Whose church is WillowCreekCC?

Past couple days I read about Willow Creek Community Church where I have attended church and the church that listen to and attend Sunday services regularly online.  I am saddened.

He’s a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly.

Willow Creek Church Says It Will Investigate Its Powerful Pastor, Bill Hybels

Whose church is WillowCreekCC?  If the answer is God, then God, grant us courage and faith!

 

 

Augustine’s Confessions My Confessions

“Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather, that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him.” (St. Augustine, Confessions, Bk1, Ch1).

Self-pity

No one wants to listen to someone expressing self-pity.  I was told yesterday, stop this self-pity.  That’s probably what promoted me to come to my blog site this  morning.  I have thoughts, feelings, and want to express them.  No one wants to hear them, no one I can think of.  But maybe there are some people who don’t mind hearing self-pity because they understand that it’s natural sometimes to feel self-pity and that it’s not necessarily a permanent disposition!  I feel enormous expectations, stress, and fear of failure and self doubt.  Sometimes I feel confident, but sometimes I feel bankrupt of any confidence.

I am a person of faith.  And yes, my faith makes a difference in my life.  But you know, when I’m drowning and feel overwhelmed with emotions that are threatening to consume my sanity, it’s hard to turn to God.  But it is precisely in these moments that God, if ever, could help me.  So many oxymorons in life.  In the moments when I need God, are exactly moments when I feel I can’t turn to God or forget that I have a God who cares about me!

So I write for myself, on this blog, hoping someone would read these words, but also that as I write them that I would hear the sound of my voice crying in the wilderness, and that hearing my words, would remind me of who I am.  Even when I feel utterly alone, yes, remember who I am.  That I am a child of God!!!

prayer – Monday 05122014

Dear God,

It’s amazing God.  You’re amazing.  All these years, years after years, months after months, day in and day out, there you are.  You are in my life.  You are in my emptiness.  You are in my depths…depths of void, of confusion, of absurdity.  I needed rest, and You gave me rest.  Sleeping 3 days straight, well, that was a blessing.  Being sick didn’t feel like a blessing, but it gave me an opportunity to reset.  My mind feels fuzzy.  But I think slowly I am getting clarity.  I want to return to my first love.  God you re-ignited in me the desire to return to you.  Not just to pray for others, or to pray when needed, but you have started something new in me today.  I want a regular, constant, consistent relationship with you God.  Help me.  You have waited for me and I know you’re ready.  Well, now I’m ready.  I want a living relationship with you, God.  Where do we start?

This is the psalm I’m thinking of as I write this prayer:

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. 17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end —I am still with you. 19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me— 20 those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves up against you for evil! 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. 24 See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139)

“Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?” I feel the truth of these words intensely this morning.  I want to know these words, to praise you for being made “fearfully and wonderfully.”  I don’t feel that I was wonderfully made.  Yet for sure you have made me fearfully and wonderfully.  Help me God this morning to feel that I am your beloved, having been made wonderfully by You.

You are my God

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you” (Psalm 118:28)

Dear God, you are my God.  You have created me, you have sustained me, you have brought me out of darkness, you gave me life that I could live, testifying to your goodness.  You have healed me, God, from an unrelenting depression.  I am now working as a chaplain helping others who need to be comforted.

In a thousand years, I did not imagine I would ever recover.  I thought every moment being crushed in pain was the life I would know until my death.  You are my God and I give thanks to you.  You have shown me mercy I did not deserve but desperately needed.  God, help me to remain helpful, not to lose heart at the first sign of difficult or discouraging emotions.  Let my life be an encouragement to others who need you.

God, you know my thoughts and my desires even before I can clearly articulate them myself.  God help me to be a faithful servant, good steward of the resources you have given me.  Thank you, God.  I praise you, for you are my God.

shout out to a friend’s post on christian meditation

I read my friend’s post few weeks ago on christian and buddhist meditation.  It really made sense to me.  And I found suggestions in it helpful, reference to well known, but worth emphasizing methods of reading the Bible and praying.  I highly recommend this post.  Here is the link

 

you have become my salvation

“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21)

I thank you, God, for today.  I have the day off from work.  And I am able to relax, drink coffee, read the Bible and to pray.  I am so thankful this morning for my life.  Lately, I have been feeling sad and unmotivated on weekends, which at times cause me to think life is but a misery.  God, give me strength and hope that I can live through such moments/days of sadness and hopelessness.  Let me live in reality that you are my salvation!