Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WORLD magazine on politics, religion, gay marriage, and culture

I was able to flip through a World magazine today and several articles caught my attention, and I thought I would elaborate on them here.

"Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold" - Joel Belz
Good article on how much we want our politicians to be religious. We don't want them to be heretics or heathens, but we don't want them preaching the Word to us all the time either.
"Mike Huckabee...that's dangerous stuff, bordering on radicalism" - on how he was a Baptist Minister
"Mitt Romney...his beliefs in Mormonism shaped him thoroughly...he's a fanatic."
Mr. Belz does say that the founding fathers mention God in the documents of our early country, but very little is made mention of the Trinitarian God and "speak only in vague generalities about God".
We want a person's political beliefs to not be linked to anything demanding like religious beliefs.
But, what does the word of God have to say about it. The title made me immediately think of Revelation where He says to the church "“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
Belz wrote: "or someone whose religion is just an accessory to his life, about as important as the brand of suit he wears, but then he's a mere nominalist."
I don't want a mere nominalist as a politician, as a pastor, and I surely don't want to be a mere nominalist.

On Gay Marriage:
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders went with his heart on his action of vetoing a law outlawing same-sex marriage. His daughter is a lesbian. But, as soon as I read the statement about "I decided to lead with my heart" I thought of Jeremiah 17.9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick, who can understand it?" I guess Sanders didn't think about all the laws in God's Word where it says that homosexuality is a sin and God didn't create sex or marriage for that - He created both for His glory in the relationship of a covenantal marriage between a man and a woman for life.

On "Braveheart" - Jenny Kraemer
The first time I saw the trailer for Jodie Foster's movie The Brave One, I thought of a recent sermon by my pastor, James Hilton, on love and how we always seek vengeance - and not love (out of the sermon on the mount). But, as I read the article I was convicted about something else. Aren't most movies the same as this one? Take Batman (I love this series) - it is all about his vengeance of his parents' death. But, we cheer for Batman, we cheer at the end of all these movies. We don't think of it as sin do we? James Mac just preached a couple of sermons on this topic as well. We don't think about our lives being gripped by fear, "grappling with the pragmatics of justice and mercy". The only answer "Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him." (Isaiah 30.18).

I hope these thoughts spur you on to read magazines and culture and the light of the Word. May you think about the WORD as you read and engage culture. Don't be afraid of culture - but view everything through the lens of the WORD - have a Biblical Worldview.

Convergent...or Converging...that is NOT the question

This past weekend, Southeastern Seminary hosted a conference about a popular topic (or an unpopular topic) - the Emerging Church. It was called the Convergent Conference.

Some key people in this discussion were present on the campus of the old Wake Forest College (now the Demon Deacons of Winston-Salem) to lead this dialogue: Dr. J. D. Greear, Dr. Alvin Reid, Ed Stetzer, Mark Driscoll, Dr. Danny Akin. If you weren't able to make it to the conference (like me), you do have the opportunity to listen to it thanks to the media services at Southeastern. If you have any interest in this area of church/missiology/theology/culture - then you should definitely spend some time in the next few days to listen to these messages. I've listened to Driscoll's now twice and am sure I could still glean more from it.

