Thursday, October 23, 2003

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
--- Psalm 63:1-8


"If there's one word of advice I could give you for college: Never lose your desperation for Christ."

No, not having a desperation for the blessings of God ... or craving the fellowship of man, or the fruits of what this world has to offer. If you pursue Christ relentlessly, with the same purpose and focus that you have in having fun, do academia, or even pursue relationships with the opposite sex ... if you applied that tenacity to your pursuit of Christ, that uncompromising, single-minded pursuit of the luminous nazarene, I guarantee you ... you will enter into a life so abundant, so amazing, so beautiful, your life will never be the same.
Wow ... dang ... heads up yo. More Tozer:


Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
--Psalm 34:3

I am positively sure after many years of observation and prayer that
the basis of all of our trouble today, in religious circles, is that
our God is too small.

When he says magnify the Lord, he doesn't mean that you are to make
God big, but you are to see Him big. When we take a telescope and
look at a star, we don't make the star bigger, we only see it big.
Likewise you cannot make God bigger, but you are only to see Him
bigger....

My brethren, God calls us to magnify Him, to see Him big. A meeting
is not big because a lot of people are present. A meeting is big
because a number of people see a big God in the meeting. And the
bigger God is seen, the greater the meeting. A friend of mine has a
little saying, 'I would rather have a big, little meeting than a
little, big meeting.' There are a lot of big meetings that are little
because the God in them is a small God. And there are a lot of little
meetings that are big because God is big in the midst of them....

That is the first thing--magnify God. Your ministry will be little,
and you will live and die little unless you have a bigger God.
Success and the Christian, 36-37,40

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Why delirious, and namely martin smith .. r0x0rs. Absolutely brilliant. (in my most british of accents...):

It's 11.00 am US time and again I find myself in an airport excited about going home. Last night we played in a very pretty place called Boulder in Colorado and a great night was had again with some good people, which finished off a fantastic 10 day tour of the US. We fly from Denver today and land in at 7.00am Monday hopefully in time to take the children to school and catch up on domestics. It's always a tricky one getting home early in the day because you have to pretend that you're not tired but up for going swimming and playing enthusistically with barbie dolls while the dreaded jet lag creeps in. Being married, having children and being in a band means for a fantastic life but needs commitment and discipline to make it work. It can be done with good planning, the favour of God and a Godly wife!

Why am I saying all this? It's because I would have loved to have read stories like this when I was 15 years old and wanting to touch the world with music. Having Jons brother Ben on the road has made me realise again that the next generation of 'holy world changers' need all the help that you can get as you embark on a radical journey with God.

I have met many different people as we've travelled and it's the people who are looking at their lives 'wholistically' that seem to be the most 'whole'. It is wrong to put your 'ministry' before your family as you will cut off your right arm and will soon be ineffective and it is also short sighted to put your family before serving God as this will lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction when others around you are becoming 'movers and shakers'.

Of course none of us gets the balance right all of the time but we must try and this must be the mandate of a new 'worship movement' across the world. This is not just about lifting up the name of Jesus for the world to see but also about letting Jesus in to our lives to the point that we are changed. There is no point in singing songs to our creator unless we intend for this God to re-create us into people that are shaped in his image. People who love God above anyone or anything, people who are humbled by his 'majesty'.

So I have two prayers that I'm praying today. One is to see the glory of God come to our nations and the other is to stay awake tomorrow enough to give my four children love and attention and be a good man to my woman! You see both are valid prayers because both are about the kingdom of God and both are about faith at work.

Life is good if you see the good in it, cheers

Martin


Brilliant I say.

Monday, October 20, 2003

When Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, "What street is that?" but "What continent?" And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites. Wingspread; A. B. Simpson: A Study in Spiritual Altitude, 108-109.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Leave it up to Tozer for a great exhortation :)

The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Ok ok .. promise, last post of the night.

So i've come to the conclusion that extending use of internet/aim ...is not good for mental health. You know that satisfied, complete feeling you get from personal interaction with others? Yeah, you don't get that with AIM or internet ... you just get this shallow shell, this imitation intimacy and closeness. Not to say that my chats with friends weren't good ... because they definitely were. But I think there's definitely more to be desired in those contexts.

Anyway, random realization of the night. I hope you're all doing well. Peace.
Re-read some old entries. I've definitely grown a lot this past year ... much of the frustration that was there before has been filled with promise and hope ... but new frustrations have arisen.

I definitely used to be a better writer. Even if it was about more trivial things.

