Just to let you know folks, I am not intentionally trying to sink yet another neglected blog into the abyss. Not intentionally. I'm just plain mulling over too much stuff from this year's ATI conference, books I'm reading, and Bible verses I'm reading to narrow a blog post down to one subject.
If any of you are still reading this blog, look for another post here in the next week or two. Sorry about the wait. Not that you noticed anyway. And subscribe by E-mail on this page or by Google Reader and all that great, underused technology.
In the meantime, here's some Scripture for you today from James 1, AMP. Just read it, it speaks for itself:
22But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
23For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;
24For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.
This is who I am. Forgive me, Jesus.
God blessed you all,
Yes, blessed. I was gonna say "bless", but think about it: He has.
In ways we can't even begin to thank Him for.
What a man. I've known about Jim Elliot for years, and I knew his story. Only very recently, though, did I start to read more about him. His wisdom and heart for God is inspiring and very challenging...here are a few excerpts from his journals: (Now I'm not one of those who go all-out for quotes. I always get so frustrated at reading quote books. So many words people [who think themselves to be very wise] write for the very purpose of showing their 'wisdom'. But that's just me, maybe. You may disagree. Anyway...:) Jim Elliot's wisdom is, to me, different. Almost every new quote I would read seemed to be so refreshing and profound. So here are some of the ones that impressed me the most:
"Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God." . .. ... !
"Wherever you are - be all there." "Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living."
(This seemed to go perfectly with my first post, "Both to be Full and to be Hungry," what God has been showing me over the past few weeks. If you haven't read it, now would be a great time. ;) Moving on.)
"It makes me boil when I think of the power we profess and the utter impotency of our action. Believers who know one-tenth as much as we do are doing one-hundred times more for God, with His blessing and our criticism. Oh if I could write it, preach it, say it, paint it, anything at all, if only God's power would become known among us."
"Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own loves to share in the expression of His. Consider the call from the Throne above, "Go ye," and from round about, "Come over and help us," and even the call from the damned souls below, "Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place." Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea."
His urgency is so amazing, and incredibly challenging. Elliot's dedication and love for God brought Him to the Quechuas, and then the Waodani of Ecuador. Before he and his four friends were killed by Waodani spears, he wrote this:
"If we are the sheep of His pasture, remember that sheep are headed for the altar."
His life and death resulted in the unreached Waodani tribe being reached by the life changing good news of Christ. What a life.
Well hello everyone. This idea/inspiration/blessing is something that has blessed me tremendously in talking with a friend who encouraged me in this, and reading, almost by 'coincidence', the same thing in the Bible. So I hope you are encouraged by it also.
Okay, so I read alot of books. I read about a lot of people. I pay attention to strong people of faith. I have spiritual heroes. A few. Among them, the Apostle Paul, who I am reading in Philippians.
So I find myself, as it's easy to do, aspiring. I aspire to be totally devoted to God. I want my relationship with Christ to be mind-blowing, wonderful, inspiring. I want every morning that I spend with Him to be Spirit-filled and refreshing. Essentially, I ask God constantly for a closer walk. I ask for strength in trials. I'm sure we all do, and I think that's good. God loves that, don't you think?
But it can become confusing. My eyes can become set on a goal that...that I have not reached. And so in my prayer and Bible reading, I can so easily have my eyes fixed on this ... goal. Maybe this is also good. But look at what Paul says in Philippians 4:11:
"...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content"
That's what I said. Not much, right? I mean, that's all well and good. Contentment is important, but I'm thinking circumstances. I'm content with my life, my family, my education. I'm happy, okay? And I pray that if tough circumstances come, that I'd be able to be content in those, too. But I didn't really relate to what Paul is saying. Until I read the next verse.
"Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
In all things to be both full and hungry? Wait, Paul, they're opposites. Before and after, alright? I think in (sometimes extreme) analogies and examples. Before Thanksgiving Dinner After Fasting 49.8 days: Hungry. After Eating Hearty Thanksgiving Day Meal: Full (and very likely dead, but anyway) You can eat potatoes and turkey for a long time, okay, and eventually you get full. Meaning you're no longer hungry. (Unless you're a pretty sick person, maybe.) So it's almost a paradox. They're 'inversely proportional'. As one goes up, the other goes down. I really don't need to explain that this much. This really is, though, an amazing picture of who we should be in Christ. Both to be full, meaning content, thankful, and satisfied. Because we cannot serve God if we are not satisfied in Him. As John Piper writes, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." Read that again. "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." What happens when we aspire to be someone and live a certain life is we are trying to become somebody instead of focusing on God. It distracts us from what God wants to show us here, now, today. I find myself dreaming of what I can be and how I can serve God in five years instead of asking Him what he wants from me today. My ambition and desire keeps me from accepting what He is trying to show me. And at the same time, hungry. Thirsty, asking, and almost unsatisfied. God, don't ever let me be content to stay here. Show me who you are, because that will bring me to love you more and draw closer to you! Amaze me with your glory so that I will always want more of you. This "hunger" is where we see how desperately weak and thirsty we are and realize how unfathomably strong and loving he is, how much he wants us to ask Him for Himself because he created us to do so! So it's this balance. And in a song from Casting Crowns "Somewhere in the Middle"is this beautiful way of putting it: "Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more/ Somewhere in the middle You'll find me"
Somewhere in that middle ground. Content in God's love and grace and always wanting more of Him. This state of desperate thirst in peaceful content. This state of unsatisfied satisfaction. So God bless you all. Never stop seeking God. Let's never think we understand Him enough. Never think you have all He wants to give. And always thank God for what he has done in your life. For what he is showing you. Be satisfied in Him! 'A bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ'
Ookay. So I decided to make a Blog. Now, I know as well as you do that the last thing this world needs is another blog with all the meaningless words that are flying around the 'blogosphere', because of this I do not expect you to read or follow the Blog_of a_Bondservant.
Because I'm no good at this blogging thing. I have Facebook, type approx. .0000487 wpm when virtually burning up the keyboard, am very random, have an opinion on probably way too many things and the right perspective on certainly way too few. My first blog (which I got in the supercool days when xanga was the thing to beat) lasted a very short four or five months, with, if I remember correctly, exactly three different posts. So don't expect too much. :)
So that, hopefully, is not what this blog will be. What I aim to actually have it be is my 'wise' perspective on random, general things (Hey. Laughing isn't polite. Appropriate in this case, but not polite.), the things in my life more interesting than what can be shared in a Facebook status update, and most especially and (to me, at least) most importantly, a place where I can share what God has shown me and is teaching me through His Word and my experiences. Hopefully, you can glean some encouragement and/or insight from my feeble attempts at telling you what he is showing me.
So 'follow' at your own risk, but I'll not waste your time. I hope this can be a rare blog that is actually 'beneficial to society' in general, and that your faith can be strengthened, at least a little, in the reading of this.
God bless you all,