Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reflections on Psalm 24

This title is misleading because I'm not really reflecting on Psalm 24, but on something that Psalm 24 made me think about.

That said, I have a small beef with worship songs that are based on Scripture. It's only a small beef because I think that worship songs should be based on Scripture; in fact, parts of Scripture are worship songs. My beef with it is that when I'm reading those Scriptures, I can't help but think of the songs. Psalm 24 reminded me heavily of this because I know of 3 songs on the top of my head that are based on the 10 verses that are said Psalm.

1. Give Us Clean Hands
Verses 3-6 talk about the person who will ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in the holy place. That person is, of course, one who has clean hands, a pure heart, and does not lift his soul to what is false (you thought I was going to say "not lift his soul to another" didn't you?) The generation that does that will be a generation that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. We sang this Chris Tomlin Classic too many times in youth group for this not to be playing in the back of my head while reading this.

2. King of Glory
Verses 7-10 tell the gates and the doors to be lifted up, that the King of glory might come in. It then asks who this King of glory is, and answers with, "The Lord, strong and mighty." I'm starting to think that Chris Tomlin has little imagination, because this is the second time where he's taken words written by David and put them to music (well, second time in this blog post).

3. King of Glory
OK, I almost feel like this one shouldn't count, because this Third Day song has the same title as the Chris Tomlin one (although, this one is older) and really doesn't borrow from the chapter save the question, "Who is this King of glory?" David's hand wasn't too heavily in this one, although the same can't be said for "Your Love Oh Lord," taken almost straight from Psalm 36:5-7.

Anyway, that's my small rant. I can at least commend Misters Tomlin and Powell for keeping their worship songs biblical. Does anyone else have this problem when reading stuff like this, or is just me?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Easy as 1-2-3

There it was. The moment I had been waiting for. The moment when I would step foot on the campus of San Diego State University, my mission field. The moment when I would go and impact the Aztecs for Christ.

The First 3 Weeks
It was so exciting being there my first day. I was helping students move in and trying to get acquainted with the campus and the surrounding area. After that move-in day, we had several days scheduled for recruiting, i.e. surveys and tabling, as well as a beach day and a barbecue. Week 2 came around and that meant more tabling and some follow up and our first Nav Nite! After that, we did more tabling and follow up, as well as a staff retreat. This is obviously not an exhaustive list of everything that happened in my first 3 weeks at SDSU, but a rough outline of what they looked like. I was glad to be there, as everything I had been working on was leading up to going to campus and trying to reach the students.

The Return
Week 4, however, has started, and I am no longer in SD. I had to come back to Phoenix to continue fundraising. It's slightly ironic because I was very sad to leave AZ initially, but now, three weeks later, I am bummed to be back. Not that I don't love my friends here, but it's hard to pack up and leave for a new journey only to turn around and come back while the journey continues on without me.

With all this comes a lot of questions, from me and from others. Are you sure this is what you want to do? Are you sure this is what God wants you to do? If so, why are you back? Wouldn't He have funded you? Do you really think you can get up to 100%?

All these questions lay heavy on me, and I start to think, "What if they're right? Maybe I should have just kept my job at the theater and stuck around here. I didn't want to leave and go out there in the first place. Wouldn't it be easier to just quit right now?"

Easy Doesn't Do It

The answer to that last question is most likely yes. It would be easy. But I'm not looking for easy. I was never promised easy. I never expected easy, and I won't accept easy. Easy means stagnation. Easy means, if I'm being honest with myself, that I am not following Christ. I look over to my right and I see a statuette of Jesus carrying a cross and am reminded of Luke 9:23. "And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" What Jesus said is far from easy. It means looking at the things that I want and think are good for me, but telling God that I want His will over mine.

Is Anything Too Hard?
These questions also make me examine what I believe about God. If I believe that my God created the earth and everything in it in 6 days, do I not believe that He can get me funded? If I believe that my God can raise people even from something as final as death, do I not believe that He can provide the $27,000 that I need to go back? God said in Jeremiah 32:27, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?" I have to remind myself that I serve a limitless God who has me where I am for a reason. I have to do all that I can to get funded and trust that God will get me there.

I didn't intend for this to become a sermonette, but while I was writing, God was reminding me of things that I had forgotten and I wanted to pass that on to you. I thank you for reading and ask that you pray for me during my time away from campus, that I would raise the support to get back, but also get some fellowship and encouragement out here instead of being a hermit waiting to go back.