Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Freedom
In my quiet time this morning God really spoke to me about freedom in Christ. This is always a subject I have struggled with. I understand that under Christ's blood we are free. I also understand that God's Word says that all things are permissable but not all things are beneficial. I know that I don't have Carte Blanche to do what I want just because Christ died for me and I am a forgiven sinner. My struggle comes in finding true freedom through not sinning.

There are things in my life that have been struggles for me for a long time. I have prayed and they have left for a season only to return. I am immeidiately reminded of Paul's thorn in his flesh. I know that God is strongest when I am at my weakest but I am not sure how to harness that power when I need it most. I have said many times that as Chrisitans we have to rely on that power. I have to admit, sometimes I do not know how to do that myself.

"I am crucified in Christ therefore I no longer live, Jesus Christ now lives in me". That is a powerful statement. True freedom comes when we realize that we are not alive. The "me" that I was born as died when I was born again. Jesus Christ now lives in me. Freedom comes when I let Him truly take up residence in my heart. If He is living for me, I will flee temptation. I will embrace God's Word. I will walk my walk with fervor.

I long for that freedom. I realize that God will provide it for me if I will only let Him. When I am bound by sin's evilness, I will remind myself that I am FREE indeed because the Son has set me free.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Friday's Questions 7.22

This week's Friday's questions deal with theology and belief
statements.

1. How would you describe grace?
An undeserved gift that I can never understand.

2. What do you think of the church?
The church universal is God's bride and the representation of Christ's love on Earth. My church is sometime okay and sometimes frustrating as I am sure many are.

3. What is the Bible?
God's Word and the standard by which all things much be judged.

4. Who is Jesus to you?
My Savior and the Master and Commander of my life.

5. In the pursuit of theology; what authors would you recommend a look
at?
J.I Paker, James P. Boyce

6. Recently there is a song with the lyrics "If we are the Body, why
aren't His hands reaching; why aren't his hands healing" In conviction
what are you doing to be a part of the Body and make it better?
Loving God and loving people. Trying to equip the saints to minister in their world everyday.

7. What is one fun (or 2) thing you did this past week?
Went to see the Warrior Poetes and had dinner before hand.

Bonuses:

A. What is your statement of belief? God is everything.

B. Any ideas for Student Ministry Christmas Get togethers?
Nope!
WHAT WE DESERVE
I sometimes believe that the most profound passage of Scripture in the Bible is Romans 7. Paul just hits me right in the place where I live when he starts to talk about wanting to do good and not doing it and not wanting to do bad and doing it. I hate sin. I hate the things that keep me from God but somehow I still wind up in the big middle of the same things I have struggled with for over two decades. I can't help but feel so much guilt as I want to do what God wants me to do and to stay away from the things he does not but I always seem to mess up.

I am sick of feeling bad. I want to defeat the enemy and live a full life that is all God wants. Still, just when I think I may have it licked --- boom I fall again.

Thankfully God does not think like I do. He is willing to forgive. My heart must be broken and contrite and Ihave to be sincere in my Godly sorrow but he gives me grace. He doesn't say that it is okay that I am sinning but he does say that in spite of who I am and the sin that so easily entangles me, he is there to show me love.

Today that is good to know. I am hoping that I can keep centered and step back on the road to glory. Pressing on, the grace and love of God welcoming me and my repentence. Even when I do what I do not want to do, God still loves me. Grace, an undeserved gift that I can never understand.
LISTSERVES AND THE BLAH BLAH BLAH PRINCIPLE
Okay so here is my latest entry. I will be gone for a few weeks and probably won't be able to post for awhile. I am steaming right now from some stuff on my listserve. People can be so stupid. You see I have been on the YouthPastor.com listserve since 1997 and about 3 times a year or so some DULL debates come up and it is the same crap everytime. One of these is the my translation is better than your translation debate. The list gets flamed for several days (and sometimes weeks) and we get ABSOLUTELY nowhere. What bothers me is today another "old timer" on the list tried to get all superior on me when I posted that I get tired of the babble and basically tried to make me look shallow and stupid to the list. I NEVER want to be like those people. They are the ones that make the list frustrating. I think if I was not stuck here in MAINE far from any othe YPs I would just say go bite yourselves and leave the lsit. I may get 1 or 2 good ideas in a year from the list and the STUPIDITY sometimes is not worth it!

This was my response:
BLAH BLAH BLAH ... I simply meant this NEVER gets us
anywhere. I have been on this list for like 6 years or
so now and this same subject jumps up on a regular
basis and I have NEVER seen anyone persuaded or the
Kingdom furthered by this debate. Sorry if others
disagree but I feel that way. Scripture is VERY
important but everyone can talk until they are blue in
the face and I won't change may stance (which I choose
to keep to myself) on prefered translations. I am all
for intelligent debate but once you have been here for
awhile you have heard all thearguments 1000 times.
I already studied this in 7years of higher education
and have my ideas on the subject firmly planted. So I
guess I could just sit byand wait to sound intellegent by
using saracasim but Iguess I'll just leave tomorrow
for the YS conventioninstead. This topic bites. It bores
me! BLAH! BLAH!
BLAH!

Anyway that is my rant for the day!