Sunday, January 31, 2010

Foreign Matters

Does the Bible ever seem foreign? Does it ever feel as though the stories are outdated and no longer applicable? At times, I find myself thinking how incredible it must have been - for those “early Christians” - to live in an era when Jesus walked our very streets and spoke our very words.

It becomes so effortless to classify these biblical conversations as historical. We hardly have paralytics littering on our sidewalks. We do not have huge crowds that follow prophets on foot. What could possibly be taken from these historic accounts of people and Jesus Christ?

John 5:6-8 tells of one such account:
“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” – NIV

Well, for starters, this passage teaches me that Jesus responds to hearts in need. This passage teaches me that He sees us. Even in a huge a crowd, when others walk by us, Jesus will see us.

This passage teaches me that we must admit our need to the King. Even though the condition of the invalid was clear, Jesus asks, “Do you want to get well?” We may think that our pain is more than obvious, but God will not do what He is not asked to do.

Finally, this passage teaches me that Jesus calls us to take action. He calls us to “Get up!” This man would have missed his miracle, if he had not had the faith to move.

Has Jesus healed our pain? Has Jesus seen us?

I doubt this man ever forgot his encounter with the King, have we?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spiritual Gifts


1 Corinthians 12:21-27
“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” …But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

Even by pagan standards, the city of Corinth was viewed as morally corrupt in every fashion. It was a city unable to divorce itself from the culture at hand. There were some, in Corinth, that were complaining about not having “showy” spiritual gifts. To make it worse, those who did possess ostentatious talents were almost mocking those with less-than prominent ones.

Paul tells them that one could never be more important than the rest, for all areas of spiritual gifts are considerable blessings. In other words, the eye, hand, head and feet are all vital parts of humanity and one would be worse off even without the least of these.

How often I find myself wishing for more prominent and mature spiritual gifts. I wish I could address crowds like my husband. I wish I had the nerve to evangelize as I see students do. I wish my scripture memory was more comprehensive. I wish I had this, or that, position in church leadership. As you can imagine, the list of spiritual desires is extensive.

In comparison with others, it becomes easy to ignore the gifts that God has trusted to us. Perhaps we are strong in prayer. Perhaps we are strong in morality.

Regardless, gratitude is almost impossible to muster for something that we take for granted.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Standing Still


All my life, I have been a woman of reinvention. I have taken all my “phases” of life to the limit, both the good and the bad. With one year never the same as the next, my personality became secondary to my objective: belonging. During adolescence, (and a little beyond), each age came with new interests, new peers, new appearance, and new attitudes. Coming from such inconsistency, I eventually lost myself in transition.

When you aren’t sure who you are, knowing what you believe gets even farther away. When spiritual matters were involved, I was a “Christian chameleon”. If my current peers were agnostics, I was agnostic. If my current peers were Bible thumpers, I was a scripture scholar. Trust me on this; it is exhausting when you pretend to be in love with a God you don’t even know.

One of the most remarkable things about the Christian faith is its consistency. The words that were uttered at the start of mankind are the very same ones spoken today. God does not see our contemporary culture and deem it worthy of less instruction…or perhaps, more instruction. No, God is sturdy in His commands, His callings and His creation.

Malachi 3:6 reads: “I the Lord do not change” – NIV

James 1:17 reads: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – NIV

God does not run for you to catch up. God does not hide for you to find. God stands firm and silent until you are ready to actually see Him.

With so much moving in our lives, it is calming to know that our Father is standing still.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What If...


What will days in heaven be like? The bible speaks of heaven, but often with so much imagery that our human minds get lost in the lingo. The book of Revelation tells of gold, silver, angels and citizenship, but what else? We know heaven as our Father’s house, where there will be joy forevermore. So, perhaps, the question should be – where is your joy?

Would heaven be as awesome to us if our spouses were not there? Would heaven be as great to us if our children were not there? What if everything and everyone that we loved most in this world, was not a part of the eternal salvation? Would your heavenly Father be enough?

Matthew 10:37 reads:
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” - NIV

This passage stops me in my tracks. If someone close your heart has already passed away, no doubt you heard the common phrase: “You’ll see them again.” What if that was not the case? Jesus Christ is to meet all of our needs, all of our expectations and all of our desires. He is the only true source of joy. When we foolishly put earthly beings above His greatness, He says we become unworthy.

When we picture heaven, many of us envision Jesus Christ standing before us with open arms of reception. I have to ask: Would we be as complete if He was the only one there?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Curse of Complacency


Yesterday, I came across some old pictures that were saved on my hard drive. The images were from a couple years ago and, even though it was me, I didn’t recognize the woman at all. It was a time when God seemed so far away, and reckless decisions seemed so easy. It was a time when I was reaching for true joy, but settling for fun instead.

