New Background

Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Burning From Both Ends

Buck Naked Faith by: Eric Sandras, Ph.D.
Chapter IV: Enrich Your Soil

This book just gets better and better. One of my favorite paragraphs from this chapter is:

“Being a follower of Christ does not allow me to pick and choose biblical principles that fit my lifestyle and disregard those that don’t. Instead, it’s imperative I understand that obedience and faith are crucial to following a master. If I follow Christ’s commands only when I agree with them or they feel right, I have no longer committed my life to a person but to a religious philosophy with as much substance as that bag of cheese puffs. It may taste good, but soon the cells in my body will be starving for something more. I need the rich, undiluted nourishment of God’s Word!”

Here are the some of the questions we ponder today:

Following the section: “The Truth is Out There”
What are some areas in which you instinctively trust Jesus, areas you know are “truth”? What are some areas in which you instinctively turn elsewhere for answers first? Why?

I’m sitting here pondering this question. I’ve mentioned in a previous post how “ABSOLUTE TRUTH” has baffled me and today is no exception. The only TRUTH I can commit to is the truth of the love God has for us and that is displayed through the sacrifice of Jesus. That includes the truth of Christ’s birth/death/resurrection and that role in my own re-birth.

I may be one of an exception (and that’s my hope) but I don’t typically just accept things as truth until I can see it (tangible truth) or I have it imbedded in my heart/soul (Holy Spirit truth).

The easier part of this question, for me, is areas in which I instinctively turn elsewhere for answers first. In all honesty I did turn to the paper and online information to gain information about voting BEFORE I prayed and asked God for His divine hand in deciding. I instinctively turn to my pastor for counsel, when I should turn to God 1st! I instinctively turn to many worldly sources for seemingly unimportant issues, but ultimately it only reinforces my own lack of trust and faith in God and the three “O’s”. You know: Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.

One sort of ‘twisted’ side note and reflection of my own temperament is regarding counsel. When I (emphasize ME, MYSELF and I, not anybody else) consider a need for a therapist or counseling, I’ve always been one to ‘pooh-pooh’ that because…‘I can handle it myself!’ (She said with the certainty of an indignant 3-year old).

I always felt like if I ‘caved’ and pursued counseling to deal with ‘issues’ I had/have it would be admitting my failure. I am more comfortable today (as in the past 12 months) realizing and admitting that my weakness does not equal my failure; quite the opposite. My weakness equals my ultimate salvation and success through Jesus!

There I said it. I am weak and sometimes (every stinkin’ day) I need HELP! I cannot do it alone. I am utterly helpless some days…yet I seek and find help…either through helpers Jesus sends or direct from the source of ALL help! On those days when I’m too PROUD to seek help from others…my Helper is still here…helping me.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:1-3

That is the source of my help! Praise God!

And after “Defragmenting Your Hard Drive”
This will seem a bit bizarre, but try it. Find a place of solitude. Turn off all the noise you possibly can. Dim the lights and light a candle. Stare at the candle, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you something through that candle. Could you stay focused? Could you listen? Is this a discipline you need in your pursuit?

Side note: a dear friend of mine from Albuquerque would regularly burn the prayer candles that are so popular among many churches, everyday… until she burned her kitchen down and nearly her entire house. Yes, even prayer candles can get out of control. Some of the worst fires in NM were ‘controlled burns’.

So as you can see from the side notes I’m constantly inserting and as the title of this post indicates…I’m clearly burning the candle from both ends; therefore I am unable to sit and stare at said candle due to fire hazard and “Martha” qualities.

In all seriousness, it does indicate my extreme need for this discipline and I’ve always known my primary temperament is not ‘transformed’ to the extent that I’m comfortable just sitting still and waiting…hearing…without falling immediately asleep. I AM going to attempt this Friday evening though, when the brain typically goes from ‘work mode’ to ‘play mode’. I’ll hopefully do a f/u afterwards.

In other news…

There are a couple of really good magazines out that I have recently started subscribing to. I’m sure many of you already read them currently but if you haven’t, get online and ‘mark’ the box to receive your free copy to check it out!

The magazines are ‘RELEVANT’ and ‘RADIANT’. Radiant is an offshoot of Relevant and it’s geared towards women specifically. I am actually a bit disappointed in ‘Radiant’ because it tends to lean towards YOUNG women, but if your twenty-something and actually sit down and read magazines…this is a good read. The cover-stories of this ‘summer issue’ include: Inside the world of sex trade; Prayer how real is it; as well as Pursuing God with a passion, and Bridesmaid on a budget. It has shopping guides, poetry, music and book reviews and the editor is actually funny!

The current issue of Relevant includes these cover stories: Overcoming debt; Off the mark (an honest look at the emerging church); and a Summer reading guide (if you’re only going to read one book this summer, that’s just really sad). This issue includes an interview with Thrice (there is always at least a couple of ‘band’ interviews in each issue). Relevant is my favorite of the two.

If you haven’t read either of these, they really are worth a review. The graphics alone are outstanding and even the advertising is a bit off the beaten path. It lists upcoming events and one in particular I’m looking forward to is: ‘ (40 days of nothing tour). It’s going to be all over the country in August and September. I may just attend in OKC on August 18th.

So there you have it, a day in review…by kpjara. Remember; never burn candles unattended.
Happy Wednesday!


Heather Smith said...

I may just have to buy the book for that study you're doing. It sounds so interesting!!
And I'm gonna check out that 40 Days of Nothing thing! I'll TTYL!

Anonymous said...

I agree that we can't choose the principles of being a Christian...that is true!


Joy M. said...

40 days of nothing? I'm going to have to check that one out. :-)