Thursday, June 29, 2006

"this is the song that never ends..."

Today a prayer was definitely answered - no arguing. It was good to have that kind of the peace of God going into to what had seemingly been a very stressful encounter. But, thanks be to God. Also, today was the first day of purposeful exercise - which was good too - even having to jog a little ways (2x) to "outrun" a bee - or whatever he was. Shellie and I could not shake that thing...darn bug...
See look at this...just what He said He would do...
Ps 91.3-4
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions,and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Ps 93 - this was the passage that I fell in love with while I was in SE Asia this past summer. how befitting to read these words while standing on the very sand that was covered with killer water just months before, when standing in the ocean that had once covered the city and destroyed what lived there. It showed to me the sovereign control of our God.

Ps 93.5 (in another way)
"holiness befits your house"
How often do I go into the presence of the King (worship) with a flighty or relaxed attitude, or what I'm going to wear attitude, or oh, I've gotta see that person...rather than preparing to fellowship with my Savior? Washed in the grace that it takes for me to stand in His presence.

Ps 94.19 (another answer in light of today)
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

I think the 95-100 psalm is the place in Scripture that is the most repitious (if you don't count all the begots). Praise! Sing! Play! Love! Come! For the Lord is God! He Reigns! Clap! Dance! Joy!

Now on to another chapter in The Horse and His Boy...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wheat and Honey

No, I'm not talking about cooking, the verse later will explain the title
Nothing too out of the ordinary happened today. One friend is back for good, and the other I found out it coming back soon - oh, it is so good to have friends who know and understand you and ones that you don't have to be perfect around. Oh the joy!
Tonight is Ps 81-90...
81.9, 12 - The Israelited were so bad at hearing God, and then most times doing the opposite. God I don't want to be that way. I want to be opposite of the man James describes who sees himself in a mirror and goes away and forgets what he saw just moments earlier. I want to be a doer of the Word. I want to listen to your counsel and not bow to foreign gods - those things (any of the things) that distract me from you.
This is one of the verses that struck me this morning - going along with most of the other psalms...
Ps 81.16
"But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."
How often to dI settle for the cheap stuff when God wants to satisfy me with himself? I settle all the time. Since when does honey come from a rock? But - oh to be satisfied with anything that the Lord offers me - a relationship with himself, friends that I mentioned above - the good things he gives like (but only more so) a father gives gifts to his children.
84.11,12 - From this verse rationally I think I can deduce two things: either I'm not upright (God convict me of the areas of sin in my life) or that the things I desire are not good things (not in and of themselves, but good for me). I wish I could see the end of my life and have that "here's your life" video play and see the outcome. But, Trust - oh there's that lovely word again.
Reminds me of a hymn:
Trust and Obey - The Cyber Hymnal scrolls a verse across - and it happened to be the very one I was just reading. The tears just started coming. I don't like to trust - I like to be dependent - but God only wants me to trust in HIm - not in anything I can do. Then I sang through the verses, but the first time through accidently skipped this one...but came back and sang it and that led me to other hymns (oh, how I love the words)...
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Am I satisfied with only the love of my Jesus? The one who bled sweat drops of blood. The one who forsake all of Heaven to come and die for me by His Father's plan and grace for me? Why do I need all other things in life - I should need only Christ.

I started learning this verse when I read it in Piper's prayers (IOUS) that he prays every morning. This is also sorta what MG said her soon-to-be-husband was talking about last week in choir practice. Until we do this, we aren't really living:

Ps 86, 11-12
Teach me your way, O Lord,that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,and I will glorify your name forever.

To finish off the reading tonight - are the verses I used for one of my mission trips this past year, and also one of the other verses that Piper prays (the S in IOUS):

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How much more Christ?

Boy - I feel like again I have to explain my title... (at least I'm getting creative)...
Today was a rough morning at work - I didn't go to lunch till 1, so of coure I was hungry. People were giving me tons of things to do (and my normal tasks). I'm always informed that I'm the low-end of the totum pole - so that never helps moral either. But, at lunch I started my reading with Phil 2 - this is what jumped out at me. If I think I deserve so much better than how I'm being treated..."how much more Christ?"
2.3 - "regard one another as more important than yourself" Christ had so much more reason to think he was The MAN (mainly b/c he IS)
2.7-8 - "even death on a cross" - I think i die when people give me tons of work to do???
2.14 - He didn't grumble or complain while on the cross - how dare I complain at my "suffering?"
2.15 - If I were to have a pleasant, quiet spirit about me when my co-workers ask me to do something, how much more would that show them Christ?