Its weird though, I think I've definitely become more aware of the pride in my life ... this isn't too say I was total humble last year or whatever .. but I guess I recognized my insufficiencies and shortcomings, and I wasn't afraid to say that I was "poor and needy." And subsequently, whenever God showed me something pretty rad ... I was quick to share and quick to express the simple joy in that. (I suppose this is something that comes out from "growing" ... we somehow become more mature and our needs become more sophisticated and complicated. Yeah. right.) I would very much like to think that my needs and stresses have changed significantly in this past year (because yeah, I've become "older and wiser"), but yeah ... everything is very much the same rehashed in a different context.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Who are you? Where are you going? What are you doing to get there? What do you live for? What would you die for? What drives you? What's most important in life? What are you doing to ensure those things are cherished and valued? Are you breathing in abundant skies yet?
Three long articles posted ... definitely good stuff. Kind of reflects what I've been thinking about as of late.

I move towards impending "graduation" and "real-life," ... I'm finding myself increasingly conflicted in terms of what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

Conflicted with what I'm not sure, but how do you dream big, keep your feet on the ground, and still walk with faith? I suppose the obvious answer would be to ... "just do it." Right.
From our friends @ Boundless.org:

Adult Before 30?
- by Steve Watters

In the early 1980s, all thirty of the companies that made up the Dow Jones, including blue chips such as 3M, Coca Cola and Proctor and Gamble, were trading for less than their liquid value. That means if you bought out all their stock and simply sold off their buildings, trucks and machinery you could make a nice profit!

When you consider how expensive those stocks are now (even after inflation and some recent drops), it�s obvious those companies were undervalued. Even though those companies had all their fundamentals in place, the market just didn�t have high expectations.

If you are currently a man in your 20s, you should be aware that your stock is substantially undervalued as well. Many observers have downgraded your stock because of a growing number of twentysomethings who seem to be little more than kids in big peoples� bodies. In fact, some commentators now simply write off the whole period from age 20 to 30 (what I call in this column �The Hungry Years�). Watching the trends, they have little reason to expect today�s twentysomething to grow up and offer anything of value before the age of 30.

Consider these recent reports, starting with a quote from Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

�Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood. . . . Society has come to accept the idea that people do not become adults until they are in their late thirties. As a result, adolescence has extended well into the 20s� (Spiked, July 29, 2003).

In similar fashion Edward Eveld writes in the The Kansas City Star that �not too long ago, the saying went, it was a bad idea to trust anyone over 30. Now 30 is the new 21 or 22. It�s the threshold of becoming an adult� (Sep. 21, 2003).

Expectations are at an all time low. But what changed? Is it no longer possible for guys to become adults during their 20s? Like Coca Cola or 3M of the early 80s, the fundamentals seem to be in place. A 20 year-old man is at the same level of biological maturity that 20 year-olds were generations before.

�By 20, most of the mental and bodily characteristics that have been evolving in the pre-adult years are at or near their peak levels,� wrote Daniel Levinson in his classic book from the 1970s, The Seasons of a Man�s Life. Levinson marked the period from 17 to 22 as the age that men move from adolescence into adulthood.

But despite reaching their peak of physical development and having the capacity for the demands of adulthood, guys for some reason still aren�t making the transition.

What about the age milestones that once propelled guys into adulthood? For many in the past it was 18 � the point at which they finished high school and were recognized as mature enough to vote. The next big threshold was 21, when they were considered sufficiently responsible to drink alcohol. The last big age milestone before 30 has been 25 � the point at which they began sliding down the backside of the 20s. Incidentally, 25 is also the point of maturity rental car companies require their customers to achieve.

Such milestones appear arbitrary, however, when you read biographies about guys who didn�t wait for some magic age (especially not 30) to take on adult responsibilities.

David was 17 when he killed Goliath.

Bill Gates formed Microsoft at age 20.

At 23, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest man ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly.

Winston Churchill became a hero when he escaped from his captors during the Boer War. While captive, he penned the following line, �I�m 25 today � it is terrible to think how little time remains.�

These achievements prove that maturing into an adult isn�t simply the result of accumulating birthdays.

So what does it take to become an adult? When you survey the books on this subject, you consistently see two words: commitment and responsibility.

