Jeff's Old Weblog Postings!(updated 2005-2-24)
Okay, blogs are kind of geeky and trendy, and maybe a little dorky... I guess that's all the more reason to have one of my own. I'll try not to make mine pointless, but I guess you'll have to be the judge.
Wed Jun 30 13:38:35 EDT 2004
I have not been too good about updating this thing. It's a shame, as a lot has been going through my head lately. I capture some of it in my journal, but I guess some of it is just lost.
I have a good friend I've been in a prayer covenant with for the past 30 days. Dr. Jerry Kirk has been preaching at my church on an interim basis for the past 2 years as we seek a new pastor (our new pastor starts July 11), and he introduced us to the prayer covenant. It's an agreement to do the following:
It's been very helpful to me to have this commitment to daily prayer for a specific persons needs, and to know that someone is specifically praying for me and my needs. I don't think we have enough ritual or discipline or clearly documented commitments in our lives. If you're not committed to something, how are you supposed to get anywhere?
Anyway, the point of all this is that through talking with this friend and praying for her, I'm convinced that her gifts and purpose are quite unique. I suppose all of us have a unique gift and purpose, but in her I see a special sensitivity to the heart of God. She seems to be in synch with God's feelings in a way I think is rare. I've been studying in the Bible about prophecy because I think a person who has a special sensitivity to God's heart has the gift of prophecy. I wrote up a thing on it. It's pretty rough because it's just straight out of my head. See what you think.
Sat May 1 22:24:08 EDT 2004
I'm learning about prayer lately, and I just spent some time writing in my journal about it. I think I was able to actually express myself in a way that comes pretty close to explaining how I feel. Why is it so hard to express what's on our hearts? Anyway, here it is. See what you think.
I see more and more that prayer is not a time for us to ask what we want, it's a time where we grow to know the heart of God. I see things that need prayer, and I lift them up to God not so that he knows about them, but because it helps me understand that these things are things that are on God's heart. If God is concerned, I should be concerned, and if I pray about things that are on his mind, I get to know his mind, and see things from his perspective. Sometimes I become engrossed in an idea or a need, and it's like the spirit that is in me connects with God and I'm merely a channel. I don't mean that in a "New Age" kind of way, I mean that the Holy Spirit in me is crying out to God about the things I see. It also helps me see how active God is, and how he is working in so many ways in the world around me, and in so many lives. God's not dead; he's alive, and he's at work everywhere. Sometimes when I try hard and consistently seek him, he gives me a little glimpse of where and how he's working, and what the concerns of his heart are. That's what prayer is. That's how it draws us close to God, and that's why every great man (and woman) from Jesus to Billy Graham knows the value of prayer.
Fri Apr 23 22:43:05 EDT 2004
I've been learning about what really matters, lately. I guess "lately" means the past 5 years, but I've learned some significant parts in just the last week. It's been my goal over the past year to make sure that Bible study, prayer, scripture memorization, and journaling are part of every day. I believe that becoming the person God wants me to be isn't about trying really hard to do the right thing; it's about training every day, knowing that he'll shape me if I seek him. When I spend time with God, things go well, and I feel progress. When I don't, life doesn't make sense.
Last Friday night I got home after work determined that it was Friday night, I was free, and I was going to relax. I played video games, I goofed off, I messed around on the internet, and just tried to relax. I felt like I deserved some time to relax, and my time with God would wait. As the evening wore on and I tried more and more to enjoy myself, I felt less and less fulfilled. It was kind of like drinking salt water - the more I drank, the thirstier I got. It wound up being time for bed, I hadn't read the Bible or prayed or anything. I went to sleep feeling like I'd wasted the whole evening.
The next morning was the annual "men's pancake breakfast" at church. We ate and listened to a speaker, and eventually broke up into small groups to talk. The theme was the importance of maintaining relationships with other men and with God in order to live with integrity. It dawned on me through all of this that maybe I was finally realizing that seeking after the things this world offers doesn't make me happy. It feels like it's going to fulfill me, but it doesn't. It's like drinking salt water. The more I drink, the thirstier I get. God made us, he knows us, and He is the only thing that fulfills us.
I'm going to try my hardest to put him first. It's the only way I can be happy. We'll see how it goes.
Sun Apr 18 00:31:20 EDT 2004
I guess it's after midnight, so that makes it Sunday already. Starting a blog at midnight isn't the greatest idea, but I've been meaning to do it for a while, so I might as well get started.
Just got back from this movie called "Hell Boy." It wasn't too bad; kinda funny, lots of action. Your basic "bad people try to unleash things of unspeakable evil into our dimension to gain unbelievable power" story. It was kind of a cross between Return to Castle Wolfenstein and an H.P. Lovecraft novel. Of course the good guys wind up vanquishing the tentacled monsters from hell in the end, but as I left I found myself wondering what exactly fascinates us so much about this stuff? I think the ultimate horror is an evil being unleashed into our world that can't be beaten. I mean we generally feel safe and secure, and no matter how big our problems are, they'll never destroy the world or life as we know it. There's always an underlying order. Somebody or something can fix all our problems.
But what if evil really could conquer good? I think we instinctively know that good will always conquer evil in the end. God created us in his image, and one of the marks of the creator in us is that we have a sense that there is absolute truth, and the absolute truth is that good will conquer. That's why a place where evil looks like it might win is so horrifying: it goes against the grain and brings up deep fears. If we can't trust God to win, where is our foundation? In what can we put our faith? I guess it's good to know that God is there, he's in control, and he will win.