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, May 24, 2011

Just let. me love you

I love you guys.
I am sad to be leaving you for the next couple months. Circles has been such an awesome gift of community.

The retreat was so cool this weekend:

Nick C, thank you for praying over me that, "I walk in victory, now."
Nick A, thank you so much for reminding me that "I can't outgive the giver, and that I can't love Him without Him letting me!!" That was huge for me to hear.
Dannah, thanks for opening up about your desert that you feel you're in. I am too.
Lindsay thank you for posting that Graham Cooke video that reminded me that I can't do anything to make God love me more. I was not walking in an understanding of that.

God's illuminating something for me lately...My lack of really receiving the deep, validating, and freeing love of the Father. Brennan Manning described it, "to stop living in my head and sink down into my heart and feel liked and accepted." I understand it, but I haven't been living it. And I'm thankful for confusion and despair driving me back to it. I've lately been thinking the Christian life is about doing great things for God as a validating end in itself. Ironically enough, I've driven myself into a stupid, confused place of not doing anything.

I've given such little attention to rejoicing in the Truth that I am God's son!!! I AM! :) and he's obsessed with me. He says to his angels, look at that stud down there, I love him so much - I just wish he learned that it was less about trying to figure it all out and he would just rest in me and all my powerful love alone.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I wanted to tell you guys tomorrow, but I am not going to be there :(

On Monday, I committed to going to Hawaii for a 2 month internship in June and July.

I'm stoked about it.

Over the past while, as I have been learning to see my gifts and better understand how I should be expending them for the Kingdom; I have equally experienced a discontent in recognizing that I'm not using them. I don't feel a peace or confidence that I'm walking in the role that God designed me to fulfill.

The past two years, a time that most take steps towards mastering their craft and walking into their roles, God has been doing much foundational work in my mind and heart in understanding Him and the Christian life - work that I should have surrendered to him doing sooner. I don't see it as punishment, far from punishment is being nurtured (or as Bri or Caydin? would say, 'massaged':) by the Spirit, transforming into the image of pure and holy God. But the fact that I blew my college years chasing after the wind, I needed a season to learn important truths about God. In it, I've seen the Lord take my life, then gripping the world tightly, release me and reveal that following Jesus, and worshipping and enjoying intimacy with God is the purpose of existence. My mind and heart now know that unexperienced treasures lie ahead in fully releasing and turning towards Christ. My head and heart are looking at Him, and I'm now consciously fighting to pull out the remnants of the unhealthy affair my flesh had with the world. 

I don't know if there's a more noticeable area of my life that I can see this tension in than in my thoughts of work and vocation. Because of the confusion, without a doubt, the question I most hate answering is "What do you want to do for work?" "What are your plans, what are you wanting to do when you.....are thirty?!" 
I've been overwhelmed and still don't get a lot of it. I'm confused about why in my mind I don't think I can pursue Christ as fully and with as much enthusiasm in a secular job as I could in ministry; and more broadly I'm amidst the breaking down of a career understanding where I'm at the top of a water slide platform with 4 slides to choose to go down, with so many factors distracting God's voice.

Building frustrations have turned into sarcastic remarks about how I have no idea when people ask. But I really don't think it's very funny :( I want so badly to feel the joy and contentment that comes from effectively pouring my gifts into a role that I know God's equipped me for. 

So the thing I am most excited about Hawaii is that it will continue what circles has planted and further allow me to see God's desire for me in this area. I hope God will further till my fleshly proneness to desiring comfort over obedience in the area of a job, and that I will be able to more accept that I've been made by God. The same God who commanded the world to come into existence! I want to be unleashed man.

*Cool side note - I have a friend who, since starting college, has been drifting. And God has been putting him on my heart over the past year or so and I haven't been faithful in praying for him and going up and visiting him at school. He called me the other day to tell me he'll be going to Hawaii for 6 weeks to play baseball. Same time! Same island!:)
I told him i was gonna be there too - I wish I could do his reaction justice;)

So please be praying for diligence and for God to move huge. My friends name is Trevor.
I will definitely keep you guys updated.

Which is the greatest commandment?

I’m reading a book that spent some time on looking at how Jesus made such a big deal of sifting the religiosity of the law in Torah down to two commandments that should always reign and can cover every other law: Love God, and Love others.

Yesterday, something happened, that in revisiting, made me sadly realize I err here.

A family friend recently experienced a called-off engagement. One of them recently began walking with the Lord - and I think that played a big part in the decision to call it off. My mom, sister and I were talking about it, and we were talking about how hard it must be for the heartbroken one - who has no idea why the other person called it off. Then, without pausing to consider, I said, “That is really sad, but I think Mark made a good decision in taking seriously his relationship with God and recognizing the seriousness of this stuff. Can you imagine marrying someone who doesn’t know God?”

They responded with comments pointing to: “Billy, how could you be so insensitive, she could change, and Mark hasn’t even been going to church that long himself, who is he to do something like this - they were engaged!”

At the time, the reaction surprised me. But in looking back - it was really dumb to say that. It was spurred by a wrong understanding as to how we’re to influence others towards Christ. My mind was juggling my sister really needing to learn how important being equally yoked is (and I thought it was going to happen from me saying one sentence); an awareness that I need to grow in firmness and standing firm in God’s truth more boldly; and a corrupt heart wanting to appear godly and right :-/ just like the pharisees. That desire to boast in my understanding of the importance of God’s law came out in an unsympathetic attitude toward a person who’s world had just been turned upside down, and instead of lovingly encouraging my sister, I threatened her with, “Kelly, you better take your relationship with God more seriously or this might happen to you.”

It was picture perfect pharisee.

Walking around with a plank in my eye, thinking I’m supposed to be a kingdom cop and make sure everyone knows what’s right and what God wants them to do. That’s not my job - thankfully - it’s a crappy one.

Following Christ can’t result in a loveless, middle finger to the world, “I’m right you’re wrong,” “I’m pursuing God, so get the heck out of my way” overzealousness. It’s such a backwards theology. “For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

Lord, help us learn how to live in the delicate balance of loving like Jesus did.