Friday, September 2, 2011

Humility vs. Glory

This is merely an expression of my thoughts, I write this so that I can organize what is jumbled up in my head. I don't claim to know anything, I am just trying to sort this out for myself in writing this. I have no idea what I am talking about, if any of this is correct or insight for anyone, it has absolutely nothing to do with me. I'm just thinking through some of what I think God is trying to teach me and this is simply me chronicling it.

Quick thought. Today in my BY-FAR favorite class that I have been in yet at Davidson, Sunni and Shiite Islam, (absolutely no sarcasm intended), we were watching a video on the military conquest of the early Muslim community and I thought back to the military pursuits of the Jews in the early Old Testament through which I have been reading of late.

God chose His people to glorify Himself right? Sounds pretty conceited. However, when I thought about it and compared it to what I was watching in the video, the military aims of the Jews were largely defensive. Sure there have been many military conquests in "God's name" over the years (the crusades come to mind), but I am only referring to the military pursuits in the Bible where God spoke to the King/Judge/Leader of the Hebrew community (often through a prophet, High Priest, or in David, Solomon, Samson, and various others' case, selective indwelling of the Holy Spirit) was told by God to fight or not to fight.

God defended His glory by defending His people. People saw the early success of the Muslim military conquests as proof of the reality of the Quranic God (don't judge me for capitalizing, I don't know the official rules on when and when not to capitalize, I'm sure it's in a Baptist/Sanhedrin/Catholic manuscript somewhere :), I only kid). I thought, what does that say about the God of the Bible, the God I believe in, when the Hebrew military pursuits were unsuccessful, and then it hit me. God has his hand in every single victory AND loss of the Jewish community. And the Bible attests to this in every case. And I've always wondered, if we are made in God's image and God calls us to humility (in the Bible), how can God be humble if they ultimate aim of all His actions, including the cross, are to exalt his glory.

"The cross is not a display of the finite worth of man, the cross is a display of the infinite worth of God. Not how valuable we are, but how valuable God is." -David Platt

What humility to allow His people to fail militarily when they did not obey His law that He made our best interest and reflection of His glory! God is a humble God.

I cannot understand the concept between glory with humility because I am a finite human that sees glory going against what God calls us to in humility, but this is the closest I can get. God WILLED His people to fail so many times in the O.T. because allowing His people to remain in rejection of His law was against his nature. God so perfectly intertwines the two in being willing to accept the consequences of the disobedience of His people when they reject the law which He made for our best interest.

Wow. Absolutely blown away. No words. Praise Him.

Friday, August 26, 2011

30 years ago, people studied Russian

My religion professor made an interesting anthropological point today in class. He commented on the popularity of Russian studies in 1980 when the Cold War was at a pique. Today, who studies Russian? The answer?

Very few people. No qualms against Russians, Russian history, and most definitely not against a great film about a Russian sniper in WW2 that is ironically casted solely with British actors/actresses, Enemy at the Gates. Seriously, great movie. But nothing against Russianism, just making the point that studying anything having to do with Russia or the Soviet Union was much more relevant 30 years ago.

Nevertheless, the study of middle-east and Islam in colleges/anywhere is most relevant among American students because of the current state of world events and the connection of political connection to Islam in the middle east. I am most definitely guilty of participating in the status quo because I am in a religion class that is an overview of Shi'ism, the minority faction of Islam.

My professor was saddened by the neglect of Islam as a whole, complete belief system because of the emphasis today in the west on the political aspect of Islam, which in fact is a smaller facet of what he believes is a greater whole.

One could witness the same trend existing in churches today because of the rapid growth of Islam (fastest growing religion) worldwide. I write this post only to say that if churches/christ-followers wish to reach any of the muslim community or any community of people that desperately needs Jesus, in the honoring of Acts 1:8:

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." ESV

Shouldn't I, as a way to resemble Christ, become an expert on the people for which God has put a love in my heart? In a world that equates ignorance and hypocrisy as synonyms of the word "Christian," I believe it would be a great tragedy for me to do anything less than become as knowledgeable of what I am up against as I can. I believe I must acknowledge and become an expert of knowledge of Satan, his schemes, his methods, and the existence of a place of eternal punishment which some church leaders, even mega-church leaders refuse to acknowledge. I also believe it is essential that I become an expert on any people group I am trying to reach out of a love that I believe is completely God-ordained.

Jesus was and remains a sinless expert on sinners. Would anything less be expected of me?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Oftentimes I find the purposes of social media misconstrued and all I read are people behind the curtain saying "NOTICE ME!"

We do it all the time always with no intention. Is it because we want attention? Is it because we just want justification for what we believe? I think it swells from an innate desire for relationship with others. We were wired for relationships and all different kinds of em.

Everyday that I live I discover that fact more and more. I have a need for relationship and not just one kind but multiple. My conversations and thoughts feel incomplete if I am not able to share them with people in different kinds of relationships: Close friends, Best friends, girlfriends, best friend that is a girl.

We learn skills, knowledge, and tendencies from relationships that can never be taught, only encountered. My life is never incomplete but it feels most incomplete when relationships in my life are lacking.

Seems crazy to think that people can be so inclined and wired for relationships and often miss out on the most important one they could ever have.

