Saturday, December 6, 2008

"We write this to make our joy complete."

Here in Honors, Ryan just started a Hall Bible Study, and we're going through the book of First John. John writes in 1:3-4:
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
Ryan asked, what does that mean--making our joy complete? And that got me thinking.

John walked and talked with Jesus for three years during his ministry. ("That which... we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched...," verse 1.) He knows this eternal life, "which was with the Father and has appeared to us." He has fellowship with the Father and, even though he's now ascended, his son Jesus Christ. It excites him! This is real, this is eternal life, and he wants them to know it too!

When I'm excited about something, it's even better when I find someone else who's excited about it too. When I see an awesome movie, I love to see it again with people who haven't seen it before, in the hope that they'll enjoy it as much as I do. Now we both enjoy it, and we fellowship in it--this enjoyment is something we share. Few people will go to a theater alone, no matter how awesome the movie is. When I see a hilarious YouTube video, I show it to my family and friends. There's a very real sense in which my joy in something is complete with I can rejoice in it with others.

I think that's what John means when he says, "We write this to make our joy complete." He has fellowship with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ. He wants us, reading this, to have it too. May we have the same desire for others, that our joy may be complete!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The love of God more than all

C.S. Lewis, in the preface to his book "The Problem of Pain":

"I must add, too, that the only purpose of the book is to solve the intellectual problem raised by suffering; for the far higher task of teaching fortitude and patience I was never fool enough to suppose myself qualified, nor have I anything to offer my readers except my conviction that when pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.”

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trust and Obey

Quick thought that Jim Wilson shared with me after Soma last Tuesday:

"'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.'" Matthew 28:18-20

We're not to teach commands; we're to teach obedience to his commands.

We're to teach and practice loving Jesus--which is obedience! (John 14:23--"Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.'")

Friday, November 7, 2008


"But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ...." Phil 3:20

This is a delightful video that makes me think of heaven--

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama on Abortion

Upon request from my folks, here the note that triggered 33-comments-and-counting on Facebook. I'll be honest, my intention for posting it was to let my pro-life friends know that Obama is not a pro-life dude by any stretch of imagination.


Note: this is not meant to start a debate on abortion. My intent with this note is to show what this candidate stands for.

This is directly from his website. I encourage you to read it. (FYI, the Freedom of Choice Act--which Obama has promised to sign as president-- would override practically all federal, state, and local restrictions on abortion.)

"Chicago, IL -- Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement on the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

"Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it's never been more important to protect a woman's right to choose. Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women's health. With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women's fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.

"Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president."


Monday, October 6, 2008

Without Complaining or Arguing, Shining like Stars (Phil Pt 4)

Notes of Philippians 2:12-18, updated as I'm working on them.

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my presence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."

This is marvelous.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

To Walk in Grace

Great song. I love how it the focus turns from my faith at the beginning to God's grace. That's where we are alive and without fear.

"Tip of my Heart" by Bebo Norman

It's on the tip of my heart /
The words to say /
There's an angry world pressed against my back /
And at every turn I keep looking back /

And I know you promise me / Love through eternity /
So why can't I just hold on?
I wanna laugh / I wanna be set free /
and let You hold all that my soul has deep inside of me
But I don't know where to start /
It's on the tip of my heart

So won't you take my hand / Cuz I'm sinkin in /
To this life I've made, but don't understand /
The clock moves so slowly / And time goes so fast /
In this whirlwind world that will never last
This love you've given me / It's not just make-believe /
Help me to just hold on

I wanna live / I wanna love /
But I'm afraid my simple faith will never be enough /
I wanna laugh / I wanna be set free /
and let You hold all that my soul has deep inside of me
But I don't know where to start /
It's on the tip of my heart

You've opened the skies / Opened my eyes /
All my fears you've scattered away /
So I walk in grace / cuz I've seen your face /
And you are all that matters to me

So I'm gunna live / I'm gunna love /
I'm not afraid because your grace will always be enough /
I'm gunna laugh / I'm gunna be set free
And let you hold all that my soul has deep inside of me /
And you've shown me where to start /
It's on the tip of my heart