Mar 30, 2008

A Sleepless Night in the Presence of My Savior

I am having a sleepless night in the presence of my Savior. This happens with me sometimes in the throes of spiritual warfare with some particular issue or problem. Sometimes it is even in an abundance of joy, excitement, or blessing that I find myself unable to stop thinking and find sleep. Tonight is an odd mix of all the above. I am continually amazed at how easily deceived I am and how quickly I can turn from the straight path. Yet, I am also continually amazed at the love, grace, and patience of my gracious Savior who continually draws me back unto Himself, which is cause for joy, excitement, and worship. I am a pretty tenacious person in general, especially where devotion to Christ is concerned… yet sometimes not nearly enough. It is one thing to keep from running the opposite way from the Lord in some grand fashion and in one of the “big” things that we tend to classify as such. Yet, the small degrees of turning are so very troublesome. We walk the straight path and follow closely and think we do well because we are not turning the other way. Yet, one degree of turning is just as much rebellion as to actually turn around. It is in the small degrees over time that mighty ships end up miles and miles off course. Further, at that point, there is no perceptible difference between a ship that went off course slowly and one that simply turned the other way. Thus, it doesn’t matter how the ship got off course, whether deliberate or not, the simple fact is that the ship is in waters in which it does not belong. The slightest deception, the slightest turning, and we will be quite far from the Lord before we even know what has happened. We are desperately wicked and entirely in need of Christ’s continual work of sanctification. This is why the disciplines are so vitally important to our lives. Through the disciplines, such as prayer and reading, we are constantly compared to Christ, our standard. May we use the true measuring rod and measure often!!!

Among the passages I have been meditating on tonight is Psalm 127, specifically the first two verses and also Eccl 5:12. Sleep is an interesting thing to study in the scriptures. Sleep is a gift from the Lord and can be the blessing given to those who are faithful and have labored diligently. Yet, sometimes sleep is withheld from the faithful in order to draw them into a greater sense of watchfulness and devotion. Other times it is withheld due to deliberate sin and a restlessness of the mind akin to paranoia (Prov 28:1). Other times, God gives people over to sloth and slumber and they sleep well in ignorance, not knowing that judgment is coming.

Thus, though I am thankful for nights that I am able to sleep in the blessings given after diligent work, I am also thankful for sleepless nights. These are the times where I can clearly see the way the Lord is working in my life and I can be excited that He is in fact working. It is a much more fearsome thing for God to leave us alone than to come under discipline (or construction). It is in emptying ourselves and taking in Christ that we find true rest and fulfillment. We must pour ourselves out and drink in Christ. May we continually be empty vessels, cleansed from the inside out and ready to be filled with new wine!

I don’t share very often about the music I listen to or particular artists for that matter (I am very eclectic). If I do, it has usually been a hymn. However, one song in particular has been on my mind and in my heart tonight. It has been a custom fit for tonight, if I can use the expression. The song is on Ron Kenoly’s CD “Dwell in the House.” It is entitled “My Quiet Place” and I have copied the lyrics below to share with you. Though I do not agree with his every theological point (and am ignorant of much of it), I dearly enjoy some of his music.