Of course commitment and responsibility are not as sexy as physical development or birthday parties. No one�s making sitcoms or movies celebrating commitment or responsibility. In fact, anyone looking to popular culture for their cues has to assume that everything good that will happen in their lives will happen before they become adults. For that reason, we tend to frontload our lives and try to push off the traits of adulthood as long as possible. But a guy who can embrace commitment and responsibility in a countercultural way during his 20s has an incredible opportunity to break out of the pack � long before his peers who are living down to low cultural expectations.

The path to adulthood and its undervalued benefits involves two key pursuits: making commitments and assuming responsibility.

Making commitments
�You need to make a commitment,� says Les Brown, a motivational speaker, �and once you make it, then life will give you some answers.� Commitment enables us to move from the disconnected random episodes of adolescence and into the more unified and sweeping chapters of adulthood.

One of the first commitments we make is to an employer. In exchange for payment, we commit to give a certain level of time and effort. Striving to meet employer expectations is a great way to experience the fruits of commitment.

The more complicated task is making commitments to people who can�t always respond with tangible rewards. That�s why we�re so often reluctant to sign up to teach Sunday School classes, serve as youth mentors or take on similar obligations. But it�s in making commitments to people that we experience community � the sense that we are not alone.

Among the commitments a guy can make, it is the covenant of marriage that has historically proven to be a reliable rite of passage into adulthood. The whole business of serving someone for better or worse, for richer or poorer and in sickness and in health has a way of challenging the adolescent in us. I still remember the wake up call I had a few months into my marriage when I came home with a bonus check. All the way home I thought about the things I wanted to buy with that money, only to have my wife greet the news by saying, �oh great, now we can buy a vacuum cleaner.�

Assuming responsibility
�Responsibility is the thing people dread most of all,� says actor and author Frank Carne, �yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us � gives us manhood or womanhood fiber.�

The first step toward adulthood is taking responsibility for yourself by cutting ties of dependence. Recent surveys tell us that as much as 38% of 20 to 34 year-olds are living with their parents. This arrangement greatly delays the maturity process because the safety net makes it harder for you to be fully responsible.

Taking responsibility for yourself is only the beginning, however. The real test is being responsible for someone else � allowing someone else to depend on you.

Of all the commitments and responsibilities I took on during my 20s that pushed me toward adulthood, it wasn�t until six months before my 30th birthday that I felt fully settled into the role. That�s when my wife and I brought our new son home from the hospital. Looking up at me from his crib, I could sense him saying, �I don�t know where you are on the whole growing up thing, but I�m counting on you to take care of me.�

�The value of marriage is not that adults produce children,� says author Peter DeVries, �but that children produce adults.� Our son and daughter are growing up quickly, but we feel like they�ve grown us up just as much.

The frustrating thing about responsibility and commitment is that they rarely provide instant gratification. By their nature, they challenge our adolescent desires for freedom, autonomy and self-fulfillment. But like weight conditioning, we need that challenge to tear the old muscle and build the new � that�s the process that finally makes us men.

Despite the dismal forecast for the third decade of your life, this is your prime time. All the fundamentals are there for you to be successful. The difference between you and the next guy is your appetite for commitments and responsibilities. Take them on now and you�ll rocket past poor market expectations and show a skeptical world what incredible things a man can still do before 30.
Yoinked from Jaeson's journal:

Students in Missions
by Kevin Little


"The evangelization of the world in this generation" This bold and zealous watchword characterized and motivated the Student Volunteer Movement, the most potent student mobilizers in all of history. From its outset the SVM called students to commit their lives, first, to the person and lordship of Christ, then, to taking the gospel of Christ to the unevangelized portions of the world. Students, looking for a cause worth giving their lives to and moved by the Holy Spirit, committed themselves in unprecedented droves to the evangelization of the world in their generation. At one point of its history, 75% of all female missionaries and 70% of all male missionaries were volunteers, who had been called to this pursuit by the SVM. In its history, the SVM was responsible for over 20,000 missionaries on the field, not committed to going but on the field. 20,000 college students had actually abandoned their dreams for the adventure of following Christ's heart to the nations. Four times this number, over 80,000, remained at home, supporting their fellow volunteers as well as increasing missions education.

