Sunday, 25 September 2011

Meanings of Silence

I've written on Silence before. But that was in the context of learning how to be more silent. Today I was worshiping the LORD at church and as His Glory and presence overwhelmed me I started to think. I thought about God's love for us, and His seeming silence from time to time. I thought about my inability in those moments to come up with any way to express my deep gratitude and love for Him. Then I realized that silence too can be an expression of love. Silence is more than simply the absence of something, but can be the presence of Love. Let me explain with a short story.

I talk to Brenda on the phone several times a week. There are moments when the conversation stops and we both sit there in silence. But it is so much more than simply having nothing to say because in those moments I know exactly what she is thinking and I believe she knows what I'm thinking. We both feel and want to express our love for one another, but somehow words are inadequate. Ultimately one or the other of us will break the silence with those words, "I love you." Those moments of silence are not empty but filled with our mutual affection. I know that when I am with her that I could simply sit in her presence completely satisfied to simply stare at her. No words need be exchanged.

And that is how I was feeling towards God this morning. I could not express my deep love for Him, and I didn't need to. He knows the depths of my love, however insignificant compared to His, and is satisfied to look at me in love Himself. I don't need Him to always be speaking as I grow in my maturity and knowledge of Him. He doesn't always have to continually shout His love for me with gifts and blessings, for His silence shouts His great love for me even more inexpressibly than I can imagine.

For His Glorious Name,

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Of Great Worth

What do you do when you feel like you don't deserve something? Do you try to earn it? Do you accept it? Do you reject it?

I recently talked a little about unworthiness and the inability that we have to earn anything that we receive from the hand of God. It was mostly about trying to break down our egos about ourselves where somehow we had thought we deserved what we received. But there is a pitfall in always pointing this out which is to believe that we are worthless. There is a huge difference between being unworthy and being worthless.

Some people readily acknowledge their unworthiness and constantly berate and belittle themselves and others. It is sad to see this happen because as God's creation we have imbued worth. Not because of anything we can or have done, but because of the one who has made us. In business one has to eventually realize that just about everything is worth something. Some things that we thought would fetch a huge price have less worth than we thought and other things that we thought had little or no worth turn out to have great worth. It comes down to something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. And God has paid for you. He has paid with His Son on the cross. He paid the heaviest price that can ever be paid counterbalancing and overcoming the weight of sin. That is how much you are worth. That is how much God values you. So don't make Christ's sacrifice worthless by rejecting it or worse yet trying to earn it. Because you are worth a lot, and God has gone to great lengths to make sure that you know it.

For His Glorious Name,

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Unworthy of Stewardship

I opened my hands this morning and realized that God has entrusted into my hands not only tasks, but the lives of others. In particular I think about the heart of my Beloved Brenda. I hold it in my hands. She is submitting herself to my leadership. She is following me. As we grow and figure out what that really means I just think about the responsibility placed in my hands and the ability given to me by her and God. What scares me most I think is that with her heart in my hands I have the ability to crush it. But truth be told, in that respect she has the same ability with my own heart.

But thats just it, when it comes down to it, we're all blubbering idiots. The responsibilities God has placed in our hands are beyond us. We are not worthy of the stewardship we've been entrusted with. With her heart in my hands, I will inevitably cause it damage, hopefully not crush it, but nevertheless I will hurt her. Not to try to justify it in some way by any kind of "I told you it would happen" scenario, but rather the recognition of the fact that I don't know what the heck I'm doing. I can't even be trusted with my own heart. I've caused so much damage even to my own heart that I can't reasonably expect that I won't hurt her as well. But still God has entrusted us with these kinds of things. We are not worthy. We are not capable. And yet He gives us these things. Because He loves us. And He will empower us. When I fail, it is because of my own shortcomings. Oh, but when I succeed! Glory be to God, for it is through Him and His Spirit that success is ever possible, even plausible. For when I relinquish lordship in my own life, these hands cease to be mine and become His. That is when her heart will be safe, nourished, cherished, and strengthened. By giving Him my hands to use as He wills, I no longer fear, but rejoice.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift and Beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise;
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Frances R. Havergal "Take My Life and Let It Be"

For His Glorious Name,

Saturday, 10 September 2011


Have you ever thought about what we mean when we use the word beauty, or beautiful? What do you mean when you use the word? Without doubt we all mean something slightly different by the word. But at least to some degree we have similar understandings enough for communication to take place. But then we have the phrase, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." So there will always be disagreement on what is beautiful.

