Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another great quote!

I last posted a large portion of the book I'm reading and here's another great gem that I came across:

The author quotes a reference which is from Robert Boyd Munger's article "My Heart Christ's Home."

"I discovered what it meant to have a Mary heart toward God. Suddenly my eyes were opened to what true devotion is.

It is not a duty. It is a delight
It is not an exercise in piety. It is a privelege.
And it is not so much a visit as it is a homecoming."

(quoting Munger) "Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ Himself through the presence of the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there, " Munger says, "[Jesus] came into the darkness of my heart and turned on the light. He built a fire in the cold hearth and banished the chill. He started music where there had been stillness and He filled the emptiness with His own loving, wonderful fellowship."

A few paragraphs later Joanna Weaver writes, "What an amazing thought-that Christ wants to spend quality time with me. That he looks forward to our time together and misses me when I don't show up. Once that message started sinking into my heart, I started looking at my devotional time in a whole new way-not as a ritual, but as a relationship.

And a relationship doesn't just happen. It has to be nurtured, protected, and loved."

I'm personally encouraged to meditate on God's character and His heart for us. I've been enjoying the following verse a lot this week!

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1 (New Living Translation)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Intimacy with God

I'm reading a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. It's about finding intimacy with God in the busyness of life. It's a really good book and well written. I find myself not wanting to put it down. Here is a passage from the book that I really like and wanted to share:

Intimacy with God. What does it mean to you-and how do you achieve it? Does it require sitting on a pillar like Simeon or being buried up to your neck in sand? (doesn't make sense if you haven't read the previous pages in the book) Is it some mystical level of consciousness attainable only by the deeply devout?

Some religions say that it is. According to Hinduism, a religion based on the karma of good works, one lifetime isn't enough for the soul to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Hindu mathematicians calculate it takes 6.8 million rotations through reincarnation for the good and evil in us to finally balance out so that we can receive the ultimate spiritual level of nirvana.

In the Far East, during religious festivals, men often have hooks inserted under the skin of their backs. These hooks are then tied to wagonloads of rocks, which the men drag through the streets, hoping to obtain forgiveness for their sins. In certain areas of Mexico, the devout crawl miles on their knees in pilgrimage.

All over the World, people go to unimaginable lengths to find God-which is sad when you consider the unmaginable lengths God has already gone to find us.

We don't need millions of lifetimes in order to be pure enough to see God. We don't need to stick hooks in our back or tear the flesh off our knees in order to earn God's favor.

All we really need is Jesus. For he is all the evidence we need. The Father actually wants us close and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure it happens.

It's hard to imagine the Creator of the universe wanting to know us. We feel so unworthy. That's why many of us persist in thinking that we must earn our way to heaven, that only the superspiritual can really know God. Burdened with the weight of our own spirituality, we struggle beneath a load of self-imposed obligations: "I have to do this..." or "I can't really know God until I do that..." We can spend so much of our lives getting ready to know God or backing away out of fear of displeasing God that we never get around to enjoying the intimacy that Jesus came to provide.

And yet intimacy with God was indeed the very point of Jesus' coming and of his dying. "You who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ," Paul writes in Ephesians 2:13. For when Jesus died, his cross bridged the great chasm of sin that separated us from God. With his last breath, Jesus blew aside the curtain that had kept sinful humans from touching a holy God. New we could come into God's very presence, clean and approved, not by our works, but by his grace. Jesus "destroyed the barier, the diving wall of hostility" (verse 14) that had separated humanity from God.

When we couldn't reach up to heaven, heaven come down to us and welcomed us into intimacy through the doorway of Jesus Christ.

That is the good news of the gospel.

The way has been made. The price has been paid. All we need to do it come.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Medical Clinic

The medical clinic was a big success! We were sad to see it end. I have some more photos to share, but these are the first bunch. I just realized that I'm not in any of them because I was taking all the pictures! There are some of me in the second bunch. I know my family likes to see me in the pictures! I'll get the statistics from Jader as to how many patients we saw and also how many responded to the gospel. Also we had an amazing week last week with another American team from Florida. I don't have much time to post but will be sharing more details soon! Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Brigada Medica

Jader and I are in San Marcoa, a little outside of Managua, with a group of 27 gringos. :) We're here with a medical team consisting of two doctors, a dentist, and eye doctor. They had over 160 appointments today and every one of the patients were able to hear the gospel presented to them in one-on-one while they were waiting. There is much need here and it's great to see God use His people to be his hands, and feet to meet those needs. Please be praying for this work. We'll be continuing the clinic up through Thursday. Okay, I'm going to get some rest because it's been a long day!