3.29.2006

The Serenity Prayer (Reinhold Neibuhr, 1926)

GOD, Grant me the serenity toAccept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

3.26.2006

Don't you ever just?

wish you were one of those persons who is pumped up about life? Always abounding w/ grace and happiness? Man! I have those moment very rarely, and I wish they would stay. I pray that it would come about for us more often. But being that we live as soujourners in a fallen world, we can't expecet perfection until Christ redeems the world to His kingdom, however that looks like..I have no idea what His plan is. Don't know a think about Revelation, etc. But praise God that He is a God of REDEMPTION....oh us saints, look forward and ask for more! May God be every so gentle and kind to our souls in a personal way, that we would be able to see His face in the face of His people. His thoughts are not ours, so that leaves us with more longing...more hope..more desire to know God. I love you all.

Bandits



3.23.2006

Contentment-update

Paul instructed the Thessalonians to Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I heard a teaching message on Contentment today from Chip Ingram. First time I heard him, Migue told me to check it out. I'm so glad I did, this message is in perfect sink with my soul now.

If you're interested, here's the link: http://wttb.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=loteListen
Short notes:
1) Practice the discipline of being grateful/thankful. Focus on what we do have, not on what we don't.

2) Contentment is not something to be achieved, but an attitude to learn. Paul learned it. So be teachable, ask God what He wants us to learn in our present circumstances.

3) Be Flexible. Poverty cannot take contentment away; nor can riches give it.

4) Only Christ has the power to give us contentment. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

This is a daily challenge for me. It requires me to practice humilty, prefer others first, quiet my heart, ask for faith, courage. I need God's word, His Holy Spirit's power, community w/ saints.

Mohammad Allie quoted, "I had the world, all the world, and it was nothing."

It's nice to know that w/ Christ, all things are possible.
Thanks to Chip Ingram, and God for speaking through him.

3.22.2006

All the Questions in my head

I've tons of questions going in my head. Many of them I won't be able to articulate. Probably some questions are so far in there, I can't even see them yet. But I've been daily disturbed and very heavy by the fact that I don't know what to think, feel, do about certain issues. I want answers, but not the simple ones. I want understanding. I need someone to pull out of me what it is I'm dealing with, struggling with, not letting go, not understanding. It's been difficult to get daily duties done here w/ gusto because I've been so weary of this madness. Some of the things I'm trying to figure out are in regards to moral issues in my own heart that I plan on discussing w/ another female. But other questions might be good for this blog. I'll try to state them as often as I see good and as often as I see them clearly enough to say, "Yes, this is my question."

But basically, I just want to know if other people are ever frustrated, feeling insane at times with all the thoughts. Does anyone else ever seem to have analyzed themselves to a sort of "paralysis". I often wonder if I've lived in a state of limbo my whole life. A state of paralysis because I can't stop thinking about things. I've had a difficult time living in the moment. Expressing myself in social situations. I've often just wanted to be the third eye, so I can gather as much info to help me know who I am, what I am to think, who God is, who others are...what's teh point on this earth. I'm hoping my reading and conversation with others will help me to see things clearly, truth and the love of God through Jesus Christ and personal relations w/ him will set me free. Jesus said, the truth will set you free. But for me guys? This isnt' as easy as just reading scripture, praying, solitude, I feel I need to hear from others. In order to validate that I'm not a scitso weirdo, I need others to tell me their failings, their frustrations, their uncertainties, their questions, their perplexions. This might seem strange or wrong to some, but it is so what helps me to be set free, to know the truth about others, and to better relate to God.

I am not saying scripture reading/prayer/solitude is not neccessary, but I believe there is more than that. I often get those things, but I need more of the church's input to help me sort through everything. Especially when the church agree's that they dont' have everything figured out. I see God through the hurting, lonley, distraught, messed up person, the spiritual mystics are intriguing me. But I also see God through the externally joyful people, seemingly saturated in spiritual disciplines. And I want their wisdom, their direction. And I know that even the spiritually disciplined ones, the seeminly joyous ones are messy as well. I don't know what I'm saying. I just want the wholeness. A holistic spirituality. A holistic life. This new life that Christ has talked about. I guess I'm living it now..and it's just not what I expect(ed)? I have my fears, I am very imperfect..so I don't want to give the impression that I'm speaking as if I have it figured out. I hope I haven't confused or offended anyone. My appologies if I have. I just want to know "how shall we now live, is it different for all of us? I need God's grace to transform me continually into Christ's mind, and give me the ability to love, forgive, endure. If there are any other people reading this that has often felt crazy, know I am crazy w/ you. Sometimes I think I just want to stay in the crazy house, relate with crazy people, and know God through the craziness..and I ask myself if I'm going the wrong direction. I don't know..but I'm willing to learn and grow...so help me God to be open and able to hear.

