Friday, February 17, 2012

Shaped by the Word

I'm reading this book:

Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

...I'm only 4 chapters in, but I can already tell that this book is going to change my spiritual life forever! Here's a taste of what's been blowing my little christian mind!

"...One of our problems in approaching the scriptures is that we approach them in the cognitive, rational critical mode. We stand off from them, look at them, evaluate them, and judge them in the light of who we are and our own agenda at that moment. We respond to the scriptures, but often our response is simply that of reading ourselves into the scriptures at some level rather than allowing God to speak to us our of them. We manipulate the scripture to authenticate our "false self", our pervasive structures of self-referenced being, and to resist God's call to our true self, that self that is actualized through radical abandonment to God." (page 22)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Because You're With Me...

I took this picture at a conference I was at on Sunday night...

God has really been encouraging me a lot through the Bible (imagine that!). Earlier that day I was studying Mark 4:35-41. It's the story of Jesus calming the storm...Basically Jesus and the disciples are traveling by boat when a storm comes. The disciples are freaking out, and Jesus is asleep. In verse 38 they wake him up, and say -

"Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?!"

So Jesus gets up, and tells the storm to "Be Still", and it listens (Awesome). Then he turns back to the disciples and says to them -

“Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

As I was reading that, I was thinking about my own situation, as I sit here in Las Vegas waiting for my Spanish Visa. In my head I could hear myself having a similar exchange with Jesus ...

"Jesus, don't you care that my visa is going to get denied, and I'm not going to be able to go do what you've called me to do?!"

And Jesus turned to me and said -

"Poppy, why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

As I wait to hear the final outcome about my visa, I feel more and more like God is giving me the opportunity to exhibit great faith and trust in him. On Sunday night in the middle of worship at the conference I was attending, we sang a song that says:

Because you're with me
Because you're with me
Because you're with me
I will not fear

As I sang, I stretched my hands high, and surrendered myself, and any fear and anxiousness I have about the situation over to God. As I sang, I felt God reminding me of what I'd read earlier. I felt him reminding me to not be afraid, to trust...