Friday, October 2, 2009
A lot of nonsensical things go on around here. Some random musings on the weird and the wonderful. Some complaining about life. Some searching. Some finding.
All I can say, is keep reading and commenting, and I'll keep posting ;)
P.S. Who is visiting from Coarsegold, California, anyways? And Elk Grove? Haha.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Such is the draw of our church: God's call placed on my life.
I grew up there. I laughed there. I hurt there. I cried there. I loved there. I found God there.
But most of all, I lived there.
And now, that has become a thing of the past.
Sometimes we struggle with this issue of place. Some believe that the church is a place where you go to learn about God, but we know this is untrue. Believers associate everywhere with each other, and God may be praised from every corner of this Earth.
The building, then, has no significance other than what is attached to it.
It is not what it is, but what it symbolizes.
We, as humans, need to associate feelings with certain places. And I have a feeling, and a memory about said feeling, associated with every room in that building.
The joy of seeing others find God.
The breaking of my heart, as whispering voices cried out to Him during prayer.
Being called on to the worship team (thank you, Troy Myer, for seeing me drumming on the back of a seat during worship and getting me involved).
Practicing countless sets with Frankie and Colton (both of whom, I look up to as musicians and am proud to call my friends).
Being part of the cool group. Timmy, David, Jeremy Kaplan and I. Later on, James French, Chris Lee and Josh Weismann would join us.
Having a crush on this really cute girl from 5th grade to 8th grade. I never told her, but she always knew :)
Turbulent times in Jr High. Thank you Keith Mallos for being my mentor and leader during this time. We all missed ya when you left ;)
Prayer and praise nights at the Mallos' home.
The countless friends I have made there.
With that...I might as well name some of the people that had a hand in shaping me into the person I am today...friends.
(In chronological order, or, as best as I can).
1. Alex Nogy
2. Amanda and David Vaughn
3. Stacia McNiff
4. Timmy Myer
5. James French
6. Josh Weismann
7. Jeremy Kaplan
8. Chris Lee
9. Miss Candence (Dicipleship group leader)
10. Mr Jim and Miss Michelle
11. Miss Debbie
14. Cecilia Melody
16. Keith Mallos
17. Jono and Simone
18. Troy Myer
19. Frankie Nilon
20. Colton Kubisak
21. Matt Bockhan
22. Collin Mayjack
23. Heather & Bethany Wangler
25. Lil' Sarah :)
35. Etc, etc, ad infinitum
(NOTE: ALL THOSE NOT MENTIONED IN THIS LIST BECAUSE OF MY FAILURE IN MEMORY ARE INCLUDED UNDER HEADING #35. TELL ME IF I'VE LEFT ANYONE OUT) :)
Yeah, right? All people I've met or come to know, that were or have become my friends at Calvary Laguna/KFC. I love every single one of you guys.
The building means a lot to me. The memories...
Alex and I went into just about every room, and I had a memory for every one. It came over me like a flood as our worship leader had us stand for the last song in that building. And I was pretty darn sad.
But the building is a part of my past now, a monument to the work that God has done in my life and in the lives of countless others. It has been His temple; a place where He was glorified and will continue to be glorified.
I do not, therefore, look back out of desire to return to the past, to change things, to relive things, but out of a desire to remind myself where I have been. For how can we know where we are going, if we have forgotten where our footsteps have taken us?
45 Tesla is in the past, now. I remember it to the glory of God, but now look to the future, with hope, knowing that greater things have yet to be done in Kingsfield Church.
Wherever you are lead, remember where you came from, but realize that living today for tomorrow is our calling as Christians: to have eternal perspective.
Worshiping God in spirit and in truth,
Monday, September 14, 2009
So many things have been on my mind lately. I would love to write a full blog about each of them, but I'll spare you guys and give you the highlights.
Things on Cree's mind:
**Retaking SAT to up math score.
**Studying for SAT
**Letters of recommendation
**Getting a job
**Maintaining my 4.0
**Final winter-summer camps
**Becoming a leader, soon
**Love vs. "in love"
**Waiting for love
**"Hold(ing) on to what we've got."
**Being "above reproach"
**Is this the end?
--Life, in general
**Living in the moment
**1 Peter 1
**1 Thess. 5
**1 Cor. 15:10
**2 Cor. 5
My mind is full.
