Bunyan a Fun-One

Addendum to pilgrims:
I listened to a sermon about Bunyan later today. Bunyan said the following in a book called “the greatness of the soul” in reference to the need for endurance in following CHRIST.

Following of me [Christ] is not like following of some other masters. The wind sits always on my face and the foaming rage of the sea of this world, and the proud and lofty waves thereof do continually beat upon the sides of the bark or ship that myself, my cause, and my followers are in; he therefore that will not run hazards, and that is afraid to venture a drowning, let him not set foot into this vessel.

If you are doing this Christian thing because it seemed like a “good, nice, clean, American, healthy” way to live in this life, you might want to read the gospels. You do not follow Christ for the rewards in this life. There are rewards, but they are not worth the cost if there is nothing beyond this life (I Cor. 15:19). Paul and Bunyan seemed to think that the Christian life was so costly that the only reason to live in such a way was the hope of the eternal reward of Christ.

It seems Jesus lived this way too, you know with the cross and all.

And isn’t it a cross we are called to bear?

Discipleship costs a lot in this world.

Worldliness costs a lot in the next.

Which one are you living for?

Bunyan lost his wife, leaving him with four children, one of them blind. He remarried only to be thrown in prison one year later. He spent 12 years in prison for preaching the gospel. It was here that he wrote the jewel “the pilgrim’s progress”. The glory came after the suffering. The suffering is what birthed the glory. He was a pilgrim living for another world.

The Song

No milk for my routine once again (April, 10). God is sovereign over all, especially the milk supply. I stop at daylight to grab some chocolate milk and kolaches, settle into my office to violate my normal routine of going straight into my quite time, reasoning that I need my energy and focus to be full upon the word of God. So I eat my nutritious breakfast and read some blogs (funny, I read few blogs until I started writing one). First stop desiring GOD and I read this – interesting!

So I click the link to read more of the story here – amazing!

Finally I go to the original source to get the long version – deeply convicting!

I live this way too often.

You live this way too often.

DON’T

There is a Song playing, one that we were meant to be:

Swept up in

Captivated by

Left in awe of

We should dance to it, sing to it, rejoice in it, and fear our senses growing numb to it as they often do to our favorite song. Don’t you hate how the most amazing songs grow old? What song do you wish you could hear again for the first time?

“With or Without You”?

“I Will Not Be Silent/Make a Joyful Noise”?

“What You Want”?

“Yellow”?

There is no song like this Song. We were made to adore and worship beauty. No one should briskly breeze by the Grand Canyon without reflection. No one should fail to dance to the King’s Song.

This fits so perfectly with what we are going to talk about at the yoke next week.

Come; get swept up into the rhythm.

Dyson

I bought my wife a Dyson vacuum for Valentine’s Day!

I know. How romantic huh? I really am the romantic between the two of us. I used to do the candlelight and flowers thing. I would receive a courteous “thanks”. Soon I was told to never buy flowers again; they just die. So I bought a label maker. She was ecstatic! Hmmm… maybe I’m on to something. Next, a paper shredder. Again, joy! Ah-mazing!

Frodo and Sam (our two shelties) shed an outrageous amount of hair. They give birth to several miniature furball versions of themselves that float around the house. Our vacuum inhales these little children and nicely collects the litter for us about once a week. In between our little Dustbuster that we received as a wedding gift is used to annihilate their offspring. It is now behaving like a cranky old man. It starts off slow, goes on a rant, and then shuts down in a nap. So I thought the Dyson would be the perfect gift. I was wrong. She was surprised. She loved my effort. But she returned the Dyson.

Now pretend that this was the perfect gift, in which I had poured my very heart and soul; so deeply that my very being was woven into it’s every part. To reject, abuse, mistreat, or return such a gift would be a horrid offense.

I wonder how many of us do this with God’s word? “Thanks God, but can I have some pizza instead?”

I read this sermon by Edwards this morning that gives warning to those who put on a show at church.

When persons thus treat God’s holy ordinances (ordinances in this context = ordained by God as a means of grace; i.e. prayer, worship, preaching, etc.) it tends to beget contempt of them in others. When others see sacred things commonly used so irreverently, and attended with such carelessness and contempt, and treated without any sacred regard; when they see persons are bold with them, treat them without any solemnity of spirit; when they see them thus commonly profaned, it tends to diminish their sense of their sacredness, and to make them seem no very awful things. In short, it tends to embolden them to do the like.

The holy vessels and utensils of the temple and tabernacle were never to be put to a common use, but to be handled without the greatest care and reverence. For if it had been commonly otherwise, the reverence of them could not have been maintained. They would have seemed no more sacred than anything else. So it is in the ordinances of Christian worship.

I really want to address just one problem I see in our group—bringing your bible to church. If a visitor comes to church and sees a group of students who bring their Bibles, dive into them when we read them, and mark their bibles up, perhaps they will see that the Scriptures are no lite thing. But if they see students who say they are Christians, who do not bring their Bibles or do not take them seriously, how can they take us seriously when we tell them what the Bible says?

Please, if you are not going to bring your bible, consider not telling the visitors that you are a Christian, you might breed contempt for the Word of God! Why tell someone you are something if you have no plans on acting like it? Or would you rather have pizza?

Lost?

Lost* – that was what this weekend was all about.

Bethany was gone to TX…I felt lost. The remedy, watching a sinful amount of lost.

