Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mark Lowry

My friend Sheryl showed this to me in an e-mail today. Thought someone might like it. =)

"God spreads grace like a 4 year old spreads peanut butter - He gets it all over everything." - Mark Lowry

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Gospel of Simplicity

"If we don't come to the cross of Jesus Christ, and rely on Him alone, we're all going to hell." - Rob Rufus

Consequences of Refusing to Live In Grace

Romans 7:5 (ESV)

"For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death."

I Am Free

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blind Guides

Self-righteousness is everywhere I look; books, sermons, televangelists, you name it.

Let's see what the Holy Spirit, through Paul, says about people who preach the law...

Romans 2:17-23 (ESV):

"But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know His will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth- you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you not steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. As it is written, 'The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'"

Remember, all it takes to be guilty of stealing is to covet. All it takes to commit adultery is lust.

Apply this message today: Do you know why everyone outside the Church views the Church as hypocrites, and blasphemes Jesus Christ? Because there are people who boast in a law they cannot keep, and lay it on peoples backs who cannot keep it.

What Being a Christian Means

"To say that you are a Christian doesn't simply refer to the particular set of doctrinal beliefs you hold. It doesn't just refer to the way you live. It points to what you are at the deepest level your being. At the center of your being is Christ! He has become your very life!"

From "Grace Walk" by Steve McVey

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on what Paul meant in Romans 9:30-33 about pursuing the Law by faith?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I don't see why people boast in the fact that God's wrath is on sinners, like they themselves are without sin. The only One that separates Christians from nonbelievers is Christ. We need more humiliation when we boast that God "hates sinners", which isn't true. I don't see why God would die for people He hated.

They condemn themselves. Jesus did not come to condemn...Yet there are some who still don't understand that.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Grace Blog

Just wanted to link everyone, if they haven't already been, to my friend Sheryl's blog

Check it out!! =P


A question just came to me just now while reading through John.

What would be harder for me?: Washing someones feet or letting someone wash my feet?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Psalm 4:7

"You have put more joy in my heart they have when their grain and wine abound"


I was listening to Bob George just now and he said something that was funny but true.

He said the law empowers sin, and talked about how people teach law, then beat people up for sinning.

Sad, isn't it?

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Isaiah 54:11-12:

"O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of ruby, your gates of crystal, and all your wall of precious stones."

Isaiah 54:17:

"This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness from Me, declares the Lord."

Hard to Focus

Today is one of those days where it is hard to keep my focus. I would like to pray, but I just can't calm myself down. If that makes sense. Then that feeling of unworthiness wants to prolong the lack of prayer. Ugh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Light of Grace

I want to elaborate more on John 3:16-21

"For God so loved the world, the He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it maybe clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God."

This was so clear to me as I was reading over it and talking myself through it today.

I was thinking of how people are afraid that pure grace would cause them to sin, and I guess Rob Rufus' idea that grace only reveals what is already there made a light bulb go off in my head. "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."

Jesus, I think, was telling Nicodemus that He is grace and truth (the light). I believe He was showing how people, who know they are evil, want to stay in the dark, lest their deeds should be exposed or made manifest. I have definitely noticed a change in my behavior since coming to grace, and some of it hasn't been good. But, just as Rob said, grace is only revealing what is already there. People are so afraid and trapped in a religious mindset that God will condemn them for their sin, that they're terrified of coming to the light. They don't want to sin, because it will leave them broken, with no one but Jesus to trust in. And when they do that, they're automatically forgetting what Jesus said just a few sentences before, which is: "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him."

It's all a fear of grace, running to the law for comfort and assurance. Which is self-righteousness and darkness.

It all makes me think of a kid who has a cut or a scrape or something, who, when their parents get out the stinging medicine to keep it from getting infected yell, "No, no!! It will hurt too much!" Then the parents reply, "It has to hurt if it's to heal". A doctor, when checking a broken bone, has to first expose the pain.

It makes me think about the verse "Even though the outer man is perishing, the inner man is being renewed day by day". God cares nothing for appearances. He wants to expose the root of the problem, which hurts.

Lifehouse - Hanging By A Moment (Music Video)

I think this describes some of how I feel living in the grace and love of God.

Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you
I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

Forgetting all I'm lacking
Completely incomplete
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me now...

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

There's nothing else to lose
There's nothing else to find
There's nothing in the world
That can change my mind
There is nothing else
There is nothing else
There is nothing else

Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you....

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

Just hanging by a moment (here with you)
Hanging by a moment (here with you)
Hanging by a moment here with you

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Messy Spirituality

I was watching TV with my mom this afternoon. A show called "According to Jim".

