Of all the duties I have done. I quit the hopes I held before. Now, for the loss I bear his name, What was my gain I count my loss. My former pride I call my shame, and nail my glory to His cross. Yes, and I must, I will esteem all things but loss for Jesus' sake. O may my soul be found in Him. No more my God, I boast no more.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
It occurs to me tonight that I haven't talked much about what I believe when it comes to specific ideals. I'm not going to take a long time and get into detailed arguments about why I think the way I do, I'm just going to lay it out there so you know the lens I'm looking (and writing) through.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I've been thinking a lot lately about my first flight in real instrument conditions. It was a really weird experience for me. It was about learning to unlearn what I'd spent a lifetime learning. If that makes sense. The problem with flying in instrument conditions is you have no visual reference points and your body tells you all sorts of crazy stuff. It becomes difficult to tell which way is up. I found myself flying in tight banks with the nose down without even knowing it. You really should be able to feel something like that. It's almost like your body has so little to go on that it makes up things that aren't real. I found myself sort of creating horizons to fly at. I don't care how good you are, there is no way to fly in those conditions without your instruments. The problem is, looking at an instrument panel for six hours is really boring. I'd be flying along just fine and get the urge to look out the widow for a while and the next thing you know I'm spiraling toward the ground. Someone once told me I didn't have a bad experience, I had the wrong experience. I think that's probably a good way to describe what happens when you try to fly in the clouds based on what you feel and see.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Word of the Lord came one evening
Concerning His bride's great sin
He'd send down His Word to renew her
To prepare for the Bridegroom again
The Word said repent
From seeking vain glories
While the gifts in the Lord's name you give
Repent of all the first stones cast to kill
While your own self-righteousness lives
Prepare ye the way for the Lord
Prepare ye the way for the kingdom
I came here tonight to prepare. I haven't been to church or had any real quiet time in several weeks and I feel dirty. I feel disconnected - forgotten. I don't know what I expected to happen, I know better than to think God would be waiting here for me just because I felt like I needed him to be. I've sat here in silence for exactly 40 minutes just waiting for something to happen. I didn't know what it would take to prepare for Easter like I wanted, but I know I didn't want to walk into church on Sunday and, on the one day I'm able to be there, not be able to worship through my filth. After some time here in the dark alone I found myself singing this Caedmon's Call song. I'm again amazed by the simplicity of the way God moves. I find myself in the middle of confession and repentance like I've experienced few times in my life. I've heard repentance defined as making a change for the better in response to brokenness over one's sin.
I'm not sure what kind of change I'll be able to make. I'm sure it won't look life changing at first, but I wonder what it would look like to live without fear. Fear of what my sin makes me - fear of what my depravity drives me to become. I've found the latter to be the most crippling lately. A new found understanding and acceptance of grace helps to relieve the fear and guilt associated with past sins, but I'm starting to think a poor understanding of mercy leads me to fear what I may become. I'm probably totally off, this is feeling not scripture based, but I think it's grace that sets us free and mercy that continually revives us so we have the strength to live here.
It's funny how when one layer of weakness and fear is peeled away it often reveals another. Several Sundays ago I came face to face with God's grace. Tonight, in this place I've encountered His mercy. It's mercy that frees me to live. To fly, to love, and to laugh.
Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue.
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.
Without Thy sweet mercy, I could not live here.
Sin would reduce me to utter despair,
But through Thy free goodness, my spirit's revived
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.
Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart.
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground
And weep for the praise of the mercy I've found.
Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own
In the covenant love of Thy crucified Son.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine. -Caedmon's Call