Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pretty girls and mission fields

Ah, what the hay. I'm in the writing mood this evening as the rain pours down creating a pleasant cool breeze upon my back. Oh wait, that's the fan. Well, rain is better than snow. Actually they both kinda suck.

Perhaps we shall discuss something a little lighter and down to earth - though not any less spiritual of course. Sometimes we need to practice merging our everyday lives with our spiritual ones. The fact that I need to preface my thoughts with this shows how uneasy we are talking about everyday issues in such a 'spiritual' blog. Sheesh.

So, I often wonder about my dilemma I'm in these days. Who to marry. Will I even find this girl who fulfills all these narrow criteria I impose on her? Hope she forgives me. See, as a guy I'm naturally attracted to girls who are pretty, who have clear skin, dresses well, with a great smile etc etc. Honestly speaking (and I don't believe I'm actually being so open right now) I may catch a glance at a girl and tell God, "Did you see her God, that's the kind I want!" It's probably happened enough times that God has a pretty good idea what I'm looking for.

But the problem is, these girls that I fancy are not really suitable for me. At least, I don't see how they can be. The ones that I'm attracted are often the ones that half the population are also attracted to. It's not like I'm so different in my tastes than most guys. In a word, these girls are "hot" (no need to take read this term in any sexual way ... it's a figure of speech). The problem with 'hot' girls is threefold: they are either not Christian (therefore sharing nothing in common with me), or they are either taken (happily and longtime taken), or they are the kind who would never dare to leave the city to go with me to the mission field to live in a mud hut and squat defecate. Statistically (generally, not absolutely -- please don't take any offence ladies), girls who are called by God to go to the mission field are not the most gorgeous of girls. They don't style their hair or keep close tabs on their weight. Missionary women are always saying that there are not enough Christian guys to marry. But seriously, are we the only ones to blame? God, please call more attractive girls to the mission field.

So, my conclusion. 1) God miraculous provides. Though this might cause a frenzy of competition that I could do without; 2) I lower my standards for physical attraction and stop being so primally male; 3) Celebacy? So far the best option I must say.

Marching orders

It’s often hard to take orders from someone, especially when you feel that person isn’t worthy to be obeyed. My experience in the army has taught me that the best leaders are the one’s who were once ‘grunts’, low-ranking soldiers who have had their experience of receiving orders, as well as scoldings and punishments. I remember people like Sargeant Johnson and LCol O'Brien. I'd go to war any day with these men and so would anyone in our company. They've been there, out in the rain, blistering their feet. We'll do whatever they say because their experience has earned our respect. They lead well because they once followed well.

A centurion beseeched Jesus to heal his beloved servant, and all that he required Jesus to do was to say the word and it would be done. Here is a man who understood authority, who was convinced that Jesus was willing and fully capable or entertaining his request. Because of Jesus’ authority, all that was needed was his word, and it would be done. Jesus had already proved himself to be worthy and completely dependable; he is infinitely worthy of respect and faithful obedience.

Is Jesus’ word enough for me to obey? Do I enthrone the power of Jesus’ command such that his word becomes my will? To the centurion, the severity of his servant’s sickness and the Lord’s physical presence at his house were inconsequential. It doesn't matter how sick he is, it doesn't matter if you come to my house or not (though I rather you do not because I am not worthy). Just say the word! And Jesus commended the Centurion's faith. Our biggest problem is not that we do not hear properly, but that we do not believe. God is only hindered in as much as we do not take him at his word.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

words that silence

words. so many words.
saying so many things, but who is listening?
does it even matter?

as long as we live in this material world
the word must become flesh.
Jesus has already demonstrated what it means for God's word
to be in line with one's life.
it is easier to speak words than perform deeds.
it is not enough to speak the truth
it must be spoken in love.
that's the hard part.
"I will follow you Jesus ... but first let me bury my father"
"I will follow you Jesus ... but first let me say goodbye"

deeds. so few deeds.
doing so few things, and how great is the need?

Lord, help me do more
and say less.

The Lesson of the Red Tile

it's always wrong to compare yourself with others.
God has created you in his own image in a way that
is unlike his image in any other person. You specifically
and uniquely reflect a facet of God's image; thus, your
indivduality matters to God. to compare yourself
with another person is to duplicate that very facet
and effectively minimize God's image thereby denying
his manifold expression of his glory.

If you are a red tile in the stained glass window of
God's image, you must not compared yourself with a green
tile, nor does it make any sense to do so. They are two
different entities, made with two different sets of
characteristics or two different purposes. The red tile
must only be the red tile and function where he has
been made to function, for only there does his
characteristic find meaning. The red tile cannot wonder
why he is not a green tile, for that is only for the
green tile to share with his designer. Of importance
is only whether the red tile is being the best red tile
he can be. Whether he is fitting perfectly in his
appointed place, shining with perfect brilliance and
clarity as the light passes through. Again, it is the
light and not the tile per se that is of ultimate
significance. It was for the light that the tile was
created and it is with the light, and nothing else, that
colour is achieved and it is in the light
that beauty is beheld.

the light does take away or diminish the character of
the tile. Conversely, it reveals how truly brilliant
the tile really is. Likewise, when Christ became
incarnate into flesh, he did not substract or diminish
the essence of man; rather he revealed what man could
be and was meant to be. Conforming to Christ's image
means having Christ incarnate into our beings, which,
in no way takes robs us of our essence or unique
character. his light shining through us will reveal
how brilliant we truly are.