Not much to report here in Wolff house during the Dog days of summer. Our oldest two girls are off with friends at a sleep-over, and they will get to go horseback riding. We have the new Wii Fit game (thanks NaNa), and the kids are using it consistently, which is nice to see. Exercise and fun? Crazy idea, huh?
Well, here is my short and sweet update on praying 'Surprise me, God' over the last few weeks – I think I am becoming a better listener, to both people and God. For example, this past Tuesday or Wednesday I had lunch with my bride. Now this was the height of the Brett Favre mania on TV, and the restaurant had the ESPN news reports flashing all-over the screen. And it was an effort, but I gave my wife my attention. She needed some time to talk with me, and tell me some of the plans she has, and it was great.
A second example was a new Client who is both blind and deaf. Now this would normally seem like an insurmountable hurdle for me, but he called me and wanted me to come over and visit and I did. Our meeting was a little comical. But I did see someone who needed a new friend in his life. So I hope to make my new Client's home a place where I become a regular visitor.
Finally, the Word of God is fresh and new, and I am feeling like I am getting more help from the Holy Spirit, especially over the past few weeks. It's fun to have issues I am debating (in my own mind - J), and to have the answer clearly given to me, though I literally have read this same verse a number of times before. For example, I still think about the topic of how much of our own effort or work Christians need to put in to grow in righteousness. And though I have read Romans 9:30-32, many times before, this morning it jumped out to me, righteousness comes through faith, not by working at it. And then I also came across John 6:28-29, which repeated the same thought: Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." So I am spending more time in the Bible, enjoying it more, and having the blessing of God's Holy Spirit open it up to me more than it has in years.
So why do I think God is speaking to me now more than before I started my "Surprise me God" experiment? My quick answer is that before I spent too much time in my thoughts thinking about crafting the perfect arguments to persuade my atheist / unsaved friends. And things I read were also designed to help me in making the perfect "Tom" argument against unbelief. And so I see now that this is wasted effort. So I've given up much of my argument crafting reading / thinking, and replaced it with thinking about God's Word. I think this is the way I need to be fixing my eyes on Jesus, rather than on my own efforts, but I'll need more assurance of this before I abandon it altogether. So that's what's going on in my faith walk this week. I hope anyone visiting my Blog is also being blessed by God in whatever ways they are seeking and walking with Him. I pray this for you in the name and righteousness of Jesus, Amen.