Friday, December 31, 2004

The New Year's Resolution

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Another year has come and gone so quickly. Another year of too many hours at work, too many hours watching television, and too many hours tracking my favorite teams on the internet. However, last week as I was sitting in church (with my new year’s chronological daily reading guide in hand), I made a promise to myself that 2005 would be different; 2005 would be the first year that I’ve read the bible from cover to cover! Sure I’ve read the New Testament before, and I’ve even read decent sized chunks of the Old, but sadly the reading of every page has escaped me.

Truthfully, in years past I’ve lifted up a similar promise to myself, only to have it collapse upon the approach of Leviticus…hence my reasons for publicly confessing this goal to you all today. I covet your prayers that this would be the year I finally complete my mission, and I pray that you too will join me. I know in my heart that we’ll be forever transformed for the better if we do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Just Ask Me

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

It’s been a very difficult year for me on a professional level. Although I’ve always been dedicated at work, this year found me working as much as 21 hour days and a good portion of my weekends. From January through September, I was involved with a financial project in Detroit that at many times felt beyond me. I was working in a world I never had before (Income Statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements), I was working with a new product that was very much in its infancy when the project began, I was under extremely tight deadlines from the client, etc. It got so bad, that on many days/nights I would break down at the keyboard feeling completely powerless and completely alone. But thankfully I knew I wasn’t…

Month by month, week by week, day by day, I clung to the mighty hand of the Lord begging for his guidance every step of the way. In times of sorrow, He helped me find joy; in times of distress, He helped me find peace. All it took on my part was a conscious effort to ask Him, and the confidence that His power would overcome any and all obstacles in my way.

Of course there were moments I’d forget, and try to resolve difficult trials on my own…like the time my laptop seemed to be breathing its last breath on a day I could absolutely ill afford it. For hours, I fruitlessly tried everything from restarting my services, to restarting my laptop, to shutting it down completely, to virus-scanning, to disk-checking, etc. Just when I had reached the point of packing my bags and going home, I remembered this verse. I immediately walked out the office door, walked down the hall, and lifted up a simple prayer to the Lord. When I walked back I knew in my heart that the struggles with my laptop would be over (and they were), and I could hear the Lord saying with a smile, “Frank, all you had to do was ask me!” :)

Monday, March 1, 2004

The Passion

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
(Hebrews 2:9)

Dee and I went to see "The Passion of The Christ" last Friday. It was a very heart wrenching two hours and six minutes, and without a doubt the most powerful movie I've ever seen. The film's intent is to tell the story of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus, but it goes well beyond that. It seems to lift you from your seat and transport you to the Garden of Gethsemane, to His trial, to His scourging, to His carrying of the cross, and finally to His death and resurrection. Although a Hollywood movie can only take you so far, it does convey the extent of Christ's sacrifice in a way no film has ever done before.

A few months back in "The Cost", I wrote about the song "Here I Am To Worship" and how "I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross." Although I still don't know the exact number of blows Christ received in my place, or how much of His blood was substituted for mine, or how painful those nails felt as they were driven into His hands and feet – I have a much clearer picture of His "Passion" and a much deeper appreciation of the price that He paid for me than ever before.