Thursday, May 30, 2013

Out of Control

[A couple months ago...]

It's a terrible feeling... that is, when your mind starts going out of control.

In fact, I didn't know it was that bad until I found myself sitting there - literally shaking with anticipation, stress, and responsibility. Ok, so it didn't help that I packed launching a business, preparing for a trip to India and finalizing our winter season on the farm all into two weeks... But that aside, I'm a Christian and I claim to trust, and I claim to believe, and I thought I had simple faith, but my mind is proving me otherwise.

For some reason I just can't reign in those thoughts...

No. Not going to think about the 1000 some people who are expecting a webinar that isn't even created yet... NO! Stop thinking about it. Uh uh... got to think about something else. Um... think about Jesus. I'm supposed to be consumed with seeing His face right now... not all this business stuff anyways.

Ok... but I need to record the main part of the webinar tomorrow because it takes around 6 hours to export and then another who knows how long to upload and what if something goes wrong and I have to re-export it... and it's supposed to go live the next night. Yikes...

NO! Stop thinking about it... supposed to bring every thought into captivity...

Think about Jesus... everything is going to be ok...

And I sit there - with my mind spinning out of my control.

I mean, what happened to being consumed with His face?... Arrgh... hypocrite. Here I am more consumed with my business than anything else...

And I'm on my knees all over again.

Because my mind says Jesus is more important than anything... but until my heart echos that theme - it is just "sounding brass and a tinkling symbol".

I must love Him more...


And so a few days ago I sat down to read an article that I didn't think I was going to agree with... and instead I ended up coming away with a beautiful revelation of grace. (Be careful of preconceived notions...)

Put simply it is this... if sin is the power in our lives to love and desire anything and everything other than God himself (and think we're finding joy there...) - then grace is the power of God to love, desire, and be consumed with Him and the beauty of His smile above anything else...

Isn't that beautiful? 

To love and desire a connection with heaven above anything... in fact, when nothing brings more joy then to see a sparkle in His eyes... that is grace.

And grace is freedom.

Are you free?


  1. Thank you for sharing, Paul. Learning to love and desire Jesus is so important. Am I reading you correctly (or perhaps extrapolating), then, that love for Jesus is received? Or is it learned? Developed? If I remember correctly from my study of grace, it is God's power, influence, (unmerited, of course) on my life, especially through the Holy Spirit. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Yes Nathan... a gift indeed. How could I love Him except He love me first? Unmerited, undeserving, completely selfish... my heart simply doesn't understand. That's why grace is a miracle. Always.

      A gift that I don't deserve. A gift that I could really never learn... a gift that makes love possible in the first place. That's grace. It's like a rose growing in the desert (a root out of dry ground).

      And so if anything is learned, if anything is developed, it's not really that my selfish heart is changing and becoming better... instead it's a deeper miracle of grace creating love in a desert of selfishness.

      It's hard to explain a miracle... ;)

    2. Yes, I absolutely believe that the love with which we love Jesus is received from Him! In Romans 5:8 says,'But God commendeth his love toward us , int hat while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' Jesus died even for those that crucified Him! One of us might die for a most noble person, but think of it, Jesus died for His torturers! In ourselves we have absolutely no kindness or anything godly! Jeremiah 10:23 says,'O Lord I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.' We must receive that love from Him in order to show that love to others!

    3. Hmmm, yes, that makes sense. I guess I just wonder because of quotations like these: "Love is a plant of heavenly growth, and it must be fostered and nourished." {AH 50.4} "Love cannot long exist without expression." {AH 107.2} I do realize both these quotations are referring to human-to-human relationships. Are these principles also applicable to our walk with Christ? If so, how would they mesh with the truth that humans can't originate real love?

    4. "Love is a plant of heavenly growth, and it must be fostered and nourished." One of our (my families) favorite quotes... :)

      Yes - and I was just talking with my Dad and brother a few days ago about this. It seems that wherever divinity touches humanity there is mystery. Faith and works. Love and grace. How can I explain it? We have a choice... but ultimately we are told with no uncertain terms that when the miracle happens - faith, love, righteousness - we can take no credit for the results. But without our choice... we are held ultimately responsible because provision has been made for us to know Love.

      It seems then that ultimately we cultivate a choice to remain nothing - of no reputation - and let Him be everything... every moment.

      Love your questions Nathan.

    5. Mystery indeed. I suppose it always comes down to trusting cooperation. Which I'm glad of. That's comprehensible, that's sufficient.

      Thank you for answering, Paul.

  2. Praise the Lord that we have a God that gives us freedom. :)
    I'm just wondering if your eye is all better. The SDA church here in Timor-Leste has been praying that you heal well, and they've been asking how you're doing. :) We pray that all is well.

    1. Katelyn - thank you. I sit here and ponder how beautiful it is to know that friends over 9500 miles away, that I've never even met... are praying for me.

      That's a beautiful thing. Please pass my heartfelt thanks to the church there - their love is very touching.

      My eye is doing well - and most of all I am thankful for sight. I continue to have 20/20 vision in the eye and my retina has healed well after surgery. The only remaining mark is that the eye is still somewhat dilated and hence more sensitive to light. This also has seemed to be improving and may or may not return to normal.

      I take joy in the thought that it can be a continual reminder to me of some very special little children in India... and the power of pouring out your heart in love for other people. And if that were to be the only purpose... it would make it a million times worth it.

      Thanks again - the church there is in my heart... :)


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