Friday, September 30, 2005

Tell me a Joke

Today, I was eating "Chinese food"(notice the quotation marks) at Panda Express and I was speaking with a friend who shall not me named. For anonymity purposes, we will call him by a generic name... what about Mike K.
Now that we have that settled, Mike K. and I were talking about how our fortune cookies didn't have fortunes and how fun of a job it would be to write fortune cookies. I wouldn't write fortunes, but I'd have fun.
Then he started telling me about how a friend of his (that I knew, but I haven't talked to him in a long time) had an idea for a fun one. “Help, I’m trapped at the Fortune Cookie Factory.” I gave a polite laugh, but because I came up with the same joke in an earlier version of the Sabrot, I didn’t find it funny anymore. Then I told him another one I had for the Sabrot, “You broke my house.” He laughed and tried to think of another one. He asked another friend at the next table if he remembered any more and it turns out that he had mistaken his older friend for me. He told me my own joke.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Show me

There have been times when I have told people about who Jesus is and
how He wants everybody to trust Him, and I've asked (and have been
asked before I trusted God) what it would take for you to believe. They
have said that they would need Jesus Himself to show up in the flesh
and tell them who He is. (I don't think I ever answered the question. I
was good at weaseling out of things like that.) And I'm certain that if
that were true, Jesus Himself would show up in an instant. It seems
like such a small task for Him. But then I thought some more and Jesus
did show himself to many and they did not believe. And knowing Jesus'
heart (since I study His Word and have long conversations with Him
Himself), I know that He wants everyone to believe and would show
Himself if that was all it was going to take. But he doesn't come back
in the flesh for two reasons. 1) because those who say they need to see
Him and touch Him to believe are liars, and will still not trust Jesus
even if He stood before them as a man before a man. And 2) He will show
Himself in the flesh one day and that day has not yet come. He is
waiting until the time is right.
But a note on people who say they will believe if God does this or
that. What makes you think that you are in a position to have God meet
you on your terms? He is God. You are not. He wants you, but you need
Him. Meet Him on His, they are more than fair.

God's terms:
Admit that you are evil. (This is just admitting the truth)
Admit that you are helpless. (So is this)
God sent Jesus (His only Son) to live on this earth and die on the
cross so that we would be made perfect and restored to the relationship
with God that we were created for.
Say this with your mouth and believe it with your heart.
Ask Jesus to be Lord of Your life
and mean it.

This will save you. The rest is about growing that relationship. And
that is a beautiful thing. Let me know if you want to know more.

God is good

I just wanted to tell you that God is good... that's it.

Two types of Christians

I was just thinking about the different types of Christians. There are those who are all out for Christ. These people, of whom I would like to be counted, are those who desire to trust God completely with everything they are and have. This is a scary thought for everyone else, to trust your life and death to a God you can't see or touch. But to one who believes, it is a comforting thought; to lie at peace within the folds of the robes of the one who created the universe with a Word, who holds it together and still spends every waking moment of our lives deepening this never ending relationship with Him.
The other kind of Christian only wants God to be in his life partly. This guy really isn't Christian at all (sorry if it offends, but truth hurts). He only wants God because of what he can get, and if God tells him to do something that goes against what he wants, he won't listen. He does not belong to God. He is trying to make God belong to him. My God is mine, like a wife's husband is her. She does not only have him to do stuff for her when shewants it, but she is committed to him fully. (One reason I hate divorce in this country is because the commonality of it is destroying the perfect image God gave us in marriage of what love should be like. Next thing you know, it will be common to kill our children so as to destroy the relationship model of father and son... oh wait, we have abortion.)
I can't think of another type of Christian. Mostly just these two catagories. Either the person desires to please God or desires to have God please him. He doesn't have to be perfect to be in the first group. He just has to desire perfection. Perfection is not an unattainable goal. Read the Bible to find out what I mean. (I'm thinking of Philippians.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Jehovah's Witnesses

