Posts Tagged ‘ Submission ’

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/12/2014

Find the old wisdom with a new perspective at Proverbial Thought!

One of my favorite Michael W. Smith songs is Missing Person. That song was partly inspiration for this poem.

It occurred to me, though, that with just that song it can be easy to miss the point.

For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Philippians 3:8b-16, ESV

For a Christian who has grown stale, who feels like the passion and the power of Christ is gone, trying to get back to who we once were as a new believer is not the right focus. Our focus must always be on the One who changes us through His power and resurrection: Jesus Christ. Only then can we find that passion and power we once felt.

 

   finding the old new self

most of us believe in power
then get comfortable and stale
we then begin to look for
that faith that now looks so pale
we start looking for that person
whom we were when we were younger
perhaps there is a reason
we are unable to get there
we are trying so hard to
get back to who we used to be
that we neglect the full truth
and our focus is on “me”
we had that power at first
because we gave up our lives
realized that it took rebirth
and giving control to Christ
let us stop trying to find ourselves
and return to what can save us
through faith a grace from God above
manifested in His Son Jesus

Rediscovering “Rediscovering God with Downhere”

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Three years and nine days ago I heard a song for the first time that I greatly enjoyed, so I shared it on my blog.

As I have been finishing my first summer as a Seminarian, I am officially beginning my teaching career (in Special Education with children with Autism), and I have had a jam-packed summer of travels, work prep, and simply getting things done.

It has been a little exhausting!

Therefore, I think it is a great time to bring back this song as a good reminder to myself, other seminarians, and all those who tend to work too hard and sometimes forget or neglect time with God (like pastors and other ministry leaders, teachers, and just about anyone else in Western culture). This is “Let Me Rediscover You” by the band Downhere (no longer together, but the lead singer of this song is now “Freddie Mercury” for the Queen cover band Queen Extravaganza).

Just listen to the lyrics and focus on God for about four minutes!

Let Me Rediscover You

Your spirit hovers over my waters
Your love burns longer than the sun
The skies of thunder echo your wonder
Your praises can’t be over-sung

The whole Universe is witness
To only a part of what you’ve done

So let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
Oh, let me rediscover you

You see my weakness, my pride, my blindness
You wield your power through them all
Of all the mysteries, still, the greatest to me
Is that you’re faithful when I fall

How can I say I know you
When what I know is still so small?

Let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
And let me rediscover you

Let me cry “holy, holy, holy”
(holy, holy, holy)
Let me awaken to your majesty
(waken to your majesty)
And see a glimmer of your glory
Let me abide in you

Let me rediscover you
And by your grace I’ll follow through
Reveal to me the God I thought I knew

Let me rediscover you
And breathe in me your life anew
Tell me of the God I never knew
And let me rediscover you

Oh, let me rediscover you
Tell me of the God I never knew
Jesus, let me rediscover you.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things …

As the book of Proverbs is finally “all commentaried out”, go catch some of the final wise words this week at Proverbial Thought!

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
Psalm 119:37, ESV

I made a covenant with my eyes . . .
Job 31:1, NIV

A couple of weeks ago, I announced through Facebook that my wife and I were cancelling our Netflix and Hulu accounts.

This decision had very little to do with what we watch. We try to be rather discerning in what we watch because we do not want to let too many immoral and/or blasphemous things in our minds if we can help it.

Rather, the decision came after a comment made by one of seminary professors.

While working through the book of Acts, we were discussing whether Christianity was a threat to the Roman Empire. My reply was “Technically. I mean, look at when Paul got upset with the girl with the Serpent spirit and cast it out of her in the name of Jesus. The people who were making money off of her fortune-telling were suddenly out of a means of income.”

The conversation then focused on how Christianity messed with the economy of the Empire. This is because makers of idols, workers in pagan temples, and even tour guides around cities with temples would lose business throwing off the entire economy of entire cities if not the entire Empire.

Then the professor made this comment: “Imagine if Christians still gave up all of their idolatrous and ungodly pursuits. How many Christians pay for pornography in our society?

My initial thought was “I’m glad that is not us!” (Caitlin and me)

Then some conviction set in.

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that glorify sex and nudity?

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that mock or blaspheme Christians and God?

At first I tried to justify having these accounts:

How many Christian-based things do they show?

It is not like I watch those things!

Netflix especially comes in handy working in a school, for both my wife and me!

I found myself getting angry that I should have to give up something.

Why was I angry and finding such a need to justify my actions if I was doing nothing wrong?

More than anything, I needed to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So, instead, I turned to my classmate and said “I am not very happy with the professor right now.” We then laughed about my silliness.

Most people I talked with about it went through the same justifications. A couple of them even said I was being too legalistic.

To combat that, a) I am not saying everyone needs to cancel Netflix and Hulu. This is a personal conviction. I certainly will argue for others to let go, because how much do we really need Netflix, Hulu, and television in general? This is especially true when we consider how useless most television is, how ungodly most television is, and how much God and Christians are blasphemed and mocked. b) We still occasionally watch TV. We enjoy being entertained as much as anyone, and not everything on TV is bad for us. c) We will still go to some movies (Speaking of which, The Lego Movie is rather fantastic in a purely entertaining vain!), for through this we might still be able to show Hollywood what kind of content we prefer while supporting some local businesses (or at least our friends who work at local businesses.

