The Loudmouth Protestant

June 25, 2010

Where I Am Today: Romans 8:28

Filed under: God,gospel music — nickisym @ 7:43 am
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“And we know that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose…”

Romans 8:28

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June 24, 2010

Quote of the Day: John Ortberg

“It is wrong, it is sin, to accept or remain in a position that you know is a mismatch for you. Perhaps that’s a form of sin you’ve never considered–the sin of staying in the wrong job. But God did not place you on this earth to waste away your years in labor that does not employ his design or purpose for your life, no matter how much you may be getting paid for it.”

John Ortberg, from the book “If You Want to Walk On Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat”

That is all.

June 17, 2010

This Is All I Can Eat Right Now

Filed under: bible,God,spirituality — nickisym @ 5:44 pm
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Jesus said in Matthew 4:4:

“One does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

This is what Jesus said when he was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. There was no turning the stone into a loaf of bread for Jesus because He knew that the bread would only satisfy Him temporarily, but every word out of the mouth of God would fill Him to the brim permanently and that is something I can totally get into.

I am currently in the midst of temptation. The kind of temptation that is very common to man these days, worry.  While I’d love to eat the worry away by binging on cupcakes, those cupcakes will only provide me with temporary relief and a very permanent cavity. So, I had to make an executive decision to put the cupcake down and pick the word of God up. In doing so, I came upon a scripture that felt like a home-cooked meal. Everytime I read it, I get full, push myself away from the proverbial table and enjoy a good night’s sleep because all my assurance is in those words and of course, the God of those words. So, I felt the need to share my good meal with you. This is one of the rare moments where I will share food–I don’t share actual food because I’m greedy, but this is way too good to keep to myself. So, pull yourself up to the table and enjoy the meal…

Matthew 6:25-34: Do Not Worry

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about your clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? Therefore do not worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  (NRSV)

 

June 15, 2010

Big Butter Jesus Meltdown

Filed under: Jesus,recent news — nickisym @ 12:19 pm
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Last night, after being struck by lightning, a 62-foot Jesus burned to the ground leaving nothing but the dusty remains of plastic foam and fiberglass in its wake.  The statue was built as a “beacon of hope and salvation” at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. And now it’s just a tragic reminder to invest a little bit more in big Jesus statues, or, maybe don’t invest anything at all in big Jesus statues because these are recessionary times and who in the world spends $250,000 on a Jesus statue when you probably have a church where at least 25% of your congregation is unemployed or  underemployed? What sense does it make to rebuild that statue and then be in the pulpit talking about, “Please give to the “building the big Jesus statue fund”?” No sense at all. (Granted, sources say that the statue was financed through earmark donations, not general church finds. But really? You got earmark donations for a giant Jesus statue for your church? Not a billboard, not advertisements, not even a cross, but a big Jesus?)

Could it be that the burning down of the statue is a sign that that church, and maybe us as the church universal, need to stop wasting money on frivolous things. I know it seems really crazy to say a huge statue of Jesus is frivolous, but honestly, I don’t think Jesus would be okay with a church spending that much money on a statue of Him when they could use that money to do “greater works”. The statue of Jesus that can be seen from the Interstate is not “greater works”. At least, I’m not certain it is the greater works He was referring to.

Anyways, I’m not going to ramble on about this. I might be alone on this matter and others might think this is a national tragedy. I just wonder if this strikes anyone else as slightly strange and unusual?

June 14, 2010

Getting Out of My Dreams

Filed under: dreams,faith,God — nickisym @ 6:27 pm
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I have a pretty active dream life. The kind where things happen in the dream and I wake up the next morning thinking they happened in real life. The kind that make me wake up and wonder what God is trying to tell me. Last night I had one of those dreams…

I was on a field trip with some school kids. I don’t know whether I was their teacher or a parent, all I know is that I was there. I have no idea where we were save for the fact that when we arrived at our destination we were facing a very large building with multiple flights of stairs leading to the top. We weren’t told what was at the top of that building, all we knew is that we had to climb the stairs to find out.

The first few flights were the easiest to navigate. The students and I were talking casually and breathing easily. But suddenly, all of the students I was making the journey with began to dissappear. One by one it was as if they evaporated into the air. They didn’t fall of the stairs, they just disappeared. Suddenly I was climbing the stairs all by myself. The higher I went, the more challenging it became to go to the next level. But, somehow, I was determined to always go to the next flight of stairs. I had to continuously stop myself from looking down because at the point that I was making this journey by myself, looking down would remind me how impossibly high up I was and how I had to continue climbing because making the journey back down wasn’t an option. I had gone too far to turn around.

Finally, I reached the final flight of stairs, but what separated that final flight and the flight I was standing on was a big gaping hole, a mass of air and space that I had to figure how to navigate it to ascend the last flight. There was only one thing I could do. Jump, no LEAP, to the final flight of stairs that would lead me to the “God knows what” at the top of the building. Sure, I had to contend with the possibility of leaping and missing the final flight of stairs only to plummet to my death. But, I believed that there was going to be something to propel me toward those stairs so that I could make it to the top of the building. I felt it was my destiny.

So, putting aside every random thought, I set my mind on moving forward and leaping. When I took the leap, it seemed like I spent an eternity in that time and space, but I did finally end up making it to that last flight of stairs. I was all by myself ascending the last flight to see what was in store for me at the top of that building…

I wish that I could tell you what was at the top of the building, but I can’t. I woke up before I could find that out. Suffice to say,  I’m sure that whatever was waiting for me at the top of the building was going to be a sight to behold, but what was more powerful was the journey it took to get there in the first place. The faith and perserverance that was necessary to keep going up. Even that leap and the time it took for me to float between one flight to the final is telling of our own personal journeys. We may be suspended in time for a while, God’s time, while He prepares things for us on the other side. Nevertheless, we have to continue to move forward without looking back or down. We have to take a leap of faith. We have to trust that in taking that leap, God is not going to let us fall but that He will, literally, be the wind beneath our wings to keep us in flight. All He wants to know is that we trust Him enough to keep moving forward and up in Him, even when it seems like a crazy thing to do. Sort of like climbing stairs on the outside of a building to get to the top to see something, only God knows what.

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