Saturday, March 29, 2008

Book Suggestions

Does anyone know of any good fiction books? I bought the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe today, but they don't seem long enough for me (after reading huge Harry Potter books). I want a new fiction series to read. Or any good read for that matter. Before anyone mentions the Lord of the Rings, I have tried to read the Fellowship of the Ring twice and I got over halfway through both times and never finished it. Tolkien just goes into too much detail in describing landscape and surroundings. I'm exhausted in trying to visualize everything and wish he'd get along with the story already! I may have another crack at it one day because the set is only like 30 bucks.

Also...Has anyone here read Mere Christianity (I'm probably the only Christian who hasn't.)? I thought about picking it up today.

Please. I really want more reading material!

Friday, March 28, 2008

His Righteousness

I realize I haven't written anything in a while. I wanted to, but I just get in these lazy spells sometimes where I lose contact with people and feel sort of...Weak. Like I just need to rest. I think everyone who reads this blog knows how easy it is to fall back into the mentality of "I must do something for God" and the accepting the Gospel of Grace in theory but denying it in practice.

There are times when I know the Gospel, but I still feel anxious and I'm not truly submitting myself to the Grace of God in Jesus Christ. I'm accepting it as theory but still denying it in my actions by trying to keep everything together myself, feeling and saying to myself "I have to do this and do that." If I am trusting in anything other than Jesus, I am not trusting Him. The devil accuses us day and night! I used to wonder why he would do such a dumb thing, knowing full well Jesus dealt with our sin. But watching Joseph Prince this morning helped me understand. "It's the only weapon he has!" I believe we hear his accusations in our spirits and have a choice to either believe the words of Jesus who intercedes for us simply by being there or to believe the accusations of satan. "You shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness from Me."

How do we confute every tongue that rises against us in judgment? By being good and pointing to what we did? Absolutely not! We confute every tongue by saying what Paul said in Romans "Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justified us! Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who died! More than that! Who was raised! Who indeed is interceding for us!"

Jesus said, "Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!"

Our garments is His righteousness!!! Being seen naked is being seen without His righteousness and so having your sins exposed. Let's keep trusting Him alone!!! He who promised is faithful and He will surely save us by His own power!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Double Minded Hypocrisy

"Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, 'Yes, yes' and 'No, no'?" (2 Corinthians 1:17)

The majority of what I hear from Christians mouth about salvation is "Yes, yes" and "No, no".

They speak of God's Grace (Jesus Christ) and turn right around and preach works. "Believe and obey". God does His part and you do yours, right?

Wait a minute. I thought you just said it was by grace? "I did". But you said I have to do something. "Yes. You have to obey". Then you've just added works to grace! You're stumbling over the stumbling stone because you simply cannot accept the Grace of God! You explain it in theory but deny it by practice! You say two different things in the same breath! Do I have to work for it or don't I? And if I must work, then what must I do!? What standard of obedience must I live up to? What exactly must I do to be obedient?

Or the more subtle approach most people take is that they really hammer the fact of "If you believe, then you will do good works". If thats true, then why stress it so much? If good works are natural result, then why are you so worried about it?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wall E

Joel's spirit machine reminded me of this guy haha. I can't wait to see this!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A weight has been on me today and the condemnation has been heavy, but I've been resisting! haha! To be honest, my dear brothers and sisters in our online grace community have helped me so much just by saying they have enjoyed reading about me and knowing they're sharing the same struggles I am. I am truly blessed by each and every one of you. I wish we could see in person! And in seeing each other in person I wish we could be as open with each other as we are on here!

Another heavy weight I have been carrying around is this wall I tend to build against brothers and sisters whenever I'm not sure where they stand concerning the Grace of our God and Father. I can become so critical and defensive! I forget that I am called to love people, not to seek and destroy! Too often I get a warrior mentality against all believers, making sure what they think, believe and say is grace. Believe me, I do think we need to speak the truth of God's Grace. But we're to speak the truth in love. This is so difficult! It is so easy for us to grow bitter towards people who don't see eye to eye with us. And it makes it so hard to open up to other brothers and sisters, for fear. My defensive attitude can easily make me forget about love.

