As most of you know I have had to cancel the Resolution Conference. We just did not have enough participation in enough time and I had a ton of money to spend in this last month on the conference with no guarantee we would even break even with 500 tickets sold. I am very sad, disappointed, and relieve all at the same time! I so wanted to serve Southern Illinois in this manner - by bringing a conference of good solid preaching on a grand scale to an area that usually just has concerts. It is kind of confusing because I so thought it was for us - maybe it was, but just to say yes... I don't know completely. It has been a huge relief to not worry about it - maybe that was the issue too! Anyway, it is gone, but my team is still gonna come down for that weekend! We are pumped even more so about that!
After running this morning around 5am i was able to come home and relax on the front porch in our new rocking chairs. Love 'em!!! Jesus, it was so nice to meet you in the quietness of the country and in the sweet, cool air! The house was still silent, but my heart was racing to hear from You! You have me so wrapped up in knowing Your heart and finding Your pulse! Do not be far, my Lord!
I have started a new devotion book this morning after finally finishing the No Other Gods study - BTW - my new fav! It is called the Passion of Jesus Christ. I love Piper's deep thinking and way of saying the Truth with no fluff! "true Christianity - which is radically different from Western Culture, and may not be found in many Christian Churches" I understand what he is saying here and how totally different the US and its churches are from anything else, but what do I do? I am called to live here. I don't feel called to go abroad for a lifetime.
These very feelings have me with much guilt, but thankfulness all at the same time. I know I am extremely blessed and have way more than most in any other country. I am so grateful for what the Lord has allowed Clay and I to do and to have. I don't think we hoard things or even worship our possessions, but at the same time............. I don't know... i have a tough time with being so blessed with so many things and realizing that there are so many out there with so much less. One might look at my situation and say yeah, right. If you had any guilt you would be giving things away and live with much less. I understand and don't know how to digest it all as well.
The passion of Christ really has to do the sufferings of Christ. Piper related much of what the German Jews went through in comparison to what Jesus endured on the Cross. He was not referring to the why did it have to have as in "cause", but why did both have to happen as in "purpose".
The first discovery we made this morning was that one purpose of Christ's passion or suffering was to absorb the wrath of God. Jesus' death did not just alone take on our sins and that was that. Jesus' death took on our sins and absorbed the wrath of God. Jesus was the churchy word - propitiation or substitute for the wrath of God for our sins! Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sins is death". God could not look on sin, hates sin, and had to destroy all that sinned. So God Himself provided the propitiation - Jesus Himself - to absorb the sin and the wrath too!
God Almighty - this is almost too much. Not too much to learn or be convinced of, but too much love to take in. Father, the more I get to know you the more I don't know! Lord, thank you for Jesus, more today than even yesterday. Thank you for choosing Yourself, Your Son, to be that that we never could. Thank you for choosing the only One that could never do You wrong or disappoint. Father thank you for this unbelievable sacrifice and love towards us! Thank you!
This is a busy week with games, tennis, etc. God, you have given me a great challenge of ministering to one with a meth addiction. Lord, guide me and help me. Show me boundaries and yet love, tough love! May I pour myself out to my friends, family, and those I don't even know that they might feel and see You! Tennis team coming over tonight for dinner and devotion. Give me Your words to speak! I love you Lord!