JD did a great job on Acts 16 - noting how Paul reached different types of people and broke the customs of his day - but didn't water down the gospel at all.
Stetzer, who works for Lifeway in Nashville, spoke on the church and who we are. He asked why the church is in decline in North America? It is mainly because we have forgot the Jesus message that should define us and we have become ineffective: we have lost our passion and we must truly not want to see the world change. If we had those two things - we would be doing church differently in most of our churches. Two other things he said that were important enough for me to write down: "you can't love Jesus and hate his wife" - (my friend wrote a blog post on that, go check it out as well), "we fall in love with the forms" - He was talking about how we fall in love with the form of church (worship, carpet, evangelism programs, etc) but then we fall out of love with Jesus. The forms aren't the things that are going to save of us from hell and give us abundant life. No programs ever saved people. They were instruments - not the Savior. Jesus is that!
I want to talk mainly about what Mark Driscoll said. He has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation within conservative circles, some were even surprised by Southeastern bringing him to the campus. But, his theology is right on - no one could fault him on his theology. So maybe he practices it a little differently than we do...
Anyway...Dr. Akin asked him to categorize the Emerging Movement for the audience. This was very helpful. Everyone linked to this movement is not necessarily in the same boat.
He set up three categories if you will: relevance (the "cool church"), new reformed (nicer version of the old reformed), and revisionist (these are the ones that we need to be concerned about).
He would put the following people in the Relevance camp: Dan Kimball, Donald Miller (of Blue Like Jazz fame), and Erwin McManus (he is also speaking at the Catalyst Conference coming up soon). These (as far as he is concerned) do not have anything wrong with their theology, they aren't heretics.
The Revisionist Camp would be people like Doug Pagitt, Rob Bell, and Brian McLaren: These are ones who have left the Scriptural faith and have opted for their own theology. They use books in their writings from people from the Jesus Seminar and ones who believe in Open Theology (that God is bipolar and still evolving). Driscoll said that he heard McClaren say that he didn't want to take a side on homosexuality because he didn't want to hurt either side. Sin is sin - as Driscoll pointed out that any sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage is sin. I loved what he said about taking stances on God's Word: "When God speaks, we aren't to converse, we are to obey."
The New Reformed people would be folks like Joshua Harris, CJ Mahaney, John Piper, Matt Chandler, JD, Mark Driscoll, young pastors who preach longer expository sermons and want to preach the Word, call people out of sin, to trust in Jesus, and to change the world with the love of Jesus.
If I had to be in a "camp", I would definitely choose this last one. And I'm not just saying that. I am not just saying that because some would call it the right camp, because frankly I know a lot of people who fall into the other ones. I honestly haven't read Blue Like Jazz or Velvet Elvis (although this is the book I'm working through when I go to B&N for the evening) or Generous Orthodoxy.
But, you know, as I've been in seminary and out of seminary...I've learned church and the Christian life is not about being in a camp, although some people might want it that way.
I figure this:
God is holy
Jesus is both God and man
Man is sinful and is going to a final hell without Jesus
Jesus died on the cross as my only way of salvation
The Spirit regenerated me
Salvation is by grace alone and faith alone
The church has a command to reach the world with the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus
The Bible is the true utterance of God - he spoke it through the Spirit to the writers.
The Word is sufficient.
We need to be going out in the "real" world and reaching the lost of our cities: something that JD and Mark and Dr. Reid are doing on a normal basis. Driscoll may go to places I won't - but why won't I go? Dr. Reid wants young people and students in his churches that have earrings and long hair - what is wrong with that - why don't some of our churches want them in their's? JD spends his time and his staff's time in the "slums" of Durham reaching them, ministering to them, LOVING them with the love of Jesus and the cross. That is what all of us should be doing. Why aren't we?
Dr. Patterson preached on 2 Tim 4 - this is the truth the churches should be doing. We have to change our methods - but we CANNOT change our message:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New CBMW Site and Blog

Since about 2000, I have been greatly influenced by the ministry of CBMW: Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Their ministry in teaching, producing, and highlighting the Biblical foundations for gender roles has influenced my teaching and understanding of Scripture on this subject. This gender role topic plays into every area of life: dating, marriage, family, church, ministry, politics, etc. This is not a topic that can be ignored. While I was in NC I saw it taught and lived well both in the classroom and in the home.
CBMW has a new site - just came out less than a week ago. Included on that site is a blog dealing with all things related to gender roles. I would definitely recommend saving the link to your favorites folder, read it daily, listen to the messages they have linked on the site.
Also, the JBMW is the Journal - all students need to get it and read it (it is cheap, don't worry, you can afford it). It has been a help to me in my seminary career, but more importantly, it has helped as I've had discussions with pastors about this topic, girls on what ministry they can and can't do, how marriages should work - especially when arguments take place, or when girls are dating and want to know about submission.
Check it out - it will be a help to you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Simple Hospitality