I hope to be able to comfort those who need comforting w/ the comfort I myself have recieved. I wonder how that will manifest. Interesting when you think about what the future holds..and the future is not this second, but everything after.

3.20.2006

In Honor of Heather Miller

What is your favorite flavor and brand combination of chips, beans and salsa ;)

I like these thick Mexican gold chips. Don't remember the brand name. Salsa: Our Kroger has some brand that makes fresh salsa that has mango in it. It's addictive. You just wannna swallow the whole container. I wish I could remember those brands.

3.18.2006

too tough to understand sometimes....or maybe all the time.

Following the conversational chain from the below post "What is blogworthy?" I figured it would be more of a help to respond here to what Danae alluded towards as my "philosoply theology stuff". Granted what is lacking in my comments below is a definition of terms and a little more explanatory detail. It is only proper that I make an effort to try to state my thoughts in a way that everyone might be able to understand.

Theology: "Doing" as Image Bearing.

To study God is to learn that God has studied (created and given constitution to) us. Theology (the study of God) and it's aim has always been to live. Theology never is without embodiement.
Everyone of us, believer and unbeliever does theology. Just like every husband, whether believer or unbeliever does testify or exhibit about Jesus Christ as truth or a lie. Let me explain. Because the scriptures teach that marriage is a communicative act/institution embodying the human relational reality analogous to that of Jesus Christ and his relationship to the church, than all marriages are a picture of this. Because God is creator of all things and in him all things consist and have their being or definition than this is only appropriate. So because Marriage is God's work that speaks of God, like all things are to give glory to God and declare and manifest his goodness, a married man, because he is to represent Christ in his home is a sermon of Christ and his relationship to the church, his bride/wife. Christ is his script, Christ is his directions. Although we imperfectly reflect Christ in believing marriages at least Christ is being exhibited, represented somewhat faithfully. But the goal never changes to pursue and be faithful to bear his image; as is the calling of all men. So an unbelieving husband can only do the worst by preach Christ in the most unfaithful manner. Granted, there are unbelieving husbands who may love their wives and families better than a believing husband. This is to the shame of the believer. Hopefully this makes sense.
All of mankind has the same role in reflecting and bearing the image of God. We were created by him and for him to give him glory and also for our delight in him so when we do not glory and delight in him we prove to be poor image bearers. Ultimately this is what Theology is all about. Mankind will be either a covenant breaker with God (of which we all are intrinsically) or by the grace of God in Christ mankind will recive a renewed convenant and walk by the obedience to the faith handed to us towards Christ. In here we can be faithful to the covenant and do theology that is much more faithful too bearing the image of God the Father through the Son and in the Spirit.
Man will deny God and His existence. This makes him not an atheist, but from the stand point of God, a fool. "The fool says in his heart, 'there is no God' " (Psalm 14:1 a). So a foolish theologian he is. He seeks to define life and his existence according to his belly and his own decietful desires; as were some of us.
So there is no one that does not think and therefore do theology. How we as humans think and live is by our being sponge receptors to our environment. We learn our vocabularies and how to understand life through our language and concepts of thought. Reason becomes a faculty in service too our already in motion environment. We come to this world and think according to this world. But as we learn we judge and weigh according to what is reasonable to us by trusting our cognitive senses and relying upon the percievable competance of our parents and instructors/teachers. Although before we ever have a measure of determining competance, we take all things in trust.
Although we are very much not aware of it, in growing and learning we essentially are learning or developing a hermeneutic: a theory of interpretation. Although this term is in it's classic use refer to text's only it is becoming apparant to thinkers that the term applies to all of life. Text's and persons and experience is interpreted by our already working theories true or false. Our hermeneutic is shaped by our concepts of reality that are given to us by our informers. We all our shaped and think according to an interpretive framwork. We all interpret reality through some lense.
Philosophy has been classicly understood as the quest for wisdom; truth as wisdom. Theology is understood appropriately as wisdom having sought us and found us. Philosophy says, "I have discovered", while Theology says, " I have recieved, and that from God."

