Category Archives: Personal

Waiting

I’m in a season of waiting. It feels like I’m waiting on everything and not sure what happens next. I’m not mad, just waiting. Sometimes it’s weird. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it just feels like waiting a big waiting room called life. I don’t know what happens next. Nonetheless, I say this…

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, 
and in his word I put my hope.
-Psalm 130:5

 

Is “have to” a “want to” killer?

I feel like it is for me.

When I’ve got a stack of things I “have to” write for school (which is always since I’m a history student), it kills my “want to” when it comes to writing anything else. (This is evidenced by the fact that I haven’t posted in over two months.)

I hate it.

The same thing happens to me when it comes to reading.

Is anyone else else like this?

No Mistakes

Sometimes I feel so jacked up. I mean there are times when I look at my life and wonder why God ever spoke my name. Then I wonder why He ever allowed me to claim His name. How could He ever want me to be labeled Christian? Sometimes I feel like it would be better for everyone involved if I just walked away. Mainly, I feel like it would be better for the name of Jesus if I wasn’t associated with Him.

When I think about that, I remember that it was Him who drew me in the first place (John 6:44). He doesn’t make mistakes, no matter how much I feel like one.

By the way, you aren’t a mistake either.

Unfortunately, it’s not really popular to be honest about stuff like this in most Christian communities. I hope some transparency will create some conversations that should have been happening a long time ago.

What do you think?


Louder Than Words

I’m reminded of the importance of character more often than I ever wished. One of those instances was yesterday when I found out about the moral failure of someone whose ministry I had been following for quite some time. I won’t be dropping the name because I don’t want to add to the gossip. I will, however, be praying for their restoration.

A few months ago, I started reading Louder Than Words by Andy Stanley. I never finished it. It’s amazing how little importance we place on who we are behind closed doors when it comes to keeping up appearances outside of those doors. I’ll be picking the book back up today in an effort to refocus.

If you spend all your time building the outside, the lack of support inside will cause everything to fall.

On a side note, it’s funny how God reaffirms things. Right when I sat down to start writing this, David Platt tweeted this:

Mt. 4:1-17 – The purity of our lives is more important than the success of our ministries.

Wow.


Psalm 150

I thought about this Psalm the other day when I finished my last final of the summer semesters. Then I thought about it again today when I found out that I made A’s in all four of my classes this summer. Praise the Lord, because I’m not nearly good enough to have done that on my own.

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary; 
praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power; 
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, 
praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, 
praise him with the strings and flute,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, 
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. 
Praise the LORD.

-Psalm 150

How’s Your Bait?

Whitney and I went fishing today. It was the first time I had been fishing in quite a while. She caught three fish and I finally managed to drag in one too.

Let’s be honest here. I was just glad to catch one. I’m not much of a fisherman which would have been obvious to anyone were they to notice that I only brought a handful of baits. That’s also proof that my expectations weren’t very high.

About an hour into the trip I had had quite a few bites but I was never able to actually hook one. I finally realized my problem. My bait was too big! The only fish that were biting were six inches long at best and they just couldn’t handle the bait I was throwing out there. I didn’t have anything smaller so the rest of the day I just kept throwing that bait out there knowing it was too big and hoping one would finally come along who could get ahold of it.

It got me to thinking.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

How many times in our spiritual arrogance do we talk to people who aren’t believers in and followers of Jesus about deep doctrinal issues thinking that they’ll be impressed by how much we know and will then want to become a Christian?

We strap something else to the Gospel that might make it hard to swallow.

We strap something (like knowledge or works) to grace and by doing so we remove the true identity of this undeserved favor.

Chances are they’ll be a lot more impressed if they see Jesus in us. After all, what’s more impressive than what He has done?

They need to see someone who dies for those who rejected Him.

They need Jesus. Not whatever we want to strap to Him because of our insecurity.

So, how’s your bait? Mine needs trimming.

Rhythm

There’s definitely a rhythm to life. I’ve seen that in the few days since starting this blog. I haven’t quite reached my rhythm of writing yet. This is a new addition to my life but a welcome one. I guess it’s one way of shaking things up a bit.

What better time to shake things up than the start of a new year? While I was thinking about the new year I inevitably thought of this past year. Then the year before. Then the year…well, you get the idea. After a few minutes of that I thought…

“Geez, my life is nothing like I thought it would be years ago!”

That thought was a little distressing at first. But as I pondered it a little more I realized it was actually comforting. That thought was the confirmation of something I’ve known but is so easily forgotten in everyday life.

My life is not my own.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20.

For you those of you who follow Jesus, if you think about it, that’s extremely comforting. You no longer have to live your life. You no longer have to “try” to live the Christian life. All you have to do is let Jesus, the One Who lived the Christian life so good that they named it after Him, live through you.

Let Jesus be your Rhythm.

That’s what I’m going for in 2010.

A Father for Christmas

Christmas is here.

I love Christmas, but Christmas hurts. Christmas has always been one of those times I looked forward to all year long. I know why it’s always been that way. Dad made it that way. You see, for daddy, Christmas wasn’t just a day of the year. A lot of people talk about living Christmas every day of the year. My dad got closer to that than anyone I’ve ever known. He LOVED to give gifts. It didn’t matter to Dad how long it was until Christmas Day, he was buying gifts to get ready for it. I think my sister described it best in a short thing she wrote and gave us all a copy of this Christmas. I didn’t ask her if I could use this but I don’t think she’ll mind…

“I got to thinking about how excited daddy got when he picked out the perfect gift for someone. I remember thinking many times that I thought he was going to wear that gift out before Christmas by showing it to everyone. He would take us all to the closet and show us what he had gotten everyone else.”

That was daddy. He’s so much of the reason I love Christmas. He’s also so much of the reason Christmas hurts so much. I miss him. I’d give every present I’ve ever gotten just to hug him one more time. Every present except One.

That one Present is the only thing that makes the hurt that comes with Christmas now bearable. That one Present is also the only reason we have Christmas in the first place. He is Jesus. He is more than Enough. He is God With Us. And at Christmas, He’s exactly what i need…

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” -Psalm 68:5

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”- Isaiah 9:6

Matt

Blank Canvas

Wow…

This is a bit overwhelming…

I’ve been staring at this page for a while with a couple of valid questions running through my mind:

“What in the world am I going to write about?”

“Who wants to read what I have to say anyway?”

To be honest, I still don’t have very specific answers to either of those questions.

So why do it, you ask? Well, I can tell you one reason why I’m NOT doing it. I don’t have any aspirations of being Blog Star (not really sure but I might have coined a title there which would be awesome). Having thousands of readers isn’t my goal. Well, that’s not necessarily my goal. Don’t get me wrong, that would be great. But if that never happens, I won’t be devastated. At least, I hope not… Hmmm… Moving on…

I miss writing. That’s one reason I started this blog. Writing was something I did for fun at one time. After a Rhetorical Grammar class, writing and fun just didn’t go together anymore. I’d like to get to the point again where writing is actually fun (FYI, I’m not quite there yet).

I love to tell the story of God. Even bits and pieces of His story sometimes don’t fit in Facebook or Twitter updates so this will be an extension of sorts for those updates. In a way, this blog will be the overflow from my relationship with Jesus. My relationship with Him is almost too private if I’m not careful so this is a small way of balancing that out.

Also, as I grow as a leader I’ll be posting and plugging stuff from guys that are shaping me on that front. There will be more to come later on that point.

I guess that’s quite enough for my first post. Thanks for reading.
Matt