Saturday, March 17, 2007


Just so you all know, I'm going to be away for the next 7 days. I will return late Friday night - so please don't think I'm ignoring you or your posts; I will be back. In the meantime, I'm excited to see what God works in my heart as I pursue Him at Glorieta over spring break.

- Chris

Friday, March 16, 2007

Read this!

Please read this article; I believe it will be a blessing and an encouragement to all of you. Continue to pray for men and women to stand up as Ted Harvey did a few years ago - and that God would reward him for his faithfulness. We need more people like that!

- Chris

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Call

It's so easy to lose vision. We get moving in the daily grind of our lives, and we somehow lose sight of the things to which God has called us. When we do, we compromise the calling God has put on our lives, exchanging the excellence to which we are summoned for a mediocrity that is all-too common in middle class America.

I've spent the last 8 weeks of my life claiming to be pursuing God as fully as I knew how. That was, unfortunately, not really true. I very much got sucked into the every day routine and lost sight of some very specific goals God had laid on my heart. Yes, I have been faithful to some. I've been blessed by the direction our Bible study/Active Evangelism stuff has gone this semester. But in many cases, I have still had the knowledge of what I ought to be doing, and simply not done it. Specific ministries God called me to that I simply have not been faithful and obedient in.


Because I "didn't have time" this week, or "needed more time to pray about it," or "couldn't coordinate schedules with people," or any other excuse that my flesh could come up with. Perfectly valid excuses, in many cases. Also: perfectly wrong. God has not asked for our perfectly valid excuses; He has asked for our obedience.

I didn't understand, two months ago, just how easy it would be to let that fire fade. Even in areas where He had been sparking passions, I have been lax. I have let go of those passions. I have let go of the vision and the fire He had been imbuing me with, because it was simply hard to maintain. Whether that be a passion for the advancement of the gospel, a passion for glorifying God in every word and deed, a passion for communicating to other Christians the worth and value of what we have... I've let them slip. You've probably seen it. My blog has, especially in the past two to three weeks, moved away from calls to press on in Christ to a more self-absorbed tone, much like what it started off as. Not what God had called me to do with this space. And for that I apologize.

But we are not to dwell in our past sins. I have repented; I have confessed, and it is now time to move forward! This is a war, and stagnation is lost time: it is opportunity for the enemy to move, to regroup, to continue his deadly assault. Why give him the time? No! We must press on in the battle. We must take up again the torches, the vision that God has given us and advance His kingdom violently in the spiritual realm. We must unsheath our swords, heft our shields, and wade forth once more into battle. We must take up the Word and proclaim it; we must be dedicated to prayer; we must be vigilant against sin; we must be a support to our brothers-in-arms (be they man or woman).

We must never - ever - lose our passion for God and the glory of His name. We must not lose sight of the magnificent path ahead of us; nor can we afford to let go of the call to take up our cross daily and die for Him. When we do, we give in to mediocrity; we let ourselves be consumed by this world: in a word, we become carnal again. And we are called to more than that! We are called to be spiritual men and women who are having their minds daily renewed to be conformed to the image of Christ, transformed from the pattern of this world to the pattern that God has laid out before us. We are called upwards, ever upwards, in this struggle against principalities and powers of darkness in this world, in this battle against the darkness that inhabits our own hearts, in this war for the eternal destiny of this generation. We are called to a higher standard: the standard of God Almighty, perfect and holy.

We are called to war against hell and every demonic power. We are called to absolute surrender to God, the total and complete giving over of ourselves for His purposes, the utter release of our own control and absolute submission to His.

May the Father be glorified; may the Son be praised; may the Spirit's work be complete in you. Walk in grace, walk in peace. Walk in power, walk in boldness. Go forth with a passion for the gospel and the kingdom of God. And never surrender them - not for circumstance, not for temptation, not for anything. Hold fast to the promise, to the call, to the vision, to the first love and the fire that God gave you when you were born into His kingdom.

Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these other things will be added to you!