More importantly, though, is that we want to not only obey God in our lives but push others toward Christ by refusing to be a part in causing others to stumble:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

Everyone will be salted with fire.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:42-50, NIV

We both felt that our continued subscription to these businesses supported content that could cause others to stumble or even be led astray. We would rather not have these forms of entertainment and be closer to Christ than have to have our conscience troubled if what we are doing is moral and godly. Christ and other people are more important than our temporary enjoyment.

How many things in our lives do we devote too much of our time and money to instead of focusing on loving God and people?

In our culture of instant gratification, pleasure, and stuff, how often do we unplug, sacrifice, and get quiet?

Resolutely Seeking Righteousness

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For the past week and a half I have been talking about why I do not like New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Resolutions are more like wishes personal wishes for the future. If you really want to stick to your desired goal, it is better to write out specifically what you ultimately want to achieve, sub-goals for marking progress and getting encouragement to continue, and have a support team.

2. We tend to approach resolutions more as guidelines for looking responsible than actually being responsible with our lives.

3. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3, ESV)

Why is number three Proverbs 16:3?

Because, along with my first two reasons, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) We are always trying to do things we think are best for us, but we do not always seek God’s will for our decisions. Perhaps we fail at so many resolutions because we were trying to do something that either God has not ordained or in a way He has not ordained.

[“ordained” simply means sanctioned, permitted, or established]

Therefore, whether the resolution is to lose weight, change diet, quit smoking/drinking/some addiction, or anything of importance, it is best to seek God first. In fact, one of my favorite passages to quote about just about anything will help with this, as well:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

And I couple it with this:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

Whatever plans you have for this year, remember to always put Christ first. Seek out the will of the Father, act on His will, and always give thanks no matter the circumstances or results!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 12/29/2013

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I am not big on New Years Resolutions, but really good plans for the future are pretty amazing.

The best thing you can do is resolve in your heart every day to let God change your heart and mind.

search my heart

my God

know me completely

clean me out

make my heart

O God

all for Your glory

 make me Yours

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

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I am not sure where this came from, but I found it in a daily devotional from Bill Keller.

May it speak to you, and may it spark something inside you that pushes you into loving service of our God and King!

I will let it speak for itself!

Author Unknown

“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I  have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.

I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away,  or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure.

I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth  knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and  dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or  popularity.

I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or  rewarded.

I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and  labor by Holy Spirit power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven.

My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is  reliable and my mission is clear.

I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back,  deluded or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of  the adversary.

I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of  popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up,  prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus!

I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes.

And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My  colors will be clear!”

Marriage Submission: My First Wedding Ceremony Message

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This past weekend I performed my first wedding, and it was for my wonderful sister-in-law and her new husband!

Because I know tiredness and exhaustion is big after a wedding, especially when the ceremony and reception last eight hours plus all of the prep-time before and clean-up after, to save myself some time this week I am posting the message from that wedding!

Now all of you beautiful readers get to feel like you were there! (It really did end up being a wonderful ceremony!)

I hope you enjoy:Marrying my in-laws

JP2 – The Wedding

Ephesians 5:21-33 tells every married couple:

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

To submit to each other means to live life together.

The greatest examples of living life together can be taken from Jesus and His disciples.

John 2

In John chapter two, we read of Jesus’ first miracle: turning water into wine. This is also the time Jesus first went with His disciples somewhere, and it was a wedding! Working together with each other and those around them made life more enjoyable.

As you start your marriage, learn from Jesus and His disciples: start by having some fun. This is why we are all here! Take this as a reminder to have fun with each other throughout your marriage. It is also a reminder to have fun with your loved ones, your family and friends.

Matthew 14

Speaking of reasons to celebrate, Matthew chapter fourteen shares the story of Jesus and His disciples feeding dinner to about 5,000 men plus women and children with five loaves of bread and two fish. That would be cause for celebration! (Perhaps another reason we are all here: to be fed!)

Instead, as soon as everyone was done eating, Jesus sent His disciples across a choppy lake in the only available boat while he went off to pray. Before the sun came up, Jesus walked out across the surface of the lake – with waves and all – to the boat.

The disciples were scared at first, but Peter yelled out to Jesus. Jesus called Peter out onto the water, and he went and walked on the water with Jesus!

Peter soon remembered the wind and waves, and he began to sink. And Jesus reached out to grab his hand, pulled Peter up, and the two of them walked back to the boat.

As you build your lives together, you will encounter those times when life is hard. Yet, when one of you gets distracted by the troubles you face, the other can be the support. You can take turns lifting each other up as you walk together.

You never face this life alone. The good and the bad will come in varying degrees, but when you face them together you may find the good in the bad. Submitting to each other is listening to and helping each other continually, that you may grow deeper in love and happiness.

Keller

Timothy Keller also compared marriage to a journey, saying that it is:

“. . . a journey that includes shared experience, setbacks, challenges, knowledge, and many many things that make you crazy as well as [the] things that make you happy. If marriage is to endure over time, it has to be because both people within it have tacitly acknowledged something that young lovers might find preposterous: it’s bigger, and more important, than both of us. It’s love, sure, and inside jokes and conversational shorthand. But it’s also families, friends, traditions, landmarks, knowledge, history.”