Sunday, February 4, 2007

More than....

The psychiatrist Gerald May writes:

" I know that God is loving and that God's lovings is trustworthy. I know this directly through the experience of my life. There have been plenty of times of doubt, especially when I used to believe that trusting God's goodness meant that I would not be hurt. But having been hurt quite a bit, I know God's goodness goes deeper than all pleasure and pain - it embraces them both."

Somewhere along the way western thought has hijacked a silly belief that God's goodness is defined by his ability to make us comfortable. This proposition thus served as the premise for the philosophical question, "If God is good, why do bad things happen?"

The question therein tho should not be as to whether or not God does conform to our standard of Goodness, but rather "is our standard of Goodness Valid?".

I would argue that the biggest problem with such a premise tho is ...the bible. We know God is good because of the bible, yet we have an unbiblical standard of goodness. We question God when things dont go our way, because we have a standard of goodness that means suffering would never happen.

How can we hold an unbiblical presuposition of goodness to a biblical definition of God?

Can it be justified that for God to be good and loving excludes him from allowing pain and suffering? Well if it were so, i suppose the cross would have never happened. Yet we know the reason the suffering on the cross happened was BECAUSE God is indeed Good.

God truly is good. It seems many just have a false definition of goodness. Somewhere in the midst of it goodness must be more than us being comfortable, more than a lack of suffering, more than health and wealth.


When the brilliant ethicist John kavanaugh went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, "And what can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

"What do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: "Pray that i have clarity"

She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." When he asked her why, she said, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of."

When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity, what i have always had is trust. So I will pray you trust God."

Craving Clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path destroys childlike trust in the Father's active goodness and unrestricted love. When all is unclear, the heart of trust says as Jesus did on the cross, "into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46)

Oh how i struggle with simply craving clarity, craving revelation, craving new knowledge and new insights. I read almost everyday and love learning new things and would consider my hunger for knowledge one of my greatest strenghts and yet at the same time also one of my biggest weaknesses.Rather than applying what i already know, I tend to function on epiphany alone, moving from one new idea to another as fast as i can wrap my brain around it. I have such a tendency to seek new revelation instead of applying the revelation God has already given me. Perhaps in reality my most urgent need in life is to trust the insight i have already recieved.

Of what avail is our life of prayer, our study of scripture, theology and spirituality, if we do not trust the insights we have recieved?

At some point we have to decide to trust the voice that says "I love you. I knot you together in your mothers womb" (Psalm 139:13). And suspect that fidelity thru the way of trust will lead us to the same place it took Job: "Even though he slay me, yet I will Trust him" (Job 13:15)

** Much of this was borrowed and edited from Brennan Manning's "Ruthless Trust"

Blessed Riddance

I was reading a book by a man named A. W. Tozer tonight and it truly stirred something deep with in me. Below I paraphrased some of it. I hope that you read it not just on an intellectual level, but let it sink deep down into your soul. Let it move you and penetrate your heart.

"I had rather exercise faith than know the definition thereof." - Thomas a Kempis

Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all.

While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves- blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures, will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done with in him. It will be God working in him to will and to do.

For the merit lies not in the one who has the faith, but the merit is in the One toward Whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls in line.

For when the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth. For those are the eyes of the one who has cleansed us with his own precious blood, and made us inwardly pure, so that with unveiled eyes we may gaze upon him all the days of our earthly life.

God is truly nearer than our own soul and closer than our most secret thoughts. Thus the question therein lies, when you feel the inward longing in your soul; when you feel the itching in your heart for something bigger, better, sweeter; when everything inside is crying out for something more, will you do something about it?

Faith creates nothing, it is not to be confused with imagination, faith simply reckons upon that which was already there.

"You have made us, O Lord, for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." – Augustine

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. - C. S. Lewis

**I paraphrased and eddited this exert from Tozer's " The Pursuit of God." Its an incredible and inspiring book, I truly recomend it.

