The Delightful Way


Let Us Therefore Strive to Enter that Rest
May 30, 2007, 6:50 am
Filed under: Spiritual Life

Today’s Daily Light on the Daily Path entry is rich:

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/devotions/daily.light/?date=2007-05-30

Particularly meaningful for me is a verse in the middle of the passage: “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”

One of my major struggles this year has been trusting that God’s ways are best. Our culture tells me that I, as a 20-year-old young man, should be going to college, getting a career started, getting a gf and/or a wife, amassing fun and toys. God tells me I should be working at a ministry, foregoing the accolades and the accomplishments and the activities that mark the “wide way.” In a way, I am laboring for “enduring food” — my “wages” are in heaven.

The reality is that I have been called to this ministry and others are called to other things—careers, college, marriage. We are to be diligent to make our calling and election sure. (Of course, this verse has a lot of depth; I won’t unpack it here). We live in a war, not in a blessed paradise (yet). Therefore, we must seek to fight this fight, to run this race in such a way as to win the prize. I would challenge you: Are striving for the Kingdom of God? Are you violently seeking His Kingdom first?



“To Know Him…”
April 24, 2007, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Spiritual Life

For me, ALERT Basic training was the most difficult, most intense thing I’ve ever done. As Elihu pointed out to Job (Job 33), God teaches men in two ways: Through revelation (Scripture) and through suffering. The suffering in the first two weeks of Basic brought me to a point of brokenness where I let go of my pride and surrendured to God, acknowledging and accepting my total dependence on Him. Shortly after this breakthrough, He gave me the Scripture that has defined much of my time here at ALERT.

Each Saturday, we had a detailed inspection and then were “thrashed” for failing (The standard of passing was extremely high, and things as small as having dust on top of the doors or having your socks folded the wrong way or having a speck of dirt on your boots would be cause for failing). These thrashings involved intense physical exercise to the point of muscle failure. This particular Saturday, I was standing “at ease” by my bunk awaiting the inevitable pain when I pulled out my pocket NT and started reading in Phillipians.

God spoke to me through Phillipians 3:10: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” This verse sustained me through that thrashing that afternoon and on through the rest of Basic.

Recently, God has challenged my relationship with God to go deeper–to go to a level of intimacy, of experience, of really knowing.

Alex & Brett Harris wrote a great article on this subject at The Rebelution. In it, they say:

“As Christians—as rebelutionaries—we must never be content with simply having a relationship with our Savior. Is it growing? Do we delight to talk to Him? Do we hunger to read His Word?…Do I value the promised gift of sweeter communion with my Savior? Then let me demonstrate it by seeking after Him with my whole heart, through constant prayer and meditation on His Word. It will be hard, but it will be good. And someday I’ll be able to say, without a moment’s hesitation, that I have known my God.”

Read the whole article at The Rebelution: To Say, I Have Known God



Spiritual vs. Intellectual
April 21, 2007, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Spiritual Life

“…There is a danger lest that which is moral and spiritual should be neglected amidst the attention to that which is merely intellectual; lest talents should be appreciated more highly than virtues, and secular be more eagerly sought than religious knowledge. Yet it must be obvious to you, on reflection, that happieness, even for this world, to say nothing of the next, depends much more upon the state of the heart and the practice of life, than upon the culture of understanding.”

– John Angell James,  in A Young Man’s Guide through Life to Immortality, 15th ed.

The copy I’m reading was published in Birmingham, England in 1880.



Me with Chuck Holton
April 11, 2007, 9:29 pm
Filed under: My Life

19 march 082, originally uploaded by holtocw.

Chuck Holton, a producer for CBN, came out to ALERT in March and did a bunch of taping around campus. The Medics staged a fake car wreck and then worked it — backboards, IVs (real!!), an ambulance, a fire truck, lights and sirens, the whole nine yards. Even cut our shirts off.
I am on the right, and Ryan P. from Houston is on the left.



Book Review: The Danger Habit
April 2, 2007, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Book Review

The Danger Habit: How To Grow Your Love Of Risk Into Life-Changing Faith.By Mike Barrett. Colorado Springs: Multnomah. 2006.

I was attracted to this book because I recognized the propensity towards risk and danger in my own life. My friends readily admit that I’m crazy, I know I am an adrenaline junkie, and I tend to gravitate towards high-speed activities.

This book was not a disappointment. I expected to find affirmation of who I am and some application of how I could use my personality more effectively in God’s service.

In the preface, Mike Barrett explains:

But The Danger Habit invites you to explore the possibility that God not only intentionally wired you for an extreme life, but He also has a healthy, promising way for you to make the most of what He created you to be.

Mike begins by explaining that some of us are created to be more extreme. Using scientific studies as proof, he established that we tend to be “addicted to risk” and the chemical charge we get off it. But, he also showed how devastating this lifestyle can be to those around us.

The second chapter uses the analogy of tide and wind to explain how some of us are “radicals” (wind) and some are “foundationals” (tide). As both elements are necessary for making the best waves, so both types of people are necessary in this world. A Radical is someone who is difficult to predict or control, highly changeable, and not very dependable. A foundational, on the other hand, is someone who is dependable, predictable and strong.

The Danger Habit goes on to discuss the essentials of saving faith and the change that comes with regeneration. It presents these as being absolutely necessary for success if you have a radical personality.

In the next few chapters, the author discusses several key issues that radicals deal with: relationships, our need to fight, our frequent failures and the importance of having realistic expectations.

He finishes by challenging us to finish the fight well—to live worthy of the prize.

Overall, this book is good. It was pertinent for me, and seems like the kind of book that would be good for many of my “radical” friends.

However, I was personally disappointed in a few minor details of the book. I felt that the author compromised with the world when he identified (positively) with secular rock songs and used street slang excessively. I understand that these come along with the culture he is from and is trying to reach, but the book failed to live up to my standards of what a man should be. Even more so, I felt the book could have emphasized the vision of God’s glory and Christ’s supremacy more. It felt too much like it was about “me” and not enough about Christ.

Overall, this book rates a 3+ out of 5. Good content, but not the best possible.



Book Review: Hand Me Another Brick
March 29, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Book Review, Leadership

Book coverHand Me Another Brick: How Effective Leaders Motivate Themselves and Others
Charles R. Swindoll. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 1998.

There have been many books written on leadership. Just this spring, for instance, I have read at least ten different books. Out of these, “Hand Me Another Brick” stands out because of its strong Scriptural base, the emphasis on timeless principles, and the eminent practicality of Swindoll’s insights. It is a well-organized, easily readable book that covers the basics of Leadership in an effective and comphrensive manner.

Using the Biblical “memoirs” of Nehemiah as a guide, Swindoll distills principles of leadership that Nehemiah demonstrated in his roles as cupbearer, builder and governor.

Throughout the book, the importance of devotion to God and of prayer are emphasized. But, so is the need for action: to “Take problems by the throat”, to face problems head on, and to plan thoughtfully. I appreciated this book’s careful and thorough evaluation of criticism, opposition and discouragement. These three “enemies” frequently undermine otherwise strong leaders and are rarely addressed in much contemporary literature. Using Nehemiah’s experiences as a guide, Swindoll clarifies the causes and then explicitly outlines the cure for each of these negative problems.

The book’s format is well organized. It works through Nehemiah’s life in a chronological fashion, yet outlines the topics in a sequential manner ideal for easy understanding. Each chapter contains specific points to remember, and an excellent study guide in the appendix brings the material home for clear applications.

Overall, this book ranks as one of the best books on leadership I’ve read. It is broad in reach, dead center in focus, and powerful in application. I highly recommend this book.



The Glory of Christ
March 28, 2007, 11:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

At church, our Sunday School class has been going through John Owen’s The Glory of Christ. Last week we discussed how Christ is the fullest revelation of the Father’s glory. I was thinking about this concept and decided to meditate on the Cross of Christ. At first I was thinking exclusively of the benefits I accrue through Christ’s sacrifice. But then the light dawned: What of Christ’s side of the equation? What did Christ do? This is where I found great blessing and a deeper appreciation of the Glory of God.

 

Christ was the High King of Heaven. In Colossians 1:15-20, Paul describes him as:

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

  

…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [1]

 

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.   But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him    the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.    Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes n offering for sin, e shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. ut of the anguish of his soul he shall see nd be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, ake many to be accounted righteous, nd he shall bear their iniquities.Terefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. [2]

 

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. [3]

~Samuel Kordik
sskordik AT gmail.com


[1] Philippians 2:6-8 (ESV)

[2] Isaiah 53:4-12 (ESV)

[3] Philippians 2:5