I guess the key to this is to get absolutely grounded in the understanding of our Father's absolute unconditional love for us in His Son, Jesus. He loves us freely. But I know it's easy for me to get so caught up into the mentality that I don't have to do anything to earn God's love, I easily interpret all talk of obedience, loving others and good works as performance based acceptance. I forget we are to allow God to love people through us. My interpretation of words like obedience immediately causes me to put up a defensive wall saying "I don't have to do anything!"

I guess it's something I'll have to grow into! lol

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Writin' In My Blawg

It's Saturday morning and I am home by myself at the moment, drinkin' some coffee in my cream lol. Nestle's french vanilla coffeemate is the stuff. I suggested that they make a chocolate coffee cream. Some hardcore coffee drinkers don't appreciate coffee cream, but I'm still not man enough for black coffee. Maybe one day...

Anyway, it's March and the wind is blowin' harrrrd outside today. I love the wind, but not so much when it's chilly outside. We have a few of our flowers blooming outside in our pots already. The grass in the field left to our house is starting to pop up nice and green after a long summer drought, followed by the cold winter. I love to stand outside and look at the bright blue flowers popping up in the grass. All I know to tell God is "beautiful, Father".

I played the video game Halo 3 with my little brother Josh and my older cousin Paul last night for about 3 hours. It was really fun and I enjoy hanging out with them. They're both hilarious. Josh is very competitive lol. Paul has really witty humor and keeps me crackin' up.

Yesterday I was able to share to Gospel with my mom again for a little while. It wasn't planned. It just sort of happened and then once I get going, I don't stop. I have to be careful at times because I want to explain EVERYTHING in 5 seconds or less. When I see her face light up with revelation of God's grace, I get the feeling of "You think thats great!? Wait 'til I tell this!!" and on and on I go haha. I trust God cleans up my mess.

Sometimes I tend not to explain things very well when I get excited and I just remembered how Paul had the same problem. He said to the Corinthians that he didn't come preaching in really pretty speeches or anything, but simply let God reveal it to the people by the Spirit. That is very encouraging to know that it's not my job to make people understand the Gospel, believe it, and commit themselves to trust in it. God is the one who causes the growth.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Knowledge of Reality

I guess lately I've just been allowing myself to be still. Learning to be grounded in grace I suppose because I easily slip back into performance mentality if I start to "do things for God". I start to get nervous and wonder how I am going to stay consistent in doing those things and I remind myself "Matt, it's Christ in you, quit panicking". It's becoming increasingly clear to me that this is not a rules based system. It's genuinely a relationship. Not the phony relationship with Jesus that the majority of people hold to which is really a cliche phrase to throw around. I mean it's me seeking God and receiving His love for me. The reality of Him being in union with me is becoming more of a reality to me rather than theology. I hate theology honestly and I think it's dangerous. I prefer knowledge of reality rather than theology. Theology only shows you how things work. Knowing how things work and actually living the reality are to totally different things if you understand what I mean.

I love how the Spirit in Romans says that it's by faith that we attain the access to this grace in which we stand. That means there is no price to pay for this. It's simply to believe. We access the grace of God by receiving it freely!

Reading the Bible is definitely not some chore I check off my daily list of chores for God. The Bible is a way I can understand God. It's the menu, not the meal. Prayer isn't a chore either. Never tell me I have to pray to God. What an ignorant lifeless command. My God isn't some pass time religion to take up. He is my God, my Father, the lover of my soul. He loves me so much!! All I do is receive it. He loves me freely. I couldn't tell you how much He loves me. He sent His own Son for me to die in order to get me back to Him so that we could be one for eternity.

This ain't no theology. This is reality.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Brian Regan - Stupid in School

One of Joel's comments on my last post reminded me of this Brian Regan recording.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye


I do not know this person, but I often browse through in landscape photography and I came across his work. I especially love his photographs of Norway.

Maciej Duczynski