Small Beginnings

This mobilization effort began in 1886 as a result of a random outpouring of God's Spirit at a summer conference in Mt Hermon, New Hampshire. The focus of the conference, led by D. L. Moody, was evangelism and Bible study, not missions, but the hearts of Luther Wishard, the organizer of the conference, and Robert Wilder, a senior from Princeton, longed for a nationwide movement of God's Spirit in the production of missionary zeal. At the beginning of the conference, Wilder pulled together eighteen other men who had committed themselves to going to the unevangelized portions of the world for daily prayer and conversation on the topic of world missions. By the end of the conference, this small group of missionary zealots grew to one hundred individuals, nearly half those in attendance. Although Wilder was only responsible for drawing only eight or nine of these men, multiplication occurred in an amazing fashion as men recently stirred by the flames of God's love for all men quickly spread that flame to others around them. Each of these men signed a declaration that read, "We, the undersigned, declare ourselves willing and desirous, God permitting, to go to the unevangelized portions of the world." From the momentum of this event arose the Student Volunteer Movement.

Catching Fire

Desiring to promote and conserve the missionary zeal that took root at the Mt. Hermon conference, Robert Wilder, accompanied by a fellow Princeton grad, toured the universities of the United States sharing the story of Mt. Hermon as well as challenging students to join them in their declaration. In the 1886-87 academic year alone, over 1,500 men and women signed the declaration. Once again, the power of multiplication was evident, for during the second year following Mt. Hermon, without the aid of a second deputation, the number of volunteers who had signed the declaration increased from around 2,000 to 3,000 during the 1887-88 academic year. God was moving the hearts of college students to give up their petty crusades and to lay down their lives for God's pursuit of the heathen.

Those who toured the campuses of the United States for the SVM, beginning with Wilder, presented a message that confronted complacency and excuses and that gave students a goal to which they could cling and pursue. The SVM advocates put the burden of proof on the students who wished to stay rather than those eager to go. Robert Speer, the advocate that followed Wilder, presented it best when he used an allegory of a drowning man. The one who sees the drowning man must explain why he stays on the bank, not why he dives into the river. In the world-wide cause of Christ, a similar situation exists. These students were called by Christ to "go and make disciples of all nations;" however, they lived in a nation that had been discipled, while other nations had not yet been discipled; therefore, the student who chose to stay in his discipled nation was forced to explain why the Lord had called him to that path, while the student who chose to sign the declaration and to go was simply obeying the commands of Christ. This argument caused men to confront the commands of Christ and the role they would play in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Also, the SVM advocates, after its development, called these students to a goal that was clearly and simply stated. This gave students a north star to pursue. "The evangelization of the world in this generation" became the watchword of the SVM. Students responded to the challenge of these advocates because they knew what they were giving their lives to ("the evangelization of the world in this generation") and they knew why (Christ commanded them to go to those who had not yet heard).

Conclusion

Today, these conditions remain. Christ's command to go and make disciples has lost no authority during these one hundred years. His command remains binding upon his people, for all the nations have yet to be reached and discipled. For this reason, the burden of proof once again falls on those who would choose to stay in an evangelized nation. How does your life fulfill Christ's Great Commission? This is the question you must answer whether you stay or go. At no point in history has the watchword of the SVM been nearer to fulfillment and within the grasp of a generation. We, like the students of the past, are called to make the evangelization of the world in this generation our heart cry and the purpose of our life, to the glory of God.
Yoinked from Jaeson's journal:

"The Haystack 5"- Prayer Meeting

"Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards, they simply unveil them."
- B.F. Westcott

It was 1806 and divine circumstances were about to reveal to the world its new unlikely heroes. Samuel J. Mills, James Richards, Francis L. Robbins, Harvey Loomis, and Byram Green were about to decide their destiny. These five students at Williams College in Massachusetts found themselves in a time when revival and awakening were sweeping across America and this small college town. There were many prayer meetings being maintained by students. One, to which these five men belonged, met in Sloan's meadow north of the college. On a hot Saturday afternoon in August these five left to pray and discuss William Carey's small booklet, An Inquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen. It was a controversial book that laid on all believers the weight of responsibility of world missions. There were threatening clouds in the distance, but the group met faithfully despite the thunderstorm that was approaching.

As they discussed world missions and specifically the needs in China, their attention was focused so intently on their responsibility to the unreached that they failed to notice the speed with which storm had approached. The young men were too far away to run for adequate shelter and were soon trapped by the angry thunder clouds. Within minutes the sound of the thunder was deafening and the pouring rain and strikes of lightening drove the students to scramble for the first shelter available - a haystack. Even as the storm rolled over the five continued their building discussion. Beneath the cover of the haystack, Samuel Mills, the leader of the group, continued to insist that the gospel must be taken to the lost in Asia.

