Archive | January, 2013

Dug Down Deep Review

31 Jan

I received a copy of Dug Down Deep to review some time ago, and I am just now getting around to reviewing it. It was a great read. It was very accessible. Being that it is a book about theology, I wondered if it would be a book that was very academic or if it would be one that would appeal to a wider audience. It has a very wide audience and it will appeal to many different types of people.

Dug Down Deep is the type of book that a brand new Christian would just soak up, but at the the same time it is a book that can remind the veteran Christian of the things that make the Lord great that they have experienced in their lives already.

I would recommend this book to church leaders and lay people alike. It is a great resource to add to your library.

Advertisements

I need you. Lord, I need you…

30 Jan

I’d like to pose a question.  Here it is: If the power of the Holy Spirit DID NOT move in our worship services, would anyone know or recognize the difference?  I read this in a book the other week, and I was immediately cut to the quick.  I had to begin to wonder if this was true in our services at our church.  Are we, am I, more concerned with the service itself, the songs themselves, the sound, or the atmosphere in the room that I lose sight of the only thing that really matters?  It has affected the way I plan a worship service each week.

Think of how vitally important the Holy Spirit is in everything that we do as Christians.  Without the Holy Spirit to guide us, we are lost when it comes to how to interact with God the Father.  My mind is taken to the words of Moses in Exodus.  Moses has already been up on the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments once.  He came down the mountain to the sight of all the Israelites worshiping the Golden Calf.  He breaks the first tablets from God and punishes the people according to what God commands.  He goes back up the mountain and receives a second set of tablets.  At this point, God commands Moses to gather all of the people of Israel and leave from Sinai.  Moses and God then have this conversation:

Moses said to the Lord, “See you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.  You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore,, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.  Consider too that this nation is your people.” And [God] said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And [Moses] said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.  For how shall it be known that I have found favor in you sight, I and your people?  Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”

It is God’s presence that makes us, as Christians, unique from every other people on the face of the earth.  If God’s presence is not with us when we gather for worship to sing, read Scripture, and hear the Word preached, then we are doing it all for nothing.  Our songs are just songs.  The words are just words.  If God’s presence is not with us, if the Holy Spirit does not move, then we are simply singing and preaching for no reason.  However, when the presence of God is there, when the Holy Spirit moves, it is a glorious thing that happens.  Humans can commune with the Creator of the universe.  Simple people can interact with Almighty God.  Lives and destinies can, and are, changed for eternity.  When God shows up, in the form of the Holy Spirit, things are drastically different to the Glory of God the Father!

I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to descend on each of our services every week.  Because I want to take the position that Moses takes, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.”

You’re the one that I want…

18 Jan

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, I have an awesome wife!  We just all have to go ahead and agree on that, cause it’s the truth.  That being said, I think I need to tell you a little about her.  She is, quite simply, amazing! She is an awesome friend, a great mother to our children, a throw down chef, and a good teacher.  She is truly my helpmate, and exhibits the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman.

My desire is that I can be the husband back to her that God has called me to be.  Paul lays it out for me in the letter to the Church at Ephesus when he writes, 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
(Ephesians 5:25-33 ESV)

I want to love my wife sacrificially.  I want to put her before myself.  I want to encourage her and lift her up.  I want to help her to grow into the follower of Christ that God has called her to be.  However, the fact of the matter is that I can’t do those things for her.  But, Christ in me can!  Thank God for sending His Spirit to help me (and all Christians for that matter) to be the people that He created us to be.  I pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit I can be the husband that She-Wood needs.  She is a wonderful woman, and I love her madly.  I want to honor her as my wife and the mother of our children by being the type of husband that is described in Ephesians.