At a friend's home this weekend (where hospitality is done so well), I picked up a book called Simple Hospitality by Jane Jarrell. I love reading about this discipline, even though in a dorm it is very hard to practice it (in the home that is). But I can still practice hospitality outside the home and gear up for it when I move to an apt in early December. I'm so ready!
Mrs. Jarrell made this book very readable and applicable. She had strategically placed tips at the end of each chapter that would serve as reminders of what the chapter was about and give you some quick tips.
I loved her explaining hospitality and what home is - a place of comfort, relaxation, but also one of healing and pleasure and friendship and safety and warmth.
For me - it was eye opening. Sometimes my hospitable acts are more attempts to show people how well I can cook and entertain. That is not the law of hospitality in Scripture. It is doing unto others and not caring about self. That is where I need the grace of God! As I continue to practice hospitality (b/c it is a command), I pray that I would get out of the way and make welcome other people.
I have great examples of this in my life - whom I hope to watch and learn from:
Misty and Cory Harp
Lindsay and Brad Weldy
Phyllis and Billy Robshaw
Rachael Woodworth
Elizabeth and Jeremy Beeler
Lisa and Matt Moseley
Clarissa and Bob Bacon

They need to all get together and write a book - it would be a best seller! :)
Thanks for all you do for the command of hospitality - letting God's love and light shine through you.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

a day in the life of a college football fan

Wow - what a day in college football. If you have tivo'd any of your games and don't want to find out how they end - watch them, then come back! :)

Gators - with so many STINKIN' penalties (I wonder what they will be working on this week) - still pulled out a W against the Rebels. How do you kill UT one week then barely win against Ole Miss the next? Haven't figured that one out yet! Urban is still a brilliant coach!

UGA - pulls out a victory. I was pulling for Richt's team because they were both SEC, so I had to pull for the East team. You gotta stick with your division - its all about loyalty. Plus, I think Mark is a better coach than Nick.

Spurrier got beat in the Bayou. They held with them a little bit, but then they just couldn't play - and that fantastic little fake punt...what a play!

App State - they beat Michigan and lose to Wofford - what is up with that? You can never tell each week in college football what will happen?

UNC looked pathetic today against the very impressive first time ever ranked in the top 25 USF Bulls. Don't worry - I'm not jumpin' on the latest Florida Football bandwagon - but their QB is great, and UNC's threw way too many INTs.

And now that I live in L-ville - I'm still not a L-ville fan (I'd rather cheer for the Wildcats because they are SEC), they lose again, 2 losses in a row, pretty soon, they'll be unranked again!

I guess that is about it. Tomorrow is Colts and Bucs (in their own games). Gotta love football weekends in the fall! :)

Go Gators!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Intimacy with Jesus and Powerful Hymns

Today's chapel was very good. The preaching, but I stuck mostly on the call to worship verses that were read. Kinda get a verse stuck in your head - then you go with that. All the music fit in with it as well.
The verse was right after a very familiar passage, but I don't think I've ever concentrated on these verses before:
John 10.14-15
"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father..."

If I call myself a follower of Jesus - than I am one of his sheep (as this passage calls me). Then I am supposed to know Jesus and be known by Jesus just as the Father knows the Son and vice versa. Think about that - what does that entail?

Jesus was one with the Father.
Jesus took time to spend with the Father.
Jesus talked with the Father.
Jesus listened to the Father.
Jesus knew the Father's Words (the OT).
Jesus went about the work that His Father gave Him to do.
Jesus didn't grumble and complain b.c his Father gave him something to do.
Jesus told others about the One whom He was so close to.
Jesus put his relationship with His Father above all else.
Jesus was obedient to the Father above all.