All were inspired to act by Mills' passion except for Loomis, who argued that it was too dangerous in China. "We must wait until they are civilized," he maintained. Samuel suggested that they make it an issue of prayer, and they began to pray over the wail of the storm. All prayed except for Loomis. Mills, remembering the objections of Loomis, prayed, "O God, strike down the arm, with red artillery of heaven, that shall be raised against a herald of the cross."

Finally after singing a hymn, Mills looked at the others, and over the roar of the drenching rain, and with flashes of lightening reflecting in his eyes, cried out, "We can do this, if we will!" Something broke loose in that moment within the hearts of all five. All pointed back to that moment as the one that changed them forever. The five later consecrated themselves to full devotion to the Great Commission and taking the gospel to all the nations. They felt that it was the job of the American church to send its own missionaries and proposed to the General Association of Massachusetts that the first American missions agency be created. Their desire was granted, and in 1810 the agency was named, "The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions." Adoniram Judson was among the first five men that the American Board sent to Calcutta, India. Mills went on to inspire the creation of several other mission agencies and works such as The United Foreign Missionary Society, the American Baptist Missionary Union, and the American Bible Society.

This Haystack Prayer Movement became known all over the surrounding area, especially among college students. Samuel began a group in 1808 called the Society of Brethren, which bound its members together by the single-minded purpose of giving themselves to extend the gospel around the world. Several missions societies began to spring up on campuses all across the U.S. in the footsteps of Mills.

Years later, several women purchased with one gold dollar, the spot of land which Bryam Green identified as the location of the haystack that day. Today the Haystack Prayer Monument stands at Williams college as a reminder of what God did, not only in the lives of the five, but also in the life of Luther Wishard 80 years later. Luther, inspired by the Haystack Prayer Movement, initiated the mobilization of 100,000 college students through the Student Volunteer Movement. That moment in 1808 under the haystack was the spark for the greatest missionary movement that the world has ever seen.

They were ordinary young men - college students. Life forced them to search out their life purpose, maybe before it was too late; before the world had a chance to steal away their passion and talents into other great endeavors; before the roots of careers, and comfort grew too deeply into the American dream. These five had no idea that all of history was watching that day and what weight of responsibility lay on them. God uses moments like this, not to test our hearts, but to reveal them. He is unveiling to us what holds our true loyalty. Neil McClendon says, "Life's interruptions are God's invitations." Heroes like this are made, not born. Let us press on to know Him deeply and know His heart so that in times of testing and interruption it might be revealed that our heart has been replaced with His. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Out of the deepening of our passion for His renown and glory will come an overflow: our lives heralding a message to the world, "We can do this, if we will!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Well, I guess here comes some more:

"Don't question in the chaos, what God makes clear to you in the calm."

"BONDLESS!!!: the magazine for singles who will never get married but would rather read lots of articles on finding spouses!' -- the millions cry
Quotable quote of the day:

"Guys, learn how to be men. It's called being responsible, being considerate, and most of all, putting other people before you. That means before your sex drive, your car drive, and your moron drive. And if any boy jacks [insert-name here] in any kind of way... well, I won't kill you, because I'm a pacifist, but in defense of my family, I might kick your booty." -- Anarchangel

Monday, October 13, 2003

"True purity ... is a direction, a persistent, determined pursuit of righteousness. This direction starts in the heart, and we express it in a lifestyle that flees opportunities for compromise," -- Joshua Harris

Sunday, October 12, 2003

"In Christian service motive is everything, for it is motive that gives to every moral act its final quality. " -- A.W. Tozer

Friday, October 10, 2003

"When Peter tells us to humble ourselves, he goes on to tell us in a way that few seem to understand - we humble ourselves by casting our anxiety on God, because we know He cares about us. Anxiety or worry is actually a very profound form of pride. It is pride that basically thinks our problems are too big for God, so we will have to deal with them ourselves. True humility is truth and reality. It is acknowledging the truth and reality that without God we will make a terrible mess of things. Therefore, we cast our worries on Him because we know He loves us, as the cross overwhelmingly proves, and He will help us, which He sent His Holy Spirit to us for....
... To be able to discern the truth of these times, or about anything else, we must cast all of our anxiety upon Him. Humility, knowing the love of God, and abiding in the peace of God, are required for discerning truth. If you are anxious, angry, bitter, etc. you will see these prophecies through those veils, and their true meaning will be distorted to you. In Philippians 1:9-11 Paul tells us what is required for true knowledge and true discernment: "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." - Rick Joyner


It's been a tough week ... and I think made it much more difficult than it needed to be by being anxious and trying to bear these things myself. I had one of the toughest D:77's yesterday, because I couldn't release my anxieties and tensions to God. As much as I wanted to, and knew that I had to, I chose to continue to be ignorant of the truth. Dude, wallowing in your anxieties is hard stuff :) ... it takes a lot out of you.