Then, I read John Posey's blog, and listened to a song this morning - it was all beautifully put together...
Now's the time
Let the redeemed celebrate
If you know what I know You can't wipe the smile off your face
Oh people, stand up and praise
There's a reason to dance There's a reason to sing
Of the sacred romance With our Savior and King
We lift up our hands We fall on our knees
To the Son of Man The reason we are free

All glory to The King of Kings, Lord of Lords
Oh the value of Your worth No worldly treasures can afford
And we praise You forevermore
So we take up our cross, there's a reason to die Because Jesus is alive

This is by Mercy Me, but definitely check out the Posey Report and it will all make more sense.

God has been teaching me a lot about desiring Him and dying to self. So, in honor of that, I'll stick with Ps 73.25-28 - one of those kick butt sections of Scripture b/c I know I'll never be able to accomplish it. The last verse especially...what is my good, what is my drive, what is the reason I live, "the nearness of God is my good". That should be all I want in life. But, how can I live without doing what I'm called to do? Do you settle for not being able to serve God in the way that you know He has called you? I know I don't gain standing with Christ any more b/c of what I do, but b/c of that knowledge - do you just not do it? Where is the balance, that line I was talking about a few weeks ago?

And, last thing for tonight. I've picked up a few books lately...
Spiritual Secrets of Hudson Taylor - finally... I'm learning that no matter how tough it god, God saw him through and his faith remained solid.
And the Shofar Blew - Great work of fiction - about what true worship is and how we get so off course sometimes (even when things are going well). We forget to keep the Main Thing the main thing.
The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis - the second in the Narnia series - never read it, enjoying it so far!

That's thoughts continue inside my head...

Monday, June 26, 2006


My girls have gotten me interested in reading Francine Rivers again, so I picked And the Shofar Blew for the second time. Good introductory chapter on the very thing we were talking about tonight in our study: prayer. Even though we pray everyday about something, remember when the answer comes to pray about it still - to not get ahead of God. It is never good to be ahead of God or off doing something where He isn't.
The title of the blog came today from Ps 62.5-8
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah"
God Alone: hope, rock, salvation, fortress, stay, (not relationships, strivings - see yesterday, ministry, or popularity). I started singing the You Are God Alone song by PC&D.
63.1 - Earnestly's definition = characterized by or proceeding from an intense or serious state of mind, to look for diligently. That is what I want my QT and relationship with God to look like. When reading SCripture, I get so side-tracked. We talked about that tonight with the girls about prayer.
63.5 - This psalm was written while David was in the wilderness. He was probably longing to sit at the King's table and eat all of the richness of foods that were allotted to him. But, instead, he was satisfied with God's presence. Do I rely on human things more than I rely on the very presence of God.
65.9 - Shortly after I read this at lunch - it started pouring in Durham. And this verse was brought to cover the earth with the rain - oh God rain in abundance. Would you just rain every day then!
67.1 - I sent this as encouragment to ministry leaders I know. May we never wish the growth of our ministries for our names' sake - but would the renown of His glory be known everywhere - and may be have the grace to be a part of it.
68.19 - Whatever daily burden we have - he has born it all. I was just reminded of a hymn we sing:
I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,That thou might ransomed be, and raised up from the deadI gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?
My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throneI left for earthly night, for wanderings sad and lone;I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?I left, I left it all for thee, hast thou left aught for Me?
I suffered much for thee, more than thy tongue can tell,Of bitterest agony, to rescue thee from hell.I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?
And I have brought to thee, down from My home above,Salvation full and free, My pardon and My love;I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, what hast thou brought to Me?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cease striving...

A fun weekend in DC was capped off this morning by just some quiet time before heading home this afternoon. After I let Buddy out and gave him some food, got a little more sleep, it was good just reading the Psalms some more. Friday night I was able to also read the Psalms and continue in the Hudson Taylor book. I also started reading a book Felicity had entitled Love Letters from Cell 92 - the love story between Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his wife of less than 5 years.
But, onto the Psalms. Even in the past week I've learned a couple of things...wait and trust (even though I don't like those words, that is what God commands). Also, that I am a very selfish person and I wish God's grace would allow me to die to self everyday and have Christ be the only one alive in my life. The battle between flesh and spirit is so prevalent in my life...will it ever cease.
In Ps 41 - There is a contrast between the life of the one with integrity - and the wicked. The eternal dwelling for the righteous is in God's presence.
Ps 42 - very familiar psalm for most readers of Scripture. Pants...thirsts...Humans are supposed to drink lots of water everyday. I've heard you are supposed to drink half your body weight in oz. Don't know if that is true or not, but I can tell when I haven't drank enough water - my throat is dry (even when I swallow). So, how dry is my Spirit. What would it look like to "drink 1/2 your body weight" in the word of God and in His fellowship?
42.11 - Two repeated questions...self. That is why. Why do I often get downcast - because I'm considering the things I'm missing in life - not what God has blessed me with (salvation, Himself, family, friends, support, health, etc).
43.4 - God my "exceeding joy". This would go back to Ps 42
44.26 - Why are we redeemed? Why aren't the saved going to hell and why are the unregenerate going to hell...God's lovingkindness, His justness, His holiness, our sinfulness.
45.1 - What is my "good theme". Is it God? Or do I love to talk about football, tv, reading, sports, cooking, etc. What would happen if my good theme that came out of my mouth was God and his grace?
45.11-13 - God is my king and he will desire me. He has provided the righteousness - may He make me all glorious within. That means there is no room for self.
46.10 - I hadn't read this version in a while, and it is a little harder to do. "Cease striving". I love being still and quiet. I don't like to cease striving. I'm also working hard at what's next - how can I be better - how can I impress - where's the next best thing in life...Why don't I cease striving to make myself better and know that God is God - including God over all those things I just mentioned.
47.4 - That goes right along with this verse. He chooses...not me. Praise God I don't choose or I would be married by now, I'd be in a different place, I'd have studied something else, I would have never gone places that I should have. I'm so glad God has a better (no BEST) plan for me and that is his choosing - before the foundations of the world (Eph 2.10)
57.2 - "I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me."

