Love or Lists

God created mankind and granted him the choice to obey or disobey. I often wonder why the God of the universe chose to create sinful people who cause him so much grief. I was thinking though, that it’s kind of similar to us choosing to engage in relationships with other people. If we were to chose to live as hermits in the mountain, we could spare ourselves a lot of risk and pain. But because we are created in the image of God, we yearn for human relationships and therefore are willing to risk the pain. Similarly, God created us so that we love him in return, despite the fact that we cause him grief. Every star, galaxy, microorganism, and living creature demonstrates the glory of God, but nothing brings more joy to the Creator of the Universe than the love and devotion of his children. What an honor!

God reveals Himself through the Bible over 4,000 years of history. Slowly, but surely, he demonstrates his power, majesty, justice, and holiness. Throughout the Old Testament, he constantly shows the nation of Israel that He is loving, caring, persistent, and just. God’s holiness is revealed, and we come to understand that God cannot even be near sin, and that the wage of any sin is death. Through the laws of the Old Testament, we learn that we cannot possibly keep His commandments and that we need a Savior to rescue us from the death we deserve.

And so in the New Testament, God sends his Son to be the final sacrifice for our sins. He pays the price, and stands between God and mankind as the ultimate arbitrator. Therefore, when God looks at us he no longer sees our sins – he sees Christ. We are clean, we are free, and we are guiltless.

So what is Christianity all about? What could we possibly do to repay Him? I dunno, but I tend to think that all we need to do is love Him. That is why he created us isn’t it? To love Him, worship him, praise Him, imitate Him and glorify Him with our lives? So we learn about the nature of God by studying the Bible, and then we love Him for all he has done for us, and because we love Him we obey him. Our obedience is motivated out of love, not out of a fear of displeasing God. Because God already loves us and forgives us. I believe our main job is to love Him…because how can we not? And once we begin to realize what He has done, we desire to serve Him. And when we fail – which we will because we are very inperfect – we seek forgiveness and He grants it each time. His mercies are new every morning. It’s all about love…not a list of rules. It’s about freedom, not guilt.

It’s truly wonderful.

Ok I’m done.

Live Long and Prosper

Perspective. Webster’s dictionary defines Perspective as “a mental view or outlook” (har har)

Is it possible to change your perspective, say…over night? How closely are attitude and perspective related?

Webster’s dictionary defines perspective as “a state of mind”.

Sounds similar to me.

Anyway, people often say that attitudes can change rather quickly. I imagine if perspective is very similar, that it too can be changed quickly.

Emotions stem from thoughts, no? Webster’s dictionary definition of emotion is ” A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes”

Ahh, here we see “mental state” again. And appears spontaneously? What if that could be controlled?

Mental eh? Does that possibly mean that if we can trick our minds into believing certain things, it will subsequently effect our emotions as well?

Does it all begin with our mind? Can I tell myself something over and over again until I believe it so whole-heartidly that I actually feel it too?

Ah well, I’m rambling. This all means very little.

However, I do think that emotional control would be superb.

The Vulcans may be on to something.

Only Hope – Switchfoot

There’s a song that’s inside of my soul
It’s the one that I’ve tried to write
over and over again
I’m awake and in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over and
over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You’re my only hope

Sing to me of the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have
for me over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You’re my only hope

I give you my destiny
I’m giving You all of me
I want Your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs I’m giving it back

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only yours
I pray to be only yours
I know now You’re my only hope

Finding God’s Will

I was highly impressed with this article I found online today concerning the will of God –  a topic I’ve been thinking about quite extensively. Tell me what you think:

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Knowing God’s Will

by Randy Alcorn

There are tons of books, tapes, and sermons about finding God’s will. The assumption seems to be that God’s will is lost or buried- like God doesn’t really want us to know his will and hides it from us. It’s as if God is a Cosmic Easter Bunny who hides the eggs and maybe says “You’re getting warmer,” and sometimes we stumble onto them, but we never know whether we’ve found them all or not.

Some think God’s will is revealed in a dramatic experience or sudden revelation. A voice that says “Go on the Mexico trip this summer” or “Ask Cathy to the prom.”

Some think God’s will is something to be afraid of. “I hate spiders and humidity so I just know God’s going to send me to some equatorial jungle in South America.”

