Archive for August, 2010

Theological undercurrents

Friday, August 27th, 2010

I was reading a friend’s blog recently and was suprised to read a brutally honest confession of the lonliness of life. Along with this confession came a little outburst to God, a spill over of the heart’s desire. The exasperation (and desperation) that one must feel from years of waiting for “the right one to come” is quite unbearable I imgaine.

There were 2 things that really caught my attention:
1. How much I feel for this friend of mine
2. How different my theological view point is

I cannot deny the pastoral heart I have. Nothing moves me like people in need. I desire nothing more than to lead them to a place of God given rest and providence. I want to cook them a meal, spend time talking to them – finding out what they’re feeling, where they’re coming from, what I can do to help, what they can do to help themselves. Pray with them and for them and have the church rally behind them.

Another friend of mine called me recently and we spoke for about an hour, updating each other on what has been happening in our lives. Times have been hard for him and he is jumping hurdles left and right. The coming hurdle being the biggest and most ambitious, but most necessary. All I want to do is to run with him and bless him. I want to see the obstances smashed into pieces and him matured in Christ.

If it’s money you need, have mine. If it’s a place to stay, take my bed. If it’s just a pat on the back you need, I’ll throw in a hug with that.

I only wish my arms are bigger, my bank is deeper, my influence is wider and my relationship with God is stronger, that I might lead some to victory in (and with) Christ.

This would be the main reason why I am writing this blog entry: I cannot ignore the theological undercurrents behind that little outburst to God. Although I cannot say what the outburst is or even what it might be about, I can sufficiently say that it revealed a different theological viewpoint. One that I am immensely interested in – decision-making.

I am close to saying that my friend’s viewpoint is wrong, and that is what has caused her grief. But I cannot say for certain that one viewpoint is entirely right, therefore, her view cannot be entirely wrong. I would just say it is different.

These days, the decision to act upon God given wisdom is played down by the church. What is perpetuated these days is the phrase “wait on the Lord”. When God doesn’t answer in a timely fashion, we are liable to put the blame on Him, only to feel guilty afterward. Or when we do hear from God and the decision doesn’t turn out to be the best, we console ourselves saying “God knows best” or “His ways are higher than ours”. While that might be true is some circumstances, I cannot say it is true for all (or even most). There is another view.

Our lives are the cumulated result of a gajillion decisions made. It might be our decisions or our parents / spouses / friends decisions that have made our lives. Ultimately, no decision has more effect on our lives than the ones we make. Nothing can change our lives more than changing our decisions.

Now, God has given us wisdom already. And this wisdom is more far reaching and powerful than we imagine. Why? Because it is in the person of Jesus Christ and indwelling in us. If we are in Christ, we have wisdom. See 1 Corinthians 2:6-13. This wisdom holds not only everything we need for the next life, but everything we need for this life because this life is the next life. Eternity has already began.

When we begin to make decisions using Godly wisdom in confidence, we can no longer put the blame on God for wrong decisions or untimely answers. God still is sovereign and the best decision can still turn out to be the worst, and that still requires trust in God. It is not fool proof and we will still make mistakes. But we relinquish the right to put the blame on God. We then pick up the responsibility to grow in wisdom and maturity.

A word to singles next.

Back to the start

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. ~Seneca

“What you invest in is what you will have. What you don’t invest in, is what you will not have.”

God affirms his principle of reaping and sowing in my life. It feels like a strange way to say, “watch what you have been pouring your life into”. He did not say if it was wrong or inadequate, but what he did say is: take stock.

“Of what? Against what?” I ask.

It seems obvious – of where we’ve been, where we’re at and where we’re going.

“This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” ~Jeremiah 29:4-7

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” ~Jeremiah 29:10-14

The decision to stay in Australia can be sumed up in 2 words: prepare and prosper. That was God’s revelation for us when we decided to stay. He promised to prosper us and we were to prepare for the ministry to come.

We were to sink our roots into this land. We were to live as people of the land. To give to the land and take from it. To be part of a people and live as they live. We were not to live as foreigners or aliens, but to consider ourselves natives.

But we were also to expect a leaving when our time is up. To where, we don’t yet know. What we do know is that we will be called out from where we are to where He wants us to be. It will be a designation of His divine purpose and plan. He promises that it will not be to our harm, but for our good.

