Thursday, May 29, 2014

Something to Think About

THINK ABOUT IT: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are characteristic traits that have no laws against them. So why do we as humans choose to live a life contradictory to these traits, traits that lead to breaking the law, hurting others and ourselves?  Traits such as sexual immorality, impurity, hatred, discord, jealously, fists of rage, selfish ambition, envy, drunkenness, impurity, etc.  Is it because we don’t like being told what to do?  Is it because we are stubborn?  Is it because we are rebellious?  Is it because truth is relative?  Is it because the Bible tells us we should live lives of integrity and since people are so extremely opposed to the Bible they choose not to? 

I think it is all of these things.  One thing I don’t understand is why the last reason is even a option for why we choose to live like this.  I believe it is because we have ranked our evil acts with murdering another human as the ultimate sin!  Here is where this ranking falls short; regardless of how "innocent", one shortcoming leads to another. If you choose not to have self-control and end up acting out one of the traits the bible labels as "acts of the flesh", you will end up going down a path of destruction you never intended to take.  Furthermore, where do we get this ranking?  Where do we decide what acts are bad and constituted as sin?  If truth is relative then shouldn’t it be OK for people to just murder each other if they feel like it and not be punished?  Shouldn’t it be OK for people to rape young children because it makes them feel good?  If truth is relative who makes these laws that pretty much every living, breathing, human being on this Earth accept?  Who is the ultimate lawmaker if no one is perfect and we all have shortcomings and failures.  Wouldn’t something like this require someone perfect to decide what is right and wrong? 

Here are what people; both Christian and Non-Christian don’t understand (I say Christian because for a long time during my walk with Christ I thought the same way and I know others who have said the same).  God isn’t sitting up in heaven, telling us what to do because He is a mean God.  He isn’t telling us what to do because He enjoys watching us fail so He can punish us.  He isn’t telling us what to do because he doesn’t want us to have fun and enjoy our life.  In fact, that thought is completely against His nature. 

God gives us these laws because He is our Creator.  He knows what is best for us and He knows what will give us a satisfied, pleasurable life.  The creation needs to know its limits.  He knows us and this earth better than we ever can or will because He made it and us.  Who knows a creation better than its creator?  Not even the creation itself for only the potter knows the purpose of His creation.  Instead of trusting His plan for us, we choose to rebel against it because we don’t like being told what to do and we are stubborn and think we know what is best.  (For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. ~Romans 1:25)

God also gives us a choice, free will, and a creative mind to either fulfill His purpose, or create our own purpose.   I’ve never met anyone who lived with the intention of wanting to be a murderer.  I’ve never met anyone with the intention of wanting to be a child molester.  I’ve never met anyone with the intention of destroying their perfect family so they could fulfill the fantasy of an affair.  I never met anyone who wants to be a rapist.  I never met anyone who wanted to destroy their integrity by being a money launderer.  These things just aren’t natural.   They are contrary to our nature and our purpose. We weren’t created to be these types of people.  We choose which direction our heart goes and we are always given opportunities to get off that path before we end up destroying ourselves. 

Every person I have ever talked to wants to feel significant.  They want to make a difference in the world.  They want to live a life that is peaceful, fulfilling and satisfying deep down to the core of their being.  They want to feel free.  The good news is, we were called to be free.  When we use our freedom to indulge in the worldly, selfish desires instead of serving others humbly with love, we go down the wrong path ending up as something we never intended to be.  But when we allow the Spirit of God to lead us, we don’t need to worry about whether or not we are doing what is right because what is right will just come naturally, out of love for God and others. 

This is something I wish everyone would understand.  If each person in this world would live a life the way it was intended to be lived, and live the way they were created, I can’t even begin to fathom how great this Earth would be, like heaven I guess.  Better than my wildest imagination I reckon.  Enjoy your life the way it was meant to be enjoyed!

Galatians 5

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Daegu Journal Entry: Volume 1 Issue 6
Saturday, May 3, 2014

Have you ever wondered why something didn’t work out?  Sometimes you get an explanation and you’re thankful.  Other times you are left so perplexed, wanting a reason for why it didn’t work out.  Most of the time I just let the circumstance go but sometimes, depending on how much I was looking forward to what I thought I was going to get, I really do wonder (and we all know what happens when I get to thinking, I get to writing).

This past Saturday we were on our way to Daegu but had to turn around.  A normal, 90 minute drive to our first pit stop took 4 hours.  By the time we reached our normal pit stop we saw a sign that said we wouldn’t arrive in Daegu until 12:30 am (normally we arrive between 5:30-6 pm).  All of a sudden a drive that is the same distance as Orlando to Miami Florida on the Turnpike, turned into an Orlando, Florida to Nashville, TN road trip.  (This is because this past weekend was a major 4-day holiday and the 9 million people that live in Seoul decided to head south I reckon =). 

