Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace and Law: pre Charlton Heston (and Sojourn lyrics)

The Ten Commandments - not the most exciting sermon preached in my opinion. I don't know if its because you can only say so much about these chapters and they are preached and often taken out of context, but I've heard more compelling sermons.
Probably heard the best sermon on the Ten Commandments last night - and there was no video clip of Charlton Heston either! James Santos, a elder-in-training at Sojourn here in Louisville, preached on these chapters, Exoduc 19-24, last night as part of the continuing BC series for 2009. The verse he opened with is why this sermon was so good:
Exodus 20.2: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." Our ability to obey the Ten Commandments is preceeded by the grace of God. He allowed them to be in slavery to the Egyptians for over 400 years. Then, only by His Grace and literally the work of His hands, He rescued them and freed them. Freed them to a life of relationship, worship, and obedience, and true freedom in Him.
The rest of the sermon was great - but the focus on obedience because of grace first was amazing. Grace compels us to love Jesus back. This wholes Jesus loved me this I rings true.
Also, the conviction from one of the songs before the sermon was needed:
(Lead Us Back, Sojourn)
From the second verse:
Worshipped beauty, courted kings
And the things their gold affords,
Prayed for those we'd like to know --
Favor sings a siren tune.
We've become a talent show;
Lead us back to life in You

Again, the striving for me never ceases. I strive for so much. I need the conviction of the Word to protect my heart from myself. Desires and the why behind things.
Thankful for the promise: His mercies are new every morning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day and Psalms 23

First, Valentine's Day. I do love it. Usually I like to babysit for couples with children so they can have a less-expensive date night. And it helps me in my strengthening of marriages - which I like to do. But, the people I was planning on babysitting for get to go out of town tomorrow so they are hanging with their kiddos tonight.
I get to send out special valentines to some of my girls - I love them. I love taking this time to share some of the reasons I do love them!
I get to (this year) be excited for one of my girls and friends and former roomies, Erin, because she got engaged early this morning! :) Happy for Jason and Erin! Can't wait to see you in May!
But, yes it is hard. I've had one Valentines when I was dating someone and it was a hard day in so many ways. But, this year will be good. Working in the housing office, planning my menu this week in order to hopefully be a blessing to others, going for a long run this afternoon in some beautiful weather, grocery shopping, and watching movies. I can't think of a better Saturday (unless I was running in Carolina or in St. Augustine).
And, I was reading Psalm 23 today. Catching up on my Sojourn reading. But, I am reading out of the NLT (yes, I know its not the most accurate, and I usually read the ESV, but for devo reading, I am loving the NLT).
Here are my thoughts:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need." - I don't need anything outside of my Jesus. He is all a girl could want. Now, He does give us desires and fulfills them according to His plans. That is His part of being our Shepherd.
"He lets me rest...he leads me beside peaceful...he guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name." I am loving my calm life right now. I know God is in control and He is making me be still, giving me a peace about many things in my life right now. I love that. Its been so long since I've been in that peaceful state in all of life.
"My cup overflows with blessings..." - SO MANY! Friends, the Word, 2 great churches in the ville, accountability and friendship, a great job, a place to serve, health, family.
"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life." - I love the pursuing nature of God's faithfulness. He will not let me go. He will chase after me!
If I want to be pursued by some guy in life - one that will love me, never let me go, never fail me - I do have that pursuer in Jesus. Maybe one day I'll get a second pursuer!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Living Life "Pharoah, Pharoah" style

