Friday, April 30, 2010

On 'Quiet Times'...

Dallas Willard on 'quiet times'...

My main problem with “quiet time” is that I want my whole day to be quiet. I don’t go into quiet time to be something that I have and then depart from into “noisy time.” No, my main business is to make the whole day “quiet time.”

So, given the day, I may have an extended time of the study of Scripture or prayer, but that depends upon which day it is because some days, I simply can’t do that. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. There would be something wrong if on those days I took a vacation [from being with God], but I don’t do that. Jesus said He would be with us always, and that’s the center of what I try to do. I try to be with Him.

I have other periodic things like fasting. I try to fast some period of time each week and do longer fasts periodically. Then, of course, worship and all of the things that we might think about on a periodic basis, but my objective is to have the Lord always with me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Creation; More Options Than You Thought?

It may or may not be a surprise to you but bible believing Christians actually have a number of options when it comes to understanding Genesis 1 and 2 and how God created the cosmos. I'm open to a couple of the options as being more legitimate than others but there is one that makes most sense to me. Most biblical scholars are the same; they'll have a theory that will resonate with them and their study but will hold it lightly and graciously. There are of course biblical scholars in each of the various camps that refute all the other options as illegitimate, so it is still a contentious issue. Recently two of the church's foremost Old Testament scholars had to resign their positions in their respective seminaries over their beliefs and speaking out about the issue.

Here are five options, two are obviously not tenable as Christians. The other three are not necessarily contrary to scripture.

Special creation - the belief that the universe and life suddenly sprang into existence at the word of God. Most often this theory reads Genesis 1 and 2 as literal creation accounts.

Progressive creation - the belief that God instantaneously created new forms of life, but periodically over 100's of millions of years.

Theistic evolution - or similarly evolutionary creation, the belief that God created the cosmos through and by means of evolution. Evolution is a natural process within God's creation.

Intelligent design - the belief that certain aspects of the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause. Here though the source of the design is not defined and is not defined necessarily as the Christian God.

Evolution - that after a big bang the world evolved out of nothing into its reality today through random and natural selection.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Post Lent Post

In 2009 I discovered Lent and in 2010 participated in Lent for the first time ever. I look forward to 2011 as I found the experience spiritually profound and meaningful.

I gave up all drink other than water for the 40 days. No juice, milkshakes, fizzy, wine, coffee etc.

I was constantly reminded of how much I have and how little others and was challenged to continually look to be salt, light and a lifting hand.

I was reminded of Jesus and his strength, determination and passion. First seen in his 40 days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness and finally seen at Easter.

I listened to the 5 week Lenten series on the book of Jonah that Rob Bell and Shane Hipps preached at Mars Hill.

I was challenged that God is not always wanting to rescue us from the storms and the fish but rather to rescues us from ourselves in the storms and the fish.

I was impacted by the reality that God is everywhere. Constantly and always at work by the power of the Spirit outworking his plans of redemption here on earth. God is there in the darkness though we may not at first perceive it, outworking his plans and purposes.

That which I thought I couldn't do without,
I soon discovered I could do without.
That which I craved to have back,
I soon discovered I didn't need back.
That which I thought added colour,
I soon discovered was only enjoyed because colour was already there.

I trust that if you observed Lent this year you found in some way a freshness in your walk with God.