I Hate Goals

So, I will readily admit the fact that i am not an ambitious person. I am not a list checker, I’m not even a list maker. For a long time, I went so far as to even think that lists were bad, I thought they represented the personal ambitions that people wrote down and accomplished with or without God to build their own kingdoms and accomplish their own plans without consideration to the will, desire, or plans of God. Basically what I am saying is that I am really good (and I mean really good) at justifying laziness and a lack of planning in my mind. Now, I will say that an overdependence on lists can be an issue; it can lead to accomplishing a lot of “things — ” checking a lot of boxes without ever really knowing or trusting God. It also can distract from the everyday organic Christianity that should be present in the lives of the disciples of Jesus. (For a similar perspective from a list checker, you should listen to Matt Chandler’s sermon called “Abiding in Christ.”)

Having said all that, though, I think it is time that I begin to set a few goals. The brevity of our time on earth has been in my mind more now than ever and I think this has been matched by my opportunity to advance Jesus’ Gospel more now than ever. I naturally lack an intentionality to my life, and it is time to live on purpose. So, enough said, here’s a few goals, these are not related and are not in order…..

1. I want to enlist the help of a few Christian students at Lindenwood University to show the love and gospel of Jesus to international students on campus. I want these Christian students along with other local willing Christians, including myself, to act as a personal domestic ambassadors  (and I know, this is a terrible name and I wont use it) for international students: to do things like help them find classes, help them move into their dorms, help them get to Wal-Mart, etc. I want to finally start the Website, gatewaytothegospel.com to also be a resource for both the domestic helpers and international students.

2. I want to write a children’s Christmas play. I have an idea for this, and maybe I will post it later, but for now, just know that I want to write a play.

3. I want to put the songs I write onto recordings — not for the purpose of people listening to me sing them, but more for documenting purpose and to put into the hands of people who could actually record them. I feel that sitting on songs that God gives is a waste.

4. Now I know that posting this one may cause ears to stand up. Some will think “This is a new thing for you? — what a sinner…” Others will think “you want to start doing this? What a fundy…” But, I am going to say it anyway, more for accountability’s sake than anything else. I want to intentionally, consistently, and faithfully tithe. I know, I know, I said the “T” word. But, honestly, I think that my lack of dogmatism regarding tithing gives me a logical and even theological excuse to not give sacrificially, something I do hold beliefs about.

5. Now, we are getting personal…. I feel really weird posting this… But, here goes nothing….I want to lose some weight. With the same thinking as goal number one, I feel that God has given us a certain amount of time to advance His kingdom and I don’t want to limit my time, or my involvement by being unhealthy. Ok, enough of that…moving on….QUICKLY…..

There are probably more things that should be on this list. And there actually are a few things that are in my mind that I will not put down on paper (slash blog). But, here are just a few things that I think God has put in my mind and heart and I feel that ignoring them would be just another way of rejecting God’s promptings, just as sinful and as impactful as rejecting God’s call for salvation. I hope that writing this down will present some kind of accountability for myself and maybe inspire another non-list-checker to make some goals.

Happy 2012!

Sing with the Stars

Sing with the Stars

Here’s is a new song I wrote.

Psalm 8

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Observation #8: THY NAME // “…thy name…thy name…thy glory…thou ordained…thine enemies…thou mightest…thy heavens…thy fingers…thou hast ordained…thou art mindful…thou visitest him…thou hast made…Thou madest…the works of thy hands…thou hast put…”

God’s name is great. It is great because of His actions, and now in this Psalm more than even the last, His interactions with His people.

Psalm 7

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah. Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded. So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high. The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors. Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate. I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

I am back to writing now. Taking the weekend off has given a sense of fresh air to the journey through the Psalms.

Observation #7: “Lift up thyself… So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about…” As God’s attributes, actions and interactions are lifted up, people are drawn to Him. May the attributes, actions, and interactions of Jesus be lifted up through the attributes, actions and interactions of His Children – His reflections and representatives on Earth that men might be drawn to Him – not ourselves.

Psalm 6

To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my ; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Before I begin observation #6, I do want to be sure that Observation #5 is stated with clarity. The attribute of Holiness that is found within our God is completely opposed to sin and sinners. But in His Mercy, He loves the unloveable. He sent His Son to die for us while we were His enemies. Out of His mercy He takes the object of His hatred, places His love upon us, and makes us the object of His pleasure.