But this verse gives me strength to continue on, regardless of what my mind is full of at any given time:
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt 6:33)
Seeking first the kingdom,
Friday, June 26, 2009
But sometimes I can't think of anything to say.
Other times, I have small, random thoughts, but those usually go to my Facebook status update.
So I am sorry, dear blog, for forsaking you. As a peace offering: I submit the following conjecture:
I despise drama and its purveyors. As if life does not already contain enough turbulence and turmoil, there are those that seek to stir things up; that cannot leave well enough alone. They are those that feed the flames of gossip, and that ripple the water of tranquility. They can bend will, create trauma ex nihilo, and destroy true friendship. Drama will turn a good day into a bad day with one snide comment, one hidden tale, one cloaked question. And I am tired of fighting a losing battle trying to do good in this world.
I'm on a mission to love rightly. On a mission to preserve purity. On a mission to seek the kingdom of God and all His righteousness. And I will do ANYTHING to maintain the sanctity of this mission, even if it means losing friends.
We're in a war. Dramatists are the double-agents of this war. They pretend to care, but seek to spread destruction. I will avoid drama and its purveyors at all costs.
Either help me, or get out of my way.
Monday, June 8, 2009
To tell you the truth, it is quite easy to lie to myself. I'll believe anything I say :P. It becomes very easy to confuse love and infatuation, and eventually the line between the two gets blurred. Human emotions have a terrible tendency to tangle themselves up and twist everything around so that eventually, you lose yourself in the raging emotions (especially as a teenager :D). But love IS NOT an emotion. It is not merely something that you feel.
1 Corinthians 13:13: "But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Of the three theological virtues, love is the greatest. But how can that which is naught but emotion be greater than hope or faith? Faith, which brings about salvation? Hope, which binds us to the everlasting? No, love is something bigger, something greater.
John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
The greatest form of love is a sort of self-detachment, a care not for bodily pleasures or personal fulfillment, but only the well-being of others. Contrast this with the world's perspective of love: You can fall in and out of love. Love is just a feeling. Love benefits self. Love is a battlefield (maybe not that one).
How can we fall into love? How can we fall out of it? Love must be a constant in our lives, we CANNOT reserve it for one person! It must be exhibited to all.
True love is not found in books or movies. True love is a willingness to do whatever it takes to preserve purity (in every sense of the word), not to take whatever it can. Paul writes in Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." Give preference in honor: preserve purity.
Jesus, frustrated with the Jews unbelief, tells them, "But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you" (John 5:42). This is also seen in John 16:27, where Jesus says, "for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from God." Because the Jews did not love, they did not believe. Love is crucial to faith, and that is why the Apostle writes that it is superior.
Love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not give false testimony," "You shall not covet," and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law."
Therefore exhibit love to all, forbearing nothing in fear but giving all to God and to your fellow man. For love in Christ is the fulfillment of the law, the key to faith, and the point upon which the world hangs.
All is full of love. Give, and you will receive. Give, and you will be saved.
Friday, June 5, 2009
For Newfound Life, I capoed 2 and played in E (which, I guess, would be F# since it's capo 2). I threw in a little cameo from Coldplay's Chinese Sleep Chant. See if you can pick it out.
Salvation's Song was a bit more difficult. I tuned to DADGAD and capoed 5. The shapes were all makeshift...I don't have much experience with DADGAD, so I just picked out whatever sounded good. You'll hear a lot of scales and stuff. This is my favorite of the bunch.
I also capoed 2 for Kick It (Hispanic Roots). I tried to add a Latin-esque flavor by playing Bm, F#m, and F#/Bsus2...I threw a bunch of other stuff in there, too.
Well let me know what you think,
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Nevertheless, I had one of the greatest birthdays of my short life. I went out to breakfast with my dad at IHOP. So we sit down, and begin to look at the menus. All of a sudden a huge arm flew past my head and began rapidly tapping my dad's menu.
The owner of aforesaid arm started to say, very quickly, "Get the t-bone steak and eggs, that's what you want, t-bone steak an eggs!"