Cease striving, rest, wait, trust - enjoy all the accomplished things of God.

My first non-rainy weekend in DC

Well, this is a tribute to our weekend in DC! For once, it didn't rain at all - till we were sitting with our friend Matt at Olive Garden in Fairfax. It was gorgeous - not too hot, cold, crowded...
This was taken right of the grounds of the Washington Momument - this guy couldn't figure out how to press the button on my camera - so we had been waiting there a while with a fake smile on our faces!
Ducks were definitely all around us walking down the mall by the reflection pond. So, I took a picture of one with some of her little ducklings! We saw one of the "papa" birds ruffling his feathers to another one. Gotta be "top dog" doesn't he!
The next picture is one of the new WWII momument right before you get to the reflection pond on the WM side of things. It was pretty cool - they had a team of pale-yellow-shirt-wearers singing while we walked by. All the states had their own mini-momument. I got a picture next to FL - the good state!
The next is as close as I'll ever get to White House (probably - you never know when Laura will call and invite me to a state dinner). We thought how boring those guys must get as they sit in their cars at either end of E street. What a life!
Then we went to Georgetown and shopped and walked and ate at Furin's again (the little cafe me, Dana, Rach, and Vic went to in April).
We then headed back out and went to Fairfax to meet up with Matt. We went to Wegmans - THE GROCERY STORE. I still love Publix, but this place (from NE) is amazing. Like a southern season, Publix, Whole Foods, bakery, pizza shop, chinese buffet place - all wrapped in one building. Its great! Right next to Matt's apt - he's got the life! He loves the place. Then we drove to OG, but on the way we passed a fire. So, what do we do...did what everyone else did. Stop - I mean in the middle of a major road on an overpass looking over I-66W, stop our car, shut it off, get out of it, and stand there and gawk. I mean - talk about rubberneckers. Amazing no wreck happened with the onlookers. An ice cream delivery truck had caught on fire and was blazing away. They had the interstate shut down, but then we left and went to dinner as it started to rain. We we came out about 2 hours later - they had completely shut down I-66W. We think it was still from the flambe'ed (sp?) ice cream truck, but not sure. Anyway...
Then we went to IKEA and got back to Richmond a little after 11. I was tired, sore from walking all day (about 5 hours total of pure walking). But, we had a total blast!
We both slept in this morning (after I woke up at 6 to let the dog out) and ate oatmeal and fruit for lunch and left. It rained on the way home, but we chalked it up to a great weekend - very relaxful! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 23, 2006

Kutless - Strong Tower

I am not much of a rock fan, but I wouldn't consider this your typical rock song. But, it goes right along with the previous post about God being our refuge...

Kutless - Strong Tower

When I wander through the desert
And I'm longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray
When I'm stranded in the valley
And I'm tired and all aloneIt seems like I've lost my way
I go running to Your mountain
Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty, Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder's all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

Wait - such an ugly word

That is one Christian 4-letter word. Don't be all spiritual and say "Oh, I just love to wait" cause I would question your integrity and honesty. Even though the old saying goes, "good things come to those who wait", I still don't like waiting. "A watched pot never boils." Ok, really - the pot boils just as fast (just have a clear lid so you can watch it with the lid on it - that's my cooking tip for today).
Some questions were answered by a conversation I had last night. It was unexpected, but good. But, I woke up late this morning (discipline - I know) and spent my lunch hour reading the Proverbs and the Psalms for today.
The proverbs (22,23) were exceptional today - speaking loud and clear.
What are some qualities I want in my life: favor, a good name (v 1), humility and fear of the Lord (v4), purity of heart and gracious speech (seasoned with salt) (v11)
Riches are very deceitful - the wise one outlines this in the beginning of 23.
Education is very important to me...and here I find two verses that speak to that...
Prv 23.12, 17
Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
Ps 34.11 went right along with that continued theme.
Come, O Children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord."

