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Tag Archives: Psalms

Great Expectations

ExpectationsThroughout this week, I have been thinking quite a bit about expectations. We all have expectations. When we flip a light switch, we expect the light to come on. When turn the key in the ignition, we expect the car to start. When we go to church, we expect to sing, be taught, and to have a time of dedicated worship. These things are all natural and practically speaking, if we never had any expectations, our lives would be quite difficult and tiring. However, it is very easy for expectations to be misplaced and misguided. I quite often look forward to things and build them up in my mind until I have an expectation of what is to come. If the future doesn’t live up to these (quite often unreasonable) expectations, I am robbed of any joy of that moment. For example, let’s say I’ve had a long day on the road, working on a client’s computer network and am looking forward to coming home. In my mind, I picture everyone greeting me and giving me a hug when I walk in the door and being excited to see me. Instead, when I walk in the door, Marilyn is doing homework, Marcia is making dinner, Melanie is coloring, and Sam is upstairs. I should be happy to be home, be excited to talk to each person about their day, be pleased to see Marcia working hard for the family, Marilyn being diligent, and Melanie and Sam enjoying their activities. It should be an awesome place to come home to. But it’s not. My homecoming doesn’t meet my idealized expectations, so I find no joy. Joy has been replaced by a resentful spirit.

A joyful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22

While we can often place unreasonable expectations on others, the other side of that same coin is having expectations of God that are too small. Our God is a great and wonderful God, capable of doing things more wonderful than we can even imagine.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. – Psalm 86:8-10

I don’t know about you, but I tend to put God in a box and think, “This box contains the things that God can do. Everything else is too big and just can’t happen.” I don’t expect God to do great things. This attitude holds me back and prevents me from doing some of the things I could be doing and should be doing because I know that I can’t do them. William Carey said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” We know that God has great things in store for us. Do we act as though we believe it?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11

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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Christianity

 

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“The Cloud”

Delivered to Hope Church on September 12, 2010

The-CloudIf you know me, you know that I spend much of my daily life submerged in technology and things related to technology. Being that my predilection for technology is fairly common knowledge, I frequently get asked about the latest gadgets, computer software, phones, trends, etc. Yesterday I was asked about “The Cloud”. The Cloud is the latest trend in computing and if you haven’t yet heard about, rest assured that you will. The Cloud is an intentionally nebulous term that references the internet. In its broadest sense, The Cloud is the internet. Cloud Computing is becoming the new way to use computers, phones, tablets, etc. and basically means that your data or your computer programs, or both are not on your physical computer. The live on the internet somewhere, in the cloud. You never see them but always have access to them. There are some tremendous benefits to working this way:

  • Tremendous processing power is on hand instantly, any time you need it.
  • Managing your computer becomes much simpler since nothing needs to be installed or updated.
  • All of your applications and files are available no matter where you are, even if you use a different computer.
  • Your computer can be smaller and cheaper because it no longer needs to do the processing.

After describing this new paradigm that we are transitioning to in the computer world I thought that there are some interesting parallels to the conversion we undergo as Christians. As non-Christians, our lives tend to be complicated because of everything we have to be worried about and in control of. Our lives need constant maintenance, updates, patches, antivirus, etc. When something in our lives breaks, we scramble to find the fix anywhere we can – medication, psychiatrists, self-help books, etc.

A Christian’s life is supposed to be much simpler and closer to the ideal cloud computing environment –

  • We have tremendous power at hand any time we need it. We just need to ask.
  • Our lives aren’t problem free by a longshot, but the solution to our problems should be more evident and accessible.
  • God is always available, no matter where we are.
  • Our lives should be more streamlined as we rely on God for direction and support.

Of course, our God is far more capable and mighty than any cloud computing solution we could even imagine. He knows our hearts and minds, our fears and desires and loves us and desires for us to have a relationship with Him. Truly amazing!

Psalm 139 (New Living Translation)
1O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. 5You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! 7I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2010 in Christianity

 

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