A Lonely God

 

God loves numbers.

 

In the beginning of His perfect Word, he says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” This is one of my very favorite parts of scripture. He himself is never alone; he himself is community. This is hard to understand… But we are to rejoice in it. Why is this a call to rejoice? Because it gives us hope.

 

If man, in our state of imminent death and perpetual darkness, becomes lonely… It is encouraging. I am encouraged because even though I am bent towards evil (there are no words that can correctly convey how evil we all truly are), I have the remnants of the image of God in my very being-within my very human nature. It is encouraging because we are made in the image of God who does not desire to be alone. His desire is to be with himself and with us. Our loneliness is the fallen shadow of our once perfect state: a desire to be with God. A desire to be with Jesus. A desire to be with the Spirit. A desire to be with people.

 

I was once asked, “If you were alone, could you fully experience God?”

 

“Of course,” I answered. But I was wrong. Even though he would have come if there was only me or only you, that isn’t the case. He came for all of us. Each and every one of us. Community is vital. It is vital to survival. It is vital to thriving. It is vital to living the abundant life on the narrow way that Jesus so lovingly beckons us towards each and every morning when we wake up.

 

This is something I am learning.

 

Living a life for Jesus alone is nearly impossible; this is why Jesus intentionally sends out his disciples and followers in pairs of two in Luke 10 and Matthew 10. He says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

 

In a world that is not our own (for it belongs to Satan-the “god of this world”-2 Corinthians 4:4), we cannot stand alone. We are citizens of Heaven in a dark place. This foreign, evil world, is full wolves. Sheep must stay together. The sheep that strays from the herd is the one that gets eaten.

 

It is because we, humans, are like our God. Molded out of his very image. Thus our creation. It is not that God was lonely; for he was, is, and will be perfect. However, I believe that he wants, no, he needs us. We are not necessary to God’s survival, but he does need us. He has let himself need us… Not necessarily only for people to love him, but also because he needs to love. He needs people to love. And that’s it. That’s us. We are the objects of his love. He created us to love us. It is in his nature (and thus in ours) to desire friendship, to desire community, to desire to be loved, and to desire to love.

 

Let this be encouraging to you; your loneliness is not a thorn in your side, rather a monument of God’s very imprint on your being. Be genuine and enjoy life with your friends.

 

 

“Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

 

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Freedom

Ah, the fourth has come and gone, but every day should be a day of patriotism in the United States. How blessed are we to live in a country that abounds in the essence of life? I believe there is one quality that stands out among the many great qualities America possesses. This is Freedom. The fourth is merely a reminder of what the other 364 days should look like. It’s the embodiment of thankfulness for freedom-true freedom at that-which is the very essence of patriotism. Not only is it thankfulness, it is celebration.

A patriot is simply a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. This is a term I would deem for myself. I believe to have what’s best for America at heart, as do many others. However, my love for this beautiful country and my patriotism are merely a reflection, a shadow of the true patriotism that has been planted deep within my heart.

Can you see it?

America’s best-America’s potential-is a shadow of what Christ is. The one who offers freedom. Don’t get me wrong-America is nowhere near the perfection found in Christ. It is, however, a wonderful portrait of it. America celebrates freedom, and you have reason to celebrate it too, if you’re a Christian.

My little brother and best friend called me a couple of nights ago just to talk. Being gone for an entire summer has been hard for us, but I love hearing what’s been going on in his life. I love being his big brother. We reveled in something we both battle. We both feel lonely sometimes. As I pondered on it, my loneliness has always driven me towards God. That’s a good loneliness-the one my brother and I dip into. However, there is also a poor loneliness, one that is dark. The darkness this loneliness holds comes from captivity, it comes from being a slave- a slave to sin, and a slave to self worship. Do you ever feel lonely? I can tell you, there is freedom. There is a way out. There is true happiness, seeking after you, if only you’ll reach out to it.

As I was reading in my Bible today, Psalm 119 was on my heart.

“Blessed are those whose way is blameless…who seek him with their whole heart…” (119:1-2). As I sat and admired David for his pursuit of the Lord, it hit me. This could be me. Friends, this can be all of us. When the Spirit dwells within us, we are on the road to looking like Jesus. The value of walking blamelessly lies within you and God, not you and others. Of what value is it that others think you are pure? Seek God’s heart and seek true blamelessness, where purity lies within. It is fulfilling. It is lasting. It is good.