And this whole idea of refuge that David speaks of so often. It goes right along with WAIT (the bad word for the day). David was the King of Israel, so of course there were many wars and he seemed to be constantly at battle with some people. But, if he had not waited on the Lord to say "go, get out of this cave, or bush, or covering), than David would possibly have been killed or destroyed. Just as it was with Moses in Ex 33 or 34 - "Lord I don't want to go unless you give your blessing, go with us". I would rather be in the refuge of a holy God - than to be out in the open with sinners by myself. I may have everything I want - but I wouldn't have God's blessing - and I wouldn't be in the will of God.

Those are my random thoughts for today. More on that personal reading tonight when I get to Richmond. Going to DC tomorrow for shopping in Georgetown and the Capital BBQ Festival (free lunch).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Disappointment with God?

Ever had one of those days...I woke up.
No, it really wasn't a bad day - just a contemplative one. Woke up later than 6 this morning and that will always make for a more rough day. I didn't get in everything this morning that had to be done.
Since I'm keeping with the "ever had" motif - ever had a time when you just smirk at Scripture. I had one of those nights last night and again this morning - a time when I doubt (not the truth of God's Word because I know and fully believe that is TRUTH) but doubt that it applies to me in the way that the word means it to apply to me. Disappointment with God is a very hard thing to deal with - because it is a constant fight between flesh and spirit. That is a mighty war.
But, in my reading today...(Ps 21-30, Prov 22)
Ps 21.2-3 is one of those verses I snicker at - wondering (especially with some of the questions I have right now) how in the world this can apply to me.
"You have given him his heart's desire, and you have not withheld the request of his lips. For you meet him with the blessings of good things, you set a crown of fine gold on his head."
Ps 22.2-3 are more up my alley right now.
"O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night but I have no rest. Yet you are holy." - This is what I always come back to. Nothing makes since, I don't have some things that I wish I had - but He is Holy! Sovereign! King! Creator! Healer! Enough! Sufficient!
Ps 23.1 - I wish was true in how i look at things in my life - all the time, not just when I have things i want and everything is going well.
"The LORD (the Holy One of Israel, the Creator of the universe) is MY Shepherd (He takes time to lead me), I SHALL NOT WANT. That is strong language. It isn't suggestive - "you know Kim, you may not ever want anything again, or you know you don't for anything do ya?" - Its not a question - it is a declarative statement.
Ps 27.4 - One of those verses i love to sing and say, but see it so difficult to live out in my daily life.
"One thing that I asked of the Lord, and this will I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." (that is a mix of versions).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

i shall be satisfied with your likeness...

Ps. 17.15 - that is where the title of the blog comes from today. I have read it a couple of times today.
As David said on Sunday - God's will for our lives is our sanctification (the likeness of God) - so we may be more like Christ.
Just as Sacred Marriage says about marriage: not to make you happy, but to make you holy - the same goes for God. He has not come to make us happy - but to make us holy - sanctified - conformed to His Son's sufferings. Will joy come from that, will pleasures comes from that - by all means - Ps 16.11 - "at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Anyway, I have also been reading that we need to be EXPECTANT when we come to the Word. God gave us the Word for a reason - expect something from it. Veronica and I would always laugh when we would come into Bible study this past semester and say, "wow, that was a really good book" talking about one of the minor prophets. Why wouldn't it be good - God wrote it. Its not only good - its perfect!
So, this morning I read Ps 11-20, but then by lunch two things had been brought to my attention. I came expectant to the Word (those same psalms) in light of these two things - knowing God had Words for those situations.
One was for friends of mine who are having complications with their pregnancy. God gave so much encouragement - and I not only kept it to myself - but I prayed and then emailed them the verses that I prayed for them. How much better to pray the very Words of God back to Him.
The second was trusting in God. My friend and I had been emailing back and forth about that and disappointment as I was sharing with her some things that had happened this week. My trust in God seems to go right out the window sometimes when I don't get what I want when I want it.
God opened His Word to me: Prov 21.1, 2, 8; Ps 13.5-6; Ps 16.5-7, 11; Ps 17.6-7, Ps 19.8. All of these verse hit me in regards to trust and what God has said He will do. These are His promises that He has bestowed upon me because I am His child. They are mine to hold.
So, as I sit here, just having listened to two sermons on sex (God's way), and currently am listening to Brooklyn Tab on iTunes - (actually Jason Crabb when the Crabb Family was visiting Brooklyn Tab). He visits with us - one of those ways is through His Word. That is where I'll be for a few more minutes.
Come expectant to the Word!

Valley of Vision

Next CD in my collection...come mid-August

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where is the line?