I look up and see a very large...person. I had to look at her name tag (which read "Ginger") before I could determine her gender; she was like six feet tall and had a very low voice. She was standing beside me (how the heck did she get there) and bouncing all around. "What can I get you to drink? You want raspberry lemonade, lemonade, root beer? Watchoo want?"
So I replied, "Uh...I'll have some milk..."
"Oh that's a good choice, good choice, what about choo?" She said, pointing at my dad, "Choo want milk too? Ok two milks it is." (Of course my dad never said that he wanted a milk...)
So she leaves and my dad and I look at each other, apparently stunned silent.
"What just happened?" He asked incredulously.
In regular fashion, I replied, "That just happened."
In good time, she returns with two milks. At that point my good old dad decided to say, "We have a birthday here..."
To which she yelled, "BIRTHDAY?! It's your birthday? Oh, well we gotta sing!" At once, she began a hearty rendition of "Happy Birthday" at the top of her lungs, clapping (on beat). My dad joined in for good humor, and the rest of the patrons in the restaurant looked on in mild amusement (or mild discomfort). As soon as the song ended, Ginger gave a throaty yell and ran off.
At this point my dad and I were close to busting out in laughter. Ginger continued to bustle around, waiting on EVERY TABLE in the entire restaurant! It was nothing short of amazing...
She soon returned and threw a bowl of ice cream down in front of me. "Have a little snacky-wacky!"(BEFORE we ate breakfast! Before she even took our order!)
She ran off to wait on other tables...needless to say, I enjoyed my snacky-wacky. Especially the wacky part.
Eventually, Ginger came back to take our order. I decided on the chocolate chip pancakes ("Oh, that's a good choice, that's exactly what I'd be having right now!"). My dad wanted to order the 2x2x2 (which was two pancakes, two eggs and two strips of bacon or something), but Ginger had other ideas.
"Oh, no, you don't want that, that's $7.99 you want this, it's only $5.99" she said pointing to his menu, "it's the same deal, you still get your pancakes and your eggs and all that, but it's cheaper. Yeah that's what you'll have."
She left and we got our food promptly.
Not gonna lie, it was one of the best breakfasts I've had in a long time.
More on my birthday later,
Friday, May 22, 2009
Part of the aversion to reading about such things, I think, is because we know that we are helpless to do anything about it. Every one of those people are long gone, and their pain and cries of despair have long sense ceased to echo through the passages of time. A good book will naturally tug at your heart, and if you cannot do anything to help them, then it seems almost worthless to read the book in the first place.
How, though, does this apply to fiction? With fiction stories we can console ourselves by saying that it really didn't happen, and the pain depicted is, well, fictional. It's much easier to sit back and enjoy the ride with fiction stories, simply because it didn't really happen.
But the Holocaust did happen. People were senselessly murdered, slaughtered, for no reason other than Pride. The greatest sin of all.
I think that the pain of the Holocaust has naturally lessened because of the time that has passed. Every moment that passes after 9/11, the pain grows less and less.
But is that right? Should the past slowly slip into obscurity, succumbing to the overpowering waves of apathy and ignorance?
I don't think so.
If you were caused great offense, would you want it ignored and forgotten? Wouldn't the fact that people are ignoring you make the pain that much worse? It seems that the best cure for pain is to tell someone else about it, and have them carry a little bit of your pain off on their back.
It sort of relates back to the Doctrine of Substituted Love that we learned about in Decent into Hell. For those of you who haven't read the book (I do recommend it), there is a girl named Pauline who is going through considerable trouble. She tells a guy named Stanhope about it, and he empathizes her---in an extreme way. He sort of begins to go through the pain that she goes through, and feels what she feels. All the while, Pauline feels her load lightened and is set free from her burdens. Stanhope becomes a sacrificial lamb; he takes her sin and bears it for her.
How does this relate back to what we're talking about?
The voice of those who suffered in the Holocaust cry out in pain. Their pain never goes away, but our perception of it does. The anguish caused by the lives lost on 9/11 never really goes away. Like I said, every step away from that day merely lessens our perception of the pain. It's still there, it's just getting ignored.
Can we, 60 years later, actually lessen the pain of the Holocaust by merely listening to the voices? By learning their struggles, bearing their pain? Can we experience, in the smallest measure, the extent of their torture and promise to bear it for them?
If we learn, if we listen, if we empathize, than I believe that the pain of the Holocaust, and other (true) stories like it, is lessened.
