Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
'What God is so great as our God?' Yes, indeed; what God is so great as our God:
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:
7 "Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
the skies resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
+++ Jesus, I am in love with You. There is no loss. I am in love with You. +++
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
1. Curiosity about what is not one's proper concern.
12. Containment of one's interests, which shows itself in a humble bearing and lowered eyes
1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2 O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.
5 O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Monday, January 28, 2008
The trip was terrific, it was such a privilege to be a part of the summit where there was such good teaching and impartation. There was a remarkable infusion of both encouragement and reality checks for men and women who are endeavoring to build prayer rooms or intercessory missions bases. It was the second such event I've attended in Atlanta (this was the third such summit they have hosted) and it was truly life-changing for many. I expect this event to continue to deepen and widen in coming years.
I've read over my notes (below) from the weekend (or weekEND as they would say in the UK). They're not so polished as I was throwing them up there in real-time as best I could. I cannot presume to distill very well what they were conveying (learning is an intensely personal experience attended by our assumptions, appetites and capacities through the working of the Holy Spirit) so let me be sure to whip out that disclaimer. I didn't blog KirkB's session because they were of a different order, also I was quite fascinated to see him functioning in a different way than he typically does at ZHOP. Kirk was given more to prophetic trumpeting during his session and platform ministry times than line upon line teaching. It was good, as he was staying in areas of content where he appeared to find traction helpful to those those moving forward in building prayer communities and he would stay in that vein and explore depths coming to him as he was speaking.
Toward the end they were taking orders for MP3s of the sessions, I assume that they also will be available through the Atlanta IHOP web site. It was not mentioned if they would be available for download as they were last year. I'll post it if and when I get that information.
Ahhh. Did I say yet its good to be home?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
A vision for fullness: few consider the quality of one's interior life as the measure of one's passion and one's maturity in this life. Few consider that God truly looks upon the heart. Few stop to ask, "How tender is my heart to God and how responsive is it to His Name and to His ways?"
As believers we must cultivate a tender and responsive heart to God and be vigilant in the possession of our souls. The Bible warns of a time coming when the love of many will grow cold and unbelievable pressure on the earth will bring forth the greatest levels of suffering and mistreatment (Mt. 24:9-13; Mk.13:12-13; Dan. 7:25; 12:1-2; Rev. 13:5-8). We must embrace the virtue of meekness.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. - 1 Thes. 4:1-7
UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF MISTREATMENT IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Trials are part of the human condition. God invites us to walk as Jesus walked, to embrace the journey of meekness and the pleasure of Christ being formed in the inward parts. This not only allows mistreatment into our lives; it requres it. The power of the resurrection life is given that we might endure suffering and trial in this age. The good news is that the "sufferings of this present time ar not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us", (Rom. 8:18). The power of the resurrection is to live a crucified life.
We might expect mistreatment from those outside of the church; when mistreatment occurs within the family of God we list our entitlements. Saint Alphonsus Ligouri in The Practice of the Love of Jesus - "The condition of the saints on the earth is to suffer as they love; the condition of the saints in heaven (in the next age) is to enjoy as they love" (p.49).
God is the most mistreated person who exists. Doing everything perfect. All things for the sake of love, deep in patience and longsuffering. For humans, mistreatment exposes the great enemy of our soul: pride manifesting in anger. The crucible of mistreatment places pressures on the human heart that exposes the fault lines of fear, anger and pride underneath the surface. Mistreatment and opposition touches places of pride otherwise unnoticed in our controlled environments. There is a difference between being holy and being undisturbed. Whatever is real in regards to our hearts should be dealt with for we all will stand before God who will judge all. Lets deal with our issues now.
* Understanding how to respond to mistreatment is huge. We tend to repond on the basis of percentage of truth: our response is in direct proportion to how much truth I assess the person was operating in when she or he offended me. There is something greater than being right in this life: being free. St. Francis telling brother Leo about mistreatment, embracing it as an opportunity to grow in grace, enter in to a greater work of sanctification. It produces an opportunity for dependance, faith and trust.
Mistreatment is highly personal, it allows us to recognize our resident anger in our heart and face our fallenness.
* Gen. 4:4-7 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
The defense mechanism of the fractured soul - anger - rushes to guard us from the realization of our fallenness is true. We would rather be proud and angry, clinging to our deluded solidarity than to admit to our inconsistent patterns, fratured pieces, and our humble need for grace to receive forgiveness and to forgive.
Anger is the doorway to other vices. Pride guards itself through anger and fear. It gives place to the devil. It is the first vice Jesus addreses on the Sermon on the Mount.