Hair Counter

16 01 2011

I have been reflecting on the topic of faith recently. How do we grow in faith? How do I battle those fears and anxieties that grip my soul as I take each step? Something I have been thinking about since reading a recent blog post (I can’t remember from which ministry) and going to the Christian Medical and Dental Association retreat is who or what do I place trust in.

In medicine, we are taught to trust in studies that have more comprehensive information because they ought to provide us with the most accurate facts. Thus, systematic reviews and meta-analyses are typically the most reliable publications. When I am seeking an answer to aquestion I will trust the person that I know to be most knowledgeable. So in medical school I trust the well-trained lecturing physicians who have been teaching for decades. Then comes the younger professors and then the bottom of the totem pole of lecturers would be those with a master’s degree. No offense, but that’s how my mind works during lecture. I am most skeptical of answers that my classmates have to offer since we, as medical students, have a very limited knowledge base and have a tendency to make up answers to sound smart.

In terms of seeking spiritual wisdom, I tend to trust those people who I believe have the greatest knowledge and understanding of the Bible. They have thoroughly studied the Scriptures and wrestled through different theological issues. I know that they will give me the most biblically sound answer they can provide. Wouldn’t it be amazing to combine all their knowledge into a super knowledgeable entity that could answer all my questions with all the knowledge in the world. (I’m picturing something like Zordon from power rangers, but a lot smarter) There are some people I know that seem to know everything (you know who you are- except if you admitted it you’d be prideful haha), but think about if all of them could combine their knowledge. How much more would I trust that person?

All of this to say that all of this earthly knowledge pales in comparison to the omniscient God we worship. The knowledge we possess is a drop in the bottomless bucket of God’s knowledge. If I sincerely believed that God knows all that He truly does know, I would have no doubts. My faith would be solid. Yet, I don’t. I trust people more than God. I trust myself more than Him. God numbers the hairs on my head (Luke 12:7) and possesses all knowledge. Still, my faith is weak. If some scientist wanted to know the hairs on someone’s head they would have to constantly follow that person around keeping track of every hair that fell off. I can imagine how frustrated he would be when he had to start over after getting distracted or going on vacation. Or if it was a girl’s head I would tell him to give up, they shed hair like crazy. (It’s true, look at the carpet in their apartments). Anyway, think about all the effort someone would have to put in to know just that one fact. But God knows EVERYTHING. A passage that portrays his knowledge well is Psalm 139, penned by David. I have to tell myself, “Daniel, read this passage with fresh eyes and a humble heart. Read these Scriptures with the understanding that they are the true, inspired words of the Spirit.” How amazingly reassuring they are to my anxious soul.

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.”

Psalm 139:1-6

Those words ought to make me be humbled and repentant in my foolish pride. They ought to give me peace when I am anxious. I pray that they would always pierce my heart. So how am I to grow in faith in such a glorious God? I will risk everything for Him. I will surrender everything and die to self. How do I do that? By daily reminding myself with His truth. I hold in my hands the very inspired words of God which proclaim His omniscience and sovereignty. He knows my steps and I have no cause to be anxious. I pray that I will let go of the control I think I need and place the plans, anxieties, and burdens in God’s control. I know that I will need to daily die to self and inundate myself with the living Bible. But that is what sanctification requires. Perseverance as we fix our eyes on Christ, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-3). May I do so with joy and honestly pray with David “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24 Maranatha.


Pursuing Humility

8 01 2011

On my flight back to St. Louis I started re-reading Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. If I needed to pinpoint one area of my life that I most obviously and consistently struggle with, that area would be pride. I am constantly amazed at how easily pride manifests itself in how I speak and act. Even when I am convicted of my sinful pride, I seemingly instantaneously forget the truths I know about God and man as I allow my pride to once again rule my heart.

There are many areas of my Christian walk that I want to grow in through this year, many of which have been longstanding goals since I have been saved by the grace of God. One of these is humility. I do not simply want to speak kindly or serve willingly, although these are good things. I want my heart to be completely humbled by the majesty God and the humility of the Son, Jesus Christ, that I would live out Philippians 2. My desire is that I would so understand the humility of Jesus in His incarnation and sacrifice on the cross that I would pursue that same humility in my life. Also, I want my soul to grasp the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess this truth. That I would have no reason to boast in anything but my God.

