Praying for Me

I woke up the other morning realizing that, while my to-do list was quite full, there was nothing on it that posed a dire emergency, nor was there anything that left me feeling overwhelmed and incapable. That was such a change from the previous few months that I had to stop and breathe a sigh of relief. As I talked to God that morning, I prayed for others on my heart, but not for myself. In fact, I had the utter audacity to tell him that, for once, I had everything under control.

You’d think I would know better.

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An Abundance of Possessions

We sold our house. After months of working hard to get it ready, we finally listed it on a Saturday morning in late March—far, far later than the planned February date. I didn’t know what to expect. Would there be hordes of people coming to view it? Would anyone come at all? Given the timing, we needed a quick sale. What would God do?

A lot, it turns out. We received a serious offer a mere seven days after the listing went live. What’s more, the buyers love plants. They’re thrilled about filling the windows with indoor greenery and filling the outside beds with veggies. They’re interested in getting chickens. In fact, they love everything about the house that we do. It’s so much easier to let go when you know you’re blessing someone else as a result!

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God’s No-Win Dilemma

It’s the age-old question—“Why am I here?” Why did God make us?

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that we exist to bring glory to God. As I continued reading in Isaiah, I came across this pertinent verse:

… for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel. Isaiah 44:23

This states it more clearly: He displays His glory in Israel—and in us. We don’t have to do it; He does it. Our role is to be willing vessels.

And that got me thinking—how does God go about displaying His glory in us? What does it look like from our perspective? I believe that God has two options here.

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Stop. Listen.

christ-on-the-cross-001I tend to lay low on Good Friday. I want time to think, time to spend with God, time to consider the price Jesus paid so that we could be in God’s presence without condemnation.

I appreciate the time you spend reading my blog posts, as I share my thoughts with you.

Today, please spend that time with God. Listen to His thoughts.

I’ll be doing the same.

Why am I here?

Most people ask that question at some point in their lives. Some believe the answer is random chance—that there is no purpose to the universe. Others, including those who believe in a Christian God, answer that God created us for His purposes. The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” with the answer being, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

This past week I was reading through Isaiah when I came to chapter 43. I think that Isaiah 43:1 – 7 is my favorite passage in the entire Bible. (Read these verses and think about how much God loves you.)

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Play It Again, Band

The worship band segues into another song. We sing through the introduction, then launch into the chorus. Then a line or two… and the chorus again. And again. And again. And again. Sixteen repetitions later, we sing the introduction again and the whole process repeats.

The first few minutes are great. I’m focused on God, meaning every word I sing. But by the end of the song, all I can think about is how much I dislike singing the same thing over and over and over. If it makes me this crazy, how could God appreciate this interminable repetition? Is this really how we’re supposed to worship?

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Why Christian Art is Often Awful (and what we can do about it)

Is contemporary Christian art mediocre, or worse? Many people think so, and they have a point. It used to be that the best art glorify God, and we sought His inspiration. Now we look to commercials, corporate logos, TV, and movies—and produce tacky knock-offs.

shirts-001baptist church bandOr consider this appallingly awful video showing a Christianized version of a once-popular song (with apologies to the Monkees): “I’m a Believer.”

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