Sunday, January 20, 2008

learning patience

So, this past week or so has most definitely been a week of learning patience for me. I have thought in the past that I was a patient person, but this week I realized I had much to learn in this respect.

It started with an email virus that wiped out my entire email address book. And, of course, I didn't have most of those addresses saved elsewhere . . . something now changed. But, I had to hunt them all down again (many hours wirth of work) and then re-enter them. I enterd them all, only to find the next day that the same virus had wiped out my address book again! I had spent enough time dealing with all of this already and now I had to again.

On top of that, I was trying to do this all with a wrist brace on (which for those of you who have never experienced it, it makes computer work difficult and awkward). I just wanted to get all of this done and everyone's email address re-entered and all that back to normal, but I eventually had to just stop working on that and wait until I was better able to type.

See, I have tendonitis in my right wrist and have been told that I'm headed for carpal tunnel syndrome very quickly if I'm not careful . . . absolutely the last thing I want with my career involving computers. Well, this past week I was paying for overuse of my wrist and wearing my wrist brace all the time . . . and not to thrilled about it (just ask my roommates who probably heard more than they wanted to about it).

The combination of these things meant things weren't exactly the way I wanted them to be and there was nothing that I could do about it. I had to be patient and wait until I was able to type again to be able to re-enter all the email addresses I had tracked down.

Needless to say, I learned very quickly that I'm not as patient as I thought I was. It was a humbling experience to realize that . . . and I know now that it was a lesson that God wanted to teach me and He used it to draw me closer to Him.

One of the few things I could do when I got home from a day of work this week was read my Bible, pray, and just spend time worshipping God. It was what I needed to do this week. I had been falling into the trap of my only time in the Word being the time I spent preparing for leading a Bible study or writing something . . . which isn't good. You don't hear God speak to you when that's the only time you're in the Word, because you're not trying to listen to God for you, you're looking for what it says that speaks to the topic you're preparing to lead a Bible study on or write something on. You miss so much of the Bible this way!

At the time, this was a frustrating week, but as I sit here now and reflect on it, I realize that it was a week that God used for His purpose. To teach more about patience. And to draw me back to Him and renew my desire to spend time with Him just for the sake of being with Him. There is nothing more that I can say, than "Thank You Lord."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

would Jesus be accepted in your church?

I was listening to a song the other day and I was struck by one of the lines in it (can you tell that I listen to music a lot yet?). The song is called My Jesus and it's by Todd Agnew. The line was this one:

'Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet

It got me thinking . . . is that true? Are we more concerned about something in our building getting dirty, than about welcoming people into the church?

I think sometimes, not always but sometimes, we get so caught up in how things look at church and in how we look at church, that we get forget about what is most important . . . the people. There is nothing wrong with wanting things to look nice . . . but when we get so caught up in that we have a problem.

Being raised in the church, I was raised with the idea of putting on your "Sunday best" to go to church each weekend. And when you got there every other family was the same. Is there anything inherently wrong with? No, not in my opinion . . . as long as we don't put this above the people who we are supposed to be showing the love of God to.

Or I've been in places where there is more concern about the building getting dirty than about reaching out to a hurting and lost community around them? This is wrong! As the church we are called to reach out to the world and welcome them.

When I think about it . . . I wonder, would Jesus actually come to one of our churches if He was on earth today? Yes, when He was on earth before He spent time in the synagogues and with the "religious" people of His day, but He also came down pretty hard on them for their hypocritical behaviour on more than one occassion. I think, if Jesus was on earth today, we would find Him with the lowest in our society . . . the poor and the homeless. Those are the people that I think Jesus would spend much of His time with.

And maybe, that's something we need to think about more. Church is good . . . and meeting with other believers is necessary. But, we can't ignore the poor, the homeless, those who are down on their luck . . . we need to reach out to them . . . and to those around us who may not know Christ yet. That should be our focus . . . not looking our best and keeping our churches neat and clean.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

happy new year

Well, I have been bad at writing here lately, I just realized. So, to those who do read this . . . Happy New Year!

So we were singing this song at Alive last night, that was just really cool to me. I don't remember all of the words, who it's by, or even the name of the song, but some of the words are:
God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping
. . .
God in my living
There in my working
. . .
God in my hurting
There in my healing
. . .
Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything
. . .
Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
Be my everything

The whole song just talks about God being a part of every single aspect of our lives.

As I sang those words, they really were my prayer, but afterwards I started thinking . . . I can pray that and mean that at the time, but so often I find myself not wanting God to be a part of everything in my day-to-day life. Not because I don't want Christ in my life, but because those are the moments when I find myself doing things that I know I shouldn't be doing anyways. Really the words to this song have just been challenging me in the last day or so to make them something I can say about my entire life. This means I need to do some changing of certain things in my life and it won't happen overnight, but it is something that I desire.