Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Power to Love

"Now how can we do this? Where does power to love like this come from? Just think how astonishing this is when it appears in the real world! Could anything show the truth and power and reality of Christ more than this?

Let me just give you part of the answer from Matthew 5:11-12,

Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 Rejoice. and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus says that not only can you endure the mistreatment of the enemy, but you can also rejoice in it. Why? Because your reward in heaven is great.

Which means that the command to love your enemy is a command to set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. The command to love your enemy is a command to find your hope and your satisfaction in God and his great reward--not in the way people treat you. The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life (Psalm 63:3).

Loving your enemy doesn't earn you the reward of heaven. Treasuring the reward of heaven empowers you to love your enemy."

This excerpt is taken from John Piper's sermon "But I Say to You, Love Your Enemies, Part 2." Click over here to see the rest of the article.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A reminder

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Why can't we be friends?

We've all seen it before (at least those of us who have Facebook pages... isn't that all of us?): this friend or the other has done a spring/fall/spiteful/pick your adjective 'cleaning up' of their Facebook friends, and now they're ready to tell those left standing just how lucky they were to make the cut.

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
- Mother Teresa

For some reason or another - I'll probably figure out in the writing of this blog post - this sort of thing never did sit well with me. I get that 'having a Facebook' is a personal thing; something for people to personalize and add silly sibling quotes and their latest TV show obsession (yes, it's an obsession) to. And therefore people want to see things on their newsfeed that make them happy and friends with encouraging/insightful/philosophical posts, pictures of their cute children, and reviews of the latest and greatest restaurants and products. Nothing wrong with that.

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends."
- Walt Whitman

Here's where the issue begins for me. As a Christian, I am called to reflect the Lord in every aspect of my life - even Facebook. It's easy to do when everyone else around us is posting wonderful Christian-y stuff, and indeed the Bible does say that "bad company ruins good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33). Surrounding ourselves with those that have like-minded beliefs and who will encourage us in our walk with Christ is something we are supposed to do. But. We are also called the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth" (Matthew 5) - we cannot put ourselves in a cloister and expect our light to shine or people to be intrigued by our 'saltiness.'

"Friendship without self interest is one of the rare and beautiful things in life."
 - James Francis Byrnes

Ah yes. My point. I guess what aggravates me about all this friend purging is that it seems sort of selfish. It's not bad to have Christian friends in your newsfeed - not at all! But deleting people simply because 'they aren't a terribly close friend at all, really' or 'they turned out to be such a loser' is a mite self-centered (this IS Facebook after all) should perhaps make you stop and thing twice about why exactly you're doing it. I'm sure many of you have heard the saying that points out "you may be the only Bible some people ever read": can you endure a few strange/depressing posts or maybe some foul language, knowing that you are shining a light into this person's life - perhaps the only light? Think about it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A catch-me-up... for you-who-care

So I was trying to figure how to make this short, sweet and painless... this blog isn't really about my life - at least, I try to keep it that way - but I feel like I owe an apology to those who have suffered almost an entire year without my adorably snarky and amazingly deep blog posts. So. Don't take this as an excuse, 'cause it's not - I haven't been so very busy as to not even post once a month; I have no excuse. This is my way of making it up in some very tiny smallish way to you, my awesome readers.

(to mix this up, I will not be numbering my list. try to figure out the thought process that went into these symbols, and enter the jumbled mess that is my mind-in-progress.)

! (not.) Work continues as usual. This June I will be celebrating three years at my current job, though there is a potential major career change currently in the works. You may or may not get to hear about when/if that does/does not work out.

@Camp Iroquoina: for the first time in several years I was able to travel with the greater portion of my family to pretty much my favorite place on earth. A whole week of drinking in nature, getting to hang out with my best PA friend, helping out - or getting in way, depending on your perspective - in the kitchen (hello first ever mass-produced dish that I made all by meself)... truly the vacation I needed.

#lastsemesterEVER hopefully. I rounded out my school career with journeys in Algerian Literature, Utopias and Dystopias, Technology in Society and Culture, Insects and People, archery, fitness walking (never again), social dance. Utopias was probably the class where I learned the most, and social dance and archery tied for first place in the 'best class ever' category.

'$' stands for the money I will soon owe the government for funding my college career, since I graduated magna cum laude with my B.A. in English from North Carolina State University on December 15, 2012. *commence belated confetti tossing* That was an amazing weekend as well, since I got to meet a pen pal - and not just any pen pal, but the one I've have the longest - when she came up from Texas especially for the graduation.

[90]% = the time I have spend sleeping and working since my aforementioned graduation. Job-hunting, helping out in various and sundry ways at home, getting into contra dancing and other random activities have taken up the last 10%.

^_^ contra dancing deserves its own mention here, since it's one of my new dancing obsessions. Ballroom dancing is a little hard to come by when it's not in a controlled PE environment, but contra dancing - which doesn't require you dragging a partner along - is great fun, a good way to hang out with friends and get some awesome exercise at the same time... in a nutshell, most diverting. You should go check it out now. go, shoo! this post will be here when you get back.

& last but not least, a relationship update: I'm not going to gush about all the 'God moments' I've had, because that's not what I do - here or anywhere. It's still a journey of seeking, finding (mostly still seeking) and soul searching, and I'm not anywhere near where I want to be. But I'm okay with being a work-in-progress, because God is definitely at work here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm not dead yet!

 and you thought you were rid of me. baha.

A screamingly quick and horrendously over-simplified my-life-in-the-past-almost-a-year update to come in the next week-ish - and then back to our [ir]regularly scheduled randomly random randomness. While you're waiting, check out the new/updated tabs/blog look and feel free to do a little dance of impatience in your seat. Until then, peeps!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

We Wear the Mask - Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
And mouth with myriad subtleties,

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries
To Thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!