June 28th, 2005


Surprised by joy

O Christian, the vows of God are upon you. You are God's priest: act as such. You are God's king: reign over your lusts. You are God's chosen: do not associate with Belial. Heaven is your portion: live like a heavenly spirit, so shall you prove that you have true faith in Jesus, for there cannot be faith in the heart unless there be holiness in the life.

"Lord, I desire to live as one
Who bears a blood-bought name,
As one who fears but grieving Thee,
And knows no other shame."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (27 June, Evening: "Escaping the World")

These are good days. God has me stunned and unsure of my next steps, and joyful because of how clearly and graciously He has shown up. While those feelings might seem conflicting, they are not—with Him as my certainty, I can rest in His goodness, wait on Him, and learn to act in faith. And as for being stunned, a bit of awe truly seems like the right response.

And in this joy, He quietly, gently, steadily draws me to Himself, out of Egypt's bondage. Though He has long ago freed me, I often more readily trust captivity's security and comforts. In these good days, however, He reminds me who I am by showing me freshly who He is. That also frees me to risk.

More and more excited for Heather and Nate's wedding this Saturday. Just doing the layout for their program yesterday got me in the swing, I suppose. They must be ready to bust.

I think people rule out Vegas entirely too soon, however. It must not be in their seven-tabbed three-ring wedding planning binders.

Not funny

I wonder how much of the way I see things is based on how they objectively are and how much of it is based in my disposition at the time (I don't pretend this is a very original question, or even a well-worded one). Right now, I'm wondering because I just watched last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which I usually love, and the whole thing just seemed mean-spirited and hostile. Was it just this episode? Or is my heart in a place where I don't like seeing my faith attacked and ridiculed?

Honestly, I love God more than I'm in love with ideas on how to build a better community. I'm more committed to His authority than I am to endless opinions on this, that, or the other thing. And even though I may criticize and poke fun, when His people are genuinely pursuing Him, I hate to see them kicked around from the outside (or even from within by professed Christians who are really working out other issues between themselves and God under the cloak of critique).

As Martin Luther said, "The church may be a whore, but she's my mother."