Why!?! pt. 3

Even much of Western Christianity today seems more concerned with How's and propositions of behavior modification than they do about the Why. What is beauty? We ask. Here are five keys to a successful marriage, We are given as an answer. It is as if no one is listening to the question being groaned by all of creation, groaned through the pinnings of our soul, our broken biochemistry, the blending of light and smog to make our glorious sunsets.

Donald Miller describes his frustrations with Western Christianity's trend towards dishing out religion and moralism instead of Salvation, Redemption, and Freedom in this excerpt from his book Through Painted Deserts:

If Christianity was something beautiful and true that explained the human story, its adherents has lost the grandness of its explanation in exchange for its validation of their how lifestyles, to such a degree that the why questions seemed to be drowning in the pool of Pavlov's dogs. And it wasn't just the church that was drowning; it was all of humanity or at least all of the West. Our skyscrapers and sports teams, our malls and our master-planned neighborhoods, our idiot politics, our sultry media promising ecstasy with every use of a specific dishwashing detergent. What does all this mean? Are we animals nesting? Are we rats in one giant cage, none of us unable to think outside of our instincts? And does faith live within these instincts always getting me to my happiness, or is it larger, explaining the why of life, the how a shallow afterthought.

I needed God to step off his self-help soapbox be willing to say something eternally significant and intelligent and meaningful, more meaningful than the parroted lines from detergent commercials. I needed God to be larger than our free market economy, larger than our two for one coupons, larger than our religious ideas.

My challenge thus to you and to myself is to start asking Why more. To stop and think about what it is you are chasing? Does it really matter? Does it eternally satisfy? After all we are all going to die, so why are you doing what you are doing? Does it even matter in the end?

I have been thinking about Why for quite some time now. I got a slew of answers to a lot of things. Still searching for some myself….but would LOVE to share with you what I have so far. Perhaps even the mysterious "meaning of life."

*Much of this was borrowed, lifted, inspired by and edited from Donald Miller and Bertrand Russell.

Why!?! pt. 2

Why!?! pt. II

It's so interesting to me how we all are constantly chasing after things. Chasing after what we think we need. What we think will make us happy. But how often is it that we ever stop to think about what it is we are chasing? How often is it that you really sit and chew on whether or not what you are chasing really is of value? Is it really worthwhile?

We all are chasing something:

Money, Relationships, Friends, Fame, Popularity, our Careers, Acceptance, Sports, Knowledge…..but for what?

I read recently in Bertrand Russell's The History of Western Philosophy about the great power struggle that took place from the end of the fifth century to the middle of the eleventh century during which the Roman World went through some very interesting changes. The great conflict between duty to God and duty to the State, the ultimate struggle for power between Church and king.

The ecclesiastical reign of the Pope extended over Italy, France, Spain, Great Brittan, Ireland, Germany, and Poland. At first, outside Italy and Southern France, his control over bishops and abbots was very slight, but from the time of Gregory VII (late eleventh century) it became real and effective. From that time on, the clergy, throughout Western Europe, formed a single organization directed from Rome, seeking power intelligently and relentlessly, and usually victorious, until after the year 1300, in their conflict with secular rulers.

The Secular power, on the contrary, was in the hands of kings and barons of Teutonic descent, who endeavored to preserve what they could of the institutions they had brought out of the forests of Germany. And why should they, with their armies of proud knights, submit to the orders of bookish men, vowed to celibacy and destitute of armed force? All the armed force was on the side of the kings, and yet the Church was victorious. The Church won because rulers and people alike profoundly believed that the church possessed the power of the keys. The Church could decide whether a king should spend eternity in heaven or in hell; the Church could absolve subjects from the duty of allegiance, and so stimulate rebellion. And thus as the Medieval Middle Ages gave way to the Renaissance and then eventually the Reformation and Romantic period; it was in many ways the Church that survived and wound up wielding the power and outliving the monarchs.

Now I bring this up not to condone or praise the fact that the Catholic Church held the power, much of it was out of greed and terrible wacky theology (indulgences, popes determining salvation etc), but rather to simply make a point. And do remember I read this in a book by renowned philosophical atheist Bertrand Russell.