I think about how much Christians say there is too much grace in the church these days. The idea that there is need for stronger laws and cracking down on sin. Excuse me, but I see this Old Covenant stuff on TV everyday! I see it on every book shelf. Preachers preaching against everything under the sun. No Harry Potter, no video games, quit cussing, quit gossiping, don't covet, don't commit adultery, stay away from bars.

Anyway, in this episode, the guy Jim calls the Bible the "rule book". And all throughout the show, they make jokes at how the Bible and God is all about keeping laws. I see it all the time. Everyone thinks Christianity is just another religion to add to the pile of the others. It's just another set of rules to live by. So, if we're preaching so much grace, then why doesn't the world see it? Why am I not seeing it? Why do they still see Christians as hypocrites? Because the majority of them are acting like hypocrites by preaching law, but breaking the law. If you've broken one law, you've broken them all James says. So if you can't keep them all, then why try and keep them at all? Why not just trust in Jesus and receive the abundance of grace? You can't love God unless you first let Him love you.

I see how to books everywhere. It's all crap. Pray more, do more, study more, abstain from this, don't touch that, and for heaven sake, stay way from sinners!

I love the church...or rather I want to love them, but I can't stand being around them sometimes with all this religious nonsense.

All the while forgetting that the bible says that the power of sin is the law. So then what do they to solve that problem? "You gotta put the fear of God in 'em!" So then you muzzle the sin problem with fear, rather than going to the Physician. Fear of letting go and trusting God to sanctify you. Fearing that if you sin, God will be angry with you and you will be in danger of the flames of hell.

You know what that sounds like to me? Religion. Old Covenant. Cleaning the outside and forgetting the inside.

You're not preaching grace at all if it isn't all grace. You're not preaching faith at all if you're preaching the slightest hint of law.


I got my copy of the Bonsai Conspiracy in the mail today. I'm so excited!

I'll likely be posting stuff I get from it the next few days. =)

Parable of the Ten Minas

I feel like maybe I had stumbled on something this morning while reading something by Sir Robert Anderson.

The thought came to me concerning the Parable of the Talents, or the Parable of the Ten Minas.

The idea came to me that maybe this servant who did nothing with his mina portrays someone who knows the gospel, but doesn't trust in its purity, thus taking away it's power. The man in the parable buried the talent given him, because he was afraid his master was a severe man.

The reason people revert back to law and rules comes from a fear that Christ doesn't accept them just as they are, and so if He does require good works, then they will have a safety net to fall back on. Or if grace doesn't work, they will have their own works as insurance. Which is really no faith at all. It's saying one thing, and living another. Forced worship, forced love, forced devotion. It all amounts to a pile of stinking religion if you break it down.

I'm not at all sure how exactly to interpret this, but I think I may have gotten a start? Of course I could just be mistaken. But God's grace allows me to be messy. =)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Falling Into Grace

Amazing revelation I had as I was listening to Rob Rufus read out Mark chapter 5 about the woman who had a flow of blood. I paused the sermon and came to post this.

"And a great crowd followed Him and thronged about Him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, 'If I touch even His garments, I will be made well.' And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease."

Does this sound familiar? I hear about this in the church a lot. We go to person after person seeking what will give us victory in our lives and end the constant feelings of condemnation and unworthiness. We try as hard as we can and re-dedicate ourselves over and over, but things only get worse.

Preachers, revivals, motivational speeches, reading the Bible more, praying more, giving more, helping more, having guilt and condemnation cannot give life. Trying harder only makes things worse. It by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ that gives us life.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Side Note

If I seem to be writing about the same thing a lot, it's because something has been on my heart a lot. So I apologize if I seem repetitive to anyone . =P

Defeat is Victory

Do you want to overcome sin? Give up trying to overcome it. Romans 7:6 "We serve not under the old written code (obeying laws) but in the new life of the Spirit."

It is the Spirit who gives life. Self-effort and self-discipline does not give life. It can only suppress sin. (I've given the analogy of a muzzled dog who loves biting the postman)

"Apart from the law, sin lies dead." To have victory is to suffer defeat, but to acknowledge defeat is the beginning of victory. "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ." Lets throw away our attempts at becoming more righteous and submit to God's righteousness. We need to quit worrying about all our faults, because we will always have them as long as we're on this earth. So instead, let's live by faith in who God says we already are in Christ Jesus. "The righteousness of Christ."

"Who will save me from this body of death?" Can I by trying harder? Can I by struggling to find all my faults and trying to change? No, "I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!".

The law came to increase sin, not decrease it (Rom 5:20, 7:5, 7:8, Gal 3:10, 2 Corin 3:6). The harder we struggle, the deeper we sink. It is not by our might! Thank God! It's definitely a road less traveled. Because it makes no sense and is completely a life of faith.

