Sunday, January 2, 2011

And God Died

The words 'God' and 'died' don't seem like they should go together if you really think about it. I mean, by definition, God is all powerful, all knowing, eternal. He is the Unchangeable can He die? How could someone get one up on Him and stab Him in the back? How could the Life from which all of the universe has sprung be ended?

One of my favorite verses of Scripture is in the Gospel of John, chapter 19. Pilate is questioning Jesus but the Savior does not give him an answer. No doubt frustrated and definitely nervous, Pilate asks, '"You will not speak to me? Do You know know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above."' John 19: 10-11

I love the image of that. To any unenlightened eye, these are the insolent words of a foolish carpenter, so poor He doesn't even have a roof over His head, standing before the man who had all the authority of the Roman empire backing him. For anyone else, it would have been rash, foolish, and stupid, but for the Son of was the truth.

That is where we find the answer to how God could die. God chose to do so. He knew from the beginning of time and beyond that He would create, that His creation would rebel, and that He would become like His creation so that He could save a people out of them for Himself. A simple concept that changes everything about us and that so many people have stumbled over and rejected it.

Some people find Jesus' death offense, like cosmic murder of the Son by His Father. Others don't like the fact that the Gospel tells them that they can't save themselves. We Americans are obstinately self reliant and don't you dare tell me that I have to trust somebody else to fix my problems. Like a nation of two year olds, we proclaim that we can do 'by my self, darn it!' But the Gospel isn't supposed to be easy. Such revolutionary change on how we think and act won't come easily. But left as we are, we are dead in our sins, we are lost, and we are blind to the goodness of God. That is why God died: so that He might open the eyes of His chosen people to His salvation. Not all will be saved; the Bible is clear on that too. But in His mercy, God chose some and for these, He became flesh, He lived a hard life, He suffered, He was spit on and cursed, He died, He was buried, He rose, and now, He prepares to receive us to Himself. The impossibility of God's death made the impossibility of our salvation a reality! Praise be to the Most High Who in wisdom, justice, and love, satisfed His wrath and our need!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Wow...I haven't even checked my blog in FOREVER! Sorry to any body who left hanging. College has proved enough of a challenge to keep me busy, though I have decided to take three more credits than my first semester load come this January. And yes...I have finished that first semester now with good grades! This semester, I will be taking classes in my major and minor, which will give me an idea if my plan is really where God wants me or not. Either way, I am excited!

God has been good to me this past semester. It has been a time of growth as I have been exposed to worldviews and lifestyles that I had very minimal contact with when in highschool. I am still living at home and am constantly grateful for the guidance of my parents. It has been a time of mental challenges and spiritual ones as I have more and more opportunities to talk about my lifestyle, my choices, and most important of faith!

And now it is only four days till Christmas! I can't believe it! As most of my followers know, last Christmas was probably the worst one ever with my dad serving our country in Iraq! This year, we are all so, SO grateful to have him here with us! What lessons I have learned since October of 2008 when my father told us he was going to serve in Iraq! It was hard...very possibly the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I am so glad that God gave that challenge to me. It taught me things about myself that I hadn't known. My appreciation of my father increasing one hundred fold and my love for God was so strengthened.

Over and over again in these past two years, God has showed me more of Himself. How marvelous is the God we serve! Why I am still so often afraid or angry or uncaring? I am loved by the God of the universe! I have been adopted by the King of Kings! Every day of the rest of eternity, I will be walking hand in hand with the One who created everything around me. How can I even explain the joy that brings to my heart? How can I weep long enough for how often I ignore that truth?

God's blessings to you all this Christmas season and I pray that above all else, you are deeply reminded of Who lay in that manger. He wasn't just a good teacher or a moral preacher; He was God and He loved us, as He still loves us today!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Enemy, Stress

Stress stinks! I'm a month away from finishing my first semester of college and it is getting harder and harder to not stress out. I'm naturally a worrier and a control freak. I like everything to be in its own box and don't like it when I can't get my head around things; i.e. my history paper on William, Duke of Normandy's conquest of England. These past two days, it has been so bad that I am clenching my jaw in my sleep to the point that chewing is torture! It was pretty pathetic when I was trying to eat cereal this morning.

For the simple reason of self-preservation, I have been really trying to relax, keeping calm, taking breaks, and noticing when I'm clenching. But there is another, bigger reason that I need to keep reminding myself not to stress. When I stress, I am not trusting my Savior to take care of everything. I don't know how many times I've told myself that He can take care of it better than I can, but still, I want to do it all myself like an obstinate toddler.