Two Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door this morning. They asked,
"With all the different religions out there, what do you think is
true?" I gave them the Gospel. They asked to show me something in the
Bible and I told them I had to get to work. (Which I did, and I left
for work before they left the complex so they saw that I wasn't just
trying to avoid them.) They said that they'd come back and I don't want
to brush them off like I did this morning. I didn't want to this
morning, either. I want to give them the reason for my faith and tell
them who God really is. And who Jesus really is. Please pray for me so
that when they come back, God will speak through me. I am sure He has a
lot to say to those who go around as false witnesses of Him and I
wouldn't mind if He used me to say it. I do want to protect my roommate
who may or may not be strong enough with the Lord to be in these
conversations. I know when they came last time, I was not. But that was
five years ago. I've learned so much more and have seen God worked more
and can be a better witness of Jesus that I was then. Please pray that
I'm a better witness for Jesus, than they are for Jehovah. (I don't
want to argue with them over small things like being friends with
animals when the world is like eden again or the correct pronunciation
of the name of God. I want to only say what God says. PLease pray for
me.

Question from God

So one day, as man walks with God. God asked man a question. "What is
it that you want?"

"What do I want?" asks man, "I want a wife and children. I want to be
loved and adored by them. I want to provide for their needs and fill
their every desire. I want them to grow up without fear because I
want to protect them, and never worry, because I want to be there for
them always. I want a perfect and peaceful life for the rest of my days.

"Interesting," says God. "So do I."

Then the man asks, "so we're he same, You and me?"

"No," replies God, " we are not the same."

"How are we different?" asks the man.

"The difference," God says, "is what we think that dream is worth."

The man was ashamed, because he knew that even though he didn't have
one, he would not be able to sacrifice his son as God did.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday

I took a walk today. It turned into a car ride and a moive.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Marriage and a bunch of other stuff

I was just reading a blog by one of my friends about marriage. anotherkindofnormal.com. She referenced an article from an ezine and its response. (Look at all the fancy web lingo I'm using. I feel so savvy. (Sorry, a bit of my roommate's personality is seeping in.)) I would agree that marriage is something that God has planned for us, and I personally believe that most people (not everyone) who are not planning on getting married... I had a statement here, but Mike Larson just came in and we talked for a while and watched Rita decide to turn towards Louisiana instead of Texas, so I'll take a break from marriage (more like a temporary separation) to discuss (tell you what I think. I can't discuss on my own) something else. I was eating at Farmer's Market last night on the curb behind my church's both when this woman with an old roll-along suitcase asked me if I went to the Bible College. It took me a moment to realize she was talking to me, with the noise of the market and the fact that she wasn't speaking loud nor looking at me. She asked again and I said that I wasn't. I had taken a Hebrew class a few years ago. She started talking about how people say they're Christians, but they can't just believe in Jesus, they have to live like Jesus. As odd as I feel about correcting someone (anyone) who could be thirty years older than I, I couldn't let this one go. I told her that all we have to do to be saved is believe. God will change us so that we will live like Jesus, but it is not a requirement. (What kind of world would that be if that were true? We'd get the select diluted few who think they could attain it and hold contempt for the masses who knew they couldn't so wouldn't try... Sounds a bit like life in this world without Christ. There are those who try and be righteous on they're own merit and those who don' t care enough to try because they think they could never be, that God asks too much. (How long of a blog am I going to write tonight?) But look up Genesis 15:6. I dare you. (One of the first I