Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When You Can Afford to Lose

Aloha everyone. Sorry it's been awhile. Been a little busy, and haven't felt like posting as much lately. Had a lot on my mind, and still do. But I'm not gonna get into all of that right now cause I'm sitting here and listening to a song on repeat by Will Hoge called 'When I Can Afford to Lose' and it's been making me think, and I felt like sharing...

The song talks about how he isn't going to take the chance with a girl again until 'he can afford to lose'. And those thoughts hit home with me. Too many times, we as humans want to take the safe route. We don't want to do anything risky until we can afford to handle the loss if it comes our way.

It doesn't matter if it's in financial matters, love, or even submitting to God. We want to feel like we have some kind of control. But sometimes you have to take risks. New business owners may have to take out a second mortgage on their house. You may risk telling your crush how you feel, only for it to be thrown back in your face. But one thing that isn't a risk is trusting in God.

On some level, we may or may not acknowledge this, but we put it off until another day. We want to say, "Well, I'll go to church when I get everything in my life situated." We want that control. To come to God on our own terms. We want to dip our toes in the water, say that we're doing what good 'Christians' are supposed to do, but still be able to have control over our lives and the direction God may send us. Heck, I know I want to handle my finances as they can get pretty tight if I'm not careful. It is a serious struggle for me to trust God to provide for my finances after giving my tithes. To be honest, the majority of times, I don't give them for that reason. I find myself incapable of letting go of that area in my life and letting him take control.

But shouldn't we trust Him? He who gave everything so that we might one day live by his side in Heaven. He who has never broken one promise to us, even after we break covenant after covenant. Even though we break sin against Him daily, He is still faithful. His love never changes. He never changes. Nothing we can ever do will make Him love us any less. And as broken as this world is, it's hard for us to trust in that promise. Nothing else in this world has that kind of guarantee. I'm not saying it's easy to let go. I'm just saying it's worth it. He is worth it. Give Him a chance and let Him prove it to you.

Love in Christ,

PS - Let me know if you have any prayer requests. And if you want to be praying for me, I have my black belt test coming up on Nov 1st - less than 3 weeks away!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This is the end?

So I watched a movie tonight called 'This is the end' - it's by Seth Rogen and James Franco - same people who made Pineapple Express, which was "stoner humor". It's their typical thing, and can be amusing at times if you like that style - and while I typically enjoy them acting stupid, I had to address this movie and some of the content within.

The premise of the movie is as follows: the actors are playing themselves. They're at a Hollywood party when the literal apocalypse happens. Some people are sucked into Heaven and the rest of the world starts falling to pieces. Parts of the movie are funny as they try to ration food, scavenge for supplies, and try to figure out what is actually going on. If you actually want to watch the movie, I'd stop here as spoilers are going to follow.

Slowly the realization that the actors are in the actual 'end days' starts to sink in. One of the character grabs a Bible and reads part of Revelation describing some of the things happening. They start trying to figure out what is going on, how to survive, and how they can end up in Heaven. They wonder why they're still on Earth when they are, for the most part, 'good people'. They wonder if they haven't tipped the scales enough to end up being balanced on the good and earn God's favor.

But they missed the point! They skipped to the end of the book and didn't see the directions on how to get there! There is no "good enough" to end up in Heaven. In John 14:6, Jesus says he is the only way to Heaven. Nothing we do will ever tip the scales far enough for us to balance it out or end up on the 'good side' of God. One sin is all it takes to damn us for all eternity. An infinitely holy God cannot abide even one sin. And all of us have sinned. There is no sacrifice we can make or life we can live, on our own, that gets us to Heaven.

Luckily, we don't get by on our own merits, but on the perfect life of Jesus Christ. God doesn't see scales. If we believe in Him as our savior and redeemer, He sees a passport marked 'approved' - He doesn't see our names, but instead sees his son who died for our sins.

I don't know about you, but the fact that Jesus Christ has paid the price I could never hope to repay makes me extremely grateful. And movies like these demand a response from those who know the truth. We shouldn't let our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. think that as long as they live a 'good life' that they can skate on into Heaven. We have to make sure they know the truth and make sure that movies like this don't cloud the subject.

Love in Christ,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gotta Keep Fighting

So I don't know about everyone else out there, but for me, it's been a rough start to the new year so far. Ever been stretched way too thin? Feel like it's a battle to find time for everyday things, much less the surprises life loves to through your way? I know that my schedule stays pretty booked, and leaves little time for relaxing and recharging for the next go around. And it can lead to short nerves, frustration, and more - areas in my life that get neglected, most notably my social and spiritual lives.

If I'm not careful, I end up feeling like every step forward I take is followed by two backwards, if not more. When it happens for a prolonged period of time, I want to vent frustration, and too often it's aimed at places or people it shouldn't be. And sometimes I want to throw my hands up and walk away from it all. It can lead to bitterness and brokenness. If you don't have a good support system in place, it can lead to a viscous cycle of self-pity that feeds upon itself. But even the best support system - friends, church group, family - can let you down without meaning to do so. This is why it can be dangerous to have them as your only source of strength and comfort.

So when you hit that point, what do you do? Where do you turn then? I look to Jesus. No matter how I feel - no matter what's going on in my life, I can always think back to a lesson that God taught me in one of the lowest times in my life. And that one reminder is enough to set my feet on solid ground again. It puts a smile back on my face, and allows me to keep going, no matter how many times I get knocked down. Draw your strength from God, and you can survive anything this world throws at you. I'm not saying it will be easy. Far from it in fact. But you'll have a joy in your heart this world cannot crush, no matter how hard it tries.

So keep fighting - keep getting back up and throwing more punches. Finish the race - even if it is one agonizing step at a time. And keep your faith - even when it seems that everything is going against you. God uses those times to draw you close, and for His glory to be evident to those who are watching.

Love in Christ,