During the sermon last night at Sojourn, I thought of the youth song we used to sing "Pharoah, Pharoah, o baby, let me people go, ugh" - complete with arm motions and everything. But, the song was just a passing thought - definitely more convicted by the Word that was preached than by the cheezy song.
Daniel Montgomery, pastor of Sojourn Community Church, is preaching through the OT in 2009. It has been great and convicting so far. I am thoroughly enjoying the series and growing from it.
Here are some points from last night:
"If Tomorrow Never Comes" - think Garth Brooks, late 80s when that song came out. Ok, songs are stuck in my head right now. Or how about Little Orphan Annie singing "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow" - or for that matter, Tom Hanks' Aunt in You've Got Mail singing that song. Don't know which is worse!
Anyway, I digress. In the plagues, specifically the plague of the frogs....Think about it - frogs everywhere. I mean everywhere. Magicians of Pharoah - they just make more frogs to prove their power. And Pharoah gets fed up with all the croaking (probably couldn't sleep or do much else for that matter). So, he tells Moses to call upon his God and get them out of his country. So, Moses just tells him to name the day. So, what do you think Pharoah says "right now, this instance" - NO. He says "Tomorrow." Are you for real? Seriously...(Exodus 8)
But, how often do we as Christians live in the foolish world of tomorrow. Meaning, we'll keep on sinning, living foolishly, living like Pharoah (not really convinced of the Lordship of Christ) today - but tomorrow we'll change, we'll want things differently.
This usually goes for people around New Years with all the resolutions. But, it can go for any day. Whether in spending, eating, exercising, not spending time in the Word, watching things you shouldn't, etc. How do you need to stop living like Pharoah TODAY?
Exodus - the book as a whole - (just like all of Scripture) is a story about God's Redemption, God's Power, and God's choosing a people. Simple.
Music - you knew there had to a point to all the music thoughts? Right? I know two of the songs we are going to be singing in Heaven - and I can't wait to get there and sing them. The Song of Moses (Exodus 15) and the Song of the Lamb (Revelation). So, we need to memorize Scripture now. My question - will the Holy Spirit need to bring to our remembrance (John 14-16) those verses, what version will they be in, do the Saints in Heaven sing in KJV, NIV, ESV, NLT, NAS, NKJV, Message, JBPhillips, etc? Of course, I hope you hear the sarcasm. But, the point is still made. We will be singing in heaven, we will be worshipping the only Risen Lamb, Jesus, and we will get to do it forever!
So excited!
You can hear the mesage here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Getty Band at Southern Seminary

I enjoyed a wonderful evening of music, friends, people singing harmonies around me, people expressive in worship, powerful lyrics, amazing instrumentalists, power of God.
If you don't know the Getty music - Keith and Kristyn - then you are missing out. O Church Arise, In Christ Alone, O To See the Dawn, Speak, O Lord, See What a Morning, Beneath the Cross, and many more.
I brought along my little black moleskin and jotted down some things that spoke to me during the night...
"Sweet redeemer" - a name for Jesus. Oh, that Christ would be the sweetest thing in my life - that that would clearly be seen in my daily living. Cool name for Jesus - like Gaynor's "darling of heaven"...
Their portrait in lyrics of Hebrews - that we have a Great High Priest who interceded for us - and because of that we can boldly approach the throne of grace as Hebrews says. "We draw near through the Christ who saves us." Yes, Christ saved us with His finished work on the cross. But, Christ also saves us every day - from ourselves, from death, brings us into sanctification with our relationship with Him.
"Eternity's resplendant theme" - I loved that line. Thinking that one day all I will do is be consumed with Christ - that I will see and know and love my Christ so much more than I do now. That I will be able to sing, and never be off key, never get hoarse, always know the song. That He will be one we are focused on. That we will reign with Him as co heirs! Why would He share that with us?
Kristyn read from the passage in the gospels where Jesus calmed the sea. "There was a calm." I want my life to mirror that verse. I want people to look at my life, know me, live alongside of me in community, and know that I exemplify that calm. That I would be the gentle and quiet spirit. That God would grow that in me and I would deny self to go against that.
My 2009 verse of Dt 30.19-20 came out tonight - "may this journey bring a blessing." As I was watching Les Mis the other night, I thought again of how every word we utter can bring life or death to the hearers. I want to be a blessing to everyone I come in contact with. How far I am from that! Spirit - come control my tongue and Spirit.
Some of their songs concentrated on Phil 1.6 - that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. Oftens times I don't see the work - I don't know what the work is - but help me Holy Spirit to believe in the promise that you will be faithful to keep. Help me not need to know and see the work - just be faithful to believe that you will accomplish what you want and have for me to accomplish.
"For death's dark night is overcome." There are so many hardtimes that my friends are facing right now: sickness, family illnesses, death, divorces, no jobs, no money, transitions, losing babies - and you know what - in all of that - death's dark night is overcome - by the power of the Cross. See, what a morning.
O To See the Dawn.
Amazing stuff. Amazing fiddler. A female vocalist who rivals Christy Nockels. Friends beside me who make it fun to worship with great harmonies and expressiveness.
Good stuff.