Sunday, June 7, 2009

core dump

too many thoughts, so i’m just going to start typing out as much as i can on here:

i find i’m turning in to myself too much, that is, being inwardly focused. i’m struggling in part because i feel like part of my time here could be greatly used to advance me in knowledge that i’ll need later to serve others. there are a few dozen things i want to work on, from learning greek to working down my huge list of books to read to Bible study (self-study, learning study habits and methods, commentaries, sermons, memorization...)... the list goes on.

another part of me wants to get out and serve, to be “on mission”, but i feel like i have no idea how. i could do a bunch of contact ev, or try to street preach, or i’m thinking about starting a gig-type group (aka seekers Bible study) at a local coffeehouse or something, or maybe there’s something i’ve not yet thought/heard of. there’s also wanting to reach out to the people at my job, but i honestly don’t know how to do that.

part of this whole problem is the lack of older guys to teach me how to do this stuff, and how to balance it. i know i can’t shrug off my responsibility on that, but i honestly don’t know who to look up to on some of this stuff. i really need to find a mentor down here to talk things through with and get some wisdom from.

that goes back to why i always want to beat the drum for the local church, the local expression of the Body to help and equip each other, “encouraging each other toward love and good works,” as the author of Hebrews puts it. which i don’t know many churches to do.

like i was walking around church this morning between services, and the only people that said one word to me were the greeters, which on the one hand are helpful but in a sense is really fake, or at least seems like it, and those who i already knew. but i was just as guilty of this negligence, because i wasn’t introducing myself either. and there’s a part of me that wants to excuse myself, saying that i’m not really part of this church, i don’t know who is new and who isn’t. but i am a part of the Body, and i was there all fall, so while i don’t know most people, i could introduce myself and either welcome someone to the church or get to know those who are already there and plugged in.

but that’s not a part of church culture. it’s like a restaurant: get in, order, get fed, leave. and i exaggerate somewhat, because there is genuine worship of God by many, and the sermon is generally solid (today’s particularly so). but there isn’t a sense of the Body; that happens in small group, which often are so artificial that people feel obligated to join rather than joyfully coming together as a loving family (which too few of us know what that really looks like or means anyway). oh, that we would learn and act out these things that we find in God’s holy Word, out of joy and obedience.

and i even know where to begin, how to change things. sometimes it all feels so hopeless; but often i am invigorated through His Word and through real fellowship. i cannot express what a joy and treasure the dwynl group is to me. they are the only guys i know where anything like this is happening seriously, and it seems to be growing in leaps and bounds, though i’m not sure how many of the others see that. then again, perhaps there are places where that’s happening around me that i’m just not seeing.

i am very grateful for the family that God has given me. sitting around the table with my aunt and uncle, my cousin and his bride and their 4 kids is truly a delight and a blessing. two things were incredibly beautiful yesterday. i was playing with emmie (just shy of 2 years old) in the back yard. she had climbed up the stairs on the swingset, and was trying to climb back down, but only got one set down before she froze. she couldn’t get herself out of it; she couldn’t get down or turn around to climb back up. so i asked if she wanted help. she can’t really talk yet, so just held out my arms and took a step towards the stairs. without a second thought, she leaned forward and fell into my arms. i set her down on the ground, and she ran over to where her dad and sister were on the swings. and i just stood there, begging God to grant me that kind of faith in Him. that is what Jesus means when He talks about child-like faith. and i want to trust Him like that so much.

the other was when the kids were leaving with their parents, james (4 years old) came over and whispered in my ear “don’t be afraid; you can pray to Jesus, because Jesus loves you and He’s in your heart”. such a simple blessing; i almost cried. i need to remind my brothers and sisters of that more often.

my, it’s hard to be worried when i remember God’s grace in things like that. God will work this out, though i don’t know how. i still need to figure out how to balance my use of time between these things, but He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews again; man, i’m really starting to like that book). be in prayer for me, fam, for our Dad delights to answers the prayers of His people when they ask and depend on Him. and may He bless you as well, and make you a blessing to others.

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At June 8, 2009 at 3:07 PM , Blogger Daniel said...

This was encouraging, thanks. I hope you don't mind, I've reposted some of it on my blog.


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