February 28, 2007

stumbling blessing blocks

it's really hard...

it's really hard if you constantly enjoy doing good...
how can they say that you were born to sin?

it's really hard if ever since birth your talents were off the charts...
how can they say your talents are not yours and you should give them back?

which is why i had an extremely hard time...

it was extremely hard for me to admit that i have been so, so grossly wrong.

it was extremely hard for me to surrender my gifts, my dreams, my plans: my whole self.

but being the gracious God that God is....

He's now using my eagerness to do good...for His glory.

He's now using all of me...all for Him.

let the stumbling blocks be the stepping stones.

for the things that were meant for evil against us, God intends for our good (Genesis 50:20).

for all things work together for the good,
for those who love God (not just doing good!)
for those called (to use their gifts) for His purpose (Romans 8:28).

for it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

and what once were curses, now are redeemed as blessings.
(including people...especially people.)


February 4, 2007

love as He loves

just some reminders that Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20-21) and commanded us to love one another (John 13:34-35) specifically so that the world would believe in Him.
beyond the issue of Protestants vs. Catholics, the question is, do we follow the One we call Lord, the One who invoked love as the greatest commandment?

i'll also quote something from the Christian Research Institute: this article was about another group of believers, but the situation can be applied universally so i'll just leave some terms blank:

"In your attempts to reach [---] with the historical gospel of salvation, do you find yourself debating [---] with them or witnessing Christ to them? Both have their place, but they constitute different approaches.

A debater focuses on exposing the negatives of 
[---] while a witness concentrates on presenting the positives of Christ’s vicarious work (although neither approach necessarily excludes using elements of the other).

Debating frequently establishes an adversarial relationship between the Christian and the 
[---]. Witnessing, on the other hand, strives to create a caring climate.

The goal of debating is to win the argument, while the goal of witnessing is to win the 

A debater usually addresses the problems Christians have with 
[---], while a witness addresses (among other things) the problems [---]; themselves have with [---];.

Most importantly, debating often relies on the power of human reason unaided by the Holy Spirit, while witnessing principally relies on the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God (Rom. 1:16) in addition to human reason.

[---] with [---] has its place. As is true in all outreach efforts, however, witnessing is to be the Christian’s primary activity."

and so, i'm thankful to Think Christian for bringing the first two articles to my attention...but even more so, to God Himself, because He knows how much i need all this now. i've been a lousy ambassador to those closest to me but thankfully i'm still in the "family business" so to speak. :) God bless us, everyone! share that love ayt? :)