Sunday, May 24, 2009

Words. . .

The subject of words has been running through my mind for the past several weeks as Ryan has been teaching through the book of James. When I say "words", I mean the things that we allow to come out of our mouths. There is such power in our tongues. A playful jest or even an honest criticism by a loved one carries SO much weight and can be so damaging to the person it is directed at. Often times, the damage that words can create is unintentional but can still be so permanent. I've been doing some self-evaluation of my own ability to tame my tongue and I can say with confidence that I have a lot of room for improvement. I've gotten into a bad habit of using humor (mostly self-deprecating, but sometimes directed at others) as a way to show my love for people in my life. I definitely think there is a time and a place for sarcasm, but I also know there are many times where I have crossed the line into hurtful territory.

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." -James 3:9-10

I have a friend that I admire a ton. I can honestly say in the two years I've known him, I've never heard him say anything negative about anyone. That is what I desire for my own life. Lord, help me to tame my tongue.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Common Men, Uncommon Calling

I've been reading the book "Twelve Ordinary Men" by John MacArthur. In the book, MacArthur devotes an entire chapter to each one of Jesus' twelve. So far, these are the things that have stood out in my mind. As the title of this blog suggests, Jesus didn't call the religious leaders and priests to be the men that would spend 3 years of their life with the Christ, but common men that MacArthur describes as,
"perfectly ordinary men in every way. Not one of them was renowned for scholarship or great erudition (knowledge acquired through study. Don't worry, I had to look it up too). . .on the contrary, they were all too prone to mistakes, misstatements, wrong attitudes, lapses of faith, and bitter failure. Even Jesus remarked that they were slow learners and somewhat spiritually dense (Luke 24:25)."
As I've been reading I've been able to draw so many parallels between the lives' of the disciples and my own. I am guilty of so much sin and wickedness, so many things I never thought I was capable of and still Jesus loves me and has called me to follow Him. I know that I have received His grace and mercy and I am one of his chosen people (1 Peter 2:9) but this is STILL such a difficult concept for me to grasp. Why would He call someone like me? Why does He call any of us? I think I still struggle with the truth that I am worthy to be called His son. The only thing I can do is rest in the knowledge of His wonderful love and mercy and live each day of my life to honor and glorify Him. Thank you Lord for your grace!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jon Foreman Show

A couple days ago I got to go see one of my favorite musicians play a free show at UCSD. If you've read my past blogs, you know that I'm a huge Jon Foreman fan and he DID NOT disappoint. Perhaps what I found most encouraging and impressive was not simply the music but also the way Jon conducted himself. St. Francis of Assisi is famously quoted as saying, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." Even though he didn't mention the gospel of his faith, I left feeling like Jon was an amazing witness for Jesus. In my opinion, Jon has every right to be prideful or arrogant, but he was just the opposite.