Friday, November 19, 2010

Sustain Me: A prayer























Lord, sustain me this day:

Not with frantic pace
or frenetic activity from which I believe I accomplish much.

But with your quiet strength,
steady pace,
calm assurance,

that you are with me.

That you guide my steps,

that you hold my hand,

and quietly whisper to me

that it is you who accomplish

Your will
in me
as i rest in You.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friendship


~ A friend is one who needs us and one whom we need. Around us may be many whose companionships we enjoy but were they suddenly to drop out of their places there would be no soreness, no sense of deprivation, no lack of comfort. We do not need them, neither do they need us. A friend is one to whom we cling, though many leagues of space separates us. Though days pass with no sight of his face or word from his pen, we know our friend loves us and that when we meet again we will be on the same old terms. We shall begin where we left off. A friend is one in whom we can confide. The secret chambers of our soul open to his touch on the latch. Thousands imagine their friendships are numbered by scores, but if subjected to these tests every one of them would fall into the great sea of common humanity. ~ J.E. Dinger (p. 80)

Leaves of Gold, 1956


I may have many aquaintances, but few friends. Serving God is the toughest, greatest, hardest, most glorious thing I have ever decided to do. The friends that he has blessed me with are beyond anything I could have possibly imagined.

This is to my friends who cry with me, laugh with me, and pray for me; who I also pray for every day!

For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length an height an depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpassed knowledge that you may be filled up to all th fulness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21

Sunday, November 7, 2010

But What About Our Minds?

It seems that in the Evangelical world today is a tendency towards the “experience”. That is what congregation has the most emotional service, to give the seeker the best in what they are looking for. I have observed that at what is commonly termed “mega-churches” wonderfully choreographed, well practiced worship teams; lights, great equipment, a full-on experience similar to a high-price rock concert.

Books that tout the emotional side of our Christian walk have been pushed on me, when I have denied having read them yet…a shocked “Oh Lisa, you simply must read this, it is life changing!”

And even to the point where I was chastised for spending too much time studying with the comment “…Lisa, you spend too much time in the books”; these words from two different pastors.

But what does the Bible say?

Matthew 22:37 “…You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good an acceptable and perfect."


How about the Old Testament:

Daniel 1:17 “And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom…” and verse 20 “And as for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.”

So much seems to be written in the Bible about how God gives priority to the mind…the intellect, how we think; then how can we as Christians believe that faith is some blind “leap”? J.P. Moreland writes this;

“…Faith is now understood as a blind act of will, a decision to believe something that is that is either independent of reason or that is a simple choice to believe while ignoring the paltry lack of evidence for what is believed.”(p. 25)
If we as Christians are told (ordered?)that we should always be “…ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15)

what then does blind “faith” have to do with that? Yes we are lead by the Spirit; but like a computer, “garbage in, garbage out”. We need to give the Holy Spirit something to work with!

As J.P. writes of the true biblical definition of faith is this “…Faith is a power or skill to act in accordance with the nature of the kingdom of God, a trust in what we have reason to believe is true.” (p. 25) Faith and reason go hand in hand.

But don’t take my word for it, read the Bible…

You can listen to a lecture by J.P. Moreland on this subject here… and click on the lecture "Apologetics Seminar (intro by Ronald Larson)or read his book “Love Your God With All Your Mind” (1997) Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.