Friday, July 28, 2006

A Spiritual State of Being


Walking in the Light.

I used to sign my emails, Walking in The Light, and my name. I took flak from Christians that thought I was too New Age with that representation of Christianity. To Walk in The Light. Originally it came from a DC Talk song I listened to in College, the lyrics from the dusty cobwebs of my memory went like this …“I wanna be in the Light, as he is in the Light, I wanna shine like the stars in the heaven. O Lord be my light, and be my salvation, all I want is to be in the Light.”

Today is a muggy dark day, the “hill” that our house is on is surrounded by a dense ground fog that is blocking the sun, just the dull glow of a gloomy day. I dropped my kid off to Cub Scout camp and as we were driving I noticed that as we approached the river the fog lessened and the bright sunshine burned through, enough to turn my headlights off automatic.

As I drove back the sky was lighter but still was dark as I approached our home. Not dark light dead of night dark, but dark like the gloom just surrounded and engulfed the car as I drove and the sun was hidden from my eyes.


This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5

We have a God of Light and we ARE created in His image.

= = = = = = = = = =
RABIT TRAIL
Still even though we are created in God’s image a being of light, with the occult and the world of the generic “new age” movement manipulating this. Christians don’t embrace that fact. What a biblical truth that most Christians ignore? Or even shun?!?



Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the
creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Romans 1:25


It just bothers me for some reason that so many “Christians” would rather look the other way at the world rather than deal with this biblically. Where we should be taking the basic principle (found in scripture) and using the opportunity to witness to the folks seeking spirituality in the new age movement around us. But I digress … this is an entirely other post.
= = = = = = = = = =

Back to walking in the light. So many times we stray into the darkness and apparently drift away from God’s light. Yet with the example of the fog, the sun was still there… the fog drifted in and obscured my view, but the sun eventually came through.

In my Christian walk I have found times when I feel the fog streaming in around me. I can still see the sun peaking through at me occasionally. Even in the darkest parts the clouds are not black, there is still some light filtering through. How many times in our Christian walk do we stay in the fog when we should be walking in the light.

Not just our actions, but our spiritual state of being. Walking in the light.


For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as
children of light:
- Ephesians 5:8

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
- Colossians 1:12

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
- I Thess. 5:5

But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
- I Peter 2:9

But if we WALK IN THE LIGHT, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with
another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
- I John 1:7



Walk in the Light.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fanatics


They call them fans. I call them Fanatics. You have seen them in the stadium, cheering on their favorite football (American football for my example) team. Faces painted the team’s colors, chest bared their favorite player’s number painted across. Ask them about their favorite team and they go nuts about statistics, and lore that you have never heard of before. All in the name of being a fan.

I started to look at my life today about what I am fanatical about? What trips my trigger on the whacked out side. The more I looked the more I found, I am not all that different.

Computers:
Yeah the geek in me really comes out. Wanna talk trash, lets talk Dell or Gateways or maybe even the crappy HPs. Push my buttons talk about networking or other deep level geek stuff and we could go for hours. Video Games? Oh, now you are talking my language.

Family:
Ask me about the kids, my family past or present, where our future is and whammo instant conversation.

Politics:
Ok I hate Bush's, the beans not the president. I love politics and start talking international policy and I wanna learn everything you have to offer. Talk about the next candidate for president and we could go for hours

Religion:
I hate “religion” as the world views it, searching for a higher calling or a purpose or some reason to exist. I have found my reason to exist and I am more than willing to share it with you.

Doctrine:
Not just a subset of religion but looking at the scripture and digging deep into the meaning making out the very foundations of belief in God. This is fighting territory and you had better not cross this line unless you are able to eat real meat.

No I am not all that, but needless to say, I do have a few hot button issues. A good friend once told me to prove my friendship I should go a month without giving my “friends” an opinion. A very difficult task that I have yet to prove I can do J So what turns your crank? What makes you want to come unglued? Your favorite team? Your church? Your pastor? What does it take to get you going?

This verse struck a chord in me….

"How are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?"
- Romans 10:14 (NRSV)

“How are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?” I know a lot of people that are good “Christians”, good people that like to go to church, and love God very much. Yet I know some of those very same Christians to be fanatics for their football team and just as quiet as a church mouse when it comes to God.

Step out today. Step into where God wants you to be, a fanatical Christian.

NOTE: instead of football I could have picked on many other items that are known to create fanatics … tools (Craftsman), NASCAR, Basket Ball, etc..

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Consistency

Yeah something I lack. Something my wife pointed out even among a group of friends that I am a very inconsistent person. It burns to be called that even though we all are guilty of it. I have been doing some “soul searching” right now about “issues” in my life. Trying to figure out what is making me so miserable right now. Consistency does have a focus. How I react (in anger or otherwise) to situations, events or others is a very inconsistent item.

Yesterday I noticed that my little girl was having an emotional day, she broke down in tears at the slightest word or conflict. I bent over backwards to make her day as stress free as far as I was concerned. I voiced my observation to my wife who quickly replied, “She has been doing this for weeks because she knows it works.”

