Monday, January 28, 2008

Summit 2008

We took a journey on this year's summit that culminated in my asking myself - and God - when I had decided to become half a Christian. I stopped calling on, leaning on, the power of the Holy Spirit, and as a result was going through the motions of living, but with no real power.

Thank God that He freely gives us the Spirit when we ask. Not that anyone who is a Chritian doesn't have the Spirit dwelling in them once they choose to follow the path of Christ. That's mysterious, but theologically true.

But there is something cool about awakening our awareness of the work of the Spirit to counsel, comfort, strenghthen, and guide, and to call on His power to help us in every circumstance. That is where deep joy and peace come from, as well as the ability to respond with grace and let mercy lead.

Which reminds me of a Rich Mullins tune off of his Brother's Keeper album.

Let mercy lead, let love be the strength in your legs,
And in every footprint that you leave
There'll be a drop of grace;
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save those who believe,
In that foolish grace of God they will find peace
And He'll meet them
In that place where mercy leads.

I always loved that tune - particularly the idea of leaving footprints filled with drops of grace.

May it be so, not by might, not by strength, but by the power of the Spirit of God.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcoming the New Year

Like we have a choice, right?

For some people this really is a welcome. For whatever reason, 2007 wasn't so great, and they are excited about the prospect of the fresh start a new year can bring.

For some people, maybe it's the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" inevitability of the passing of time and the turn of the calendar page. Not like you can stop the thing from happening, so you jump on board and ring it in.

And for some people, I imagine it's like dragging them kicking and screaming past midnight. Either 2007 was SO good they don't want to leave, or they are so afraid of what 2008 will bring because they are used to being beat up all the time.

Either way, I am thinking about something Brian McLaren wrote in one of the books in the New Kind of Christian series. He said that God was in the past, pushing us forward, and He is in the future pulling us toward Home, and he is with us right now, walking through whatever comes our way in this life.

I take comfort in the fact that no matter where I am, God is with me, and wherever I will be, God already was. He is the God who delivered me from bondage and slavery and set me free, and He is the God who makes all living worthwhile.

And even though I will never be able to keep every resolution, nor will I ever be able to stop letting Him down in some way, and even though I will never be perfect, His love is still boundless, His forgiveness is endless, His grace is still amazing, and His mercy endures forever, new every morning.

Bring it on, 2008. I've got all the help I need.