Some think God’s will is nothing but circumstances. “I’ve been offered a job there, so it must be God’s will.” Or, “he asked me out, so it must be God’s will,” or “the bank approved my loan application so it must be God’s will.”

Is God’s will mainly about lots of personal details, including school, job, who to date, where to live, etc.? Or is it about something else?

  1. God’s will is that we be saved. (2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:3-4)
  2. Once we’re saved, God has a further will for our lives. There are certain things he wants us to do and not do (Eph. 2:9-10). God’s will is something for us to do, not just to know or believe or affirm (Mk. 3:31-35; 1 Jn. 2:17).
  3. Because God loves us, his will for us is in our best interests too. Where God wants us is the very best place to be, the only safe place. What is to God’s glory is also for our good (Matt. 16:26; 25:21; Lk. 2:10; Jn. 16:7; 1 Cor. 7:35; Eph. 6:8). If God wants you in an equatorial jungle, you wouldn’t be happy anywhere else!
  4. God wants us to know his will-He’s not cruel. Because he loves us he gives us his Word, the Road Map, so we don’t have to grope in darkness. (1 Cor. 2:9-10; Ps. 119:105)
  5. God’s will is that we be sexually pure (1 Thess. 4:3-7). This extends to fleeing from temptation (1 Cor. 6:18) and keeping our bodies from impurity, but also keeping our minds pure (Matt. 15:19-20; 5:28; Prov. 4:23; Ps. 119:37; Phil. 4:8).
  6. God says those who don’t know his will are unwise, and it is God’s will that we be filled with and controlled by his Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18). (James 1:5 says we don’t have wisdom because we don’t ask for it-prayer is critical in seeking and living the will of God.) When we are controlled by the Spirit, we show it in certain ways. We will not commit the acts of the sinful nature (Gal. 5:19-21), but will produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). We will participate in worshipping the Lord, teaching each other, giving thanks to God and serving others (Eph. 5:17-33).
  7. God’s will is that we live in submission to God-given authority, that others may see our willingness to humble ourselves as servants (1 Pet. 2:13-15). It also means we recognize God as our highest authority and put obedience to him above obedience to men (Acts 4:18-20).
  8. Sometimes God’s will is that we go through difficult times, even suffering, to accomplish his purpose in us and through us (1 Pet. 3:17, 4:19).

The Bible is the revealed will of God. If you want to live in his will, then “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16) Fill your heart and mind with the Word of God, trust in his empowerment to obey Him, and confess and repent when you disobey and fail. If you do this, you will be living in the will of God!

Summary: The will of God is not wrapped up in the details of what we do, but the character of who we are. It is not just the large choices, but the daily small choices that cumulatively build us into who God wants (wills) us to be. God cares about the little things and his will can include details, but these are secondary. What is primary is that we choose to follow his clear direction in spiritual and moral arenas. Then all the details fall into place from there.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.” Because if you’re really loving God, you want to do what pleases him.

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And the Last Shall Be First…

Maya Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” wrote the following poem titled “Christians.” An interesting thing to note is that Mary Angelou never claimed to be a Christian.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.”
I’m whispering “I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.

“When I say… “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say. “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow.

This poem has always been an encouragement to me because it outlines my inability to live the Christian life, and reminds me of God’s wonderful grace, mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a funny thing, really. It is not a “get out of jail free” card, but rather a gift from God which serves to motivate us to live a life honoring to God. All the while, however, we know that we are forgiven in our failure.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

“This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” – Isaiah 66:1-2

I plan to study this more, but I tend to believe that Goad is glorified in our weakness. When we have a broken, humble spirit, God can break through our pride and the walls we put around ourselves and begin to work in our lives and mold us into more Godly creatures. When we try to do it ourselves, we fail – as demonstrated through the Law in the Old Testament. But when we admit our inabilities and let the defensive walls fall down –

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:29-33

Just some of my 3am thoughts. Bedtime for me. 

Philippians 2:12-18

Welcome to my new blog, where my mission is as follows:

1. To limit the amount of typos I make in hopes of eliminating the nasty habit altogether.

2. To write on semi-interesting topics

3. And to have unlimited editing capabilities! New, original blog layout coming soon…

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as stars in the universe holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”