memorized.)) She asked me if I memorized the Bible, and I told her I didn't have that kind of mind, but God teaches me from it and I understand the message. She had a problem with this. She said that God doesn't teach it, but lets us figure it out on our own. I strongly (with big muscular arms if I had them) disagree with this. And I told her so. I said that if God didn't teach it, then only the intelligent have a chance, and God loves everyone. The Bible says so. She shook her head as if I just told her the square root of pi was something other than what it actually is... a slice? I don't really know. I know that the square root of -1 is i. And that stands for... well... imaginary. We made it up. Well... not me. I didn't get that memo. Someone who probably would have told me that creativity is a waste of time probably made up the number i, which isn't a number, nor is it on topic. So the woman, I never found out her name, said that God doesn't love anyone. That's why there are the hurricanes in the South, because God isn't there. I told her that the hurricanes are a wake-up call. She said that they were to punish the prostitutes. (I'm not sure if I spelled that correctly, but I'm okay with being ignorant about that particular word.) She said that you can't love a prostitute. I told her, "Yes you can." Not that I had any particular prostitute in mind, but then I said that God does and I started naming the ones I knew from the Bible. I mentioned Rehab and the one God told Jeremiah to marry (it's actually Josiah, or Hosea or someone else but I am always getting the names mixed up), and that woman that the Pharisee's threw at Jesus' feet. (A few more I didn't think to mention are Judah's daughter and law and Brian Plunkett said that Mary Magdaline was the one that poured oil on Jesus' head and the entire nation of Israel was called a prostitute by God Himself. (on a side note, both Judah's daughter and law and Rehab are Great to the x power Grandmothers to Jesus.) (Also, I don't go about studying prostitutes in the Bible. It just so happens that God is bringing them to my memory.)) She mentioned a prostitute named Miriam, who I didn't know about that loved God, but God turned his back on. I asked Brian Plunkett if he knew who she was and he didn't know either. I told her that I didn't think that story was in there, and she said it was in the Catholic Bible. I don't know about that either, but I've never read the Apocrypha... Catholic Bible so I can't say for sure. Anyway, she wasn't going to listen to whatever I said and probably wrote me off as some young kid who didn't know what God was all about. I told her that I do know God. But she walked off as I called after her that she could too. This is sad. (Both the music that just came on as I type this and the life of this poor old woman.)
I believe what I said about the hurricane. That it is a wake-up call. Even our best engineering (we moved the Mississippi so that New Orleans could flourish as a port city. Naturally, the river changed it's course about every six years... It think. Also, we try to build levees to keep out the Gulf of Mexico from a city 8 feet below sea-level and Katrina just blew them over. We rebuild and Rita whomps them again.) has not kept out what God has spoken. Now I'm not saying that God is pronouncing judgment on New Orleans. Because as close as close to Sodam and Gorremah as it may be, He would spare it if He found even ten righteous. Even for the sake of one. He didn't bring down fire from above either, he brought something we watched move slowly from the Atlantic, over Florida, through the Gulf towards Louisiana. There were no surprises here, except the realization of how vulnerable we are. Consider us woken.
Okay, back to marriage. I'm not married, and I soon hope to be. I read the articles (or rather had them read to me by my cool computer) and I agree with most of it. That women are seeking later marriages because they want to do something important with their lives first, so they can feel special or something or like they have contributed to society. Never have I understood the verse in the Bible more (That women will be kept safe through childbearing) than I have tonight, and after I get back from the bathroom, I'll begin to explain... Unless I think of something else to address while I'm in there... you know, like a letter or something... like V. (if you don't understand, don't worry. It's not important. Just wait a little bit.)

