Monday, 26 December 2011
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Monday, 21 November 2011
Monday, 14 November 2011
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Sunday, 30 October 2011
God set me free not so that I could wrap myself in my own little rules for life, but so I could enjoy life to the full. Love God and love one another, are the two rules I need to live by, without adding anything else.
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Sunday, 9 October 2011
However sometimes I just need to get a quick something for someone. If I can't find anything suitable at home already a short trip to a dollar store usually fixes the problem. I hate myself for getting something like a scented candle or a weird deck of cards, because I put no effort into it. It sacrificed me nothing, money wise and time wise.
Imagine God choosing his gift for us. It wasn't like "my son, yes I can spare him. He's going to come alive anyway. Make the humans happy and I can live in peace." And then sends Jesus down. NO! Jesus was a sacrifice. A gift that we cannot pay back. Today's world has changed the meaning of "gift". If we give something, we expect something back. In Japan it is more extreme. Some people won't accept a gift because it would be too much of a hassle to "pay" the gift back. That is not a gift at all. It is an exchange!
Saturday, 1 October 2011
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Saturday, 3 September 2011
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Sunday, 7 August 2011
For those who haven't seen it, "The Crucible" is about a Puritan village in the fourteenth century. Where everything is very strict, and even the slightest hint of ungodliness, like not remembering your 10 commandments, can be seen as a sin. It shows a totally legalistic side of Christianity, with everyone saying they are "good Christians". The protagonist, John Procter, tries to convince everyone that Christianity is more than just accusing people if they do something wrong, but tragically ends up dying for his belief.
What first struck me was how wrong the village's theology was. Everyone believed that if they did not go to church on Sunday they were not a Christian, if they did not know their commandments they were likely to go to hell, and if the God appointed judge said something, it must be true, as the man is God appointed. As I pondered what it would be like living in those "dark ages" where being a Christian was just all about following rules, I was glad that I was born now instead of then. Now, we know that church is not what saves us, it is Jesus' blood. It is not the commandments that clean us, it is Jesus' sacrifice. Our world is so sinful we acknowledge that even God appointed people can fail and go into ruin.
But thinking that, I was challenged. Because now, we seem to go further. We make out that sin isn't as bad as we thought it was. That God's laws are just meant to be "tried to be followed" but that it actually doesn't really matter because we will fail anyway. That when temptation creeps up on us, God has forgiven us anyway, so we can indulge ourselves for a bit and then ask for forgiveness.
The freedom that Christ has given us is amazing but we have taken it too far. If we use an analogy of a cliff. We are like small children who have just been saved from a deep ditch by Gods hands. but instead of rushing to his safety away from the edge, we tiptoe back near the edge, asking God if we are still ok. We try and get as close to the edge of sin as possible. Then we slip, or the cliff edge breaks, and we fall into the ditch of sin again, where God has to extend his hand and take us out once more.
This just repeats on and on, and God keeps extending his hand. People will say "Yeah, God extends his hand, so it is all ok!". But what if once we fall in the ditch, and we get so caught up, we never look up into the hand that is trying to reach us and get us out. We forget our lifeline out of sin, we reject our saviour for other things?
The crucible is a very tragic story of a community that has taken God's law too far, but we are near the edge of the opposite, taking our freedom too far.
In 500 years or so, our period in time might be the setting for a different play, I just hope they have managed to find the middle ground by then, so they can gasp and squirm when they see our way of life, like we do when we see the totally legalistic society of the crucible.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Singing in church today wasn't the greatest thing I ever heard, nor was it that "spiritual" where I felt like God was right in front of me. It was just the same old singing songs to God and Jesus. It was good for me to be reminded by the words of what God has done for me, but I get reminded of that every week.
But, something special happened to me today. For the first time I understood that I wasn't singing alone, or just for the people around me to hear. I was joining in with millions of others, all singing praises to our awesome God. I could imagine everyone in different circumstances, in different languages, different instruments, all singing their hearts out. The persecuted, who continue to sing in severe trials and suffering, and the lonely, who feel like no one cares if they sing or not. Even the angles singing praises to God in heaven.
That really amazed me a bit. Actually, it just blew my mind away!
Worship through song to God became more than just something I had to do, but something I wanted to do. Something that meant the world to me. Imagine not being able to sing. That makes you appreciate worship much more. We can tell God how great he is, (and he is very great)! We can sing to the creator of the universe, that just is indescribably amazing!
Finally, to end my babble about worship, we are joining with the people in the bible too, as they sing praises to God.
This bible verse puts it well "Let them praise your awesome and glorious name-- He is holy" Psalm 99:3
So next time you are in a church service or somewhere boring, remember that you are joining with every Christian, singing praises to the most high in the Universe, our God.
Saturday, 23 July 2011
"'For I know the plans I have for you' declares the LORD, 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'"
It sound nice doesn't it. But in fact, it was actually written in one of the scariest books in the bible. It comes from Jeremiah 29:11, just chapters after God pronounced his judgement on Israel. Just after God sent the Babylonians to capture the Israelites. Israel was plundered by the Babylonians. They were forced to leave to a foreign land. They lost everything, their country was destroyed, their possessions taken, and their traditions ignored.
Then comes this message from God. They still have hope! God has planned all along, taken care of them all the time. He is going to make them prosper! They now have a future to look forward to!
There was actually another story happening in the background. Many Israelites were planning for a revolution. To throw off their oppressors, to make themselves independent again. Imagine what they would have thought once they heard God's message. God was planning for their future! God wanted them to be free! They had God on their side!
