Sunday, September 24, 2006

"We Shall Morph Indeed" Pt. 4

"For anyone who really saw Mabel - who was willing to "turn aside" - a hospital bed became a burning bush; a place where this ordinary and pain-filled world was visited by the presence of God" -- John Ortberg
I am continuing to journal the study questions from Chapter 1 of John Ortberg's The Life You've Always Wanted. For some "look ahead" at the book, I have posted the chapter titles at the index link at the bottom.

I am home sick today, so I am going to try to finish the chapter 1 questions. The way the study group is supposed to work we are to be ready for the full chapter this coming Thursday - but may take whatever time is necessary, comfortable, and the Spirit leads us to "get through" the questions. When our group finishes the chapter 1 discussion, and we are told to get ready for chapter 2 - I will journal the chapter 2 questions. I may read the book ahead, but I do not want to answer the questions until after the discussion on the previous chapter - I want to leave the ability of the discussion to transform my understanding, and answers, as I go.

* * * * *

Question 6a & 6b:
Describe a time when you felt a deep desire to see God transform your life so that you would "morph" and become more of who God wants you to be?

How is this desire becoming a reality?

Right now. I am struggling with an activity I know separates me from God (a sin); that I know dishonors my wife and my marriage; and that objectifies a whole group of people God created in His own image: viewing pornography. I need God to transform and renew my mind because I am in rebellion almost daily against what I know is His will for me. I have had enough but my flesh seems not to have:
Romans 7:14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
This answer leaves me in a quandary for the small group: do I "out myself" in essentially the first meeting of a group of people I do not know (I have outed myself at SP before); and deal with all the good and bad implications of that action; do I just keep my mouth shut when we discuss this question; or do I find a different, more innocuous (as in less relevant) answer by Thursday.

I am trying to make it a reality through activities like this; and my FMO group and the book we are reading there - Pure Desire.

* * * * *

First, read about Mabel: Mabel 1; Mabel 2; and Mabel 3.

Now, "question" 7:
Though blind and nearly deaf, Mabel was a staggering example of the power of Jesus to transform a life. Tell about a person in your life who exemplifies the power of Jesus to bring beautiful and lasting change.
My wife. Through all of her serious physical and mental challenges, she has continued to grow in faith, joy and hope without a real material reason to do so. She has overcome these obstacles by the power of God in her life: she would never take credit for anything she has accomplished.

I will pause now to allow my daughter to finish a science project on the computer. I may just come back and add to this diary; or I may do another.

Prayer focus:

  1. Lift up prayers of thanks and praise for the many ways God has brought transformation in your life as you have followed Jesus
  2. Pray for continued morphing experiences where God will move, transform, and shape your life
Next in series: We Shall Morph Indeed" Pt. 5
Index to Series

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly