Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog in flux

I've been toying with my blog, seeing how some different add-ons look (scroll down to see). Let me know what you think. I'll surely be doing some more tweaking in the coming days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yesterday, my wife heard a song while we were watching a movie, & she tried for the longest time to remember where she had heard it before. It was bedtime, & to be blunt we weren't going to be able to go to sleep until she knew what song it was. Thankfully, the all-omniscient Search Engine helped us find the answer. (To be fair to her, I recently learned the name of a song that had been popping in & out of my head for years, but couldn't remember enough about it to look it up until just a few weeks ago).

It made me consider that while it's a relief to have somewhere to turn for answers to those nagging trivialities that stay in our minds, it's even a greater comfort to know that the Bible holds answers to so many challenges that hound us from day to day. I'm trying to memorize key Bible verses & passages that can help me face those challenges as they arise so I don't have to rack my brain for the solution when it's staring me in the face. Just like the computer helped give my wife & I the rest we needed, having God's word in mind can provide peace of mind from such potential fears as terrorist attacks, hurricanes, or yes, even the dreaded social media updates that could one day be the destruction of us all (that's a joke---sort of).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Circling back to God

While I was at an Oktoberfest festival with my wife and her sister and brother-in-law, I observed a young girl of about two wandering around. She'd do some exploring, but never too far from her parents, who she'd soon return to. She'd once again wander away--just a few feet or so--and then circle back.

It made me think of how we so often are with God. We want our independence. We want to explore, even to step away from Him (as if that were possible). But we also want Him to be there for us when we circle back, when we get scared of what's out there or when we need His presence to remind us He's watching over us. Psalm 139:7-8 remind us we can't go anywhere that God is not. And just like that little girl--and like my wife's 20 year old son (both of whom are still the children of their parents)--as much as we enjoy our independence, knowing we have a safe place to return to is ultimately comforting.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Practicing Christianity

[From questions asked of C. S. Lewis on April 18, 1944]

"Question: Will you please say how you would define a practising Christian? Are there any other varieties?"

"A perfect practice of Christianity would, of course, consist in a perfect imitation of the life of Christ I mean, in so far as it was applicable in one’s own particular circumstances.  ...  It means that every single act and feeling, every experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant, must be referred to God. It means looking at everything as something that comes from Him, and always looking to Him and asking His will first, and saying: ‘How would He wish me to deal with this?’"

Perfect Christianity cannot be practiced in the sense that we read the Bible & parrot the words & actions therein. Yes, it does involve seeking God's will; but more than that, we need His power in us to fulfill what is expected of us. We'll never practice it perfectly, because our self-centeredness will cause us at times to not surrender to His presence in us. It's only the true practice of Christianity when He is working through us. I know sometimes I'll do the right things & say the right words, but is it Christ in me or just my fleshly actions. Jesus criticized those whose external actions were in conflict with their hearts. Joy and peace should be in our hearts when we act in tandem with His presence in us.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A (new) new life

I scribbled the following probably several months ago (I'm not really sure). I've been a Christian for years, but I wrote this in a time of realizing there's so much more to the Christian life than what I had been living. This is the Christian life that can be, for me and for all believers:

"So begins my new, identified-with Christ, life, to be found in Him, crucified in Him, risen in Him, exemplifying and "channeling" (as it were) Him. He is my all. I call upon Him, who is indeed within me, whose very presence abides in me; I abide in Him when I allow myself to be aware of and savor His presence. I don't pray for God to grant me victory, as much as I pray that I'll realize it's already my birthright for being His child. I am a member of His body, inseparable, alive, having firsthand access to His joy, power, love, etc. It's abnormal for me to ever be unlike Him, just as it's abnormal for my left hand to be rich and my right hand to be poor (as Hudson Taylor wrote).