Friday, June 19, 2009

Growing a Life of Faith

Something that I'm just learning in my life of faith is how vital repentance is. That seems pretty basic right? I'm not sure how I missed that. But somehow, I've had the idea that I should strive to be perfect and a "good" Christian. Of course, that's foolish because in my own selfish nature I can never be either of those things.

I'm reading another great book by Philip Yancey called Rumors of Another World. This rang so true to me,

“In childhood I thought of each of my sins as a brick filling in a space that walled me off from God. My guilt feelings blinded me to the truth that I was busily constructing a wall God had already destroyed. I now believe that God accompanies me at each stage of my struggle, present with me even as I flee from him. At that moments I am most aware of my own inadequacy; at that moment I am probably closest to God.” Page 156-157

It’s crazy to me how many church people have odd ideas on how to help your children grow spiritually. Well, you take them to Sunday School and have them baptized. And help them learn how to keep most of the ten commandments. I mean really, who can keep them all? We want them to be “good” but not necessarily Godly. Because when they are good, we look good. No tantrums in church, no talking back, but at the heart, they are still sinners. We’re born sinners and the only way they’ll be good is through God’s gift of salvation.

The biggest thing God is showing me is to help them recognize and not run from their weaknesses. I learned quickly in church to be “good” and never let anyone know things weren’t perfect. It’s a slow process to get over that as an adult. So I want my kids to Learn the act of confession and restoration with God. I want them to avoid the pitfall of trying to pretend they aren't sinners by coming to Christ for the forgiveness that he desires to give us all.

Because when we are weak, He is strong. When we are weak, we are closest to Him. Our weakness drives us to the foot of the cross, drives us into His loving arms.

Psalm 51: 1-4
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Delayed Gratification

We live in an instant gratification society. If you're at a stoplight and do not floor it the second it turns green, someone will honk. If I have to wait more than 2 seconds for the page to load, I impatiently tap my fingers on the keyboard. Fast food, microwaves - you get the picture.

But things in life don't always come right away or as planned. Like, some friends of ours that have been trying to adopt for seven years. It's been a tough road! There have been a lot of times that it looked like it was going to happen and then fell through. This week they have a new baby boy. I am absolutely giddy and teary with happiness for them.

And we know a couple who tried and tried to get pregnant and after adopting a son, were very surprised to get pregnant with another one. After being close to them through their infertility they moved away. It was such a blessing to see them this summer with two beautiful boys!

I'm also super happy for the couple in our church who just had their fourth baby in five years, but it seems there is a little extra sweetness when it has involved waiting, suffering and wondering why.

Do you think it's a little like us waiting for Jesus? Our waiting and suffering will add fuel to anticipating the sweetness of Jesus' return.

Lately, I've caught myself feeling like the world is passing me by. People are off going wonderful places and buying grand things. I drive a junky old van, have no job, no retirement, do not own a home.

Does that mean that I am more eager to go to my eternal heavenly home?

How much more do people who have lost loved ones ache and desire for the Lord's return?

After her family completed the five hunger challenge, my friend Jenn commented that the banquet of the Lamb will be so much sweeter for those who have lived in a third world country.

How much more unbelievable will a new, perfected body be to an 18 year old I know of that was paralyzed this winter?

I think it will be heavenly.

Romans 8:18-23
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.