Monday, March 7, 2011


People fascinate me. How can someone be biologically created to function with different parts of the brain made for specific functions yet be so completely different in so many aspects. Our brains were created to allow us to think, to explore, to critically assess. All brains have the same physiology with minor differences. How have people become so individual with such uniformity in a brain? Maybe what fascinates me are not people but this fact: the answer to the question is not one answer. There are many answers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The missing piece

So simple a cue sets him off
It starts so easily, a song, a sight,
a symmetry of what was once normal.
a flash of bitter memory
playing over in his head on repeat
but he is only reminded of how

it ends.

A simple raindrop sparks the flood,
he fights against memory,
he wants to forget, to fight
against the waterfall of heartache
still pouring over his mind,
around what used to be

his heart.

The harder he fights the deeper
he falls into the trance of a
never ceasing, never ending
spiral staircase of what could have been.
He searches for the right patch
to sow on, an adequate cry

for help.

He doesn't know where to start
it's a constant search for
the beginning of an explanation
that will help, that could fix,
could patch the hole he knows is there,
could recover the missing piece of


Monday, September 13, 2010

"Live Life"

There are many perplexing things that come with a new chapter of life. At college, everyone starts with blank slate and all premonitions are forgotten or not cared about. Everyone knows everyone else is new to this too and people lose their awkwardness and make the conscious decision to put themselves out there. It was amazing to see how quickly relationships and groups formed here.

Davidson is a place of study. Students come ready to study, ready to do work, not ready to socialize. Students actually turn to work first before EVERYTHING else (at least the freshmen do). Davidson is it's own community and if I needed to, there would be no need for me to leave campus for months at a time, but me, I have to get out sometimes. I have to get in my car and listen to my music and think back to memories. What I miss most is not a person, not a friend, or a memory, but knowing who my friends are, and who can help me with what needs I have. Friendship takes time and it the only slow part of Davidson is that friendships have not formed that deep level of intimacy where friends are eager to become vulnerable with each other and seek out help among friends. I know it takes time but I just wish I could skip the stage and get to that level of intimacy.

However, people are ready to be friends and be friendly. Everyone comes with different backgrounds but with the same anticipation of what kind of group they want to be in. It seems as if God has acutely placed encouragements in my life to get me breezily through the first few weeks and I am ever so thankful. At my most disappointing moments, a package of goodies arrived for me and a card from a much beloved friend. It is these things that I look forward to getting one day from the people here at Davidson.

I had a revelation sitting in the lounge of the girls hall below us. There were about 2o people in the room, and I wondered how many of these people's weddings I would attend within the next 10 years. Funny to think about how fast our lives are changing. How ready will we be for these changes and what do we do to prepare?

I am constantly brought back to a phrase a good friend from back home constantly reminds me that is so meaningful yet so simple. This phrase has been on the forefront of my mind for my whole time and it is what I want to leave this post with. As an encouragement to everyone reading and to myself. Never forget to sometimes sit back and

"Live Life"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Always On My Mind"

We all have experiences that ring loud in memory. For me, the memories that ring loud are often very recent. I have been blessed with, oftentimes, a short memory which for any athlete or coach is a very good thing. However, there are moments both good and bad that ring out louder and forever hold that of a breath-taking landscape in the images of my mind.

Things like getting the first walk-off hit of my life as a 10 year old at Lenora Park in what now seems like a previous life, a morbid conversation in a Starbucks parking lot, my first ever and only Home Run, my 16th birthday party, the breath-taking view from the top of Whiteside Mountain in Highlands, NC next to a few of my best friends in the world, long conversations in a fast-food restaurant's back corner booth, crying with friends not knowing what to do next, and times of worship at Sharptop Cove.

The good, bad, and the ugly. These memories seemed to have disappeared in this whirling dervish of a time period called senior year. But now, this minute lapse of time is over and what lay ahead of me is the wilderness of Africa. As I crest the hill of the 19th year of my life, and as trip departure is now less than one week, I keep coming back to these various, few, dispersed memories of my life. I know it is not merely this upcoming trip arousing memories, but what the trip represents. I did not look at graduation as the end of this first chapter of life but I have for 2 years not looked towards this trip. When I return, THEN high school will be over, and it will finally be time to move on to what God has in store for me at Davidson, but what matters to me now, one of the greatest gifts God has and will ever bless me with is a finely tuned memory of what matters the most in this first, nearly finished chapter of my life.

The summation of all knowledge, wisdom, and life experience I have gained have brought me to this point, this trip to Tanzania, the trip of a lifetime. But these memories have become a broken record over and over in my head these past few weeks and they occur more often the closer the trip comes. I do not know how to explain only to say that I know God has something great in store for me and his mission for me in this world. It lies somewhere in the plains of Africa.

I have never understood the song "Always On My Mind" because the song writer seems to question what he has done in the past. He questions his decisions, mistakes, and victories. I have always had as a mission to "live life" to the fullest. But this song has relevance to me now.

I do not regret decisions, mistakes, and victories because I know that these memories have brought me to where I am and shaped me into the person I have become. These are the memories that will signify the first chapter of my life. These are the memories that will forever, for the rest of my life be "Always On My Mind."

Thank you to anyone who had anything to do with any of these memories. You're influence will be forever etched into my mind. I appreciate it all more than I can ever say, this is how I try to get as close to saying thanks as I can.

I will be keeping this blog up to date as often on my trip as possible. Prayers are graciously received. God has had me chase rabbits, dogs, deer, whatever you want to call it, various memories God has used in the first chapter of my life to form me into His likeness. Now, God has raised me for this point in my life, this trip, the beginning of a new chapter. Now, it is time to chase lions.