Okay, all refreshed... Well, I've been convicted on following the Word of God (Bible) for quite a few years now (more exact, the years that I've been Christian) and one time I read about what the Bible says about the roles of women, especially of those in authority. 1 Timothy 2:11-15 says, "Women should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be kept safe through childbirth, if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."
First of all, if you become upset or angry at a piece of scripture, you have bigger problems than what that particular scripture is talking about. You are upset or angry because there is a rift in your relationship with God. If your relationship with God was really as good as you say it is, you would learn in quietness and full submission. You would say, Yes, Lord. to anything that God told you, no matter what current culture and society says, no matter how much you understand, no matter how wrong you think it is, the fact that God says it should be enough. If you are not at this point, arguing over this point is of no use (God also says not to argue, or complain.) You should reread the Gospels and start over, building your relationship on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and what He gave for you on the cross. Just as a broke marriage needs to go back to the beginning, to the decision of spending your lives together, to the moment of saying yes to the proposal, and build again from there, with the truth that you've both promised to the wedding where you declared publicly your lives as one and up to where it fell apart. Go back and be romantic. Chase and be chased. Pursue and be pursued. Divorce is not an answer, and no matter how you think you failed God, He will never never never divorce you.
I'm not going to expand on women's roles in ministry tonight, but I will take the time to write about marriage in relation to me. I am not married, in case you forgot when I said it last time, pages ago, or thought that in the time it took me to write this, that a beautiful woman leapt into my arms while I was on my way back from the bathroom and we tied the knot... with my shoelace so I wouldn't trip. I want to be married. Maybe not tonight, but I don't want to wait until I'm a few decades earlier. I like how the ezine took a stand on saying that God wants people to get married. He does. How else do you expect Him to relate the love He has for us if not through marriage and children? Those are His greatest examples of His love and we willingly resist them as if they were an illness. I was going to say the plague, but no one really fled from the plague because they didn't know what caused it. Marriage is one of God's greatest gifts and I'm repeating myself for both emphasis and because it's past two in the morning and I've been going to work early this week and I'm tired. (I'm not complaining, just explaining.) So who do we think we are? We who say, I'm not going to take that lesson from You, God. I know enough to keep me happy. We don't. There is always more that we want than what we have. We worry about keeping what we have, or about losing it. We worry. Worry is the absence of trust. Fear is the absence love, just as darkness is the absence of light, and hell is the absence of God. That's why this world isn't hell. Because God's still here. Loving you, loving me. And as long as I walk on this Earth, He will be here. Not because I command Him, but because He has promised that He will never depart from me. You who know me, you know that calm familiar warm sense of comfort you feel when I'm there? It's God, not me. Those of you who are not walking with the Lord, you know that awkward scolded caught stealing feeling you get when I'm there? That's Him, not me.
I can't wait until I'm married. But I'll have to, because I'm not. I dream about having kids and a wife to share them with. I think ahead to the future, when my fingers curl around another's hand, and a head rests on shoulder. I pray that I'll be able to work hard enough that my wife, whoever she is, won't have to work, and even if that means we have to be poor, she won't work and she'll spend her time ministering and caring for others. I pray for God to give her a free schedule so that she never feels busy or overwhelmed and she would live life as if it were in slow-motion, always making time for everyone of her needs. I pray that I would love her the way I'm supposed to and that I would be a good leader for her and the family to follow. I pray that I handle her submission with gentleness without exuding superiority, but instead I would look at her submission everyday and be reminded to submit myself the same way to God.
I don't care what society says about strong women. I want one who is strong in Christ and will give up everything she has worked for for the gifts that God has laid about her. I'm in love with this dream girl and I'm waiting for God to show me who she is so that I can pursue her, because I know that I have to, and in that area, I pray for courage, because all my pursuits, if you will call them that, up to this point would have not beaten neither the turtle nor the hare in a foot race. And if I have to be single for the rest of my life waiting, I would rather do that then be any less of a man to my wife than what God has called me to.
So how old should you be when you get married? The answer is easy. Old enough to base your marriage on Christ and not emotion, and young enough to live like a child of God with whomever God gives us. This is a long blog, and if you've gotten this far, I would like to offer you a popsicle. I don't have any popsicles, but if I did, I would offer them to you.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm sorry, I'm tired.

