Pardon the inconsistency you've experienced with my blog. The past two weeks have been busy as I anticipated, and I haven't had much time for blogging. However, here I am on the other side of the Christmas Concert, and I'd like to take some time to share what's been going on in various aspects of my life:
Christmas Concert -
Our choir and some hired instrumentalists presented "How Great Our Joy" for our church congregation and community this past Friday and Saturday evening. I think it's a privilege to be able to prepare an hour's worth of music and be able to minister to people by performing it. We always attempt to tell a story during our concerts, and this year we focused on the story of "joy". As I read through the account in Matthew & Luke, I was amazed at how many times the word "joy" or "rejoice" was used. It just seemed that even though the people of that time were familiar with the prophecies of the coming Messiah, they weren't any less shocked and overjoyed when He finally came. Every person in that story - Joseph, Mary, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Anna, Simeon - seems to go from ordinary to overjoyed in a flash!
College Football -
My last major post was about my addiction to college football. Since God moved in and broke me, I've learned some things:
#1 - God's call has a honeymoon phase: Just like a husband and wife who continually rediscover their love for each other, I think God continues to move in at various times and dramatically woo us - whether that be through a certain trial, a death, a new realization of sin or theology, etc. But those moments of bliss don't last. I don't think that's a bad reflection on God, I think it's the reality that Christians still have an enemy. Which brings me to my next point:
#2 - Satan WILL attack: When I first discovered my need for change, it felt easy. I was emotionally and spiritually high. Eventually those feelings came back to level, and I was left with my daily trust in Jesus and what He had called me to do. I've had times of disbelief where I've turned on a game or checked some articles on the internet (it's even harder when you find out your team is playing for a national championship). Satan never seems to shout...he's always just whispering. He plays with your conscience, and I think that's why Jesus used Scripture to battle him.
#3 - God DOES affirm Himself: Here are 2 passages I've clung to - "All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything" (1 Cor. 6:12). Satan has succeeded numerous times in getting me to justify my actions - "It'll be ok just this once...everyone else seems to be ok with watching football...surely I can..." Paul's words are helpful because it reminds me that, yes, football is ok, but it's not ok for me to be mastered by it. The other helpful verse is this - "Man shall not live on bread [football] alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). I often insert football in the place of bread, because for me it was the same as eating. I can throw just as much of a fit over not watching a football game as I can eating lunch at 1:00 instead of 12:00. Learning to trust God without my daily bread (football) has caused me to long for another kind of bread, the Living Bread. Please continue to pray for me in my pursuit of holiness, that I might be conformed to the image of Jesus.
Stacy's now at 22.5 weeks. We're having a little girl. Her due date's April 9th. Cannot wait to be a dad!!
Continue to pursue Christ with me as we seek to enjoy HIM this holiday season, not just His gifts.