Through contemplating my desire to grow in humility, I have come to realize that many of my previous goals to grow in different areas of my faith have quickly faded. In reading Humility: True Greatness, I realized I am all too often guilty of a dangerous sin. Complacent acknowledgement of truth. I find it easier to appreciate truth than to be transformed by truth. I hear a convicting sermon and resolve to pursue that spiritual discipline, but the next week I cannot even remember that conviction. I may hear an amazing testimony of a Christian missionary taking up their cross for Christ or hear of persecuted Christians giving up everything to proclaim their faith. Sometimes it may be reading the biographies of incredibly faithful heroes of the faith. Whatever the conviction, I easily fall into the trap of being satisfied with knowing. Yes, I will say I want to live for Christ, but there is no pursuit. One of the reasons why I appreciate C.J. Mahaney’s books so much is because he doesn’t let us off that easily. His books are filled with the truths of Scripture, and he ensures that we understand why he is telling us these truths. There is both teaching and application. A few sentences from his first chapter on applications:

“Here’s a scary thought: It’s possible to admire humility while remaining proud ourselves…And at this moment you may be deceiving yourself into thinking that you are making progress against pride simply because you are reading a book about humility. (Though I hope that’s not true!)”

“Merely being inspired by the promise of humility or the meaning of true greatness is not sufficient; nor is it enough to also be educated about the perils of pride. If there’s ever to be meaningful transformation in our lives, if we are to make progress in restraining pride and manifesting humility, there must be the purposeful application of truth– an effort and pursuit on our part that God will use for sanctifying transformation in our lives.”

So as I seek humility before God and man, one of the things I resolve to do is to preach truth to myself. In the same chapter on humility C.J. says, “Sin doesn’t wake up tired, because it hasn’t been sleeping. When you wake up in the morning, sin is right there, fully awake, ready to attack. So rather than be attacked by sin in the morning I’ve chosen to go on the offensive. From the moment I awake, I’ve learned to make statement to God about my dependence upon God, and in this way I’m humbling myself before God.” I do not want my conviction over my pride to become a fleeting feeling. I know that it will be an active battle and I fight the war with God’s word. So two of my spiritual goals this year are aimed at actively fighting pride and cultivating a heart of humility. 1. I will memorize a Bible verse every week 2. I will pray for someone from St. Louis and someone from California everyday. I think it comes down to one of my favorite passages in Scripture that I’ve quoted before in a post…

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13

I will do my best to be faithful in pursuing holiness and pray that God will do His work in using what little I offer to produce fruit in my life and do great things for His glory. (I will refrain from any exegesis since this was supposed to be a “short” post. But I guess it’s all relative, since it is shorter than many of my other posts) Also, if you have read this far, I would definitely appreciate prayer for everything I’ve written. Thanks.

Permeating Presence of Grace

20 02 2010

It has been such a long time since I posted. I have had all these ideas for posts floating in my mind, but because I have been busy nothing has really resulted from those thoughts. This post has been in my mind since this past June, and I finally decided to sit down and write it. I actually put down the title of the post in August. I guess it takes a lot of motivation for me to sit down write anything. (Warning: I may go on a few tangents just because there are a lot of things I just wanted to insert into this post)

I was in lab working on my transfections in the hood when my mind started thinking about grace. C.J. Mahaney’s sermon from Resolved 2009 called “Who’s Really at Work?” was playing on my phone, and as I heard him preach on Philippians 2:12-13 I was struck by God’s amazing grace. (By the way, I love the book of Philippians, especially as God revealed Himself through it in so many appropriate ways last year. Ahh the epistle of Philippians is so crazy good.)

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13

Back to grace. How often I talk about grace and fail to understand what grace truly means. Not just defining it in the Greek or doing a biblical survey of the word, but truly how grace impacts my life and my worship.  Do I simply utter the word grace without thought? Or am I humbled and grateful at the unmerited favor God bestowed unto me in my salvation? Do I see how grace continually affects every area of my life?

