Grows Brilliant With Stars

Grows Brilliant With Stars…

Well, I haven’t been very diligent about posting.  My mind just hasn’t been on it lately.  Some days I think “I should post about this” all the time and come up with really funny posts in my head.  Some weeks I just don’t think about posting at all.  I guess it means I’m not yet addicted, right?

Things have been busy.  I’ve been exercising a lot to burn off the calories consumed this weekend when I made White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies at my parents’ house.  I have to make them again for home group and a work meeting on Thursday but I’m hoping that there will be none left to tempt me.  My roommate and I attended a birthday party on Sunday that was brilliant and we may finally have made a female friend (at first it was all single guys and parents with babies but then, one other lone girl showed up).  We got along really well and had a nice chat.  The only awkward part of the evening was when one guy’s mother asked how long the two of us (me and my roomie) had been together.   It’s so sad that girls rooming together nowadays only means one thing…  We explained!  Meeting people also brings new moral dilemmas.  My neighbor is in a play and I want to support him and go but I don’t want to pay for a ticket since all the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood.  Yup.  Luckily he said we could come to the dress rehearsal for free so I might take him up on that.  This upcoming weekend will include scrapbooking with my Mom and babysitting four really fun kids and participating in a murder mystery party.  My interests, as you can see, are diverse.  Currently I am sitting eating a one-dish stuffing and chicken bake that my Mom made me this weekend and I made again last night.  I told my housemate that and hastened to add that “but I’ll be missing Thanksgiving, you see” so I need to eat Thanksgiving foods while I can.  I wonder how long I can use that excuse for? 

Here’s one of my post for leadership training this week.  I’ll post the other one later on.

Charles Spurgeon once used the image of a ladder when describing the Sermon on the Mount. He said that “a ladder, if it is to be of any use, must have its first step near the ground.” And being “poor in spirit” is that first step. Many of us would have been left behind if Jesus hadn’t included this first rung. If Jesus had begun with “blessed are the peacemakers” wouldn’t Peter have run off discouraged? If Jesus had begun with “blessed are those who are persecuted” wouldn’t the majority of disciples have returned to the relative safety of fishing?Blessed are the poor in spirit. This use of “poor” comes from the Greek word ptochos, meaning “to crouch or cower as one helpless.” Like naked Adam and Eve, hiding in the garden, we realize the extent of our spiritual state. Being “poor in spirit” implies that we understand our own guilt and helplessness, we see in ourselves a tendency towards evil, we affirm an absolute need for a Savior, and are willing to depend solely and completely on that Savior. The law was only able to convince us of our spiritual poverty. It was unable to enrich us by providing a way out. We needed Jesus to usher us into the promised land. And once He did, and we taste the freedom, we are both called and desire to become the “light of the world.”

From obscure men, God called forth disciples that became preachers of the gospel and were dignified by that gospel. They were reproached, admired, hated, respected, censored and imitated. And it was all for the glory of God. The wonderful truth about simultaneously being poor in spirit and proclaiming hope to the nations is that God is glorified.

There have been so many moments in my own life where I’ve realized my helplessness. I pray that there will be countless more. God’s grace has shined so sweetly into my despair and guilt and transformed me. From a shy kid in an extroverted household, he has changed me until I can truthfully say that my heart’s cry is “for my inheritance, give me the lost.” After my terrible freshman year, my mother said, “Is it all worth it, having seen your roommate become a Christian?” And it is. Earthly troubles fade but seeing the hurting and confused come to know Jesus as their Father is astounding and majestic and sacred.

For the sake of God’s glory and for the sake of my own humility and for the sake of the souls in Portland (my neighbors, my co-workers, the man I wave at when he walks his dog), I must endeavor to remain poor in spirit and rich in gospel proclamation. I want to shine like the stars in the universe – vibrant, dramatic, illuminating the darkness. And I am prepared to party when the sky over Portland grows brilliant with stars…


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