Monday, May 12, 2008

Boast No More

lyrics by Isaac Watts
and musically remixed by Caedmon's Call

No More My God,
I boast no more
Of all the duties I have done
I quit the hopes I held before,
To trust the merits of Thy Son

Now, for the loss I bear his name,
What was my gain I count my loss
My former pride I call my shame
And nail my glory to His cross

Yes, and I must, I will esteem
All things but loss for Jesus' sake
O may my soul be found in Him
And of His righteousness partake
Amen, amen

The best obedience of my hands
Dares not appear before Thy throne
But faith can answer Thy demands
By pleading what my Lord has done

This weekend with Mu Chia and Karen, we studied the latter half of Philippians 2, where Paul relishes in knowing Christ as the most wonderful part of his life. We talked about what it meant to consider all things as loss compared to knowing Christ - with Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus as the text's examples. This song does a good job of directing my heart and mind back to the centrality of being saved by grace through faith alone, not by anything that I can accomplish. It seems like one I could imagine Paul singing in his own heart as he continued in the work of God.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Goodbye, Elda!

For the past three years, I've had the opportunity to befriend Elda. Elda came to the US to study and prepare for Physician's Assistant school. She's been accepted in California and is leaving this week.

Back in Albania she was part of the first generation to grow up at the fall of communism. Her family informed her that they were Eastern Orthodox when she was 10, but she'd never heard of God before then. God has been faithful to place Christians in her life one after another.

Favorite Memories with Elda:
  • Road trip to Waco. Don't be scared! His name is David Crowder.
  • Talking about God and planting seeds for Jesus to use.
  • Running about town. Literally.
  • Shaking our heads over bent fenders, bashed taillights, and our old cars. You are no longer part of the old car club. Congratulations!
  • Saying goodbye over lunch with Nizaar the Palestinian at our table. Nice to meet you Nizaar. And yes. Now that you said you were bizarre, I do remember your name.
  • Helping to show that He cares for her.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Musings of a Theological Mutt

Some days I want to step out of the race - to take my running legs off of the course and to watch other runners go by and win.

Me. I'll breathe and be. Sad to not be in the race, but so glad to be alive - yet wondering about my purpose, my task.

Can God use a theological mutt? Can a voice like mine be used, whose family is Lutheran and Baptist, who came to Christ at a Presbyterian church and was discipled and matured in the Disciples of Christ denomination and trained for ministry in higher education institution of the independent Christian Church while attending a Wesleyan congregation, and trained further in Bible and seminary education at a Calvinist church and institution?

God can use me. I walk with Him and watch Him. He is the only sure part of my life.

I wonder what others think, who have a background like mine. How are other theological mutts fitting into ministry? Moving to Texas brought more mental confusion than I would have ever entered into on my own. New ways of seeing God, new ways of thinking.

I listen to others and interact with Him. That's all I know how to do. It is a season of listening and wrestling and learning.