Monday, April 26, 2010

Exodus 15:11-13

Who is like You, O LORD, among the mighty ones?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
You stretched out Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them.
You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength
To Your holy habitation.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Time of Mulling-Over...

Dear Reader,

Bear with me while I muddle through something and feel free to comment on anything in these next few lines.

First, we know that it is in our weakest moments that God is strong. We know that we can't be strong in and of ourselves, we need the strength of Christ to live (1 Cor 1:25; 2 Cor 12:9-10). So, since God's strength is our ONLY certain and constant source strength, and since His strength is perfected through our weakness, doesn't it seem to follow that our goal, as Christians, should be to strive to be as weak in ourselves as possible? To constantly remain soft, malleable, and vulnerable, and to increase our dependence on Him?

Now, seeing that, is it fair to say that the mark of true success in our Christian walk is not how confident, or strong we feel, whether in doing what we should, or in NOT doing what we shouldn't, but rather the mark of our success is how unsure of ourselves, and weak we feel? The truly successful Christian is one that is striving to be broken and humble, so when we begin to feel that we're "doing good" that should be a danger sign that we may not be fighting our pride the way we should.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Powerful Prayer...In Song

Title: Lord, Feed Your Children
Artist: Gaither Vocal Band
Album: Better Day, 2009

My vessel is empty
Though once, I had plenty
My soul is barren and dry
Somewhere flows a fountain
Beyond distant mountains
Let me drink from the River of Life

Lord, feed Your children
As we stand here, willing
To eat from the Table of Life
Drink from the fountain
That flows from the mountain
Let me feast from the Father's supply

So long, I have hungered
Seems no man could number
The days that I've longed to be
In a land filled with honey
Where the rivers are running
Very soon now, will I taste and see

Lord, feed Your children
As we stand here, willing
To eat from the Table of Life
Drink from the fountain
That flows from the mountain
Let me feast from the Father's supply

Drink from the fountain
That flows from that mountain
Let me feast from the Father's supply

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Box and a Book

Dear Reader,

This morning, on the way to work, I heard a powerful lesson on the preeminence of preaching in the church. The speaker contended that the supremacy of the written Word of God is so critical that it should pervade every aspect of our worship, from the amount of time that we devote to preaching in the service (should we spend an hour on the sermon? 30 minutes?) to the layout and architectural design of our church buildings. The title of this post came from that concern that our buildings reflect the significance we place on the Bible. The speaker stated that he felt that the statement would be best made if our sanctuaries contained nothing more than an elevated platform on which rested a pulpit with a Bible upon it. A single spotlight would illuminate God's Word day and night, so that anyone entering the building or even walking past the window would see that the Bible, the second most precious gift God ever gave us (after His Son, of course) is *the* central aspect of our worship. I have found that there are many churches in America and throughout the world where the Bible is not even opened on Sunday mornings! What else is there, if not the Word of God? Frankly, I tremble when I think of the time that many "churches" devote to fundraising, feel-good "chats" from the pastor, special music, and motivational DVDs.

What do you think? How central to worship do you think preaching should be? Is it important enough to fundamentally alter the design of a church building?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

DISCLAIMER: This is not merely an attempt to console those who may have spent today without a "significant other." Please, take it for what it's worth. ~Jonathan

Dear Reader,

Reflecting on the day, I was struck by a thought: Why should Valentine's Day be given over entirely to the romantic side of love?

As I drove home today after two weeks of the worst weather (well, most wintery, anyway; I am partial to snow) of the last century in this area, I couldn't help but marvel that, on this of all days, being both the Lord's Day and the day we traditionally celebrate love, God gave us a gorgeous, sunny day. Tomorrow, the weatherman is calling for another day of snowfall, but for one fleeting afternoon, the sun shone, the air was almost warm, and the sky was a bright, cloudless blue. It really made me to stop and think about the love that we, as Christians, have all been shown by our Father.

I heard a speaker on the radio recently talking about the pleasure that God takes in doing little things for us. If you've ever experienced the joy of finding that one perfect gift for someone you cherish, that one thing that you know will make their eyes light up, just imagine how much more joy God takes in blessing His people with good things. As I drove home today, I could almost imagine Him saying "Happy Valentine's Day, look: I made you this beautiful day." I could imagine Him, like the loving Father He is, saying to His children, "Come, look what I've got for you, you're going to love it!"

The flip side of that is a conviction: How many things do I take for granted? How many beautiful days have I let pass without even bothering to look up at the sky God made? I pray I might not miss all the little treasures that God has graciously woven into the fabric of my life.