My point being is that all that ultimately matters in this life is salvation. Eternity is the great mystery that at the end of the day holds the most weight, is of the most importance, and thus is of the greatest significance.

Think about a power struggle between kings and priests. The kings have money, armies, power, fame, women, and castles. The kings not only have ALL of the power but they also have all the spoils of women and wine that their appetites could possibly stomach.

So my question is why were they at the mercy of silly priests?? BECAUSE none of that mattered! None of it lasted. What good were armies, crowns, women, and wine if you were stuck spending an eternity condemned. The church triumphed at the end of the middle ages because, despite being a brutish and greedy organization with twisted man made theology, because Salvation and Eternity are all that in the end really matter. All the priest had was their silly rules and useless religions, but they possessed ETERNITY!

Think about Hamlet:

No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with
               modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: as
               thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,
               Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of
               earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he
               was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
               Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
               Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
               O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
               Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
               But soft! but soft! 

Hamlet is fascinated by the equalizing effect of death and decomposition: great men and beggars both end as dust. In this scene, he imagines dust from the decomposed corpse of Julius Caesar being used to patch a wall and likewise the dust of Alexander the Great used as clay to plug a beer-barrel. Earlier, in Act IV, he noted:

"A man may fish with the worm that have eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm," a metaphor by which he illustrates "how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar"

Think about it. We all chase things. We all ask How. We ask how do we get what it is we are chasing. But do we ever ask Why? Do we ever ask why we chase those things and if in the end they even matter?

Why!?! pt. 1

Sometimes I admire people who don't ask why questions, who only want to know the how of life: How do I get paid, how do I get a wife, how do I make myself happy? The why path isn't so rewarding, if you think about it: Why are we here, why do we feel what we feel, desire what we desire, need what we need, hate what we hate.

I saw this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon once that had the teacher asking the class to turn in their homework. Calvin raised his hand and asked why we exist. The teacher told Calvin not to change the subject but to turn in his homework, and what difference did it make anyway? Calvin leaned back in his chair and mumbled to himself that the answer to the question determined whether or not turning in his homework was important in the first place. I think that is what I am talking about here, about needing the answer to the former question before the latter becomes important, about why determining whether how questions are important. And that is what I mean by admiring people who don't ask why questions, because they can just get a job, a big house, a trophy wife, and do whatever they want and never ask if it is connected to anything, whether their how is validated by their why.

It seems as though much of our lives, this gift we have been given, have been wasted thus far, attempting to answer meaningless questions. Surely there are more important questions than how questions: How do I get money, how do I get a girl, how do I become happy, how do I have fun?

"I began to wonder what personal ideas I believed that were not true. I believed I was not athletic enough; too stupid, I believed I had to go to college; I believed the Astros were a more important team than the Mets; I believed jeans that cost fifty dollars were better than jeans that cost thirty; I believed living in a certain part of town made you more important than living in another. The cosmos were just spinning around up there, as if to create beauty for beauty's sake, paying no attention to the frivolity of mankind. And I liked the cosmos very much. It seemed that it understood something, perhaps, humanity did not understand.

We have exchanged Why questions for How questions"

- Donald Miller

There are so many huge important questions that supersede our "how to" formulas that even science cannot answer them; and yet they are so fundamentally important to determining who we are and what and why should chase things. Really and truly our presuppositions play such a rule in providing motive to act that if we really thought about these questions it would come down to as Shakespeare said in Hamlet:

"To Be or Not to Be?"

Think about these types of questions, because their answers really should determine what you do, why you exist, how you should live, and what you should chase.

