So just recently I lost my grandma to cancer. I suppose theologically speaking I lost her to the "Fall of Man." She was a believer of 84 years of age. She had excepted Christ as her savior just a few years ago. Even though she ran the race for a short time, she ran it, and she finished. She was my girl. I called her "Buster" because that's what she always called me as a kid. We would always watch dancing with the stars together and try and guess who was going to win. She loved to laugh, humor was her first love. I'll miss her dearly although I am rejoicing that she is now witnessing Christ in all of His Glory. A moment which my heart yearns for. A moment which my heart desperately needs. It's been a rough few days coping with the loss of a family member, and ultimately a dear friend. I'll never forget all the Christmases in New York, at her place way back when. I'll miss her smile and our brief, quaint conversations. But what my heart and mind has chosen to never let go of is the final question she ever asked me. A question which I'll never forget. A question which once answered brings you to one of the fullest comprehensions of the person of Christ. My grandmother was kind. She was no pastor or theologian. She had a simple understanding of Jesus and His work on the cross. She never studied theology or even graduated from college. But in our final conversation on this earth she asked me "nick, why do you think He made it this way?" I didn't know what to say. I racked my brain for everything I've learned as a Bible Major for some passage of scripture or some Barth quote that summed it all up. But, I couldn't. As I tried to formulate a response she slowly fell back to sleep. And in that moment I realized that the question was a kind hearted retort. That is my fondest memory of her. She posed a question which will transform my life as long as I am willing to ask it.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
These past few weeks I have been lathering 4 simple things in prayer. One: a fear of the Lord. Two: Honesty. Three: integrity, in all things. And fourth and lastly, trying to be less and less selfish. The Lord has truly been delivering me in ways I couldn't have previously imagined. If possible, please lift me up in prayer in these 4 areas. I truly desire the Lord to deeply refine my character specifically as it regards these sections of my heart. Much love slices.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Yesterday I had a really rad talk with my new Mentor. He is such a solid believer. Over the course of a 2 hour conversation, he helped me to centralize the vast majority of the areas in which I desire to grow spiritually; all by asking great questions. Never did he prescriptively say "do this" or "do that" but allowed me to come to such conclusions on my own. I truly value this skill and have recently been praying that the Lord would enable me to, amidst my many distractions, sit down, be present, and ask good questions. I feel so blessed that the Lord was able to so explicitly speak through my mentors questions. Practically speaking I am now aware that I tend to be rather selfish and my integrity as a whole needs a great deal of revamping. It is through the Lord's mighty grace that I am being refined in these ways. Amen.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
"Here and Now" was quite the experience. It was practical and simplistically prescriptive. It oddly enough reminded me of Oswald Chamber's devotional "My Utmost For His Highest." Reading this book deeply influenced the way in which I live and the places where I place utmost importance. It helped me to see that "the kingdom is at hand." That I must no longer rob Christ of His present glory and begin to honor him in the "Here and Now." It influenced me to better engage with the God of "the story." It enabled me to recognize which areas within my soul yearn to simply push the Lord aside and strive after future goals and accomplishments. I can ultimately say that "Here and Now" was most effective in strengthening my relational skills with a God who quite honestly couldn't be more approachable.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Lately my mind has grown deeply infatuated with why we do the things we do; in a societal, cultural, human sense. The way I see it, if God is alive and well, we ought to see significant hints of His imagination laced throughout everything(which I deeply believe we do). Just through simple observation, I have seen an innarant sense of morality amidst a hyper-secular culture. Why is it that all people seem to find certain things important? Things ranging from architecture to education. If we adjust our hearts and open our eyes ever so slightly we can, rather easily, see His hand at work. Why is it that education is important? Why is it wrong that there is world hunger? Why is it wrong to be a criminal and right to be an accountant? I believe that weather a man chooses to believe in God or not, the way he lives his life ultimately points to a wonderful Lord with a rather keen sense of humor. You see, even if a man denounces Christ as Lord he still desires the best for his daughter; therefore inadvertently proving that there is a pricelessness about her soul. Most men might agree that it is right to love their wives but not that it is wrong to hate their neighbors. A quote that has kept me mulling over this rather queer idea is by an author named G.K. Chesterton which reads "what is wrong with the world is that we do not ask what is right." I am finding that our everyday run-of-the-mill morality, as battered and bare as it may be nowadays, is only proof of an all good creator who is very much a part of who we ultimately are.