So go read a true story. Go listen to an honest tale. And bear a little more suffering and darkness away on your back.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Chemistry test tomorrow. No fun!
I have to start reading Edmund Spencer, too. I'm sick of poetry and over school! Basically the only thing that stops me from going insane is church, and my incredibly beawesome friends there.
Thanks for keeping me alive, guys :)
Gasping for air,
Monday, May 11, 2009
And everything else I have to do.
But I am learning.
I am learning to stop, to be still, to be quiet.
I am learning to step back, to step in, to step up.
I am learning to love, to lean, to live.
I am learning to walk, to move, to breathe.
I am learning to work, to rest, to trust.
I am learning to speak, to teach, to care.
I am learning to stand, to fight, to stay.
I am learning to listen, to hear, to be.
I am learning to learn.
And it is a beautiful thing.
Monday, May 4, 2009
I've been on E for a long time. I looked to a person to fulfill that emptiness...where did it land me? In a world of hurt. But now that I have been filled and renewed, things are much different. I don't feel like I have to be searching for acceptance and "love" from earthly things and people, I find it all above.
It can be hard, though, when those things which so easily ensnared me in the past will not go away. It is, truly, a constant voice in my ear pulling me away from the path.
"But wait!" you say, "That sounds like a Bible verse!"
Hm. Turns out, it is.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
How do we do this, Hebrews author (no one really knows who he is...)? That sounds hard. I mean, those things that ensnare us and entangle us...I mean, we kinda like that stuff, don't we? Deep down, when we are empty and looking for fulfillment, where do we turn?
To the sin that so easily entangles.
2nd Samuel 11:1
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
It's interesting that David decided to remain in Jerusalem instead of going with the armies of Israel. Now, he could have stayed simply because the army didn't need him, but you will notice that the author specifically says that the spring is the time when kings go off to war. David was a king, so it follows that he should have been off warring.
What could the other explanation be? He was spiritually empty and this transferred over into his desire to lead his armies into war. I know that when I haven't spent time with God for a long time, I begin to lose passion in doing His will. We know that David had just returned from a huge battle with the Ammonites, and he had probably not spent much alone time with God during this altercation. So, he goes home and stays there instead of continuing in God's will for his life.
Before we move on, this *cough* sounds kinda like me. A couple of years ago, I had gone through some rough times in my relationship with God. Not only that, but there were various trials that hit my family as a whole. Instead of continuing on in God's graces, I decided to return to a place where I could get easily tempted. And I, like David, fell:
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.
From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David
sent someone to find out about her (2 Sam. 11:2-3).
David, being spiritually empty and having nothing better to do, decides to take an evening walk. Part of me wonders...why didn't he just start praying? But he decided to take a walk, and was tempted. And he fell, as we see in the rest of the chapter.
When we are spiritually empty, we turn to earthly objects to fulfill our heavenly desires. This, however, is not unavoidable. The author of Hebrews tells us how to stay strong when we get spiritually empty in verse two and three of chapter 12:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set
before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the
throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart.
The only way to avoid spiritual emptiness and misguided desires is to fix our eyes firmly on Jesus Christ, who humbled himself to death, even death on a cross, for our sins. The last phrase is key: "so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Oh, for those that grow weary! Alas for those that lose heart! For we know that those that wait on the Lord, with eyes fixed firmly on Christ Jesus will not faint, will not grow weary, but will rise on on wings like eagles (Is. 40:31).
Thus, let us flee from every temptation (1 Tim 6:11). It is a daily struggle, friends.
Genesis 39:10: "she spoke to Joseph day after day."
It's the truth, unfortunately. But here are some good tips:
1. Gear up (Eph 6:10-11)
2. Be a weapon to righteousness (Romans 6)
3. Flee temptation!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
So much has happened since I turned 16. I'm not the same person, which is a good thing. Much has changed, little has remained as it was. The constants in my life consist only in God and my family...sorry, friends, but you guys are prone to much drama and tides of rumor. Those that love me unconditionally, and those that I love back, seem to always stay the same. Which is interesting.
