Monday, January 28, 2008


I have found myself (again) in need of some rest both in the Lord--a spiritual refreshing--and a physical respite from working, studying, and doing. I got on a plane for a conference and thankfully built in the time was pockets to find peace and prayer. I was looking forward to getting out of my routine (although desperately missing my family) I hadn't had much time to do some writing, journal, movie watching, and just getting horizontal for an extended amount of time with some good tunes. In the midst of life's routine, one of my biggest challenges is that I am continuing to find myself challenged in the pursuit of my "higher education." A masters degree requires a lot of work in general. A master's degree in theology just comes with added pressure for me. I feel this need to give it my all, after all it is not just a piece of paper I am after but a depth in my understanding and relationship with God. I also want my studies to be worshipful not just hoops to jump through. At times I resent Seminary. I get frustrated how much emphasis I/we (who is we? I don't know--just some people that I assume think like this--possible another issue I should address) put on seminary. As if sitting in a class and writing papers qualifies anyone for ministry. (I mean, sometimes I wonder what happened to Jesus' way of making disciples--taking ordinary people and spending life, teaching, healing, and loving people. Please don't get me wrong I see the value of my education and really appreciate what I am learning, but I have to be careful not to miss God. In other words it is easy to do God's work (studying, helping, exerting energy, etc) and miss interacting or seeing him, God, face to face--for whatever that means.

For instance, I am desperately trying to finish papers and read 1000 page books --just to finish them so I can move on to other parts of life--like just laying on the couch, playing with my daughter, and enjoying my wife. Well, all that to say that I want to learn to balance the aspects of
my life--my family, and then ministry in community all the while CENTERING my life on God--consciously knowing he is in, involved, around, within, and over all that I do. I'm learning to be fully present and in the moments of my life--not lingering in the past or fearing anxiously the future. My word for this season continues to be AT HOME. I am called to be at home with myself, at home in God and his love. God wants me to be loved, secure, humbly confident, and satisifed--and it is is still a struggle. The struggle- juggle can be overwhelming. Guilt wants to be my (pseudo-) friend. Guilt likes to remind me that I'm not good enough at studying. Guilt enjoys pointing out how much more could be done in our community, guilt lies to me about what others think and the how my choices my affect my family in negative ways. (I have this nagging fear that my wife or daughter would feel second or third to my work or anything else. (Let me just say that I love my wife and Wendy is such a huge encouragement and support and helping me try to maintain a healthy balance and believe truth).

On top of this, I am finding myself in some situations where I am at a loss of how to respond. I am seeing the battle of the Spirit and my flesh and I am asking God to fill me and help me.

So, today-I had some time of sitting and resting in God. I got in the green book, which got me in the word. Reading number 10 on page 88 is titled: Come and Rest while. Hmmm..How appropriate.

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I;

for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:1-14)

I then attached an ipod to my head and let truth sink into my mind. I love this sound. I played it over and over and over and over and sang at the top of my lungs claiming it as my heart's prayer asking God to take my life---all that I am and align my will with his.

Take My Life Lyrics by Passion

Lead Worshipper: Chris Tomlin

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as You choose

Here am I
All of me
Take my life
It's all for Thee

Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee

Here I am Lord. I'm yours. I'm at home. In you, I'm complete and satisfied. You are good, enough, and more than good enough for all of me and my needs and struggles.

I love your peace. I love you God.

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