Monday, February 22, 2010

Caution: Controversy.

1 Corinthians 1:17 "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel - not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross be emptied of its power."

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I have to wonder - why does the modern church place so much emphasis on the unimportant things?
Not that baptism is unimportant... please don't misunderstand me. But this verse has started the gears a turning, and there's no turning back now.

We are so caught up in who is preaching, whether or not we like the songs, whether or not we prefer the worship style, whether or not church makes us "feel good."
Where in the Bible does anyone say: "Here is the purpose of the Church. Each of you will decide on a specific and impossible set of requirements and preferences, and you will not be satisfied with a church until you find one that meets each one of your ridiculously high standards."
I speak this as someone who has lived/ is living a life of selfish church life.. I get so caught up in how I think things should be, that I totally miss the presence of God in a church sometimes. And I can tell you, from experience, you are never going to find a group of people who have all of the exact same standards/ideas for church that you do.
As it should be.
It never has been.

This brings me to baptism.
First of all... baptism is great. Jesus did it, why wouldn't I?
But are we preaching a rule so that we don't have to actually preach the gospel?
Baptism certainly is easier to explain. And it requires significantly less vulnerability than explaining the ways that God's Word has directly impacted our lives.
Has God's word impacted our lives? Is that why we have to preach a rule instead of a way of life?
Why are we, the church, so comfortable?

He has called us to preach the gospel. In words, in action, in grace, in truth.

Friday, February 12, 2010

new day.

"I look into the sky and say 'You're beautiful.'" - Phil Wickham, You're Beautiful

I have had a really really REALLY frustrating night.
I am supposed to be at home in Nashville right now, but I got delayed in the Dallas airport overnight, and I've been in this airport since 8 o'clock last night.  That's almost 12 hours in the same airport.
Plus I've had one of the most challenging academic weeks of my life...
I had four really challenging exams in one week, two in one day. And my motivation was, "Just get through the week! You'll be in Nashville soon."
Not soon enough.
I pretty much broke down in front of every one in the gate, and in front of the Southwest Airlines Agent. Poor thing.. she kept saying, "Are you going to be alright?"

I had to go into the bathroom multiple times just to cry, because I JUST WANT TO BE HOME.
And I kept yelling at God "JUST DO SOMETHING!"
Well... I don't know what He's doing. And I'm a little (...ok... a LOT) frustrated with Him, but I am going to get home. Even if I don't, He is watching out for me, because He loves me.
And, today is a new day. 
Yesterday was a day of frustration and chaos, today is a day of gratefulness and redemption.

Lamentations 3:22-23 
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! 
His mercies never cease. 
Great is His faithfulness; 
His mercies begin afresh every morning."

I need a new day! I hope that you have fabulous days every day, but if you happen to be normal and you have off days, I hope you find comfort in the fact that God starts fresh with you every. single. morning. of. your. entire. life. 

Monday, February 8, 2010


"Chains be broken
Lives be healed
Eyes be opened
Christ is revealed." 
-Hillsong United

It's so cool that my last post said "Search for peace and work to maintain it," because over this weekend, I was driving along, and an old clunker car drove up beside me and stuck a peace sign out his window. 
So I stuck a peace sign out my sun roof. 
He gave me the thumbs up. 

Earlier last week, I was feeling spiritually dead.
I guess everyone gets that way, but it's especially discouraging when you think your invincible... and then it happens to you. 

Anyways, I've realized... or more like God has told me... that he pursues us, even when we are running away from Him. He is always waiting, always loving us. He never stops. How awesome is that. 
That thought holds so much meaning to me. When I start to get to a low place in my relationship with God, I get discouraged, and then just continue to walk away from Him, rather than turning around right where I am. 

A good friend gave me a good analogy the other day: "If you and God used to be right beside each other, and you have walked away, you don't have to walk back exactly the way that you came. Just walk towards Him, whatever way you can, and you will eventually reach Him." 
I don't know if that holds any meaning to you, but it definitely does to me.
It means a lot to me to know that, even when I don't want to be, and even when I'm unaware of it, I am under the care and protection of an infinitely loving and powerful Dad. 

We are held, praise the Lord.