Syrian Refugees, Selfless Compassion and Pro Life

My heart breaks, for a lot of reasons.

For teens on drugs, for babies that are killed in the womb. Recently my heart breaks for Paris and Beirut. For all the families that have to move forward without loved ones. My heart breaks for all those who are being displaced by war and senseless acts of violence. My heart breaks for ISIS members, and I struggle between wanting them all dead so their hate can not harm anyone else and wanting them all to come to know Jesus and renounce their acts of hate.

There are a lot of feelings involved in wars and terrorist acts. Fear, hate, sadness, compassion, longing for hope, seeking peace.

These feelings can drive our decisions, like the decisions to set up camps for Japanese citizens during WWII.

There is a group of people in need, and are we just going to shut our doors to them from fear? We are just going to leave them stranded and in need outside, while we are inside where it is safe and warm?

I completely understand the risks involved. I understand that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, but there are a lot of genuine sheep and very very little wolves. When did compassion become a pick and choose event? When did compassion equate to having to stay safe?

I believe as Christians we are called to selfless compassion, selfless service; not safety. The Savior of the World (Jesus) did not save the world by putting his safety first, but the other way around. So shall our compassion reflect the selfless acts of our savior. Our compassion should not be a reflection of our political party lines, nor should it be used to garner political support.

Our compassion should be rooted in God’s love and given freely out to those in genuine need. And there is genuine need.

And one last thing:

If we are pro-life in the womb, we should be pro-life out of the womb. If we only support fetuses living, but do not support people, what is the point. We will only grow the baby to hate them later. Lets value all life, at all stages of life.

 

 

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Life to Scale

I was reading Star Wars: Aftermath when my mind began to wonder off the page and started to think about what is going on in the universe at that very moment. Not like a fantasy imagination, but I thought about scenes that no one is seeing. Asteroids flowing through space, colliding with one another. A sun rise on a plant unknown. A sun going cold, or exploding. Solar Systems that we do not know of. Vast gaps where there is nothing but space.

It was cool to see the Super-moon lunar eclipse, and even then I was thinking about space and how massive its is. And even though it is massive, here is this cool little event happening, which is cool to us but not important to the universe.

Thinking about what could be going on in this huge universe made me ponder (once again) on how statistically insignificant we are. The unknown universe is about 13.8 billion light years; that is roughly 81,124,680,000,000,000,000,000 miles!!!! We fill a planet that is 7,195 miles in diameter. That means our existence takes up 0.0000000000000000008869% of the universe. We aren’t even a thousandth of a percent!

We do not matter to the universe. If we exploded the universe wouldn’t bat an eye.

But the ironic this is we do matter. We are massively important. We are important because God values us. He created us, and he loves us. Even if we seek war instead of love, even if we hate our brothers and sisters. God loves us and as revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ so we can know him.

This will never stop amazing me, the fact how we are so small but yet hold so much value.

But in reflection that is God’s MO, to take some one or something that seems small and insignificant and use it for his glory, to show who powerful and how loving he is.

What a great God we have!

Soulmate vs Chosen

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Yin to My Yang.”

I think the idea of a soulmate is very romantic but also very idealistic. Soulmate is a plot point for dramas and teenage TV shows. It makes me think of Dawson’s Creek when Joey tells Dawson “You’ll always be my Soulmate…” but I’m totally not going to date you right now, more like save you for later in case this other thing works out. I always thought Joey was leading both of them on and never really being true with either of them.

End of Dawson’s Creek Series End Rant. Side note: this is the only part of Dawson’s Creek I remember, everything else from that show is a totally blur.

Back to regular scheduled blog….

When I think of a soulmate, I think it is the end all be all person. The person that is just right for you; the person that your heart has been longing to be with, and you are not complete without. The person to whom your soul needs to be complete.

Taking that definition, I think the idea of a soulmate being applied to an earthly person misses the mark. It is a very romantic notion, but the idea of one person completing YOUR VERY SOUL is a very high mark. Its a lofty task with a lot of expectations and assumptions. So much so that no one can truly fit that mold; mostly because everyone fails at some point. No one is perfect, and we as human beings have a hard enough time managing our own lives let-alone being a significant other to some one else. The only being our soul really longs for, and the only being who can successfully take that mantle is Jesus.

Only he can completely satisfy and complete our very soul. When we die and go to heaven we won’t be trying to find a date or figure out a relationship, we will be the bride of Christ. We will be his! We will only be focusing on him. In Jesus our soul will find rest and completeness. Jesus is the end all be all.

That isn’t to say an earthy relationship is important or impactful to the heart. I love my wife. I LOVE my wife. I am so happy with her, and I can’t picture my life without her or with anyone else. She is amazing and I love her very much, and with her my life is better. She is my bride, for whom I will love for the rest of my life, and for whom I have chosen to be my only romantic love the rest of my life.

She is my Chosen, only her and no one else. So while no one on this earth can fulfill the mantle of a Soulmate, one person can take the mantle of being our life long chosen companion. And in that area I know I’ve found the best one, but I’m completely biased 🙂 🙂 🙂

My New(ish) Friday Jams (9/25/2015)

There are a few jams for this fine Friday (the goal is newer albums or singles), but really only one stands superior to all:

Andy Mineo – Uncomfortable

Uncomfortable

Okays, so this album dropped last weekend; but I’m still cranking it in my Batman earbuds. It has a mix of catchy hooks and bars that are fire and convicting. It boasts his most personal tracks yet, and the emotion translates very well across the flow of the album. Definitaly one of the best albums of the year so far.

