Saturday, April 25, 2009

10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe

I received some wonderful news in the mail today. Doogie has received a scholarship from the high school. Those who have been selected receive an invitation to the Scholarship ceremony, and that's the only way to find out if you will be receiving one. When I saw the envelope in the mail, I knew immediately what it was. We don't know how much or who the scholarship is from; that will be revealed during the ceremony, to which we must wear "appropriate attire." I'm really excited about it, and no matter how much the scholarship is for, I'm proud of Doogie.

I'm reading through Catherine Martin's Passionate Prayer Study Guide, and never have I been so enthralled with a Bible study. Each night's reading is short, but so deep; it pulls something out of me, I'm gaining so much understanding about prayer. In a reading earlier this week, I came across the most beautiful prayer. It's from the Puritan era, but it rings true to my heart centuries after it was written.
Thou incomprehensible but prayer-hearing God,
Known, but beyond knowledge,
revealed, but unrevealed,
my wants and welfare draw me to thee,
for thou hast never said, 'Seek ye me in vain'.

To Thee I come in my difficulties, necessities, distresses;
possess me with thyself,
with a spirit of grace and supplication,
with a prayerful attitude of mind,
with access into warmth of fellowship,
so that in the ordinary concerns of life
my thoughts and desires may rise to thee,
and in habitual devotion I may find a resource that will
soothe my sorrows, sanctify my successes,
and qualify me in all ways for dealings with my fellow men.

I bless thee that thou hast made me capable.
of knowing thee, the author of all being,
of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,
of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.

O God, attend me in every part of my arduous and trying pilgrimage;
I need the same counsel, defense, comfort I found at my beginning.
Let my religion be more obvious to my conscience,
more perceptible to those around.
While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect him on earth,
While he pleads my cause, may I show forth his praise.

Continue the gentleness of thy goodness towards me,
And whether I wake or sleep, let thy presence go with me,
thy blessing attend me.
Thou hast led me on and I have found thy promises true,
I have been sorrowful, but thou hast been my help,
fearful, but thou hast delivered me,
despairing, but thou hast lifted me up.

Thy vows are ever upon me,
And I praise thee, O God.

10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne is going to shake up more than a few readers faith! There are many beliefs that are consistent across denominations, but as Osborne points out, not all of these are Scriptural, and some are actually likely to damage believers' faith. He calls them spiritual urban legends like: God brings good luck, all things happen for a reason, and my personal favorite being raised in a godly home guarantees good children. Despite what other writers will have you believe, it's not necessarily so. Osborne uses short anecdotes and lots of Scripture to point out how these beliefs arose and why they continue in popularity. The book is like a cold splash of water: it's at first a bit shocking and maybe even unpleasant but cleansing. For example, believing that raising your children in a godly home guarantees that they will be good people will cause one of two reactions if your children are struggling and not walking with the Lord. First, parents may blame themselves and feel unnecessary guilt and causing stress on their relationship as well as deep grief at having failed their child. Or parents could be unrealistically optimistic, believing that while the child may be conflicted now eventually he/she will come to faith because of the false promise in that belief. Either of these can devastate a relationship with the Lord. Osborne wants readers to have a solid faith in God based on the rock of Scripture instead of the unsteady sand of spiritual urban legends.

It's prom night. Doogie and Bre are coming here and then going out to eat at a nice (read expensive) restaurant before the dance. This is Doogie's first prom even though he's a senior, so I'm having a hard time reining in the excited Mommy emotions. Molly's up in Dunbar at Northland Baptist College's Springfest for the day. She'll get back around seven and hurriedly get dressed for pictures here before Jesse takes her to a girlfriend's house so they can go together. I'll post pictures on Facebook tonight, and on the blog later this week.

Today's pic is from this site. HT to Angela Hunt who blogged about it earlier this week. These are unphotoshopped pictures are clouds. I may post another one next week. Isn't God amazing?