Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Here's today's passage from My Utmost for His Highest.

The Surrendered Life
"I have been crucified with Christ …" (Galatians 2:20).

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.

Friday, March 04, 2005

New book

I just started reading Reimagining Spiritual Formation, by Doug Pagitt, along with others from Solomon's Porch. I thought I would include some thoughts from the book on this blog. Now I realize that you who read this blog think I never finish reading books...and, you're pretty much right on. I promise to try to do better...maybe.

I've gone into this church experience being very wary toward church communities, but my mind has been changed person by person. I not only trust the poeple at church, but I feel more and more drawn to them. I never thought I would let myself get so involved emotionally or socially in a church (38).

This quote, from Erin, encourages me to keep doing what I am doing. One thought I've had while reading this is that in order to invite others into this kind of community, I first must enter in myself.

The efforts of Solomon's Porch began, and remain, our attempt to be people of useful faith - a blessing to the world (44).

I liked that they used the word useful before they used the word blessing. We talk about wanting to be a blessing to the world. I think it might be helpful for me to think in terms of simpy being useful. We like people who are useful. Am I being useful to the people in my oikos (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.)? If we become useful to the world, then we will in fact be a blessing.

In other news, playoffs start tomorrow. We are the sixth seed and will be playing the 3rd seed, a team that beat us by four points. I think we can take them.