My Quiet Place
By: Ron Kenoly

Lord I love

To worship You

O Lord I love

To worship You

You have given me so much

To be thankful for

And I love You is not enough

To express my love

Everything I have inside of me

Lord I give to You

There is nothing I can do

There is nothing I can do

There is nothing I can do

But worship You

O Lord I love

To worship You

Yes Lord I love

To worship You

You have given me so much

To be thankful for

And my words are not enough

To express my love

So everything I have inside of me

Lord I give to You

And there is nothing more to do

Lord there is nothing more to do

There is nothing more to do

But worship You

Worship You

Mar 27, 2008

Prayer Requests by Request

Anyone who knows me well, knows how vitally important prayer is to me. It is one of the most natural and dearest of the spiritual disciplines for me… it is sweet communion with my Father, it is the umbilical cord that sustains and strengthens me, it is one of the deepest acts of worship, fellowship, praise, service, and love (among other things). My life simply cannot exist without it and I wouldn’t want it to. Further, it is my abundant joy to regularly lift up people and situations to our Father. He alone is worthy of our praise and devotion and He alone is able to affect change. From time to time people will ask me how they can pray for me and I am always overjoyed to share. Yet, I do not wish to be a burden, so I rarely share more than a slice of the spectrum (and let’s face it, most people don’t actually want more than a slice). However, sharing requests should not be burdensome and this format is a little different than a casual conversation wherein we are thinking of appointments we must make, chores and work that must be done, and the many other things that keep us constantly on the move. In light of this, I have decided to share a few things, a sampling of the spectrum so to speak. As in all of our lives, there is a lot going on in mine right now, yet, in truth, these are all minor things in the grand scheme. I say at the outset that I am abundantly blessed in that I do not have anything to share that is so pressing or so “huge” that I am in any way upset by it. Further, I very clearly recognize that there are countless millions that need prayer much more than I do and need prayer about infinitely more important things. Thus, please understand I am simply providing a “window” into what is going on in my life and ways people can pray for me if they should feel so led. Finally, although it should be obvious, please understand that this list has been put together “by request” so to speak; thus it not representative of my prayer life (what a selfish one it would be if that was the case). Thank you!

For the sake of simplicity, I have organized the list according to broad topics. Yet, in truth, these divisions are fairly arbitrary as they all overlap. I have also provided a little explanation in each to help you better understand the request. At the bottom, I will provide a skeleton version of this list so that it can be easily printed and used, yet without all the explanation.

Spiritual Needs

  • Above all and in all, pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and discernment / understanding in all things. That He would help me to see situations and people from His perspective.
  • Please also pray that the Lord would so consume me, that I disappear… as it should be!
  • Pray that I would continue to live in His Spirit and not for myself. That He would truly be my all and that I would give Him pure, passionate devotion and not lip service.
  • Please pray that I would be broken, laid open (naked and bare as a sacrifice is split open) before Him. That I would have a brokenness over and a hatred of sin.

Financial Needs

  • I am quite blessed to have someone who is sponsoring my time here, so I would ask that you join me in praying for him and his family. Pray especially for their health. I am personally praying that the Lord would restore to them 7 fold all that they have done for me. Pray also that they would continue to do this out of joy and love. I am so very thankful for them.
  • Please pray that the Lord would provide a way to pay off my student loans. I owe about $4400 from my undergrad. This is the entirety of my debt, but I hate debt and desire to see this lifted before the next phase of life begins. In my current situation, that is not possible. Though it is a lot to ask, I am praying that the Lord might raise up someone to help me with this. This is as nothing to God and even from my perspective there are certainly people who could do it if the Lord prompted them to. Thus, please pray that the Lord’s will would be done.
  • Please also pray that the Lord would provide a way for me to have Lasik surgery. I wear glasses and am quite tired of them. I see this request from two basic perspectives. The first is stewardship: glasses are expensive and you have to keep replacing them over time… this adds up (and btw… it is past time for mine). The surgery is also expensive, but it seems to me it will clearly win out in the long run. The second is luxury: they are a constant hindrance at work and during activities such as working out. Quite often they fly off or are so covered in dust and sweat that I just can’t see anyway. To be perfectly blunt, they are just annoying. At the same time, I am very thankful to live in a place and time where they are even available… believe me, I do recognize this!
  • Please pray that my car would continue to run well. The bottom line is that if anything major happens with it, I will not be able to afford to replace it and I will be prevented from working to help replace it. I have been in that position many times before and the Lord always makes a way, so I am not worried, though I don’t want to be there again.

Down the Pike (near and distant future)

Please pray for discernment and provision for the summer.

