Today was a nice relaxing Sabbath. The morning started with joining my friend Sam on a trip to Grand Rapids, Ohio where he was teaching at a small local church. After that, I was able to enjoy some time with my good friend J.D. and his lady friend Rose, who were in town this weekend.
But perhaps the best was getting to spend time with my beautiful future crown. Today we made one of those countdown chains, you know like you used to do in elementary school? 82 days left until the wedding. WOOT!
Yesterday, I started reading Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity, part of the The Essential Edwards Collection I bought last month. Only one chapter in, but I’m sure there will be quotes to come. Along with my daily reading, I’m still digging Hebrews for Everyone by N.T. Wright… Dude’s a beast!
This video is classic…
First full Friday at the new office almost finished…
This may not be funny to some, but I crack up everytime…
I’ve been engaged for almost a whole month now, and in about three months from now, I’ll be married. I’m pumped. Wedding planning is going good, but of course I say that as the dude, not always being involved in the mother/daughter conflict. Needless to say I’m looking forward to December… really, really looking forward to it.
Something that the future crown and I have started in the past two months, is making it a discipline to pray together every night, whether in person (which is 99.99% of the time), or on the phone if necessary. At first we would sit down on Sunday and make a prayer list for the week of different things we’d make sure to pray for. It was good, but now we’re trying something a little more specific.
Let me pretense this with the fact that this was almost completely her idea (as she is quite the gal!), so I can take no credit. Also, I’m not trying to say every couple should use this. There is no template. Maybe in a month we’ll both look at it as heresy, who knows… Anyways here’s what were trying.
Each week we pray for four specific things.
- First, we pray for something in each of our relationships with God. Example: We pray for me to have a softer heart towards obedience in Christ so that I may lead her better, and we pray that she may develop a deeper passion for learning about God.
- Second, we pray for our relationship. Example: Praying for God to lead us where He wants us to live, or sometimes for patience and servants’ hearts towards one another.
- Third, we pray for people inside our community. Example: Someone is struggling financially, sick, or in need of a mended heart.
- Fourth, we pray for people outside our community. Example: I have a coworker that is an awesome dude, and he actually gets the chance to be with our community often. We pray that he would feel our love and compassion for him.
With all of these, praise and thanksgiving definitely has a spot also. :)
This month my reading plan is taking me through Hebrews. Along with the text, I’ve been reading N.T. Wright’s Hebrews for Everyone. I highly recommend this commentary to anyone who is slightly confused by Hebrews (like myself…) and doesn’t want to read a stuffy book about it. If don’t read this whole post, PLEASE read the last paragraph!
Wright has been someone who recently challenged me with a few things. One of the biggest being obedience. He believes one of the most tragic things that is happening to the church is the idea that once we are justified by Christ, saved by grace, or however you say it, there is no need for any effort morally on our part. And if we try, we become legalists. Salvation becomes a very personal and exclusive thing that we just try to figure out on our own, continually buying into cheap grace.
But from Hebrews 3, Wright pulls out some interesting stuff. He compares our salvation and temptations of stumbling into disobedience to driving in a car and being extremely tired. At first we here a whisper saying, “Just close your eyes for a second, everything will be fine…” and before we know it, we are asleep at the wheel! This same thing happens to us in life with sin and temptation. We give in for a second, and eventually are fully immersed in some sort of sin. But just like how when you’re driving and tired, you can stop for a coffee, or running around like a crazy man in the parking lot (my personal favorite), you can stop for a personal check, whether it be prayer, reading, spiritual exercise, etc… Sometimes you may even have to stay at a hotel for the night (compare to a retreat or conference).
All of that seems pretty simple and fundamental, but here’s the twist that Wright through in at the end that blew my mind. Because we are a people of God, and salvation isn’t as personal as we like to make it, every time you begin to fall asleep at the wheel, you’re putting everyone else on the road with you in grave danger. Amazing. This is something my community has been learning recently and really trying to live out. This opens up a whole new can of what it means for me to be loving my community. Watch out!
I love Katie from Horton Hears a Who…