How to write about such a broad topic as grace? I thought back to a Sunday school lesson James Szeto taught on worship. I remember at the end he recommended to write down how we can worship in every aspect of our life. To write down how we can worship with our attitude, in schoolwork, with parents, and in so many more areas. Going back home and seeing how many ways I could worship really convicted and stuck with me. Side note: I find it interesting that the people we teach often grasp the things we do not emphasize, yet many times we have to endlessly repeat the ideas we want to emphasize. A thought or reflection we brush over quickly in our conversations can impact a small groupie or friend so much. I guess it is just one of the joys of teaching, and a reminder that our lives teach in far greater ways than our words. Anyways, I thought the practice of writing how I can live out 1 Corinthians 10:31 in my life was super helpful. So my thoughts on grace will be more of a list of how marvelous grace is and how it truly does permeate into every nook of my life. Thinking about how God displays grace in my life is pretty amazing because one thought connects to another and then to another, and pretty soon I see His grace everywhere.

The grace of God in my salvation is the most evident working of grace, yet is often the most under appreciated. O how I fail to preach the gospel to myself daily. What grace there is in the work of the cross. I remember thinking in high school how boring my testimony was as I wrote it out for my baptism. I wondered how I might spice it up a bit. But salvation is a miracle of God. A miracle! Do I realize that heaven rejoices over the salvation of a sinner (Luke 15:10)? Hearing a testimony is witnessing God’s miraculous work of salvation in someone’s heart. So many times I lose sight of what grace there is in salvation. The grace of God in regenerating our hearts so that we could be convicted of and repent of our sin. The grace God demonstrated in offering His Son for me, a wretched sinner. The grace of saving me through faith, a faith which is given by grace. I think the only proper response to that type of grace is to be humbled and worship.

The grace of God in giving me faith. Often I wonder why God chose me? Why should I believe, while my friend hardens his heart to the gospel? I cannot answer that question, except by saying because God willed it that way. And I can only respond with thanksgiving. I have been reading through Hebrews 11 a lot for small group, and I appreciate Hebrews 11:1 so much. The second part says faith is the conviction of things not seen. As humans, we look out at creation and typically respond with awe. The unbeliever feels their smallness and admires the power of nature. This is because as Romans 1 says, all of creation testifies of God. The believer, likewise, is humbled in their smallness. Yet, there is a drastic difference between the believer and unbeliever. As we sit on the beach, hear the crashing waves pounding on the shore, observe the reflection of the moon on the ocean, and see the expanse of the heavens with the glittering stars, we cannot help but see God’s hand in all of creation. And what allows us to see God’s sovereignty in His creation? Grace.

The grace of God that allows me to recognize sin and fight sin with the Spirit. I can easily get discouraged battling the same sins over and over. Why can I not be content in God? Why do I allow pride to manifest itself in my thoughts, words, and actions? Why am I anxious? Yet, the very fact that I see sin and desire to remove it from my life is God’s grace. The struggle of Paul in Romans 7:14-25 over his own sin is not something that happens in an unbeliever’s life. God has given us the Spirit of God, so that we would fight against temptation and sin. What grace there is in simply being able to abhor sin in our lives. A further outworking of grace is in being able to take off sin and put on righteousness. Why are we no longer slaves to sin, and now slaves to righteousness? God’s grace in our lives in salvation. We have victory in Christ over sin because of grace! We may wrestle with sin, we may be discouraged, but we ultimately have victory in Christ.

The grace of God in our sanctification. Going back to Philippians 2:12-13, Paul describes the process of sanctification. We are called to do our part in working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and God is at work in us simultaneously. So sanctification requires us to work, while God works in us. The fact that God is sanctifying us is an act of grace. But even greater is the fact that this work is not 50:50. It is not as if I put in half the share of the work and God decides to chip in the other half. God takes the meager offering of my pursuit of holiness and multiplies it a billion-fold to sanctify me. What grace there is that God does the greater part in my sanctification. Also, God removes our guilt of sin so that we can battle sin, and pursue sanctification. It is His grace that allows me to have the hope to pursue holiness.

The grace that God is sovereign over all things and we can trust that He is causing all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. Romans 8:28

The grace that allows us to care for one another, bear others’ burdens, and confess sin to one another.