This morning's secret place time was really good ... I think I really bought into Satan's lies that I have to worry, and be concerned, to be resentful ... "lift up your eyes to heaven." Praise God, for he is worthy to be praised.

God, I ask for wisdom and discernment. I recognize that you are sovereign, and that you are control of John Muir college. Jesus, we need you to break through .. Holy Spirit we need your power and presence.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds
of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly
glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the
prophets who were before you.
--Matthew 5:11-12

Popular Judaism slew the prophets and crucified Christ. Popular
Christianity killed the Reformers, jailed the Quakers and drove John
Wesley into the streets. When it comes to religion, the crowds are
always wrong. At any time there are a few who see, and the rest are
blinded. To stand by the truth of God against the current religious
vogue is always unpopular and may be downright dangerous....

Christianity's scramble for popularity today is an unconscious
acknowledgment of spiritual decline. Her eager fawning at the feet
of the world's great is a grief to the Holy Spirit and an
embarrassment to the sons of God. The lick-spittle attitude of
popular Christian leaders toward the world's celebrities would make
such men as Elijah or George Fox sick to the stomach....

Lot was a popular believer. He sat in the gates of Sodom. But when
trouble struck, he had to send quick for Abraham to get him out of
the jam. And where did they find Abraham? Out on the hillside, far
away from the fashionable crowds. It has always been so. For every
Elijah there have always been 400 popular prophets of Baal. For
every Noah there is always a vast multitude who will not believe
it is going to rain.

We are sent to bless the world, but never are we told to compromise
with it. The Next Chapter After the Last, 20-21.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

In light of the recent allegations against various political candidates: We're always willing to extend grace to those whom we approve of ... and we're always quick to dole out judgment to those we do not. Isn't it contrary to whole spirit of grace? Doesn't it seem ridiculous that just because a candidate is Republican, or as-long-as-he's-not-a-Democrat, or a Democrat, Independent, or whatever ... we are more inclined to show them the benefit of the doubt. Its so easy to swing from "well, those were his young days, everyone makes mistakes" to "well, what he did when he was younger is indicative of what type of character he has formed today."

I'll be impressed when candidates refrain from doing smear-campaigns and are up-front about their weaknesses and what they're doing to address them.

Monday, October 06, 2003

"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn." � John Wesley

"Now let me burn out for God." Henry Martyn

Friday, October 03, 2003

I've said it once, and I'm saying it again ... school is the best time for pondering, and thinking. There's something about being mildly distracted by a specific task at hand (i.e. paying attention to class), and being able to meditate on something about God.

A friend recently shared about the recent acquisition of a girlfriend. (Yes, I know I said acquisition. No, girls are not property. Yes, this a deliberate attempt to be out of the ordinary.) Ok, he shared about how God has been teaching him about what true beauty is ... and in the process, how he ended up with a girlfriend. (Chyeah ... I totally should ask God to teach me about true beauty ... *snicker* ... no just kidding, mostly).

Anyway, he talked about between how there seems to be a discrepancy between what the world terms as beautiful as far as physical appearance and God, who is the epitome of what is beautiful (I would assume). A lot of those self-esteem workshops or "positive-thinking" types, they tend to encourage the belief that "you are beautiful, no matter what people say." And to some extent, yeah, I believe that is true. God looks down at us and thinks each one of us gorgeous. But at the same time, when I hear someone like Christina Aguilera singing lyrics like that; its a very self-empowering thing, and I wonder where that power comes from. Those lyrics clearly speak to an inner beauty, but exactly what that consists of ... I'm not quite sure.

I don't think Jesus was attractive in the sense that we might understand Jennifer Garner or Michael Vartan (ok ok, TOTALLY alias moment right there) to be attractive. But I think there was a certain beauty in Jesus, there was an attraction there that others were drawn to.

I am convinced that my wife is going to be hot. Like seriously. I know for a fact. No, she may not be what the world considers beautiful; or she might be. But the fact is that, she's going to be absolutely gorgeous on the inside and going to be radiating out of her pores. I want to learn to love that type of beauty ... to be drawn to it, and to exude Jesus' beauty in my life. Hot diggity.