- Ephesians 2:8-9
i'm starting a series on exodus with the college & young singles group this sunday. probably can't do ALL the same stuff i did with the high schoolers, but i'm still looking forward to pointing to Christ in the rescue and establishing of israel. ya know... the important stuff!
maybe i'll turn some outlines into posts. that'll give me some content!
also starting piper's what Jesus demands of the world with the college home group tomorrow night. hoping to build some momentum this summer and take it into the fall!
not gonna question plot holes, guess at theories or try to pinpoint the theology of losticism. just gonna throw these out there:
-i think it would have been better to have jack's death scene on the island be the end. the sideways world/limbo story line was "neat," but kind of just came across as a way to make the masses happy and keep people on the show. i like how they went about it and realize that this season was made complete by that whole gimmick, but i don't think the story needed that arc at all. it was just the twisty mystery of this season.
-the jack vs. MiB battle/showdown/duel was SO fantastic! the stare down, jack with a flying superman punch in the rain, etc. epic.
-really enjoyed the eye closing in the bamboo bookend. (as stated before, i think that would have been better left alone without the "closure" of the happily ever after. but i'm not HATING that they added all that.)
-thoroughly enjoyed the star wars references (that i caught, anyway): "i have a bad feeling about this" and "yeah, he's worse than yoda."
-and, of course, loving that jack was the hero (despite what some naysayers may say ... or naysay.) "looks like you were wrong, too."
-little perturbed/disturbed by the wife-swapping and love polygons that permeated the series/finale.
-out of all of the reunion-flashback-memory-trigger things, i enjoyed charlie/hurley (because of hurley) and charlie/claire (because of charlie) the most.
-and i don't know if you saw matthew fox on jimmy kimmel last night but i believe his tears were real. that was the first time he had seen the finale, he said. (and can we get this dude an emmy, please?)
due to a need for content and the recent inspiration/reminder by my sister-in-law and her "good lists," here's a "good list" for you, quick six version:
-witmygracesays (the twitter account my brother started where he posts things my niece, grace, says)
-blue bell's "milk chocolate" ice cream (tastes like a wendy's frosty)
-chick-fil-a's honey roasted bbq sauce (SO good. also, looking forward to the chick-fil-a spicy chicken sandwich due next month.)
-volleyball nights are imminent
-david platt's radical (well the first chapter, at least... that's as far as i've read)
-got to go to radio music theatre the other night AND sat on the front row! (i laugh hard every time i go)
it's the most busiest time of the year. with job role changes, a new home group starting, people graduating, friends getting married, offices relocating, a wedding to co-officiate, etc. etc. it's been (and will continue to be) a little crazy. BUT i can't complain and i know my busy-ness pales in comparison to most people's. i still hope to become a more regular blogger, of course. we'll see how that goes!
quick rundown: mowed my yard last week (this is only "news" because i bought a mower and did it myself for the first time since moving in)...still waiting on official grades from this past semester...it's getting hotter (anyone notice?)...amazing race finale = thumbs down...survivor finale = meh...LOST finale = we'll see...rooting for the suns...missing college football...
you're probably familiar with john the baptist's great insight, "He must increase, i must decrease."
i think we (believers) have a basic understanding of that truth. denying our wills to pursue and submit to Christ, while not necessarily easy, makes sense as we live the Christian life.
BUT, and maybe i'm alone here, i think denying my SELF is much more than just denying what i want. it's often about denying who i am. i think this because i've noticed, again, mainly in myself, that believers tend to justify their flesh by "wrapping" it around spiritual things. what i mean is, if my natural personality is abrasive or insensitive or prideful, it's really easy to present/defend/"stand on" biblical truth and hurt people or be a first class butt about things. i've addressed this line of thinking before, but i think God is still grinding me down about it! i know my tendency is to chalk up certain things to "that's just how i'm wired."
God has obviously wired us all uniquely and specifically and i'm not suggesting all of our personalities should dissolve so that we're a bunch of Christ-bots with no humanity in us. BUT we should be characterized by Christ and we should deny the flesh. the point is that people see Christ, not us. this is the tension i'm constantly trying to figure out. less of me, more of Him.
maybe this is elementary Christianity, but i see this being an issue in a lot of believers and specifically in ministers/pastors. because our personalities/emotions are natural, we embrace and justify them, but our sin is natural, too, and we seek to deny it. where is that line drawn? denying ourselves is made up of more than just doing what Christ wants. it means doing the things Christ wants with the attitude Christ would have. of course, the key to that is wanting what Christ wants so much so that it becomes what "we" want.
i'm reminded of Psalm 37:4
"Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart."
and Philippians 2:13
"for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
and this just in from a potential intern's application/testimony
"God is ruining my life"
(in the context and heart of his statement, i think that's a great way to look at it. his goals, dreams, ambitions, etc. are all trumped by God's will for his life.)
submitting ALL of ourselves to Christ results not just in changed actions but changed motives and attitudes. which, i have to believe, means less of our "edgy personalities" (rudeness), less of our "carefree approach" (apathy), less of our "undying conviction" (foolish stubbornness), etc. and more humble service. and that's genuine humility, not the kind i've been known to feign so people will notice! this is a vigilant task, because i believe God uses our unique and natural personalities, quirks, "wirings," etc. to do His kingdom work. that's why it's so easy to let the guard down in these areas. but i have to imagine that ministers around the world are often doing more harm than they should by not getting enough of themselves out of the way as God works.
trust me, this post is as much a confession as a charge to fellow believers. (probably more so!)
anyway... i'm not on the other side of this battle (hence the post title.) i doubt i'll ever be. i'm not sure any Christian ever really is. i'm just sayin'.