Moving On

I have one more month before I graduate.

One month before I turn 18.

My friends are graduating and leaving.

All sorts of things are changing.

Change isn’t always bad.Sometimes it seems like a little much. But things have to change eventually. So let’s embrace it.

One of the hardest parts of graduating is everyone else graduating. And leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m staying in Alaska. Golden Boy is here. It’s hard watching your friends go though.

My best friend of 13 years is moving 5,000 miles away to go to school. I try to be excited for her. It must be nerve-wracking to think about. Somewhere new, new people, school. Crazy. I don’t want her to leave. But at the same time I’m excited that she gets to do something entirely new.

Another of my friends graduated early and is moving away at the beginning of May. And if ever I had a girlfriend to do girly things with, it’s her. She’s the one I go shopping with, watch chick flicks and horror movies, dare her to go talk to the cute guy, dress up just to go to Blockbuster, all that stuff. After she leaves, I won’t have that around anymore.

But she’s excited to leave. It’s a real adventure. She can’t wait. So even though I’m sad about this too, I’m happy for her and her excitement.

And then there’s me. I’m working this summer again. The Hoopla- Chiatto is returning. (If you have no clue what a Hoopla-Chiatto is, you obviously need to be educated here. ) I’m really excited about it, and excited to find a full or part time job this fall  to work while Princess is out of season. I’m looking forward to putting away money.

Lots of change is coming up. But I’m oddly peaceful about it. I know that God is directing things where they ought to go. Everything is going to turn out alright. Here’s to a new chapter, guys. Cheers.

Adapting God (Stop Trying)

It’s not really the best idea to take an all-powerful, all-knowing God and try to squeeze him into your little worldview box.

He doesn’t fit.

I see it all the time, people deciding that God actually thinks one thing because it fits what they want to believe, what they’re comfortable with.

Listen, God doesn’t actually care what we think is right and wrong, unless it follows the Bible. There’s a couple glaring examples of people deciding God is on their side so that they don’t have to feel convicted. The most popular ones are homosexuality and abortion, naturally, with feminism and divorce following close behind.

God is very clear on His view of homosexuality. I’ve done a post about this even and you can read it here. Old Testament, New Testament, God is clear on what He thinks about homosexuality.

So you know someone who’s gay or lesbian, trans, bi, queer, gender-fluid, non-conforming, all these ridiculous titles. Everyone does. Does that mean God understands the situation and made it an exception? No. You can’t make God adapt to fit your situation. He doesn’t do that.

Hebrews 13:8 (NASB) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So what he said was right and wrong 6,000 years ago, is still right and wrong today. Just because the world is changing does not mean God is. The world is becoming more and more sinful. It’s up to us to see that sin is not ok, not try to fool ourselves and everyone else into thinking God changes with the world.

Same deal with abortion. It’s murder. We all know how God feels about murder. But for some reason, abortion is different than murder because everyone knows it’s just a group of cells right? Wrong.

Well, scientifically, we’re just groups of cells controlled by an organ in our heads. Life begins at conception. It is not up to us to end it. God doesn’t make exceptions.

Sure, you have free will. You can make exceptions to morality if you want to, no one’s stopping you really. Except certain laws, of course. But don’t try to pass it off as God saying it’s ok because times have changed. No where in the Bible does it say that.

I hope I’ve made my point clear. If you would like more verses just ask. If you have Biblical proof that God changes with the times and circumstances of your personal life, feel free to share 🙂

Those Sinful Taxcollectors

I love learning new things about Jesus’ life and his mission on earth. I hope you feel the same.

This morning my mom and I read Matthew 9:9-13 (My favorite passage of the three. If you’re only going to read one of the passages, read this one.) Mark 2:13-17, and Luke 5:27-32

First off, to avoid confusion, Levi and Matthew are the same person. Don’t ask how that happened, I don’t know.

So, Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) to follow Him, so of course he does, and he’s so excited he throws this banquet.

Well Jesus found Matthew sitting at a tax collectors booth, so obviously there were a few tax collectors.

The Pharisees and Scribes got all upset, because when don’t they?

They asked Jesus why He was eating with sinners. Jesus replied with the most awesome reply ever.

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Does it seem profound to you? Because it seems profound to me.

The first sentence goes along pretty well with the verse about seeing the plank in your own eye. Most of us know that verse pretty well. Careful not to misuse it. That verse isn’t saying that you must be sinless in order to judge another Christian’s sin. It is saying you have to be honest to yourself and recognize what your sin is. It’s about avoiding being hypocritical, not about being blameless and not judging others.