What is it about agape that causes consistency and sameness? Is God the same yesterday, today, and forever because of His unchanging love for us? Would we seek stability if we chose to love everyone unconditionally? I wonder if that is what Paul meant when he wrote that "Love never fails" (1st Corinthians 13:8).
Heh. The things I think about.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My random speculations on Biblical truth seem to generate good response from my readers, and that makes me happy. I've surrounded myself with people who care about God and what His Word has to offer us. That's exciting, especially when I had so recently strayed from that which God has to offer me.
With that said, I offer more random speculation:
1st Corinthians 4:8-13 (NIV)
8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. 10We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
Here, Paul is talking to the Corinthian church (very sarcastically, I might add) and pointing out that they have become content with earthly riches while the apostles, or those truly on fire for Christ, were paraded around as a "spectacle". They endured man's worst, and had become fools for Christ.
But what brought about Paul's sarcastic tirade? Let's look a verse back...
"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" (4:7)
What is the answer to Paul's question? What caused the Corinthians to falter so?
They became so wrapped up in their earthly riches (which they earned) instead of reveling in the riches that God had for them. And even those things which they did not earn but did receive from God they still boasted as if they had earned those gifts. Pride, the original sin, had taken hold of the church. It wasn't even pride in what God had done through them, but almost a pride in what they had done without God. But we know that man cannot stand alone (Eph. 6:10-20).
Paul moves from this verse into vs. 8-13, where he explains what humility has brought into his life: scorn and contempt from man. By following God's calling and not being content with what he already had, Paul was reduced to rags and homelessness. Everyone hated him and the other apostles. They were "the refuse of the world".
Yet, Paul urges the Corinthian church to "imitate me" (vs 16).
Why, Paul? Why would we want to imitate you, and so become the scum of the earth, the downtrodden, the beaten up, the miserable?
He answered this at the beginning of the chapter:
"So, then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now, it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (4:1-2).
He presents three things here:
1. We are entrusted with the Gospel.
2. We must prove faithful.
3. So that men will regard us as servants of Christ.
I put it in that order for a reason. Paul is not saying that we must prove anything to God, but we must prove something to men so that we will be seen as servants of Christ. What must we prove? That we are faithful. That we won't settle for anything less than God's plan for our lives. If that leads to being the "scum of the earth," Paul says bring it on. We are fulfilling our call: to be servants of Christ.
Why would I willingly place myself in that position? Why must we be abused and downtrodden? Paul answers this charge a couple chapters later:
"Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible...I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings" (9:19, 23).
Paul willingly places himself in servitude of all so that he may "by all means possible save some" (22). What has happened to this mindset? Why don't we do all that it takes to save the lost? If it means being scorned, being put in temporary discomfort for a short period of time, heck no, I am not gonna do it.
This is not the Christian attitude. We should become the scum of the earth. We should bless when we are cursed, endure when we are persecuted, answer kindly when we are slandered. We should try to save all, so that some may be saved.
"Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we to it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (9:24-27).
That momentary discomfort is all it is: momentary. We do not run for a perishable crown, but an imperishable one. Thus, we do not run aimlessly, but with purpose. We beat our bodies into submission and become slaves to all, so that we may win all the more for Christ.
So stop worrying about your temporal pleasures! Stop being Sunday Christians that put on a happy face saying, "All is well, all is well." Become the scum of the earth, so that one day, you may receive the prize. Do the unthinkable:
P.S. Congratulations if you read the whole thing. That was over 1,000 words long.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I'm over being fake about my relationship with God.
I'm over hiding stuff from my parents.
I'm over being two people, living two different lives.
I'm over being trapped by my own fear and desire not to be uncomfortable.
I'm over not walking the walk.
I'm over apathy.
I'm over letting others set the spiritual temperature for my life.
I'm over looking for love in all the wrong places.
I'm over cowering before the Enemy, telling myself I am not good enough; not strong enough.
But I am starting a lot of things, too.
I'm starting to put my faith in Him.
I'm starting to delve into His Word.
I'm starting to care about my future.
I'm starting to give love to everyone instead of reserving it for one person.
I'm starting to share the Good News.
I'm starting to run the race.
I'm starting to let Christ be my strength.
I'm starting to up the ante.
I'm starting to be still and know the I AM.
I'm starting to be one person.
I'm starting to live purposefully.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
On the topic of worship, our team has been enduring a bit of a shakeup lately. I have been gone for a couple of weeks, and we're going to have to reshuffle things in the future. But it is all part of God's plan for the Youth Group and for Kingsfield. I don't mind telling you that I am psyched to see what God is gonna do with us in the months and years to come.
Some thoughts on newness:
As the celebration of the Resurrection has passed, we, as did the disciples, enter into a place of renewal. Remember, they legitimately thought that Christ was dead and gone forever. As Jews, they had no idea that He could resurrect Himself: they did not believe in the resurrection, not until the last day. Yet, on that Sunday morning, when the women found the tomb empty, their whole world was shaken up once again. Jesus of Nazareth had died, but was alive. Finally, they knew who He was: the Lamb of God come to take the sins of the world.
Easter gives us that opportunity: to know Him as He wants us to know Him. To discover Him for who He really is: the living and active Word of God. The good news is that you don't have to wait for any certain day to discover Him, as did the disciples.
This concept of renewal and newness is readily apparent in the Scripture. Revelation 21:5 says that Christ is "The one sitting on the throne (saying), 'See, I am making all things new!'" The Psalms urge us to "sing to the LORD a new song" (Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 96:1, 98:1, 144:9, 149:1). In Isaiah, God is constantly telling His people that He is doing new things (42:9, 43:19). I love 48:6, "You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you."
What of Jesus? Well Mark 1:29 tells of what the people think of him: "The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, 'What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.'" It's interesting...a new teaching, with authority. John 13:34 speaks more of this new teaching, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
I'm going to have to do a study on this idea of newness...there is so much. But what I want to close with is this: Christ offers us a new life, something different. I am already feeling that difference. Acts 5:20 tells us, "'Go, stand in the temple courts,' he said, 'and tell the people the full message of this new life."' Truly, a new life is given to us. Romans 6:4 expands on this: "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."
It all builds to this: "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2nd Corinthians 5:17). We are made new in Christ, and, as such, we must "put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Col 3:10).
Go, and be renewed!
That's all for now,
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I am so glad that spring break has now struck the county known as Orange. I'm basically sick of school and ready for it to be over...so I guess a week of doing nothing will have to do. But anyways, on Sunday I went and played ultimate frisbee with a bunch of peeps from Kingsfield. It was freaking epic, and we totally pwned. On Monday (yesterday), Collin came over and we jammed and played some Wii, which was also pretty dang legit. Today was ok...we had to go to a church in RSM because my little bros are doing standardized testing and I had to man the snack table (which meant getting up at 7:00am. AHHH). And now I'm sitting here, blogging. Sorry if I'm a bore. Deal with it.
Monday, March 30, 2009
As far as I know, disliking the Jonas Brothers actually makes my taste in music that much better. So there.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
As to the rest of the lineup *gasp* no Christian bands. Meh sue me.
Oh, wait. I guess Anberlin is kinda sorta Christian.
Deal with it. They're all sweeeeet songs.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
DISCLAIMER: I have 2700 songs on my Ipod. This could go anywhere.
1. Put your music on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing the same as well as the person you got the note from.
WHO IS YOUR WORST ENEMY?
Elephant Bones - That Handsome Devil
WHAT MAKES YOU MAD?
Blood Money - Bon Jovi
IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Burning Hell - R.E.M (wow...)
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
You know my name - The Beatles (lol)
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Bend to Squares - Death Cab For Cutie
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
Put Your Money Where Yer Mouth Is - Oasis
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Gone - Jack Johnson
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis (HA!)
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
The Fly - U2
WHAT DO PEOPLE WANA DO WITH YOU?
Jump - Van Halen (lol...)
WHO ARE YOU?
Take On Me – A-Ha
WHAT IS 2+2?
Politicians - Switchfoot
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Operation Ground and Pound – Dragonforce (not really, promise…haha).
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Cookie Jar – Jack Johnson (LOL!!!)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Get a Rhythm – Johnny Cash (amen)
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP
Blacking Out the Friction – Death Cab for Cutie (legit song btw)
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin (so true…bahahaha.)
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Mothers of the Disappeared – U2 (HA…nice.)
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police (it’s the truth, too.)