Now, what does that look like for me?
Am I one with Jesus? Do I know his heart and his passions and his wants and desires for my life? Do I talk with Jesus as often as Jesus did the Father? Do I know the Words of Scripture as completely as Jesus did? Am I always about the work of Jesus here on this earth?
Do I put my relationship with Him above all else?

Lately - I would have to say I'm intimate with my computer, Facebook, ESPN, my Sodoku book, James MacDonald sermons, JD Greear sermons, iTunes. While those aren't bad things in and of themselves - if they take the priority space - than they become a distraction - slothful as JD preached a few weeks ago.

Here are the songs we sang today: (it wasn't as good as ABC's version on the GO Cd, but still the song was good.
"Come Thou Fount" -
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

"Before the Throne of God Above" ( I love this one - Hebrews all wrapped in a song)
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

"In Christ Alone" - not as good as the Summit or Faith, but again, the song kept its meaning:
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Brought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Prince Caspian

I have been working my way (very slowly) through the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. I finally finished Prince Caspian this evening - enjoying it very much. Here are some things that stood out to me:

Sometimes the desparation in the journey is because we see our enemy and not our Champion. The travelers got so weary when looking for Prince Caspian - Lucy had seen Aslan, but the others hadn't. When we look to our Champion we have the strength to fight the enemy and withstand his evil schemes - but we face defeat when we look to our own strength.

The Journey - it is often one we don't like or we see things that we don't think should be happening - or sometimes we think we have headed down a wrong road. Sometimes we can't see the cliffs or the river to lead our way. But, we rest assured in the sovereignity of our God - knowing He is leading and in control the whole time.

I love how Lewis portrays the awesomeness of Aslan - in conveying the glory of Christ. "Even the Red Dwarfs, who knew that he came as a friend, stood with open mouths and could not speak." We often get so familiar with God as our friend and companion - that we forget Him as our High King. He is the Majestic One over all - Ruler and Creator. Yes, He is our friend - praise Him - but we mustn't forget His Alpha and Omega-ness.

"Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the kingship of Narnia?" "I don't think I do, Sir. I'm only a kid." "Good, if you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not." This continues to guide me back to the thought of poverty of spirit. We are nothing - not we become nothing. We were dead in our trespasses. Until Christ.

Now, onto the Dawn Treader.

College Football Saturday

Many things happened on Saturday in NCAA football.

1. Poor UNC - was going for the tie at home against UVA and couldn't pull out the 2-point conversion. But, give Butch Davis a full self-recruited team - UNC will be up there in the ACC.
2. DUKE finally won one - they had lost 22 in a row. So excited for them. Too bad it was an away game so many "fans" weren't there to see it.
3. Miss State beating Auburn - that hardly happens too, guess we may be getting into a new era in the SECW. Yes, I am aware that Alabama and LSU are still winning.
4. My Gators won in true Gator fashion against an arch rival early in the SEC season by beating UT. The power of the Orange and Blue won out! Tebow did great. Cam Newton is going to be a good one too. They settled down some on their penalties from the previous two weeks. They gotta work on their tackling - you just can't think you stop them, you gotta stay with it till the whistle is blown. Next week we take the Chomp Show on the road to Mississippi - we'll see what happens there. We gotta prepare hard for LSU - probably our biggest game of the regular season.
5. ND - since when have they ever been 0-3? At halftime they already chalked Michigan with the win - that was odd. Then I saw the score - no wonder. Are they just not showing up for the games?
6. Erin must be extremely happy with the way Stoops' Sooners are killing every team they play - but, Erin, you know where Bob learned all his magic! :)
7. UCF almost had an amazing upset - but to no avail. Close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes.
8. I'm sure Urban was excited that his old team beat UCLA in true "Gator" fashion - that was a nice upset for the day.
9. The Wolf Pack finally won a game under their new head coach. I'm sure Jen is excited to finally be able to yell Go Pack in her new UNCW land.
10. The AR-AL game would have been an exciting one to watch. Brad has got to be happy he recorded it and will hopefully find time to watch it - at least the 4th qtr. Most people were saying AL was going to win handedly, but AR made it a better game than most thought.
11. I think the Gators better watch out for the game in Nov against their old head coach at SC now - they won big yesterday and seem to be improving. Gator fans know the coaching styles of the fun and gun offense - I hope we don't go in too cocky for our own good?
12. Kentucky - going with the upset. I was glad - always have to pull for an SEC team, especially one that you see lose so many times when they play the Gators.
13. Poor Blue Raiders - but really, what can mean teams do against LSU - I hope we aren't held pointless against them when we go to Baton Rouge in 2 weeks.
14. The time difference didn't hurt FSU any last night...way to pull out a win late!

