struggling with feeling distant. from myself, like from who I am, and from God.
Lord no matter where my heart might be right now, just let this week and this year be a time of transformation and renewal.
reading Desiring God for the first time today and that line really struck me: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. I have not at all been seeking to become satisfied fully in God. I’ve been running away from His open arms and climbing into my hole of dark thoughts and disbelief and self-righteousness.
the pastor’s invitation at the end of Intervarsity resonated so much with me : what am I here for? well back in April I felt like I would be here to be used by God and to discover my calling and my gifts and to use them for His kingdom.
so here we go. starting off tomorrow with honors chem. I guess I’m finally ready for classes to start, for structure to come back in my life and for, in all my inadequacy, me to be used by God .
A few snapshots of these first days:
Hot hot hot. Group 10, triTENS! Running around a huge field and making up dance moves with complete strangers. Showering as a rite of passage. Flopping onto the top bunk and slithering to come back down. Being lifted onto shoulders with shouts of “titanium!!” like five separate times. Realizing I still fall asleep when I sit down for 10+ minutes during these information sessions. Exploring, making a usable ping-pong table out of an old billiard table and one guy’s portable net he pulled out of his bag (…what?? amazing). Learning a superhero themed dance (and learning to body roll). Suddenly remembering that we’re actually going to take classes here. Knowing almost all the “cool” things around campus before our OL could tell us. Catching the tiebreaker water balloon and having it “official reviewed” on a video camera.
Whoa, this is from 2006
When Muhammad was portrayed in twelve cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the uproar across the Muslim world was intense and sometimes violent. Flags were burned, embassies were torched, and at least one Christian church was stoned. The cartoonists went into hiding in fear for their lives… What does this mean?
Sound familiar? In Being Mocked: The Essence of Christ’s Work, Not Muhammad’s (Feb, 2006), John Piper writes about one essential difference between Islam and Christianity: the portrayal of Muhammad vs the portrayal of Jesus in their respective doctrines and all the difference it makes in how followers of each pursue their faiths.
What we saw this past week in the Islamic demonstrations over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad was another vivid depiction of the difference between Muhammad and Christ, and what it means to follow each. Not all Muslims approve the violence. But a deep lesson remains: The work of Muhammad is based on being honored and the work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very different reactions to mockery.
If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation. This was his saving work: to be insulted and die to rescue sinners from the wrath of God. Already in the Psalms the path of mockery was promised: “All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads” (Psalm 22:7). “He was despised and rejected by men … as one from whom men hide their faces … and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).
…For Christ, enduring the mockery of the cross was the essence of his mission.
He treats the topic carefully and scholarly while showing how much more complete the work of Christ is, viewed with his being insulted and condemned, and how much more satisfying and deep it is to know of the grace of the cross amidst our brokenness… instead of the emptiness in living (and dying) in hopes to achieve honor. Having this perspective, we can learn to both rejoice in suffering and be spurred on to share the fullness of the work of Christ to those who may come from such contrasting beliefs. It’s all so mind-blowingly relevant right now. Read the full post.
Especially in light of the protests unfolding in the Middle East, I encourage you to tune into the live webcast of the Epicenter Conference, which continues tonight at 6 PM pacific time (9 PM eastern, 7 PM mountain time).
From Bible scholar and auther Joel Rosenberg’s blog, here’s a description of what tonight’s talks will be about:
Tonight, we’ll look at several very controversial issues: Does the Bible say that God has chosen the Jewish people and promised the Holy Land to the nation of Israel? Do Jews have a “divine right” to the Land? What does the Old Testament say about the covenant and promises made to Israel? And does the New Testament reaffirm that covenant and those promises, or were those promises rescinded, or abrogated, or modified when Christ came in the 1st century? Leading Bible scholars Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Michael Rydelnik will speak. Then I will lead a Q&A session following their remarks.
And here’s a reminder for prayer:
Please pray for all the people of the epicenter right now. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Please pray for wisdom for our leaders. Please pray for the persecuted and endangered followers of Christ in the Middle East and North Africa. Please pray for victims in the region, and their families and friends. Please pray for the Church to be bold and courageous in showing the love of Jesus Christ and sharing the good news of God’s love and forgiveness and eternal peace through faith in Jesus Christ. Please, pray, too, for the Lord to use this Epicenter Conference to help educate and mobilize Christians around the world to love Jews and Arabs and Iranians and all the people of the region and to serve them in the name of Jesus. Thanks so much, and may God bless you.
We are connected. (A somewhat-not-quite-spoken-word poem)
Originally scribbled on the back of an envelope in the silence of those first few hours after daybreak on a Friday in May. I read it to the kids in my FCA fellowship the same day. I’d like to tinker and polish it at some point but for now I wanted to type up my slanting scrawls on paper. It’s a jab at our hyper-connected society, a prayer for peace and strength in God, and a cry for the Church to turn the noise around us into a working body. But now that I look at it again it’s kind of an unorganized jumble of thoughts (I also seem to be a fan of capitalized And’s).