Tracks to rock to: “Uncomfortable”, “Now I Know”, “Hear My Heart”, “Vendetta”, “Love”

Marty- Marty for President

Marty for President

So Marty from Social Club, released a solo 6 track EP. Like Marty, its fun, relevant, and reflective. It feels like a different style (more laid back, slower, groove oriented tracks) then Social Club but its still as good.

Tracks to rock out to:  “The One Where She Stayed,”, “The One with My Friends”

Ryan Adams- 1989

1989

Found this little gem while perusing Spotify. This CD makes Taylor Swift songs easier to listen to. I don’t know if I actually like this or just think its funny. He isn’t making fun of Taylor, but yet his voice makes it fun. It brings more of a rock/blues/folk feel to the pop heavy songs, so more my style; some songs do remind me of Gaslight Anthem, which has a style of love! Overall a fun album for all, Swift lovers and haters.

Tracks to rock out to: “Style”, “All You Had to Do Was Stay”, “I Know Places”

What are you listening to today? Have you listened to any of these albums? Let me know in the comments below!

God. Is.

Holy,

Strong,

Mighty,

Love,

Pure,

Kind.

God Is:

like a strong tower against a raging storm,

like gentle reassuring touch on your shoulder,

like a roaring lion protecting his cubs,

like a monsoon in the desert,

like a taste of sweet honey on the lips.

God is

the ancient of days,

the one who was,

the one who is,

the one who is yet to come.

God. Is.

Why in America?

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. “

-President Obama

So why America? In a land of abundant freedom, why do we find abundant chaos? Is it the lack of laws? Is it the rednecks with all their guns? (Okay that might have some legitimacy to it, but that’s for another time)

If it stemmed from the lack of laws then did our forefathers encounter this much violence, this much senseless killings?

Or is there another problem plaguing America?  A deeper yearning that aches in violent ways?

A law can only make a man’s actions illegal, but it will never change the heart.

“Desperate men do desperate things”

-For Today Call to Arms

What happened in Charleston was tragic, and can be hard to grapple in terms of why would something like this happen. Its even harder to swallow when we hold it up to the other senseless violence that have occurred in this country in the past year alone, much less five or ten years.

It is clear America has a sickness, and it is not from a lack of laws. We need unity, we need a leader, we need love. And the only person who can offer all this is Jesus Christ. Only in him could you find a rigid religious man, a patriotic zealot, a thieving tax collector and a bunch of blue collar workers together in united community.

15 Reasons Why I love to Hangout and Disciple Teens

This is not an exhaustive list but really the first 15 that came to mind. Youth ministry can be fun and very rewarding so I just wanted to voice my opinion. So without further ado, here is the list of 15 reasons why I love to Hangout and Disciple Teens.

  1. They are just fun
  2. They are full of soooooo much energy
  3. They think of things and view things in a way you would have never thought of
  4. They do things you would have never thought of
    1. This could also be very frustrating…
  5. They will tell you what they are thinking
    1. Sometimes. So if they do take that as a privilege and honor.
  6. They will tell you if they are bored or don’t like something
    1. This, I believe you need no special privilege for
  7. They give you a new insight on life and growing up, not necessarily by the wisdom they share but by their life, their struggles and triumphs.
  8. They will blow your mind in how much they do actually know and pay attention
    1. It might look like they aren’t, but they are listening
  9. I love to see teens grow personally, spiritually, in maturity, and in every area of their lives
  10. I love to see those “aha” moments
  11. I love to see when teens start grasping their calling God has on their Life
  12. They will push you to define what really matters in a ministry
  13. When they find their identity in Jesus and start living a life on fire for him.
  14. Its all about the feels bro!!!
  15. They keep me young….. because apparently I’m really old (I’m only 23….)

I love the teens that the Lord has blessed me with in the youth group (I refrain from saying MY youth group, because it isn’t mine it’s theirs), and I’m excited to have even more teens and even more awesome encounters with God and with this community.

Waiting (The Day Before Pentecost)

On this day in history the disciples were waiting. They weren’t going out speaking, they weren’t “doing church” they were waiting on Jesus. And by waiting on Jesus they were obeying his commands; for he told them to wait until they received power from on high. Tomorrow is when they were filled with the Holy Spirit but today they were praying. As I reflect on today I wonder if I pray like I depend on it, like my very life depends on it, like every fiber of my being depends on Jesus? Do I wait on God or do I bulldoze my own agenda “for God”? I always like to be moving forward, to be doing something, but today I’m reminded that sometimes it’s God’s will for us to wait and pray to him with everything we got. For when we pray he answers!

Read the Bible in 2 DAYS!!!

PersonalCreations.com, who posted this info-graphic (which is also below) about how long it would take the average reader to read a given book. According to the info-graphic the Bible takes 43.79 hours to read. This is if you read at a speed of 300 words per minute (hopefully those are all small words or I’m really slow).

Since there are 24 hours in a day, that means you can read the Bible in two days with about fours hours to spare. OR you can read it in 2 months, reading an hour a day. This makes those Read-the-Bible-in-a-Year plan look like a walk in the park.

Please include attribution to PersonalCreations.com with this graphic.

How Long Does it Take to Read