Today is the NFL - let's see how the Colts and Bucs do today

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church

This book by David F. Wells (Gordon-Conwell) for the most part painted an accurate picture of the church in the 21st Century. I think there are some churches scattered around that do not line-up with this portrayal, but for the most part, I think he is accurate.
Here are some of his statements:
"The importance of theology is eclipsed by the clamor for management skills, biblical preaching by entertaining story-telling, godly character by engaging personalities, and the work of the ministry by the art of sustaining a career." Ethos is a word I heard (in relation to the local church) a few weeks ago while visiting with a former pastor. That seemed to be his "word of the week". It was what the church was about - its mission - bringing the lost to Christ - exalting Jesus in the dark area of the Triangle. Now, most churches use that term in a business term and want to run their churches like businesses. I do believe God wants us to run our churches well for the sake of the gospel - but not by shortchanging the gospel message.

"91% of people say that God is very important to them but 66% go on to say that they do not believe in moral absolutes, and 67% do not believe in absolute truth." How can all those things be separate? If we say that God is important to us - shouldn't the things that God holds important be important to us: morality according to HIS standards and TRUTH? I think most of us want God to be important to us so we can gain Heaven and have "fire insurance" but lack the poverty in Spirit to say that we want to live our lives by the nudging of the Spirit for living by a different set of standards.

"An evangelical faith that is not passionate about truth and righteousness is a faith which is a lost cause."

(Speaking of the Word) "It does not rest consequentially upon us." How often do I read the Word and have it not change me - in my innermost being? This is what happens in most of our churches on Sunday mornings. First, most of the churches in America barely have to open the Bible on Sunday mornings, but then how many of us can even tell others what the sermon was about? I heard one time that a person liked a sermon. When asked why, she said the liked the story about the dog. What does a dog have to do the gospel of Jesus? She couldn't remember what the sermon was about, what text was used, or truth revealed - but she like the dog story. That is a serious problem in our churches.

When I speak to women - I want the thing they remember to be the Word of Truth that was brought to them in grace and humility - the power of the Sword of the Spirit. I don't want them to remember what I wore, if I had my haircut that day, the video that was played. There is life changing power in the Truth of God's Word. Why aren't more of us using it in our churches during the week?

Some God and Jesus Thoughts

Continuing my reading of the book of Acts - I loved chapter 7 that I read last night. I got so used to reading the name of God and seeing what He did for the nation of Israel - that I decided to write them down. This is a list that I came up with, but most decidedly not exhaustive...
- God appeared
- God moved people
- God promised
- God spoke
- God will judge the nations
- God rescued
- God gave
- God set up kingdoms
- God showed Himself
- God demanded worship
- God showed up!

That same very God is the same very God that acts on our behalf today. No matter what we are facing...He ACTS! Not for our glory - but for His. He is faithful and will do it.