We need to recover from the abusive thought that theology has nothing to do with life or that theology is all about speculative thinking and an attempt to master what the bible teaches on any given subject and search for the ultimate coherent system. Is it good to study the scriptures and meditate and think deeply about it and behold wonderful symmetry and coherence? Yep. Is it good to counter heresy? Yes, if the label "heresy" is not in service to label that which does not necessarily correspond to our theological commitments and convictions but rather too the core of the faith. Theology has everything to do with God talk. None can talk of God or wisdom or life without being counseled theologically. We need to recover and restore the appropriate use of theology and doctrine to it's trinitarian focal point; Communion with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of God. Performative communion. Pursuing communion. This is pure theology. This is as masterful and pure as we can and are going to get on this side of eternity.

When I specifically publish thoughts concerning these issues it isn't to complicate the faith or to offer non-sensical irrelevant diatribe to sound intelligent or scholarly, that's just a field of crap and flies. No, it is to think and sort through these issues that have a direct relation to the church today and our culture. It is an aim to understand how to be contextual and incarnational. It is an attempt to seek the thoughts of others and further understanding. Not everyone is called or have interest to read and think through the same issues. But all of our reading and thoughts do intersect in and at a mysterious place in redemptive history.

Catalyst

Danae is a catalyst for change....at least for me.
It feels good for us to be in the same bloghouse or room if you will.
Since she's come she has provoked change to the blog....I like it.
Though it was my suggestion for her to move in it took a bit of chipping the hard block off of me to say goodbye to my own blog and it's miguely colors.
But Danae became a catalyst for aestheticism..both on the blog and in my heart.
If feel close to her.....funny how we live together, and all of a sudden I feel closer to her. But it's true.

Plus she brought more visitors around me as well. So thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoy what often appears to be non-sensical writing of mine in contrast to Danae's visceral, bloody organic soup bowl of questions, uncertainties, hopes and confessions that we all relate with but that miguel rarely ever concedes to write about himself.

What a wonderful blend.

3.17.2006

Pursuing God

If you desire or see the need pursue/study/seekGod, what does that specifically look like for you? How do you pursue/study/seek Him? Do you struggle with this?

3.14.2006

What is blogworthy?

What should we talk about here?

3.13.2006

repentance

This morning I read something that developed and communicated beautifully what I wrote on yesterday concerning humility.

"Repentance is not so much a doing as a depending. It is not so much a striving for pardon as a posture of humility. In true repentance we confess our total reliance on God's mercy. We acknowledge the inadequacy of anything we would offer God to gain his pardon. In true repentance we rest upon God's grace rather than trying to do anything to deserve it. We lean heavily on the words of Isaiah:

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strenght" (Isa. 31:15)"

Taken from Bryan Chapell's "Holiness By Grace."

Lord thank you for your sweet mercy.

3.12.2006

My wife moved in

Danae just moved in. She is upacking her stuff in here now. Perhaps there will be a feminine touch, I don't know. Either way. It feels good to be together on the same page in the blogosphere.

This is good Danae...






miguel

the breaking forth of a new season

It is a wonderful warm day here in Indy today.
The first fruits of spring. We got the windows open.
Did some cleaning and rearranging. And if you are familiar with us you would know that rearranging is a frequent practice of ours. It is always fun to alter our environment. It makes our home exciting.

Life in our church is good. Very good. Exciting things happening. Relationships deepening and creating sharpening affects. I love our community. We prize the gospel call for all to come as they are and to be prepared to encounter a people who have nothing to hide but strive to bear our all and to bear all.
Our local body is a village of sojourners who hopes to rid ourselves of pretense and press into the true fellowship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The road in pursuing holiness, a path that eventually teaches us that it is not about us achieving holiness but learning that holiness has been achieved for us is marked by the greatest humiliation. A humiliation that becomes our chiefest of excellencies. It is in this humility that the fruit of holiness is brought forth in us individually, as families and as a local body.

Mine and Danae's relationship (our marriage) is and has gone through much in the past year and half. We have gone through the most trying times yet in our lives through rearing our three boys and through facing our own sins. But in all of this we have also experienced great joy, beauty and holy humiliation.

Our boys are growing tremendously. They are big boys. They walk and hustle around their territory of the home and dominate. Yelling like men readying for battle against Longshanks armies. When their through they throw their empty bottles to the floor as if saying, "Ahh, I'm done with this. What will I, a viking, do next?"