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Monday, September 19, 2011

When Has God Failed Us?

I love Spoken Word Poetry, and I've heard a fair share of some very popular and some not so well known poets before, but today I stumbled across this guy... and well, I'm sold.

So I figured I'd introduce you to him as well, if you don't already know who he is: Propaganda.

When has God failed us?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Simple Sunday: Questions

This life is a journey, and everyone's journey matters, especially yours. If you're in Christ, your journey, my journey, your church's journey, my church's journey, a church in the middle of nowhere, a church in the center of somewhere... are all connected, are all a major part of everyone's journeys. Where one suffers, we all suffer, where one rejoices, we all rejoice.
That's community. 
That's the bride of Christ.

But in the midst of this we all have questions, questions we seek the answers for...
"We are all searching for answers. That’s a given. We all are.
The answers are rarely what we think they are.
But they are also exactly what we think they are.
Thus the searching never ends, because the answers are often never the end.
The answers lead us farther on this journey towards God and His heart." -Ben Langevin

"The answers lead us farther on this journey towards God and His heart."

But what questions are we asking?

What do our questions stem from?

What do our questions do for the good of society?

Do our questions contribute to this journey towards God's heart?

Our answers to our most difficult questions, our most painful questions, our most heated questions, our most desperate questions, our most lonely questions, our most selfish questions...

...may just be in the questions themselves.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Living Off Balance

What do you lean on? What do you trust in?

This is an excerpt from a sermon by Pastor Joshua Harris of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." -John 14:1

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6

Living Off Balance from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Simple Sunday: Sacrifice

There's no such thing as half-surrendering. 
Today's Simple Sunday is a guest post by a friend of mine. I was scanning my tumblr blog earlier today and saw what she posted on this subject, needless to say I was convicted of my own view of surrendering, so I thought it would be a perfect post for today.
There's no such thing as half-surrendering. 

I’ve been thinking about sacrifice lately. Sacrificing everything. Surrendering everything. I’ve been asking myself if I would be willing to surrender everything to God; if He asked, would I surrender my education, my house, my money, my comfort, my time, my reputation, everything I’ve worked for? All of it? And while He does of course ask for some of these things, I’ve also been thinking that if I choose to surrender it all with the expectation or prediction that He won’t choose to ask me to actually give it up, is that really surrendering? Is that true sacrifice? When God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis 22, Abraham submits to God not with the expectation of Isaac ending up safe and unharmed; his promise to God, his promise to sacrifice, was without expectations of any kind. He didn’t expect God to stop him seconds before. He expected and trusted that regardless of how crazy the sacrifice, God knew what He was doing. Abraham expected to sacrifice his son whom he loved, a dear part of his and others’ lives and hearts. He was willing.
I’ve heard people lightly say that they would be willing to sell every possession they own, but they just don’t feel called to that.

Saying that you would sell every possession you own isn’t a light phrase. If you say that with the intention of being fully willing to actually sacrifice all of that, that is a phrase serious beyond measure.

However, if you say that phrase with the expectation, prediction, or verdict that God would never ask you to give everything up…well, it’s just words. Big words. Fancy words. Meaningless words with endless echoes. It’s basically putting words in God’s mouth, saying that He would never ask you to sacrifice a certain something even prior to asking Him.

It says that as Abraham was on the brink of beginning the sacrifice, an angel of the Lord stops him and says, “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

I don’t think any angel will be telling me that sort of thing anytime soon. “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your _______, or your ________, or even your ________.”  I just want to be conscious of the fact that while yes, God may not call me to sell every possession I own and be a homeless wanderer who brings the gospel to whoever I find…I need to be willing to. Whatever He calls you and I to do will be at great cost, worth great sacrifice, just in different ways.

Nevertheless, what if He does call me there? Will I hear? Or have I already tuned Him out? There is no such thing as true half-hearted sacrifice, but if there was a way to half-surrender to God, I should think it’s like selective hearing: hearing only what I want, when I want, how I want; likewise, surrendering only what I want, when I want, how I want.

I don’t think that that kind of sacrifice is very agreeable with Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice. That should be my example.

I’ve been thinking that every sacrifice to the Lord has roots that lie in surrendering my will to God’s…I pray that, as this rests heavy on my heart, I would find joy in the beauty of surrender and sacrifice. And I can promise you I will be praying for you too, friend, whether I know you or not. :) Surely Jesus didn’t mean for us to carry these crosses alone.

-Holly Fohr, read more at Holly's blog