“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!” ~ Isaiah 6:3
As God’s people, we are not defined by the times in which we live. The government does not have control over how we live our lives. Technology does not define our existence. Postmodernism does not determine how we think. News and entertainment do not account for who we are.
Just like Isaiah, we are plunged into the holy. We are given a holy vision. We see the Lord reigning in holiness, we hear the holy songs of the holy angels, filling the holy air with holy words: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Hurst is full of his glory. Bedford is full of his glory. Richland High School is full of his glory. Your living room is full of his glory. The post office is full of his glory. The Wal-Mart is full of his glory. The Northeast Mall is full of his glory. Your workplace is full of his glory. The intersection of Highway-183 and Precinct Line Road is full of his glory. The whole earth is full of his glory.
Everywhere you walk is holy ground. Everywhere you go is a sacred place. Everybody you meet is a holy opportunity. Everything you do is a sacred activity. Everything you involve yourself in is ruled and governed by a holy God and made sacred for his holy purposes.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” ~ Romans 12:1
There are 79 more days until the Dallas Cowboys kick off their 2009 season. And we’re counting down the days with what we’re calling the Red Ribbon Review. We’re recognizing, by jersey number, the second-best players in franchise history. I know you’ve been worried about #79 since this time yesterday. Well, it’s not Jacob Rogers or Rob Petitti. It’s not Char-ron Dorsey. Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg actually finishes third because he only played that one 1971 season in Dallas.
The second-best player to ever wear #79 for the Cowboys is offensive lineman Erik Williams. “Big E” was a third round pick in 1991 out of little Central State in Ohio, coming into the league the same year as another fairly significant “E,” Emmitt Smith. Williams earned himself four Pro Bowls and two 1st team All-Pro selections blocking on that left side for the NFL’s greatest running back ever. And how many times did we hear in the ’90s that Williams was so critical to the Cowboys’ success because he “protected Troy Aikman’s backside?”
Erik Williams played ten seasons in Dallas, making 13 playoff starts and helping the Cowboys win three Super Bowl titles. He’s also mainly responsible for the NFL’s hands-to-the-face penalty. Reggie White received more than his share of those head slaps. That league rule and a horrible auto accident in ’94 slowed Williams’ down tremendously. I’m not sure if his close friendship with Michael Irvin and his involvement in those high profile incidents weren’t also a factor in his limited productivity in his final three or four seasons.
What a great night last night at the Colonial in Fort Worth for Austin Graduate School of Theology! The “Continuing the Dream” banquet (if you’d like to give, click on the AGST link or give me a shout) gave me a chance to spend some time with Stan Reid, although not nearly enough. And it gave me another opportunity to tell the story of how my two years at Austin Grad completely changed my life.
You know, I was humbled from the first moment I walked into that place in September 2005. I was overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know. And not just Peterson’s Greek. I learned more about our God and his Word and his plan for redeeming the world in those two years than I had in my first 39 years combined. Austin Grad showed me the Scriptures and the Church and the Christian faith and God’s activity in his world like I had never seen it before.
And it changed me.
I began to interpret my faith in light of those who had lived it before me. I was thinking through and reflecting on my own faith. I was becoming much more aware of God’s hand — his continual provision — in my life, in the life of his Church, and for all of creation, from the beginning of time to right now and through eternity. I gained a new perspective. I saw the big picture much more clearly. I began to think theologically. And I see that now as the only way to really pass on the Christian faith.
I’m forever grateful to Austin Grad for the education, the knowledge, the examples, the wisdom, the mentors, the humility, and the training I need to best serve my Lord and the people in his Kingdom. It’s rich. And it’s deep. It’s meaningful and important. And it’s being taught there by sensitive, caring, compassionate, brilliant Christian men.
Today I’m struggling and wrestling and growing and teaching and loving and sharing with all the members of this beautiful congregation of disciples at Legacy. And I pray God will use us to turn this community upside down for him. I pray God will completely use me up in fulfilling his mission. And I will keep studying and interpreting and growing and preaching. I will keep preaching. It’s the highest honor I can pay to those who’ve lived the faith before me. And to my God.
Thank you, Austin Grad. I’m forever grateful.