30 September 2010

The root of all vanity.

The great deception is that objects appear smaller at a distance. The great lie is that they really are.

Q&A.

Boy: What's wrong with your heart?
Girl: It's a heart.

22 September 2010

Three unrelated thoughts in order of length.

Less than a journey, life is a death march. Journey implies choice, but we all imagine that we have more control over our lives than we really do. Less than sailors on a voyage, we are survivors of a shipwreck. We wake up on some long forgotten shore with no clue as to why we're here or what we're suppose to do.

If you dream for yourself, your dreams can only be as big as you are. Narcissism is a turn-off not because you're selfish, but because you're small.

In reconciling, most people immediately think of compromise as the answer, but sometimes the best solution is surrender.

17 September 2010

Shipwrecked.

"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another."

-- C. S. Lewis, my good friend.

11 September 2010

There were two friends.

He was loyal, but not loving
So it was suffocating to be his friend.

She was loving, but not loyal
So it was tiresome to be hers.

10 September 2010

Some opinions.

The current influx of Muslims to America and their building of Mosques in all places from the rural countryside, to the quiet suburbs, to the bustling ruins of Ground Zero is the answer to the mission-minded prayer of opportunity. Long have Christians complained of the repressive, life-threatening mission field in the Islamic world. We can't openly share the Gospel. We can't even secretly share the Gospel. If a man or woman converts to Christianity they will be disowned, persecuted, even killed in accordance to Law. Yet here God opens the floodgate of opportunity to share the Gospel, bringing them to our very doors, and rather than they rejecting us--we reject them.

The response most Bible-thumping, nation-loving Americans are having is one largely composed of fear rather than fear-expelling love. Jesus redefined our notion of love,
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you... For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
I ask you, "Do not even Fundamentalist Muslims do the same?"

And who can forget Paul's call to arms in his radical charge to the Romans,
Let love be genuine... Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them... Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
How can a pastor go on national television protesting Muslims, pushing them away, banishing them from his community before he welcomes them, serves them, and loves them? Could it be that rather than an invasion from the devil who schemes, this is actually an opportunity from the God who works all things for the good?

America is a pluralistic society built upon religious freedom. The constitution that guarantees our right to build churches guarantees the same right to Muslims to build mosques and to Jews to build synagogues. Our call as Christians is not to push away potential competitors from answering the great questions of life, but to share the Gospel, take this as an opportunity to evangelize, and love the crap out of our neighbors.

07 September 2010

When I grow up...

Growing up I wanted to be many things: a frontiersman, an explorer, even an astronaut. I always wanted to discover something new, I always wanted to be first. I grew out of the desire to be first when I realized that (1) I am not the best, and (2) the first shall be last and the last first. But I didn't know how this desire of mine fit in with God's plan for me until today.

God has given me the heart of a pioneer. I want to preach the Gospel where it has not been preached before. I want to be the first to reach a people group. It is no better than staying here, it is not more loving or devoted to go overseas. But that is where my heart is. If God is calling me there, then it is loving and devoted to obey.

There are a few things that hold me back. But I see an answer for each from the very mouth of Jesus when I read the New Testament and see how he responded to His reluctant, unwilling disciples. I have debts to pay. I have to be prepared and properly trained. My parents and my brother are not Christian. I have to give all these things up in prayer to God. I have to surrender them to His providence. He is faithful, he will surely do it.

One thing I am learning is that God's timing is directly correlated to His provision. As He opens doors of opportunity, He is not simply saying here are viable options--He is saying: Go! Right now I know it is not the time. Right now it is time to wait. But I am reminded everyday: Waiting time is not wasted time. The wilderness has a purpose.

"Nehemiah's argument for the timing of the reconstruction was based upon God's sovereign engineering of the circumstances."
-- Andy Stanley

"It was this habit of getting the Word of God into his projects and then confirming the whole thing by an appeal to divine providences that made him indomitable... The call of God was remarkably clear. God himself had moved ahead of Jaffray into the islands. The work had to succeed."
-- A. W. Tozer, speaking about missionary pioneer Robert A. Jaffray