- Chris

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Magnificent Obsession/More

Magnificent Obsession - Stephen Curtis Chapman

Lord You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers and explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life's complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling like I'm chasing down the wind
But now it's brought me back to You
And I can see again

More, tonight. More questions, more answers, more sorrow in my heart at what I see there. More hope, and less understanding. Which is good. That's how it needs to be. I honestly don't feel like I know much of anything right now. I'm doubting my motivations for almost everything. I know that God is working; I can see and feel His hand, and I want this, oh so very much. But it hurts so very much.

This is everything I want
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord I want it all to be for You, Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession

There are things inside my heart I had no idea were there. There are pains and wounds I didn't see, never knew existed until thirty minutes ago. There are whole ways of approaching the world that just aren't Godly. That hurt people. That cause pain and sorrow. My heart is so full of the black, the dark - but it also has God's light in it. This struggle? It's to make sure the light is more than the dark. It's to replace half-truths and partial-truths with the whole truth. It's to change what has been broken into something that is whole and complete, that functions the way it was meant to.

So capture my heart again
Take me to depths I've never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You've shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down to so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains

This cuts to the core of who I am - or who I thought I've been. It is my very person, my being at stake here, and in the battle between good and evil, it's my soul on the line. But like I've said before, we know that battle's won. I know Who my Hope is. Certainly it's not myself. It can't be. I can't accomplish this. My own strength is so utterly insufficient. But remember the one whose grace is sufficient, whose power is perfected in my weakness! Oh how I want to understand my weakness, how I want to know that I am nothing.

You are everything I want
And You are everything I need
Lord, You are all my heart desires
You are everything to me

These places in the dark recesses of my heart that I didn't know were there - I'm so grateful to God for exposing them, for bringing them to the light. The evil that is there, and the pains that are there, both. The former so that it can be eradicated; the latter so that they can be healed. So much to wrestle with. I am very overwhelmed by it all at the moment. I don't have time, right now, to sit and pray and read the Word for hours to wrestle through this, though I honestly want nothing more than to do precisely that. I have work that must get done. Homework. Studying. And so forth. I have responsibilities that must be met. I am looking forward to spring break, to time when I can go and be alone with God for long stretches at a time. When God can continue to probe down to the roots of this and root it out and change me and renew me and remake me and transform me more into His image. When God can kill my flesh and heal my heart and restore my soul.

You are everything I want
You are everything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You
I want it all to be for You

I don't have much to offer right now. In fact, I honestly think I can say, for the first time in a long while, maybe ever, that I don't think I have anything to offer. But I don't know. I want to mean that. I think I do. But do I? I don't know. Which means the answer is probably no. Which just means God has farther to go in working that in me. I know it in my head. My heart isn't sure of it yet, and it needs to be.

Be my magnificent obsession
Be my magnificent obsession

Be comforted with His comfort, secure in His love, trusting in Him alone. Thank you for the support you've offered and the prayers you've prayed. I love you all, though not yet as I should. God's blessings be with you.

- Chris


There is so much I want to write, but I haven't time at the moment. Perhaps this evening; I don't know. There are things that have been crying out in my heart for a week now, and the opportunity simply has not been there for me to be able to share it. That may be a good thing. In having had to wait, to sit, to think on these things in the quiet, they may come out better than they would have if I had rushed them.

I was looking back through the past few weeks' of posts, and they all sound rather down. That makes me a trifle sad. I don't want my testimony, even in various difficulties, to be one of depression or anguish. To the contrary! The relatively small struggles that I have had these last weeks simply do not compare to the surpassing glory of the reward that is set before us (Romans 8:18). Yes, things are difficult right now. I have been working through just the initial stages of some things since Monday night, and today is only going to step up the intensity of the ways God is dealing with me. Yet that is a good thing! Easy? No. Wonderful? Most definitely.

When our hearts' desire is God, how could we be anything but encouraged that He chooses to discipline us? If He disciplines us, it is because He loves us - and that ought to be a very great joy to our hearts. It is not that our emotions do not surge; nor indeed that our hearts do not break. If our hearts do not break as He begins to reveal the magnitude of our sin, then we are in a bad place indeed. If our emotions did not flare up in response to correction and to the kinds of conviction that God is bringing to me right now, then we would not be human. (That sort of stoicism leads nowhere useful: I have walked that path and seen its fruit, and its fruit is death, Just as being ruled by one's emotions is death.) So while I am greatly sorrowed that I have not yet come to the place to which God has called me, I am encouraged just as greatly that I have a God so faithful as to answer the very prayers that I and others have been praying.

