Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The problem with relationships.

“Could it be that we are so busy working to co-opt the other into the service of our wants, needs, and feelings that we are too distracted to notice all the opportunities to love that every day gives us, and too busy making sure that we are loved to do anything about these opportunities even if we noticed them? Why does this happen? It happens because we have replaced love of God and rest in his care with love of self and the anxiety of “neediness.”…Enough of pointing the finger. Enough of listening to your inner lawyer defend your cause. Enough of carrying around a record of the other person’s wrongs. Enough of judging, criticizing, and blaming. Enough of holding the other to a higher standard than the one you hold for yourself. Enough of complaining, arguing, withdrawing, and manipulating. Enough of the self-righteous standoff that never leads to change. Enough of hurt and acrimony. Enough of painting yourself as the victim and the other person as the criminal. Enough of demanding and entitlement. Enough of threats and guilt. Enough of telling others how good you are and how thankful they should be to live with a person like you. Enough of angry, self-righteous silence. Enough of hyper-vigilantly watching others to see if they are delivering. Enough of riding the roller coaster of their ups and downs. Enough of looking to others to be your personal messiah, satisfying the longings of your heart. Enough. It is time to quit pointing the finger and start confessing your deep and pervasive weakness. Change in your ministry relationships begins with confessing your need.”—Paul Tripp

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dead guys

“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honour, though not in the eyes of men who see all honour in themselves. O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.” --Augustine

“I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you; I shall teach the people. I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon You Word. Use me as Your instrument – but do not forsake me, for if ever I should be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.” --Luther

“O to behold the glory of Christ...Herein would I live; herein would I die; herein would I dwell in my thoughts and affections..until all things below become unto me a dead and deformed thing, no way suitable for affectionate embraces.” --Owen

Monday, January 30, 2012

the promises of Christ

As Christians we are constantly being called and calling others to "believe the promises of Christ". I fear that for the past eight years I have been simply nodding my head in agreeance to this idea. I admit I have not known what "the promises of Christ" meant, nor had I given it much thought. I am in my ninth year of getting to seek Jesus for all that I need and want, my fifth, soon to be sixth, year of ministry at Pickerington North, and my second year of marriage. It is here that I have found myself more sinful than I could ever imagine. Every day I wake up finding myself less capable of being good on my own, and therefore, I have a greater need for the gospel of grace and the blood of Jesus Christ everyday. It is this that has led me to the promises of Christ, and this week, I finally understand. 
Why are the promises of Christ essential to be believed and remembered dear Christian? Because the promises of Christ are things that we have freely gained by God's purposes through Jesus, by no merit of our own. They are essential because as I continue to walk the narrow path I am confronted with my fleshly failings that tempt me to believe I am not capable of change, or maybe worse, I am not chosen. They are essential because I am constantly tempted to believe that my salvation must still be earned and worked for. They are essential because when God is gracious enough with me, to allow me to see myself clearly, in all my schemes and wickedness, I know that the completed promises of Christ are my only shot at life. Because of these things I had the great joy to read Scripture in a new way this week. Not looking for a call to strive after righteousness, though I still need and believe this call, but rather seeking diligently the places where Christ says that his work has already purchased something for me. I have nothing to add to these promises, even the faith to believe them has been given freely. The work is finished. The promises are mine. What an excellent reality. So here are 40 promises carried out and completed by Christ in the book of Romans.
We have received...
  1. grace
  2. apostleship
  3. the obedience of faith
  4. a call to belong to Jesus Christ
  5. the righteousness of God
  6. justification
  7. peace with God
  8. access into grace in which we now stand
  9. God's love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
  10. saving from the wrath of God
  11. reconciliation to God
  12. abundance of grace
  13. the free gift of righteousness
  14. opportunity to reign in life because of grace and righteousness
  15. justification, life and righteousness
  16. ability to walk in newness of life
  17. unity in a resurrection like Christ's
  18. ability to be no longer enslaved to sin
  19. ability to live with Christ
  20. freedom from sin
  21. slavery to righteousness
  22. sanctification
  23. the free gift of eternal life
  24. death to the law
  25. ability to bear fruit for God
  26. freedom to serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the law
  27. freedom from condemnation
  28. freedom from the law of sin and death
  29. fulfillment for the righteous requirement that was demanded from us
  30. ability to walk according to the Spirit
  31. life to our mortal bodies through the Spirit that dwells in us
  32. the Spirit of adoption as sons
  33. ability to become children of God
  34. ability to become heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ
  35. predestination to be conformed to the image of his Son
  36. a predestination that has called, justified and glorified us
  37. a promise that he will graciously give us all things
  38. assurance that we are more than conquerors of the things that befall us through him who loved us
  39. righteousness
  40. assurance that Satan will be crushed under our feet
Nothing to add, nothing to earn. Enjoy believing them dear Christian!