Now it is time to ask some difficult questions:

  • Have we prospered? In what ways?
  • Are we rooted? In what areas of our lives are we rooted and in what areas of our lives are we not?
  • Are we prepared? How have we prepared? What parts of our lives are we unprepared?

Mashup MORE

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

You can take the cat out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the cat

Cats communicate texture

Relationship on the rocks

White collar dudes

Mashup with Sara

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Waiting for the world to change

Dangerous woman

Doors in walls

Back alley ballet

Gruesome work

Friday, August 20th, 2010

I’m back after a long break. Its been a crazy two weeks of none stop action. I was posted to another position to fill in. Just a little favour for my boss who is uber nice.

Killer job. Crap pay. I’m just thankful that its only for 2 weeks and I go back to my original job. Plus, I don’t suffer the crap pay.

Anyway, more on my life in awhile. Right now, I need some sleep.

Auto-tune me life

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

So I’ve put Undercover down. It is now sitting somewhere at the backseat of my car. I just couldn’t finish it, it really doesn’t sit right with me. How can I leave my brains at the door and obey everything that any person in authority tells me (assuming it isn’t against morals/law)? Did Jesus not say many times to listen to His voice and not man’s (it doesn’t mean ignore man/authority, but God first)?

Well, anyway, I just couldn’t finish the book off because John Bevere does not go on to provide a balanced view of what is presented biblically. Maybe he is teaching what troubled pastors itching ears want to hear. No doubt, he is a man who is after God’s heart, but I just don’t agree with his view or the way the book is presented.

Anyway, I’m on to another book. Marriage Takes More Than Love by Jack and Carole Mayhall. I’m halfway through the book and I must say that it is pretty enlightening and engaging. It is sparsely littered with bible verses at the end of (almost) every chapter to substantiate the author’s views, but most of it is practical knowledge applied from biblical principles. Like little beads of wisdom, if you will. Their stories are engaging and their ideas are insightful and their recommendations are do-able. Its amazing that they write so openly. Its as if, after reading half the book, you know them half well as a couple. Anyway, its a pretty good book and an interesting read with basic ideas that are well put across and inspiring.

We’re also doing this devotional book together: Just Us: Finding Intimacy with God and Each Other by David and Jan Stoop. Short devotions with simple topics, talking points for each day and short prayers at the end. We’re finding it very useful to get started talking about very basic ideas which perhaps need to be explored a little further and sometimes are just as shallow and factual. Its a good place to start with devotions as a couple because it is easy to read and non-threatening (not one of those devotions for martyr couples or something). Some of the talking points don’t quite match the point of the devotion, which is a little strange. Still, we’re enjoying the book and looking forward to each new day and topic.

I’ve paused on my decision-making book until I finish the marriage book since Sara wants me to read that one first because she’s already finished it. She likes listening to what I get out of the book and how I feel about what I’ve read.

I realise that what really helps me is the wind down time I have everyday. After work I go home and I get a good 30mins – 1hour of alone time before I shower and go off again to pick Sara up and head to her place for dinner. In that time, I play a game, watch some youtube, catch up with facebook updates and reorganise my life for the next day. Towards the end of the wind down time I always feel sleepy, but it actually energises me. Without that wind down time, I’m grumpier than usual.

Recently, I’ve been playing with I Am T-Pain. It is absolutely awesome. Auto-tune is the bestest thing since… pants were created. It is so much fun! I wanna make a recording with it and write songs and stuff, BUT I haven’t got a laptop. Yes, I am in need of a Macbook Pro. But well, that can wait. I’ve been surfing youtube, watching really interesting videos everyday. My recent favourites are Psycho Girlfriend, Online Gamer and the old Gruen Transfer. Brilliant stuff.

Time for bed. I have 8 hours of sleep before getting up again for a full on day. I haven’t had the time to upload more pictures because the week has been pretty rough (in terms of time). It’ll come about sometime. And I wanna buy film to play with my old Smena Symbol as well. But that can wait. For now, sleep.

God is good!

Here is my new favourite pickup line, it was written from Russell Brand to Katy Perry in the book he gave her. Apparently, the line captured her heart!

“You are a mermaid, and I am drowning”