves us, how he is constantly trying to get our attention and show us the way to the better life. A life of relentless pursuit of the kingdom. A life that is fully lived in the presence of the Triune God. Truly God teaches us a lot about himself through his creation.
This is what I first scribbled down in my notebook with a nifty spellcheck feature added, so if it rambles or is incoherent then blame it on the beach or the time it was composed.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday night we said goodbye to Kate Foil. She's not leaving Statesboro quite yet, but she is stepping down from her role as Assistant Student Minister at FBC Statesboro. I have been blessed to watch the past two years as Kate has invested in the lives of our students. Kate was a middle school student at a church I interned at during college. Her parents, David and Gina, were some of my Sunday school teachers in college. Kate, you will be missed! Thank you for allowing God to use you at FBC the last two years. May the Lord continue to guide your journey and bless you.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Casie and Graham, thanks for reminding us of our own commitment to God and each other as we got to be a part of yours. We love you and wish you all the best!!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Words can't express how much I miss my girls when I am away...the cool thing is that it's like I haven't been gone after I'm home for about 5 minutes. Whenever I am away, I anticipate those first few moments after I walk in the door, the hugs and kisses, the smiles, the tears (sometimes), it makes trips go by faster when I hold onto that hope.
Cyd, Claire, and Charlotte, I miss you and love you!
1. Diet Coke
4. Junk Food
5. Energy Drinks
6. Bottled Water
7. More Caffeine
As you can see plenty of legal addictive stimulants (caffeine containing products) are the number one essential "tool" for youth trips.