As I've been reading and meditating on the first 10 Psalms today - something one of my girls brought up last night keeps coming back to my mind. "I don't know where the line is?" What she was meaning...
Legalism - discipline
Alcohol - no alcohol
yearning for the Bible - watching some tv
Chilling and not doing anything - being constantly busy with the work of the gospel
Content - Asking of the Father
Humble - Proud of what God has done in your life

It all comes down to GRACE - JESUS

Ps. 1
What would it look like if I delighted in the Word of God (like my mentor) and meditated on it all day long (day and night) - (my mentor has verses posted on index cards all around her house). How radically different would my life be? What would that possibly even look like?
Ps 4
How convicting here the word of God: "O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?" What is worthless is my life? How do I reproach God's honor?
Ps 5 (Repeats what the main answer is above)
"But as for me, by your abundant lovingkindness I will enter your house." It isn't based on how much we study the Bible, or how often we pray, fast, or evangelize. Our standing in front of God is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross - and that is it. If it were anything else - we'd all be going to hell - because of SIN.
Ps 9
"I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and exult in you, I will sing praise to our name, O Most High." Here is my question of balance today. It says here that I will praise HIM with my whole heart. Praise him for what He has done. So, why do I come before Him wanting more and more things or stuff or things I think I should have when I should be praising HIm. He has given me everything I need for contentment, sanctification, and godliness.

I also read Ps 8 today and thought of how much I love creation and the skies and thunderstorms. But, oh, how He loves us so much more than all the many stars in the sky. In NYC it is hard to see the stars b/c of all the lights that are in the city - but how much more does the Creator of it all look down upon the people of that City (as well as the one I live in), weap for their Sin, love them through the Cross, and hold His Sovereign hand over everything - Ps 2.8

In honor of Daisy

I had to blog these. I was going through my pictures on my computer. This picture was taken January 04. It was at my apt in Wake Forest. This is my friends' dog - Daisy. Right now Daisy is in KY because she couldn't make the treck overseas where they are serving. This is them below! Just thought they were cute pictures! Now, they have another little bundle - but not a dog - a kid! Go figure!

Posted by Picasa

Mr. Stanley and Mr. Chambers

Well, Raleigh people are happy (and long-time Hartford people probably are too). The Canes won the cup - only fitting they do it on home ice. Now, awaiting the next year the Canes are not a championship team and we will see no more Cane flags on cars, people will take off their Cane jerseys and save their hard earned money (maybe for a Panther game if they are good that year). Ah, the joy of living around fair-weathered fans. In this state - two sports reign - ACC basketball and car racing - that's about it.
Now onto something better than hockey...
I am studying (again) the disciplines of the spiritual life (using Don Whitney's book) with some of my college girls this summer. It has been a convicting and overwhelming study (as Jenn said last night). But, as I read this morning on Oswald...he clarified our helpless state and how no matter how good we get at the disciplines - it will never help our standing in view of God's grace.
"The fact that I am trying to be right with God is a sign that I am rebelling against the Atonement. "Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer; I will walk rightly if You will help me." I cannot make myself right with God, I cannot make my life perfect; I can only be right with God if I accept the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it?"

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Romans, USOpen, shopping...

Well, it was a good Sunday.
David preached a good sermon today on a familiar passage - Rom 12.1-2. He apparantly has already gone through an overview of the first 11 (theology) chapters of Romans. Then, Paul switches sides...this is what I like to say - "life must imitate theology, not theology imitate life". In another words - practice what you preach.
God's will is perfect - no matter how much you don't like it or would rather it be different.
Another passage he brought up was another "therefore". The end of Romans 7 goes so nicely into Romans 8.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [3] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you [4] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [5] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
What a great truth - think about it.
Now, onto shopping and eating - that filled my afternoon. I hung out with Rachael... That is her at the top in Linville Falls in November for her birthday. We went to the mall, the Champps because I wanted to watch the golf - but apparently the Cup was more important (like anyone in Raleigh cares about the Cup). I digress...then we continued our shopping. Then I had to go work a couple of hours - learn some things... (let's see how much I retain).
Then I rushed home to catch Phil's disappointing 18th hole at Winged Foot. Oh, he was in the lead when I left Duke - but then that ball just wouldn't do what it was supposed to. So, a guy from down under won it - Phil should have taken it - but it was his to lose. Now, onto the next major.
Anyway, from Romans to Phil...a good Sunday.

Dad Part 2

ALright - so I haven't mastered the whole picture thing. This is Rick. He's a friend from seminary. What I love most about how him and Stacy parent is the way they discipline their two kids. (and Pete?). Thanks for being an example Rick!
And last but most certainly not least (actually, running in second) - is Billy. His kids may be grown - but they could run a marriage and family/parenting conference and I would tell all my friends to go to it. He has taken me in as one of his own. Thanks for letting me be a part of your family.

