Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Monday, May 08, 2006


From a prayer letter we received from Micah's parents this month:

You don't have to be a brilliant person with a clever mind but a broken person with a clear message to reach others for Christ.

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."

1 Corinthians 2:4-5

I was reminded of this again at church yesterday, when the pastor emphasized that GOD ALONE is responsible for bringing us to Himself and producing good works within our lives. Any religion that emphasizes SELF is a false teaching. True Christianity is not a religion or a self-improvement program. It's about believing that our Creator is worthy of our entire existence! It's about dying to Self so that we can gain Christ.

What has Self ever gotten me anyway? In life, Self desires accolades and comfort and instant gratification. Too often, the pursuit of these things results in broken relationships, emptiness and disappointment. I know this, because even as a Christian I have allowed self to take the reigns at times and have experienced the brokenness that results! In death, Self promises nothing but the cessation of all that it has worked to build up. Read Ecclesiastes if you want elaboration on that!

I like to think of myself as a brilliant, clever person. It's a solace I sometimes indulge in when I want to distinguish myself from the stupidity and meaninglessness I observe in the world around me. But then I do something that makes me fall flat on my face (sometimes quite literally!) and I realize that I don't know squat. If the fate of the world depended on my intelligence, we'd be sunk. If I thought that I had to find some way to create meaning for myself or to find escape from the "common destiny" on my own, I would sit down beside a window and let my cynicism fly me away.

When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth--his eyes not seeing sleep day or night--then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaing. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God's hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him. All share a common destiny--the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:2a

Thank the Lord, then, that salvation "does not...depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy"! (Romans 9:16)

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering."

Romans 8:1-3a


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