Saturday, September 16, 2006

Washington DC

Well, I just got back from a 4 day trip for work in Washington, DC. It was a lot of fun, but I didn't get to do as much sight seeing as I'd hoped. I did learn how to use the metro subway system, which is huge for someone who's never had to use a lot of mass transit. The one main place I went in my "free" time was to the WWII Memorial. It's between the Lincoln & Washington Memorials. My grandfather fought in WWII, and as I was there, I just started thanking God for sparing his life during the war so that I could be here today. I saw people there who were mourning and weeping, but for me, it was rather joyful. God, in his sovereign mercy, allowed my grandfather to live through war, which has at it's center people trying to kill other people.

Also on my trip, through the sessions I attended at Sylvan's Annual Conference, God has begun working on me personally. I've always known many of these things, but I'm seeing more of God's changing power in my life through His grace in them. I have a tendancy to be focused on my ideas of what should and shouldn't be done in life, work, circumstances, etc. This tendency helps me be a quick decision maker and a staunch defender of what I see as right and wrong...which are good things. The flip-side of this personality is one of self-righteousness, arrogance, rigidness, and emotional detachment. This permeates the way I manage people at work, the way I treat family and friends, and how I've "ministered" to others. God's bringing back the balance of mercy, compassion, love and admitting that my way isn't always right. Many of you who know me are probably saying, "Duh!", and so am I. I'm not surprised by these personality traits. We all have tendencies which lead to both positive and negative behaviors. We need to daily submit our weaknesses to our great and glorious God, who through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit made possible by the justification through Jesus Christ, transforms our lives and makes us more like Jesus. God describes himself as a gracious and loving God, slow to anger and abounding in love. My heart is to reflect that in my life as well. Please pray for me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Biblical Theology

Now it's time for Theological thoughts with Keith...the part of the blog where Keith comes out and shares a theological thought (this opening line is much funnier if you've ever seen Veggie Tales). I'm starting to see through my classes that the American church is completely dumbed down spiritually and doesn't even know it. The average church attender sees theology as something pastors and academics debate about but having little relevance to their day-to-day lives. If you're one of these people, Satan has duped you just like the rest of us. As I've been sitting in my classes, I'm realizing more and more..."I wish every Christian knew these things." It's not even like American Christians need to attend seminary to get the things I'm getting. My classes are giving information that's publicly available to anyone who wants to look for it. Things like Church History and Introduction to the Old Testament are all over the web (just be careful where you get your information) and yet 90% of Christians don't even feel like it would be beneficial.

My one quick theological encouragement is something that I've known but don't think about regularly. The bible is one book and should be read as such. You may be thinking, "Duh!" but do you view it this way? When you're reading Philippians, are you thinking about it's implications in light of the Old Testament and it's place in God's progressive revelation of Himself? The bible is not a collection of books. It is a book about God's salvation plan in His son Jesus Christ. Every book points to Jesus. Read the first couple chapters of Genesis and you'll see the foreshadowing of Jesus. Read Malachi and see it pointing to Jesus. Read Leviticus, and in the midst of the laws, see Jesus fulfilling and gaining authority over them. The Old Testament is about Jesus. The New Testament is about Jesus. Are you about Jesus?

Tune in next time to hear Keith say..."Is there anyone out there actually reading my ponderings?"