Then a phrase that was read in chapel today was that "Jesus is the EXACT of the Father" - maybe not verbatim, but that was the gist and EXACT was used. I loved that. It excited me. That is what we have to take a lost and dying world - especially cults that believe that Jesus truly isn't the Son of God, or He really isn't God in the flesh. He was just a good prophet, etc. Those are all lies. HE IS THE EXACT REPRESENTATION of the FATHER. That is what the gospel writer, John says. Since the Word says it, we can believe it!

Monday, September 10, 2007

J.D. Greear and Watermark

As I sat here today in my new home (a dorm room) I heard a song on my iTunes that brought a smile to my face - I grabbed the nearest pen and wrote it down. I've always loved this line, but hearing it again tonight made it even clearer.

Something JD said in a sermon many years ago came to mind too. Being in the presence of God is the safest place to be. God doesn't demand that I be someone I'm not. He loves me and desires to shape me into the image of Jesus. But, He knows everything about me. He knows when I'm doing stuff for show, when I'm prideful, when I'm weak, when I'm intimidated, when I'm doubtful about the abilities that He has given me, when I'm trying to be someone I'm not, when I'm tired and all I wanna do is sit down and watch football. And yet - HE STILL LOVES ME. That is one of the best quotes I've ever heard from JD - and I've heard a lot of them. Thanks JD!

Now for the quote:

Watermark (Nathan and Christy Nockels):

from the song "Captivate" from the CD The Purest Place:

"and your fellowship is free" - just dwell on that and see if it doesn't bring a since of peace to your chaotic life!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

May the Mind of Christ, My Savior

Most times I sing an old hymn that I don't know and never have heard of, I just blah through it. But, tonight, as I sang this old hymn as the benediction (all 6 verse), I loved them because they were very biblical verses.
May the Mind of Christ My Savior

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day, By His love and power controlling All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph Only through His power.
May the peace of God my Father Rule my life in everything
That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory.
May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him.

Church, football, and familiarity

Churches and football. Two staples to every fall weekend. This weekend was no different - although my partaking of the two looked strangely different than in falls past.
Went to two churches today that couldn't have possibly been any more different. There were several things they had in common: Baptist, in Louisville, friendly, Bible-preaching. That's just about where the similarities end. One is a mega church with multi-sites. Lights, camera, action. I loved the friendliness of the ladies in the small group as well as the teacher and the hospitality of lunch afterwards.
This evening I went to a smaller church located in Old Louisville modeled after Mark Dever's church in DC. It was all of one age, one class, middle, young (22-32), a new pastor coming in a few weeks from DC (CHBC).
I felt like I fit in at the bigger one because they were more like me in some ways. The second one, although friendly, conservative, reformed, Bible-teaching - I didn't feel like I was perfect enough to attend there (I wasn't married and didn't have kids). Every word that came out of my mouth wasn't about being a wife, mother, or soaking in grace. Is that a real church? I'm not being critical - just honest.
I don't know how I feel about multi-site churches. I need to think and pray about that. And even though the small group was great - I don't like sitting - I like to be doing. I haven't sat in a SS class to "learn" in almost 12 years (with a little bit in the middle there where I did sit and learn). Its weird.
So, needless to say - neither of those churches will probably be where I end up here in L-ville.

now...for football.

The SEC had a pretty good day yesterday. UF won - although I hope they play the rest of the calendar like the first half and not the second half. We were two different teams. We must show up to play the Vols next week - that is one game we can't lose - especially since it is in the swamp. All three Florida teams lost today in the NFL opening weekend.
The one thing that was different was I listened to these games on the radio (via computer) or just kept up with them via ESPN or Thank goodness for the computer!

