Novels, Francis Chan, and the Holy Spirit

I have been neglectful. I apologize for this.

I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Essentially, you write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November for absolutely no prize other than a certificate saying that you completed it. The idea is that by setting a very real goal/limitation that you have to meet by the end of November, it should urge you towards writing and writing quickly. So far, I have around 1600 words, and I honestly have no idea if I'll make it the full month. It is brute force writing at its best. Should be fun.

I've started attending Cornerstone Church, and the pastor there is a guy by the name of Francis Chan. He is a dynamic speaker to say the least. He presents the Word of God in such a straightforward and convicting manner...each message I've heard from him has challenged me in some way. I've even started listening to podcasts of his past sermons, and it has been amazing for me personally. I have been highly neglectful of my time spent with the Lord, and I've always tried to excuse it by telling myself that I've been too busy to read Scripture, to pray, all of these things. I can't excuse myself though...and I'm so thankful that I've began to open the Word and to read. Philippians in particular has been such a blessing to me...hearing Paul rejoice in the midst of prison, thankful that his imprisonment is bringing others to Christ. We need to take heed of men like Paul and realize, as Francis says, that these men are not men far removed from us in faith. We are just as capable of their level of faith as anyone. We must simply spend time in God's Word, in conversation with God, in prayer, in worship...by knowing God better, we will come to a better understanding of what His Spirit, working through us, is capable of.

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ -- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:7-11 NIV)