Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dynamite: Soaring on Silver Wings

Recently I had the opportunity to soar above the clouds and watch majestic mountain ranges float by beneath me. As I was contemplating the amazing miracle of aerodynamics and the concept of being suspended in the sky, a train of thought started churning its wheels…

If I tried to break a window, jump out of the plane and fly, I'd be pronouncing my death sentence.

If I walked into the cockpit and started pushing buttons and levers because I thought we were going the wrong direction, I'd probably get myself in a predicament, dead or alive, that wouldn't be enviable.

Why? Because I have no knowledge of flying.

Later that week the same thought train picked up speed after reading this verse:

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." {2 Corinthians 12:10}

Familiar? Yes, I'm sure it is for most people. I know I've read or heard it at least a hundred times.
Yet sometimes we never slow down enough to really internalize, really grasp the significance

I turned to the literal Greek translation of this verse, eager to gain a deeper blessing.
And as I read through the Strong's definitions of the key words, I was struck by the poignancy of this concept.

Allow me to share my literal translation of this verse…

"This is the reason that I take delight in being left without strength, being the recipient of stinging insults, experiencing hardships, being chased and forced into narrow corners and situations for Christ's sake; because it's when I have no strength left that I am dynamite." {Glesni's Literal Translation}

Going back to the airplane analogy, it's when I realize that I can't fly by myself…
when I admit I don't even know how to guide the plane or run the controls…
when I merely sit back and admit that I know nothing — that's when I soar on silver wings.

This is how my life becomes dynamite.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Return from Silence

I've wrestled with many things over the past few months. In fact, I am still wrestling with things.
Life isn't easy. And I wouldn't want it that way.

You always know you're in trouble when the devil leaves you completely alone.

But in the midst of my various life experiences over the years, especially this past one, I have learned some precious lessons. And it's high time I begin sharing again.

Because why keep something to yourself that is transforming your life or has done so in the past?
It all boils down to selfishness, not enough time, not prioritizing. 

I'm not making any promises about blogging every week or every month. I know the hecticity of life and the demands of time far too well.

Rather, I am merely seeking to share thoughts along my journey in the hopes that someone else might be blessed too.

"God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service." – Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Is Jesus Enough?

I recently watched a short video that had a profound impact on me. 
So profound of an impact that I'm sharing it with you. 
Because these are questions we need to ask.

Questions I need to ask. Questions you need to ask.

Our world is not the same place it was ten years ago, or even five. 
Events are happening world-wide that should cause us to wake up and pay attention.

It's not time to sleep, my friends. It's not even time to live life as usual.
It's time to seriously reevaluate life and ask yourself some important, life-altering questions.

Is there something in my life that I can't imagine giving up?
It could even be something good. But if it's coming between you and God, something has to change. 
It could be friends, family, a relationship or social media.

Now let me just speak to social media for a quick minute here. This tends to be an area of struggle for me. I'm just being real. It's so easy to become sucked into a vicarious life online. It's easy to waste minutes, and even hours, scrolling up and down your feed, even if it's good things you're looking at.

The question here is this — is this coming between me and God? Do I reach for my phone first in the morning, or do I reach out in prayer to heaven? Be honest…

Where do you spend the best hours of your day?
We all live full lives, right? But our best hours… do we spend them on Facebook or do we spend them before the throne of God? Where are our priorities? When we need a quick breather between studies, do we go to social media, games, music, or do we go to God?

Who or what gets our best time, our best energy?

If everything was stripped away, would Jesus be enough for you?
Would He be enough? Would He? 

Watch the video and be inspired by a man who spent an entire year in dark, solitary confinement with one scanty meal a day and yet would do it again in a heartbeat because it was "like a honeymoon with Jesus." 

This is true fulfillment. This is the essence of the Christian walk. 
And these are questions to the heart. Personal things to work out between you and God.

I have my fair share of obstacles to surmount in my own life. But this one thing I know… 
I want to give up whatever is holding me back so I can have a continual honeymoon with Jesus.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Already Won

It's been a year. I never planned it to be that long. I never planned to take a hiatus at all.
It just happened. Life happened. 

And life is still charging on with no sign of relenting, but I've decided it's time to push blogging a little higher on the priority list. Why? Because I believe sharing is important. 

Because faith lived is faith shared. 
Because thoughts articulated equivocate thoughts internalized.  

I've been reading about the martyrs of the reformation recently. 
Maybe sometime I'll share more. But just this one thought for now.