One thing I would like after my first weekend in KY - Familiarity. That is a precious thing to me. I did meet a person from Mulberry today - go figure, Polk Countians way up here!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mercy Me - Bring the Rain

I remember the first time I heard this song - I was on I-4 near I-drive in dtown Orlando. I knew it was Mercy Me singing but knew I hadn't heard the song. It was amazing. It wasn't even the roughest time that I had while being at home. But, God knew I would need that song later. A week or two after hearing it on the radio, Jason and the worship team did it at the request of James at OC. They did a great job!
This morning I got in my car to go "explore" L-ville and the first thing I heard when I turned on my radio was the number 1 song in CCMland - Bring the Rain, 3 weeks in a row. Still a great song. Here are the lyrics. I pray they are an encouragement to your faith.

I can count a million times People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me Can circumstances possibly Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may loom above
because you are much greater than my pain
you who made a way for me suffering your destiny so tell me whats a little rain
[1st Chorus]

Holy, holy, holyHoly, holy, holy is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty I'm forever singing

Southern Seminary Learning

Well, I've been in KY for 3 days now, so I thought I would sit down and post some thoughts...

1. Always think the worst - then when you are surprised with the better - it will make your day. I thought I was going to have a small dorm room and no kitchen. But, I have the end unit, by myself, with a sink (still across the hall from bathrooms and showers), big closet, much desk space and storage space, a dorm kitchen that is big (but doesn't always function right), and it is actually quieter than I thought.

2. Louisville is really big. There are so many interstates. 65, 64, 264, 265, 71 just to name a few and everywhere is traffic. But, I am learning my way around.

3. No SUPER anything nearby. There is no S Walmart or Target close to me. What is wrong with that picture? I've always lived near one of those stores. Durham it was around the corner, WF they were both less than 2 miles, Raleigh, it was a few minutes. Lakeland it was 3 miles. Last night I went to a Walmart Neighborhood Market (just food and beauty stuff), but today I'm going across the River into IN to get to the nearest one.

4. I love knowing people. Ok, so I only know a few people here in Louisville, but I'm very grateful for the ones I know. Brad and Lindsay have been lifesavers with directions, moving in help, homecooked meal (cashew chicken and oreo dessert), and a place to watch football. "Dr. Parker", Shane, has been great in the office because I knew him at Southeastern too. His wife has been out of town, but I look forward to seeing some of Lexington when I take them up on their offer for dinner sometime. He is a pastor there. I'm looking forward to seeing Jaye on Monday when she gets in.

5. God is still a God of answering prayers for His glory! He gave me this job less than 2 weeks ago. Now, I'm here. He gave me a better room than I thought. I'm already meeting college girls (since I live in the college girls' dorm). He gave me people I know here. He is even in the business of answering small prayers - like letting me do real well on my clerical tests I had to take the other day and calmed my nerves when I was taken them. Thank you JESUS!

Anyway, those are the top 5 things I've learned in 3 days. More to come later - and I promise i'll shoot you some pictures at some point.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

No, I'm not talking about Christmas time - I'm talking about FALL. Many things are changing. Today is September 1. We are out of the summer months, but not quite out of the season, but it is coming.
When I was younger - my favorite day of the year (no kidding) was orientation at Lakeland Christian when our teachers gave us our supply list in elementary and in ms and hs we got our class schedule, our locker, book list, etc. Then I would make a trip to Walmart or some place like that to buy pencils, pens, paper, notebooks - I loved it!
Now there are two other reasons I love the FALL.
Today is the first Saturday of the 2007-2008 NCAA College football season. Florida is going in as reigning national champs, but are not considered to be a top contender for the crown again - as USC is supposed to take it. But, I'll still take the Blue and Orange any day. Tebow and Urban make a good match with some great players coming up - but many shoes to fill. Top games this season are LSU, UGA, UT, SC, and FSU.
The second thing is that on Tuesday I'm moving back to the "frozen tundra" as my brother called it - (anything north of the Suwannee River) - Kentucky. I love having seasons (not 2 feet of snow but seasons). The campus of SBTS is pretty and it will be gorgeous when the leaves start changing! I'm excited. Many pictures will be shown!
So - enjoy the fall - I love it. And - GO GATORS!