Saturday, January 29, 2011


I read two different blog posts today about reading in the Word of God and, being as it was something that I was just praying about yesterday and talking to mom about a week or two ago, I think it's something God wants me to pay attention to right now. These posts both talk about the lack of time spent in the Word and it's something I have been convicted about many times. It leads me ask why I keep finding myself in the same struggle. First, and foremost, because sin doesn't disappear and fighting my flesh will be a continual struggle. But why do I, someone who is often accused of spending too much time in books (a.k.a. a bookworm), struggle to stay consistent with reading the greatest book of all? In most literature, the reader can find himself in one of the characters. And, more often than not, the reader can find himself in the main character. Maybe not always in the same way, some people may find a similar character trait while others may find a similar struggle to one they are experiencing or have experienced. But in some way they walk the journey of the plot with the character. And, when the resolution finally comes, the reader feels that he too has triumphed. (I will omit the morbid terror of the normal endings accompanying American literature from this summary and save them for another post at a later time.) The Bible, however, shows us our weakness. It constantly and consistently asks us to grow and change, to recognize our error and turn from our sin. I just told a friend yesterday how much I love that every time I read the Bible I understand truth in a new or different way. But maybe that's the very same reason why the Bible is isn't always the first book I turn to. The Bible doesn't allow me to feel good about myself. The Bible shows me just how awful my state is and how much I need a Savior. Secular literature allows the main character to be the center of attention. The Bible asks me to focus on my Creator and Savior and, in light his magnificence, to see myself for what I am. Secular literature allows me to be the unlikely hero or the failure that never finds his way, but either way I'm looking at myself. The Bible asks me to first look at Christ. Secular literature feeds my pride. The Bible teaches humility. The Bible shows me the truth that I, in my sinful state, don't always want to see.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Screwtape Letters

I was doing some blog searching yesterday and found a friend's blog that she has just started updating again, but I read through some of her old posts (I love reading other people's blogs) and found this quote from Screwtape Letters. First, C.S. Lewis never ceases to bring me back to my knees. God gave him an amazing mind and he used it for the glory of God. How much better does it get? He has an amazing ability to look at and analyze life and then explain it in a way that brings a better understanding to his readers. Even if you have already heard the truth he is sharing, he shares it so that you understand it better or differently and are freshly convicted. Second, this just fit much too perfectly with my last post and the struggles I am facing right now. For those of you who haven't read Screwtape Letters I suggest reading it at your earliest convenience or even sooner, it is just brilliant. It is a series of letters written from one fictional devil to another explaining how best to tempt a human. The enemy referenced in the Letter is therefore God. Enjoy...

“It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time-for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays…Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead…To be sure, the Enemy wants men to think of the Future too-just so much as is necessary for now planning the acts of justice or charity which will probably be their duty tomorrow….He does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. We do. His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him. But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future-haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth-ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other…”

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have been so worried about the next few years of my life and how they will shape the rest of my life. I have been worried about which decisions will be wise and beneficial, what paths will potentially follow each decision, and what factors should or could play into making these decisions. All of these worries are good things to contemplate. The problem is that they are worries in the first place. My youth pastor taught last night on the concept of worry and I'm pretty sure it was the most convicting and yet best thing I could have heard at this point in my life. At one point he asked us: "How can we trust God with the eternity of our lives and entirely depend on Him for our salvation and yet not trust Him in the little things of life?". I think the reason we don't trust Him in the little things is because we feel like we can or do have some level of control in those situations. How arrogantly presumptuous is it though for me to think that, in any given situation, I could handle it better than God or that I have a better idea of what the outcome should be? I worry because I don't trust God. I don't trust God because I'm too consumed in myself. At the point at which I understand how entirely dependant I am upon God and how entirely helpless my state is, I will cease to worry. And when I stop worrying about the future, I can enjoy the present and all of the beautiful things God is doing right now. I've been thinking so much about what might happen that I haven't been enjoying right now. I don't have to wait to know what is happening with my life next year to see God's hand at work, to know God's plan. His plan is happening right now and it's just the way He has determined it should be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A long time ago (actually just about two years ago), when I wasn't busy all the time, I used to read the therebelution blog rather frequently. At one point they were blogging on life and death and they said the following: "We don't hold our lives. We can't avoid death...We need to change our thinking from "I'm invincible because I'm young" to "I'm invincible until God calls me home." ...God's timing is perfect." I've kept this quote on my wall ever since. The first sentence is striking because I struggle daily with wanting to take control of my own life and, therefore, not trusting God. The fact that I don't control my existence is probably the most blatant example there is for my lack of control. The second sentence only further proves my powerless state. Not only do I have no control over my existence, I also have no control over my time on earth and I can't do anything to change that. The last part of the quote is equally striking. Life on earth isn't permanent, it's temporary. Often I become convicted of trying to plan too far ahead and not trusting God's sovereign plan. But maybe I'm not looking far enough ahead. Maybe I need to stop thinking about five years from now and start thinking about eternity. Finally, no matter what happens, "...God's timing is perfect."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This post is dedicated to a family in my Church.
Human life and relationships on earth are a gift from God. They evoke our deepest emotions, our greatest depth of feeling.  Love that springs from close relationships is also a gift from God and one that teaches us much about our God and his love for us. Broken relationships and conflicts often cause life long pain and suffering. There is a deep power in the bond between human beings. Often we are sucked into pursuing our relationships with humans more steadily than our relationship with our Creator. When someone we love leaves this earth, we feel that part of our heart has been ripped out. Sometimes this suffering leads us from God. It tells to avoid ever becoming vulnerable again and it tells us to question God's love. Yet sometimes this suffering bring us into a closer relationship with God. It shows us His love in giving His Son. It teaches us to trust his sovereignty. It helps us to have an even greater understanding of the hope we have in our future life beyond this earth. A family in my church has recently experienced the death of a loved one. And their love and devotion to her is obviously great. But greater still has been their love and devotion to their Savior. It is easy to give in to the sin pulling on your heart, but this family has been an amazing example of showing Christ's love and of trusting God, even when they face suffering on earth.

"She was a gift to you and your love was a gift to her. But no matter how fully you loved her, Christ can and does love her better. She faced suffering on this earth. Only Christ can heal her. Only He can make her whole." ~my mother, when talking to one of the girls in the family