In the Valley of Vision

Grace and peace y’all,It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, so I apologize for keeping y’all waiting in suspense of the next post. I have been gearing up a new website of mine that will be solely devoted to publish articles which strive to analyze the Emerging Church conversation in a manner that is shaped by the Cross of Christ. To this end I toil and contend for the faith alongside a divinely ordained overseer in this mission, Rev. Ken Silva (SBC).It has been a very busy week down here at Southern Seminary, and at the same time a lot has been going on at church also. So for now I shall be brief, but be ready for some substantial articles in the near future!

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On a personal note, I have been continually rethinking and reforming my attitude and mindset towards seminary, ministry, family, and well, my life in general. Friends from Toronto who have known me for a long time are well acquainted with the fact that at times — well, maybe at many times — I may be a a tad slow… a little near-sighted… or just simply blind at the little details in life (especially that of others :S). This is somewhat ironic, because I pay very careful attention to details in terms of theology and doctrine. However, when it comes to other people, I have to admit that I sometimes do not notice changes until it is too late or outright pain-painstakingly obvious. This is something that has (and still is) taking me a long time to learn.Please accept my apologies, for I am only human — a guy made in the image of God who sometimes slips and sins, and yet a saint made holy by Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and a child of God whom the Holy Spirit is working on persistently. Please also understand that this is just who I am: a introverted man of fierce passions, dreams, hopes and ambitions; an aspiring theologian who is often buried nose-deep in theology books. And so if I have neglected you or your friendship, I humbly ask for your sincere forgiveness and hope that you will accept for who I am. Please understand that I would never intend to forsake our bond of peace in Christ, but rather that I truly desire unity and purity in the body of Christ.In all things and regardless of the circumstances, remember that I love y’all with brotherly affection and genuinely desire to serve the church honorably through mutual edification.

23 And [Jesus] said to all, ???If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.–Luke 9:23-24

I had learned this ages ago while growing up, but only now has God made evident, manifest, and perspicuously clear to me that the way to true life is to lose it. It is weird how this same old truth doesn’t really hit home until it really shows itself in real life with hands and feet confirming and affirming it to me. I do not know why God chose now to finally reveal this to me; maybe it’s just time for some real change. Nevertheless, I think I have grasped what it truly means. For as I spoke to the Lord through this Puritan prayer, I now understand how to truly embrace this truth:

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold they gloryLet me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,that to be low is to be high,that the broken heart is the healed heart,that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,that to have nothing is to posses all,that to bear the cross is to where the crown,that to give is to receive,that the valley is the place of vision.Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,and the deeper the wells the bright thy stars shine;Let me find thy light in my darkness,thy life in my death,thy joy in my sorrow,thy grace in my sin,thy riches in my povertythy glory in my valley.

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