The second part of Jesus’ answer is referring to Hosea 6:6 and Micah 6:6-8. I encourage you to look them up, they are both great verses. They are saying how burnt offerings and sacrifices are not what God wants. He doesn’t want a big showy display of Christiaity. He wants acknowledgement and for us to walk with Him as best we can.

The verse uses the word mercy. Mercy does not mean excusing a sin and saying that everything is ok as long we love each other. It means desiring what is good for others. What is better than salvation and repentance? How can someone repent without knowing what their sin is?

The last part is Jesus reminding the ignorant Pharisees yet again what His mission was. It was not to call the righteous, but to reach the sinners and bring them closer to God.

Note the wording. Jesus didn’t use the word ‘believers’ he used ‘righteous’. Who among us is righteous? No one. We are all sinners. He was not saying He was only calling sinners and left the believers alone. He spoke to the sinners who recognized that they were sinners and recognized their need for Him. Not the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes.

Jesus was emphasizing the need to acknowledge your own sin and turn to Him. I love that. I love that that was His focus because it is so important to repent. It’s how we get closer to God.

We’ve made this sin ‘ok’… so we should make this sin ‘ok’

I read an article today ( http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/03/31/what-c-s-lewis-marriage-can-tell-us-about-the-gay-marriage-controversy/31512 ) that is legitimately trying to convince people that we should welcome and want homosexuality in the church because we’ve made sins like divorce and remarriage ok.

How does this logic?!

Seriously, it’s the same as saying, well we’ve made divorce acceptable. Let’s tell the people that murdering each other is ok.

One sin being accepted in a society does NOT mean that another should. It means we need to work on eradicating the first sin. Divorce and remarriage are only ok under the strict Biblical guidelines. The Bible very clearly states that homosexuality is a sin, no if’s, and’s or but’s.

Now don’t misunderstand me, homosexuals should be welcome into the church, but in no way should we paint homosexuality in the light that it is ok. It is NOT. Stop being so worried about offending people and worry about saving people.

People will not turn to God if they think their sin is acceptable to Him.

Read the above sentence until it sinks into your brain. People will NOT TURN to God if you tell them that it is ok to sin! They will find no need for a savior.

So think about how you handle things like this. Are you leading people to God or telling them they don’t need Him?

Getting Started

We’re at the point where Jesus starts preaching! **Excitement**

Today we read Matthew 4:12-17 and Mark 1:14-15. Jesus heads out to Galilee (Fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-2) and what’s the first thing He does?

He says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

I don’t really think that this is insignificant. The very first thing Jesus preaches about, proclaims, is repentance.

Hm. Maybe it’s important…..?

So, the definition of repentance: Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and to dishonor to God, a violation of His holy law.

Just think about it for a minute, really. The VERY first thing Jesus talks about is repentance.

One other thing is that Jesus proclaimed, not just preached. He said things boldly, without worrying whether or not people agreed with Him. He knew the important thing was speaking about what God wanted Him to speak about.

So, did I put enough emphasis on repentance?

Get Behind Me

The Temptation of Jesus (Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13)

This is pretty well known story. Jesus fasts for forty days and nights and the devil tempts Him three times.

There’s a few important things to note with this passage. The first thing that jumped out at me was that the devil used scripture too. He used scripture against Jesus.

Let that sink in.

I think that relates to today a lot. People misquote the Bible, use verses out of context (which ALWAYS bad) or just misuse it. And that’s dangerous. I try to be careful about doing that myself.

The devil is smart, unfortunately for us. He will use what we trust against us.

So, what Jesus did was counter him with more scripture. Jesus knew the Word and that is how he stayed away from temptation.

Also, Jesus was not passive. He did not shy away from the challenge that Satan presented. He was authoritative in His use of scripture.

We need to use the Bible more, guys. That should always be our first  resort, not the last. I need to get better about that.

Any thoughts on the Temptation?

Dunked

The Baptism of Jesus ( Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:29-34)

So, as a rule I won’t be copying large portions of scripture in my blog because I want you to get out your Bible if you’re concerned at all with following along. Plus, different translations have different perspectives, and I would love to hear from you guys.

So, basically, John the Baptist is being his outlandish self and baptizing people at the Jordan River and Jesus walks up and is like “Hey, you wanna baptize me too?”

John, however, knew a thing or two and was all weirded out that the Son of God was asking him to get baptized. He said “Whoa, you’re like, the Son of God, YOU should be baptizing ME.”

(I’m paraphrasing a little)

Jesus probably smiled (I totally picture Him giving John this knowing smile) and said “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

So John baptized Jesus and then Heaven opened on Him and God descended upon Him “like a dove”

(Whether that means His presence physically resembled a dove, or it had a calming, graceful vibe to it, I have no clue.)

