Thursday, January 27, 2011

Creator God

It is with absolute joy that I share with you the following thoughts from one of my most recent favourite authors, Josh Morrison.

I love how in this description of this marveling, worshiping, adoring and praising that the author is doing, he invites us, the readers to join him in extolling and honoring the majesty of the Almighty in our hearts. We hear of his affection for God and are beckoned to come join him.

As I sang, "How Great Thou Art" this morning, this recent article came to mind-- I had to share it with you. Too good to keep to myself; let me know what you think.

Read slowly and savor the words...


"From where do creative conceptualizations arrive? All that is, exists out of the infinite mind of One that is neither contained nor constrained. Creative power is only truly present within one; within this One all that could be is contained in such a way that boundaries are boundless. As created in the likeness of God Almighty, mankind has creative ability that flows not independent of God but from Him from whom all proceeds. Mankind’s furthest grasp on the unreachable only leaves an infinite chasm of creative potential that resides forever in the nature of the only true creative being, Creator God. It is the tendency of man to quickly congratulate the imagination and mastery of creative endeavors seen within one’s fellow man. Yet is this not a misplaced recognition from where creative aptitude finds its origin? Consider the depths of the oceans and the heights of mountain peaks, yet taken for granted is the very ability to conventionalize such ranges in majesty. It was the design of God and projections of the creative mind of God that allows the human mind to dream past that which is flat. Unfathomable galaxies that reach into the vast unknown stretch the mind of man in a way that limits never could. With limits there exists confinement and fullest potential to be achieved. But because man is the image of the limitless One, there is no reason to place a limit on that which is possible. It is not man that creates but God that created. Creation was from the beginning a reflection of the One that determined its beginning. The creative potential is there within man and demands praise and admiration to the One from whom all creative potential derives. This is He who’s vast limits exist not, who’s unsearchable mind is confined not, who’s infinite power is grasped not, and who neither has end of days nor beginning; this is the Lord God Most High."

Sunday, January 23, 2011


A wise Biblical Scholar requested I blog about prayer. For many reasons, I had to agree.

He asked I answer the following question:

"What affect does our prayer have on God’s mind?"

It's a great question. And as I've considered how to answer, I am grievously convicted. For that which I know, is not my practice or experience. I sadly am struggling to live this. So it's ironic that I'm blogging about this- especially today.

Recently, God has been revealing my distorted view of Him, and His gifts. How He gives good things to His children-- He is not spiteful. Nor does He give only to take away. Sometimes He gives and sustains. Often, I forget that's true. I'm always sort of "ready" for him to take. Sometimes even bracing myself...knowing He'll be faithful and carry me; He'll see me through whatever trial He's brought; but strapping my seatbelt on and getting ready for pain. Oh, how it must sadden His wrongly I view Him and His grace...

There's no reason to "hold on tight." He is the One holding me. And He is the Healer of my heart. His love towards me is not restricted or constrained in any way. It is a powerful, boisterous love that has no limits or boundaries. Tears come to my eyes even as I type. Father, let me believe this- help me in my unbelief!

So, I apologize-- in the midst of this answer, because I cannot separate the two, this post will be seasoned with my personal wrestlings of that which I know is true...because I believe its the heart of the answer.

This morning I felt impressed to pray something I once read in The Valley of Vision- a book of Puritan prayers.

"Burn into my experience the things that I know." May this be true of all of us. Would we learn to not just be convinced of truth with a fervent head knowledge...but would our hearts embrace the grace available to us to put our faith IN the God who tells us He can always be trusted. Our prayer life, I believe, is a reflection of our trust in God and His promises.

...all of that was free.


Why pray? That's foundational in understanding even the question itself. If God is sovereign, all wise, all loving, and cannot do amiss...why even bother asking or petitioning? He's going to do what He's going to do anyways. And if He doesn't do something, it's better than what we asked. Let's just let Him do His thing.

But as I stare at the question, all I see here in answering: is the heart of the Gospel. The only thing ringing through my ears is, "Abba."

He loves us. He loves to communicate with us. His heart towards us is one of grace, steadfast love, welcoming, and a desire for nearness. He longs to bless us. To pour out His goodness on us- to teach of more of Himself, thereby satisfying the very core of who we are as beings. Fulfilling our ultimate goal: to know the Uncreated. To be in relationship with Him. Communing with Him. Adoring and worshiping Him. Enjoying life to the fullest.

These things are only possible through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As enemies of God, we have no need or reason to pray-- except to beg for mercy. As believers, fellow heirs with Christ, and children of God, we have every reason and need to pray.

I think of the question, "Why pray?" and my mind floods with Scripture. "Pray without ceasing." "You do not have because you do not ask." "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." I am reminded of the parable of the persistent widow who was shown mercy even by an unjust judge due to her perseverance.

I think of Jesus' example to us-- of constant and continual "retreating" for prayer. GOD was praying. The Son to the Father.

We pray because we are commanded to...and if we love God, we obey His commands. We pray because we want to be like Jesus...and that's what He did.