  • I am trying to figure out whether or not to try to go home and work, to stay here and take several classes that are being offered, or some combination thereof. Here’s the deal: though I haven’t talked with him thus far, I imagine my boss back home would allow me to return. I really and truly work for an amazing man and an amazing company. It is a job, boss, and company that I love and enjoy very, very much. I absolutely LOVE the work and truly enjoy going to work every day (there is something about hard work that is very refreshing). Further, I always have a great time of ministry there. On top of that, I can make a lot of money with that company. This option is especially tempting given the above financial issues. Yet, there are three classes that are being offered this summer that I would be able to take if I stayed. This would lighten the load of my final academic year here, allowing me time for other things such as dating, GRE / PhD prep, talking to churches, etc - as the Lord leads. I would also like to try to study and then exempt a Greek class this summer so that I can take a more advanced Greek class during the regular semester. If I do not exempt, I will not be able to take the advanced class at all. Further, I love my life here and don’t want to leave my friends and church family. Yet staying means being in a VERY weak financial position.
  • Please pray for discernment and provision for the future immediately after graduation (next May Lord willing). I do not know as of yet if the Lord would have me continue educationally or go right into ministry. If PhD work, please pray especially for provision and also that I would be directed to the proper program and school (and of course that I would be accepted). If ministry, please pray that the Lord would direct my steps to the place He has ordained for me to serve and that I would be able to do so faithfully.
Of a Personal Nature

A Relationship

  • As I have shared in the recent past, I am finally ready for a relationship with the right young woman. Please pray for me to have wisdom and discernment in seeking her. Please pray that the Lord would bring her into my life soon. I understand that His timing is perfect, so I am not upset. Even still, I do hope it is soon.
  • Pray especially that my eyes would be open. I have been so long in the posture of not looking, that not seeing has to some degree become a matter of habit.
  • Pray above all that she and I would be directed by the Lord and not ourselves. Pray that we wouldn’t play games, but that we would seek the Lord’s will and do it, no matter what and that there would be knowledge, not confusion, that walls would not be put up and that transparency would be present.
  • Pray that I would not settle out of weakness, but that I would not be expecting perfection either (I really feel pretty strong in this respect, but I am human).
  • Pray for opportunities to meet young women as that seems to be my greatest challenge. Also, pray that these opportunities would allow me to see who the young woman is. Because knowing something of her character is necessary for me to have genuine interest, the process can be excruciatingly slow (despite the fact that God has blessed me with a measure of discernment).
  • Pray that I honor the Lord in the way that I deal with any young woman that comes into my life and that I would bring help and healing to her (not harm). Pray that I would be able to point her to Christ, even if that particular young woman and I are not to be.
  • Pray that when the right one does appear, that we would see and be delighted by each other. Please also pray that the Lord would lead, guide, comfort, and heal her even now and be preparing us for each other.

Again, I only provide this for those that are truly interested in lifting me up to the Father (specifically those that have asked). Please do not feel obligated to say or do anything, especially not to promise to pray for me. I would rather a thousand people pray for me and zero let me know than for a lot of people to promise to pray and never actually do it. Thank you so much!

Oh, and as always, please let me know if I can pray for you in any way. You can talk, email, post, or call, whatever you are comfortable with. Blessings in Christ!

In Christ,

Aaron Hawk
John 3:30; Prov 16.9

Skeleton Version of the Prayer Requests


  • That I would be completely, totally, and only for Christ.
  • That the Lord would give me wisdom, understanding, and His perspective in all that I encounter in life.


  • For my sponsor’s health and family
  • Student Loans
  • Lasik surgery
  • Transportation to hold up


  • Wisdom and discernment concerning school and work for this summer
  • Wisdom and discernment concerning post-graduation plans


  • That my eyes would be open according to the Lord’s will
  • That the Lord would move and work in brining my future beloved into my life, preferably soon
  • That the Lord would be preparing my future beloved and me for each other.

Mar 18, 2008

The Familiar Path and the Frightened Child

A man was walking along a familiar path in the cool of the day, as was his custom. He stopped at his usual place to lean against an old oak tree and noticed a child had built a structure of some sort on a ledge just below this sturdy tree. After a few minutes, he saw the child coming toward him. Trying to be kind, and not wanting to alarm the child, he said hi. The child cordially responded “hi.” The man then rose and resumed his walk. Upon his return later that day, the man noticed that not only was the child gone, but so was the structure. There remained only a few broken pieces of what had been. As the man observed this, he couldn’t help but think that despite his efforts, he had frightened the child…

Mar 14, 2008

The Mystery and Beauty of Women: A Very Brief Meditation

Women (especially sisters in Christ) are truly God’s gift to men in so many ways (ways in which I can’t even begin to explain or comprehend). There is a glory and beauty in women that distinctively reflects so much of who God is and the depths of His character and love, which cannot be adequately expressed or explained. Women are a mystery as well as a blessing. I wish so much that more men recognized this… we have so much to learn from each other. By nature of being created as men and women, we reflect God’s glory differently. What I mean is that we are each made in the image of God, but through the filter of male and female, it is expressed quite differently (oh the vastness of that image that makes it such!).

