God in the Wasteland

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, quotes | Posted on 06-12-2011

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This quote from David Wells struck me this morning. From his book, God in the Wasteland:

turned to a God that we can use rather than to a God we must obey; we have turned to a God who will fulfill our needs rather than to a God before whom we must surrender our rights to ourselves. He is a God for us, for our satisfaction — not because we have learned to think of him in this way through Christ but because we have learned to think of him in this way through the marketplace. In the marketplace, everything is for us, for our pleasure, for our satisfaction, and we have come to assume that it must be so in the church as well. And so we transform the God of mercy into the God who is at our mercy…if the sunshine of his benign grace fails to warm us as we expect, if he fails to shower prosperity and success on us, we will find ourselves unable to believe in him anymore.

Lonely Adam

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, Books | Posted on 04-07-2011

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As per the recommendation of a friend, I’m reading Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. It took me a while to get in to it but I’m enjoying the author’s perspective on Christianity as a relationship and not a series of formulas and to do lists. Here’s a gem I uncovered last night:

“But here is Adam, the only perfect guy in the world, and he is going around wanting to be with somebody else, needing another person to fulfill a certain emptiness in his life.”

The author is referring to Genesis 2:18 & 20: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.”

The author points out that we were created to be relational beings. We were made for relationships.

My Daniel Fast

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, The Daniel Fast | Posted on 16-04-2011

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Over the past month, over 1,100 people at Liquid church took part in a partial fast. The intent of the fast was to give up something physical for the sake of something spiritual, looking to focus our appetite on God. The fast was modeled after Daniel, specifically when Daniel was resisting being transformed in to a Babylonian (i.e. brainwashing).

“Please test your servants…Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.” ~Daniel 1:12

So for the past 21 days I ate nothing but fruits & vegetables in an attempt to grow closer to God. I must say it worked…but not in the way that I would have intended. I expected this fast to be a spiritual rejuvenation, a refreshing experience but the majority of the time it was a struggle. I struggled to feel connected to God. I desperately sought him through prayer, Bible study and edifying music. I felt like David when he called out in Psalm35:22

“LORD, you have seen this; do not be silent.
Do not be far from me, Lord.”

Here’s the thing – He was always there. I was looking for God to work in one way and He was working in another. I was blind to how He was connecting with me.

Through my Daniel Fast, I learned how selfish I really I am. I learned how many times I choose Wendy’s way over God’s will. It seems like a little thing to eat two Oreo’s with a glass of milk at night but, in reality, I was seeking comfort and/or happiness from food. I was looking for those Oreo’s to fill me up, to make me happy. Oreo’s are temporary. They will never satisfy. I had twisted a natural & healthy desire (food) in to an unhealthy one. I had made food my idol.

It may seem a bit harsh – “It’s just two Oreo’s. You’re not overweight. It’s not illegal. You’re not hurting anyone.” but when I examined my intent, why I was doing what I was doing, it was sin. It wasn’t until Day 20/21 that God finally broke through, opened my eyes and ears to see that I was feeling separated because I was separate from God. It wasn’t His doing, it was my own.

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden his face from you…” ~Isaiah 59:2

But here’s the great thing about my God – He have me a way to be reunited with Him, to not just feel closer to Him but to be closer. All I had to do was to admit I was being selfish (i.e. choosing food over Him) and humbly ask for His forgiveness. Jesus’ death on the cross made that possible.

So thank you Liquid church for giving me this idea and thank you God for opening my eyes and drawing me closer to You.

For more information on the fast, check out this link.

Bono Quote

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, quotes | Posted on 22-04-2010

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I heard this quote on Sunday and thought I would share:
“I often wonder if religion is the enemy of God. It’s almost like religion is what happens when the Spirit has left the building.”
~Bono

Streams in the Desert

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G | Posted on 19-03-2010

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Today this phrase stood out to me: “One stinging sorrow spared would have been one blessing missing or unclaimed”.

Found this while reading notes on Leviticus

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, quotes | Posted on 09-02-2010

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“Our greatest woes result from the corruption of our highest good, e.g., speech, sex, technology, atomic
power.”
~Gordon J. Wenham

Control Quote

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, quotes | Posted on 23-12-2009

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Control is an illusion.
~Paraphrase of Mare Cortese

Legalism

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, Books | Posted on 19-10-2009

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In chapter 10 of It’s Not About Me Max Lucado writes some excellent stuff on legalism. I realize not everyone uses that term on a daily basis so let’s look up the definition. Wikitionary defines legalism as “a philosophy of focusing on the text of written law to the exclusion of the intent of law, elevating strict adherence to law over justice, mercy and common sense”. Now here is what Max Lucado writes:

“Legalism discounts God and in the process makes a mess out of us.

Legalism is joyless because legalism is endless. There is always another class to attend, person to teach, mouth to feed. Inmates incarcerated in self-salvation find work but never joy. How could they? They never know when they are finished. Legalism leaches joy.

Grace, however, dispenses peace…’Gone are the exertions of law-keeping, gone the disciplines and asceticism of legalism, gone the anxiety that having done everything we might not have done enough. We reach the goal not by the stairs, but by the lift…’

Grace offers rest. Legalism never does. Then why do we embrace it? ‘Those who trust in themselves are foolish’ (Prov 28:26 NCV). Why do we trust in ourselves? Why do we add to God’s finished work? Might the answer include the word boast?”

Hence the title of the book It’s Not About Me.

Change

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, Books | Posted on 08-10-2009

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“With life comes change.

With change comes fear, insecurity, sorrow, stress. So what do you do? Hibernate? Take no risks for fear of failing? Give no love for fear of losing? Some opt to. They hold back.

A better idea is to look up. Set your bearings on…God. For though life changes, he never does.”

~Max Lucado, It’s Not About Me

Good Gifts

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Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G | Posted on 01-10-2009

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I read this today and thought I would share:

With a handful of Cheerios, I tip-toed across the deck in my backyard trying to sneak up on the fish in the pond… As I approached the railing, 15 enormous goldfish raced toward me, their large mouths frantically opening and closing in eager anticipation of an expected treat.

So, why did the fish so furiously flap their fins? Because my mere presence set off a conditioned response in their tiny fish brains that told them I had something special to give them.

If only we always had such a response to God and His desire to give us good gifts—a response based on our past experience with Him that flows from a deep-seated knowledge of His character.