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Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Oh my. I am SO excited. I’m nervous, and my heart’s all a-flutter.

(It feels like the first day of school – anxiously awaiting meeting new people. Will they like me? Am I cool enough? Am I going to have any friends? Yeah, I seriously am a dork. A likable dork, though, right?)

It’s not the first day of school, but I am still full of nervous energy. It’s the Ultimate Blog Party, and it’s happening at a hip little site called 5 Minutes For Mom. It’s basically a virtual party – a way to meet other bloggers.

So, I have these teeny tiny little plans for one day having a great blog that people I don’t even know want to read. I know, I know… what aspiring blogger doesn’t want that? But still, there it is. And here’s my chance to actually meet some cool people around the blogosphere in addition to few faithful friends that actually read and comment here already (hi few and faithful friends! i love you guys!).

Well, I guess I should introduce myself, rather than blathering on like a total dork.

I’m Beth, aka Red. Here’s a photo of me to explain the name:

copy-of-img_4399

Get it? Good. I knew you were smart. And on the right is my honey. He’s so sweet. Those big brown eyes get me every time… *sigh*.

Here’s the lowdown on us. I guess you could read the ‘about’ page (which I want to re-write soon anyway), but here’s the quick and dirty version (Is that a bad saying? I tend to sometimes use bad sayings without actually knowing what they mean. I’m innocent, what can I say?!):

We met and fell in love in high school. I was 17, he was 18. We got married at 19 & 20. It was love, true love. We’re coming up on our 6th anniversary now, and have the world’s cutest baby. His name is Isaac.

Hubby is partway through his training to become a missionary pilot. I’m a SAHM. We are working towards a future as missionaries in Africa. We’ve already been short-term, and got the itch.

Or, more accurately, God called us.

And like Abraham in Genesis 12, we don’t want to settle where we are (ie. we don’t want to become complacent and say no when God is calling us to something kinda scary). We want to pack up and go wherever God is calling us, even if it sometimes sucks.

And that’s the truth.

Regarding this blog… to be perfectly honest, I’m still trying to discover my niche. Until I figure that out, you get to read my jumbled mess of thoughts in this whacked out thing they call motherhood.

I’d love to make some new blogging friends who are super-cool like me, so leave a comment and introduce yourself, whether you are participating in the Ultimate Blog Party or not. I can’t wait to meet you!

Yay for parties!

********************************

P.S.  Here are my top choices for UBP09 prizes:

USC 57 – Personalized Graphic Button Design

USC 47 – $25 Amazon gift certificate

USC 6 – $50 gift certificate to www.iseemyface.com

Or any of these would be great too: USC 61, 67, 73, 58, 49, 44, 23, 36, 30, 21, 20, 17, 16, 15, 3

 

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Sunday School taught me that a Christian is a person who has “asked Jesus into their heart”, has done the ABC’s: accept, believe, confess.  I am wondering if this was perhaps an incomplete explanation of being a Christian (By “Christian” I mean one who follows Christ, not necessarily an adherent to the established religion called Christianity).

The Bible says that even the demons believe.  According to my upbringing (and I believe, according to Scripture), we are to accept Jesus as our “personal Lord and Savior”.  I’m definitely not the first one to say it, but I think it’s pretty obvious that many who call themselves Christians embrace the “Savior” part, while the “Lord” part falls by the wayside.  I think Jesus was pretty clear on expressing that he desired for the church (his bride) to be set apart, to be a light in the world, to be different from everyone else.  It looks like that’s where the Lord part comes in.

Being a Christian is not just accepting the potential risk and purchasing fire insurance.  It’s not a “get out of hell free” card that you get and keep for later.  It is obedience. 

Of course we aren’t perfect, and He knows that, and has already allowed for it within the gifts of grace and mercy.  However just because the parent of a 3-year-old knows that their child will not be perfect in obedience does not mean that the parent does not still expect it.  The parent expects obedience, but realizes that their child is not perfect.  If the standard was lowered, then would the child still have something to strive for, something to encourage continual improvement?  If the standard was lowered, then perhaps the behavior would worsen accordingly.

Just throwing a theory out here… perhaps the reason God holds such high standards for His children is to give us something to strive for.  It seems to be human nature to adjust our efforts to the expectations.  If the expectation is a fourth-year university-level paper, then we have a certain level of effort.  If however the expectation is an explanation of why you didn’t enjoy your chicken carbonara on a restaurant customer satisfaction survey, then you likely won’t be pulling an all-nighter surrounded by stacks of reference materials and resources, with your handy reference guide at hand to ensure your citations are correct.

