Sunday, May 29, 2016

following Him

This is another post about my contemplations of mainstream Christianity. This particular contemplation is a reflection on someone's conversion experience. In all my readings of people turning to Jesus this has got to be the most vague conversion story I've ever read/heard. Okay, maybe vague isn't the right word. Everything revolving around the coming to Jesus bit is based on stories of other people's experience with Christ, or literature of other people coming to Christ. No mention about the Bible or even a glimpse. Maybe I am just used to the Seventh-day Adventist conversion story - much of which is hardcore doctrine/bible study based.

Of course, all of this causes me to reflect on my own self. Firstly, I consider myself a Christian. Secondly, I consider myself a cultural Adventist. There's a lot of things that I observe because it's part of the culture I grew up in. Yet, at the same time, when I meet new people what am I wanting to represent firstly? Christianity or adventism? Anyways, my thoughts...

Friday, May 27, 2016


help, lord, for the godly man ceases! for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. - ps 12:1

There are different scenarios as to why the godly person ceases. If this was from David's younger years, he moved a lot, and he moved around a lot with the same set of men/people in and out of his nation and surrounding nations. He probably didn't a chance to meet many godly people while on the run. I get the impression that his moving around played a significant factor in his ability to connect with other godly/faithful people.

I get this impression because this is also where I am at. Having moved to a new country and a new city, I definitely feel like crying out myself - where are the godly/faithful people? But I know the factors stacked against me - can't work, don't have a vehicle to get around, new church scenario where the specific youth/adult groups are a tightly knit group and English seems to be the minority language of the group (making it more difficult to connect), dissatisfaction with current denominational association, no friends/acquaintances to connect with on a regular basis, limited volunteering opportunities (due to immigration process), and I am sure the list could go on.

But as one close friend from home put it, I am growing. It's a painful growth, but I am going to play the thankful card, a lot. I am definitely being pushed out of my 5 years comfort zone and that's a good thing. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

You say, I say

Right now I am kind of fixated on Psalms 11. It opens with the most significant words of the chapter - In the LORD I put my trust, but than the speaker lashes out at the person s/he is talking to with - How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain?" and follows up with more words of why they should flee.  This trust that has been boldly stated is contradicted and ends with - If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? 

I like this chapter...nay, I keep gravitating to this chapter because regardless of what the other person has said, the speaker stubbornly follows up the scar tactic with The LORD is in His holy temple (the most righteous place to be), The LORD's throne is in heaven (His seat of power) His eyelids test the sons of men (He is active in the lives of men). The LORD tests the righteous (He seeks out those who trust Him). The chapter is short but the essential thought that becomes very evident is the speaker's refusal to believe that God's protection will be absent during this scary time. The speaker is saying, my God is STRONG/BIG and this is how STRONG/BIG He is, He is active in my life so, I will not run.

This is why I love this chapter. So many times throughout the week I keep hearing this message of run to the mountain from the Christian world and the secular world. Oh, I know that Jesus is coming, and I do want Him to come. This world is on its last legs. Yet, the only thing I want to convey is my God is big and this is how BIG He is! People are tired of hearing the world flee, because, honestly, after the doom we are promised peace.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

we, the wicked

the wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. for the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the lord. the wicked in his proud countenance does not seek god; god is in none of his thoughts. ps 10: 2-4

When I read these words I immediately think of big corporations taking advantage of third world countries - they come in, set up shop, avoid the taxes of the countries, hire locals way below minimum wage, have unsafe work environments and than make a rather significant profit on the product. That is who immediately comes to mind. But the buyer is also an instigator in this chain of events. S/he buys the product and supports the cycle, and it isn't simply the one time purchase of a product. We're constantly buying and constantly discarding the old product. We are also just as guilty.

David wrote this during a time when there were followers of God and than followers of other gods. Actions and thoughts appeared in that time to be of accord. Yet, in today's day and age, we have Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Wiccans, Pagans, etc. There is a great mix out there of those who have God on the mind, but not in the actions, or no God on the mind, but God in their actions.

Of myself, in context to the first scenario, I am trying to be a minimalist. That means cutting on down buying stuff (clothes, gadgets, appliances, books, etc) and where possible recycling. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

there but not there

why do you stand afar off, o lord? why do you hide in times of trouble? ps 10:1

I remember a very distinct moment in grad school when I wondered about that very thought. It was late at night and I was laying in bed struggling in prayer about the feeling of an absent God. For years I had been struggling with whether I was in the presence of God. Was I clean enough to enter? It was a constant nagging thought. I can't remember what it was, whether it was a memory verse or a still small voice, but it hit me that it doesn't matter what I feel, God IS there. It wasn't a matter of Him, it was a matter of me.

That revelation was and is still a corner stone of my view of Him. It informs my prayer walk with Him but also adds to the story I share with others. We are our own worse enemies, and nothing is more encouraging to hear another Christ-follower's revelation of how they connect deeper with the Divine. It's also added another absolute to my Christian philosophy.  Regardless of what or where the world is going, He is there.