Monday, February 27, 2012

Where are you headed?

No witty comment to begin this blog. Maybe I'll come up with something later.

So I've been thinking lately. I've been thinking about where my current habits are going to end me up. I've been thinking about what I'll be like after spending hours in my room for days at a time. I've been thinking about what will happen to my relationships if I don't see my friends except for two or three times a week. And I don't like where those thoughts lead. Because let's be honest, they don't lead somewhere that I want to be.

So, to quote Sanctus Real, "It's time to face up, clean this old house/Time to breathe in and let everything out/That I've wanted to say, for so many years/Time to release all my held back tears. Whatever You're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace. You're up to something bigger than me, larger than life, something heavenly." (I may have changed verses/chorii part way through that.)

So I want to make a change. Actually no, I don't. I want to make several changes, and I want the first one to be spending more time with God. Because, again, let's be honest, if any changes are made without first consulting the wisest, most good being in the universe, then those changes aren't going to be the best changes that can be made. And I'm not one to settle for less when it comes to living my life. I've settled enough, and I know I will again, cuz I am sinful and selfish, and neither of those things are anywhere close to best. I know I will struggle, but I want to change.

And God is faithful, I know this: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

The work Paul is talking about is called sanctification, and I like to think of it as our very selves being changed from sinful to righteous and holy. Another way to look at it, as the prophet Ezekiel put it is that our hearts are being changed from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. CS Lewis made an analogy that we are tin soldiers that God is changing into blood-and-flesh soldiers. In either case, we are being changed from what is lesser to what is greater. Yet we still fight it :/

So I ask you tonight: Where is your life going right now? If you don't make changes in your habits/behaviors/thoughts/words, where are you going to end up? And if that answer scares you or makes you sad, what changes have to be made to prevent that answer from happening?

To read another blog about the topic of what effect our choices now have on our lives, check out Travis Ray's blog.

Scripture to consider: Proverbs 3:5-6 -What do these verses mean for your life?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Have you ever noticed that 'heart' and 'yearn' both have the word 'ear' in them?

Does your heart ache? Does it long for something more than what it has been given? Do you long for something more fulfilling than what you are left with after everyone around you has gone to their own rooms?

Is there a part of you that is still not satisfied when you beat the final boss, the last level, or pass that test? Is there a part of you that, after all of that has faded, comes up and says, "I want something more; I want something better"?

Is that part of you satisfied, at least temporarily, by being with friends? Or perhaps by developing a friendship? Is that part of you satisfied, at least partially, by being in a romantic relationship and having that special someone that you can share those special moments with?

Does that part of you still say, "I want something more; I want something better"?

Do you hunger for food and thirst for water? You have desires that can be met with physical things. Do you have a desire that cannot be met with something physical? Or, as CS Lewis said, do you have a desire within you for something that is not even of this earth? And do you think the fulfillment of that desire would be of this earth?

EDIT: Perhaps it is less defined than what I originally said. I know that for me, it is more of a feeling of, "Is there anything more?" More of a question than a specific desire. But maybe it is a desire, and out of that desire the question comes, asking if there is something to fulfill that desire. But I only know my own thoughts. What are yours?

Scripture to consider: Book of Ecclesiastes (if you want to skip to the end, it is Ecclesiastes 12)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I think that is the longest word that one can type with their left hand on a QWERTY keyboard. Fun stuff.

I read a devotional by Oswald Chambers yesterday. It talked about what to do when we are going through a time of darkness. Now, I don't believe he simply meant the time between sunset and sunrise, but a darkness of emotions or perhaps spiritual fervor? I don't know how to explain it, but I think most people understand what I mean when I say those times when you are feeling down. That is what I think he is saying.

He starts with this: Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him.

Ok, fair enough. And then he ends that first section with, "When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else once you are back in the light."

I think that is the part I focus on. I want to know who I am going to help, who God wants me to speak to. I want to know what part I have to play in His plan. I want to know how I can help and encourage those around me and those that I appreciate. But I don't think God tells us those things. The times in the Bible when that happens that come to mind for me are: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Paul/Saul, Jesus, David....I think that is it. That is all that comes to mind for me. Let me know if you think of any others.
But that is not what God often tells us. Usually He just says, 'Go.' Read the book of Acts for some examples of that. (Did He say that to Isaiah too? Chapter 6 in Isaiah may talk about it.) Sometimes He seems to remain oddly quiet while we are just searching around with outstretched hands, trying to find a wall to lean against. But sometimes, He may just give us a message to proclaim. He may give us a person to talk to. He may give us an idea, a desire to do something more than what we are currently doing. But whatever He does give us or tell us to do, I think we should always remember that it is good.

God doesn't make mistakes. God makes everyone unique, in a good way. But we are broken and tainted by the sin of this world and the sin of our own lives. We do make mistakes. And God knows that. And God still came to this earth to take our sins, and the wrath that He has against them, because of His love for us. I find that amazing, but not as much as I think I should. I mean really, who would love someone else enough to pay their bail money or serve their time in jail for stealing a car or something else frivolous? Frivolous compared to what we have done - the Bible/God most often refers to the way that we turn against Him as adultery. Now, there is no 'legal' punishment given for adultery, but to anyone who has felt the emotional pain of it, I think it is fair to say that there is nothing like it. Our sins are, to God, adultery. And He hates that. And He loves us. And He took His own anger on His Son so that we would not have to face it. Do you understand that?
I sure don't.
But I do know that God has a plan, and it is a good one. I want to trust Him more, and I want to know Him more. I want to experience Him more, and I want to want Him more.

Scripture to consider: Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.