The grace that God changes our hearts and our lives.

The grace of God toward Israel in promising future restoration.

The grace that we can learn from all the instances of our lives, both big and small.

The grace of being able to take communion and recognize both the weightiness of our sin and Christ’s shed blood.

The grace that God disciplines us in our faith. Hebrews 12:4-13

The grace of trials to strengthen our faith and cause us to give praise to Him. 1 Peter 1:6-9

The grace that the Father provided His Son as an example for us to follow.

The grace that God sent the Spirit to help us live.

The grace that we may have foresight to see the consequences of sin and instead turn toward the immensely more satisfying Christ.

The grace to depend on God.

The grace everyday to deal with the trouble we encounter each day.

The grace that He can take our inadequacy and use it to bring Himself glory.

The grace of God’s promises revealed in Scripture that allow us to anticipate with faith and live with an eternal perspective.

I wish I could expand on all those. There are so many other evidences of grace in my life. I did not even get to the “small” examples of grace in my everyday life e.g. enjoying food with friends ahh KBBQ. I should stop, though, because this post is getting long and I have sound team.

One last thought is related to a hymn we have been singing at GOC, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood.” (Such a good song) The first stanza goes

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The richness of salvation is so well captured in those words. Yet, those words are just a shadow of the greatness of God’s grace worked out in our salvation. I love the words “plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” Relating this back to grace, I feel like I commonly narrow my view of God so that I only see a slow trickle of His grace in my life. O that my eyes would be opened anew to see and experience the full blown flood of grace in my life. That as I stand under that massive flood of grace I could honestly declare how awesome is my God!

Sovereignty over Phenomena

11 11 2007

I have long thought over the creationist versus evolutionist debate and seen so much evidence for a universe under the sovereignty of a Creator.  Yet, there are many times I am so engrossed in my Science studies that I begin to forget the power of an amazing God over the phenomena of this world.  I begin to honor creation over Creator and rob God of the glory that He ultimately deserves.  There are a lot of tangents that are related to my worship of creation over Creator, areas of sin I have seen in my life.  I just wanted to share something that encourages me and refocuses my heart when I get caught up in the “laws of Science” and forget my purpose in glorifying God.  A sort of side note, when I was first struggling with these issues as a new believer I finally came to accept the Creationist viewpoint not because of all the scientific evidence, which does help.  Rather, I realized as a believer I accept the Scriptures of God and that means I believe every word of the Bible as part of my faith, despite my comprehension of it. So this verse has always encouraged me when I have times of doubt or questioning,

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

2 Peter 1:20-21

Anyways, as I went through the last few weeks, sometimes in frustration with the wrong motivations, I once again got caught up in my studies.  I began to forsake my understanding of the gracious God who has made all creation from nothing and separated God from nature, as though He had no part of it.  I was encouraged when I read a quote Jess Sum sent me a while ago from A.W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy.  It speaks of a true understanding of nature, one in which we see God instead of seeing the laws of nature.  Where we see His majesty displayed instead of a set of laws that govern our lives. It goes…

“Where the sacred writers saw God, we see the laws of nature. …God ruled their world; ours is ruled by the laws of nature and we are always once removed from the presence of God. ”
“And what are these laws of nature that have displaced God in the minds of millions? Law has two meanings. One is an external rule enforced by authority, such as the common rule against robbery and assault. The word is also used to denote the uniform way things act in the universe, but this second use of the word is erroneous. What we see in nature is simply the paths of God’s power and wisdom take through creation. Properly these are phenomena, not laws, but we call them laws….”
“Science observes how the power of God operates, discovers a regular pattern somewhere and fixes it as a ‘law.’ The uniformity of God’s activities in His creation enables the scientist to predict the course of natural phenomena. The trustworthiness of God’s behavior in His world is the foundation of all scientific truth. Upon it the scientist rests his faith and from there he goes on to achieve great and useful things….”

