Saturday, February 19, 2011

Childlike Faith

When I was about 15 years old my dad was teaching me to ride motocross. Specifically I was learning how to jump aggressively once reaching the top of a steep sand quarry wall in order to launch myself and the motorcycle very high into the air, land and carry on as quickly as possible. Going high into the air slows you down, but I was primarily learning how to control the bike in any give situation.  I was learning how to ride just like my dad - and I couldn't have been happier! 

My dad had bought me my second motorcycle, a Yamaha BW200.  I loved the thing! It was nearly unstoppable. Because of the large wheels I could easily navigate mud, sand, logs... just about anything! But on the day in question I was about to come up against something I was not prepared for. 

Time and again I would rush up the wall and slip into the air, land and go around again. Faster, quicker, more aggressive... more this more that... my dad kept wanting more out of me. Finally I decided to give it all I dared to! Rushing up the wall adrenaline was pumping through my system and I was feeling that the situation was getting out of control. This time I didn't just slip into the air, I launched! It felt like I was on a rocket! I freaked out. It was too much. When I landed I tried to turn too soon.. .didn't give enough gas and the bike took me to the ground and pinned me there. 

I'm adopted but you would never know it based on how my dad and I look and act. I've so looked up to him that I talk like he talks, walk like he walks and even use his judgment - even today after having been married for some 19 years. My dad was my hero. 

I wanted to be rescued by my dad, my hero. 

I called out to him, but he just stood there looking at me. 

I called out again and again. 

Finally he told me he wasn't coming, that I had to pick the bike up off of myself and get back on it. "Now." He said, not harshly but with no hint that I could argue with him any further. 

I picked the bike up. Threw my leg over it. Started it up. Looked at him, disbelieving. Finally I road over to him - and he explained what had just happened to me. Then sent me down to bottom of the quarry to do it again, just as fast. 

You know what my dad explained to me that day? That I had to learn to pick myself up. It was time for me to start being the man I needed to become. I needed to know that I could rely on myself. I needed to know that when the situation is out of control I can control what I'm able to, and roll with the rest. I needed to be able to face the impossible, and get through it. He wanted me to be a strong man. 

I had wanted to be rescued by my dad, my hero. My dad wanted me to be the man I saw him as. 

Jesus' Disciples were in a boat in terrible weather. They saw a Man walking on the water and considered perhaps He was a ghost! He told them to not be afraid because "I AM." Peter recognized that it was the Lord, and said that if it was Him that he wanted to be called out to join Him on the water! WOW. Can you imagine asking such a question - and being sincere? Peter wanted to do something amazing like what the Lord was doing - just like I wanted to ride motorcycle the way my dad could. 

Peter got out on to the waves and started walking on water - yes a plain old fashioned fallible man like you or I.  Peter did great and the Lord must have been pleased! That is until Peter saw how the wind was affecting the water and became afraid. At that moment Peter began to sink. 

He cried out to Jesus "Lord save me!" and IMMEDIATELY the Lord stretched out His arm and saved him. 

Peter wanted to be rescued by the Lord, and the Lord did so IMMEDIATELY. 

So what's the lesson here? Well tomorrow morning I'm leading the Breaking of the Bread service and I'm going to speak on this lesson. While my dad's goal was to bring up a strong, self-reliant, resilient man the Lord crafts His children entirely differently. My dad had an honorable purpose, and he did the right thing so far as learning to be a man is concerned from his point of view. 

The Lord wants dependant children, and fully dependant at that. We are supposed to be so dependant on Him that we do not fear the waves, we simply call on Him in every situation at all times. We don't need to learn to be stronger than the waves, or to persevere through them, or to overcome them - we need to be ever reliant on the rescue of the Lord - in every situation. 

The Lord rebuked Peter that day, saying he had "little faith" but who among the Brethren reading this blog has faith like Peter did to get out of a boat and walk on water? 

Let us remember that the Lord didn't want Peter to perform that day, He wanted him to trust Him - no matter what. It was this amazing faith that Peter had, momentarily, that allowed him to do the amazing thing. The amazing thing was possible because of his trust, not as proof of it, not as part of it. Peter obviously had faith in the Lord even after he sank, but it was little faith - yet still enough for the Lord to save him. 

How's your faith today? Are you trusting Him with everything? Are you?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

On My Run

I've gotten serious about running again.

I was last truly serious about running early in 2005 when I ran in the Halifax Bluenose Half Marathon, which I completed in 2:12 in near hurricane conditions. I was pleased with the result considering the crazy winds, and impressed I lived through the experience. It was a terribly hard run, but also one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Since then I have been an on again, off again, kind of runner.  Having just crossed over into adulthood at the ripe old age of 40, I've decided it's time to get serious again. My loving wife has been running all along and she is very fast. So she's been training me since October and for Christmas she got me the Adidas miCoach.  We first saw it at one of her 10K races last year. I wanted it badly but didn't want to spend the money on myself. I generally only ever splurge on myself with computer or music gear.

I started training with the miCoach on January 4th. I set it up to train me with the goal of completing a 10K race in May in 60mins or less. The training program seemed too easy at first, but tonight I ran my 100th KM since the program started  - and it's getting pretty challenging. I've also gotten much faster! On  New Year's Eve I ran 5K in 28:16 - which isn't quick for a 40 y/o male.  I'm now able to do that same run in 25 mins. That's a huge improvement for such a short time!

If you are a runner who wants to get better, or someone who wants to learn how to run I can truly recommend this inexpensive bit of gear.

Quick Update

I'm working on Personnel Evaluations at work and so my writing here will be slow for the next little while. I had intended on having the review of Slave posted before this... however, it's a good thing that I've waited! Kindle doesn't give page numbers that relate to the actual print copy of the book, but that is being fixed. There's a preview of the next Kindle update which will include proper page numbers out now. As soon as this is released I'll be able to accurately quote MacArthur in such a way that people can easily find the quotes in the actual book. This is going to make writing the review much easier, and hopefully make the review more helpful in the end.

One note about the review - it's going to be short and I can sum it up for you right here. The book is not influential. I can't imagine anyone changing their mind to believe in MacArthur's Lordship Salvation theology after reading it, if they disagreed in the past. It is also not going to drive away anyone who currently even loosely holds to this theological position. It makes no real statement, comes to almost no conclusions, and so in the end I expect it will be an entertaining read for those who hold the position and a disappointing read for everyone else.

On a side note; I've ordered the book Free Grace Soteriology by Dr. David R. Anderson since it has been recommended to me by Dr. Robb Lawson.