Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 11:21 PM

I love RUF

I know the Lord is nigh,
And would but cannot pray,
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away.
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
Till Jesus makes it soft.
Till Jesus make it soft.

Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
Though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have power to move
A soul as base as mine.
A soul so base as mine.

I would but cannot rest,
In God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
And murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.



© 2006 Red Mountain Music
www.redmountainmusic.com

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at 11:16 AM

Bending over backwards

An email (edited) I sent off to a friend.

The context is that recently our pamphlets//booklets//whatever it is that has the worship order for church went through a design change. One of the things changed was that the area which was formerly used for Scripture and notes has been replaced with song lyrics for the response song.

I was a little (understatement) surprised and wondered why that happened so I sent off an email inquiring. The pastor responded that they wanted to encourage people to bring their Bibles and get in the habit of journaling, so they don't just jot a few notes down and then leave the booklet and forget. All good things of course.

My friend asked me what I thought about that, so here's my email, just for future reference, with some notes at the end for those who made it through and want to respond.
I'm not sure what exactly is the right way to deal with this, but I've often noticed that we try to bend over backwards for other people who may have a tougher time of engaging in spirituality and the practice of true religion, and all that ends up happening is it makes it harder for everyone and those people we're trying to reach still doesn't engage in it.

An example would be when we as the guys small group moved our meeting day to Saturday to fit Jason and Alan's schedules. It was harder on all of us, and Jason and Alan ended up not showing up anyway, so we moved it back.

I find this to be a same example. People who want to bring their Bibles, will bring their Bibles anyway whether or not the Scripture is printed (unless the pastor doesn't ever refer to another text). People who don't particularly care, won't, even if the Scripture isn't printed. Same thing with the notes. People who are in the habit of taking notes, will take notes. People who don't care, won't, and it doesn't matter what the pamphlet looks like.

It seems that leaving out the Scripture and space for notes is just hurting those who already have made a practice of it, and will have a minimal impact upon those who don't. I for one love having the Scripture printed there even when I have my own Bible, because it gives me a chance to write all over the text, drawing lines and making connections.
Yeah, so the statement at the top still applies. I'm not sure how much we ought to bend over backwards to accommodate people that just don't care. Obviously we ought to seek to accommodate people to see if they do indeed care, but what if they don't?

With our fellowship shrinking the past k or so years, it's become harder and harder to pursue those who have not wanted to participate. Ought we to continue to do so? Or consolidate our losses and seek to simply pursue sanctification within first?

An example when "giving up on others to focus on what we have" worked. My junior year our Bible study consisted of 4 guys. There were a few others who were around, but they never came. Be it the distance, the lack of commitment, or what. We prayed for more people, but when they never showed, we continued to seek growth ourselves. That year was tremendous, in fact, I might dare to claim it had a deep impact on at least 3 of the 4, partially due to that small group of people who were committed. It was rare to see someone miss a night for anything, even when tests rolled around. That rocked.

::shrug:: thoughts?

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 9:07 AM

Let the Lord be your fear

Been reading and writing through Isaiah lately.  Finally starting to understand the context of some of those earlier passages.  It was so easy in the past just to read without thinking!  And reading and thinking is so hard.  I have a lot of questions.  

But praise be to God, in spite of my stupid brain that is slow to comprehend at times, God still grants knowledge and growth in knowledge.  Whew!

But anyways, onto the post.  I've noticed in many circles a desire to reinterpret the "fear of God" as simply "reverence" or "awe" rather than "terror."  While one could make a translational argument (phobia is the greek), this passage really secured it for me.  Emphasis added.  

Isaiah 8: 
11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”
We see a direct connection between fear and dread, with God saying, "Don't fear as these men fear, but fear God, be in dread of God."  What were the people afraid of?  What were the people in dread of?  They were afraid of the coming Assyrian invasion (or maybe the united Israel/Syria attack in ch. 7).  This wasn't an "awe" or a "reverent worship," it was a knees knocking, feet trembling, terror. 

In the same way, the Lord ought to be treated with the same fear.  We ought to tremble before a holy and awesome God, who sees even our in most hearts.  And this fear and dread ought to drive out and extinguish any fear and dread of man, or of this world.  

Eccl. 12
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

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