Now remember, it is impossible to look at a commandment and do it. When Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,” remember the first part of the verse. To love your neighbor as yourself-to do any commandment, any exhortation given, one must first seek God, and the goodness will come.

As I said earlier, a patriot is simply a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies. A patriot for the gospel is deeper. Vigorous support is not enough; it is truly giving your life for the cause that makes you a patriot. (Galatians 2:20)

Let me be clear, friends. America does not perfectly emulate the gospel-but has certain qualities that portray certain beauties. Flags come and go, nations fall and nations rise. As much as it bitters my tongue to say it, America’s end will come, but remember friends; it is only a shadow. The true celebration comes at the cross-and that, my friends, will never fade. It is everlasting.

Take It Up Again

“Whenever he became conscious of who he was, he also became conscious of what he had to do.”           -Max Lucado

Jesus, as a human, discovered who he was a little bit more every day. We do the same. The more we know about ourselves, the more we know about our purpose. Everyone was created for a reason. It is not by chance that you are sitting where you are, with whom you are sitting, and it is not by chance that your life has lead you to where you are today. It’s all part of your story. It’s all part of you. So who are you? This is a new perspective on the word “calling.” We each have a calling. To be called doesn’t mean to automatically be called to ministry or to mission, but our callings are our stories and how we help write them. Our testimony is who we were; our calling is who we are and who we are to become. 

John 10:17  says “The reason my Father loves me is that i lay down my lifeonly to take it up again.”

We are called to lay down our lives, but only to take them up again. I urge you lay yours down if you haven’t. You’ll become the you that you were created to be. When you take your life back up, your life becomes untouchable. You become an untouchable citizen of the Kingdom. A picture of this “laying down” is one of baptism. Most people have witnessed baptism. It always tugs at my heart to see someone submerge themselves in water, only to come back up. Last time I saw it, I couldn’t help but utter the only expression of worship my brain could find fitting. “Dammit, Jesus…” Don’t judge. 

 

The point is, you are called to lay your life down in His death, and when you do, you’ll be raised in His life. You are you for a reason, and the reason you like the things you do and are good at the things you are is because you are tailored to your purpose, and your purpose is tailored to you. Don’t let the word “calling” scare you. Your calling is your story. 

 

 

 

Wounds that Heal, A God Who Comforts

Recently I was hurt. But let me tell you something. Out of wounds come healing, and healing is the reason for life. Healing is a reconciliation to the way things are supposed to be-scars are a beautiful image of the healing, of the redemption. A symbol that reminds us of the time when things weren’t right. When there were tears or sadness. Even though it hurt, the pain is worth His comfort. Our scars make us who we are. They shape us and mold us and lead us, much like the staff of the Shepherd.

The staff is an interesting part of the shepherd metaphor. It comes after the rod, usually. Silly sheep need a rod. The rod is usually a club, or a tree root. Thinking of how David could have killed bears or even lions with this is funny to me. The rod is used as protection for the sheep. The sheep wouldn’t sleep without passing under the rod. It is also used for discipline. Sometimes in my life I choose things that I think will benefit me more than what the Lord is saying. Usually this is subconscious, but it can go on for a period of time if I don’t realize it. The Lord usually wakes me up from this sleep-walking with convictions, or with doors closing. Doors that close really do hurt-but this is His rod. It’s a little bop on the head that reminds me to listen to Him, follow Him, and forsake my old self for my new self.

The staff makes me smile. It is a symbol of care that directs and encourages. It is equally as necessary as the rode. They go hand in hand, like the warm comfort of hot water or the refreshment of cool water (Revelation 3:16). This rode, this encouragement, is something the shepherd leans on. He guides us with it-it is His arm, His hand for us. An extension of His heart. Timothy Laniak has this to say about it:

” The most interesting use of the staff is…”to be in touch.” Walking side by side, almost as if holding hands, a shepherd may simply lay the staff against the side of a special animal. Special perhaps because it needs more frequent affirmation. Or because it is most likely to wander. Or it might just be a favorite.”

After praying 3 years and 8 months for me, my parents have encouraged me and instilled in me that I am special and that the Lord has destined me to be where I am right now for a reason. In this very spot. I can promise you, if you are reading this, it is not by accident. God planned it. You are special to Him. I know this sounds cheesy, foolish even. I promise you that it is true. He is there each day, extending his staff, waiting to be in touch with you. How amazing it is that He wants to be in touch with us. In touch with you. He will minister to you every day, walk with you, talk with you, and listen to you. His comfort is worth the pain, and if there isn’t any pain in your life, His love is better than life.

