I love coffee. I have been told that I am borderline passionate about it (once someone described me as a coffee swigging, poetry reading and writing kind of guy). The taste, the smell, and the atmosphere it creates… these things stir my mind and warm my soul; these things help me to think.

I have had a fair amount of coffee these past two weeks, and it has been paired with even more thinking. I spent a week in Washington visiting my Love and spending time reconnecting with my Divine Lover. I have not been reading blogs, commenting, or writing posts… I have been sorting through my own thoughts, my own emotions, and what I hear the Bible telling me about God and salvation. It has been a good time, and very necessary.

I have a tendency to be reactionary when I don’t take time to think and write for my self. When my time is devoted to reading blogs, books about theology and philosophy, and commentaries on the Bible, most all of the writing I produce is in reaction to other peoples thoughts, opinions, and ideas. While interacting with other minds is a great discipline, taken in great doses it leads me to a place of being unable to articulate what I think and feel about a subject. I need time alone: time to talk to God, time to listen to God, time to wander the halls of my heart, and time to converse with my mind. These past two weeks I have made time alone, and I have been reminded of things that I believe, things feel passionately about, and other things I need:

  • I believe that we are not yet saved, but are being saved because of the truth that God is love. I do not agree with John Pipper that God’s desire for His own Glory drives all He does. I do not agree with the Calvinistic view that only by some Divine capricious choosing that is beyond our ability to understand do we escape the judgment and wrath of God. I don’t agree with the open theistic view that God is bound by linear time and the rules of human relationships. I do believe with all my being that God choose to create Humanity even though He knew that we would choose to not trust Him. I believe that God still loves *all* humanity, and that His love was the sole reason for the Atonement sacrifice of Jesus, the pure spotless lamb. I believe that this sacrifice is more than sufficient to reconcile any one of us with God if only we will have faith. I believe God births in us a new, holy nature that we are now learning to live out. We live in the hope that our salvation will be revealed with Christ on the great and terrible day of the Lord. This is why I started the “Ruminating the Gospel” series, and I do plan to speak on this more in-depth in the next couple of posts in the series.
  • I do not believe in the 1.5 coming of Christ, the taking of the Church out of this world, or the book of Revelation to refer to only future events. I believe that Christ has come once in humility and will come once again in Glory. I don’t thing the traditional view of the rapture as occurring pre- or mid- tribulation is accurate, because I don’t think God will ever take His bride off this earth, but will come to be united with Her when He come to restore all creation and finally and permanently collide Heaven and Earth. Yes, the Lord will establish the fullness of His kingdom. I believe we are living now in the time of History that is depicted by the seven seals on the scroll. I believe that the time of the trumpets is a time of proclamation that the King is coming soon, and that the seven bowls are a picture of Jesus Christ purifying the Earth as He establishes His thousand year physical reign before the final judgment! If anyone would like Biblical proof, I would be happy to give it. Just ask. Maybe one day it will be a post; who knows.
  • I believe the Body of Christ in America is sick and in desperate need of change. I know that everyone is saying this, but the truth is very few people are doing anything about it. I think much of the answer lies in giving people a true Biblical vision of the Great commission, discipleship that prepares everyone to disciple others, and the Hope we have in the gospel. I want to be actively involved in this endeavor to heal and build up the Bride of Christ, not just the local congregation I serve with. I have ideas of how I can help the Body. I call it “the Scatter Church”. I wrote a paper attempting to explain the ideas behind that phrase, and currently I am revising it. When I finish, I want to post it here and get some feed back… so please keep an eye out for it.
  • I need the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in a very desperate way. I am disheartened at how easily I am drawn back into my fleshly habits. I hate being a failure at this Christian walk. I need the power and presence of God continually, and every time I forget this need or that only by going to God in humility and brutal honesty will this need be met, I lose hope and meaning in my life.
  • I need time to be creative and time to drink coffee. “Walking on Water” by Madeleine L’Engleis a phenomenal book about the discipline of being a Christian artist. “Habits of the Mind” by James W. Sire is a stirring call to the Christian intellectual. I find my self at home in both of these arenas, and in need of discipline and practice for the sake of being who God has crafted and called me to be.
  • -I need physical reminders of Love. I am not the kind of person that easily remembers my own worth. It is hard for me to fathom that God actually loves me… Sure, He sent Christ to die for all mankind, but for me personally? I find it hard to believe this truth. When I get a hug, a arm around my shoulder, a kiss from my girl… in these things I feel the Love of God and my faith is strengthened.

I feel (for the first time in a great wile) that I have some direction. These things are a few of my signposts as I try to think and write well; they anchor me and don’t let me drift into bad thinking, or (worse still) into apathy. These passions, truths and needs give me a reason to share the Gospel, a reason to care about people and the Church, and a reason to continue living and loving.

Ya… these two weeks away from the Internet did me some good. A week with my love, two twenty hour bus rides, and a few days being around my Church body… it is amazing that the Lord know what I need and when I need it. So, if you don’t see my name on any comment threads or see any new posts for a wile, just consider me in solitude for the sake of godliness and good thinking.