Also. We pray because we need to...for our own edification and building up in faith. Prayer is one means of grace used to draw our attention to the faithfulness of God. If we neglect to pray, we miss out on all that He's answering and working...because we're not looking for it.

A very wise man once told me (I'm paraphrasing), "What we're looking for, we find." I found that profound. In this particular case, if I'm praying and asking God to work...I'm looking for it and expectant. And because God is faithful and always working...I am guaranteed to find His hand moving. Which will then only build my faith to pray and ask more.

But "Why pray" isn't the same question. The question above understands that prayer is commanded and essential. It is not questioning the importance of a prayer life. However, I didn't feel like I could answer what effect our prayers have on the mind of God without explaining a bit of WHY Scripture instructs us to pray.

The answer, I believe, is simple and brief (even though this post is not!)

I believe our prayers stir the heart of God because of His great love for us. His power and love are most gloriously displayed on the cross- where we are justified and adopted as His children.

An earthly father, when His child asks for a fish...does not give Him a stone. How much more does our Heavenly Father know how to give good gifts to His children!

It makes me wonder too...if when we are praying fervently and passionately for something consistently and constantly...if in fact, WE change. And as a result of that change-- knowing God more, trusting Him more, casting our cares on Him, being satisfied with His will and praying for that above our own, etc...

...if then the trial or circumstance we were in was there merely to be a means of change for us. It's not about the answered requests. It's about our hearts.

God is after our hearts.

I don't know how it all works. Scripture indicates a few times that God changed His mind. I don't get that-- its a mystery to me. But this is what I do know: God loves us to pray, because He loves to minister to us and do more than we could ever ask or imagine.

WE are the ones who miss out when we neglect to be faithful in our prayer life. We're forfeiting blessings, gifts, joy, and the beauty of knowing God more.

So, go pray for something! Whatever's on your heart right now...


If you could request a blog post topic- what would you choose?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hope fully. Grace will be brought to you.

As I enjoy a small coffee and blueberry muffin and sit at a coffee bar in an airport, I eagerly anticipate the next few moments as I review with you how God has just met me in the pages of Scripture...

Funny, isn't it, how hungry our hearts can get when not in the regular "routine" of "typical" time with the Lord. At least, that's the case for me. Two and a half weeks ago my holiday began and right now...I couldn't be more excited about being home with the Morgans, weather that doesn't require doubled socks in my boots and winter coats, and not living out of a suitcase. It has been an absolutely wonderful trip. So relaxing, lots of rejoicing and celebrating...and yet...times of "quiet" have been few.

Before just moments ago, I hadn't journaled since the 13th of December. That's a long time for me.

After arriving at my gate to wait a few hours before boarding, I opened my journal and began to write. Reviewing the highs and lows of 2010. Recording earthly "expectations" and wonderings for 2011. Thrilled for how God will work. Excited to see specific demonstrations of His faithfulness. Anticipating Him drawing my heart. Awaiting comfort. Leading. Discipline. Ministry.

I flipped back over the last few months of journal entrys--- skimming to better reflect on how God's been meeting me. And then I saw it. On the top left corner....

...a verse that would captivate my attention for the better part of an hour: 1 Peter 1:13

"...preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you..."

These are the notes in my journal that were soon written:

Oh, glory.

It finishes " the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Grace will be brought TO YOU. You don't have to search for it. It is brought. It's brought when Christ is revealed.

Christ's revelation = Grace brought

Not just, "put some hope in" like "this'd be a good investment..." but SET your hope FULLY on grace....that will...

...this is FUTURE grace. (will.) Future promised grace. Set your hope FULLY ON IT!

For who hopes for what he sees?

Lord, let me hope. With patience.

This "setting" of hope on future PROMISED grace is done when my mind is PREPARED. FOR. ACTION.

This will be a fight. There will be fighting against this hoping. Against setting hope on future grace.

And. A sober mind is required.
Be prepared. FOR ACTION.
Be sober minded.
on grace.
Grace that will be BROUGHT.
Brought TO YOU.
Brought to you as Christ is revealed.

I cannot hope without a sober mind.

I cannot hope without being prepared for action.

God is saying in effect,
"Through revealing my Son...I will BRING TO YOU: GRACE. Now I want you to put ALL of your hope on it."

As I read and wrote I was struck by the perfect timing of this verse for me today. What better time to be refreshed in hoping than in a New Year?

Sure. We need fresh hope each and every day. Each and every moment of each and every day. But there is something unique about the date changing. A page turning. A new beginning.

Father, as we enter this year, would you help us to set our hope fully on grace. The grace that you will bring. Thank you for your promises, thank you for your faithfulness, thank you for your Word. Meet us this year. May we know you more. May our love for you be set ablaze. Revive our hearts. Ignite new passion. Captivate our minds. Would we worship you with true abandon and seek to honour you by giving ourselves fully to Your will and Your work. Make us like Jesus, we pray. Give us new hope.