Murph Notes

Murph is cool

My Photo
Location: Dublin, Ireland

I am cool.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Joyful Theology

Today a friend told me she had an epiphany in December. She decided that she would not allow anyone or anything to rob her of joy this next year. I have been pondering that. Is joy something we can conjure up? Is it something we can hoard or even protect? Or is joy a gift from God that we must hold with and open hand receiving it from Him and not holding on to it. Perhaps the way to seek to receive joy is to surrender the conquest to Him. Maybe it is more than that, maybe we have to surrender all to Him and stand with an empty hand before He will give us joy. I want joy too. I just don’t know if I am willing to let go to receive it.

Make a joyful noise? Can I make a joyful noise without having joy? Perhaps it is something I can and must grasp, lay hold of, claim and cling to...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Never Going To Be Ready

I was reading in Ephesians 3 today and thinking about how Paul seems to be writing with something like a false humility. He says he is less than the least of all God's people. Wasn't Paul like a super-Jew? So why this false humility?

Paul wasn't saying he wasn't a good, or even great, Jew. He was saying he was less than the least of all God's people; those who truly follow God and His Way. Paul was saying, even with all his religion, he was not familiar with the ways of God, the REAL ways of God. He was ill-prepared to carry out the purpose God had for him and his life. Why then did God pick him?

Paul was available, teachable and faithful. He was humble in that he knew the equipping was of and from God. He knew it was God's work in him. He knew the ministry was God's and not his. Paul would always be humble and amazed that he was getting to tell people about Jesus-God.

I pondered these verses and thought about myself. God has given me such cool gifts and talents. I seem prepared to be a youth minister. And then I look at what Paul says and remember that it has to with really knowing Jesus and His way that counts - humbly depending on Him.

Can I ever be REALLY ready to be a youth minister? I bet Paul wondered that too (minus the "youth"). And yet God told Paul to go and He told me to go. I need to draw so much closer to Him and learn His way.