January 8th, 2004


Amazing love, how can it be?

We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this error, and the same process is at work in our lives. God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. It is a matter of loosening the bands that hold back our lives. Those bands are loosened immediately by identification with the death of Jesus. Then we enter into a relationship with God whereby we may sacrifice our lives to Him.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (8 January, "Is My Sacrifice Living?")

Definitely feeling a groove, which is very nice. So many encouraging things with John's transition into the pulpit. Felt a good vibe at staff meeting yesterday; I think Phil did, too. Congregational meeting this Sunday will be a great opportunity for the church to be called back to the same page on our vision. I think God has been preparing us for this.

The way He works redemption is breathtaking. It's all over the history of our church. Starting this Sunday, John will begin preaching a series of sermons on the "I am"s of Jesus. Unknown to him (until yesterday), this very topic was the first series preached at our church, back in winter of 1998— the first sermon title ("I Am the Bread of Life") the very same. Coincidence? Hardly.

Concurrently, I'm feeling myself drawn back to the truth, able to shake a temptation or two when I realize that, regardless of how appealing they may be, they are ultimately lies. I try to sell myself back into slavery far too easily and often. It is a rich and transforming grace to be made aware of this, still moreso to see that His motivation for opening my eyes and strengthening my heart is nothing less than amazing, eternal love for me. For me! Staggering.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful

Finishing a week

Over lunch I read a column in the Capitol Hill Times which mirrored my sentiments of yesterday almost exactly. He wrote it first, so he has dibs.

Office has been quiet today— not even church mice. Very nice. Looks like I'll have tomorrow and Saturday off, which is almost shocking. May go see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King at Cinerama in the morning, then grab some afternoon time at Murphy's with Jeremy, Nate, and/or whomever else can show up and raise a pint.

Productivity feels good. Not quite sure how I'm going to get all of this stuff up to the church building, though. That's worth putting off.
  • Current Mood
    productive productive