Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thoughts & Blessings

This morning I read (most of) an article entitled, "Who Can Be Saved?" from an intellectual-type magazine-type publication called "First Things" and the article was written by Avery Cardinal Dulles. My dad gave me this magazine about 2 months back (this particular edition is from February 2008) and I just got around to reading the reason he gave it to me this morning.

As you can derive from the title of the article, it is a thought provoking one. I have thought about this before. I have wondered how it is that literally everyone can be saved if only they believe in God, when I know clearly that there are people (whether becuase of remote living places or shortness of life) that they have not been able to hear the "Good News." How is it that God can say that eveyone has been given the opportunity to become believers, and be saved, and spend eternity with Him?

This question has racked my brain many times...and I'm not sure I've gotten to a good decision about it yet. I don't like the idea of people being condemned to hell when they haven't had a chance to "see" Jesus/God/witness the Holy Spirit. However, the article makes a good point about general revelation. The problem is, does that make it "good enough" to save you if you believe in God through that? or "a god"? or a "supreme being" by whatever name you give it?

That, of course opens up discussion about other religions or other "Christian" type lifestyles, etc. I think I'll save that for another day's discussion/thought process... otherwise you might be reading forever today, and I don't think either of us can handle that right now.

Many things to think about; and I think it's healthy to think about these types of "dilemmas" (or whatever you'd like to categorize them as) from time to time. I would venture to say we don't think about them often enough. Today as I pondered them on my way to work, and thought about the things I would have to do today, I realized how incredibly lucky and blessed and excited I am that God chose to allow me to find Him early in my life and be as close to Him as I am. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity every day (although I don't take it as often as I should) to learn about Him, to talk to Him openly, to read His Word and get to know Him better, to talk about Him with other believers- both privately and in public places. Amazing.

And it made me think about what I need to do to start my day and keep my (true) priorities straight. Start by giving it to Him. Not holding anything back to myself. Because I can't do it. None of it. He gave me the gifts and the time. He gives me the ideas and the strength - literally and figuratively. He is the one who can accomplish it by using me.

Have you given today to God?

Not yet?
2 times already?
50 times already?

Just do it (again).
Do it now!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Look at that view!

Through which lens do you view life?

Far too often, I view it through my own eyes. I don't see someone else's viewpoint without trying really hard. I don't even see it through a view like my former soccer coach/English teacher. He sees "Life through the Lens of Leadership." Not everyday, perhaps, but often enough that he has something say about it, and to teach/learn from in the process. Other friends view it through the perspective of ministry, or of family, or of the world's secular veiw of Christianity and how we can combat it.

Yes, they are pretty incredible. And, there are many, many ways to view the passing moments.

Currently, I am finding it very hard to look at life from someone else's perspective. To walk in their proverbial shoes. I am wrapped up in my craziness, in my stress, in my need for sleep, and for interaction outside of work.

Just a couple days ago, I was learning about faith. It was amazing me. I even shared about it at small group last night. But today, as I was trying to "get everything done" I forgot that I also "gotta have faith." Sad mistake.

My new goal, and my challenge to you: share with me a lens that works for you so you don't get too bogged down with the "me" in everything. Then, together, let's try to keep our focus where it should be and not always on ourselves.

My guess is, the view will be much nicer from there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You gotta have faith...

This morning's devos included Hebrews 11, the known "Faith Chapter" of the Bible. I always enjoy reading it, and I always find more in it.

Today was especially encuoraging as I noticed that Sarah (Abraham's wife) is on this amazing list of faithful people, when she made a mistake and tried to take those circumstances into her own hands. I never would have expected her to show up in this passage of the faithful.

It was encouraging because it shows (again) that even when I screw up, God is faithful. That is what is so amazing. He forgives my faults, he holds me close and says, "I love you anyway. I see you as faithful anyway, because of My Son, and because of your belief in Him." He knows I am striving to be like Him, and when I mess up, Jesus covers me.

That's all there is to say. I can't explain it any more - I don't really understand it either. How He can do that, and love me despite what I do.

And, thank You.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What is needed

I logged on for a minute of my 'lunch break' today to type this quickly, since it's been over a week, and I still haven't posted it, plus, hopefully it'll bring a little smile to some faces, as it was sorta funny. Not laugh out loud, but more like small chuckle. Either way, it should lift spirits a tad.

And when I did, I saw my last post, and while I'm having too rough a day to really laugh out loud or even chuckle, they did lighten me a little bit. So, good job me, on that last post, I guess. ;)

There are 2 things about this make the title correct:
1. Sometimes, you need funny stuff.
2. Sometimes, you need ID.

The actual reason for this post: I just wanted to make a note about getting carded, while with my parents at their "Lakeside Festival" in Crystal Lake. We walked up to the booth, we got ready to pay, the guy asked for our ID's. None of us had them. We were all (me, my mom, my dad, and my youngest brother) over 21. He gave my parents the regular orange daily color wristbands, and then gave me and my brother the "fun ones" (his words, not mine) - so those crazy kids can't cheat and get booze. None of us were planning on getting any alcohol, but it was the principal of the whole thing. We didn't know they were charging to get in (never done that before) or that you would need to have your ID with you.

The kicker is, this guy looked like he had to be my age, maybe a year or two older/younger. So there he sits, trying to make me feel better about the fact that he can't give me an adult paper bracelet... give it up, kid, give it up.

Hey, at least its sort of a good story.