And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Holiness and thoughts from a friend

As iron sharpens iron I have found an exceedingly blessed friendship with a man in our church who quite frankly, asks the hard questions. I do not believe we can share the love of Christ without caring for the welfare of the other person beyond our comfort or public image. That is to say, often the fear of man keeps us from doing our best in the best interest of others.

Yet this relationship of iron against iron has taken time to get to where it is. You can have two men wielding logs in their eye trying to help one another. But if they don't remove their own logs then you have a Three Stooges Discipleship. Here we look for a partnership of mutual consideration and teamwork. So over time, the honesty of sincerely spurring one another on to the glory of Christ has been that which I call rare, and fortuitous.

So Tuesday we met for prayer and hard questions. The question came about as to what I mean about pursuing the holy. Is it for pride? For acknowledgement, for some other reason? What specifically am I wanting to gain from this pursuit?

As I pondered these further under scrutiny, I have been evermore refining my objectives. This is not to become a boast or self assuredness. Mainly, for the good of my church and family I am wanting to further remove logs, specks, and wounds, anything that keeps me from knowing God or being a tool in His hand. He did say "Be holy for I am Holy", and that was not a suggestion.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Holiness and its Workings

In seeking holiness, I want to see the hand of God at work. I pray that within our church we see things that can only be explainable by God. Thus He is glorified. Sunday night, after having had a week where we looked upon God in our suffering, our prayer request time was more about praises than requests. Wow.

Why Holiness?

One of the aspects in seeking God and holiness in my life is simply a desire to put the world behind and seek God. There is a wonderfulness in the journey. I see this being part and parcel with Romans 12, the renewing of the mind.

It is hard to build a sandcastle when the tide keeps rolling in. That is to say the worldly influences will continue, but to build a good castle you need to move beyond the tide line.

One of the beauties of this is also reliance upon God. I don’t believe I have done that to a point of honoring and glorifying Him. So again, this is not to elevate me above anyone, that is not a concern, but it is to find that of God which I have been missing out on. I want to know the joy of being a people separated unto God.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Midlife and Holiness Pusuit

Here go a few rambling thoughts.....

Today I opened my mouth and let flow part of my hearts desire. I desire to know God. To do such I want to be one of those worshipers whom He desires, whom worship in spirit and in truth. For this to happen, I need to be holy.

Granted, I try to be holy. I often fail. I am often very proactive about it, but also I find moments of not persevering but being rather, caviler.

I simply want to see God. I want to know His grace rather than trying to live by law. Not that the law is bad, it shows our need for God. But I hope to take a full year of purposely being sanctified in this area with a wide eyed wonder of God. Oh may I be a new wineskin that He would fill me.

I have a lot of books, but where is the heart knowledge? So I am taking God up on an offer in an important way, I am going to be very proactive about seeking Him with all my heart. He has promised that if we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. From experience I know I can not do this in my own strength, so I am doing two things to seek Him by His strength.

First, cutting off all hindrances, and setting up stumbling blocks to them. Ie keeping up with an "Iron Sharpens Iron relationships", especially with The Wife. This also means saying no to anything that would diminish my heart toward God. Not settling for the good that will do but seeking God's best.

Second, I am making "how to lists", I have had enough of self help. But what I simply plan to do is go to God first every morning. (Yes I am sure our family will have the unannounced ER visit or four again)

But I simply want to follow and end each day being God centered. Her again are a list of questions to ask myself, and yet not a template for preformance. I want to be holy seeking God and His grace rather than myself dealing in law exclusively.

So walk with me these next 365 days as I blog about the majesty of God in the pursuit of the Holy One.

Morning Thoughts
• What must I praise God for?
• What are the battles facing me today?
• What temptations do I know that I am going to face?
• Who today needs prayer?
• What failures of yesterday do I need to confront today?
• Whom would the Lord have me share the gospel with?
• What does my memory verse mean?
• Whom today am I to encourage showing compassion too?

Evening Thoughts
• How has God revealed Himself during the day?
• What empowerment did God give me today in victories?
• How shall I praise Him, giving Him the glory lest I think it as being by my own merit?
• What areas have I failed in?
• Of what must I repent?
• What unexpected blessing came today? How have I shared this news?
• Did I praise Him, counting all things joy, even the disasters and torments of life?
• To whom did I show compassion?
• What decisions were made by waiting upon God for direction?
• How did the scripture reading from this morning compel me to walk with Christ?
• What have I complained about?
• Have I participated in gossip?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I am alive

Just a note to those who check in on the blog, I am alive. I have been overwhelmed with fiscal year end stuff, and working on our kitchen remodel as the fam is going out of town.

I also have been working on a sermon series on keeping the Sabbath Holy. I do not normally preach by series or topic as exposition tends to keep things cross centered. In preparation for the series I have about 15 sermons ready. Soon I will post the rough draft notes/ starter notes to this page.