Is the world divided into mind and matter, and, if so, what is mind and what is matter? Is mind subject to matter, or is it possessed of independent powers? Has the universe and unity or purpose? Is it evolving towards some goal? Are they really laws of nature, or do we believe in them only because our innate love of order? Is man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to be in Shakespeare's "Hamlet"? Is he perhaps both at once? Is there a way of living that is noble and another that is base, or are all ways of living merely futile? If there is a way of living that is noble, in what does it consist, and how shall we achieve it? Must the good be eternal in order to deserve to be valued, or is it even worth seeking if the universe is inexorably moving towards death? Is there such a thing as wisdom, or is what seems as such merely the ultimate refinement of folly? Is there a God? If there is a God what kind of God is he? If he is the ultimate creator of the universe what does that mean for us? Would that mean we should alter our lives around him instead of just altering our idea of some Oprah type god we make up to suit our needs?

To such questions no answer can be found in the laboratory, yet the answers to them are of the utmost importance. We should all make some more effort to be philosophers in our own lives. Because the studying of these questions, if not the answering of them, is the business of philosophy.

Ever since men became capable of free speculation, their actions, in innumerable respect have depended upon their theories as to the world and human life.

To understand an age or nation, we must understand its philosophy. There is a reciprocal causation: the circumstances of men's lives do much to determine their philosophy, but conversely, their philosophy does much to determine their circumstances.

- Bertrand Russell

*Much of this was borrowed, lifted, inspired by and edited from Donald Miller and Bertrand Russell.


Sitting drinking some green tea on my birthday and looking back on the 22 years of my life has left me pretty much just in awe. In awe that I have gotten to experience all that I have. Gracious that God has given me the friends, family, and life that I have. It is indeed crazy how much my life has changed over the years and how much I have changed and still want to change. I feel like I have only just begun to scratch the surface of who God is and who he wants me to become. Anyways I recently read Donald Miller's Through Painted Deserts and thought I would share a little blurb from it that stuck out at me today.

Everybody has to change like the seasons, they have to or they die. The seasons remind me that I must keep changing, and I want to change because it is God's way. All my life I have been changing. I changed from a baby to a child, from soft toys to play daggers. I changed from a teenager to drive a car, into a worker to spend some money. I will change into a husband to love a woman, into a father to love a child, change houses to be near water, and again so we are near mountains, and again so we are near friends. Like a garden fed by four seasons, everyone has to change or they expire.

Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.

I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when its time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently.

Only the good stories have the characters different at the end than they were at the beginning.

22 years seems like a mighty long time to me. Its grace alone that I have gotten to live them as I have, and it will be grace alone if i get to even see another year. God has been incredibly kind to me. I pray that he continues to change and grow me.

Beauty pt. 3

"The glory of the Lord, therefore, is the supereminently luminous beauty of divinity beyond all experience and all descriptions, all categories, a beauty before which all earthly splendors, marvelous as they are, pale in significance."

-Thomas Dubay

Certainly what strikes us as beautiful does indeed arouse powerful feelings; feelings of pleasure, delight, wonder, and longing. But the presence of such feelings are not in themselves grounds for ascribing beauty to the object which evokes them. Such feelings are the effect which something beautiful has on us.

They are the results of beauty, not part of its defining characteristics.

Beauty may arouse a sense of delight, but that sense of delight itself cannot be taken as an indication that what evoked it is to be described as ultimately beautiful.

Rather things we experience here on earth that are beautiful are simply reflecting God's beauty. The aroma of a flower, that flower being beauty in and of itself.

"But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see it they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such an one as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end; here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on this beauty, and it is never weary of it. The mind never has any satiety, but Christ's excellency is always fresh and new, and tends as much to delight, after it has been seen a thousand or ten thousand years, as when it was seen the first moment."

- Jonathan Edwards

To experience Christ is to have ones soul lifted to the heavens so that when you land you find yourself standing in a different relation to the world than where you were a minute ago. It is not that you are no longer standing in the center of the world (for you never were to begin with), it is that you cease to stand in the center of your world. They willingly cede their ground to Him who stands before them. Beauty ushers you into his presence

The fact is that God is beautiful. This brings out an even more crucial reason why the concept of beauty must once again play a central role in our understanding of the Christian faith. For without a positive theological evaluation of beauty there is no motive to delight in God and no compelling reason to love Him.

