July 18th, 2004


Wild in love

Many people begin coming to God once they stop being religious, because there is only one master of the human heart—Jesus Christ, not religion. But "Woe is me" if after seeing Him I still will not obey (Isaiah 6:5, also see Isaiah 6:1). Jesus will never insist that I obey, but if I don’t, I have already begun to sign the death certificate of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and say, "I will not obey," He will never insist. But when I do this, I am backing away from the recreating power of His redemption. It makes no difference to God’s grace what an abomination I am, if I will only come to the light. But "Woe is me" if I refuse the light (see John 3:19-21).

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (18 July, "The Mystery of Believing")

"Backing away from the recreating power of His redemption." That nailed me.

It's been a good morning, full of quiet that only comes early. Got more sleep than I have been on Saturday nights (or most nights) so that's a pretty huge blessing. I fight so hard against the few baby steps of discipline that would really bring me life: going to bed a bit earlier, leaving the television off more, eating a little less and a little more healthily, reading more often, being intentional about spending time with friends. It's encouraging to know there's not one of those things I can't do today.

The best thing about the quiet is His presence there. I sat and prayed at the bus stop, knowing that He was with me, listening, guiding, comforting, loving. I can live wildly in love. I'm free to do that, if only I will.

Today, I will.
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    loved loved

What I heard God say today

Perhaps it's because of where God has me at this point in life, but this morning's sermon—indeed, the entire worship service—spoke powerfully to me. Below are the lyrics for a couple of this morning's hymns that struck me, as well as a link to the sermon itself.

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And here's this morning's sermon and text.

EDIT: Updated the sermon link—last week's sermon was great, but I didn't mean to link to it again this week.
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    impressed impressed

Hot and bothered

Weird what bothers me and what doesn't. For the whole week I've been flying off the handle at the smallest things. Yet today I was basically stood up by my ride to my friend's reception—the one I spent hours of my off time running errands to make a dish for—and it barely fazed me.

Here's a very tentative hypothesis: I get angry when things don't work right, when systems break down. But when people let me down, that's already in the equation. I expect to be forgotten or pushed to the side some of the time. It's not like there's any friend who never comes through for me; everyone does, in their measure. I've learned, however, that those measures are limited—that if I want to really be able to count on something, I have to make it work myself. When I can't do that, that's when I get angry.

In sum: I expect relying on others to eventually be futile, but I expect that I can make things work. That's pretty screwed up in multiple directions.

So today I was tired and gave up after a phone call. I'd rather let it go than to continue to bang my head against the wall and ruin my chance at a little rest. There'll be time to be angry later, I suppose, if I need to be. I'm not denying that there's disappointment and hurt; I just don't want to make it bigger than it is.

marm gently suggested that my expectations of friendship may be too low. She's right—it's not supposed to be this way. Yet it is this way, and perhaps it's necessary to accept that.

I'm more bothered and hurt now that I've written. That wasn't such a good idea, perhaps.
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    hot hot