Archive for December, 2010

Grades

It is an odd feeling not having any papers due, readings to complete, tests to study for.  Not as odd as the feeling of having papers due, readings to complete and tests to study for when I began this new adventure.  I had the opportunity to comfort a mid-twenties college student who was lamenting that it took him three and a half years to complete an associate degree with the fact that it is going to take me almost thirty years to complete my bachelors.  Now comes the wait for the grades.  I have two, both of which I am pleased with.  The other three are yet to be determined.  I think that many of my professors are still getting used to the online environment and I know that at least one is a full-time pastor, part-time professor.  This has made grades slow in coming. 

So I am fretting a little of not knowing.  We really hate “not knowing” don’t we.  I know that I treat God this way.  I make choices, plan events, do ministry and I want God to grade it right away.  I want others “in the know” or involved or to whom I am responsible to grade it right away.  Unfortunately then it really becomes about me instead of being about God.  Especially if I get frustrated and irritable about the whole thing.  I want to be able to put my “A” filled report card up on the refrigerator.  This is not the servant’s heart that I am striving for, but it is an all too real part of who I am.  It is a big  reason that I need to start my days with prayer and Scripture, and end my days with prayer and Scripture. It is not about the “grade” it is about trusting God, knowing that he loves me no matter what and following Jesus to the very best of my ability.  This is a course I could never pass, but when the Father looks at me He sees Jesus and that means I get an A+.  Lord help me live out that A+!

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—  he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

Romans 3:23-26 NIV

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The Anniversary of my marriage to Allana is on Wednesday (12-15).  The timing is perfect because this week she certainly fulfilled the song that was “Our Song”  9 years ago.  She continues to amaze me.  As I watched her this weekend kneeling before those kids and leading them in a celebration of the birth of our Savior (and ok they sang Rudolph too..), I thought back to all the awesome women of God that I have seen over the years in many different churches speaking into the lives of kids through relationship and music.  There is my lovely bride being counted among them.  The amazing pride that I felt as I looked at her Friday and Saturday night, I cannot even put words to.  The amazing joy that I feel at God’s work in her, in me and in us is priceless.  So here is to my lovely, talented, wise and passionate wife…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L27KqRVZPwA

Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take

Baby, when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away

I’ve never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts, I can see your dreams

I don’t know how you do what you do
I’m so in love with you
It just keeps getting better

I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever

Every little thing that you do
Baby, I’m amazed by you

[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/l/lonestar-lyrics/amazed-lyrics.html ]

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I will not run with the computer virus metaphor.  I am sure that is a great relief for the few that actually read what I write here.

I just finished up my paper on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit for my class on Acts.  It is called “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit:  Initial Evidence, Eternal Importance”.  It has really helped me to refocus on the importance of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I find it so easy to forego that intimate daily time with God in the midst of LIFE.  Even “ministry” can find its way between me and the Holy Spirit.  Timely as always God prompted Pastor Nate to send out a framework for daily time with God.  I have attached this document at the bottom of this post.  Certainly this kind of personal time with God is one of the best ways to protect ourselves from the virus of my earlier post, along with real daily time in His Word. “Thy word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”  Psalm 119:11.

 MORNING AFFIRMATIONS Prayer

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I don’t know if everyone does this during the Holiday season but I have found myself reflecting on my past.  Don’t worry the purpose of this post is not to bore you with the sordid details.  As I look at my children and the children that I have the opportunity to influence I cannot help but wondering if they will make the same foolish mistakes I have made. 

That got me to thinking about one of the basic sources of much pain and suffering both for myself and for those that I love…sin.  Combine that with my recent download of antiviral software and of course the metaphor began to form.  At least in my life, sin has been like a computer virus.  I did not go seeking it out (at least in most cases).  I downloaded it in what I thought were innocuous situations.  It attached to “harmless” shows, friends, situations, and thoughts.  Too often we download this virus when we are in places or situations that we shouldn’t be in anyways.  And then we turn off our antivirus software (conscience) because it is interfering with our harmless fun.  Then once it is in place it sits and begins it work.  It opens up pathways into our lives and begins to fill up our “harddrives” with more and more of its own brand of data.  Pretty soon it has our antivirus completely shut down and we find ourselves in a place that we never thought that we would be. 

Some people might say that I am too strict.  Perhaps that I limit my children’s access to “life” too much.  I have been overrun by this particular virus and I intend through prayer, teaching and yes a little protecting to make sure my kids don’t download it on my watch.  And yes I must make sure that I do not allow it a foothold in my own heart again. 

 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.   Phillipians 4:8-9

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