Thursday, January 26, 2006

(No) Construction Ahead

if you are right, you can still be foolish; but if you are wise, no-one will say you're wrong.

i like to make people think. in fact, i like to be right. it's funny how i say that, as i often consider myself one to admit when i am wrong. but for me to admit that, i must see extensive research to prove it. or just listen to my mom. she seems to take great pride in proving me wrong through debate. it's all in love, so i enjoy the debate despite the outcome.

but when a fundamental-faith value comes into question, i tend to throw my bias in favor of christian heresy. and this makes me ignorant. the results are chaotic. and i believe ther are many people like this.

forgive me, i try to make my faith reasonable. rational, sometimes. i cannot have faith in faith alone. i like to test things before i acknowledge certainty. but i believe God does confound the wise. perhaps i am reading too much into this, but when we take a pedantic stance against the world and argue unlovingly 'til we're blue in the face, i think God sheds some more light on whatever our cause may be. He gives us an even bigger picture. and in doing so, He proves us wrong. this is a great irony. God somehow glorifies Himself by proving christians wrong. telling us to just shut up and love one another. i don't believe this applies to every situation, God clearly sets a standard for how to live, and what gods we should not revere.

karma, in its most basic form, is biblical. God thought of it first. "do unto others as you would have them do to you."
there is ample evidence for a very old earth and galaxy. but this does not negate God. perhaps it makes the creation story more elegant. if someone is willing to follow Jesus, who are we to set unreasonable standards for them to do so?

some truths are still sin. too much alcohol will get you drunk. cutting wrists will make you bleed. but these are not opponents to God's acceptance and forgiveness.

sometimes i want to take credit for the things God does. sometimes i want to justify the irrational decisions i make in life. God often calls me to take a detour when there's no construction in sight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Evolution... revisited

i know, i know, it's flippin' 6 am. maybe that can attest to my new conviction. perhaps you are a veteran reader of my blog and have witnessed this post and have seen my grade 12 arguments presented in essay format as to the question of evolution and my fundamentalist claims.

well, i haven't made up my mind yet, but this thread has provided some radical insight for my Creationist viewpoint. i'm not sure. i'm honestly not sure. this doesn't change my christian faith, as my faith is not based on my understanding of a 6 day creation. it appears as though the Evolutionist view has evolved into Intelligent Design, and i almost regret having moved on from the debates and inquiry. the contending worldviews seem to have eradicated my previous stance, for which i am eternally grateful. science seems to have moved on from the Creationist-Evolutionist debate. one thing that has not changed is the faulty data still being distributed in textbooks.

in case you are wondering, i believe the Bible to be infallible and inerrant. i believe science can provide evidence for this, but like everything else, science cannot prove anything.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Humility: An Observation

Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama 

hum·ble (hũm'bel)

adj. hum·blerhum·blest
1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
2. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.
3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.
tr.v. hum·bledhum·blinghum·bles
1. To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate.
2. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit.
3. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin humilislow, lowly, from humusground; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.]

over the past few months, i've been struggling with the true meaning of humility. what does it mean to be humble? what is the opposite of arrogance and pride? in my attempt to imitate a form of humility, i am afraid that i have only redefined it. my version of humility looked more like self-pity. or denial of my ability. and in doing this, i felt fake. and that was frustrating. because it seemed that no matter what i do, i appear to be prideful. even in stating that, i somehow take pride in acknowledging that i'm proud. and then feel a need to explain myself. figure that one out.

recently, Barbera Walters did a documentary called, "Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There?" where she conversed with numerous leaders of various faiths. one being His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. i observed this man and the position he took when asked, "the Tibetans claim that you are a god. is this true? are you enlightened?" his response, "no! i am not enlightened. i do not know what will happen tonight, or tomorrow, i can barely remember what happened yesterday. my eyes have bad vision. if i was a god, would i need glasses? ...i am just a teacher."

okay, there is an obvious christian response to this interview. but for the moment, i want to skip that. because what i find to be so attractive about this man's character is his denial of his given title. is this humility? is humility really just acknowledging that your reputable identity is a lie? this is upsetting to me. because to mimick his realization would mean denial of my identity, which is found in Christ. and with that being the foundation of my faith, i know this to be absolutely true: i have been born again. can i have pride in truth? the truth is that my self-inflicted shortcoming is worthless. yet Jesus' death on the cross has saved my from my sin.

i suppose the scriptural summation of this would be (Galations 6:14) "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

as well as Paul's vision in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


i must say, i have been blessed by God today. God has been doing many things in my family's life as of late, and i can't give any credit to anyone other than God for their happenings. should i be thrilled? what is the correct manner of expressing gratitude to God? i am rather shocked by what has happened, and i can only imagine God's ecstatic delight in doting on a loved one. namely, me. my mom is more into the blessings-tallying than i am, so needless to say, she is very excited for me.

i have received a new bed. yes, a mattress and box-spring. and did i stress new? i'm not one to complain, or at least throw a tantrum, but i've been brawling with an old spring mattress since i came home from college. i don't know who gave me this new one. truly, i have no information other than that a pastor of a church in waterford which my mom attends (not i) called our house yesterday with a bed, wondering when a good time was for us to pick it up. i suppose my mom told them i was in need of a bed. i've been looking to buy one for some time now. but mattresses are costly. and that coerced me back to coping with my old one. but apparently God thought i needed one now. which i am content with. in fact, i am looking forward to a good night's sleep. that said, goodnight.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight
how to i bring myself to test God's abounding grace? o, how i detest this rotting carcass of a body i have been given. how do i live in a lended shell, only to continually betray my brethren for turkish delight? so foul. so disgraceful. in the end my tongue is sweet, my hands sticky. traces of my crime lie everywhere i touch. who committed this crime? the one with sticky hands. how will you judge me? will you accept me. what are the conditions? if i continue to indulge my fat body with sweets. surely not. if i promise to turn from my wicked ways, perhaps. yet the smell awakens me. it heightens my senses. i am dumbfound. i must have this. so delectable. hinder me, o God. wake me up from this dream.

