Saturday, May 19, 2007

Scattered thoughts and updates

So here we are, a week after school ended. Life is crazy, in so many ways.

I drove home last Sunday. Made the trip faster than I ever have before: 10 hours 27 minutes, and that with at least half an hour's worth of construction delays. I got back in time to celebrate Mothers' Day with extended family, which was immensely fun - and it was a blessing to be able to spend time with family that day. God definitely blessed the trip, right down to the gas mileage. The trip gave me plenty of time to think and pray, too, which is always a huge blessing. In fact, I've spent a lot of time both thinking and praying this week, and I'm excited about the rest of the summer: God has a lot in store for me and for many of my friends. The things I'm seeing Him do even now are amazing, and I'm sure there is much I haven't heard about from friends overseas that will also be a blessing and a testimony.

I spent a good deal of the week simply reading, trying to relax and recover some of my strength after the hectic end to the semester. I've read well over 2000 pages this week, probably close to 2500 in fact. That's a blessing and a good deal of fun. I haven't had time to read for relaxation since early in the semester. It's been a necessary counterbalance to the frustrations I've had with my computer, which is again giving me headaches. I'm at the point where I'm strongly considering making a long term investment by purchasing a macBook Pro. Though the cost is substantial, it may be worth it. I'm praying about it, and God will guide me in that decision, as He does in all.

I've also been able to help out around the house a bit, and that's been good. I'm still trying to learn how to best serve my family, how to best communicate with and interact with my parents and sisters. There's a lot going on, since one sister is graduating a week from today (and it is going to be one busy week!). That means that trying to fit back in - especially since I'm only living here with my family for three weeks total before I move in with my roommates at Focus on the Family Institute - is an interesting thing. God's grace is abundantly clear; and it's giving me a picture of things to work on both in my own heart right now and for my future when I will (hopefully!) have a family of my own. I am still so terribly insufficient, still so very far from communicating well. I have learned some in the last several months, but I have so very far to go. I find myself knowing that and yet unaware of what exactly I need to be working at, sometimes, and that of course prompts me to pursue God harder, to seek His face more, so that my own imperfections will be more clearly revealed in the light of His presence.

I am reminded regularly of the magnitude of all that Christ has done for us, and of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. Too often we lose sight of that in the day to day grind of existence - even when that's a relaxing grind. The humdrum calls out to us so strongly, and mediocrity is never far from our outstretched fingertips. Gladly, by the grace of God, we can learn to see mediocrity for what it is: a pale reflection of that to which we have been called, a fogged mirror through which no one could be blamed for missing Christ. How much, I wonder, would it change the way we lived every day, the way we communicated why we do the things we do, if we really grasped the magnitude of the gospel? A conversation with my parents early this week spurred me on to really ponder how relational evangelism ought to be carried out. I certainly don't have the answers. But that, combined with other conversations, other thoughts, other sources, has lead me to conclude that it's incredibly important to live our lives as a testimony - and then to explain to people why we live our lives that way. We may find ourselves compelled to apologize to someone for a rude word or an inconsistency in our lives - and that is a good thing, a testimony of the work of Christ in our lives! Yet if we do not take the step further - that small but oh-so-important step further - to explain why our lives our different (a simple, "You know, I did this, and that just wasn't Christlike. I'm sorry," not only establishes the testimony but the reason why) then how will they know? How will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? At the same time, to proclaim, full of windy knowledge of the gospel, absent an active and vibrant testimony in people's lives, runs the risk of leaving people with intellectual understanding and still-dead hearts. It is not either/or - as it so often is not in this life. Rather, it is a case of both/and. We must actively proclaim the truth, and be bold in our sharing of the gospel. Yet we must do as people who, as Young Life often reminds its ministers, have earned the right to be heard, to be listened to - by loving, by living with a passion and a caring for people that is simply not known outside the redeeming love of Christ. It is the active transformation of our own lives as our knowledge of Christ deepens that validates the words we speak, that confirms to people in stark and irrefutable evidence, that the gospel is true, that it really is the power of salvation to those who are lost.

As God told me when I first starting writing on this blog:

Seek God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Be unified in purpose, in thought, and in deed. Live completely for Jesus Christ.

Only in that path can we truly be effective ministers of the gospel. Run the race with endurance!

God bless.

- Chris


  1. Boo!! It needs more violence! Bloodshed!! It is quite fortunate that you life is going well, you know time to read and all of that. I know I have been slacking off on my reading.

  2. working within a family is a LOT of work ... good for you to observe that and to acknowlege that and to work toware the goal of working within the structure. and good for you for helping out around the house! i know your mom REALLY needs that this week :)

    WOW!!! Focus Institute! Yay! It will be cool to walk with you thru the summer from afar ... if you have time to blog!

  3. The help around the house has been noticed and is appreciated.

    -- Just wait, I have so much more for you to do. -- :P

  4. You are going to Focus on the Family Institute? Sounds like a great opportunity. What led to enroll there for the summer, tho? By the way, Hope your computer issue gets solved hehehehe.


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