To provide an analogy: If you think in terms of angled mirrors… one mirror may be at angle “A” and another may be at angle “B.” They are both mirrors, there is no qualitative difference whatsoever. Yet, the angle will determine what is reflected and how it is reflected. Or better yet think of prisms. Pure white light enters and is then refracted and reflected by the prism. The very angle that the light is bent determines the color (or colors) that are displayed. Thus, by design, we each bear the Imago Dei, yet reflect quite different aspects of that glorious and mysterious image.

Also by design, we naturally seek those in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells / is evident. The Spirit bears witness and deep calls unto deep. Add to this the fact that women reflect the image so very differently than men and it should be obvious why a Godly woman so inspires and motivates a man who is already pursuing the Lord, to pursue Him even more. Though he truly seeks her, he is also striving after that part of the image she reflects so very differently than he does. The closer she is to the Lord, the more he will be drawn to her and the more he is drawn to her, the more he will pursue the Lord. With this understanding, is it any wonder that we men are so drawn to our sisters, and ultimately our wife?! It is very good!

This also speaks to the incredible influence a woman has on a man. It is an influence that must be subjected to Christ as it can be a source of blessing or cursing… I wish more women realized this. Women, married or not, it would be very wise of you to meditate on and seek the wisdom of an elder lady in Christ on this one. Also, begin praying for the Lord to help you never to sway your husband away from the Lord or His will… it will be easier than you think.

Mar 13, 2008

Spring Time Fun

Though I know some of you are tired of waiting and tired of hearing it… trust me, the series is still coming… I hope to be able to start serious work on it in the next couple of weeks. Thanks so much for your patience :)

Wow, as much as I love Winter… Spring is, in truth, probably my favorite time of year. It is still cool enough to keep me from overheating, yet it is so beautiful as life begins anew and so many outdoor activities are once again possible. Without explaining the age-old analogy… what a beautiful picture of the Gospel!!!

The first truly BEAUTIFUL day of the year… it was truly perfect. Being as warm natured as I am, I am not one to just sit outside when warmer weather is present (work is one thing, but not leisure), yet today was so incredibly perfect I just couldn’t help it. I decided to go out in the main court area of the Seminary, read, and soak in the blessings of the day. I really don’t know how many hours I was out there, but it was so much fun. Of course I was blessed to see so many of my friends out there at different points as well. On top of enjoying my studies, today was truly a gift from the Lord in many ways. First, I am finally not only caught up with school work, but am in a position to have a little breathing room (very little as I have a big test and a paper first thing next week, but still). I hate being behind and love being ahead, so my spirits were already much higher. Second, the day itself was a blessing of being surrounded by unspeakable beauty and meditative comfort. I could not have designed a more perfect “relaxing / meditative” day if I had taken weeks to try to plan it. Thus, all I can do is relish in the goodness of my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is so VERY good to us, may we be reminded of this at all times!!!

Days like today are most certainly an answer to prayers such as this one

Mar 5, 2008

Beauty Revisited

Hey guys, still quite under the burden of my studies and still dying to be able to finish the series. Today especially I have had a very strong desire to write out at least the next section or two (frankly, at this point I’d like to take about a month’s sabbatical so to speak and just finish the entire thing). Yet, discipline, obligation, and the privilege of my circumstances call me to my reading and to study. I did however, in a weaker moment of discipline, run across something I posted a while back. For various reasons (some of which I am not sure of and some of which would take an entire post to explain), it really resonated with me yet again today. Thus, I wish to share with you… who knows, perhaps someone else may be reflecting on some of the same things (after all, we frail beings do indeed like confirmation and affirmation ;). May you know Christ and then rest firmly in the warmth of His arms, listening to the beat of His heart!

Here’s the link:

In Christ,

Aaron Hawk
Prov 16.9