What daddy’s little princess can play him making him sing like a harp any way she wants? No way. So here I am dealing with consistency in my life and now how to handle my small child in a manner that provides a reliably frame of reference for her to draw from for her actions. Little did I know I was already doing that by repeatedly giving in to her tears and sweet requests. Consistency of the wrong nature can hurt our relationship with God and others.


“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the
time because the days are evil.”
- - Ephesians 5:15-16
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
- - Colossians 4:5
How we walk and how consistent we are in our walk plays a major role how others see us. From the example of my child, I would draw the immature Christian, just reacting to what they see in my walk or the lack there of. To the older Christian quick to judge based on the walk they see...

As Christians, we are to walk in wisdom, we are to walk in maturity, and we are to walk guarding ourselves from evil. By definition the word “Circumspectly” provides a modern look at the walk of a Christian … We are to walk “Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences.

How is your walk?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Distractions

I was reading in my devotions this morning:

"You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall."
- 2 Samuel 22:29-30
and I noticed how beautiful the verse is.

Looking at different versions of the Bible paints a beautiful and wise pictures when taken together. When I was a teenager I used the NASV, NIV and KJV all versions of the Bible to preach from. Since I was in the Independent Baptist world as a child, a majority of people used the KJV. When I would get up to preach and present the scriptures I used a blend of knowledge and pictures gained from all these versions of the Bible.

At the end of preaching some people would come up to me and imply some vast knowledge of the scriptures based upon my insight, when in fact the different version presented a beautiful picture just waiting to be discovered by anyone. Not that I did any of the work. I know that God imparted knowledge of what to preach and controlled the very words from my mouth to allow His message out to those who were to listen.

Then there are the "others." Those that would miss the message because I didin't use the KJV to preach from. Those that would be so distracted that the NIV was used to read from in the congregation that the rest of the message would go unnoticed. The message that they were going to hear was lost in their trained hatred for something many of them do not understand.

I know how they feel, I too get angry over the versions of the Bible. Angry over the fact that pastor's keep their congregation in the dark over the beuty of God's Word. Angy over the fact that many churches just side step around an issue rather than take a stand.

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou
wert cold or hot."
Revelations 3:15
I don't care if you don't believe me, just take a stand on something! None of this KJV preferred or only the KJV in the pulpit but they won't come out and say they are really KJV only. Yes I get mad. But now looking at it today, I see it as just a distraction.

Distraction ... the things that pull us from God's word

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, "
Hebrews 12:1 (Emphasis mine)

Distraction from the message of God's word in any form becomes a sin to us. I am guilty of allowing my anger over inaccurate preaching and misleading by the local shepherd of allowing myself to be distracted from the Word of God, the message I am to hear and sadly the message I am even to deliver.

Now I want to be angry with myself again. Angry because in this pursuit of Holiness I have failed, miserably. Yet the last part of that verse teaches me to be "run with patience." !Ah the distractions!

"Today, Lord, let me have patience with myself and others as we run, stumbling and bumbling to the same goal. Keep me from distraction, free of worldly weights and free from sin in my life. Let me recognize You and Your work in all things."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Spiritually Starving

Having started and stopped this Blog several times I know in advance I will be asked why the name "Spiritually Starving" on the blog title?

Why name it "Spiritually Starving?"


Looking back at the main reason I started this blog, I was lashing out at the church and the apparent “spiritual” condition I observed all around me. I have found that I am not like a majority of “Christians” today.

I think. Actual real rational thought.

Christians joke about the likes of David Caresh and Jim Jones but in reality many of them are more than willing to swallow the cool aid and drink it down quietly and quickly. Now that you are entirely offended I assume I can get the hate mail and anonymous comments that you will surely send. But before you do, please try and think.

After looking at all the “fun” sides of Christianity I could stand I found that writing down my thoughts was the best way to deal with it. I couldn’t just take my pastor aside and say, “Hey buddy, listening to your sermons week after week makes me sick.” It really is quite sad right now the state of America’s spiritual leadership in the pulpit and the church and perhaps one day I can do something to change that. So for now I sit and type on my computer or write on a yellow pad notebook, hastily dumping my mind onto paper as a form of relief from the starving condition all around me.

If nothing else this Blog is my document of my spiritual growth and feeding. The more I observe and write the more I realize that my spiritual condition has grown weak with poor feeding and I need to do something about it. Writing down something can help motivate me to get action done, perhaps it will open your eyes too.

Please, if you are my friend, don’t read this blog, unless you really want to know what I think. Some posts are very personal and I will keep names out as much as possible or rename the people, but if you are close, you will see it, through my description you may recognize the folks I am talking about.

A quick Google search on spiritual starvation will bring you lists of sermons and posts from all around the globe of folks that are talking about the spiritual condition of their congregation, the youth, the church, or others. Not many start off telling you that their own spiritual condition is weak and needs to be shored up. If you read this and want to take action, pray. The best thing I can ask for is prayer. God is, after all, in control.