I loved season one. when we were sure that we were going to move to Tulsa we started packing things up, and one of those things was that wicked dvr*. And so I was no longer able to watch lost. I lost Lost!

But now Lost has been found. Once we moved into our current casa the dish went up and the DVR resumed working its digital magic by recording season 3. Lost had been found. But I could not watch because I had not yet fulfilled the required prerequisite of Lost season 2. So this weekend I went to Hollywood* and found Lost season 2.

I watched it all!

In four days!

I have since repented of my excessive TV watching. It crazy how obsessed* we can become, especially when we have no anchor*. How everything else can seem less important.

Anyway there was this one powerful moment of worship within my viewing. Mr. Echo asks Locke if he knows the story of Josiah*. Locke says no. he tells how Josiah was a good king who followed the Lord. He wanted to rebuild the temple. To do this he would need money and gold. As this work was going on around the temple hellish finds a book. Do you know what this Book is?* Josiah read this Book and tore his clothes and wept. And it was with this Book, not money and gold that he rebuilt the temple.

The book had been lost! Can you imagine a church without a Bible?

I read this other book* about the effects of TV by Neil. He mentions two theories as to why books might be unread. The first one seemed to be a major threat during the world wars. It was the idea that books would be banned because of their content. Neil then goes on to show that the enemy has been much more subtle. He did not attack from without, but within. The scarier danger is not that books are banned, but that nobody would want to read a book!

And so we have lost the Book. Oh, we still have it, but it has lost its weight in our lives.

It is with this Book, not gold, money, or anything that it can buy that your life must be built on.

* Lost = Lost
DVR = digital video recorder
Hollywood= hollywood video
Obsessed = you must read ted decker’s Obsessed its a quick page turner
Anchor = Bethany
Josiah’s story = 2 Kings 22:23 & 2 Chronicles 34-35 – great story!
This Book = the Book of the Law
This other book = Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.

Excuses Only Satisfy Those Who Make Them

In the hope and prayer of 2 Corinthians 7:10-11

Too busy?

So I come home after an exhausting day of work, and there is only more to be done around the house. I just want to get it all done and lay my head down and go to sleep.

“Honey, come here, I have to tell you something amazing.”

“Sorry babe, I have so much to do.”

“Could you just give me a hug and let me know that you love me and that you are still here?”

“I just want to finish this work. It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s this work; there is so much of it. Maybe one day things will slow down and we will have time to remember each other.”

Too busy? Please! To read a chapter in scripture takes less than five minutes. Too busy? When you lay your head down at night, sacrifice five minutes; to hard? Your call is not to leisure, or entertainment, or rest, but to carry a cross!

“There just isn’t any time GOD”

“I gave you time. I invented it. I own it. If you don’t want to use it to know and glorify ME, I think I’ll take it back…now!”

The scary thought is not that HE may take our lives, but that He may continue to allow us to live them as they are, walking deaths. Sin darkens, blinds, and binds. His punishment may be to let us fall into deeper sin, deeper darkness, and deeper bondage. He may allow our gluttonous feast on this world and self to continue so that we slowly eat ourselves to death. To busy…please!

Boring?

It has been an exciting day, and there is more to come. We are going to have chicken parmesan and 24 comes on tonight.

“Honey, come here, I have to tell you something tragic.”

“Sorry babe, this food is so good, yummm! I don’t want to ruin this day. It has been too great, and 24 is getting ready to come on.”

Boring? Please! Do you exercise because it is entertaining? Oh, you may think the elderly man on the treadmill across from you with his quirky habits is entertaining, but the exercise itself, no. you exercise for joy. The joy of health, accomplishment, and fitness. Do you shower for entertainment? Yet there is often a joy that accompanies the feeling of being clean.

The Bible is not a novel. It was not meant to be read as a page turner. You were meant to meditate on it, pray through it. It is not here for entertainment, it is here for your eternal joy.

Maybe God is punishing us by allowing us to entertain ourselves to death. We may die to find out we never really lived. We just looked at other people’s fascinating lives on the “one eyed demon with a forked tail” and wished we were as spectacular as them. People that get out and exercise and shower are not boring. It is the 30 year old chap who still lives with his parents and plays video games all day. He is both scary and his life incredibly boring.

Already ate?

“Bethany, could you feed me. No better yet, that is too much work, could you chew it for me first. Birds do it for their young”

“1) You are not a bird. 2) You are not a young.”

As the bird grows it needs more nourishment and nutrition than its mother can provide. It must spread its wings and hunt. How embarrassing would it be for your mother to whip out the baby food at a restaurant and feed you? Church cannot be your only spiritual meal. You will rot and decay spiritually if this is the case.

Dad

This is beautiful.

Not the death, but the relationship; the way that death could not sour it, could not defeat it, could not ruin it, could not kill it.  Death did not kill their relationship!

Sin is what makes death ugly. But Jesus took care of this. He died once upon a time. Not only did He die, but God the Father placed all our sins upon HIM (Isaiah 53:6). it was the Father’s will to crush Him, put HIM to grief, and make His soul an offering for sin (53:10) Jesus went along with this, and He did it with joy. The Father was pleased and willed it, and the Son had joy in it (Hebrews 12:2).  Because death did not kill!

Only Jesus can make death so beautiful.

It is not the enemy.

It is not the end.

It is a door.

Death brings life like we have never known. A life that is so alive it is sure to make life as we now know it to appear death.

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.  –  Jonathan Edwards