That said, I want to ensure that my efforts in following Christ (which is simply a natural response to the grace that He has given to me) are less and less hampered by sin.  I want to be continually transformed to be more like Him, and for this I must resist the devil.  I must believe the Truth of Jesus Christ over the lies of Satan.  I choose to continually resist my sinful tendencies and allow Christ to mold me and use me, making me into the child He desires me to be.

Perhaps that’s a better definition of a real Christian.  It seems to have less to do with what you believe, and more with how you live.  Don’t get me wrong – I think certain beliefs are necessary for a Christian… but I do not think they are the foundation on which a Christian is judged.  As I mentioned above, even the demons believe.  So what makes us different?  I think it’s the way we live.

This Christmas I was reminded of a cheesy-but-true lesson – love is all you need.
Love Mug
I was also reminded how amazingly blessed I am.  The day after Christmas we saw one of the ladies in our townhouse complex that we know is a fellow Christian.  She’s a single mom to two young boys.  The only gift she was able to afford to give her youngest son was a Bible and a special case, and he absolutely loved it.  When one of the boys was asked by my husband what he got for Christmas, he said “Santa brought me a Nintendo Wii!  Chris replied with “cool! me too!”, which was met with a “but you’re old” expression on his face.  “Yeah,” the mom said in a lowered voice, “and I don’t have a clue who Santa is”.  Someone had given them a Nintendo Wii anonymously.  I realized in that moment how selfish and stuff-driven I can sometimes be.  I don’t want to be that way, and I am always asking God to keep my conscience sharp and attuned to his will for me.  I got alot of gifts this year, given to me by people who love me.  Nothing terribly extravagant, but far more than many people in this city, and especially around the world.  In the end, though, it’s just stuff, and I wouldn’t be sad if I lost it all tomorrow.  I have the love of my (two) families, my awesome friends, my incredible husband, and most importantly, the Almighty God who created me.
Really, love is all you need.

I fear that it truly may be. Outside of the academic world (including professors, philosophy majors, and select others), there seem to be so very few people who are able to engage in calm, edifying, rational discussion or debate on issues, where there may or may not be major differing of opinions. Why is that such a tall order?

Why does the general church community in the Western world tend to ignore the part of the verse that commands us to love God with our minds as well? Why is it a social faux pas to think “outside the box” (and not in the cool, non-threatening way, but in the radical uncomfortable way)? I am forever trying to discuss things and find that so many people are just not interested or able to engage in rational discussion of some issues, such as pacifism, the church, or social justice. Those types of issues are not comfortable for most people. I have been told that I can come on strong when in these discussions, and I have worked on my delivery for years now. I take to heart 1 Peter 3:15- “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. I have slowly learned how to say things in a calm and rational way, and yet I cannot speak with less conviction than what I have. I have been told that to speak with such conviction is offensive to people (this is people in the Christian community I’m talking about). Apparently it is offensive because I am presenting my opinions as if I am right. This frustrates me to no end, because the way I see it… why would I have an opinion, unless I think it is right? Who in their right mind believes something to be true that they also think could very well be false? (I also get really passionate about discussing issues and believe that it needs to be done far more than it is).

At the risk of offending, as I seem to be so good at, I would venture to say that our Western world has been so incredibly impacted by the recent revolution of tolerance, that even Christians are afraid to stand up and say that truth is NOT relative. Many have been sucked in to believing that it is improper (at best) and sinful (at worst) to claim truth on any issue.

Now I know that many people out there would say that we can never really know the truth, because we have limited human knowledge, etc. But I would contend that God created us with critical minds with the ability to reason. Of course we cannot know all truth, only God is omniscient. However that does not mean that we cannot know ANY truths. I know for example that Jesus Christ is Lord. It’s not a matter of “I think He’s Lord, but I’m really not sure, and I’m totally open to other opinions, just so I don’t offend anyone”. No. “I know He’s Lord like I know that the sun rose this morning”. I am sure.

Just to clarify, I do not think that knowing truth is the only important aspect of being a Christian, nor do I think that it is sufficient for “getting into heaven”. Nonetheless that does not negate the importance of it. I think that a relationship with Christ needs a balance of the heart, mind, and soul.

I’m still learning, still on the road… waiting for Christ to return and take me home.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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