Naturally, I began to resent the life of unreliability and casual entertainment. I remember begging God to light a fire inside me that would outshine the neon lights of temptation.

Man, did He deliver! I threw myself into His Word. I threw myself into His church. I was growing in faith, growing in dependence and growing influential in my sphere of influence. Then, like many others before me, something happened: I stopped growing and fell into contentment. I had become a “good” Christian with morals, values and biblical knowledge. Then, there it was:

Proverbs 1:32
“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them…”

The most dangerous and lethal weapon fighting against my spiritual growth was – and is - complacency.

The instant that our satisfaction with Christ overrides our service, is the moment our walk with God becomes stationary. As believers, are we actively seeking growth, or, are we satisfied in our current circle of grace? Are we finding ourselves making excuses for inaction, feeling obedient with our 30-minute-a-day worship and circle of Christian peers?

We cannot grow closer to the Lord while we are in direct defiance to His commands. He calls us to saturate our lives with His words. He calls us to speak boldly when we know He is speaking through us. He calls us to live a life of worship, not a half hour.

I have to ask: Have we lost our urgency?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Lion and the Lamb

Recently, I had the privilege to be a part of the 2009 student ministry program, Discipleship Now. The theme for the weekend was God’s Crazy Love. All of the lessons and spiritual bullet-points for the students were laced in the compassion, mercy, grace and love of God. While these are all vividly accurate descriptions of our heavenly father, I immediately struggled with defining the magnitude of these attributes that are – by definition – impossible for humanity to comprehend.

As I prayed the first night for guidance on the lessons, God spoke to me a very real, semi-scary, manner. He reminded me that to feel the weight of the anchor, we must weather the storm. In other words, to truly feel the power of God’s grace, mercy and love – we must first know the range of His wrath.

Our God is not weak, He is a warrior. He does not say, “It’s alright”, He says “The wage of sin is death.” Period.

Joshua 11:20
“For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hears to wage war against Israel, so that he may destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy…”

Exodus 15:3
The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is his name.”

Revelation 6:16
“For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

There is a reason that God is called the Lion and the Lamb. Lions are opportunist hunters, it does not matter the age, gender, health or maturity of their prey. I read once that lions do not test their potential prey for weaknesses; they can see from afar what kind of creature they are approaching.

How much greater would we appreciate the Lamb of Christ, if were eye-to-eye with the Lion?

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Trust Test


I got up for work this morning, like every morning. Got dressed and packed my lunch for my day, like everyday. Drove the 20-minute commute to my office, and like every other day, wished I was heading in another direction.

If you feel called into another vocation, spiritually called, what happens if you can’t get there? You have made specific plans, taken needed steps, prepared yourself for a change and then…nothing happened. The doors that you assumed would fly open, shut in your mystified face. You are left, standing outside, feeling the rain drops of impatience. When God calls, and you immediately respond, why does He take so long to move?

2 Peter 3:8-9 may have the answer:
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.” – NIV

It is hard to remember that “not right now” doesn’t mean “not ever”. Our culture surrounds us with immediate gratification, so when that is not the case, we are lost in a world of wanting and not receiving. Fortunately, as we know from scripture, our time is not God’s time. Inevitably, our time of waiting turns into a test of trust. Do we trust that God will keep his promise, even if it is not tomorrow?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The "Deserving List"


Regrettably, there have been people in my life that I really wish I had never met. During our encounters, I would try like heck to muster up any feelings of empathy towards these individuals, however, with every attempt came more disdain. I had contempt for their behavior, contempt for their decisions and all-inclusive judgment of their hearts. The resentment would burn inside me for their apparent success and I would actually begin mind-wishing them misfortune! Moreover, if this wasn’t the worst of it, I would see God continually granting them His mercy!

As humans, our flesh cries out for equal opportunity. We cannot understand why God does not send his judgment upon those - we believe - are at the top of the “deserving list”. How frustrating it becomes when God’s grace – the same grace that saves our undeserving souls – is shown on those “most” undeserving.

Jonah, chapter 4:5-11, illustrates Jonah’s anger at the very same situation. God was pouring his compassion and mercy upon the city of Nineveh, and this infuriated Jonah, for he knew how “bad” they really were.

[Jonah] went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat there in the shade to see what would happen to the city.
God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up.
But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah's head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: "I'm better off dead!"