The beauty of Christ are all his perfected virtues. In another word, the beauty of Christ is his glory, the radiance of all his beautiful perfections. .

"beauty is the battlefield where God and Satan contend with each other for the hearts of men."

- Fyodor Dostoyevski

*Much of this blog is borrowed, edited, and lifted from my dear friend the late great David Phillips

Beauty pt. 2

Homer wrote, "Beauty is lifesaving."

Playing in GRO we always get asked if we are a Christian band. I always found the question a bit odd. When you meet a plumber, do you ask if he's a Christian plumber? My understanding is that to be a Christian is to do whatever it is that you do with great passion and devotion.

In Colossians: "whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus"

He is teaching people to live as Christians, and then whatever they do will be sacred, holy work. Music already is worship. Music is praise. Music is sacred. Music is good. There is beauty in it. Creation doesn't need a label to make it sacred or acceptable. When God made the world he called it, "good." Now obviously anything can be corrupted and desecrated and used for other purposes other than it was intended for. But making music is sacred

So much of Christian music is absolutely terrible. It often lacks creativity and inspiration with recycled clich├ęs for lyrics. Sometime I feel like it may actually be desecrating the art from in its quality.

There is no need for a Christian label for something to point to God. Where there is beauty, there God is found as its author. In as much as truth and absolutes points to Christ, so does beauty

Beauty is that which delights us, that which takes our focus us out of ourselves in appreciation and wonder. It takes our thoughts blissfully away from ourselves. It is the thing in our surroundings which draws our attention and by which is an occasion for 'unselfing.'

We delight in things that are beautiful so much because beauty's sway is capable of 'unselfing' our thoughts.

A pleasant Spring day can totally alter my mood for the good.

A restless child is appeased when he/she remembers Christmas is but days away.

When anyone sees beauty their hearts are quickened yet their taste for true beauty is still unsatisfied. When we see beauty on this earth, it never is ultimate beauty (beauty itself), and thus we are always left wanting more. Beauty makes us at once utterly satisfied and strangely unsatisfied, because we have not the source. Because it is not eternal it does not ultimately satisfy.

"Something beautiful fills the mind, yet invites the search for something beyond itself, something larger or something of the same scale with which it needs to be brought into relation." - Elaine Scarry, Professor of Aesthetics at Harvard University in her book "On Beauty"

The whisper of Christ blows amongst all things which are beautiful. Not everyone is able to see the beauty of God in the beauty of the world but we all experience it. As the blind man taps the pavement with his stick, we touch God or rather God touches us through experiences of beauty, whether we are aware of this or not.

*Much of this blog is lifted and borrowed from Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell & a Blog by David Phillips

Beauty pt. 1

"Every experience of beauty points to infinity" -Hans Urs von Balthasar

"Pulchra sunt quae visa placent" - Beautiful things are those which, when seen, please"-Thomas Aquinas

What is it about music that makes it so capable of completely stirring my heart and emotions? There is truly something so intrinsic to the nature of music that gives it a sort of power; a type of power capable of making me feel such a variety of different sensations, a power that possess the ability to excite my passions and move my soul. I think this power is beauty.

"The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music." – Jonathan Edwards

When I Hear Patty Griffin's voice it makes me feel as though I want to cry.

When I hear Ryan Adam's melodies I am capable of feeling broken, bitter, at peace, or even deeply sad.

When I hear a Sigur Ros song I feel much the same as I would next to a giant mountain or staring at a sunset over the vast ocean. Their songs are capable of making me feel completely in awe of something huge.

When I hear "Where the Streets Have No Name" or "Pride in the Name of Love" by U2, I feel alive. I feel like running with all of my might. I feel like living.

When I listen to "Music for the Morning After" by Pete Yorn, I simply want to forget myself, be silent, and drive for hours with the windows down.

Tom Petty renders me cheerful, proud, and content.

Pat Green makes me feel like I home.

Coldplay leaves me contemplative and idealistic

The Wallflowers are like a nostalgic thanksgiving dinner with the family when you were a kid or the same feeling as when you see a good friend you have deeply missed.

