Galatians 5:16-17

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the best DATE I'll EVER go on.

How incredibly precious and important a daily withdrawal into quiet meeting time with God is! 

There's not really a manual for how to get there and how to spend intimate with Him - and I'm beginning to see that as a cool, instead of frustrating, part of it. It's an art, learning how to meet with God.
I feel like one thing God has been teaching me in this, is that while it should be part of our daily routines (meeting with God), the way to go about it is not really to-do list, routine-mentality. When we're able to meet in deep communion with God, it's a result of wits-end, genuine, passionate, urgent desires to have Him help us, guide us, fill us, and a recognition that only He can teach us what we want to know, and that we are coming to meet before Him out of desperation and a posture that says we're not even going to waste our time trying to do it ourselves. 

While the interaction and communication of a quiet time has to come from deep in our hearts. Beyond our hearts, our bodies are actually somewhere, doing something during these times. We don't just disappear while we meet with God, there is a setting and an environment that we our IN when we meet with God. 
I've been finding that these peripheral and seemingly unimportant details of meeting with God are sometimes the things can make or break my time with God. Considering our frail will, and easily distracted minds - our preparation of not only our hearts, but our environments too, can be hugely beneficial. Sure, God can meet intimately with us anywhere, at anytime, but I think there is something to be said about us creating environments to cater to that. 

I got to listen to a man of God who, for 18 months, everyday, spent 8-12 hours in solitude sitting in the presence of God, learning to spend time with Him, and one of the things that he stressed is that the care in which we prepare before a quiet time is important to think about - and is an act of worship. 

Trying to squeeze meeting with God during a shower before we go out and hang out with friends for the night; is different than excitedly anticipating that place 20 minutes away that you're going to drive to, bring a blanket, Bible, journal, and music to meet with God, and be eager to hear from Him and take great care in processing what He shares with us. 
*nothing wrong with meeting God in the shower :) just to illustrate the point of loving God and being more excited to go and meet with Him than we are to go on a date with the someone.  
I'm sure He enjoys that. 

This is a very individual and unique thing for each of us. An opportunity to enter in a creative worship process to step outside conventional scripture at bedside styles, and do anything and everything to Meet with God! The quiet time that suits my personality, wandering mind, and back aches will look different than yours. 

God, You are so great Lord! Thank you for allowing us to meet with you. It's the most incredible experience on earth. Please take the place of intimate lover and friend over any other relationships in all our lives! Court us as your bride, Lord. Praise you for your faithfulness in revealing yourself to us when we seek you! 

Monday, March 21, 2011


"...lest strangers take their fill of your strengthand your labors go to the house of a foreigner, and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed."
proverbs 5:10-11

We belong to His Kingdom, we're slaves of His righteousness, colaboring in His work. 
As we journey towards Christ, we increasingly become more and more interested and invested in His purposes. Our lives progress towards becoming more and more focused on worshipping Him and devoting our lives to His Kingdom come. We get better at leveraging life to elevate Him. 

When we stop abiding, though, we let "strangers take their fill of our strength." we are momentarily (for the amount of time we walk away from the Spirit) stopping our Kingdom work. 

We're slacking workers on the clock.

This is the Message translation of v. 10:  "Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you? Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?"

When I fail to remain in Christ, I sin - I'm giving myself to something that doesn't love me. God and His Kingdom is NOT the side that profits. My life is NOT being used for Him. 
Why do I let Satan profit from even a second of my labor?! Why do I use any of my vapor of a life to advance evil; idolize money, position, sex, myself; not worship my all-deserving God; and by all these actions confuse others who - with critical eyes - watch my life as I proclaim to live for Christ but don't. 

I am so discouraged as I watch myself get distracted away from the amazing peace in Christ, where I KNOW i am supposed to STAY, and where I love being.

can you guys please pray for me in trying to be disciplined in scheduling and structuring my time. That I would schedule in a way that's protective of my well-being with God more than anything else that fills up my time. I have been seeing that a lot of distractions are rooted in this.

God, would you make us hate our lives away from you. Would we feel so depressed, scared, and unstable outside of you. Would you let us taste your Glory so richly that being outside of it makes us freak out. Help us to STAY in You. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


In the Compassion chapter, Nouwen talks about suffering with others, and the difference between compassion and pity being depth/intentionality of living with another when they are suffering. 

I'm going to have trouble describing this, but I really feel it and see it. There seems to be a  pressure at/around Church for everyone to be stoked and filled all the time. I've woken up Sundays and said "Nah, I'm not gonna go to service this morning" and in getting down to the root of it, it's that I don't want to have to put up with a bunch of happy, shallow "HEY! :)'s" when I'm not wrestling spiritually. Oftentimes I don't feel that church is a place for me be encouraged and guided in the times I need it the most. So I stay away, and Satan kicks me down while I'm alone, until I find enough strength to crawl back to God, or until I can sit down with a close friend and work things out. 

I don't know who said it but I've heard this quote quite a few times over the past couple months, and I think it's great. "The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints." I hope we as the Body can grow in our corporate worship times to be this for all of us sinners that need the Body in these times. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A daily; slow cultivation

I'm sorry I haven't posted in forever.
I was just being thoughtful and didn't want to overburden you guys with too many posts;) 
kidding, but I have been having a really hard time processing things lately, and I can get even more off track if I start rambling on a blog

I love deals. There's a blog called that you all should familiarize yourselves with;) (its great). I think a reason that I like deals so much is because they're an easy shortcut. If I can get something for a great deal, then I don't have to make as much money - easier and less work. 

I've been thinking lately about my approach to reading Christian books. God's been revealing to me that reading Christian books can sometimes act as a "slickdeal" in my pursuit of Him. They're 10 bucks, I can read them in a couple days, and they're full of valuable quick-fix gems that grow me towards Christlikeness, instead of consistently reading the Bible, being firm and saying no to things so I can spend time with God, exhaustingly fighting temptation, praying, etc. 

HA! Wouldn't that be nice if that's how easily transformation into holiness happened! 

That's seriously how I have often approached Christian books :/
I would relate it to spending hours 'talking' through the mechanics, and theoretically learning how to hit a homerun by Derek Jeter - but never practicing or actually swinging a bat. Then I get thrown into a game and..... 
Strike out on 3 straight pitches. (making Derek Jeter look like a horrible teacher)
I spend hours with Christian authors, theoretically learning how to walk in Christ, and 'grasping' how to have my life shine as a result of the energy from my powerful and supernatural intimacy between myself and Christ. I "get" the importance of spiritual disciplines and how they kindle Fire, I would say, yeah, yeah, I know the world is distracting and following Christ is against the grain and upstream and that it takes diligence and awareness, and constant prayer.
And then I would go to the field (life), and would experience a big gap between my understanding and ability to continually walk in that understanding.  

It's the daily. The slow, steady, consistent, Holy-Spirit-and-Bible-saturated pilgrimage into intimate fellowship with God over a lifetime. 

We (our age group) are so susceptible to not learning this. It's really easy to overlook the idea that a life of discipleship is a long haul and then not see ourselves acting otherwise. We have no idea how much the fast-paced, immediacy-driven culture we live in affects how we pursue KNOWING GOD.

Lord, teach us that our default mode is our flesh, and give us a violent distaste for it's sin but free us from a critical and negative spirit. Draw us into your satisfying presence is, and give us grace and endurance to stay there with everything we have.