Observation #6: “I am weak” David pleads with the Lord for His mercy. We learn that this pleading is not superficial when He acknowledges, “For I am weak.” My one obeservation is simply this “I am weak.”

I think that I will take the weekend off from the blog in order to prevent stagnated, obligated observations. But, monday, God-willing, we will begin in Psalm 7 on Monday.

P.S. Psalm Study Tip — The titles seen before the first verse of the psalm is God-breathed as well. I think most times we look over these, making them equal to our Bible editor’s/publishers notes. But, they are inspired just as much as the psalm that they title.

Psalm 5

To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Observation #5: I read the phrase, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity,” and it seems to contradict so greatly with “God so loved the world.” I think that the only explanation is our God, out of His abundant and incomprehensible mercy, He placed His love upon the object of His hatred. It is not a natural love – no, no, it is supernatural. God chooses to love us. I think to sum this up we would have to say, by His nature, the holiness within God hates sinners, but by His Mercy He loves sinners. Such divine contradictions are not contradictions at all, they are the depths of the love of God that our minds will only grasp in His perfect light.  

Psalm 4


To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David. When I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me. 

Observation #4:  BE STILL. When I find myself becoming uneasy in the quiet times, in the stillness, I know that my dependence has been misplaced. Addictions to Drugs, Alcohol, and Sex are the faces of unrest, but the heart of unrest is seen in our reaction to the quiet place. I sometimes find myself when all around me is still striving against that stillness — “Let me just turn on the TV, let me just listen to music, let me just write a blog post even” — just something to do. But in the place of stillness is where we find true peace, true joy. The juxtaposition seen here is between inner joy and external joy. External joy is possible to achieve through a number of different means, but inner joy can only be achieved as we Abide in the Vine – Jesus Christ. People who are most afraid of the stillness are those who are most afraid of reality. I hope that you will find the courage, the God-enabled courage, to spend an evening in stillness. Communicate with your own heart. No noise, no activity, stillness. If you come out of your stillness finding satisfaction, peace and calm in Christ, you will never be the same.

Psalm 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

After meditating on this Psalm, it has quickly become one of my favorites. Before, I make my ONE observation, I will say that I can identify with David when he says that there are many who say that God cannot even help this person. I understand a tiny bit of quiet rejection from other people – a very tiny little bit, and it has only drawn me closer to God. I have watched God become my shield, my refuge. I have experienced Him hearing my cries and meeting them with His comfort. God is such a wonderful friend.

Observation #3: My one observation from this is the phrase “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people.” This is a phrase that I think I could boldly say with the Psalmist – that the multitudes of the world do not make me quiver under fear. But real fear – the fear that you fear deepest, in the unseen parts of your heart is not of crowds – this kind of fear is of individuals. I am probably not alone in this, but it seems that there are one or two people in particular whose rejection I do fear. I desire to please them to not disappoint them. Thank God for His confidence over the multitudes, but may the same confidence be given to me over the individuals. May the truth of God being my refuge sink deep past my mind and into my heart to provide a fruitful, experiential faith in God that casts out fear.

Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
 Observation # 2: God is above the nations in every way, as Judge, as King, as Destroyer, and the only factor determining our interaction with God is our response to His Son. Because I have come to Jesus, I am hidden in Him, I will never face God’s wrath. I will hear of God the Judge, the King, the Destroyer, but I will only know Jehovah, the God of Covenant and Mercy. May God give me a daily and Divine love for Jesus, and may I “kiss the Son” through my actions and attitudes throughout my day – for truly, the only thing that is good in me is Jesus.  

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

I heard once that before we should begin learning how to study the Bible, that we must first, find the object that draws us away from the scriptures, whether that be internal or external. The first two verses of Psalm one present such a harsh contrast – these opposites are delighting in the world and delighting in the word. For myself, and most likely for others as well, I believe that my biggest aversion to the Word is the world. It is only when I stop following after the counsel of the ungodly that I will begin desiring the God and His Word. I believe that the Church of today is captivated by the world, myself included. May God captivate our attention with Jesus that all else may fade from view.


So…. Observation #1: Following after worldly, temporal things destroys my desire for and my delight in the Scriptures.