Friday, September 29, 2006

Good ol' Testimony

Besides some really cool graphics, there's plenty of superior blogging happening at a site called Pyromaniacs. Here's a great testimony from one of their writers.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Blogger Pride

I wonder how many folks have started a blog, and let it die when it didn't get them the fame, fortune, notoriety, etc. that they were hoping for? I've heard about myspace folks who have pleaded for people to visit their online world, and even posted angry words to that same world for being ignored.
This is understandable for a secular site. I believe it was the comedian Steve Martin who said that his job was basically "Dig Me!" Isn't that the not-so-secret motivation of most of the online community? Problem is, most folks who would even read a blog are too busy creating their own.
This tendency for self-glorification remains even once we come to know Jesus. Our pride is, in fact, the main thing that must be killed off (however slowly) as we gradually align our thoughts with those of our creator.
As a blogger for God, I have often asked myself what my real motivation for blogging is. Is it REALLY to glorify God, or is it to "Dig Me!" In all honesty, I believe that both motivations are there. All I can do is continually offer prayers of thanks that Jesus has already forgiven my "bloggers pride," and request that God would glorify Himself through this vehicle DESPITE my impurities.
One of the temptations for the blogger is to obsessively track the number of readers, and/or comments. I've deliberately removed my "hit-counter" to minimize this temptation. After all, can God only use a blog that attracts thousands of readers? Could God get his message across with a poorly written testimony? This brings to mind Paul's warning to keep your message simple:

2 Corinthians 11:3

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

What then, should be the goal of any God blog? Simply, to spread the message of Christ crucified, and the redemption available to man. Any time the focus shifts from the message to the messenger, the goal is lost.
However, does this mean that one should not use their talents to glorify God? Hardly. In a perverse way, I believe that Satan even uses a person's humility to curb their efforts for the Kingdom. Natural, healthy humility can be over-emphasized to prevent a person from even using their gifts for Kingdom work. Similarly, a worker's perceived lack of results can make it feel pointless to continue. This frustration at not seeing big results looms largest when we compare ourselves to others. If a new blogger expects to have an impact like that of Charles Spurgeon, throwing in the towel will be tempting.
Today's Bible reading in the Hope Life journal included the first 2 chapters of Haggai. Those who have been called to rebuild the temple of God are dragging their heals for the same reasons I've discussed above:

  • I've got my own issues to take care of first
  • Our paltry efforts pale in comparison to the splendorous temple that Solomon built
  • etc
I wonder if any of the workers also dwelled on things like:
  • I'm not good at construction - who am I to build?
  • If you can't do a job well, it's not worth doing. I don't have the proper time, energy, etc. for this project, so it's better left undone
Of course, the good news is that God encouraged these builders, and reminded them that they could expect His resources (of energy, talent, etc) once they got working. He told them to get going, and leave the outcome to Him. For some awesome commentary on this, I direct you to one of my favorite expositors, John Piper (the kind of writer/speaker that I should NEVER compare myself to, lest I become discouraged).
Hey, speaking of the blogging world, I'm so happy to see that two folks in my life have decided to contribute. One is Mike Remedios, who hosts the men's Bible study I like to attend. Second is his wife Alice, who is seriously gifted in the culinary arts department. Both are blogging their reflections on the Hope Journal daily Bible reading plan (scroll down under the heading "Daily Devotionals).
So, for all God's bloggers, I pray that He use us and our efforts for His glory alone. May our efforts direct our readers to the Bible, the Word, the Christ. Praise be to the most high God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Be Not Drunk With Wine

This bunch of creative Christians is launching a campaign in the UK to get people talking about Jesus. The site even links to a myspace site where folks can converse. What a great way to get folks thinking.
No doubt, the campaign will garner plenty of criticism from non-believers, and believers alike (who will frown upon a beer glass being paired with Jesus).
If you believe that using elements of popular culture to help spread the gospel is O.K., keep reading. If not, you'll probably not like the ideas I present next, and I would redirect you here (please understand this is my crude attempt at humour).
Still reading? O.K.. Well, why stop at using a beer glass to provoke thoughts on God? There are plenty of other vices (false idols) we can choose from...
How about drugs? The thing is with chemical highs, you never get enough. With little more than very casual use, tolerence kicks in, and now the user gets locked in to a pattern of seeking the drug for comfort. Like every addiction, enough uses creates a need that did not exist before. God made us with deep-seated needs for something beyond everyday existence, but a relationship with Him is the only thing that will ultimately satisfy that need. If that were not the case, addicts might report highly fulfilling lives, and not continue to suffer feelings of pointlessnes. I've met plenty of folks who report that they have enjoyed temporary highs, but no one has ever told me that their drug of choice is a satisfying answer to the "why are we here" question.