Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What good is it to listen if we don't hear?
What good is it to talk if we say nothing?
What good is it to observe if we learn nothing?
Wanna know why bad things happen to good people?
I do too.

But you know what? I'm living proof that good things happen to undeserving people.
And so are you.

Who are you?

Who i am is me; no one tells me who i am. Not my parents, not my pastor, not my friends, not strangers; who i am is between me and God.

What about you? Who defines you?
Are you a mere convergence of your parents' DNA (or are you following blind obedience to them)?
Are you a sheep who sees pastors (men) as infallible?
Do those you spend time with have the right to choose who you are?
Do the unbiased opinions of strangers hold more water than the biases of those you keep company with?
Or are you an independent person, finding out who you are in God?

Parents can teach, pastors can advise, friends can support, strangers can offer glimpses, but nobody decides who you are except you.
I'm not condoning disobedience. I'm merely stating that nobody knows what use you are to God except for God Himself. No mortal can fathom.
No preacher/spiritual adviser can tell you who you are or what you're here for, or where you're to go. They can offer support and advice, but much more is overstepping their boundaries. Parents can set up rules, but what we do in private or outside their watch is purely up to us. Friends can help us through difficult times, but they can't build us.
People try to make us into themselves, or guide us into being what they want us to be. But nobody knows your heart except you and God; why should anyone else have any say in who you are?
Only God can build us, and only if we let Him. We can find ourselves, but who are we if we don't have God . . . What have we found? A shell. Have Christ in your heart, and you will be found.

So who are you?
Do you follow people who are just as out of place in this world as you?
Or are you independent, unique, unalterable by the things in the world you live in, shaped only by your craving for meaning (read: craving for God)?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Faith without love is like respect without reason; it is shattered when reality strikes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What is Love?

What is love?
More than a feeling, more than a chemical reaction, more than a craving, what is it that makes love what it is?
Anger is a feeling. There are books written about it, but not enough to fill a dozen libraries.
Grief is an emotion, too. Again, it has books written about it, but scarcely does one spend their life in search of it.
Sadness is one of the more popular emotions, but it’s not fantasized about endlessly.
Why is love set apart? Why do we seek it, sometimes our entire lives? Why does it fill our hearts and minds so that we fill countless books with tales of it? Why do we feel joy for those that experience it? How is it that it affects us by proxy so much that we can be brought to tears of happiness at imaginary scenarios involving it?

Love is a meaning. It is life.
When we seek love, we seek meaning.
When we fill pages with love, we fill them with life.
We must learn to love things with meaning, with truth, with meaning, or else our love means nothing and our pages are filled with a pointless life, and our search is never complete. We die hollow, empty, and alone.
Your love must be true.
Love truth. Delight in truth. Love wisdom. Seek wisdom. Pray for discernment. Trust in God, for God is love.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Everything that has a shell is hiding something--the beauty, the life; it's within.
It's dangerous to break out of that shell; it could damage you, and severely . . . But you'll not grow out of it if you don't.
Isn't life itself a risk? What is love without risk? What is life without love? 1 Corinthians 13 says we gain nothing if we don't have love.
Go, live, risk . . . And above all else, love!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Speak your mind . . .

Where i work, we have scripture verses posted on some of the walls. On our business cards, hats, ads, etc., there is one verse that is mentioned above all others: Matthew 6:33.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (ESV)
It's an awesome verse, but it, in and of itself, does little to explain what, exactly, will be added to us. "All these things" is referencing prior verses.
Now, i've been working there since i was 12; nine years past. That verse has been drove into my mind so much that i could quote it in my sleep, and in all that time i've not considered it heavily on many occasions. A few days ago i was sort of meditating on it, though.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all."

Those are the verses leading up to 6:33 (25-32, to be exact).
It addresses necessities of life. Don't worry about them, have faith in God, and seek His kingdom above all other things, and He will supply you with your needs.
It also addresses worth. In this, we see how God supplies for and clothes with splendor all things, even the birds and flowers; they have worth to Him--how much more His own children must!
This, at the time, didn't relate much to me, as i have more than i could need, and i don't suffer from a lack of self-worth (self-respect is another story). I told a friend of mine about how those verses struck me when paired with the following one, though, and how impressive i thought the overall message was.
It didn't occur to me that someone else might've needed to hear that . . . And at the time it didn't serve much purpose to either of us, but mere hours later, a scenario came up involving the same friend and a discouraging situation.
It was interesting, because we had talked earlier that same day about how it might seem that others see us as worthless, but God promises through these verses that He holds us with worth above things He holds with worth, and sees us as His children, and that He will supply for His children since He is our Father.
That may have been chance, but i honestly don't think so. I'm not saying it was necessarily 'ordained', or that God was speaking through me, just that He was able to utilize His own words by having placed reminders around me of that set of verses for the last decade.

My reason for putting all of this is to encourage you not to disregard what might somehow help someone else. Just because a thought that passes through your mind doesn't affect you doesn't mean it should be disregarded. Your thoughts, though they might not completely pertain to yourself, should not be ignored; someone else may need to hear what you have to say.
Think positive, then speak your mind.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We all have multiple choices. Everything comes down to choices. But sometimes it comes down to two general choices:
1) the smooth, easy, direct path, or
2) the hard road, the one that leaves us hurt more often than not, the one that tests us and breaks us, but in our breaking down we are being built up. It's the road that teaches us how to appreciate what we have, keeps us focused enough to not want the things we don't, and it leaves us feeling fulfilled and accomplished because anyone can travel from point A to point B, but it's only the determined that take the road less traveled.

When such a choice is yours, do you take the easy, bland path, or the rough, fulfilling one?

Friday, October 12, 2012

If you're going to number your reasons to be sad, at least try to number your heartbeats and breaths--each one was a gift and a reason to rejoice.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mouths and ears don't work at the same time. So many times i cry out for God's will to be made known, yet i won't be quiet long enough to hear Him speak.