Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Surpised By Augustine
I know my friend Shane loves the book "Surprised by the Spirit". Well, a friend of mine gave me a copy of "Augustine's Confessions". I didn't know what to think. I am only a few chapters into it so here are my impressions. First of all, I had this vague notion of Augustine being the Father of the concept of original sin. I can see his concept of sin permeating his whole life, even from a young age.

I have been surprised not by Augustine's concept of sin, but his passionate love for Christ. Augustine addresses his audience (God) as "My Joy", "My Peace", and "My Love". You get the real sense that he was really in love with Christ. He knew that true joy, peace, and love comes from Christ alone. I have been humbled by this, knowing that I look for security and meaning in so many things beside Christ. Thank you Augustine. Thank you for your confusing language and sentence structure that makes me read twice as slow. Thank you because it has made me pour over your words of devotion. The words I hope to someday make 100% true in my life.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I just finished reading "Divine Nobodies" by JIm Palmer. I am wary of any book that has an endorsement by McLaren comparing the author to Donald Miller. The premise of the book is that the author has encountered God more through the lives of nameless people instead of the movers and shakers of the Christian world.

One such person is a former child sex slave. Jim talks about what a 'relationship' with God is like. Relationship is two way street that requires us to listen to God. To hear what grieves His heart and to listen to the things that frustrate Him. I guess I have not wanted to make God into a human. God himself declares that he is not a man (Numbers 23). I don't want to admit that God communicates in an emotional way like my friends do to me. Does it makes God any less of a person that he wants (not needs) to tug at my ear to share his heart with me.

I am reminded how much of my so called "relationship" with God revolves around me and my little world. But there are things that grieve God, tear Him apart, and just plain piss Him off. I need to know those things about God just as much as anything else. If not, do I really know Him?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

As I was reading through Philippians this morning I came across a passage that struck me. In chapter 1 Paul says that he doesn't care when people preach the Gospel out of impure motives. Paul simply rejoices in the fact that Christ was proclaimed. I got to be honest. I find this beyond me. Or to quote my friend Shane, "I'm not there yet." I find it so difficult to stand by and watch as people who live the Christian life out out of pride or selfish motives. How can Paul be this gracious? How can he be so open handed?

I think the reason is that Paul himself loved Jesus so much that any way the name of Jesus was being proclaimed was okay with him. That's not to say that any way is ok with God. Paul would say that it is up to God to be Judge.

I am praying that I would be much more concerned with the fame and glory of Jesus than about the people around me who, "aren't cutting it." I have to admit. "I'm not there yet." But I want to be.