Murph Notes

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tough Man and a Question

Want to know what is difficult? Not doing youth ministry. I think it is actually harder on me than doing youth ministry.

Does anyone read my blog? Should I blog more often? What would you like me to blog about?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Release or Escape?

I cannot even begin to explain how I have allowed stress to wear me out the past couple weeks. T and I have had to make some very big decisions about employment and housing. Today most of the decision tumult came to a head.

Last night (early this morning) I was convicted by the Word to turn down a wonderfully generous free housing offer from a friend. It was a right decision and feels right but I don't find anyone, including myself, being all that impressed with the right and seemingly sacrificial decision.

Today I expressed to the organization that offered me the job that I was not yet ready to accept the position because my wife and I were not in complete agreement on it and we needed to be before I would say yes. The head of the organization emailed me and withdrew the offer as I was calling him to decline the offer, both of us for the right reason - "God doesn't call one; He calls both." I learned that lesson the hard way a couple of years ago and I will not make it again.

There are still some employment change opportunities in the hopper, and they will work themselves out one way or the other over the next 2-4 weeks, but for now I feel I can stop thinking about all the angles.

All the pro and con evaluation and debating the why's and motivations have pushed me to reflect on how finite my life is feeling. I have been considering how I have always viewed my life in terms of my purpose to make a difference in the world, be used of God, leave a legacy, etc. and now I am thinking that these are too much or not enough to be aiming for; no that's not it, they are just not the right focus (I'm liking the word right lately).

Deep and wide - for the longest time I have wanted to live life in such a way to lead as many as possible to Jesus and help them grow into fully devoted followers of Christ. This is still a burning desire for me but the way I approach going at this is starting to change, at least in my mind (hearts are a different issue). I am trying to think about this as more of who I am becoming than what I am going to do.

I am wrestling with the balance of the commandments and disciplines that require me to act/do - "go and make disciples" and the wonderings about maybe it is supposed to be more naturalistic. Naturalistic is a loaded word. I guess what I mean by that is that instead ministry happening as a result of my efforts it happens because I am changed/changing to become more like Jesus as I invest in growing closer to Him (not just grow in knowledge of Him-so experience is a larger factor than I have ever considered). God then uses this change(s), which are recognizable, to draw others to me to be discipled, healed, loved, evangelized, befriended.

The wonderings lead me to the concern about abdicating responsibility but they also allow me to think beautifully in redirecting me towards how I will approach my days - spend time with Him and those He has given to me for the day. The wonderings also draw me away from the overwhelming guilt I feel all the time and is what my thoughts of God are most distinguished by. Now there was a big confession for me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Here's A Kick In The Stomach

Whatever comes to your heart and mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. - AW Tozer

Advice for the day: Marinate in that one for awhile in complete honesty and share your reflections with a friend.