Monday, April 27, 2009

Living to Love/Help a Brother Out

I've been frustrated lately by people feeling they have the right to judge one another--especially those who claim to be Christians. As such, shouldn't our last concern be judgement?  Wasn't Jesus' (remember? the One we're supposed to treat as our master?) greatest commands to love God and to love others? Where there is judgement... there is NO room for love. And we were created to love, not judge. Only God can judge. 

I'm tired of us imposing this scale founded by people on everyone. Murder is the worst, being gay is next, followed by having sex outside of marriage, then lying to your parents etc. (For the record, I think all of those things are sins and are bad not because they are magically "bad," but because they are things that prevent us from fulfilling all God has in store for us and have natural consequences on our hearts and the lives of others.  I'm not condoning, that isn't the point.) However, to God, a sin is a sin. The first lie we tell makes us equally as guilty as taking a life--not because it's a check off an invisible guilty list, but because these are transgressions against the very heart of God. I'm tired of people thinking that just because they go to church, or spent an hour volunteering, have more money, or whatever they gained any favor in God's sight or are better people because of it.

For, didn't Jesus say, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness," then Paul continued, "Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

I feel like I've been through enough crap and have seen enough in life to have learned that when we start to approach others with an attitude/lens of love an acceptance ("I'm going to love you no matter what, first an foremost, and I know someone who has a better plan for you and loves you more than you'll ever realize") rather than judgement ("You are wrong, and let me tell ya, I'm gonna fix it. Otherwise, you're headed to Hell") we begin, I think, to start loving people like Jesus does. Sure, when you see your brother or sister stumbling, be able to take note, but don't judge them! Let your heart break for the struggle they are going through! Come along side them and let them know that no matter what they are loved and there is nothing they can do to kill that off. Then, and only then, do people start to find confidence in who they truly are.

I know I've written this a million times, but if we didn't ALL need help, Jesus wouldn't have died for the world. He would have died for those who needed Him. But God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only Son. We are ALL messed up. All sinners. All hurting. All broken. 

"While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "Is it not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick? But go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:10-13). 

All that being said... what's the use of not judging if we're not also actively loving one another--brothers, neighbors, and enemies the same...  Whether it be holding the hurting, feeding the hungry, or clothing the naked, may we never forget that love really IS a verb and we are failing in our calling as followers of Christ when we fail to actively love. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Drafting Poetry

So, I'm in a Creative Writing class and I'm doing my homework and publishing some of my drafts on here. Here is a starter one. It's NOT finished, but it is a start. 


A Week Ago: I Am An Invisible Child

With a flash of light,
And a burst of scarlet,
My sister dropped to the ground.
I never would have done this a week ago. 

I'm scared and unknown,
I miss the loving arms of my mom,
I want to be home safe and warm.
That changed when they took me away a week ago.

As time passes on,
All I know is my gun.
My master's wish is my command. 
I killed a man and liked it a week ago. 

Ready, Set, Aim.
My life has gone down in a flame.
If someone had cared enough to stop this war,
Maybe I would still be alive, like I was a week ago. 


Sunday, April 19, 2009

You can ask me how, but only time will tell














The new day dawns,
And I am practicing my purpose once again.
It it fresh and it is fruitful if I win, but if I lose,
Oooooo I don't know.
I will be tired, but I will turn and I will go,
Only guessing til I get there then I'll know,
Oh oh oh I will know.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that's shining in my window as I write this song to you,
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
illuminating what i know is true:
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you've broken to yourself
All will be well.
You can ask me how, but only time will tell.

The winter's cold,
But the snow still lightly settles on the trees.
And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know,
That all will be well.
Even thought sometimes this is hard to tell,
And the fight is just as frustrating as hell,
All will be well.

All the children walking home past the factories,
Could see the light that's shining in my window as I write this song to you,
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what i know is true:

ALL WILL BE WELL.
EVEN AFTER ALL THE PROMISES YOU'VE BROKEN TO YOURSELF.
ALL WILL BE WELL.
YOU CAN ASK ME HOW, BUT ONLY TIME WILL TELL. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Deepest Longing of My Heart


On Easter Sunday I went to Fellowship and the point of the message was hope. And something I really appreciated being reminded of by Lloyd is the fact that in the Biblical definition of hope, "there is no such thing as painless hope, but in our pain our hope is real. They go together."

Maybe it's the fact that I tend to be an all or nothing/now or never kind of person, but I find myself again and again and again longing for peace only He can provide. I just feel like sometimes I am so acutely aware of and deeply disappointed by my own humanity I feel swallowed whole by a world that is not my home. However, then I remember the fact that my humanity and the consequences of living in it is what I have been saved from. I've been washed white as snow and I have a home... I'm just not there yet. 

I am only hoping for Jesus. Not love. Not happiness. Not friends. Not money. Not fame. Not stability. Just Jesus. That's all I want and I pray when and if I ever again put something before Him that He would remove it like He already has so many times, because I just want Him. I just want peace.


Friday, April 10, 2009

And Now I Alone

Me, Myself, and I used to fly, beautiful and free through the clouds
So far above the rest,
I always said those were the good old days.
And they were.

However, one day while dancing in the sky,
I saw something change in Myself.
I watched a silver bullet pierce the skin,
I listened to Myself claim it was Cupid's arrow.

I watched Myself fall with grace and a look of joy,
But I could tell... that wasn't joy, but death.
I watched Myself land in his hands, with a sudden thud.
I felt the excruciating pain of seeing Myself dead... or "in love."

He showed off his prize to his friends
With a toothy grin he knew he had won.
And just as I expected, when he was ready for more,
He took Me away also.

A part of Me saw what happened to Myself, but had no idea what to do,
And soon followed, blissfully unaware, and died with Myself.
I knew that the only way to live was to flee fast and far.
And now I alone am safe.
And now I alone am free to experience the world.
And now I alone know that at the heart of every man is a hunter. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

JUST DO IT

I've been blown away in the past two months how much people have confided in me saying, "I hate who I am." Whether it's being a womanizer or just being a jerk to people or just whatever. I really admire those of us who are honest enough with ourselves to see a flaw or sin in our lives and have the ability to pinpoint it and the desire to change it.

HOWEVER, I'm also amazed by the same people, much more often than not, who tell me that they can't change it. It's who they are. And I understand it. Sometimes something, like a sin (mean thoughts, lying, stealing, etc) becomes so ingrained in our thoughts/actions that it BECOMES us. But as William Shakespeare said, "If you do not contain a virtue, obtain it."

In other words, I understand that we screw up and our sins can become our habit, but that is not who we are, unless we allow it to be who we want to be. If you really want to change and you really want to like who you are, you're going to have to change. You're going to have to starve that monster inside of you until it is dead. Good and dead. And you know what? It's gonna hurt. It's going to be painful and inconvenient and it's going to feel unnatural. But I've found that where we allow our flesh and worldly desires/habits to die within ourselves there isn't a void, there's only Grace and God fills it with something unimaginably good. 

So the next time you think to yourself, "I hate X about myself." Don't beat yourself up endlessly and never change! Realize that God sent His Son to die so you could be forgiven and be FREE from whatever that thing is. Then allow that thing to die and you may be surprised what you find its place... but you can't hope it goes away. Like I said, the best way to kill a monster is to starve it. 

"And You said, 'I know that this will hurt,
But if I don't break your heart, then things will just get worse.
And if the burden seems too much to bear, remember,
The end will justify the pain it took to get us there.'" 
- Relient K


Saturday, April 4, 2009

an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind




"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath for it is written: "it is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:17-21 

It's hard isn't it?