lundi, mars 30, 2009

Isaiah 35:1

sometimes i look at the ground and things are dry and life is sparse.
and then i look up at the sky, and i know that even in the desert times, He is as majestic as ever.

vendredi, mars 27, 2009

on sin and the sinner.

The thing about growing up in a Christian home is that all too often it is easy to become blasé about the sinful nature. At least, i know for me it is. It's as though intellectually i know i am a sinner, not just prone to sinful acts, but on the heart level, my sinful nature rarely leaves me feeling ashamed or convicted.

It's remarkably easy to brush off sin, or to know there is sin in my life and work on it, but not passionately desire to be rid of said sin. When you grow up learning about the law/rules/morality in Sunday School, it's so facile to believe that you are a good person. Mmm a little sin there? Oh that's okay, just work on getting rid of it slowly.

The problem is, the Bible does not treat sin this lightly. It does not regard sin as a deviant fixture in our lives that can be fixed like a painting on the wall. It's not the painting that is crooked, it's our hearts; it's the morphology of our DNA that is crooked and in shambles, just like a rotting house, crumbling to bits.

"None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."
"Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive."
"The venom of asps is under their lips."
"Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
andW)"> the way of peace they have not known."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."

This is what Paul says in Romans about the condition of the human heart. i am not good. And it is a lie to believe that i could be anything otherwise by my own morality and good "christian conscience."

Today, for the first time in a long time, i realized just how sinful i am. i saw how destructive my sin nature is, and how dangerous it is to not pay heed to the severity of this nature.

Morality is not a substitute for God.

Sometimes, i trust the persuasion that says, "i am a good person, i would never do that," when there is no doubt, sans God restraining me (with or without my knowledge), i would probably be a whoring, perfidious kleptomaniac (have i ever said that sometimes i have a strong desire to pickpocket, just for the sake of the thrill?)* with a really bad emo haircut.

As i saw my sin, i was broken. Shamefaced. i saw how my sin had repercussions that were too large to hide, too deeply etched in to buff out, too severe to ignore, and i cried out saying, "i don't know how to change."

You see, once you come face to face with the idea that sin is serious and grave, you realize that it isn't the law that can save you. It doesn't matter how many rules you put into place, how moral of a person you are. Romans 3:28 says, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law."

As i realized this, i was led to Isaiah 54:

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.

And then i knew that though the morphology of my DNA is crooked, through Redemption, i have been given new life, new DNA. i knew that the only One who can cause change in my heart, the only one who has made me righteous is Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 3:22), and the only way fruit has been produced in my life has been through the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. He is the new DNA, that knowing this, the simple Gospel truth, is so much more freeing than living according to my morality or to the standard of "Christian" that was set out for me, so many years ago when i was in sunday school, being taught about how to be a good person.

*to clarify, i don't actually act on this desire! not out of my "goodness", but mostly because i am too much of a pansy to put myself in precarious positions, and also because i am no matt damon in oceans 11. butterfingers. oh yeah, and i believe in Jesus, and i don't think mr. Jesus would want me to do such a thing. So because i love him, i won't. don't you worry your little heart.

lundi, mars 23, 2009

on cell phones and buses.

i get to the airport last evening, and in big block letters: "JL 710 flight is CANCELLED."

My cousin, who brought me to the airport asks, "Is that your flight?" and i wave my hand dismissively, saying, "Nah, that's not my flight..." until i looked at my eticket, and realized it was indeed my flight.

So eventually, i hop on a different flight and make it to Japan. In Japan, i have to take a bus to terminal 2, so i head towards that area, and see people lounging around. When does the bus come, i ask.

"In one hour," they reply.
"One hour??"

i sit down, and pull out my cell phone, and apparently, cell phones don't get service here; at least not the cell phones that the rest of the globe uses, because Japan is too high tech for the rest of us.

i don't get it. Every other airport in the world has a bus or a train that shuttles between terminals at least every 15 minutes. This one has bus service every hour. !!! . So their bus service runs like it's the stone ages, but their cell phone service is so advanced that the majority of people from the 21st century can't even use the service.


[update: so my flight might not run today...because of the plane crash. Which means i'll also miss my flight from NY to Monts. haha. We'll see what happens.]

vendredi, mars 13, 2009


mercredi, mars 11, 2009

assumptions, assumptions.

It's funny when you get into a relationship, because all of a sudden, people assume things of you. They assume that you don't want to spend time with your single friends (and thus, your single friends seem to avoid you like the plague), they assume you want to talk about your relationship (another reason why the singles avoid you like the plague), when really, all you want to do is be the same person you once were and hang out the way you used to.

It's frustrating sometimes, because once you get into a relationship, people treat you as though you're a different person...and maybe in some ways, you are. Changes in life are bound to lead to some changes in character or in habits or schedules. But at the same time, i don't know. I'm still Lydia. For the love of martha! It's only been two weeks.

i still like hanging out with my single friends, i still like being alone and sipping tea and looking at the sun warm my window. i still like going on random adventures with random people, and i still like talking about theology and having debates and talking about very non-girly things.

i don't know, i enjoy this new relationship, but i don't feel as though i need to talk about it all the time, nor do i want to talk about it all the time. i just want to enjoy life, ALL of life, not just this one new part of my life. And i wish, just wish, people wouldn't make assumptions about what i want to talk about, what i want to do, how i want to spend my time, or who i want to spend my time with.

i wish people wouldn't let a relationship define me (except for my relationship with Jesus) when it's not how i define myself.

mercredi, mars 04, 2009

on tiredness and perseverance.

Life is busy these days, and i feel like i'm reaching that end-of-semester hump, where the finish line is in sight, but my muscles are screaming out bloody murder. Winter is still here, but i'm yearning for springtime.

What do you guys do to keep trudging along when the mid/end-of-semester hump comes your way?

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. ~ 1 Cor 9:24-27