Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saying Yes to God

I recently had to review a book for work, and found myself totally engrossed in the content. It hit me where i'm at (perhaps this is due to giving up complaining for Lent?), but anyhow, I thought i'd post a quote from the book here. It is from "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" by Lysa TerKeurst.

“How many times have I told you no, God? How many times because I was too tired, too insecure, too uncertain, too busy or too selfish have I walked right past your divine appointment for me and missed experiencing You? Please forgive me for all those noes. Right now I say yes, Lord. I say yes before I even know what you might ask me to do. I simply want you to see a yes-heart in me.”

Yes, Lord. I want your patience to invade my desire to fly off the handle. Yes, Lord. I want your perspective to keep my emotions in check. Yes, Lord. I want your provision so things don’t seem so overwhelming. Yes, Lord. I want your courage to do what You’re calling me to do. Yes, Lord. I want and need more of You in every moment.”

Right now I need God to invade those places, and I need to learn to say Yes to Him. I need a holy attitude adjustment - and to trust Him. I need to trust that He's doing the right thing by me, and that He is good in all that He does. He is trustworthy, and has proven Himself as such - but I have such a human issue with authority - I don't want anyone to be 'the boss of me'. May I submit to allowing the creator of me to be the boss of me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What are you Giving up for Lent?

Perhaps you give something up for Lent every year. This is a fairly new thing for me to take seriously - really something i've only done over the past few years. I grew up in a liturgical tradition, and knew about Lent - but mostly I was concerned with Pancake Tuesday and getting Good Friday off. Nothing about repentance or reflection.

Now, however, I'm taking this seriously. Giving something up for Lent has been an exercise in discipline, and really has been one that allows me to examine my sinful nature in the lead-up to Easter. Examining my sinful nature allows me to understand why Christ died, and gives me a new perspective on His resurrection. It allows me to reflect - although reflection is something, arguably, that I should be doing every day of the year.

I can say, with conviction, that examining my own inherent tendency and inclination to sin, which is highlighted during Lent, gives new meaning to the words of the hymn by Stuart Townsend:

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

So, what am I giving up for Lent? Complaining.

It wasn't what I wanted to give up (since i'm on a diet right now, chocolate would have been a lot easier) but I believe that I've been compelled to give up complaining. I don't expect it will be easy - and it is something that people will be able to catch me in if I don't catch myself first. I'm hoping that by giving up the habit of complaining about circumstances will force me to have a proper perspective - knowing God's presence and His activity in my circumstances.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Last week, after a number of disappointing movies this winter, I had a great movie week. I was privileged to see the pre-release viewing of Amazing Grace at a convention I was at in Indianapolis. The life and battle of William Wilberforce, in light of the social climate he lived in, was encouraging, inspiring and challenging to me. Plus, a large number of my favourite BBC actors were featured! That helped me enjoy the movie even more! I'm looking forward to it coming out in theatres here so that I can see it again.

We went to see Blood Diamond on Saturday night. It was horrific, sad, beautiful, challenging, wonderfully acted, with gorgeous scenery - and Leo DiCaprio has a remarkably good Zimbabwean / South African accent! I grieved for those forced into modern slavery in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Sudan. I was challenged in my 'pursuit of bling' - made to understand that the price of diamonds goes far beyond the high markups and featured deals at stores in the mall. I can say now that I only want a Canadian Diamond!

Then last night we were back to the ridiculous - The Marine. I had hoped for something better, but it was pretty much a silly, highly affected, action movie with a wrestler as the star. Oh well. It was also a comedy, I guess.