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”

Psalm 63:3

One day, death will be a memory.

Man on the Run

Well hello friends!

Today has been a journey. Let me tell you that. Granted I actually didn’t go anywhere, I ran from God all day today! As night closes in, I look at a day wasted and wonder one word: Why? So here I am, about to crawl into bed, trying to find things to take my mind off of the one I love. But it hurts too much to reconcile. So I find something fill the void. Now be aware, this is in one day. I also see the same thing happening in the long term of my life. I love Christ, but I run like the wind. He’ll catch me, no matter how

FICKLE

Unorganized

Lazy

or Pathetic I am.

So tonight I feel like a rusty… bicycle. A fickle, rusty bicycle. I can’t decide which path to take. And I run from praying from it.

So major prayer request of the night/week/life: That I may have courage to do what He has destined, Hope for the life in which He has planned, and rest in which I am to live it out in. For His glory! No matter whether I feel Him or not. I know He is there. And here. I know He is inside of me and outside of me. I know this. But I forget.

So those of you who have suffered through this enduring hopelessness of a blog entry, I thank you.

I’m weak.

Love,

Skyler

For when I can’t sleep.

Here’s the outline for breakfast club tomorrow! And seeing how the three people who read this don’t come to breakfast club… Here ya go!

Faith and Truth

  1. As humans, we live with what we see. It’s natural for us. There are two sides of natural humanity:
    1. The dark side
    2. The light side

The light side is the side when we’re abiding in Christ like John 15 when it becomes natural to abide in Christ like the vine and the branches. Christ’s nature.

There is also the dark side. This is full of our sin nature. It’s like living in the kingdom of self instead of the kingdom of God.

Basically, one is the easy path, one is the narrow path. (Matthew 7:13-14)

In the easy path, we live life without enjoying it. Sure there is pleasure, but it is not a lasting thing. We live sinfully and its like we can’t get on track! This is not how it was meant to be. Life is meant to be abundant.

Here is one way to live life in abundance:

Truth. This truth is something that lightens the heart. Because in our dark side, we like to hide in the dark. But Ephesians 5:9 says,

“(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)”

To be in the truth is to be in the light and vice versa. Jesus says in John 14:6 that he is the way, the truth, and the light.

So Truth and Light are the same thing.

The narrow way, the whole truth, and the bright light.

So this truth… What is it? Truth is defined as…

  • Conformity to fact or actuality.
  • A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
  • Sincerity; integrity.
  • Fidelity to an original or standard.
  • Reality; actuality.
  • often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence

We want to encourage you guys in the truth this morning!

To live in the truth. To make truth your way!

This truth is something to live in. It’s hard to live in the truth if our natural self (without God). But just try it. Try saying it out loud. We tend to tell the truth to people and humans which is great! But try doing it to God.

Tell Him what is going on in your life. Although he already knows, telling him exactly how you feel and what you’re thinking will not only help clear things up, it will lighten your heart for a life of abundance.

Let me know what you think! Gooodnight.

Hello world!

Hello world is right! And i’ll say hello toooo all zero people reading this. Like everyone else, i’m going to spend my time writing my first blog justifying why I have a blog in the first place. Thoughts, notes, ideas and concepts, prayers, life, and theology are meant to be shared. So i’m writing to discuss things like this. So without further ado, here is what is on my mind presently:

“Pleasure is not fully grown until it is remembered.” -C.S. Lewis

This quote is from a creature living on the fictional, unfallen world of Malacandra. “Pleasure” occurs rarely and love occurs once. Pleasure and love are not fully grown in the mind of a being until they are remembered. The moment of pleasure and love or the meeting of two people lasts only but short time. The real meeting that takes place is in the memory of the two who shared it. I love this thought… I like remembering things. It’s so frustrating thinking back to only two years ago and not being able to recall very much. What is every day worth? What kind of story am I writing? Another thing.

In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller writes about the stories everyone writes with their lives. The story is a million miles, and the ending is most hopefully heaven. What story do you write? It made me think. It made me wonder if my story is really that boring that i cannot remember most days. This inspires me to be more spontaneous. I want to do things that i remember. I want to fully enjoy the things that happen in my life by remembering and rejoicing in them. Now, to live my story, i must get an adequate amount of sleep to be able to remember it.

So this is the end of my first ever blog. I love you all (chirp…chirp…chirp), and to all a good night!