February 27, 2006

prayer

For the past few days, I've been engrossed in American Evangelicalism in the late-18th and early-19th Centuries while reading Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858. I haven't gotten into "the heart" of the book which challenges our idea today of what a revival looks like compared to that of the partakers of the Great Awakening. So far the author, Iain Murray, has been covering the true essence of revival and what brings it about. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit moving, but what can we do to bring about that movement? Well, some would say promotion and advertising, holding special events, etc. Through testimonies from those living during the Second Great Awakening, Murray concludes this:
Thus what characterizes a revival is not the employment of unusual or special means but rather the extraordinary degree of blessing attending the normal means of grace. There were no unusual evangelistic meetings, no special arrangements, no announcements of pending revivals. Pastors were simply continuing in the services they had conducted for many years when the great change began. That is why so many of them could say, "The first appearance of the work was sudden and unexpected." Their theology taught them that there is no inherenet power in the truth to convert sinners and they rejoiced in the knowledge that the size of the blessing which God is pleased to give through the us of means is entirely in his own hands. (Revival & Revivalism, p. 129)
These "normal means of grace" are faithful, regular preaching of the Word and prayer, which he goes on to expound upon:
As with the truth that is preached, prayer has no inherent power in itself. on the contrary, true prayer is bound up with a persuasion of our inability and our complete dependence on God. Prayer, considered as a human activity, whether offered by few or many, can guarantee no results. But prayer that throws believers in heartfelt need on God, with true concern for the salvation of sinners, will not go unanswered. Prayer of this kind precedes blessing, not because of any necessary cause and effect, but because such prayer secures an acknowledgement of the true Author of the blessing. And where such a spirit of prayer exists it is a sign that god is already intervening to advance his cause. (ibid.)
I must confess that my prayer life is wanting, and this above passage is quite convicting about its power. What keeps me from praying fervently is a lack of confidence that my prayers will do any good or have any results, whether visible or invisible. Not that we should be disappointed when our prayers do not result in revival, but we should pray with the expectation that God is already at work in our hearts and in the hearts of those he is drawing to himself.

February 17, 2006

indelible grace update

school's back in high gear... I'm supposed to be writing a short response paper about the book "Back To Basics" which I just finished reading, but I'm taking a short breather before plunging into the writing assignment. Justin Weeks is set to arive any minute now for a weekend visit from Seattle. And I just got a call from Sarah that she's getting to go on a helicopter ride at her job!

Indelible Grace 4 just came out, and it's another hit, in my mind at least. I'm currently transcribing the new songs to put up on the Hymnbook website. The Indelible Grace website itself just got a revamp, and a new message board. Be sure to check it out... don't know how soon the Hymnbook website will get a revamp and whether or not I'll have a hand in that...

Also, I just started a myspace.com page. Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/lukebrodine and be sure to add me as a friend if you're a member already :)

currently on iTunes: the innocence mission, Christ Is My Hope

February 03, 2006

"where do your loyalties lie?"

So some people here in South Carolina have been asking me if I'll be cheering for the Seattle Seahawks during the Super Bowl this Sunday evening. I'm assuming they ask this because I lived in Seattle for the last few years. I did have to think this through, weighing many factors, and here's the rules I came up to progress towards decision:
  1. I grew up in Kansas City, so ultimately I am a Chiefs fan
  2. Since the Chiefs haven't seen the Super Bowl in my lifetime, I usually pick to cheer for the AFC team since it is the better conference overall, except if it's the Raiders, which is trumped by my longstanding rule "I cheer for whoever is playing against the Raiders" (this also works for the Ravens and the Falcons, but it has not been as longstanding as the Raiders)
  3. But still, I lived in Seattle, which would seem to trump the previous 2 rules. Unfortunately, I never ever watched a Seahawks game while I was in Seattle. I think it was Ed Dunnington who told me "when you move to Seattle, you have to decide to go to church or be an NFL fan." Because of the time change, we don't get out of church until the late games are about to start, so you just lose interest in Sunday afternoon football.
  4. "So what, Seattle has never been to the Super Bowl and Pittsburgh has won it many times before!" Well, not with Jerome Bettis, who is one of the most reliable running backs in the past decade. He needs a ring before he retires.
  5. Face it, Seattle is not a "championship" town... This is not so much my argument but from Sports Illustrated... Read the last page of the current issue for this (I read it today in the doctor's office... couldn't find it online).
  6. And finally, the card that trumps all cards unless rule #1 still holds true: I married a Pittsburgh family! Both of Sarah's parents grew up there, and a lot of family is still there. Also, I've been watching the Steelers for most of the season, so it'll be easier to follow the players.
So, sorry Seattle, no soup for you... I raise my latte to you for making it this far, but you're gonna have to fall...

(fortunately, it was Seattle and not the Carolina Panthers... I'd have to justify a whole lot more to cheer against the local team!)

currently in iTunes: Indelible Grace IV - Beams of Heaven