Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today I am grateful....

...that my bestie has a car. And that we can get out of Davidson when we need to.

It's the little things, right?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Spirit

"For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God."
--1 Corinthians 2:11-12

I rediscovered this passage on Friday, and it blew me away. The past month or so I have been reminded that my God is three persons--the holy Trinity. I feel like I focus so much on God as my Father and Christ as my Savior, and I just sort of acknowledge that the Spirit is there, but don't really pay much attention to what He does or is doing.
Praise God for grace and that He reveals himself to us.
I am seeing the Spirit work in so many ways in my life and in others. I am seeing people lead Spirit-filled lives. Every sermon at church has talked about the Spirit and His work in us, His presence in us.
So when I reread these verses in 1 Corinthians, the Spirit had already prepared my heart. I was so encouraged. Who knows a person's thoughts and heart but his own spirit? So God's spirit knows all of his thoughts, his whole heart. And God graciously, mercifully, lovingly gives us His Spirit--the One who knows Him best. He gives us the Spirit, and He lives in us, revealing the Father's heart to us.
What a glorious gift! And I know that is just the surface of the power of the Spirit.
Grateful to be learning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Terrible and Beautiful"


“‘Who are you?’ asked Shasta. ‘Myself,’ said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again ‘Myself,’ loud and clear and gay: and then the third time ‘Myself,’ whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.
Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too.
The mist was turning from black to gray and from gray to white. This must have begun to happen some time ago, but while he had been talking to the Thing he had not been noticing anything else. Now, the whiteness around him became a shining whiteness; his eyes began to blink.
Somewhere ahead he could hear birds singing. He knew the night was over at last. He could see the mane and ears and head of his horse quite easily now. A golden light fell on them from the left. He thought it was the sun.
He turned and saw, pacing beside him, taller than the horse, a Lion. The horse did not seem to be afraid of it or else could not see it. It was from the Lion that the light came. No one ever saw anything more terrible or beautiful.
Luckily Shasta had lived all his life too far south in Calormen to have heard the tales that were whispered in Tashbaan about a dreadful Narnian demon that appeared in the form of a lion.
And of course he knew none of the true stories about Aslan, the great Lion, the son of the Emperor-over-the-sea, the King above all High Kings in Narnia.
But after one glance at the Lion’s face he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn’t say anything but then he didn’t want to say anything, and he knew he needn’t say anything. The High King above all kings stooped toward him.
Its mane, and some strange and solemn perfume that hung about the mane, was all round him. It touched his forehead with its tongue. He lifted his face and their eyes met.
Then instantly the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves together into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared.
He was alone with the horse on a grassy hillside under a blue sky. And there were birds singing.”
–C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy in The Chronicles of Narnia (New York: HarperCollins, 1954/1994), 281-282.


Thanks, Nick Roark for this post.
We serve an awesome God.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Confession

The church I've been going to here always has a confession of sin that we read together as a congregation.  I've really valued this in my experience at this church--I cannot hide my sins from those around me. They cannot hide their sins from me. We confess publicly; we confess together. And after we confess, we read an assurance of pardon--we have abundant grace and the constant promise of forgiveness from Christ. It is such an encouragement, and I love that I am able to go through this process of confession and assurance with my congregation.
This was the confession from last week. The Lord used it to convict me of what I've been struggling with lately:

"Heavenly Father, we lack faith. Our faith in your will drifts.

We doubt the perfection of your plan for the world and for our lives. We grow skeptical of the goodness of your will. We struggle to believe you truly have a good purpose, [working through] every evil thing that has happened, or ever will.

Holy Spirit, we lack faith. Our faith in your power wanes.

We doubt your ability to make real change in the world and in our lives. We grow skeptical of your ability to work miraculously. We struggle to believe you can penetrate the hearts of our lost friends and family.

Christ Jesus, we lack faith. Our faith in your grace fades.

We doubt the scope of your redemptive work in the world and in our lives. We grow skeptical of your real and present intercession on our behalf. We struggle to believe that you will return for us.

Forgive us, God, for we lack faith."

I would emphasize that I doubt God's goodness. Constantly. As I consider the struggles of my life, the struggles of the people I have met around the world, God's goodness, His perfect love become less and less real. Less tangible, less true. I wonder if I am placing my faith in empty words and promises. I desire to simply run, to hide, to cling to my efforts to be something and do good things.
I lack faith. I am faithless.
But I was so encouraged by the assurance of pardon. It comes from part of 2 Timothy 2:13. Normally, I'm not a fan of pulling parts of verses out of context, but there is so much truth in this statement:
"Even if we are faithless, He remains faithful."
God is constantly pursuing my doubting heart, running after me, even as I run away from Him. He waits patiently, even when I am impatient with Him. He loves even when I do not love him. He loves perfectly, as my Father, my Savior, my Rock, the Founder, the Perfecter of my faith. A sweet friend has been encouraging me that He will be faithful to complete the good work that he began in my life (Philippians 1:6).
I am grateful for this today.
Praying for grace to be continually thankful and to remember God's constant goodness and love toward me.

Thursday, November 03, 2011