Pastor Choi made a decision to turn around because it would be too dangerous for us to go at that hour.  I was really sad about this because now that I’m starting Long Term Missions training, it’s going to cut into a lot of my Saturdays.  I’m not really sure when I’ll be able to go back again.  Also, we had a new person going with us and this was the only chance they would have to go.  Why didn’t it work?  We were going to do a good thing.  What was God saving us from?  I may never know, but do I really want to know? 

This then got me thinking about certain things in my life that haven’t worked out and I began to question why.  Some of you may understand where I’m going with this.  You know what I’m talking about.  I’ve had many conversations recently with people that are perplexed by this same topic.  There are things in your life that you are certain are so good for you but all of a sudden they just aren’t there anymore.  For example, relationships that disappear (sometimes without an explanation), relationships that don’t end up the way you had in mind, living situations that are no longer available, and yes, I say it all the time, but for me, even Brazil.  I know that God is protecting me from something but what, and why?  How are these things bad for me?  They don’t seem bad for me?  Actually, the moment I realize they are gone I become angry, and then that anger turns into depression so not having them is bad for me.   

Then I began to think; I say, “I trust God.”  I say, “I have faith in God.”  Looking back at my reactions I have to wonder, is my faith and trust circumstantial?  I ask Him all the time to protect me from mental and physical harm, to guard my heart and mind from the schemes of the enemy, but then when I don’t get my way I get so frustrated and I start to question Him.  For all I know He is just doing what I asked Him too but because it doesn’t fit into my idea of a “perfect life for Rachael” it’s Him being unfair.  But that’ isn’t possible because God is fair, and just. 

He is also all-knowing, and He cares for me.  He wants what is best for me.  He can see the future and I cannot.  If I give it enough time eventually I may see why something didn’t work in what I thought would be my favor.  But I’m being selfish, too consumed with being miserable at the fact that it didn’t work out and not thankful that He answered my prayers for protection.  I’m miserable because I’m really not trusting God.  I’m forgetting who he is because I put my faith in my circumstances and not in my God. 

Some of you reading this are waiting for something.  You are begging God to give you the thing you are waiting for.  Praying to Him like He is some kind of genie in a bottle.  You think if you act a certain way, or change something about yourself, He will grant your request.  We have got to stop doing this to God.  God is not a genie in a bottle, He is God, Creator of the Universe, Creator of you and me.  The Creator knows it’s creation better than even the creation itself.   Your waiting does not mean he has forgotten about you, it just means He is still preparing that blessing for you or preparing you to receive it.  Either you or the thing you are eagerly waiting for is not ready yet.  We gotta stop rushing it otherwise we will end up with it and chances are be miserable.  Things take time, Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

We live in a society that wants everything right away because we live in a society that gives us what we want immediately.  We don’t know how to wait anymore.  This isn’t good for us because there is always going to be something better that comes along shortly after (all the iPhones for example).  We have to learn to be content with what we have now or we will never be content.  Better things are always going to come along.  When we wait for something it helps us appreciate it more after we receive it so that when a newer, better thing does come around, we will still cherish the thing we waited for because it means so much more to us.  It won’t matter that the thing we waited for isn’t the newest, best thing because we appreciate what we have and we know it was made exactly for us. 

I want to close with a story that I tell my teenagers all the time.  It’s one I heard as a teenager and it’s constantly coming back to my mind when I don’t trust God with what I have. 

One day a dad and his sons went to run some errands.  The dad
promised his sons a water gun they had been wishing for at the
end of the day for helping him with his errands. 

Halfway through the day the boys found some $1 water pistols. 
They decided they couldn’t wait any longer and begged their Father
to buy them the cheap water pistols at that moment.  The Father
pleaded with them to wait until He was finished with His errands
but the boys insisted.  He loving bent down to the boys level and
explained to them that the water gun he had in mind was going to
be so much better than this cheap little water pistol and if they
would only just wait they would be much happier.  One of the
sons decided to wait but the other kept pushing, insisting he
have the water pistol right at that moment because there couldn’t
possibly be anything better.  How could the Father possibly know
what was better for him anyways, it was his life.  Finally, the Father
gave in a bought the $1 water pistol for the one son. 

At the end of the day, the dad took his sons to the toy store to buy the
water gun he had in mind for the son that waited.  When the son who
already had a water gun saw this amazing, super-soaker water gun his brother was going to get, he begged his Father to buy him one as well. 
His Father gently reminded him of the conversation they had before
buying the $1 water pistol and then went on to purchase the super-
soaker for the son that waited.  The boy was miserable because he
realized, had he waited like the Father asked, had he trusted the
Father’s plan for his life, he would have something so much better.  

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the son that waited.  I’m tired of settling for the $1 things in life that only satisfy a moment.  I want a super-soaker that will satisfy eternally.