The battle is already won. 

Why are we afraid to live that way? 
Why are we afraid to die that way?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

When Love is Hard to Discern

Sometimes love seems hard to discern.
I mean, the divine love, the God-love.

When you feel that despite your best efforts, your life is out of control.
When you feel on the verge of a physical, mental, emotional breakdown.
When despite thorough studying and many prayers, you get a C on an exam.
When you come down with some variety of bug you picked up on a quick trip to Phoenix.

There are many things that happen on a daily basis that can make you question Love.

But I've found that actually, the reason that love is hard to discern is not the fault of Love.
Rather it is my problem because I have the wrong perspective.

It's like picking up glasses with the wrong prescription and expecting things to be clear.
You'll never see clearly until you have the right prescription.

And so it is with life.

Because when I realize my life is out of control, I run to Him for wisdom, not myself.
When I am on the brink of a breakdown, I cling to Him for strength, energy, renewal.
When I get a C, I realize that it's not the grade that really matters in the end, it's how I handle it.
When I come down with a bug, I'm thankful it's the weekend, and because of it I have a quiet Sabbath.

Through all these I realize that my God does love. Very much.
And these things are but proof of that love.

Love is only hard to discern when you have on the wrong glasses.

"He has given you continual evidences of His love in that He has given you adversity time and again..." 

*The Upward Look, 208

Monday, September 15, 2014

No More Airplane Mode

There's nothing like taking time to just disconnect from the outside world and enjoy family and nature. And that's exactly what I did this weekend. Bliss.

On one of our hikes up the mountain, Kiera and I decided to do some cross-country hiking to a little lake across the mountain bowl. Mom and Dad stayed behind and watched us from the mountainside since Dad's still recovering from his broken ankle.

As we made our way down the rocky slope and into the first of several valleys, we strove to keep our eyes on our goal, but as we dipped further and further, it became harder and harder. Soon we were just heading in what we thought was the right direction.

We continued on our very undulated trek and finally climbed the last knoll to find that we were quite significantly above the targeted lake. Although no harm was done, we did lose a chunk of time descending to the pristine little lake.

When we finally returned back to the mountain where our parents were waiting, I realized that Mom had been trying to text me when she noticed from her eagle eye perch that we were cutting up too high. I, however, had put my phone on airplane mode to save battery, and thus didn't see her messages. Because I didn't have my phone connected, I was unable to receive her guidance even though she desperately wanted to give it to me.

As I was reflecting upon the whole adventure later, it struck me that God must feel the same way. Here we are, down on this little earth. We don't have great perspective on our journey. Yet God can see everything from the end to the beginning, and sometimes He sees us cutting a little too high, or a little too low. And it pains Him because He so desperately wants to guide us.

God wants to save us time and possible misfortune, but unfortunately, the majority of the time we tend to have turned our "phones" off during the day and don't maintain the full-bar connection that we should. We don't memorize the Bible so that God can send us "texts" throughout the day by bringing scripture to mind. We don't put a high enough value on receiving minute-by-minute updates and counsel from our Ultimate Guide.

I have been challenged to rethink about how I go through my day. I need less time connected to my phone, and more time connected to my Maker. No airplane mode with Him. I want to keep in full service today!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Question is Why

It's been a long time since my last post. And I've been traversing the country and world between now and then. I've learned a lot of things. Maybe I'll be able to share some of them sometime…

I've met many people this summer between ASI and YD and GYC Europe.
Some were old acquaintances, some were new.

I was privileged to hear many of their stories. Many were filled with life and joy and hope. But I also listened to accounts of broken heart after broken heart, broken home after broken home. And as I did, one question haunted me…


Why am I so blessed?

Why was I born into a Christian home?
Why was I born in a country of religious freedom?
Why have I escaped the all-too-common broken heart syndrome?
Why was I allowed to homeschool without authorities knocking on my door?
Why do I live in a home where my parents still love each other and love me even after 23 years?

Why am I so blessed?

I've pondered that question the entire summer.

The truth is, I've been blessed, not because I'm more special than any other individual on the planet, not because I've merited it and not because my parents were good people.

I have been blessed for this reason only…

…that I might be able to live my life to bless others without distraction.*

"Freely ye have received, freely give." {Matthew 10:8}

* Note: I do face personal trials and struggles on a daily basis, but all are relative when you compare them with the Cross.