I tell my girlfriend she is beautiful. But is that something local to my existence, or can beauty ever be something broader than what is in the eye of the beholder? defines beauty as, "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)." I happen to like this definition. With this definition we can understand why some people will find some music beautiful and others would not. There are qualities in everything. Understandably there would be some people that find certain qualities in something pleasing and other qualities displeasing. Its a bit of a ranking system. Sometimes the displeasing qualities override any possible good qualities and the person considers something or someone ugly. On the other hand sometimes people will overlook bad qualities as insignificant if the person or object contains a good quality they esteem very highly. But this still only deals with the individual perspective. Could there be any universal sense of beauty?

The second part of the definition talks about a meaningful design or pattern. I believe in a design and therefore a designer. This brings another aspect of beauty into play. Everything has some inherent beauty in it, though very marred at times, based on its nature as being designed. The beauty inherent in the creator is given to the creation. We were created for a purpose, and the better in line with that purpose we live the more beautiful I believe we become. Which brings me back to Brenda. I find her to be the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. The reason is I can see Christ through her more clearly than I could in anyone else before. Part of that is how I'm getting to know her more closely than any other person. I find her beautiful for many reasons (character, love, appearance, joy, skills, etc.). I don't think anyone else would necessarily agree with me on how beautiful she is, except for possibly her parents and I definitely don't think she's as beautiful yet as God thinks she is. I'll have to come more in line with His perspective with time. But it is because of Him that I am learning to love her in the first place. It is His hand imprinted on her soul that I find so beautiful and I'll be trying to follow His lead on this one.

For His Glorious Name,

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Supporting Sin

I normally don't like to debate controversial subjects. Furthermore I really dislike taking political stances. But in this case I'll make an exception. I have recently become aware of a California law that has recently passed that would require public school teachers (including charter schools) to include positive discussion of the sexual orientations of transgender, bisexual, and gay Americans in all social science courses. Nothing is allowed to "reflect adversely" on these lifestyles.

Now if you're reading this blog, you either agree that this is a detestable thing or you do not. If you do, then no argument need be made. If you don't agree with me I do not think any argument I could give on a blog would convince you otherwise and would more likely dissociate you from me and my blog. I do not wish that either. So whether you support alternate sexual lifestyles (which the Bible calls sinful and detestable) or not, consider this. This law reflects a minority political social agenda, not education. Furthermore the state will be usurping the rights of parents to teach morality to their children. In Massachusetts there is already a similar law in effect and there are some parents that have actually been put in jail because they disagreed with and protested to the school about what they were teaching their children. Don't believe me? You can find out more information at If you live in California, please find a petition to sign as this is grossly impeding on the rights of parents, morality, education, and the limited resources and finances of schools. If you do not live in California, please pray and if you know anyone who does live in California, please let them know what is going on. This is an affront to families, morality, Christianity, and God.

For His Glorious Name,

Monday, 5 September 2011

A Reactionary God?

How do you view God? Not your intellectual theology about God, but how do you really think and act towards Him? Most of us have an active theology that fits more in line with a reactionary god than the Lord of Hosts and the King of Kings. We tend to think of God sitting and waiting for us to either do something wrong, so he can punish us. Or he's waiting for us to do something right so he can bless us. Its not that God doesn't punish sin or doesn't bless obedience, but there is so much more going on that no person can fully comprehend it all. Think on that for a little bit and see if your life truly fits in with this paradigm or not. Its a hard notion to shake. I think its because in many ways that is how we live ourselves, reacting to our situations.

Life is tough for most of us. Work is hard and relationships can often be even harder. There is so much going on all at once that we hardly ever have any time to do anything proactive. We're stuck in survival mode and when we're surviving all we do is base our decisions on our circumstances. We base our actions on what our felt needs are.

Another reason we tend to think of God this way is because he tends to make us wait. God's timing is never in line with our timing and as such we find ourselves waiting for direction, or provision, or any number of things we're expecting from God. Or he moves things at a pace much faster than we're comfortable with. Its rarely, if ever on track with what we'd like.

Okay, so why then do I not think God is a reactionary God? Because of what he calls us to be and who I've seen Him be in my life as well as in the Bible. I see God taking initiative all over the scriptures. He gets Moses attention to send him to be His representative before Pharaoh. He sent Jesus to die for us and be raised again. Jesus started the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. God anticipates our needs and deals with them, sometimes before we're even aware of the need. But many of the times He'll make us wait. He builds our patience and character through the trying times between our felt need and His provision.

So if God is a proactive God, and we are made in His image, then should we not also be proactive? We should not simply wait for direction, but act on what we know now. Don't worry, if you start to head the wrong direction God will correct you if you are His child. But I know in my life I've learned more about God's will through taking action on what I already know than waiting for the whole plan to be laid out for me. That's all I can do, live day by day seeking His will. There are many things, in fact most things, that I do not yet know, but I know a little and its enough to do something with. So I encourage you to stop thinking about doing something, and do something.

For His Glorious Name,