Jeremiah steps in then, with another message from God. Don't revolt, but seek peace in Babylon. That is the future God has planned for you. The Israelites must have been surprised. They thought God was supporting their bid for freedom, but no, he wanted them to stay? What kind of plan was that? In fact, God's plan was on a much bigger scale than theirs. The Israelites could still do great things in Babylon. In another book (Daniel) it tells of Babylonian kings who turned to the living God, because of the Israelites. God wanted the Israelites to learn to trust him even in the hard times.
That was really all boring history actually, so what does that have to do with us? Why is it my favourite bible verse?
I used to be in a stage where I loved saying "God is in control". Whenever life was not working out, I thought "God is in control, he will sort things out." I got that from Job, where after he went through intense suffering, he still got all his possessions back and more. But looking at this story, I was totally wrong. Sometimes things just don't turn out at all. We lose something, and never find it again, we lose our job and are forced to go hungry days on end, we become lonely and never seem to find any friends, or we lose a loved one who we know will never be brought back to life.
How do we cope when we lose something we know we will never get back, how do we go on living life? We need to remember that verse, and know that there is a hope far bigger than worldly things we desire so much. We need to trust in God's plans, not to fix our problems completely, but to use our weaknesses to glorify him.
A person I trust put how we should view God's plans very effectively. "As Christians, we do not believe that God is on our side, but that we are graciously allowed to support God's side"
So I want you to remember Jeremiah 29:11, not to charge through all your problems in life, but so that you can lift all your problems to God, to see what he has planned with them.
Monday, 18 July 2011
Monday, 11 July 2011
Blinded by the glare, the man continued to run. His eyes burned from the vicious rays of the sun, as they pierced through his heart. The sun illuminated the world beautifully, but right now, he would've given anything for the sun not be able to catch him running away. He felt exposed. No one could hide from the curiosity of the sun's rays, especially when the person has so much to hide.
His mind was becoming uncontrolled, drifting to where it pleased. Without the man's permission, his mind raced back to when he committed the deed.
Blood was splattered everywhere. Some of it was his own, but he was too scared to tie up the cut on his right hand. Blank eyes stared at his sweating face, accusing him, remembering what he looks like, if they ever were to meet again in the after-life.
The man kept running, away from the guilt, away from the consequences, but the sun kept him from forgetting, the sun kept him from hiding the deed even from himself. Whenever he tried to push it down, it surfaced to the top of his thoughts, impossible to throw away.
He could still feel the shock as the blunt weapon rebounded against the man's skull. Hearing the crack as bone became like shards of glass. The pulsing of the blood as it kept flowing out of the wound. The searing pain as the victim's final attempt of resistance sliced his hand.
Tears streamed down the man's eyes, a combined effort of the suns rays, and the beast inside him. His legs gave way, he hit the ground, and the ground swallowed up his face. He lay there, contemplating the evil he had done. The ground gave him strength, as though he had returned to the earth, was born again, and had a second chance on life.
He got up, and started running again. The sun this time, however, was behind him, supporting his mission. He was running toward his deed, embracing it, accepting it as his own. But he vowed to fix it. He did not want to live life with the guilt weighing him down. His mind worked overtime, forcing himself to remember all the details of the event.
He rounded the corner, entered the house, and stood exactly where he had stood an hour ago. Racing toward the bedroom, he fell upon the unconscious body. He knew he had no time to lose, he ripped his shirt, wrapped the wound, gritted his teeth, and put the man on his shoulders.
Again he went on running. He ran even when his legs were burning, even when sweat blinded his eyes. Still, the sun supported him, urging him to go forwards.
The hospital tower never seemed to get closer, but finally its doors where right in front of him. He laid the man down on the welcome carpet, kissed his forehead, prayed that he would be safe, and left, just as a doctor came around the corridor.
The man continued to run, the sun pushing him along.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Saturday, 25 June 2011
Maybe like Jazz? You need to be skilled to play badly. You need to be creative to write concisely. Somehow, popular culture is wrong. (Amazing!) Intelligence isn’t to write long, it is to write short, but still explaining the difficult.
Like the boy who had to write a 20-mark essay on courage. He just wrote “this” on a blank paper and handed it in, getting full marks. The real intelligence.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
Saturday, 11 June 2011
Saturday, 4 June 2011
Saturday, 28 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Saturday, 7 May 2011
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Monday, 7 March 2011
Thursday, 3 March 2011
- I love making songs, but can never write lyrics. I hope to write a song about a tree by the river soon.
- I write my blog in a special place reserved for writing, and I like being stinking hot while I write it... Somehow makes me get my ideas out better
- I am very forgetful, so sometimes I have a great post idea in my head, but it never reaches the computer.
- I love my readers, and commenters very much! Without you, I would have stopped blogging ages ago. Thank you!
- I am very awkward about my blog to my friends. It feels weird for them to read something I wrote, as though it is important stuff! (It is on the internet, it must be important!)
- I actually made a website first, and then made a blog to support it, but now the website has not been updated for months, and this blog is more important.
- I kept. changing my blog theme. From "Talking about the untalked things" to "Deep, thoughtful, encouraging, fun", and then finally "Living as a tree with God at my side". I appreciate feedback on anything you might want me to change.
- Stephanie at Diary of a creative teen
- Biohazard at My confusion theory
- CityGirlChic at Live, Love, Laugh
- Ella at Single Parent Faith
- Thom at To Gyre and Gambol
- Taylor at Penned By Taylor
- Vic, Lindsay, and Ashley at For The Love Of Blogs