Then God said to Jonah, "What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?"
Jonah said, "Plenty of right. It's made me angry enough to die!"

God said, "What's this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can't I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don't yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all the innocent animals?"

After reading this passage, an embarrassing and humbling thought came over me: Am I on anyone else’s “deserving list”?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

City Jumpers


Almost two years ago, I made the decision to attend seminary graduate school. For me to graduate in the time I hoped for, my full time working status had to be cut. Fortunately, I had managers that allowed me to transition into part time status and begin my education.

Eventually, people started noticing my absence around the office. The inevitable question upon my return was always, “Where have you been”. I would answer, “In seminary”.

There isn’t really anything else to write after that because no one ever replied further. All of my co-workers virtually collapsed into an immediate state of perpetual shock and were unable to continue the conversations. Why was my involvement with seminary such a bombshell?

Day after day, I came into the office as if I had never been there before. Night after night, I would return home with an uncomfortable feeling of invisibility. No one seemed to know how to talk to me anymore; instead, everyone spoke about me. I couldn’t understand what was going on until months had passed, and there it was: No one at my office knew that I was a Christian. Ouch.

We read about Paul’s establishment of the Thessalonian church in Acts 17. During the writing of 1 Thessalonians, Paul had since left this church while Timothy remained behind. After receiving good news from Timothy in regards to the church’s development, Paul began his praise of the people.

1 Thessalonians 1: 7-8
“And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere” – NIV

Alright now, these new Christians had a faith that became known everywhere?! Well, isn’t that just spit-on-your-neck fantastic! My next-door-cube-mate had no idea that I was a believer, but the Thessalonians are jumping cities!

Luckily, in true God-fashion, Paul provides a little instruction book on how to become a city jumper as well:
• Avoid sexual immorality ( 1Thess. 4:3)
• Mind your own business (1 Thess. 4:11)
• Work with your hands (1Thess. 4:11)
• Have your daily life win the respect of outsiders (1 Thess. 4:12)

If only all areas of spiritual development came with a list.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Team Edward


A few months ago, my life was blessed with the introduction of Twlight. For those of you who have not heard of this, where have you been?! Twilight is a book (and now movie) series about the relationship of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen…who happens to be a vampire. Do not let the vampire plot fool you; these are the four best pieces of literary genius that I have ever been a part of (Bible aside). When you read them, you become them. When you watch them, you feel them.

Even now, months after completing the fourth and final installment, I get, literally, excited when I find a chance to break them into conversations. I tell others of the joy I felt when reading them. I BEG my friends and peers to give it a chance because I know the story will overcome them! I seek out those who have not read Twilight and automatically offer up my copies if that means that another will join in the saga! Arrogantly, I say that I have turned more than one person onto the series. I cannot think of another thing that I have promoted more.

Wow. I cannot think of another thing that I have promoted more.

Matthew 28: 19-20
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” – NIV

“Commission” is defined as the authority given to carry out a particular task. God says: “Go.” His words are not an invitation; they are a command. As believers, we are called to take the initiative in spreading the good news. How easy it is to spread the confidence that I have in Twlight, but remain hesitant when faith is concerned. I have not shared my excitement. I have not begged my friends and peers to just give Him a chance. Worst of all, I have not sought out anyone for Christ.

Well, I do believe that I have failed miserably at my first, and only, assignment. And yet, here I sit, practically expecting God to raise me up for my next mission.

Thought for the day:
"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light" -- John Keith Falconer

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saying Grace


I have been thinking a lot about grace lately. Having dinner with my friend Marcy last night, we got into a discussion about learning to recognize the sin inside you. Once my eyes were opened to my sinful nature, I just started to hate so much of what I said, thought and did. I would pray in the morning to be kind, patient and caring towards others, but by lunchtime, I had judged, ridiculed and been rude on more than one occasion. As hard as I tried to remain in the Spirit, sin trickled out of my mouth like word vomit. No matter how much effort I put into acting kind, my ability was not sufficient. Without God, without the grace of God, we are fighting a losing battle.

I love the way that Paul always starts his letters, with thanksgiving a prayer for his recipients. In Philippians 4:7, he gives praise and recognition to the people of Philippi:

“…I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.” – NIV

Even Paul, probably one of the most infamous disciples, recognizes his need for grace. He says “you share in God’s grace with me”. It humbles me to think that I receive the same grace from God that Paul does. The same grace that David does and the same grace that John does.

I have always heard that grace, like any other gift, can only be yours if you reach out and take it. Perhaps, being able to reach out and take it, is a gift in itself.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bible Toter


At my small group this week, we watched a short video presented by Pastor Rob Bell. He was teaching on the childhood upbringing and culture of the Hebrews during the time of Christ. One particular feature that stuck with me throughout the evening was the fact that, as children, Hebrew boys would memorize the Torah (first five books of the Bible) simply as a way of life. Completing this task successfully did not lead to praise and honor, but instead, more education. The next step was to memorize the entire Hebrew Bible.

Immediately, my mind went to my personal experience with Scripture memory…how sad and modest that experience is. Even in school, I would memorize passages for grades, not for God. I was considering myself a true woman of integrity by not cheating on my computerized Scripture test; however, I was cheating myself every second. I walked away from those nights of cramming only to have the Word of God slip right out of my culture-consumed head.

Could I sit with a non-believer and locate specific passages that would peak their interest in a specific issue, possibly not. Could I sit with a young believer and broaden their biblical maturity with stories from Acts 7, no. But, hey, you know what I could talk about:




Ann Taylor LOFT Fall Line

Latest issue of Real Simple

Project Runway

Criminal Minds TV Show

I carry my Bible with me everywhere I go. Now, I can’t help but ask myself about the motivation for this action. Am I toting my Bible because I want to saturate my life with it, or, am I toting my Bible because I don’t know enough without it there?

Sometimes, the view is intolerably bright when you actually open your eyes.

Let the Word of Christ have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. – Colossians 3:16 - The Message

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wifi Woes


Thought for the day: What if you had a scheduled meeting every morning with the President of the United States? Would you not prepare and be prompt and always show up? What do you do when Jesus wants a meeting in prayer? Plan a time everyday or just put it off til it is convenient? We have a kind that calls us in we not answer Him?

I am so completely frustrated. Only day five of this project and I have already had so many issues. If it isn't technical issues with this stinkin' blog it is trying to find a place to write it. I recently changed my hours at my office so that I could start my days out with Christ. I had an amazing plan of getting up, leaving the house, heading to my neighborhood wifi coffee shop and spending the first hour of my day in the Word and in this blog.

Today was the first of those days. I left the house on time. Got to the coffee shop on time. What happens as a result of my efforts: no wifi. Their internet is down. Now, this is the only place that I can think of that even offers free wifi (and is open at 6:30am). Needless to say, I used part of my quiet time today driving around trying to find some internet! It just really frustrates me how good intentions can be so thwarted by the devil. What a punk!

Regardless, I suppose that I can chalk this morning up to a lesson in patience. I still managed to get some great reading done and did spend some time in prayer. So, here is the post for this morning, however so brief.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ask, Seek and Knock


Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives: he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I was reading the Word today (YEA!!! Progress), anyway, I came across this passage in Matthew. It is crazy to me how many times I have read this, studied this, almost have this memorized, but never felt led by it as I did today.

For the past few months, all I have been doing is knocking. My hand is black and blue from front-door bruising! Still, this door remains unopened. Today, as I reread this promise, knocked again and was left outside, I noticed: No where in the passage does it say when the door will open. Who am I to demand immediate reponses? In the NIV translation, the verbs used in this passage are progressive:

“For everyone who asks receives: he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” - NIV

The verb tenses indicate a CONTINUOUS action. Am I so arrogant to assume that one knock by the Almighty Me will warrant immediate attention? Plus, I can’t help but wonder, what if the door does open? Am I ready to walk thru or will I try to keep one foot in this world and one foot in His?

Perhaps, I was so proud to think that I deserved a door key of my own, to use when I wanted and displace when I wanted. For now, I will wait on Him. And if I know God, when he does open the door, I better know what I was learning in the time between asking and receiving.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Final Words


A couple of Sundays ago, I heard a message at church stressing the importance of knowing who you want to be. With the New Year, everyone was trying to make resolutions of what they wanted to do with their lives. Andy Stanley said that we must first decide who we want to be, because who we are determines what we do.

In an effort to ultimately determine who I want to become, I listed the words that I want to be spoken of me at the time of my passing. In other words, how I want to be remembered by those that I loved the most. At the conclusion of this exercise, were the five words that I hope to model my life after in all aspects moving forward.

Kindness – A wise woman once told me that Kindness was love in action. I pray that God can train my heart to be kind to those I love, but more often, kind to those I do not. I want my words to build others up.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 – NLT

Generous – Generous with my time, finances, acceptance, forgiveness, prayer and affection.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. ... Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” - 1 Timothy 6:6-7

Maternal – I can’t wait to be a mother and guide my children in the way of the Lord. Raise them to praise Him, depend on Him, know Him and love Him.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." – Proverbs 22:6

Faithful – Walking with Christ all the steps of my life. Furthering His Kingdom before my own and always staying true to the course outlined for me.

“Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.” – 1 Timothy 3:11

Passionate – Passion for my husband, my faith, my Savior and my calling.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Patience Pants


About this time, every year, I am addicted to one particular emotion: Optimism. There is an almost-unnatural hope for myself, my career, and a plain ol’ anticipation of all things new. I have suffered a few sleepless nights this week alone due to preparation-overdrive. There are so many ways that I want to improve myself and I really think that this year will be the one! Let’s see how I’m doing so far:

Goal #1 – Personal Appearance
I overslept in the morning instead of straightening my hair therefore had the frizz-frump look all afternoon. Awesome.

Goal #2 – Better Nutrition
I threw out the pear and walnut salad that I brought for lunch and opted for Taco Bell Cheesy Roll Ups instead (with large Dr. Pepper). Totally worth it :)

Goal #3 – Productive Lunch Hours
I chose to stopover at the mall next to my office instead of spending some quality time in a good book that I had lugged from home.

Goal #4 – Quiet Time
I spend my afternoons watching Desperate Housewives instead of spending much-needed time with my Lord and Savior.

Goal #5 - Evangelism
I am not furthering the Kingdom of God because I am to busy trying to build my own.

The first three goals aside, when I realized how much time I have been spending in blatant disregard for my Creator, utter disappointment was all I could muster. What has happened to me? Nothing in this world used to give me more joy than sitting in a room with the Word of God between my fingers. Somewhere along the line, my faith grew stagnant. With this lack of joy, my time with Him became less than a priority. When I do not spend time with the One who is love, how blind I feel when I wake up, months down the line, and have no idea why my heart is still.

How silly I have been to think that I can produce the kind of happiness that God intends for me without allowing Him to have a hand in its development! God’s Word is quite clear on the manner in which believers are to obtain true joy. There are many things that I find almost hidden in the scriptures, but the source of joy is not on that list.

Psalm 16:11
“You make known to me the path of Life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” - NIV

Once I recognized what joy and pleasures awaited me in God’s plan, I no longer found myself resenting the fact that I was not the one who would come up with it. The only problem with this waiting on God, is that I hate waiting. I do not own a pair of "Patient Pants" in regards to my spiritual development. I want to be wise, knowledgeable and a leader immediately. But, I also want to follow Christ and it is impossible to follow when you are busy leading. Thus, as I wait to see what God has planned for me, I hope to learn how to make this waiting process a voluntary one. It could end up that this Project 365 turns out to be 365 days of waiting, but hey, at least I am waiting with a plan, and it pays to have a plan! Keep in mind that it was NOT raining when Noah built the ark!

To help me with this Project 365, I have asked a dear friend of mine to guide me during this period of renewal. Her spiritual soul calls out to Christ in the most joyful voice and, perhaps, in hearing her He will also hear me.

Thought for the Day

One joy shatters a thousand griefs.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Path to Passionate


“May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.” - Irish Blessing

Interesting. I have managed to forget almost everything that once brought me spiritual joy, while at the same time; I remember all that brings me questions. And who do I credit for this trouble: My ever-expensive seminary instruction. I know that it sounds extreme, but I began my graduate training with an untainted spiritual heart only to emerge with a faith painted gray. For fourteen months I was trained to interpret the Word of God. I lived in a world of scholars, theorists, skeptics and contradictions. Every new chapter produced new conjectures. My heart became trained to recognize seemingly-inconsistent passages of the Bible while conjuring up possible solutions to the quandary. Before I knew it, I found myself disillusioned with my spiritual maturity and longing for the simplistic faith from which I came. Truly, my expectations were incorrect when I anticipated an education rooted in worship and scripture memory. I simply expected too much out of seminary. I thought the opportunity for professional training would increase my Biblical knowledge; instead, I ended up losing my original passion for the faith. Who could have predicted that, with my degree, I would gain an impressive book collection and disconnection with Christ.

Even now, months after completing my education, my heart remains suspicious and worse-yet: Passionless.

Fortunately, it is a new day. It is a new year. It is a brand new 365 Days!

Philippians 3:13-14 reads of staying the course:
“I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.” – The Message

Project 365 is my progression of spiritual renewal. I am praying that God will use 2010 to reunite with me at the place where our relationship first began: His Word. With his grace, I will recover my footing in the Kingdom of God. Daily, post will be made to this site in hopes of documenting the process from impassive to PASSIONATE!