Every time I read this quote I am encouraged because I know that nature is not a random conglomeration of events of chance gathered together.  Rather, God is behind every action and everything that occurs is due to the purposeful sovereignty of my Father, my God.  How can I not bow before such an amazing God when I see His glory revealed in all creation?  How can I ever place corrupt forms of creations in place of a perfect and holy God?  What we see as the consistency of the universe ought to cause us to rejoice in knowing the immutability of a wondrous God.  I pray that God would ultimately be glorified by all people as they come to the foot of the cross, while knowing and worshiping the God of the universe, the God of our salvation.

“O LORD, how many are Thy works!  In wisdom Thou hast made them all; The earth is full of Thy possessions…Let the glory of the LORD endure forever; let the LORD be glad in His works.”

Psalm 104:24, 31

Stretcher Bearers

7 11 2007

“For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you brother.”

Philemon 1:7

This post has been a long time coming, it’s been on my heart ever since Spring quarter last year. I was studying for a final and listening to Lifesong by Casting Crowns. When I heard the song called Stained Glass Masquerade, I had to take a pause from my work and sat there contemplating the lyrics for a while. I have to admit, many times when I listen to Christian music or even during worship I focus so much on the music that I am distracted from the words. This time, however, those words hit my heart; I think because it is a subject I’ve dwelt on for a long time and struggled with throughout my Christian walk. How genuine are we to each other? How can we be even more open and willing to share? What is the depth of our conversations and are we being superficial? There were so many issues brought up by that song and I think I’ve also been inspired to write this post by all the talk recently amongst our class about some of these issues.

I think there are several issues that we always discuss about GOC, many specifically related to the size of our fellowship. For our class the “gender gap” has been repeatedly brought up recently and I agree it is an issue for us. Also, talking with Andrew and other people, the problem of cliques and fringe people has been on my heart. Both of these issues are heavy on my heart because I feel that I am more of a cause of them then a solution. I am naturally introverted and when I am able to find people I am comfortable with and can confide in, I stick with them. I seek them after fellowship, hang out with them at gatherings, and pretty much form that clique. Most of the time those people happen to be guys just because of common interests, like sports and games, as well as comfort levels. I have realized that I use these reasons as an excuse, a crutch to justify my passive approach to people and relationships. There are people I observe all the time socializing and being proactive and I think to myself, “they will take care of other people” and “they will make the effort if they want to talk to me.” Yet, if I pass on those responsibilities and then everyone else follows suit, who is taking that initiative? Am I here to serve or be served? Am I loving people if I am not even willing to make a call or invite someone to lunch?

These issues all seem to stem from a deeper heart issue, at least for me, a lack of genuine care for people. Yes, there will always be subjects that we can only discuss with friends of our own gender. Yes, there will always be those we are always more comfortable talking with and holding accountable. Does that mean, however, that we forsake other people? If I am truly a child of God and a man seeking to be like Christ, I ought to love as He has loved me first. Even with my closer friends, many times I avoid the meaningful spiritual discussions in favor of the more “comfortable” superficial ones. I expect calls from them, I expect them to initiate the meet ups, and I expect them to bring up the conversations. How much deeper would my relationships be if I could turn to my brothers and sisters in Christ in times of struggle as well as in times of joy? How awesome would it be if we could bear one another’s burdens? How much closer would we grow if we could freely confess our struggles to each other?

I feel that there are several practical things we can do as a fellowship to reach this point, a point where we truly are a fellowship of stretcher bearers. The room hangouts are definitely a cool idea and just having meet ups in groups where we can overcome social awkwardness. Also, just for reaching out to people that we know are not coming regularly or may not be as plugged in to GOC. Like Justin always says, we should not need a follow up team; rather everyone should be welcoming newcomers and following up on others. Andrew was pointing out that if we each just got to know a few people really well this year, that we do not normally talk to, how much more welcome would each person feel? How much more would God be glorified as we become united by His Spirit? There are things I think we can personally work on such as not making such a big deal of guys and girls talking or eating together. Also, not just looking for the same people every time we meet up. These smaller solutions are great, but I also need to look at my own heart because I feel once I genuinely care as Christ did for me, then these will all be natural outpourings.