Starting nearly a month ago, I began to ask for increased and renewed conviction. I saw hints of things in my heart that I didn't care for, but I wasn't sensing the depth of those sins; I wasn't seeing to the root of the problems. I still don't, in many ways. Yet God is faithful. He is answering those prayers, and while perhaps not in the way I expected, He is answering them mightily and powerfully. It is a struggle, of course, in that my flesh is rebelling against His conviction and His powerful work here, looking for every out, for every excuse, for every reason why this is unfair or unnecessary or unjust. But God is faithful. And I believe Him, not my flesh.

I am terrified.

I am excited.

And above all, I know that my Father loves me and that my Redeemer lives and that my Comforter is walking beside me.

This process of growing, healing, being renewed and transformed... the image that has struck me as I have been praying through this and as I have been writing is that of a man whose limbs are terribly deformed: a cripple in every sense of the word, whose body is so malformed he cannot function, and whose mind is so used to that crippling that he considers it normal. When a physician comes with the cure, there is one catch. It will be painful. More painful, in the short term, than simply remaining as a cripple - but how much richer the life when the man is no longer crippled: when he can walk or even run, when he can throw a football with a friend, when he can dance with a beautiful girl in his arms... when he is made right? So the physician begins his work of straightening tortuously twisted limbs, of making right that which has been wrong for so very long. The man's arms and legs begin to heal - but he cannot use them. He has never learned how. And so, falteringly and stumblingly, he begins to try. His failures are many, and at times discouraging. But his physician - his friend - helps him: to stand, to eat, to do all these things for himself that he has never done before. Motor memory begins to develop. Muscles begin to harden and firm. Months pass, and the man can walk, can take care of himself. As more time goes on, he continues to grow in his new abilities - from learning to tango to being able to play piano a little. But he only continues to grow so long as he continues to suffer the pain of that growth, to endure the struggle of it, and to hold on to the promise that the doctor has given him: that the reward of having overcome will be worth the grievous pain required to get there. The day that first he feels free, he looks back at his old life, at that old pale shadow of existence that hardly seemed a life at all, and marvels at how he has been set free from seemingly immutable chains that held him in thrall.

I'm looking forward to that. To being so completely healed from these sins that so easily entangle, that cripple us and keep us from running with endurance (Hebrews 12:1-2) - that will be a delight beyond measure. And our Physician is truly mighty: because He does heal men and women with broken bodies; but He is far greater, for He is the Healer that mends men and women with broken hearts and minds and spirits.

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. May our Father's grace and peace be with you.

- Chris

Monday, March 5, 2007


I didn't see this coming. My perceptions have been completely wrong. And I'm still in the dark at the moment. That's okay.

I know that God is working good. This is hard. Those two are not mutually exclusive.

Your prayers would be appreciated. I need a breakthrough. It's going to have to be miraculous. So it's a good thing we serve a God who does miracles all the time.

I love you all. Grace and peace.

- Chris

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Life and Dancing

Some quick summary, followed by pictures. It's been a good day, and it is ending well so far. I had another migraine last night, and I'm hoping to get in to see a doctor early next week to start making some progress on that. I had an interview with Mardel yesterday, which seemed to go well, so I'm praying for God to open that door should it be His will. I've been blessed again with an example of God's incredible provision - exactly what is needed to get through the next several months, with just enough to be able to go dancing tonight. I needed that. (Side note: I need more guys to go with me next time!) It was a blessing on many levels. These are some of the best pictures from the evening. I'll probably come back and re-upload these after I've had a chance to go through and edit them.

As well, you can see the rest of the album on facebook (regardless of whether you have a profile; this is a specific access to this album only).

Now it's time for me to go get some sleep and whatnot. God bless, all, and have a good night!

- Chris