Well, All the dads here - this is for you. Thanks for being a part of my life. As I await the day (and maybe never) that I get to be married - I hope he can sit down with all of you and learn some of what it means to be a Dad and a husband. Thanks for setting the bar really really high! Posted by Picasa

For the Dads

This is my Dad. He is a professional genealogist and is very good at it. He loves theology, college sports (b/c he doesn't like to watch people work in the pros), old-fashioned hymns, bluegrass, and listening to sermons on his iPod. This picture was taken the weekend before my seminary graduation when we took a trip up to DC and this was outside Mt. Vernon - George Washington's home. It was really pretty. I've learned the most about grace and provision from him.

This is Frank (and his beautiful wife Kasey and daughter Katelyn). This was taken when I had them over before Christmas. I don't get to see them that often. He loves taking pictures. If you live in this area and need pictures - you need him to take yours. They are wonderful! Get in touch with me and I'll get you in touch with him. He is a youth pastor over in Apex and loves the Bible.
This is David. He's the pastor of a church in Raleigh (where I'm going later today). He has three kids - Grace, Jake, and Maddie. LAst week as I was eating lunch with them at Bennigans - I learned that he loves monte christo sandwiches and playing golf with Jake. And they like Phil Mickelson - go the USOpen. He lets me come talk to him about once a year to figure out what is going on in my life, taught me a lot about missions and evangelism when he was one of my pastors at my old church, and really believes in me. I like it when people believe in what God has done in my life and is doing in my life.

One of the newer Dads - Brad. This is with Shep. I love how much he really cares for his son. Watching him hold him is so cool because you can see how much he loves him. Thanks Brad!

For the ones I don't have pictures of on my computer...

JD - my pastor (go here for cool pictures of his girls). One of the best things he loves doing in his life is being a Dad. He loves those girls and could talk a long time about them!
Bobby - (go here). One of the things I love most about the way Bobby is a Dad is he keeps his family as a priority. Most pastors I know put family low compared to other things, but the one thing I always remember about Bobby is how he always takes his day off, will take the girls to school, loves going on family vacations. You need to teach others how to do it!
Danny - the connections wonder. They are crammed busy as a family - but he loves those boys! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fave portion of Scripture (one of at least)

There are several portions of Scripture that I go back to time and time again because they kick my butt and are total truth (like all of Scripture). Most of them are in Paul's letters or in the songs by the psalmists. I read one today as I was sitting waiting for my surgeon to perform the post-op review (it was great by the way).

Phil 3 - one of my favorites!

1. Paul tells them over and over again to rejoice - not in circumstances (Paul was in jail at time of writing) = but in the Lord. He never gets sick of telling the church that truth.
2,3. He warns us to be ready because there are going to be people who tell us things that are contrary to the truth. Only the WORD is solely truth - that is the only thing that can never be false!
3-6. Paul cites his contributions to the who's who list of Jews. That is what I have felt like the past couple of weeks - trying to quite these of myself to make myself feel better for not spending time in the word and in the Spirit.
7. What a lifelong verse to pursue - all these things (those contributions he just rattled off) - are nothing to him, he counts them as loss.
8, 9. All things are counted loss compared to knowing Him. Knowing the power, resurrection, the suffering, the triumph, humility, meekness, genuineness, love, amazingness, truthfulness, incredibleness, graciousness, tell-it-like-it-isness of Jesus.
10. Be conformed to his death. Like I go around praying that everyday. But, I need to be dead for Christ to live in me. Dead to all things - selfish things, me things, things that I want, when I want, how I want, who I want. Only Christ shall live in my place.
12. But I press on.... Oh, if Paul had to say it, than I definitely have to say it. Paul - the greatest missionary of all time - going to big cities and little cities telling them of the resurrected Jesus. He didn't have it all down - I surely don't have it all down - but do I press on? do I strive everyday (not so my works will save me), but that I may do what I'm created to do and know Jesus.

Amazing portion of Scripture. That tied with Ps 24, 27, and 1 was my reading today. More than just reading it - I want to live those Scriptures. Not just one day or one hour - but everyday, all the time, and when I fail - Seek his face and his power and press on!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Prayers needed - Thoughts on Job

Please pray the top portion of this for me - I would cherish it...

