Friday, July 30, 2010

The Good Things Vol. 4

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Contemplate & Consider Vol. 21

From City of God by St. Augustine on why the good and the wicked both face similar sufferings:

"This being so, when the good and the wicked suffer alike, the identity of their sufferings does not mean that there is no difference between them. Though the sufferings are the same, the sufferers remain different...The fire which makes gold shine makes chaff smoke...In the same way, the violence which assails good men to test them, to cleanse and purify them, effects in the wicked their condemnation, ruin and annihilation. Thus the wicked, under pressure of affliction, execrate God and blaspheme; the good, in the same affliction, offer up prayers and praises. This shows that what matters is the nature of the sufferer, not the nature of the sufferings. Stir a cesspit, and a foul stench arises; stir a perfume, and a delightful fragrance ascends. But the movement is identical."
City of God, Book I, Chapter 8

Monday, July 19, 2010

What is Freedom?

When people think of freedom they often think of a life without boundaries. An autonomous life that does not have to submit to authority but can do whatever the heart desires whenever the heart wants it.

What's interesting about this idea of freedom is that it often leads to slavery. Slavery to selfishness. Slavery to success. Slavery to sin.

Think about it.

The freedom that is believed to come from lots of money could lead to slavery to success and maintaining the lifestyle that often comes with lots of money. More slavery.

Freedom to do whatever you want could land you in addiction. More slavery.

Freedom from worrying about others makes you just think about yourself. More slavery.

Real freedom is not without boundaries but living in what the Psalmist describes as the wide open spaces of God's precepts.

Listen to Psalm 119:32:
"I will run in the way of your commandments for you set my heart free"

Freedom is found in the midst of boundaries!

He goes on in verses 43-45:
"And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.
I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,
And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts."

The freedom that the Psalmist rejoices in is a freedom with boundaries.

Freedom is not found in autonomy (I'm in charge of myself. I do what I want when I want) but is found in surrendering to the boundaries God has established. When we step outside of those boundaries, we are no longer in the wide open spaces of freedom, but we are in the constricting, suffocating, barely able to move woods of slavery.

We only come to truly recognize the joy of the freedom found in God's "wide open spaces" through Jesus Christ. John 8:32 and 36 show us that freedom is found only in the Truth and that Truth is realized in Jesus Christ alone!

This week live in the joy of the wide open spaces that God has created for us in the safe boundaries of his precepts (teachings). Enjoy the freedom. Stop testing the boundaries and longing for the woods of slavery.

The Good Things Vol. 3

Andrew Peterson has a new album called Counting Stars (available for pre-order here)

Here's a new video of one of the songs called Dancing in the Minefields

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vaca update

If you would like to see a few pics and read a few highlights from our trip, check out my facebook page and our family blog

We miss you all! See you on Sunday!