I think Christ was thinking of people like me when He said: "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life...Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:27,31-33

God is fully aware that I'm stressed about getting all my classes in for the winter semester and frustrated cause my paper is refusing to flow together, and He is big enough to get me through it. I won't die, in spite of what I think. The Gospel is still certain, I am still saved, and Christ still loves me! No paper or exam will ever shake that.

Whether it is school or work or an overload of housework, don't stress. It will only wear you down. Breathe and trust! We'll all survive together!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Praise and Confession


What can I say? You know me. You know my lying tongue; You know my sinful heart. You see the wrong that I can't even sense. Yet, You love me...

Why? Why do You stay? Why do You still forgive after an eternity of rebellion? Why do You not leave me in the pit I keep returning to? Why don't You let me go?

How can I understand such love? How can it truly be mine? Oh, teach me what my forgiveness cost! Sear me with the memory of my salvation.

Never let me forget the blood that makes me clean! Teach me to love You for my stone heart cannot love alone. You must change me. You must give for me to return. It is not payment. It's praise.

Feeble, broken praise from half-holy lips, but to You, it is incense. Christ has perfected it. The Spirit transates it. And I stand holy before a perfect King!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yesterday, I stepped outside after classes were done...and I met Fall. She had been on her way in the cold air and the turning leaves for more than week now, but not until yesterday did I catch her perfume. The crickle-crackle of leaves, spicy hot cider, rosy cheeks, bright eyes, turtleneck sweaters, and clear, cloudless skies; all this in the scent of Fall.

I do not think any other season invites such feelings of joy and worship in me like Fall does. I love watching the trees slowly ignite to crimson, saffron, and pumpkin orange, and of course, raking them into piles and jumping in them. Yes, I still do such things and I am convinced that jumping in leaf piles as an adult/semi-adult is even more fun than when I was little.

There is a tree that I pass every day coming home from school. Every day, as I go by, it is a little more crimson and a little less green. Then, the weekend comes, and it is even more aflame come Monday. Soon, its summer garment will have vanished and it will be standing beside the road in a thirty foot high blaze of brilliant red and yellow glory! And it is simply a tree, a mere creation. How much more beautiful must its Creator be!

Whether you enjoy fall or prefer summer, this is a marvelous thought: we are loved by the Person who created those radient colors, that mighty tree. Though the seasons come and go, He remains the same...always. He will always, eternally love us and that's something to rejoice about! Have a blessed autumn!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Line Uncrossed

My family went up to Lake Ann last weekend to stay in a cottage with a family who are close friends of ours. Needless to say, it was awesome! We went up to Sleeping Bear Dunes, thoroughly exhausted ourselves walking uphill through sand, and then, ran or jump back down in attempts at flight. We also went out for the best ice cream in America and spent an entire afternoon at the beach where I learned to skip rocks, even succeeding in ramping one up an incoming wave, and did more jumping off sand dunes with the other kids, collecting several sore or bruised muscles, a favorite new thing to do, and several pockets' full of sand from an unsuccessful jump.

But even with all the fun, we did not forget God. As I walked along the beach towards the end of that exciting afternoon and let the waves just brush my bare feet, snatches of a verse came to mind, which I later looked up and found. "'Should you not fear me?' declares the LORD. 'Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.'" Jeremiah 5:22

No one has ever conquered the ocean. Do you realize that? We can conquer animals, land, and even other peoples to our discredit, but water is not tamable. Who can tell the waves to not approach this or that line or command seas to stop their motion? Only One. From the beginning of time, He has ruled the oceans and the chaos that they so often represent. He thought this unconquerable substance into being, dug out space for it to dwell, and then, He drew a line and commanded that here it can go and no farther. To His voice it should we.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

College Prayers

Fall is arriving and with it, a new academic year begins. For those of you who don't know, I am now a freshman at Saginaw Valley State University near my home. This decision to enter the public arena of education has already been a mixed blessing.

As a Christian, I am always a stranger in a strange land, but I must admit, I feel it more here. Already, I have encountered opinions and beliefs that oppose my own, but those hours away have heightend one hundred fold my appreciation for the sanctuary and love of my family. There is nothing better than returning to them and letting go after a long day.

I have also discovered a love for the French language. I'm only three weeks into the introductory class and I already adore the pure vowels and flowing rhythms.

I pray that as I continue here, that God will use me for Himself. I am now surrounded by people who don't know Him! My prayer is that they will see Him in me.

Please pray for me as I continue this journey. Pray that I am faithful and remember how great is mercy, love, and strength of my God, and pray that I am able to testify to His salvation whenever the opportunity arrives.