They say…we are connected.
That, with every tweet, text, upload, and reblog, we become part of this global community, this network of minds, this mass of information and communication.
But, as my eyes flicker over this feed and my thumbs slide over these keys I feel like I’m running in place, unable to keep up this pace, in a race where I don’t even know where I’m headed.
They say we are connected, but no, we stand corrected.
See, true connection is both giving and receiving and with God it’s receiving more than we are worthy and giving praise to our Creator.
My Facebook friends may scroll down to the bottom of my timeline and see my birth—yet Lord, you know my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Maybe we are all a sea of hard-headed Jonahs in green-iPhone-bubble whales , refusing to live by God and turning, instead, to our own…devices.
Because when we turn our face to the monitor, we all too often turn our back on God.
And when Jesus said “take up your cross and follow me,” we thought he meant like on Twitter, didn’t we?
Lord, you are not another trending topic. You are the same the beginning, middle and end. You are not a viral phenom. You are the alpha and the omega.
This world may be just as fleeting as our news feed, yet our God is steadfast and unchanging in the face of our need.
Lord, let me not be consumed by the passing things of this world but let me take joy and satisfaction and peace in you. Because you are enough.
Let us be convicted how much we rely on social media instead of relying only on you. Technology as a semblance of inter-connectivity, when really it’s a bush we hide behind in our own Eden, shying away from connection with our Maker. Fascinating ourselves with the lives of other people rather than living to be fascinated by you, the Almighty.
See, just as we are in this world but not of it, we are part of this global community but we are working for the Godly one.
Instead of forming a social network, we can form a network of believers—the cry of my heart is that what we say, what we post, and what we hashtag, we can use to witness of God’s faithfulness and Christ’s redemption.
That, on our online accounts, we can be ready to “give an account for the hope that lies within us.”
As I sit here, itching to slide open my phone, let me be itching instead to pour over your Word. Let the only text I care about be the God-inspired one. Let our casual “likes” turn into agape love for others, and our messages be honest and compassionate ones.
As this world spins faster and faster around us, Paul tells us to be steadfast and immovable. Why?
We have peace with God through Christ Jesus, now. We have fellowship with believers, now. And in this world and the next, that is all we need. No amount of reblogs, upvotes, or shares will ever compare.
They say we are connected…but it’s only by the power of the blood of Jesus can we finally find the way, the truth, and the life.
wars and rumors of wars
Tonight I sat down with my parents and watched the live stream of the first night of the Epicenter Conference and listened to Joel Rosenberg’s opening message. Man this is real, current, hard stuff. In these next few weeks, I truly believe that all eyes will be turned towards Israel and the Middle East. Where will you stand during that time? Will you be ignorant and passive or praying and rallying?
Today we learned of the US Ambassador killed in the US Embassy in Libya, the US Embassy’s flag torn down during Egyptian protests…and it’s honestly not just about the US. More dark, jihad-driven Arab governments are rising in the countries surrounding Israel, as Iran’s nuclear arsenal seems to be nearing completion. Thousands of missiles are pointed in the direction of Jerusalem. Our leaders are staying strangely silent, unwilling to voice support, afraid to disapprove—Obama is refusing to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he arrives in DC to address the UN. What this means is completely unclear right now but it suggests that if Israel does decide to launch a (much-contemplated and no-doubt-controversial) preemptive strike on Iran, the US—historically Israel’s greatest ally—will most likely not be providing military support. This is the time we live in.
Enough current events plugs. The fact is, we can’t sit back. We have to remember to love and pray for the people of Israel and her neighbors. Let’s keep in mind that there still may be time left, that we can pray for a possible, peaceable alternative to war. Pray for people of all these different nations and tongues caught up there, that they can come to know God’s life-changing love for them. Know too that the message of the Gospel is, according to missionaries, spreading faster than ever before in communities of Jews and Muslims alike. There is joyous, mind-boggling hope in knowing that no matter what is going to unfold, that God is sovereign and that for the time being, we can (and must!) touch lives in Jesus’s name. Just above all, stay informed, pray for nations and for leaders, and do not be silent with whatever comes next.
being thrust back here
breathtaking sunsets and “alpine glow” in colorado for a week straight. super easy version of whitewater rafting and turning back along a mountain hike 3/4 of the way bc of them old parents (good job guys!). three hour drives in the canyons along the river.
coming back home the easiest thing to do is to keep things going the way they were before i left. still finding myself doubting, cynicizing, isolating, neglecting, untrusting: