Daily Post

29 Days

Earlier this week, I was listening to my favorite podcast as they interviewed one of my favorite bands.  That of course is the Relevant Podcast and Jars of Clay.

During this interview Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay made this statement.

There’s that one day a month where everything seems to be working, where life is how it should be and God is presenting himself in a way that lines up with our ideas.  Then, there’s those 29 other days when things aren’t working out, when we are always in tension and we don’t quite get what God is doing and we don’t really see what our place is, and what humanity is really about and what our story is contributing to.

Wow, I think that sums it up for so many of us. We have those all so infrequent days when everything lines up. And those are so awesome!  And then there’s the rest of them, where we muddle through, longing for those other days.  Confused, stressed and tired!  I think it is comforting and reassuring to hear other believers talk like this.  It doesn’t diminish our trust and hope in our Lord, but it does affirm what we are all experiencing – that life is hard!

And that may be why we love Psalms like this one


1May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!  Psalm 20 NIV


Daily Post

Double Mindedness

I am always amazed about how easy I can drift off course.  Sometimes I blame it on the myriad of conference calls I have each day and the mental context switching it requires.  Other times I realize its just how we are all made.  This week I have noticed how quickly I can go from singing a song of praise to shouting words of rage.  Or maybe its thinking about the gift of Jesus, and then being disgusted with the beggar at the South Terrace/ Belvior intersection?  Its this double mindedness, this schizophrenic behavior, this inability to focus on Jesus one hundred percent that frustrates me more then anything else in my daily life.

Its the reason that songs like Jars of Clays “Two Hands” have such meaning.  Even Paul talks about it in Romans 7

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am!

And I think it because of this struggle that we struggle so much with works and grace.  I know I do.  I want to work.  I want to produce good fruit.  I want to love deeply, I want to give, I want to serve.  Not because I think I can earn my way to heaven, but because I know that the fruit of righteous living is exactly what the Lord wants, and that its creates peace.  But I am sure glad for grace.  Because its grace and mercy that brings me right out of the rage and back to the song of praise.  Its grace and mercy that hits me in the head like a two by four and says – thats a person, a son of God standing on the side of the road.  Its grace and mercy that brings us to a place where we understand that works are not the means, but the fruit of a person who realizes how dependent they are on grace and mercy.  I also believe its this understanding and not by working harder, that will reduce the double mindedness of our lives.  I am going to test that.

Ephesians 4:31-32 (New International Version)

31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

You see I so badly want to follow Ephesians 4:31-32, but a fail miserable quite often.  But I can take solace in the last 7 words.   Those 7 words full of grace and mercy.  The seven words full of a Christ, who came willingly.  Those 7 words can provide a place of hope and a starting place move to from double mindedness to obsession.  Will you move with me? Paul concludes that is the way as well in the rest of Hebrews 7

Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So lets start by celebrating the fact that the Christ, the newborn king, come to Bethlehem with the full intention of bringing forgiveness to you.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

Oh, the with 9 days to Christmas, lets finish this on rocking note.  From Josh’s List its another cheezy 80’s Christmas song with a “Rebel Yell”- Billy Idol’s Jingle Bell Rock.