I guess this post was just a pouring out of my own thoughts, it was very stream-of-consciousness. Also, I hope it will keep me accountable and whoever reads this will continue to keep me accountable in my goals. I pray that I would bear the burdens of my brothers even more and that we would persevere together. I pray that I would love my class and GOC more and more as well as truly share with them without fear. I pray that I would reach out to people and care for those that are not as plugged in. I pray that I would help the freshman grow, serve them, and just spend time with them. I pray that I would be an encouragement to those around me and a person who values people more than temporal things. I pray that our fellowship would be characterized by our care for one another. I pray that our fellowship would not be hindered by its size, but that we would find even more stretcher bearers because of it. Lastly, I pray that our fellowship would live out the faith and love of the four friends in Mark 2:3-4.

“And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.”

Mark 2:3-4


16 08 2007

“And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him.”

Matthew 4:1-20

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading John MacArthur’s Twelve Ordinary Men and this section of the book stood out because it introduced how God builds up a strong Christian leader. I have recently been thinking over the passage in Matthew describing the calling of the first disciples. Jesus called these men to sacrifice everything to spread the gospel, and they did so immediately and obediently. There was no hesitation, no period of wait, no excuses; they dropped everything for Him as humble disciples. Every time I read over this passage I am amazed at how eagerly and obediently these ordinary fishermen were to serve the Lord. I pray that I could have just a fraction of their faith and willingness to evangelize, that was why I decided to go fishing with Ed this past Monday. I was ready to overcome my fear of man and teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet I think I learned so much more about myself and my own faith.

At 12 I met Ed at the bear, we prayed for the people we were going to meet and then headed out. The people we met came from a range of spectra, from the believer to total antagonism against Christians. It was awesome to see that some of the people we talked to had been fished before and actually had some interest because of that willingness to serve them. I think God meant for that hour to be a time of self-evaluation and humility. When we spoke to the first few people I barely uttered a word, I felt at a loss of words. Ed went up to people so calmly and the conversation seemed so smooth, but I felt so uncomfortable sharing the gospel to these people. The first guy we met was willing to talk a little and said he knew parts of the gospel, but admitted he did not have the complete story and had only gone to church because of his parents. He did not know why his family started going or why they eventually stopped. We then met Ben, who is a believer, and it was cool talking to him about his beliefs and just knowing that there are other believers all around campus. The next person was Andrew and he was a Catholic, but did not go to church regularly. It was difficult discussing the gospel with him because his ideas were misconstrued. At one moment I would be nodding in agreement, but the next I would have a puzzled look over my face. Next was John, who had heard of GOC before, but was hesitant to attend because of the literal translation of the Bible. He struggled with the interpretation of much of the Old Testament events, especially Genesis, because of his scientific background. The last person we talked to was extremely antagonistic and was not willing to hear anything.

So what I wrote above is a draft from what seems like ages ago and I never seemed to get around to finishing up my thoughts. Since I have time now, I’ll try and continue those thoughts and include some of what I’ve been meditating on recently. When I first resolved to go fishing I had a somewhat foolishly hopeful mindset, that I would touch people’s lives and have all the right answers about the Bible and science issues. Talking to those first people, however, completely humbled me as I seemed to forget everything I knew about witnessing and Christianity. I have so much more to learn about my own walk with Christ and the faith I believe in everyday. Meditating on my own walk has shown my lack of passion and zeal for God, revealed in my lackluster prayer life. A couple Sundays ago Tony preached about prayer and a point he mentioned really pierced my heart, a point made about prayer meeting. He said that if we’re not attending prayer meeting, how much time are we really spending in prayer outside of church? I know there are some that cannot attend and others that have strong prayer lives even if they don’t attend, but for me this question rang true in my heart. My prayer has always been infrequent and minimal, so all his points about prayer convicted my heart that our church needs prayer now more than ever. We cannot just go out and irrationally hire pastors and a children’s worker, but instead have to go humbly before God in supplication. If it’s in His will anything can be done and outside of His will nothing can be accomplished. Relating this back to fishing, I have come to see that despite all my knowledge or understanding, people will not be saved unless it is in God’s will. God breaks hardened hearts and opens previously blind eyes to see His majesty and grace. I pray that I would see evangelism as Paul did…

“So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”

                                                                    1 Corinthians 3:7