provide an exit from this plague of mirages in my desert. i am thirsty. i know what i want, i know the satisfaction of my cravings. Your water that never runs dry. but your springs are found deep. and i am too tired to dig. Lord give me strength. save me from myself. why do i not pray this when my eyes are fixated on this dream of lush. the greenery so intense. so inviting. this tree of knowledge. its fruit, hypnotic. o God, why do i never pray for a shovel in these times. i long for a drink, yet lack energy and motivation to turn my eye from this delusional counterfeit. why am i afraid to call it what it is?

i pose for a picture. a backdrop behind me. yet i give no thought to what page-turners of my future photo album will see. i can make up my reality. deception. is it nothing more? tear down the backdrop to reveal the crack in the white washed wall behind me. take off the filter to reveal the stale, green halogens illuminating from overhead. this is where i am. nothing appealing here. better yet, wait until my smile wears off. reveal my inner beauty of inattentiveness. o God, restore my inner joy. let my peace be found in You.

Christian culture eludes true emotion, unfortunately. shouldn't we all walk a fine line?

i believe there are a lot of christians who don't know what direction they are headed. so intimidated by the ones who do.

Monday, January 09, 2006

40 Days

today i started reading my Bible. i'm on a mission: to read the entire Bible in 40 days. that's right, by the end of February, 2006. it started as a make-shift newyears' resolution. then it turned into a challenge - matt and i were going to do it together. and now it has become an accountability group project. complete with an online forum. should be interesting. i am hoping that this messageboard will spark some discussion, as i am sure many biblical questions will arise. should be a fun endeavor. and if we succeed, even better! if you would like to accept the challenge, make it a new years' resolution to read your entire Bible in 40 days, join our online community! just click Register to sign up and create a profile, and start on day 1. if you are a Bible-scholar, or a skeptic, this will be both profound and fulfilling, i am sure. the Bible will change your life. and if it doesn't, at least you have the ammo of saying you've read it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

In the Next Room

lately i've been discouraged. not a very nice way of starting a new year, but sometimes i want to stare out the back window of a car, and watch the road disappear behind me... listen to a cd and single out the invisible voice of a backup vocalist and recognize the beauty of harmony... try every scenario of a puzzle, avoiding the solution merely to discover every possible way to come to the wrong answer... i want to roll down a hill, but it's winter... i'm eager to say i've lived life, but i have not lived it yet... i want to have children, but but the math requires a piece of chalk and a chalkboard... if only life were that simple. why are God's ways not our ways? why does He require of us what does not come naturally?

why do i care to not smell like a perspiring human? what makes profanity offensive? why must i mourn the death of a loved one?

sometimes my best medicine is my dog. she loves her walks, and getting fed at 6:00. for my dog, life is simple. she would not recognize my deep, inner turmoil, or the complexity of my life, but she recognizes my face when i walk in the door. she knows the smell on my pant leg if i've been around another dog. she instinctively knows when dinner time is. how do i love such an ignorant, selfish animal? morally, my dog is corrupt. she is not considerate, empathetic, hospitable, or virtuous in any way.

i continually come into contact with people who want answers to questions. they want advice. they want to be told what to do. they want someone to understand them.
My dog, Annie

if i told my dog that the bag where her food is kept lies in the next room, gave her a leash and a scoop to take with her on her walks, showed her where her dog shampoo is, and then left for a 2 month vacation, i would come home to a dead dog. my dog has not developed opposable thumbs to open the door to her food, or developed a sense of human tolerance to walk herself without coming into contact with other dogs and violating someone's property rights, or able to determine when she smells too much like a dog and needs a bath. i would then be faced with animal cruelty charges.

often i feel like the answers i give to people's questions are unsatisfying. the advice i give is irrelevant. i fail to empathise with them. i feel like a dog who knows where the food is, but i can't open the door.

i fear a new movement in christianity is on the rise: relevance without godliness. christians trying to relate to everyone's problems, but failing to give God's divinity justice. agreeing that christians have bad taste in music. that we look foolish when we worship. that striving for holiness looks like arrogance. if we see someone confused about direction for their life, we tell them to pray more. if we meet someone with an addiction, we tell them to quit. if we find someone struggling financially, we tell them to tithe.

christians have a habit of saying uncool things. ever have a conversation with someone, and bring up God, and watch them as they get this glazed look over their eyes? i get discouraged. immediately what comes to mind is that they've heard it before. they've tried it and it doesn't work. it's like i can see where they're coming from, build up to a climax where i'm going to offer some deep, philosophical solution, and i bring up God. a beautiful letdown.

i think we need to re-establish what godliness means. godliness means humility. what does it look like? is it something that is desirable? 2 Peter 1:3-8 talks about making one's calling and election sure. adding to your faith. a systematic breakdown on how to become an effective, productive christian. it is some of the best advice i have received. we talk about christianity like it's a breeze through life on a white, puffy cloud, without a care in the world. we tell people about the hole in their heart that is immediately filled with the acceptance of Christ. yet we see 80% of born-again believers fall away from God. we see children raised in christian homes going off to college and leaving church behind. do we keep these statistics in the dark? are we embarrassed by what the records show? somehow Christ's "unfailing love" has failed a lot of people. either that, or they never found it in the first place. i tend to believe the latter.

sadly, people have heard where the kibble lies. they've even heard about the master who opens the door. how do they get His attention?