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Murder Mystery, listening to God, and being in Darkness (2003-02-16 - 8:08 a.m.)

Well, I've missed a few days. Christi and I had a fantastic time over the weekend. We went to a Murder Mystery Dinner for Valentine's Day at the Doubletree Hotel on N Central Expressway in Dallas. Now, I won't recommend this hotel to anyone, because they stuck us in a room that was 2/3 the size of the rest of the rooms. It was the smallest hotel room I have ever seen. We paid for a room with a kingsize bed, and got a queen bed with about two feet on either side of the bed. There was only one chair in the room, under a pseudo desk that was carved out of the wall. The tv was up over the desk, almost too high to watch (not that we needed it that much). The Dinner, however, was magnificent! The food was great, and Keith and Margo's Murder Mystery was, as usual, wonderful. There were too many people at this event, though, and we had to work as "teams" at our tables. We had a LOUSY team. None of them had ever done this before, and all but two of them left before it was over. The last two wouldn't speak up and tell us any theories, so we missed a crucial point in the solution, which the girl in the couple had figured out. But she never would say anything to us. Sigh. Oh, well, we really didn't need another Maltese Falcon anyway. We still had a great time. Oh, yeah...the most romantic thing happened. A young man arranged to propose to his fiance right in front of the whole crowd. She said yes. It was so romantic! They got a standing ovation.

I am a bit behind in my readings (about four days...been real busy), so I'm trying to catch up on my Chambers readings this morning. It's Sunday, and I am also trying to prepare myself to lead worship. This morning's service is a bit different. I'm basically running the whole thing today, with speaking intertwined with music. It's all about prayer, something that I need a lot of work on, myself. Perhaps I can take some of what I am teaching this morning and make us of it, myself, eh?

I'm also still working to make that 2 Timothy 1:7 verse a reality in my life. Old habits die hard, and thinking myself undisciplined is a very old and bad habit.

Chambers says that, just because we have listened to one thing God says, doesn't necessarily mean that we will listen to everything He says. Most of us, says Chambers, don't even realize when He has spoken! "The destiny of my spiritual life is such identification with Jesus Christ that I always hear God, and I know that God always hears me (John 11:41). What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things." These other things can be numerous and varied. Many times we are taken up with service in such a way that we don't hear what God says to us. (This was from 2/13)

On 2/14, Chambers speaks of being in the darkness. "At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him." He admonishes me to remain quiet if this is true in my life. "If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don't talk to other people about it; don't read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed."

On 2/15, he deals with a particularly difficult topic, that of being responsible for other souls. "For instance, if I allow any private deflection from God in my life, everyone about me suffers. When once you allow physical selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral obtuseness, spiritual density, everyone belonging to your crowd will suffer." Ouch! I have much to learn from this.

I'm also beginning to read Up With Worship, a wonderful little book by Anne Ortlund about, well, worship. It has 160 pages, all very short chapters, and is a great read, and very inspiring. The subtitle is "How To Quit Playing Church." I had to read this book many years ago when I was in seminary, and I found a revised and updated copy yesterday at Half Price Books.

Well, I've gotta go...

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