In the presence of Radiohead I feel dark, moody, and deep.

Third Eye Blind songs leave me feeling rambunctious and edgy

Tori Amos engenders a feeling of a summer rain storm

Is it strange that when I hear these artists I feel the presence of God, and am often capable of deeper worship than while listening to Christian Music? I think as a Christian I am free to claim the good, the true, the holy, whenever and wherever I find it. Any where there is beauty it's pointing to God.

Thomas Aquinas said, "For the beauty of a creature is nothing other than a likeness of the divine beauty sharing all things."

Every one is capable of feeling, seeing, and experiencing the fruit of beauty in this life…I would just argue that as Christians we are the most capable of identifying its source.

Jesus is the arrangement. Jesus is the design. Jesus is the intelligence. He is the source of ultimate reality.

The piercing experience of great beauty readily evokes a nameless yearning for something more than earth can offer. Elegant splendor reawakens our spirit's aching need for the infinite, a hunger for more than matter can provide . . . a hunger for sublimity for which earth offers mere aromas.

Whereas truth and virtue cannot exist without God, neither can beauty. Augustine put his finger on the matter in his famous prayer, "You have made us, O Lord, for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

We know we experience true beauty when we are so fascinated by something that we have neither time nor desire to think about ourselves and what benefits we can derive. Theology, therefore, must be concerned much less with showing man that Christ offers him what he wants and much more concerned with showing man that he cannot help but worship the splendor of what he sees.

*Much of this blog is lifted and borrowed from Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell & a Blog by David Phillips

September 26th, 2006

Some thoughts

I need to return to the cross every day and there continually be reminded of my brokenness and dependence on God. It is one thing for me to know and conceptualize that I am forgiven, but everyday I need my heart and my emotions wrestled with. I need to daily be shown my baggage, my junk, my weakness because it is so easy for me to put on my blinders. Its so easy for me to become prideful and boast in myself, to boast in areas where I have no place to boast. My prayer is daily that God would change my heart. That he would change my affections and draw them to take joy in his glory, not mine. My prayer is that God would continue to shape me into more and more and more and more the person he made me to be. I still have a mighty mighty long way to go.

I don't want to just see salvation as a ticket to somewhere else. I don't want it to simply be a future salvation, one where the forgiveness of our sins only means we get to go to heaven when we die.

John 5:24 " I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

Jesus says that I am connected to him NOW, not just in the future.

My prayer is not just that Salvation would be a distant idea. That Jesus would not just be a person in the past. I don't want a compartmentalized life. A compartmentalized life is one that that has not experienced Christ. To have faith that manifests itself in compartmentalized life where vast areas of it are unaffected, unmoved, and unchanged is a type of faith that James refers to as dead. Oh how I feel guilty of so often having such a faith

My prayer is that….

I would need a God for now

I would need healing now

I would need help now

Yes, even greater things will happen someday.

But salvation is now.

Christ is sweet and frees you to actually enjoy the world. I would argue he frees to even enjoy it more than you ever previously could apart from him. To experience deeper more satisfying joy than you ever could have imagined with out him. Not just circumstantial joy, where things go in your favor and all is happy frappy. But joy that ultimately transcends circumstance; joy and contentment that cannot be robbed by situation.

Oh how i want to FULLY see and taste Christ for who he is.

I have tasted bits and chunks and boy is it sweet. Sweeter than anything i have ever experienced.

But i want more, more of him. I need it. I desperately need it....only God can take me there. Only God can wrestle with my heart

I need to remember that I am loved just because I exist.

Not because of what I do.

So much of my efforts are spent trying to earn what i allready have.

I did not make the world and it will continue to exist with out my efforts. Christ loves me not because of what i do....he loves me because he loves me. He loves me for his glories sake. This category of love should be liberating.

Oh how i want to be liberated!

I am learning that salvation is for all of me.

Jesus wants my heart and soul now. Not just parts of my life…he want my affections, my emotions, my mind, my body…my life.