Monday, March 30, 2009

I Just Need Him!

As a worship leader for Awana and Bible study, I have found it easy to sing the words and not fully allow the words that I am singing to fill my heart. It is a constant battle. At Awana tonight, as I was deciding which songs to sing, I kept coming back to the fact that God is completely... 100% enough for me. The words of that song... all of You is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need, You satisfy me with Your love, and all I have in You is more than enough. It is so much easier to sing those words than to live in the reality of those things. I have often found myself coming back to that song as a reminder that He really is all I need. I can stop looking everywhere else! Really, it is the them of this blog. To count everything as loss compared to the value of Christ. I really cannot completely fathom how much He is to me. I was reminded of Acts 17:24-28.
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and
earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human
hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life
and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to
live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and
the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps
they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said,
'For we also are His children.'

The fact is that we continue to exist only because God has allowed us to. If I could only maintain that mindset about my life... which is really not mine... it is His, I can only imagine how differently I would live. I am so drawn to my pride and selfishness... when He is giving me each breath that I breathe. Each breath is another opportunity to bring Him glory.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Best "Creations"

I guess I haven't really updated about the job situation and graduate school. I did not get the job at Cal Baptist, but I am thankful for the opportunity to interview and I know that God's will was done. I am still applying to a lot of different places and receiving very few responses, but God is in control. It only takes one! :) As far as graduate school goes, it looks like I will be bailing out on that for a while. It is actually $3,000 more per quarter than I thought it was (miscommunication). Right now, I don't think it would be the wisest investment of my money. To be completely honest, when I heard that it was online and that it was so cheap, I really didn't look elsewhere; however, the lady must have been talking about student fees when I asked her about tuition pricing. Oh well. God is in control of those things too. With the housing market being down like it is, I think that may be a wise investment of my money, but I am waiting on a few things like His leading and the job.

I was reading Jeremiah 10 today and thinking about it in light of what I do on a daily basis. I absolutely love programming and feeling creative, but really, all creativity comes from Him. These verses (14-15) don't completely apply, but you will see what I'm talking about.
Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish.

While this is comparing a work of wickedness to God's creation, it applies to me to some extent as well. Being a software developer... or "creator" really feels nice, but when you think of it in light of "having breath", it looks pretty weak! I am not saying that the software isn't profitable, but just the fact that God puts breath into things is so incredible. With all the technology that we have, it is a blessing to read things like this where God puts us back in our place. It is humbling know that He chooses when we come into the world and when we go out... and there is nothing we can do to add a millisecond to that time. He truly is the only creator. I am simply a blessed servant with the ability to program computers that are infinitely less complex than the human mind. :) I can't even imagine the joy that He has in His creation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back in the Air

I found out the other day that graduate school costs $3,000 more (per quarter) than I expected. It was a miscommunication. So everything is back in the air... I am debating whether or not to continue with it at this point. I would definitely appreciate your prayers regarding such decisions. I have been applying to a bunch of different places. The last one I applied for seems to be a great fit... and it's 3 miles from where a godly young man is working as a fireman, so it would be great to be able to spend some time with him and have some fellowship throughout the week. Prayers would be appreciated for that as well. God sure has a way of keeping me on my toes. haha Just when I think I have the plan figured out, He throws a loop in there to make sure that I am trusting Him. :) He knows best!

We read 2 Peter 1 in family devotions tonight. Verses 5 through 9 really caught my attention.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

This is both a great encouragement and a strong warning. I was really convicted tonight that I have been in the later situation far too often. The moment I start doing what I want to do rather than what God wants to do, I really am forgetting all that He has purified me from. He has taken me from the consequences of sin to the joy of living for Him and yet how often do I forget where I came from? I must be diligent in doing these things so that I am not useless or unfruitful. I want to live a life that is filled with the fruit of righteousness, not a wasted life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

God Who Does the Impossible!

It is the Jewish Holiday of Purim (celebration of the deliverance from God through Esther). I was told that people read the book of Esther in order to remember it, so I decided to do so tonight. It has been a long time since I have sat down and just read through a book of the Bible... generally, I read a couple chapters and look at them in detail, but it is great to get an overview too! I was surprised at how fast it went. It probably only took 35 minutes or so. There isn't really anything deep as far as theology goes, but what a blessing it is to look at all the ways that God worked everything exactly how He wanted it in order to save His people. To name a few...

1) God causing the previous queen Vashti to not obey the king's commandment.
2) God using Mordecai to take care of Esther after her parents died.
3) God using the wisdom of Mordecai to help Esther win favor in the sight of the king.
4) God granting Esther favor.
5) God using servants to find out what was actually going to happen to the Jewish people.
6) God using Mordecai to influence Esther and give her courage.
7) God granting Esther favor in the eyes of the king when she went before him.
8) God giving Esther wisdom in how to set up the banquets.
9) God causing the king to not be able to sleep and thus finding out that Mordecai was never rewarded for saving the king's life.
10) God causing Haman to walk in at the perfect time in order to be completely humbled by having to honor Mordecai.
11) God giving Esther wisdom in how to break the news to the king about what Haman was doing.
12) God causing the servants of the king to inform him about the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai to make the king even more upset.
13) God granting Mordecai favor in the eyes of the king after Haman was hung on the gallows.
14) God granting Esther favor once again in order to plead for the lives of her people.
15) God granting Mordecai favor and wisdom in developing a plan to protect the Jewish people.
16) God blessing the Jewish people with great victories in defeating those that opposed them... including Haman's sons.

I am confident that I missed some, but wow!!! God's providence is absolutely incredible! It is such a blessing to serve a God who is in complete control. It make me wonder why I doubt His control so much. It's like I haven't seen all throughout His Word that He created everything, and does everything for His good pleasure... and His ways are always best. :) I pray that we can all come away from the story of Esther with a fresh reminder of who God is and what He can and does do.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Waiting on Him

I have been waiting for the last couple weeks to hear back from Cal Baptist regarding that interview that I had with the Vice President. I finally decided last Friday that it was time to give them a call and see what's up. I still haven't heard, so I am working hard and waiting on Him. I am sure that they are busy, but it would be nice to hear back sometime. :) I look forward to what God is going to do there. I do really want the job, but regardless, His will is always best. I was thinking about Psalm 40:1-4 today.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

Sometimes waiting on Him is difficult, and other times, He makes the whole process quite peaceful. These last few weeks have been so filled with His perfect peace regarding the job situation. God granted His peace and help in the phone interview, the interview with the IT board, and the interview with the Vice President. Regardless of if I get the job or not, He has used this as a great source of encouragement. I think the greatest blessing from trusting in Him as Psalm 40 says is that when we fully trust Him, we have no need to fear. I find it rather amazing that He has allowed me to not even worry about whether I get this job or not because His will is perfect and will be done regardless of us humans. He guides the decision makers to His best choice. I am so thankful for His protection of my heart in helping me wait on Him over these last few weeks.