No, not thoughts on my job - but thoughts on the Job - yes, the guy in the Bible who lost everything and still praised God.
The last two months of my life have been lived in a drought. There isn't even a struggle to do a QT - there just isn't one. Ministry ended for the semester - so I'm not "doing" anything and that means what? Nothing else fulfills me either - I may do lots of other things: cook, watch tv, exercise...but those aren't fulfilling me. But, honestly, I said the other day to myself...I wasn't getting anything out of reading the Bible so why do that, but nothing else in life is going to fulfill satisfaction.
I think this hit home the other day when a missionary friend of mine asked me what I was looking forward to...what was the next big thing on the plate...and I told her honestly...nothing. When everyday seriously I would love to wake up and have an incredible passion just to be in the Word and be with JEsus. Not do anything for Him everyday necessarily - but just be with Him. Find my worth in Him and Him alone. Not finding my worth in my ministry, in what I do, in who I know, but in HIM. I also know that my actions - good or bad - do not define my standing before a Holy God. Only Jesus does that - and He has done that - the Cross is finished and the tomb is empty - what am I doing with it though? Not to earn my salvation - but to be pleasing to the one who has saved me - to be a sharer in His Sufferings.
Anyway, so as I was reflecting on the Matt Redman song today "Blessed Be Your Name" I knew I needed to come home and read this book. I haven't lost much (except my fervor for my Jesus and my gallbladder), but I want to know how to get it back - press on with praise...I don't want it to be just something I say - I want it to be real again. My Mentor once told me when you don't feel like doing your QTs - do them anyway - God will reward. Sorry - I haven't even listened to that advice.
I want to renounce the sin of filling time with other things besides Jesus. I want to be able to look my friend in the face and say, yeah - look what I read in the Word today.
Anyway, the light in the living room is going on now, I'm eating an apple, sitting with my Bible opened to Job. Thanks for letting me journal my way through it...

1.1 - This is how probably I would be defined by people - but oh, God you wouldn't say this of me right now. I have not been turning away from the evil of denying you in my time of my day and putting you first - FIRST. "Turning" seems to be a constant action - that is not me. I can't do it one time - I need to do it every time.
1.20-22 - He came in reaction to the bad things that had just taken place in His life. He came humbly because He knew he had no ground on which to stand. He still knew and clung to the Sovereignity of God. He knows that God is still God. God is still a God who restores sinners (me) to right standing with Him for us to grow in knowledge and grace and to do the good works that He before ordained that we should WALK (constant) in Him.
2.10 - I know that sin helps us learn stuff about God (restoration, grace) and Job also learned from God during his adversity. I don't want to be like the foolish woman (Job's wife), but a woman who fears and follows God.
3.26 - "I am not at ease, I am not quiet, and I am not at rest, but turmoil comes." Restoration - turn my mourning into dancing. I want the laughter back, true JOY that doesn't come in life's dealings - but comes from a deep and pure relationship with the only ONE who matters.
5.8-9 - "But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before god, who does great and unsearchable things wonders without number." i love this verse - even though we may use it out of context. I am waiting for God to do rich and great things in me - to give me a love and passion for him again
5.17-18 - "Behold how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He inflicts pain, and gives relief, He wounds and his hands also heal."
8.15 - "He trusts in his house, but it does not stand." What is my house? Works? Teaching? People I know? My brain? What is it? All of it is nothing except Jesus - I wish that were true for me right now, Phil 3 - but it isn't. God - make it that. Make everything else TRASH to me except for knowing you!!! I remember singing and learning that song my first semester of seminary - I loved it - I pursued the words of that song - the truth of it - where am I know - 6 year later - is it true right now - Oh, God make it that again. "Light the Fire in my heart again" - an old YL song.

I end Job in chapter 11 tonight - more tomorrow - but I'm off to read Phil 3 and Ps 1 and Ps 27. Pray those for me if you are reading this - pray the reality of those Words to be forever burned on my heart and therefore the scar is on the outside.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

First Ever SBC

Just an update from my first ever SBC (that's Southern Baptist Convention). It is like an oversized church business meeting (we all have those). Frank Page - from SC, got president with just over 50% of the vote. Jimmy Jackson, from AL, and trustee for SWBTS, got first VP, (very close 51 or 47 vote over Mark Dever), and Wiley Drake, dude from CA, got 2nd VP. We were all posed ready to take pix of JD as he was sitting in front of me listening to the results (that came at like 930p), but he lost to the 4th guy, but came in second. I don't think he will lose any sleep over it.
Big thing for the next year is the IMB/speaking in tongues, alcohol drinking, dogging trustees (who aren't perfect) thing. Pray for our trustees of the IMB and some future implications this discussion and ultimately decision may have on future missions.
It was good to hear from Aaron Coe - who is pastoring The Gallery in the SOHO area of NY. He works with New hope new york and we at the Summit partner with them in prayer and sending teams. It was good to see, twice in 3 days, such passion for The City.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What God is up to in other places than Durham...

