a high view of God

9 06 2009

i am totally ripping this from mark batterson’s incredible book, in a pit with a lion on a snowy day.  it is a great piece that i want to share and hopefully challenge you with. as a side note, if you are some one who has found themselves in the middle of a transition, you need this book!

according to a.w. tozer, the most important thing about you is what comes to mind when you think about God.

“… the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like…  were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘what comes to your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. (a.w. tozer, the knowledge of the holy)

how you think about God will determine who you become.  you aren’t just a byproduct of “nature” and “nurture”.  you are a byproduct of your God-picture.  and that internal picture of God determines how you see everything else.

most of our problems are not circumstantial.  most of our problems are perceptual.  our biggest problems can be traced back to an inadequate understanding of who God is.  our problems seem really big because our God seems really small.  in fact, we reduce God to the size of our biggest problem.

tozer said a “low view of God… is the cause of a hundred lesser evils.”  but a person with a high view of God “is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems.”

“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think. – isaiah 55:8-9 (the message)

i can certainly attest this principle to be true in my own life.  i can look back on specific instances when how i approached or walked through a particular situation in my life was in direct correlation to how i perceived God in that season of my life.  i am thankful that seasons change and we grow, thus providing opportunities for our understanding and perception of God in our lives to increase as well.  there are things that happened to me in the past which, were they to play out again today, would not produce the same response from me, primarily because of who i am continually becoming as a direct result of what i continually and increasingly understand about God.

what about you?  how has your approach to life been altered by your perception and understanding of who God is over the years?

a better life?

8 06 2009

i know i’ve been such an inconsistent blogger lately.  my apologies.  trying to get back on track now.

at church yesterday, pastor jamie used this excerpt from larry crabb’s book the pressure’s off.  it was incredibly profound for me and i wanted to share it.

you’ve cheapened the requirements of holiness by assuming you can do enough right things to bring about a “better life.” sometimes that works. sometimes it doesn’t. you therefore live with uncertainty and pressure, and you demand to know the way to live that will make your life work as you want.
you maneuver; you do not trust.
you negotiate; you do not worship.
you analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend.
you seek the “better life of God’s blessings today” over the “better hope of God’s presence.

i came away from that with many thoughts, most of which i am still processing.  what thoughts do you have after reading that?

awaken, o dreamer

25 06 2008

this past sunday i was flipping through the new issue of relevant magazine, one of my favorites, and came across an ad and review of erwin mcmanus‘ new book, wide awake: the future is waiting within you.

as i skimmed the short interview about the book with mcmanus, i read this:

“relevant: do you think people ever feel guilty about pursuing the life they want?

mcmanus: yes. absolutely. i think strangely enough, most people live under obligation.  they’re doing what they think other people expect them to do or want to do or demand that they do rather than what they really would have done.  i meet with people whose only goal is to pay their bills, because they think beyond that is greedy and they forget that they don’t have to keep it all.  most people in the western world don’t really understand that to optimize your opportunity is to create hope for the rest of the world.  you can actually provide housing and find cures for diseases.  to me, one of the greatest and most selfish acts among people is to just make enough to survive.”

wow.  after reading that i could not get in my car fast enough and drove to barnes & noble to buy this book.  i’ve been in it for a few days now and it is rocking my world, and it is so right on time for me.  you can check out a sample chapter here.

here’s a great excerpt from the book:

“for centuries now, Jesus has been a focus of every kind of research, from theology to history to philosophy.  his approach to ethics left an undeniable mark on humanity.  what has been significantly underappreciated is how Jesus changed the way his followers actually engaged life.  he launched a movement that unleashed previously untapped potential in those who believed in him.  he created an environment where his disciples began to believe the impossible and soon found they were turning dreams into reality.  his became a movement of dreamers and visionaries called and compelled to dream of a better world.”

there is also a dvd release of wide awake:the short films coming next week that has several short films along the themes of the book. can’t wait to get that!

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radically beloved

1 05 2008

“… the heart of it is this: to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. define yourself radically as one beloved of God. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.” … excerpt from abba’s child

abba\'s child
i’ve owned this book for a little over a year and a half now, but have yet to get through the fourth chapter. it goes deep and must be digested in portions. brennan manning is an amazing author, and this book is powerful. i usually get into it only to put it down a short time later and walk away limping. but i have picked it back up again and am starting from the beginning… i’m ready to take it deeper. go deep… get this book.

the sorrow of God

30 04 2008

one night a friend asked his handicapped son, “daniel, when you see Jesus looking at you, what do you see in his eyes?”

after a pause, the boy replied, “his eyes are filled with tears, dad.”

“why, dan?”

an even longer pause. “because he is sad.”

“and why is he sad?”

daniel stared at the floor. when at last he looked up, his eyes glistened with tears. “because I’m afraid.”
the sorrow of God lies in our fear of him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves. he anguishes over our self-absorbtion and self-sufficiency. richard foster wrote, “today, the heart of God is an open wound of love. he aches over our distance and preoccupation. he mourns that we do not draw near to him. he grieves that we have forgotten him. he weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. he longs for our presence.”

God’s sorrow lies in our refusal to approach him when we have sinned and failed. a “slip” for an alchoholic is a terrifying experience. the obsession of the mind and body with booze returns with the wild fury of a sudden storm in springtime. when the person sobers up, he or she is devastated. when I relapsed, i had two options: yield once again to guilt, fear and depression; or rush into the arms of my heavenly father — choose to live as a victim of my disease; or choose to trust in abba’s immutable love.”

…. excerpt from “abba’s child” by brennan manning