Merry Christmas

25 12 2008

On this glorious Christmas day, I hope these words of prayer and reflection resonate with your heart.
May you have a wonderful and worship time with family and friends, rejoicing in our Lord who stepped so low to rescue us and raise us up to him!

“My heart melts at the love of Jesus,
my brother, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh,
married to me, dead for me, risen for me;
He is mine and I am his,
given to me as well as for me;
I am never so much mine as when I am his,
or so much lost to myself until lost in him;
then I find my true manhood.

But my love is frost and cold, ice and snow;
Let his love warm me,
lighten my burden,
be my heaven;
May it be more revealed to me in all its influences
that my love to him may be more fervent and glowing;
Let the mighty tide of his everlasting love
cover the rocks of my sin and care;
Then let my spirit float above those things
which had else wrecked my life.

Make me fruitful by living to that love,
my character becoming more beautiful every day.
If traces of Christ’s love-artistry be upon me,
may he work on with his divine brush
until the complete image be obtained
and I be made a perfect copy of him,
my Master.”

from “The Love of Jesus” in The Valley of Vision

Thank you, Jesus.

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Life in Louisville…

14 04 2008

…so far, so good!  We arrived in Louisville tonight at 7:30 (eastern standard time).  Our flights (we had to switch planes in Colorado) were thankfully uneventful.  I sat next to Frank & Chris on the first flight.  We discussed Puritan theology (as I was reading Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices) and the difficulties of being a godly husband (as Frank convicted us by reading sections of Love that Lasts out loud).  On the second flight I sat next to a gal from Colorado who works for the VA and is pregnant with their second child.  She claimed to be a believer, so between discussion on parenting, marriage, and faith we had a lot to talk about.  Both flights (each a little over 2 hours) went by very quickly. 

Once at the airport in Louisville, we all praised God that our luggage arrived safe and sound (although Frank picked up several other pastors Shepherd’s Conference garment bags before he found his) and our shuttle to the hotel was ready and waiting.  Our hotel is beautiful and the price we got on it (a special conference rate) is unbelievable.  We are on the 22 floor and have a beautiful view of downtown Louisville.

Speaking of beautiful and unbelievable, we just got back from having dinner at a local steak house where Frank and I were treated to a 48 ounce Porter House (Not one each! We split it.)  Wow.  Some of the best steak I’ve ever had!  As we walked back into our hotel after the terrific dinner (both the food and the company) we ran into C. J. Mahaney and Bob Kauflin.  It was great to meet both of them and especially to tell Bob thank you for putting my favorite book Valley of Vision to music.

The conference begins tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to a wonderful time in the Word and continued blessings from fellowship with my brothers in Christ.

Amy, Rylie, Anna- I miss you and love you.  Thank you for giving Daddy this opportunity!

 





Coming to Our End: God’s Design in Trials?

27 11 2007

The EndA few more thoughts on how we are to understand the trials we endure.
I came acrsoss this in a puritan prayer, recorded in the book The Valley of Vision:
“Let no incident of life, pleasing or painful, injure the prosperity of my soul, but rather increase it. Send me Thy help, for Thine appointments are not meant to make me independent of Thee…” 
When I read this, I had to take a moment and really think through the writer’s statement.  What in a trial would “injure the prosperity of my soul“?  Would the trial itself?  No.  Otherwise why would James write “count it all joy?” (James 1:2)
That which would injure my soul would be my response to the trail.  Injury would come if I allowed the trial to drive me to my own strength instead of the strength of God.  If the fruit of my trial is self-dependence instead of God-dependence, serious damage has been done.  This got me thinking about the trials that have come into my life lately which I’ve just buckled down and endured.  How much time have I spent lately praying for God’s strength to help me through these trials?  How much have I really looked to Him for strength and provision?  How much damage has been done to “the prosperity of my soul“?
Clearly, God’s design in my trials is to show me the sufficiency of His glorious strength and the weakness of my own; scripture speaks to this over and over again (2 Cor. 12:9; Rom. 5:3-5; 1 Peter 1:5-7).  So, when I try to endure the trial in my own strength I really find myself fighting against God’s design.  This begs the question- what will God have to do to bring me to the end of my self-sufficiency?