Too many thoughts.  All of them, I suppose, philosophical on some level or another.  Good luck sorting through them.

1.  My writing feels calous today?  Is it, or am I just grumpily misinterpreting myself?  If I can’t tell what vibes my tone is setting off, how will you?

2.  Pagan Christianity.  Interesting book.  I know there is much I will not agree with – but being on the outside of an “institutional church” at this point makes the book easier to wade through.  I struggle with how to mentally categorize any Christian book that does not fit into an easy doctrinal category (Blue Like Jazz is another example of this) – so I am not sure what I will get out of this.  No pre-conceived notions, that’s helpful.

3.  Permission granted from my hubby to discuss what is happening in our home church.  More to follow.  I just don’t have the energy to blog this one in depth right now.

4.  I feel isolated.  This is a toughy.  Hard to explain, hard to deal with.  I know I am where the Lord wants me to be, and yet feel, I guess, like I am on the outside of things I wish I were not on the outside of.  I wish it were otherwise – I guess that some decisions in life leave you with a door that seems to swing shut behind you faster than you expected.

5.  Friends.  Ah – so many blessings in my life right now.  I don’t know why everyone is checking out my blog the week I go on vacation – but you have all encouraged me, and uplifted me. 

6.  Priorities.  A big word for me right now.  I want to make every moment count, and know that that starts by making sure the important things come first.  I saw this great analogy once – where if you try to fill up a jar with sand (the small stuff in life) first, and then put in the pebbles (the big stuff in life) there is never enough room for all the big stuff.  Try putting the pebbles in the jar first, and fill in the spaces with the littler pebbles, and the sand last… and everything fits.  When I waste time on facebook, or surfing the net, or vegging in front of the tv, there is no time for the big stuff… priorities….

7.  This is another blog in itself… Resisting the Spirit.  I left for Florida, sensing the opportunity to focus on God for the week.  I shopped.  And, I chickened out during corporate prayer at Bible study, because I sensed TOO much prompting from the Lord.  It’s like holding back a sneeze…. The idea of being in His presence terrifies me.  I mean, I pray, and I read my Bible, and listen to podcasts… and many of my talks are on thoughts on God… but I know He is trying to draw me in deeper, and I am hesitating.  I think, for this time, the Lord is using the blessed teachings of Piper/Edwards – as I am being re-reminded in “A God Entranced Vision of All Things” that “He that testifies God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.”  I am eagerly anticipating finding my supreme joy and happiness in Him, but anticipate it being costly.  (Ah, the bottom line of what I sinfully struggling with, is it not?)

8.  It will cost sleep.  He wants me up early.  And, the dreams that start to settle in my head when I am closer to Him, are troubling.  I hate waking up to nightmares – although it is an odd sense of wonder, when you know the demons are taking notice of you.  “But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”  Acts 19:15 – that this may not be said of me….

ugh.  even while editing this, Judah’s waking up from his second nightmare this evening.  If the timing were not so consistently even with my spiritual walk and nightmares, I would brush it off…. 

9.  I chickened out a few times while in Florida.  I listened as a friend explained her position on believing in a higher being, and being centered with whomever/whatever our understanding of that is…. Why, dear Jesus, can I not say I worship the only way, the only truth and the only life?  Fear of man… for shame…  That the thought of hearing “well done, good and faithful servant” might outweigh any hope for earthly accolades or peace.

10.  1 John.  Susan wants to study 1 John this summer.  Does she know the verses in there?  A call to hate this world, and it’s desires….  I think I am more afraid of 1 John than any other book of the Bible – because I know that I can not call the spade anything but a spade… I have tried.  I (half) jokingly told the girls today I want to be able to buy a motorcyle (and probably a hottub) before I tackle 1 John…. I am just not ready to walk the walk.  Stupid, sinful, satanic logic really, when it comes right down to it.

11.  I should not blog in the evenings – the house is far too quiet, and I am far too honest…. 


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurel Esser
    May 15, 2008 @ 10:50:33

    Number 6 always gets me thinking. I like the pebble story, that’s so true about so many things in life. I find that the things that are so unimportant are the things we focus on, or the things we argue about and the important things get forgotten. Anyway’s good hodgepodge.


  2. Steve Grove
    May 15, 2008 @ 17:03:34

    I have started the habit of when I wake up to ask that God and His Spirit would “go before me”. Go before me to prepare the way for Him to use me in someone’s life, to share the Gospel, when I preach, mow the lawn – whatever. Everyday I do this now. I also pray that in pray meetings and other times, as it helps me to understand what I am about. It’s alled prevenient grace.

    And at the end of my day when all is quiet, including the 5 year old and the 7 year old and my wife the author, and especially me after all my blatherings and hodgepodge days with several things left for “manyanna”, I “be still and know that He is God.”

    I’ve learned I can’t change anyone, God does that. I’ve learned I can’t even change myself – God does that too. I’ve learned I CAN respond to the Spirit speaking in a still, quiet voice. I’ve learned I can encourage and love friends and people around me so that they can see Jesus. I’ve learned, perhaps the most important lesson of all, is to accept people where they are at. Sure I will encourage Biblical truths and holiness, for that is what God calls us to, but that is not a condition of my relationship with anyone. For me that is what Jesus meant when He asked us to take our weary hearts to Him, and find rest in His yoke. Grace, love, and a peace beyond comprehension. Read Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message paraphrase.


  3. Nicole
    May 16, 2008 @ 06:47:40

    Nice timing Steve – that verse was presented in A God Entranced Vision of All Things… to be still and know that He is God. It meant far more to Edwards than it does to us these days – for I believe he knew his Saviour better than just about anyone that walked this earth… I want that. Thinking about my little Levi being Levi means more to me than thinking about my neighbor being my neighbor, because I know him better than my neighbor.

    And, your next paragraph is a timely reminder as well… Sometimes I cop out of exhortation because “it’s not like I can change them” and other times I swing the other way – sinfully getting frustrated with some things people are wrestling with (um – that would be pride on my part, and a lack of grace, and a whole host of other things, isn’t it?)

    I couldn’t bring myself to read the message 🙂 but those are some great verses, aren’t they?

    Again – you have been a real encouragement to me – thank you!


  4. Steve Grove
    May 16, 2008 @ 08:21:00

    Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

    Okay, I am being a bit sneaky here. Until this past February I may have glanced at The Message once. I’m a NASB kinda guy. I was at a prayer retreat for our provincial pastors, and one guy read from it all the time. Now, some of it was his voice and how he read, but the conversational tone of the wording made it wonderful to listen to. So, now I look at The Message for the fun of it after I use a translation. Anyways, I love that last sentence on the first paragraph (which is Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message). So, I guess you read it even though you couldn’t bring yourself to it!!! Yesterday my wife said something about a mountain and Mohammed and bringing one to the other…


  5. Nicole
    May 16, 2008 @ 11:08:05

    lol – I read the first line, and then, when I realised what you were doing, skimmed the rest. 🙂


  6. Steve Grove
    May 17, 2008 @ 23:27:55

    … and itis the last line that is worth reading…


  7. Nicole
    May 18, 2008 @ 06:45:35

    I guess I just can’t get my head wrapped around the message. It’s like having to read the Bible, while taking everything with a grain of salt. He massacred passages like Ephesians 1. It is refreshing to read the Word in a new translation sometimes, if it starts to sound too familiar – but there are so many other translations….

    Just my take on things….


  8. Jenn
    May 18, 2008 @ 12:58:14

    Nic, home church?! Cool! Looking forward to hearing about this.


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