Monday, August 6, 2007

...Come You Who Have No Money

It's funny how Christians today believe that being filled with the Spirit and such things are a matter of fasting, praying, begging, being good, go on a sinless streak, or what have you. Then there is the idea that we must fast, pray, or read our Bibles in order to be "close to God".

It just doesn't match scripture. Galatians chapter 3 clearly says the Spirit, miracles and all the promises are based on faith, not works. Receiving, not earning. And the other good news is that there is only one faith. You don't have to have faith for different things. You just have to believe in the gospel.

Glory Realm

I just heard the most beautiful song after Rob Rufus' latest sermon. I encourage everyone who sees this to listen to it. It's a wonderful sermon as well.

Intimacy with God is also free!! Amazing.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Strict Grace

I was reading Romans 9 and 10 this morning before group and thought I would post it up. I was originally going to post a question concerning these verses, but I felt it better not to.

"What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,

"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.""

One thing I did noticed while reading this as I typed it is that the Rock is a Rock of offense. It is not offensive, as the majority of the church would have you believe today because it involves laws, rules, regulations, etc. (Romans 5 and 6 are clear that laws and rules have no part in the life of a believer) The Rock is an offense because God shows no partiality. All are sinners so that God may have MERCY upon all. It just kills us to fully believe that it is all of grace and none of oneself.

In Romans chapter 10, directly below the verses previously mentioned, Paul says,

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

I've seen this in myself. But reading this is like taking a cold shower in grace. I love being threatened with grace. I love "Either receive it freely and be saved or work for it and be doomed". Threaten me with grace all you want!! =)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Grace is the Contraceptive

I honestly just don't see how the Holy Spirit, through Paul could not be any clearer to me anyone who puts themselves under laws or have to's or should's. I simply do not.

Romans, chapter 5, verse 20:

"Now the law cam in to increase the trespass, (sin) but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

What this means is the law actually stirs up sin within you. Adding ANYTHING, which includes praying everyday, reading the Bible everyday, or what have you, will only cause you to sin more. The law came in to increase sin, not decrease. So why is the vast majority of the world still preaching law at all if it only inflames sin? This is only talking of salvation, but sanctification. If the laws job is to increase sin, why in the world are we preaching it at all? I mean even in the slightest. There are no have to's. I know it's scary..I get anxious myself. But I am spending a lot more time getting to know God now, I pray no longer because I feel guilty or because a sense of duty. I pray and I read the Word because I want to now. That's not to say I'm some super prayer/bible man now. I probably read and pray less. But there is life in it now. It is no longer dead works.

When I clean up, do kind things or say kind things, I no longer do it (which is a struggle) to earn brownie points better self-discipline. It's the Spirit who gives self-control.

Another Quote

"Just as Christ did not have to sin in order to be made sin, we must do nothing righteous in order to be made righteous." - Rob Rufus

Friday, August 3, 2007

One Faith

I love the fact that I no longer need faith in myself, but only faith in Christ. There is only one faith (as Rob Rufus so kindly pointed out).

This sets me free to learn to gain boldness and live fearless. It's not my job, but His. He leads, I follow. Please pray that I would dance with the Holy Spirit. To be a doer and not a hearer only. I can be very passive and lazy which scares me. I want boldness, assertiveness and freedom in the Spirit.

Legalistic Habits

One thing that irks me about myself I noticed is that I make myself earn credits before I can play video games, read Harry Potter or whatever.

I noticed just now that I felt I didn't have enough credits to read Harry Potter because I spent them already this morning by playing Xbox and eating a bag of baked Cheetos. So I thought to myself, "Heres what I'll do...I'll do something nice for mom like clean the kitchen or her bathroom or something, then I'll read some Harry Potter." Because if I just indulge in these things without regulations, I'll love the world too much and I'll fall away from the love of God. I can hear that voice in my head right now that if I do these things too much, one thing will lead to another and I won't love God anymore.

Don't tell me you haven't had this mentality before.

....Please? lol

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Walking in the Light

I was listening to Rob Rufus (again) just now and he said something that just excited me, even though it sucks.

He gave the analogy of going into a very dusty, dark attic with a flash light. And he goes on to say that when you turn the flash light on, you don't say "Oh no, look at how much dust my flash light has caused!" Why? Because the light is only revealing what is already there. Grace is that light. Law just covers things up and never really deals with it. Grace brings it out into the open.

I've noticed since coming to grace, my sin is much more obvious. I've lost my temper even worse than I would when I was living under law. But thats not to say grace caused me to sin. It's only revealing whats already in me. And only by realizing how sinful I am, can I come to Christ, rather than the law to give me change in my life.