And that’s the story of how Jesus got baptized.

Now, the question on many people’s minds is why did Jesus get baptized? Wasn’t He God, meaning he was already clean and sinless?

Because of the line “To fulfill righteousness” I’m inclined to believe that Jesus got baptized to keep with the cultural practice of being cleansed in order to get closer to righteousness, even though he was already righteous. He got baptized to fulfill the law.

By doing so the prophecy in Isaiah 42:1 came true.

He did what was pleasing to God before he started in his ministry.

Psalm 40:7-8

Another question that popped up was why baptism was necessary, when we as modern Christians see it as being born again. My mom and I didn’t know if it was just symbolic, a social practice, or whether it was actually required by God, through the law.

If anyone has answers on this, I’m listening.

Our closest guess was that, since Jesus hadn’t died yet, it was a symbolic cleansing.. We drew this conclusion from the passage in Exodus 30:18-21.

So, there’s the Baptism installment. I would love to read your comments and discussion. Look forward to the next one on the Temptation of Jesus.

Being “More Like Jesus”

My mother has good ideas. She decided we ought to start a Bible study on what being “like Jesus” really is. And I am going to blog about it.

Apparently, I don’t act like Jesus one bit, according to some of my readers. I would like to prove to the blogging society and the rest of my readers that this matters to me and I am honestly trying very hard to act like Jesus did.

We started out with Jesus’ first independent act; when he was in the temple when he was 12. This is found in Luke 2:41-52 and Luke was the only gospel to record it.

I’m not going to write it all out because I want you to read it. If you don’t have a Bible, it can be found online.

I drew a few things from this passage. The first thing was that Jesus  listened first and asked questions second. Even though he was God himself, he respected the rabbi’s enough to listen to their teaching and then had a discussion with them.

Another thing is that he went in with a certain level of understanding first. He didn’t talk to any rabbi until he understood what he was talking about.

I try to do that in my blog. I don’t post about anything that I haven’t read into and feel ready for a discussion on.

One other thing that I picked out was that God came before even His family. His parents were all worried about him, and Jesus was just like “I’m where I’m supposed to be. With my Father.”

So that’s what I’ve covered so far. Opinions? Comments? Stay tuned for more.

Are Christians Hateful?

Before I start, I will admit that there are some Christians who are very mean and hateful towards people they think are in the wrong. We are not perfect. Christians make mistakes too.

Now, people have been accusing me as being hateful by saying things like homosexuality are a sin. There is apparently something unacceptable about confronting people and telling them what they are doing is wrong. It is hateful to tell them they are sinning.

Is it hateful to tell a murderer he killed someone and it’s wrong?

Is it being hateful to tell a kleptomaniac to stop stealing things for his own good?

No.

Why is it wrong to tell a homosexual that he or she is sinning?

Think about it. If someone you love is doing something that will hurt them down the road, what do you do? Do you tell them that thing is ok as long as they’re happy even though you are perfectly aware that it will hurt them later? Or do you tell them they need to stop and repent?

The second option seems more loving to me. If you love someone you want them to happy, safe, and healthy. Forever.

I believe it is much more hateful to not share God’s Word with people.

Yes, we have to be careful about how we word things, but it is love that compels me to talk about these things. I want people to turn to God.

There is no hate for people in my heart when I am writing my posts. Only hate for sin.

I hope you understand my reasons for defending that I am doing this in love.

What Makes it Worthwhile

Sometimes I wonder if I’m supposed to be blogging. Honestly, it makes some people very angry.

My posts on feminism and homosexuality got lots of hateful comments or people arguing with me in a way meant to make me feel bad, stooping to name-calling at times even.

My series of posts on dating damaged a friendship for a while, which hurt.

Why do I persist?

Well, it honestly doesn’t matter how many people I offend. It doesn’t matter how many times I get cussed at or called stupid.

It matters how many people I touch. How many people I reach.

I believe I am doing the right thing. I pray about my posts and comments and firmly believe that Christians are meant to be outspoken about issues like these.

As long as I get one person who says “Thank you for that” or just one person who saw a new, good perspective, then all the persecution is worth it. Every word that hurt me, every uncomfortable situation is worth one person saying that my post helped them consider what God has to say.

I am not completely selfless or else I would say I am doing this entirely to bring people to God. Sometimes I blog for me. Yes, I like the popularity. I’m human.

But at the core of it all I want to bring God glory. I want to show people what I have seen  in the truth of the Bible. I do not think I am self-righteous. I do not believe I am better than anyone else and I hope I do not come across that way. I just want people to see God in the issues we’re dealing with today.

That is why I blog.