Friday, February 14, 2003

I just spent two days listening to Wade Hodges’ sermon series called “Christ Clones.” It’s a series of seven sermons on spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines—definitely worth a listen… and a second listen. Thanks for the challenge.

"I Remember You" by Gene Eugene and Matt Powell is on Media Player (from City on a Hill) right now... I just realized how much I love this song.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

I started reading James and the Giant Peach last night. In just the first chapter I can already see that this is no ordinary children's book--chapter one had absolutely no fluff--James' parents die and he is cared for by two abusive aunts. What's more, the writing is excellent. Can't wait for chapter two.
More from Andrew Murray:
"The child who only wants to know the love of the father when he has something to ask, will be disappointed. But he who lets God be Father always and in everything, who would fain live his whole life in the Father’s presence and love, who allows God in all the greatness of His love to be a Father to him, oh! he will experience most gloriously that a life in God’s infinite Fatherliness and continual answers to prayer are inseparable."
[Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Sixth Lesson]

I realized as I read this last night that I really don't know--experientially--what it means that God is my father. First, the models I experienced left much to be desired. Second, I have a nearly terminal case of "I'd rather do it myself"--not at all helpful. Just reading this lesson made me hungry to know God as Father. It gave me a picture of what I have been missing--yearning for God as Father, rather than trying to spiff myself up to impress--like it works or is necessary--NO. I know the theology of the thing--I did well in Systematic Theology I. What I need is the experience, and this doesn't come from a book--even from Murray's.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

So, it's finally raining in Southern California. Now, I like rain--really--but as a public transit commuter, I could do without the accoutrements. On the other hand, it does make the world look gorgeous.

Side note: I almost got hit by a car last night. I was crossing the street (with a "go" sign in my direction) when this car came screeching toward me. Apparently, the flashing red light and the other cars stopped at the cross walk gave this person no clue that maybe he should stop. Anyhow, I literally ran out of the way of the car. Thank God for angels and fast feet!

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Andrew Murray on Matthew 7:7-8 (“ask and you shall receive”): Beloved fellow-disciples in the school of Jesus! Let us set ourselves to learn this lesson well. Let us take these words just as they were spoken. Let us not suffer human reason to weaken their force. Let us take them as Jesus gives them, and believe them. He will teach us in due time how to understand them fully: let us begin by implicitly believing them. Let us take time, as often as we pray, to listen to His voice: Every one that asks, receives. Let us not make the feeble experiences of our unbelief the measure of what our faith may expect. Let us seek, not only just in our seasons of prayer, but at all times, to hold fast the joyful assurance: man’s prayer on earth and God’s answer in heaven are meant for each other. Let us trust Jesus to teach us so to pray that the answer can come. He will do it, if we hold fast the word He gives today: ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ [Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Fifth Lesson]

I read this lesson last night. The gist of it is this: Christians who don’t believe God will answer their prayers are gutless chickens. It takes a lot more courage to keep praying when the answer has not yet come than it does to throw up your hands and say, “Oh well, I guess God’s not gonna answer that one.” Ouch!