I'm trying to get home earlier so I can do this before one in the morning so I can get up early to get to work. As of now, I don't get as mush sleep as I like. So, in interst of me, I'm going to go to bed now and write down more stuff tomorrow... I hope.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Today

I worked today, I ate lunch and worked some more. Then I had dinner and came home to relax. I watched a movie. Isn't my life exciting? I actually left out the fact that I had three conversations with three good friends and God's been spinning my head so much, I don't know what to write down. Maybe I'll write it tomorrow. As for now... sleep is good. Dot Com. (If you don't get it, don't worry. It's not that funny)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The First Day of School

Today is the first day of Cal Poly, but I don't really care. I don't go there anymore. I've graduated and moved on to bigger and better things. Well... different more agreeable things anyway. Actually I spent today talking like a pirate. My place of employment (job for those of you who never went to college (I shouldn't insult my readers (if I have any) (I'm sorry. This is suppsoed to be a serious blog.))) (I like parenthesis.) So I was thinking today about how there are two types of wisdom that I have to draw from. I don't always draw from one of the two, and I think that wisdom doesn't come with age. Disapline does. Because even though I have the ability to make wise decisions, I don't always have the discipline. The two types of wisdom I've noticed (and first noticed in other people before I did in myself (but that's probably because I don't pay as much attention to what I say as I do to what others say. (This reminds me of another point I have (I hope, if anyone is reading this, tht you are laughing now, and not annoyed))).
The two types of wisdom that I've noticed are Biblical Wisdom (what the Bible teaches and what you would get spirtually from God, which is always also in the Bible (even though you may not have read it.)) and Earthly Wisdom (what makes sense and sounds good, usually aquired through experience and/or meditation on a particular subject (philosophy.)) Both of these forms can give advice. I've often searched through Biblical Wisdom to help someone who is struggling with truth, and use Earthly Wisdom to help someone who's struggling with the world (like jobs and money and school and other stuff like that.) What God showed me today is that Biblical Wisdom covers both, and Earthly Wisdom can be wrong. Both Biblical and Earthy Wisdom tell (not suggest) how things are. Not could be or should be, but are. Biblical Wisdom we believe because we have faith in the Bible and trust God. Earthy Wisdom depends not on God but our experiences, and just becasue something worked for me once, doesn't mean that it will work for anyone else, or for me in the future for that matter. But God is never changing.
As I learn more about the Bible, I can lean more on Biblical Wisdom and discard Earthly Wisdom. Then my experiences won't be evident on how smart or stupid I was once, but instead on how God has shown Himself strong in my past. The crutch is that I would want to keep my Earthly Wisdom until I feel that my Biblical Wisdom is strong enough to do so, but I know tht that is just pride. That has an "a" in it. I don't want to be prideful anymore, but to see clearly, as God sees. If anyone knows me, and I try and give you advise. Feel free to ask me if what I'm saying is from my own "wisdom" or from God. Keep me accountable.

Okay, so second point. People (and I count as people) like to emphasize what they say by using words that communicate a stonger sense that what is true. This is fine if one wants to emphasize a certain point, but if one tries to emphasize everything one says, nothing stands out. The first thing I've noticed is the word need. Everyone needs everything. I need some alone time right now. I need to eat pizza tonight. I need those sunglasses. I just have to get out of here. It doesn't all seem as necessary as people say. You will live if you don't get what you are saying you need. You want that. You don't need that. Another thing I noticed is that people will decide that certain things have to happen in order to get what they want. Phrases that start off with, "The only way is..." and "It can only happen if..." really annoy me. I honestly don't want to listen to whatever coems after those words. I know that Jesus is the only wayt for us to be with God, but beyond that, I think that there may be ways for you to get what you want that you haven't thought of. The world's a big place and God is bigger. Just because you only see one way doesn't mean that God doens't ahve a narrow gate all planned out for you. You need (and this is the proper usage of need) to keep your eyes on God if you want to follow Him. He may not always go where you think He will. He is not bound by your intelligence. Furthermore, saying you need something when you don't and saying that something has to happen a certain way (unless the Bible says it does) is lying. And when you lie like that, you are not lying (not well anyway) to those who you are talking to, but to yourself. And when you say that someone else needs this in his or her life to change his or her situation. You don't know that. That person might someday wake up from as if from a bad dream and decide that things need to change and look to God for it. You don't know. We are God's helper. He is not ours. He tells us what to do, we do it. The Holy Spirit is our helper, but He doesn't help us do things. He helps us listen to the instruction from the Father and He prays on our behalf. You don't know what God's going to do and saying that something has to happen is limiting your view on God and you start to believe that God doesn't have as much power or intelligence as He does. And just so you know. The "you" in this blog is not referring to the reader (if there is one). This is addressed to me. But if you (the reader) learned something from this, then praise God. I already am.

Okay, and one more thing (I think). I was just watching the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the fights between the older lady and the young girl made me think of an old Christian (one who has walked with the Lord a while) and a young Christian (one who is in the "first feelings" stage of his relationship with the Lord). The young Christian may think himself more talented and intelligent than the older one, and may think himself a better Christian becaue of it. He can do things that the other can't. Move faster, harder, longer. Serve in the church mroe hours a day or a week or so forth, but the older Christian is stronger and more steadfast. It comes to ability verses discipline. The older has years of practice and has hardened to those easy temptations that can get a young Christian down. The older Christian doens't want to fight the younger one, but does because he knows that letting the young one fly off the handle when he could step in is not right for his role as an older Christian. The young one wants to do things his own way and serve God in his own way. Being an individual Christian is not good for the body. I, as the younger Christian, should look up tomy elders in Christ with more respect and attempt to learn more from them instead of trying to battle them in words and verses.

Okay, that's it for the first day of school. Please go home and think about what we learned today. Tomorrow is show and tell. Bring something interesting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005