Tuesday, April 26, 2016

challenging the spirit

I have friends who always challenge me spiritually - sometimes directly or indirectly. Again, reading an article posted by a friend that's been mentally stimulating. Much of these articles I read are addressing different Christian thinkers with regards to their mental/spiritual approach to God/Jesus. Normally, I would be troubled by what I read, even upset. I can see my younger self reeling out of control at all these far-out-there perceptions. However, as I read these articles, I am often reminded of my own spiritual walk with Jesus. It is a constant reminder of how God has physically moved in my life and of our own on-going story. Each time I have these realizations, it's a swift kick in the patoosh to continue the dialogue, to keep on praying. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

know thy enemy

I've been reading praise about God, the struggles of the individual in their walk with God and just now I am reading a pretty good description of the villainous wicked person (chapter 10). The first thing that pops into my mind is, how does David even know how a wicked person acts. But I realize that he spent quite a bit of time travelling during his running years from Saul, and if I recall he spent a bit of time amongst the enemy during his hiding. But it's the fact that he gives extreme wickedness. It's acts like these that come out of years of slow degradation of a person's character. A person doesn't come murdering out of the womb - there would/should have been a few more wrong choices before that happened.

But David also does something different in this chapter - he creates dialogue between the wicked and God. The wicked does his action and than makes a comment about God, and God is silent, He doesn't respond.

I'll come back to this tomorrow. Food for thought!

Friday, April 15, 2016

the process of declaring

sing praises to the lord, who swells in zion! declare his deeds among the people. when he avenges blood, he remembers them he does not forget the cry of the humble. ps 9:12

The process of declaring God's deeds among the people has an intriguing affect on the declarer/listener. The actual process of speaking out loud affects what we think. Paul even said it best if you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). It's been proven psychologically the power of speaking out loud. If we say things aloud, our brain is more apt to believe it. Speaking aloud reinforces the belief process. I have learned what I have said aloud in the presence of God has affected how I view God. What I have also spoken aloud in God's presence has also affected what I believe of God. When I learned to speak His words of power back to Him, claiming what He has said will come to pass in my life, I choose to believe He would accomplish it before I can even see it done. He has accomplished the things I have claimed, but I realized more than anything, it was literally about the process of speaking aloud that was the greater treasure.

Today, I thank Him for His thoughts that are way above my own, and the knowledge He promises to give without bias will be given to help me with JavaScript today! Amen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

the lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. and those who know your name will put their trust in you; for you, lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. ps 9:9, 10

When I see a verse like this,  I often think of the worse case scenario, something similar out of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs, or more recently, DCTalk's Book of Martyrs, which is a more updated version of the antiquity, and of course, more relevant to this generation. I grew up reading the DCTalk's version of the book, and the above verse really reminds me of these stories.

Refuge and oppression are the two words I am contemplating today especially in context to social media. The idea, representation and reality of oppression are everywhere on social media - everything from first world to third world perspectives. Along with the social media news stream, comes the plethora of comments. Everyone has an opinion, everyone has an experience to share. You have the fatalists, the determinists, and the status quo. For those who present refuge, sometimes there is an awareness that giving refuge is for the here and now, and not a long time solution for the future.

Anyways, lots of food for thought.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Passing judgement

Judgement is the keyword of the day, at least according to Psalms 9, but it doesn't stand alone. That's right, righteousness is tied in. I find the first verses particularly interesting. We have this gut reaction when we hear the word judgement but the speaker creates a different image:

i will praise you, o lord, with my whole heart; i will tell of all your marvelous works. i will be glad and rejoice in you; i will sing praise to your name, o most high. when my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish in your presence. for you have maintained my right and my cause; you sat on the throne of judging in righteousness. ps 9:1-4

It seems that the ownership of righteousness has the characteristic ability of judgement. But looking at righteousness in context to judgement - it's righteousness as painted by David - righteousness defined as goodness, and the goodness defined as otherness. David calls God righteous because he firsthand knows the righteousness/goodness/otherness of God. When he comes into God's presence, his enemies fall away; he calls on God and God answers....again going back to this original idea of the constant calling. A habit has been created.

David speaks about the judgement regularly, and he speaks about it comfortably. Because David calls his own righteousness God's righteousness, he knows he will be judged according to the righteousness given him.

Lots of food for thought.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I am thankful for consistency. I haven't been consistent with anything in a long time, so seeing how I am beginning to comprehend and apply that knowledge of JavaScript is very rewarding, and the feeling from the consistent effort is such a strange emotion. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

clinging to the something bigger

when i consider the your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him? ps 8:3,4

Again, I blame the newsfeed. You know, the one found on Facebook. I follow a few people who are world-state conscious and good for them, I think we should all be, but I know the temptation to mentally shut it down. Many people just cannot stand to see the world wide corruption that affects the structure of our society. However, it's a reminder to me how imperfect this world is. There are those striving and thirsting after justice, and I know that is good and right, but again, it's a reminder of the temperament of this world, and the temporariness of my life. 

As I read Psalms 8 this morning, and David looking to the glory of God in His Creation (aka the heavens, aka moon & stars), David went and looked above man's nature to the Nature of God (both meanings intended!). He saw the lowliness of man, and the enormousness of God.

It's a good reminder. Amen.