Thursday, November 8, 2012
Sunday, October 17, 2010
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.
So a few days ago a friend of mine came over and critiqued my housekeeping. Let me preface this by saying I am a HORRIBLE housekeeper. I keep my kitchen and bathroom clean, but other than that, I have a bad habit of hanging on to things a lot longer than I should. As a result, I have powerpoints from freshman year for a class I'll never use...but I have them!
It kind of makes me think about housekeeping in other areas of my life. How often am I willing to hold onto grudges, instead of simply tossing them aside? Much like my old powerpoints, some things simply need to go.
I also have a picture frame that recently got broken. Inside it contains a document which is very near and dear to me, one that took years of hard work to accomplish. As I was going through things, I made the decision to ditch the frame, but to keep what was inside. It reminds me somewhat of some friendships. We spend years cultivating them, and then, over petty things they are broken, cast aside, and ultimately done. But what remains inside, the memories, the experiences, those we can carry with us, long after the shell is gone.
This may not make much sense to anyone but me, and I guess it really doesn't have to. I've learned over the last few weeks, and really this weekend, that much like Proverbs says, if we choose to walk with those who are wise we in turn grow wise. But when we walk with fools, harm is sure to come.
It's time for me to do some spiritual housecleaning, to let go of some things, to make amends with friends, and to move on from others. At the end of the day, the Lord created this house, and it is up to me to fill it with things that bring him joy.
Monday, November 23, 2009
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
It’s funny, one of the trademark reasons for not believing in God, or for believing in him, but following your own set of rules, is that, it’s my life, I will live it how I choose. Many people believe that our decisions, our actions, our words are all just that- ours. And while we are the human “host” of all of these things, none of it belongs to us- but instead, to a much higher power.
The really great thing about our God is that he lets us choose. We can choose between our life, and the life he wishes for us to live. He is a loving and forgiving God yes, but at the same time, his instructions are clear to us about how our lives should be lived.
I was watching the Senate debate on healthcare on Saturday (yes I am a nerd) and one of the speakers used this verse to illustrate why abortion is wrong. For anyone who knows me, you know where I stand on this issue, and this blog is not intended to be about that, but hearing the verse made me look deeper at the meaning of choosing life- for the life of an unborn Child, or for the life of an already born person.
God blessed each and everyone of us today with life. He gave of us a family, friends, and an abundance of his love. He also gave us choices to make- good and bad, right and wrong. Temptation awaits every Christian who allows themselves to look for it. I myself face temptation every day- many times giving in. But the older I get and the closer I try to walk with God, I realize this temptation will always exist, it just means finding ways to cut it out of our lives. Choosing to live instead for ourselves and for God, not for the temptations placed before us. God never gives us more than we can handle- more than we can LIVE with.
You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:20
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
- Mark 8:36
Those of you who know me well know that I am a HUGE Florida Gator fan. I live, sleep, eat, and breathe Florida Gator Football. Right now is an especially good time to be a Gator fan for a number of reasons. One, we're doing well. Two, we have a phenomenal quarterback. When I say that, I don't just mean in the athletic sense, but also in the sense of he as a person exemplifies what it means to be a Christian role model. A few weeks back, Mark 8:36 was placed under his eyes. My friend Julianne pointed it out, and it got me thinking, here this guys stands to make millions some day, but first and foremost recognizes all of that is worthless without God.
I am a solid year away from graduating, yet I'm still ever vigilant in the search for what is next- teaching, a career, grad school, law school, anything. All of these options have their positive points- time at home, great money, great connections, but in the midst of all of this, I rarely find myself asking the question, which way will allow me to serve God.
As I enter into what I hope will be my last year of school, I just ask for the wisdom to know what is right. If I am meant to teach, I ask that i will be placed in an area where I can minister to students. If I am in a job of financial wealth, I ask that I may be directed to give back in ways that will help others. If I am placed in a position of leadership, I ask that God's hand will guide all of my decisions.
The whole world is at our footsteps, but what have we gained if we have that, and nothing else.
Monday, October 26, 2009
We are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works.-Ephesians 2:10 (NRSV)
As a part of human nature, I am constantly questioning things. Why did this event happen? Why did i make that decision? Why, why, why. Why? Because God wanted it to.
I look around at people, in my life and beyond, and I wonder, why do they do the things they do. I see people commite horrible crimes, and wonder how a loving God could let that happen. But then I realize out of every actions, comes a reaction- allowing God's love to shine forth. Sometimes I look at my friends and wonder how they can make such stupid decisions. And then I remember they are but God's children, and will stray from time to time. And I look at my own life, and realize all of the mistakes I have made and all the ways I have sinned. I know it's wrong, yet I still do it.
God created each and every one of us. he created us not out of greed, not out of desperation, not out of entertainment, but out of love. We were each created in Christ to do his good works. So why aren't we doing them?
Last week I had the chance to attend the National FFA Convention. I always leave in awe and inspired by things high school students- high school students- are doing in their communities. Raising money, building houses, feeding people, the list goes on. They are using God's creation for good works.
Matthew 5:16 (New International Version)-
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Their actions speak louder than words. Their good deeds and light shone forth to glorify God. So why can't mine?
We were each created in God's image to do good works. Sometimes our sin takes us away from that- it diminishes our ability to praise God because of the distractions in our life. I pray today that God will remove those distractions, will give me strength to resist sin, and will let my light shine forth for him.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The homily that day was about a lady who had written a book called "The Nut that Saved our marriage". It told a story of a woman whose son had come home from the Marines and was telling them about a helicopter, and how the blade was held on top by one little nut, called the Jesus nut. Why? Because through all things, if we have Christ we can survive. Without him, we are nothing. The helicopter, without the Jesus nut, could not function.
The homily went on further to say that if Jesus isn't the center bolt of our lives- if everything does not revolve around him, we won't reach new heights, and we will fail in all that we do.
So I started thinking about relationships. How many relationships with people do we have that are lacking Christ completely? I got to thinking about my friendships with people- and sadly, a lot of them revolve around things other than Christ. My friendship with my workout partner is all about the gym, but I rarely talk of my faith in there. My friendship with my classmates is all about school, and God certainly isn't found there. Even some of my purely social friendships revolve around anything but God- Gator tailgating, going out at night, hitting the beach. And how good are these relationship? None are the type to last forever.
I've had one friendship in particular that I've really struggled with lately. As I strive to surround myself with people who build me up, I find myself at odds with one of my closest friends. Some of the things they are allowing to influence them I fear are eventually going to tear us apart. But the one area I know will endure is our mutual love for Jesus Christ. While many times I have wanted to end or alter the friendship, I know that they need me as much as I need them- and that cutting someone out of my life is not the Christian example. It is because our friendship is centered on Christ that it must last.