Saturday, November 29, 2008

An update

Oh well. Things worked out for my good. Except for half a day I'll be able to make it for the childrens' camp.

And yeah. God seems to be training me up lately. Pushed me to my thresholds in stress levels. To train me in how much I can take I suppose. Lots of pressure these last 4 days or so at work. But it will work out for my good. I know and have experienced.

Thoughts a bit incoherent due to fatigue. Need to rest.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Practical lesson

We serve a very interesting God. Powerful, and a great teacher. Even in Isaiah it is written (chapter 11 I think), that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Yes, I've been learning a lot more about God daily. Started with about the time I went for the Pri 6 study camp. Read Man In The Mirror, Welcome Holy Spirit, Bondage Breaker and now I'm into Victory over Darkness. The last 2 books are by Neil Anderson. Fantastic writer.

And one most interesting lesson is this (I'll have to make this a little ambiguous cuz info is restricted), this last week, my plans for the first 2 weeks of December have been badly threatened. This is a period of time which I have been looking forward to for quite long. A few important events. Namely, childrens' camp, the marathon, youth camp. All precious to me.

Things are clearly not under my control. Anything I can do righteously has already been done. I am struggling with anxiety and anger (since I am, how should I put it, suffering from unjust, clearly unethical decisions). I don't have things going my way. And that being said, I am rather sure my motives are quite correct. I want to serve God, I want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit moving, I want to be with the children, I want to get to know the youth better, I want to run to keep my body fit even after I return to civilian life.

And then, as I started to struggle with all these, I continued to pray and seek God, in the midst of anxiety and confusion. And out of the book I am reading came things such as this

"What if a pastor's goal is to reach his community for Christ? Good goal? It is a wonderful desire, but if his sense of worth and success as a pastor is dependent on that happening, he will experience tremendous emotional turmoil. Every person in the community can block his goal.
If our goals can be blocked or uncertain, how do we respond to someone or something that threatens our success? We may attempt to control or manipulate people or circumstances who stand between us and the achievement of our goal."

And then it goes on to explain the difference between godly desires and godly goals. Goals (whether you agree with the semantics or not is another matter) are things that we head towards, that we base our feelings of success and significance on. If we don't get our goals, we become angry, anxious or depressed. If the goals are godly, they should be reach-able. I.e. things we can influence and control with God's help. E.g. I want to be a caring Sunday School teacher who serves God and am humble and responsible to nourish my children with God's word as best as I can.

Desires would be things we want, just as it is written that the Father desires that all men repent of their sins, and that no one should be lost to the fires of hell. But yet, even as the Father desires, these things do not necessarily happen. We too have godly desires, godly wants. E.g. I want to go to Christian camps, I want my kids in church to grow up to become godly men and women. And these may be borne out of very honourable, biblical motives. But if they become our goals, what we live for, then we are going to be sorely disappointed if they do not come to pass. The issue is that these desires are out of our control.

Have godly goals. And make sure that these goals are biblically sound and right with God. Nothing can stand in God's way. We will, as long as we walk in the light of God, achieve these goals. Our God will see to that.

Have godly desires. Chase right dreams. But do not base your measure of self-worth, your countenance and your sense of success on these. They are for you to care about, but not for you to grow angry, anxious or if they do not reach fruition, sore or bitter about.

I hope that you learn 2 lessons from this. First, the one above, and second, that God is most amazing.

Amazing since He chose to give me a practical lesson out of the theology and biblical truth taught in a book. It's almost as if my school teacher went like "Class, close your books, I'm going to show you how this scientific law works at the lab. You'll understand much better when we get there. You will be able to see and feel for yourself what you have just read."

Humorous God too. I found it kinda funny that God chose to teach me a lesson in such a way. Sorta like, c'mon Lord, you gotta be kidding, you're teaching me this lesson this way? I suppose this is your idea of a joke? ...Okay, it's funny, yes. You win.

Well, I know not what's gonna happen. Life sure is unpredictable where I am. But I just know God has His purposes. And I can see some growth, I can see reason and God's hand in the things that are happening.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quiet Time

Just thought I'd share this here.

Been having good and deep times of meditation before God lately. And I just want to remind all those going for the church camps to get their hearts ready for God even now. Not that the camp is more sacred than God is, no. But that we are going to gather together and wait on God. And we need to get right with God before we even start.

It is written in Ephesians that the Holy Spirit of God can be grieved. And there are many things in our ministries that have grieved the Holy Spirit. Arguments, dissensions, dissatisfaction with each other. Many of us have relationship problems. A relationship problem firstly with God, and this is the most important one. If our relationship with God is not attended to, no other relationship will be truly peaceful. I could give scriptural references... Matthew 6:33 ... etc. seek ye first the kingdom of God... etc. But I think it's clear enough already.

Many of us have relationship problems amongst ourselves. We bicker, we bear malice, we cannot stand certain people, we are too cliquish. And this part of the problem takes up the most time, really, as I see it.

Many of us a relationship problem with those below us in ministry. Our charges. Do we truly love them and act in our full capacity as Christian leaders above them?

I believe that we need to do some soul searching where we are. We need to get right with God. We need to stop opening up footholds like free for the Enemy. We need to get our act together, as a figure of speech, and come together in unity, under one God and move against darkness. We need to pray. Seriously. I say again, we need to pray.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thank God for this week

Been having a rather good time since coming back from Australia. On course, so had my first stay out experience in my entire NS life. The journey to and from home is about 1.5 hours each. So it was excellent to spend this travelling time reading the bible and other Christian books. Grew a fair bit this last few weeks due to all the reading.

Also spending a bit more time with CM people. Getting back in, so to speak. Cuz so much time as a soldier really takes away personal time. Good to catch up with many people.

Been running too. Hopefully will at least be able to complete most of the marathon.

Looking forward to the 2 camps this year end.