God is working everywhere. We sometimes think we have the market on God's work...but just to tell you...
EASIA - There is a team of college students and adults from the Summit that are over at three college universities building relationships to tell people about Eternal Life and a personal relationship with their Creator!
VT - There is a family out of SEBTS who went up there to plant a church. They played a dvd this morning with an OC Supertones song on it - it showed kids and adults having fun skiing, playing ping pong, learning about Jesus - relationships leading to the Best Relationship of all.
NY - White Plains NY to be exact. There are a couple of folks leading a church movement up there. White Plains is about 25 miles north of the city - Fortune 500, Trump Towers, an airport, a little bit of country. But, the most important thing is the people are learning about Jesus - whether it is through basketball playing or Bible studies. Pray for them and check in with them - see what God is doing up there. As the pastor said today - if we can reach NYC - then we can reach the world (or something like that).
Raleigh - RCCC is a church in Raleigh where a friend of mine is the pastor. They have had exciting growth in his time as pastor (much like what God has done at the Summit). They are diverse in their age group - the youth ministry is exciting. They are going to Birmingham AL next week to do missions. Imagine the international missionaries God is going to call from out of that group of 80 who are going. They have a team going to the two places listed above this summer to help those churches out spread the word about Jesus. They preach the word, they meet the needs of the people who are coming, the women's ministry is very active, the singles' ministry is coming and charging ahead. I know most of the staff either personally, from an old church, or from seminary days. God is doing a great work over there.

So, its nice to take a day off from the Summit every now and then to see what God is doing in other places - not just in Durham.

Digression into storms!

Well, here in NC we may not get thunderstorms everyday that you can set your watch by as we do in central FL - but we got a great one this morning. Starting around 5a - thunder, lightning, pouring down rain, the wind blowing...all the good makings of good sleep weather - but alas, I tossed and turned and never really got back to sleep. this pain medicine is taking its effect on me - sometimes sleeping a long time and sometimes not being able to sleep at all. For the most part it keeps me out of pain - but there are some stings sometime that I am ready for them to go away!
Anyway...I digress - my parents I think are getting some of the first tropical storm this season - that came off the yucitan - so that should bring just some rain. We'll see how many come ashore this season - my brother, Dad, and I love hurricanes. Don't know about my mom and sister-in-law. My Dad videos them from the yard as they come in - my brother and I would love just to either run in them or sit on the porch and watch them come across.
Again - I ramble - have a good Sunday

Friday, June 09, 2006

Correction in voting

Correction...I do know who I would vote for for 1st vP. I just had to make sure he was in deed in the hunt...MARK DEVER - pastor of Capitol Hill BC in DC. he's a good friend of my pastor's and John PIper, Mohler's and Mahaney - 3 men I respect in preaching, theology, and writing. i don't know how JD and Mark would fare with Frank PAge - we'll see. this is not to say that JD and Mark agree on everything - b/c they don't - I don't want to speak for my pastor on his theological views...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Unity in the SBC???

Well, now that we are past my surgery - on to more exciting topics.
the SCB next week in G-boro. Should be something to talk about for a while - at least among political sbcers and bloggers.
As I drove to work this morning my Dad and I were talking about it. My Dad isn't a SBCer but I am. But, I agree wholeheartedly with him. The three candidates talk about unity - but here we are having a presidential run-off. Just like our country - what kind of unity do we have when half like Kerry and half like Bush...
President - Ronnie FLoyd - so he's not a theologian - but neither is Bobby Welch or Jack Graham.
1st - not educated enough
2nd - GO JD!!!

So we are going to argue about where our money goes with missions giving - which is definitely needed - but we should be concentrating on theology. Because what good is money if theology is all wrong. Missions and evangelism have to be tightly linked to correct and Biblical theology.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Why do we really need a gallbladder anyway?

So, it has been a while since my last post. During that time, I had my first ever hospital stay. Can I tell you that morphine is good stuff! :)
Last weekend I went to the ER at Duke at 3 am Sunday morning with Rachael in major pain. Was in the ER till about 11 and got transferred to my own private room. Only problem was my room was right by the nurses station - so when I was awake - it was loud!
Anyway...Rachael stayed all day missing a picnic at church that she was looking forward too. I had some of my pastor's drop by - they were all sunburned from our family day we had outside that I missed out on (stupid gallbladder). Then some of my girls stopped by. The next morning was my surgery - I had Vic come help me get ready for surgery (at 6 am) and then my deacon and friend, Bob, dropped by to pray for me before the surgery. The last thing I remembered was getting my arms inside these styrofoam things - then nothing till 12.45 when I woke up in recovery.
I had my very own private nurse, my women's ministries director Pat, she stayed all day on Monday. I had many people call and come by on Monday and Tuesday. Left on Wednesday = finally.
Parents came up and then I had to cook for a shower and Claudia helped me with that on Saturday.
I know I shouldn't drive within 3 hours of taking my pain meds because I wouldn't get very far.
But, I do know I am loved from my family and church family and friends. God is good - no complications and I'm still kicking (without the lactose intolerance - praise God!).

Thanks for the prayers!