Grace doesn't cause you to sin. It only reveals whats already there. It doesn't increase sin. I know this sounds scary, but it's true. If you see that you have started sinning more obviously under grace than under law, then don't be afraid. You're not getting worse, you're getting a revelation of your indwelling sin, which drives you to seek the Physician. Just go to Christ and ask Him for His Spirit to change you from the inside. Being under law and shoulds is simply muzzling sin, rather than dealing with it.

This is a quote from Rob,

"People say "If you take the law off me then I can just go out and commit adultery."

They are not getting the revelation of the message of grace.

They are getting a revelation of the adultery that is in their hearts."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Patience, Daniel-San

I am not totally sure about what I'm going to write, but for me, it seems to be true.

I think one of God's means of discipline is allowing His child to have sin in his or her life (obviously, seeing as nobody is sinless). Sometimes I wonder why God doesn't just change me overnight. I'm sure all Christians wonder why we can't change and do the same things over and over. So we come to the conclusion, "I've got to try harder!"

Again, don't take my word for it, but I think God may allow sin in my own life because it keeps me in grace and allows me to be well established in grace. This is what I mean by grace hurting. To be deeply rooted in grace, means stretching your faith and letting go of the faithlessness of self-righteousness. This is scary and it gets hard sometimes. We know how much God hates sin, and want to overcome it. But perhaps He allows you to have it so you recognize your brokenness. Perhaps He is changing the reason for your desire of increasing in holiness.

If God were to change me overnight, freeing me from timidity, anger, selfishness, and so on, then I would have a bigger problem - Pride. I would drift right back into law and come boldly to the throne of GRACE with my own soiled garments of self-righteousness.

It is one thing to say "His grace is sufficient", but taking the leap of faith to apply that can be painful. It forces you to be honest with your indwelling sin, rather than covering it up with good works, good behavior or re-dedication, which is bondage.

I love how Rob Rufus put it in one sermon. He said he once prayed for God to reveal all his faults so he could fix them. He felt God say, "Son, if I did that, you would want to kill yourself."

Why? Because it would completely overwhelm him. I don't think anyone has the capacity to have that kind of faith.

I noticed, while living under law and shoulds, that I became increasingly aware of my faults. I thought it was because God wanted me to change thus and so about my life. But as I would try and juggle these areas of my life, I would eventually lose rhythm and everything would fall apart (not that I ever had it together).

God was indeed putting more on me than I could bear. The overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and constant condemnation was God driving me to faith.

"What man, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost?"

I realized Jesus wasn't asking me to pay it, but showing me I couldn't. Now it's a daily acknowledgment of that. Every day I try to sink deeper and deeper into Christ and knowing nothing but Him crucified. You could say I take up my cross daily and deny myself. My endeavor is to count all things I thought were gain, as loss for the sake of knowing Christ.

"Whoever would save his life will lose it".

...How Sweet the Sound

It is in the moments where right after sinning, you feel the weight of your sin. You realize exactly how helpless you are without Christ in anything. If I cannot even be consistent in simply controlling my temper, how in the world am I to walk in an unhindered fellowship with our holy Father everyday? How can you ever have intimacy with a God detests sin? "I thank God through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

The truth that I'm no longer suppose to be conscious of the sin that dwells in me is amazing!! I don't have to go through that condemnation, re-dedication cycle where I pout to God about how much of a dead dog I am, and how I am not worthy of anything. Then I eventually muster up the motivation to try again. Whereas in grace, I can simply say "Thank you, Father for Jesus!!!!!" and get right back up, asking for His Spirit to change me. Realizing that Abba isn't ashamed of me or angry with me, removes those times of "time out" I usually give myself before I'm able to come again boldly to the throne of grace. How do you come boldly? By grace!!! Just accept the grace. I know it hurts, but you'll get over it.

Normally, I would beat myself up, call myself a poor excuse for a Christian, and wonder how in the world I could ever get people to know Christ when I continually fail at representing Him.

But now, I think representing Him is not so much being perfect, but being full of grace and truth. The truth is realizing we are as dead dogs. Grace saying that doesn't matter. God loves you no matter how much you stink or how filthy you may be. Because His Son has reconciled the world to Himself.

Maybe representing Christ is showing His agape and grace to others by being real to them about your flaws, but showing them how much God still accepts you and loves you. I'm not very smart, but I think sinners are more attracted to grace, rather than perfection. A sinner cannot bear to be around a human who is perfect or self-righteous. That just makes them feel like utter sin and gives them all the more reason to continue in sin, because from their perspective, they will never be able to qualify for God's love. I would know. I've been there.

Voice of Grace

I added two new blog links to my left. I had been meaning to do so, but kept forgetting. =P

I read a post by Julie today called "Knowing God Under the New Covenant". She is very inspiring and encouraging to people like me who are new to pure grace.

Check it out!