The stare

Friday, June 06, 2008

OK I can't hold back anymore, I know it's cheesy, people have written songs about it and it's an over used analogy by Dad's the world over but I can't resist. When my son was just newly born I used to get up and help my wife with him in the night. My role was to deal with 'goods out'. I like my sleep, so found this difficult and to be honest it would make me grumpy. That is until my son would look up and start to fix his eyes on me. In fact it was more of a stare in wonder and amazement (at probably how ugly someone can be at 3am in the morning). You start to get the sense at how God feels when we direct our focus from the horizontal to the vertical view. When we start to stare in amazement at the beauty of our Father God.

God in a box

Monday, June 02, 2008
Yes it's been awhile. Life is starting to get back to a new normality after the arrival or our son, Caleb. I thought it best to start blogging again before I get caught up in too many other things.

One of the things I've always felt about when having a kid was that life would be over to a certain extent. That God would cease to speak to me and my ministry would cease. Of course this was probably more of an irrational fear than anything but I've found it's quite the opposite.

It's like God throws in a little bundle of uncontrol into your life just to mess things up a bit. Through this lack of control God has been changing me, birthing something new in my soul. Before birth comes a labour, and labour hurts, ask my wife.

I've been listening to a lot of John Piper from the internet and he does a great talk on not wasting your life. In it he describes not wasting your difficult times, making the most of them. My experience of difficult times is probably mild to the majority of people but nevertheless Jesus has been doing open heart surgery on me, getting to the core of my relationship with Him. I've actually discovered that I am so legalistic in my spiritual life. I've been a Pharisee, I've added my own little rules and regulations to the Gospel. You can see why Paul was so frequent in his rebuke of legalism in his letters. We just naturally add our own conditions and try to put God in a box where he's tied down to a formula. I can't tell you the number of times I've put pressure on myself to spend time with God for the sole reason that if I don't do it then some part of my life won't go well.

Let me give you an example. Sunday mornings when I lead worship, I've always demanded of myself to have a quality 'quiet time' where I felt the presence of God, otherwise worship leading that morning would flop. Recently I've felt God saying He doesn't want that sort of time with me. Instead of prayer being a good luck charm, it's actually spending time with Him because of Him. Knowing that in Jesus, God has already given everything I need to do whatever my calling is. That's freeing knowing that God has given me whatever I need now to do the job. I don't have to earn God's approval!

What a wonderful thing grace is.