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
The Runaways - Anberlin
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Easier To Run – Linkin Park
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Hung in a Bad Place - Oasis
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
The Fatal Wound - Switchfoot
WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Hey Now! - Oasis
HOW WILL YOU DIE?
Twin – Muse (my evil twin Heather will kill me…most likely.)
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
New Candles – Death Cab for Cutie
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Changes – 3 Doors Down
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
You Like Me Too Much – The Beatles
WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It – Snow Patrol (yeah cuz that makes sense)
WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Your House – Jimmy Eat World (seriously. pick up all that underwear lying everywhere.)
DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
The Shadow Proves the Sunshine – Switchfoot (SO TRUE!!! Ah…)
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Promise of a Lifetime - Kutless
WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
I Feel Fine – The Beatles (hahaha no joke)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Circles – Switchfoot (anything round basically)
WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Helter Skelter – U2
I don't know if you can see it, but the only numbers I see clearly are the 56, the 25, and very very vaguely, the 29. Everything else is just random dots.
I'm apparently not alone, though, because 12-20% of white males are red-green colourblind, along with my little brother and my grandfather. I daresay it's hereditary.
Your legally (colour) blind friend,
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Meh I did alllright. But I signed a paper thing and can't tell you anything about it. It was aight though.
Anyways about the poll...apparently "dancing" is winning with two votes, but the populace seems to be split over the other options. Turns out the atomic mass of NaCl really has no relevance to anything and no one would ever use it in an everyday situation. Piano is cool...but takes dedication. The meaning of life is important ha...but idk.
Dancing takes two.
Will it be you?
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Anyways, I've been sick for the past week or so. My nose is all stuffed up and it's starting to go into my lungs so now I have started coughing...not fun. Blahhh. At least I was able to go to Ana's awesome party on Saturday. Where we played link tag, which is an awesome game :P. Then I was able to go to church, Ultimate Frisbee, and play practice which wasn't really play practice but still awesome on Sunday. Ah, well, I hope I'll get better.
That's all for now,
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The messages, bold.
The weather, brisk.
The vista, beautiful.
The friends, beawesome.
The worship, blissful.
The workshops, boisterous.
It causes one to think. So let's look at the theme verse for camp...
"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
We are dead? Huh? How can we be dead? Where is our life? How can it be hidden?
Let's look at a parallel verse, which has really become the theme for my life lately. Ephesians 2:1-10:
1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.So verse one: Dead in trespasses and sins...kinda reminds one of Colossians 2:13, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."
Christ made us alive even when we were dead in our transgressions, meaning that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). What great love! While we were still spitting on Christ, gambling for his clothes, mocking him, and hating him, he died for us. While we were still dead, he was being made alive. And we know that Christ is the firstfruits of the Resurrection (c.f. 1st Corinthians 15).
But the verse that I really want to touch on is verse 10: Christ has prepared good works for us. All we need to do is walk in them.
How beautiful is that? It is by grace we have been saved, yes, but that does not mean that we now are able to do nothing because we have been saved. As Aristotle writes, "Happiness is the reward of perfect virtue". Thus, the vision of God is gained through walking in the works that have already been prepared for us.
So we were dead in our trespasses and sins. We were corrupt, we had lost the Image of God. Yet while we were dead, Christ was being made alive. While we were dead, he was preparing good works for us. While we were dead, he was selecting us for his kingdom.
What does it mean to be Hidden in Christ?
Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Christ is no longer hidden to us, but we are so absorbed and consumed by him that whenever we even think about turning out of the good works he has prepared for us, he will steer us back. That we, as his sheep, will recognize his voice and return to the Path without hesitation.
The next verse says:
And you will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your molten images plated with gold You will scatter them as an impure thing, and say to them, "Be gone!"
To be hidden in Christ is to be so consumed by him, that we will banish all things that attempt to take his place. Be gone!
I am dead to my sin, and alive, hidden in Christ. Are you?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Also, check out Anberlin's new album "New Surrender". I would go as far as to call it their best album, but yea...its uber-awesome.
Anyways, Winter Camp is coming up. It should be stinkin awesome. And we get to go up on a bus which is even better. The only caveat to that is that one has to find a suitable seatmate: two-three hours of sitting next to each other...you'd better like that person. So now I've gotta find someone to sit next to.
