Thursday, February 19, 2009

One question that unveils if someone is not resting in God's Sovereignty

Are you angry?

I read an article on another blog this morning that had this to say about the connection between anger and God's goodness and providence:

When I grow angry I find myself losing belief. I lose faith in God's goodness amid my circumstances. I lose belief in his promises, that "he works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28).

This unbelief arises from sinful discontent with God's wise providence, a failure to trust in His perfect will to do me good, whether through bad weather or good, emotional intimacy or none, apology or no apology. From emotional outbursts to weather complaints, anger arises from a failure to believe the truth, and belief that God owes me something: better weather or better marital intimacy or whatever.

Belief in this false promise is unbelief in God's promises.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Admitting Limits

I took the following notes from an excellent audio series from Paul Tripp (my project has been to let the truths I know in my head sink deep into my heart):

Two Greatest Lies:
  1. Personal Autonomy
  2. Self-sufficiency
I am a living human being created to be dependent on my creator, the living God.

I am limited by:
  1. Space and time
  2. Knowlege and wisdom
  3. Power and control
  4. Sin and weakness
  5. Ability and gift

The real life of faith is not just about trusting God but it is also about humbling admitting your limits.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
There is no reason to be afraid of weaknesses and limits but what should be feared is delusions of strength. What if life takes you beyond your strength? Paul is so confident in God's grace that he can rejoice in his weaknesses because it is in those moments of personal weakness that he actually experiences the depths of God's power and his faithfulness.

I am letting these truths get buried deep into my heart today. I want to celebrate God's grace today while being constantly dependent on God - doing what he has called me to do. It's not one of my strengths :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Debt Snowball Update

We're still pluggin' away at our goal to be debt free. It has has been close enough to a year so here's another update.

Debt Snowball Progress

February 29, 2008 February14, 2009 Change
Total Debt $182,890.00 $163,971.00 ($18,919.00)
Mortgage $138,489.00 $135,813.00 ($2,676.00)
Consumer $44,401.00 $28,120.00
Number of Debts 12 3 -9

A footnote about the Consumer Loan balance: Right now we are banking our extra payments into savings so the balance is current IF we made a lump sum payment right today. We're banking until June or so and then we'll make the final payment on our next debt which is $6,100 right now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Not Trying To Figure It All Out

The following quote is very helpful for me as one who analyzes everything to death and yet wants to do so much:
"A Christian's inner peace is never based on his ability to take the teachings of Scripture and figure it all out. Our peace always rests on the presence, power, and character of the Lord. Because he rules heaven and earth according to his wise plan, I need not live in anxiety and fear. God's absolute sovereignty guarantees the fulfillment of each of his promises to every one of his children"
Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, p 30
Two words really pop out at me from this quote: rests and plan. When I ask myself, "What is going on? What is God doing?" In every circumstance, the answer is always "Working his plan." I can always check the strength of my belief in God's ultimate rule based on the sense of rest I get from that answer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grand Themes

Here it comes...might as well get back into blogging with a pour-out-your-heart post. This is one of those "Burn the Ships" kind of posts.

Life for me over the last two years has been different. Its been a mixture of blessing and failure. Some things have stabilized, somethings are new, somethings are still a struggle. To summarize the time, I'd have to say I think all my spiritual beliefs have been thoroughly tested. I've concluded that the gap between what I know in my head and what I believe in my heart (i.e. how I live out my beliefs in daily life) is much much larger than I've ever wanted to admit. Not only that, but the most troubling part is that it seems the gap has grown larger at a faster pace in the last nine months. I do not like the direction things have been heading and I am taking charge and doing something about it.

I am not trying to mix up anything that hasn't already been written or said by another human being. I am not very creative or original. But I am a "redoer", a "recycler" of ideas. I take what I learn in life and try to make sense of it and try to "reframe" it so that it speaks to both my head and my that it inspires me to live better. Recently I stepped back from daily life and considered what I know to be true. The following are what I call grand themes in life:
  1. God's Sovereign Rule - The creator God rules everything.
  2. Grace - The love of God is beyond belief.
  3. Truth - It exists and is contained in the authority of the Bible.
  4. New Life - It is exists in the Spirit of God.
  5. Change - New Life itself is really about becoming who you already are.
  6. Surrender - Humble giving up of prideful self.
  7. Live - For another by faith.
I hope to blog through my thoughts and life experiences regarding these themes. It is a practice that keeps me focused on them (and hopefully is helpful to some one else.)

Monday, February 09, 2009

A post about blogging

When I first started blogging I was told that you never blog about blogging. Has that rule changed yet? Not sure but if I'm breaking it in this post, so be it.

I would like to start posting more but:

1. I always over analyze what I should or want to post about. I get locked up.

2. Time seems shorter than its ever been.

3. Work has been good but very stressful over the last year and I am short on mental energy as a result.

4. I have a story to tell but recently it has occurred to me that over the last two years I have shut down much of my willingness to share anything about me with anyone. This really, really bothers me. Really. This is more than a blogging issue but you can see it explains why I don't post much.

I need some inspiration. What shall I post about to get started again?