God is good.

"God is good in every possible way. He is good in righteousness. He is good in power. He is good in grace. He is good in his faithfulness. He is good in mercy. He is good in holiness. He is good in justice. He is good in his rule. All his words are good and true. All his actions are good and right. When he is angry, he is good. When he preserves life, he is good. When he takes life, he is good. When his words are hard, they are good. When his words are gentle, they are good. His promises are good. His provisions are good. His plan is good. In all of the universe, you can only say this about God: he is good all the time and in every way."--Paul Tripp

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

got 99 problems but The Counting Crows ain't one.

A long December and there's reason to believe
I could justify myself
I felt so symbolic yesterday but I'm just not coming through
I could have been anyone you see
Mr. Jones wishes he was someone just a little more funky
When everybody loves you, son, that's just about as fucked up as you can be

I put my summers back in a letter
Spinning these days into things that I've lost
You've been fading day to day
And I hide it from the world
That's when I know that I have to get out cause I have been there before
You know the butterfly in reverse here is me

So I throw my hand into the air and it swims in the beams
I wanna be Bob Dylan
And I said, I might, I might, I might
There has to be a change I'm sure
I want to be someone who believes
Well, all monkeys do what they see

It's 4:30 A.M. on a Tuesday
Got no place to go
I wanna touch you for the things I'm losing
But I might go out and watch the moon explode
I'm going down to Hollywood
And I'm scared I might not make it home

She is sleeping far away
In a house where regret is a carousel ride
Little angels hang above my head and read me like an open book
Taffy stuck, tongue tied
Well I’m stuck so tight weighed by the chains that keep me
Help me believe in anything

Well I know I don't know you and you're probably not what you seem
Your reflection approaches and recedes again
All I really know is I wanna know
And all I really know is I don't wanna know
Come on give me your white skin
Hey monkey, when can we begin?

Could you tell me the things you remember about me
Try to remember so you don't fade away
The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings
And I'm in trouble for the things I need
I am a child of fire I am a lion I have desires
We all want something beautiful

And there are people who will say they knew me so well
They're gonna make a movie
Of all the stupid things I do
From the things that they find crawling round my brain
All my sins and someone stole my shoes
It doesn't get much worse than this

Fix your hair just right
Cause I fear I might lose my composure without warning
And it spins away like dust on pearls
Into the fog where no one notices the contrast of white on white
She says it's only in my head
But I’ve got four more seasons for all that’s broken to mend

All I want is something fine
And if you think that I could be forgiven, I wish you would
Forty thousand times
Cause I can never get enough, never get enough
And it gets harder every time
Never get enough no, no

I'd like to see your eyes open up real wide
And if I could give all my love to you
The minute that you see me
So that you could believe me
Deliver me in a black-winged bird
When all a love needs is to be believed in

I have waited for tomorrow from December 'til today
We could probably fix it if we clean it up all day
So come, now
If you wanted to be free
Leave your damage behind and gone
Roll a new life over