I'm not all that stressed about it though. I'm just gonna let it happen (Jimmy Eat World, anyone?).
That's all for now,
Monday, February 16, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Anyways, I have a new poll up. In case you didn't notice. Basically I want to know if you would care about reading my story, which is technically a novella right now (27 k words). I hope to get it up to novel length (40k and above) before it's done. And it's not even close to being done right now. So let me know if you're interested.
That's all for now.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Though the Senate rejoiced and made a big deal about cutting out $110 billion in pork, you have to realize that the bill was $820 billion when sent to them from the House. It is now $827 billion dollars, an obvious $7 billion more than the original bill. Yay! We added more taxpayer money! The only thing that the Senate has done is add more pork to an already stuffed bill.
Interestingly enough, the bill boasts of creating new jobs, while it contains unemployment benefits. Brilliant! Lets make new jobs but reward those who have none.
Obama and co. keep talking about bipartisanship and "reaching across the aisle". It's why and how he got elected. However, his administration continues to send a "we won, now it's our turn" message. Obama rejected calls for tax breaks (which would offer immediate incentive for consumers to spend rather than to save), hailing them as, "the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place."
Tax breaks are now the cause of economic downturn? What about the deregulation of Wall Street, Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac (which, by the way, was called for by the democratic congress in 2006)? What about the billionaire execs that gave their offices million-dollar makeovers? What about the millions of foreclosures happening around the country because greedy lenders gave unqualified buyers huge loans that they couldn't pay off? What about the government officials Obama elected to his cabinet with hundreds of thousands of dollars in back-taxes?
I'm not pointing fingers. I'm just saying that if you're going to be bipartisan, be bipartisan. If you're gonna be partisan like Pelosi and co., then stick with that.
And stop stuffing pork into an already overfed and ineffective "stimulus bill".
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Next, Disciple and "Southern Hospitality." Disciple's new album came out a couple of months ago, and, though they took things in a different direction, it still was a hit. "Southern Hospitality" delivers some decidedly awesome southern riffs.
Third on the list we have 3 Doors Down and "Kryptonite," which is just plain old awesome.
Fourth, Oasis. Ok, ok, yes it is an overplayed and over used song, but seriously, it's just that good.
And *yay* Jack Johnson. What's he doing with these hard rockers? Meh, he can hang. "Times Like These" is pretty sweet.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Bunch of stuff going on. Preparing for a presentation next week...which is ridiculous. Trying to learn Salvation is Here on bass which is stinking fast. Anywho, life is moving at breakneck speed, and I'm trying not to get a broken neck. It's tough, people. Tough.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
So I haven't posted in a long time. Well I have some time now, and here I am. With some pointless insights about life.
Today, I'm going to talk about happiness. Happiness, happiness. Something that everyone wants. Aristotle once wrote that, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Jonathan Edwards agreed, and concluded that, “happiness is the end of creation.” What is happiness? Who is it for? What does it mean?
When we look at this idea of happiness, it becomes apparent that when we say "happiness," we don't mean the emotions which happiness cause. The dictionary definition (State of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy) simply does not work. Why? Because these emotions are simply a by-product from something greater, something more spiritual. C.S. Lewis writes of a conversation between a Ghost and a divine being in the Great Divorce...
"The Ghost made a sound something between a sob and a snarl. 'I wish I had never been born,' it said. 'What are we born for?'
'For infinite happiness,' said the Spirit. 'You can step out into it at any moment...'"
The end of human existence, the entire purpose of their creation is for their infinite happiness. How could Lewis mean "emotions" by this?
Augustine writes, "The happy life is joy based on the truth. This is joy grounded in you, O God, who are the truth." Thomas Aquinas defines happiness as, essentially, "The Divine Essence". It seems apparent, then, that true happiness resides not in temporal felicity, or the things of this world, but contemplation, knowledge, and pursuit of God Himself.
True happiness is in God. Boethius writes that “true happiness is to be found in the supreme God”. Now, because man is sinful he can never obtain the entirety of God, or the “essence of happiness”. However, if one follows after God, he will attain a measure of happiness.
Solomon tells us, "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law" (Proverbs 29:18). So, if you want to be happy, if you want to achieve your purpose, and fulfil the chief end of man...follow God. Follow God. And proclaim his word.
How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to