About Me

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Bedford, Texas, United States
Pastor of Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Bedford, Texas and former Professor of Old Testament. But mostly I am a husband of an amazing wife, father of gifted children, and servant of an AWESOME God.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cleaning House

It has been quite a while since I last posted on the blog.  It has certainly not been a lack of things to write about that has kept me away as I have often thought in the midst of sermon preparation or daily dealings with people that a certain topic that had come up would be great to write about. In truth, the reason can only be ascribed to laziness. Not that I believe my blog is of such importance to others that I have been robbing them of my great insights by not adding content, rather it has been laziness in relation to the benefits I receive from writing, from reflecting and from taking the time to put it all down.

I don't know if it is my mid-life crisis (truth be told I don't know what age you are supposed to go through one of those) or simply a work God has decided to do in me, but I have spent the last couple of months getting a lot of things in order. I have dropped 37 pounds since May, I have reorganized my office and books, and for the first time in a long time I am pursuing certain aspects of the Christian life that I had long ignored or neglected. I recently led Woodland Heights through a sermon series on Spiritual Disciplines. I don't know how much of an impact it had on them, but God showed me through the series some significant facts about prayer and fasting in particular.

While I have always participated in prayer, I have not done so with the passion and sense of urgency that God has recently brought me to. I had never fasted before.  And yet, these two elements seem so fundamental to the lives of believers in the Bible.  I can't believe I made them such a secondary part of my walk. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in." That is what prayer has become for me - not just talking, but listening, submitting, and being transformed! Fasting can easily become about us and an inappropriate ascetic withdrawal from life. But when done in conjunction with prayer and with a mind to glorifying God, one can learn a lot about how needy we are, about how sufficient He is, and how those two realities can come together to bring us to new heights to intimacy with the Lord. I don't feel it appropriate to share too much about either of these things from my own experience because each one is personal and distinct. Furthermore, the intimate nature of each is not something easily communicated. As J. I. Packer once wrote, “Trying to describe what I do in prayer would be like telling the world how I make love to my wife.” Still, I would encourage you to do a biblical study on these two disciplines (listen to my sermons on them if that helps) and see what what you might learn about yourself and God that you didn't know before.

I believe getting back into blogging will allow me to continue my house cleaning well into the future. So, I am picking up the pen again (or I guess in this case pulling out the keyboard). I plan to write about what God is doing in me as well as sharing thoughts on theology and matters of debate. Whether anyone joins me or not, I know this is something God is going to use to help me grow in my relationship with Him. 

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