Saturday, February 20, 2010

For such a time as

I was cupbearer to the king (Nehemiah 1:11).

As Nehemiah wept and mourned over what God had put on his heart, his fasting and prayer continued in view of God's mercy for five months of days and nights past the initial shock and grief. And then he surveyed his post as cupbearer to the king... The text could instead read "Now I was wallbuilder and king" but God places his own in opportune-but-dependent positions that often only make sense in his story.

When I present my requests before the king, do I consider my circumstance a sovereign blessing? How might I be an agent for the change I say I want, in light of my current assignment?

Steve challenged us in small group tonight with a question: Was Nehemiah's action merely 'subsequent to' or was it the 'completion of' his repentance/prayer?

Now I was ______.
Now I was a college student
Now I was living in NYC.
Now I was with x means and y abilities.
Now I was a daughter, a sister, a roommate, a friend to z.
Now I was created, redeemed...
Now I was given Truth and Spirit...
Now where I am may make no sense in any story I could write and it may seem to bear no obvious pertinence to the requests I present or to the burdens I bear.

But in a grander narrative I am not the Author, I am at His mercy. I am His redeemed. And I am in exactly the right place at the right now.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Remember your chains.

Though God has forgiven and forgotten your past sins, yet don't forget them yourself. Often remember what a wretched bond slave you were in the land of Egypt..

// J.Eds, "Advice to Young Converts"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

swing Your robe down low

my words fall to the floor
as tears drip through the telephone line

the hands i've seen raised to the sky
are not waving but drowning all this time
i'll try to build an ark that they need
to float to You upon the crystal sea

give me Your hand to hold
cause i can't stand to love alone
& love alone is not enough to hold us up
we've gotta touch Your robe

the prince of despair's been beaten
but the loser still fights

& everyone cries for the innocent
You say to love the guilty ones too
surrounded by suffering and sickness
i'll be working tearing back the roof

the pain is a burden
& it's my cross to bear
 i stumble under all the weight
i know You're simon standing there
& i know You're standing there

so swing Your robe down low
love alone // caedmon's call

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spiritually stunted we marry His money.

When it comes to knowing God
we are a culture of the spiritually stunted.

So much of our religion is packaged to address our felt needs-- 
and those are almost uniformly anchored
in our pursuit
of our own
happiness and fulfillment.
God simply becomes
the Great Being who, 
   potentially at least, 
meets our needs and fulfills our aspirations. 

We think rather little of 
what he is like, 
what he expects of us, 
what he seeks in us. 

We are not captured by his holiness and his love.

His thoughts and words capture 
too little of our imagination,
too little of our discourse,
too few of our priorities.

In the biblical view...
  a deeper knowledge of God brings with it
    massive improvement in the other areas mentioned: 
evangelistic effectiveness 
better study of Scripture 
improved private and corporate worship... 

But if we seek these without passionately desiring a deeper knowledge of God
We are 
selfishly running after God's blessings without running after him. 
We are
even worse than the man who wants his wife's services... 
without ever making the effort really to know and love his wife. 
We are 
worse than such a man, I say, because...
He is perfect in His love 
He has made us for Himself. 

Priorities from Paul and His Prayers (D.A. Carson)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Though they have seen untold skies

These canyons groaning to thunder praise and mountains itching to throw themselves into the sea are for this moment in eternity silent, reverent, and still--so that man's weak offerings and drooping hands should entreat Your attention...

Who am I that You are mindful of me?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meddle-y Melodies

Worship's a tongue twister to the unversed.

And some days, today, these haughty eyes and this proud heart catalyze destruction. Carnage that necessitates healing so, in a way, it's not so bad.

But it wasn't mine to break. It isn't mine to fix.

I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.