Monday, May 28, 2007

You were dead.

I lay out before you today two simple things:

Be filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 is a command. Be filled. It does not simply suggest that this would be good for you or could glorify God. You have been bought for a price for a good work. Do it. Be filled.

What do you do when you need to be filled with the Spirit?
Do you even notice when you need to?

For you died, and your life is now hidden in Christ with God.
Romans 7
You were dead.

How much of your daily life do you live like a person who has been resurrected?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Life Worth Giving Away

I sit here with a cup of hot Passion tea in a mug that reads, "When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything you gave me."' I linger in the phrase, at thirty, pondering what pouring out my life would truly look like. Would it make me more offensive or more kind? I would say equally both. In God's wisdom and timing, He has given me 3 verses. The first was on almost every birthday card I received. It is from Jeremiah Chapter 1. It says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.." It goes on to say, "before you were born I consecrated you . . . and appointed you a prophet to the nations." The second word came as I read 1 Timothy 4:14. I am sure you know the verse. It states that we should not neglect the gift that is in us. I think I have always thought of this as some little encouraging anecdote to my discouragement. When I heard it this time I realized that this was a command.
Do not neglect the gift that is in you.
Ouch. I have been so focused on my need of encouragement that I have neglected the gift to put the focus on me. The word here is to do the thing regardless. Do it regardless of my feelings, my reward, or my state of mind.
Do the thing.

Ironically, in Rocky VI, God drove a point home to me. There is a great part where Rocky says,"It isn't about how hard you hit, but how many hits you can take and keep moving forward." My hits are discouragement and attack. If I neglect the gift in me, I cease moving forward. I am stagnant. I am salt that is tasteless. What if I learn to position myself in such a way that my attacker's hits hardly phase me. I would be a formidable foe. It would be a fight woth seeing.

The last word I was given was the Word I am to offer everyone I come into contact with. I realized this after some time viewing some raunchy pride. This person was taking credit for telling someone to go to a counselor (so much so that you would think they counseled them and healed them). We are tempted to brag about our spiritual gifts. I also heard someone talk about how especially discerning they were the other day. I will be honest, I wanted to throw up. I do not come to this from an innocent place. I have been more prideful than most I know. I offer you this Word completely broken. I offer it to you because most of us are so self absorbed that we could never truly serve anyone.

Humble yourself.

Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use. -1 Timothy 4:14 The Message

Keep it in use. No matter what the enemy hits you with.
Keep moving forward.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Update on Babe

from Denbigh:

I just wanted to give you guys a quick update. 2 weeks ago, Stephanie's stepfather Michael had surgery to remove his gall bladder. Since then, he has had a very bad recovery. Monday morning he was admitted into the hospital in Waco with a fever and his skin was turning yellow. They were afraid that bile was leaking into his body. They did a CAT scan and found a fist-sized abscess under one of the incisions, which was infected. They are running some more tests today. They haven't given us a prognosis, but the doctors are pretty concerned. Stephanie's mom is shocked and really upset, so we are going to head up to Waco to provide some support. Please pray for Stephanie's mom Rita Sowers and her husband Michael (aka Babe).

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...