God & Chocolate

I love chocolate.

This is no mystery if you know me. I have a major sweet tooth, and it is always set to Dark Chocolate. Hersey’s, Dove, that one Aldi’s brand that is way to good to be sold at Aldi for that price; what ever it is, if its chocolate, I want it.

I must admit, when I pack my lunch I sometimes find myself wondering how I can score some chocolate for a after lunch desert. We usually don’t buy any for the apartment, mostly because I’ll tear through it; so I’m lucky that there are many candy dishes at my coworkers cubes.

But sometimes, random coworker will just drop off chocolate at my desk. To be kind, to say thank you, to bribe me into looking into a issue they have. What ever the reason, sometimes chocolate just finds its way to me.

The other morning was another example of chocolate just coming to me. A coworker of mine gave me some chocolate for helping her with a problem. As she left me this little prize, it dawned on me, that even though this is a small gift, God was blessing me with it. He knows my heart and he knows that I love and look forward to chocolate, and here he is taking care of that. It wasn’t a need, it wasn’t something super spiritual,  just a desire to have some chocolate. And here he is, a good good father, giving me some.

This isn’t one of those huge testimony type blessings, but for me, this is something that makes me happy. It was something that made my Monday more enjoyable, and if we think about, we all need something to make Mondays as enjoyable as possible.

God doesn’t just go after the big stuff, but the little things in life as well. Those small gestures, that probably don’t mean a lot to others, but puts a big smile on your face, like a piece of chocolate for lunch. God cares about our whole life, a 360 view of it. There is no area off limit to God, there is no area in our life that he doesn’t want to transform and bless.

I am so thankful for a God that cares of all me needs, even if it is as small as wanting a piece of chocolate.

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.

 

 

Dad’s Vinyls

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.”

image

I have always been the black sheep of my family in the music department. While I grew up listening and liking country my heart grew to love rock and metal. I loved the heavy riffs, the soaring guitar solos, the brutal breakdowns; I love rock! Even though rock and metal are my go to jams, I also listen to worship, classical, pop, folk, rap, and what ever else comes up. I love music in all it’s styles and forms.

While I don’t listen to the same music as my family, my dad has been my biggest musical influence. He did listen to classic rock, which introduced me to genre. We would often listen to it in the car; usually when it was him and I, and we would just drive. It was a great and fun time with my dad.

To go with it, my dad owned a record player (before the hipsters made it mainstream), and my favorite vinyls that he owned were John Croce’s Don’t Mess Around with JimLife and Times, and I Got a Name and the soundtrack Eddie and the Curisers (but when I was growing up, I never knew it was a soundtrack….even though it said Soundtrack on the record).

See it says Soundtrack *facepalm*

So while these records weren’t heavy rock these records really gave me a taste for the rock genre and all it could offer.

So thanks dad!

Rock On!

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!

If I was 6 again…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Life’s a Candy Store.”

If I could be 6 again and had 24 hours to do anything I would totally eat anything I want, and play out side the whole time. I couldn’t drive, or more accurately, it would be illegal for me to drive. So really all I could do was release responsibility and do what children do; eat and play. I would play with my sister, probably kick the soccer ball around. Play with our old dog, Magic.

I would be care-free and just do whatever came up. I have no schedule, no responsibilities. No where to be, no one depending on me, no job to go to.

I could take a nap, but I could do that now. I could watch old tv shows, but thanks to Youtube I could do that now too. The one thing I can’t do is replace the time with family, when we are all young(er).

I also picture it being autumn time. The fall is so much better, its a little bit cooler, the leavers are coming off. I can totally play in a big pile of leaves!!!!

And I could eat whatever I wanted. I’m six, I’ll burn it all off the next day. Weight sticks less when your younger, not like it does even in your twenties (why do I feel so old). I could even walk down to the ol’ penny candy store and buy a bunch of candy. I would talk to the sweet old lady who owned the place, and say thank you.

But yeah, if I had a day when I was 6 again I would only do two things, Eat and Play.

What Makes Us Human

“It absolutely questions what makes us human. And I don’t think we know anymore what does.”

This is a quote from Lee Berger, a professor from the University of the Witwatersrand, that led a team to discover “Homo naledi”, the newly found species in the Homo genus; which apparently makes them our ancient ancestors (Read the CNN report here).

Image of Homo Naledi

The find did not disturb me at all, I believe in what I believe and nothing can shake that. But what was disturbing was the claim that we don’t know why we are human because of this find.

In that, I believe Berger to be false. In the presence of something we don’t fully understand, we can often question what we believe, which could falsely lead us to completely abandon the truth for the sake of “progress”. This scenario can be found in all areas of life. But when you anchor yourself to God, even the many mysteries of life can not shake you. Even when you question, your foundation of faith will not crack, but only harden as you mature. Anchoring yourself to God will allow you to grow, not get tossed around.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

Fact

It is in that verse, we can find our human identity and value. We were created by God in his likeness. There are many interpretations that can be implied here, which could be a completely other post, but every implication is that what makes us human is God.

We are human because of God, and thus we are special because we are made uniquely in his likeness. No other species can boast of that, thus no other species is like us and holds our value. Note: does that mean we should be jerks to animals, no; but animals should not be valued equal to human life.

Nothing can destroy what makes us human, unless we forget the God who created us. That is why we must always get our identity from God, and not from the opinion of man or the forces of this world.

We were made in the image of God, by God and for God.

That is our identity.

Piled Up

So this is kinda overwhelming…. I have 22 saved drafts right now…

I need to sit down and focus on pounding some content out.

Though, it isn’t from total neglect. I am working on a novel, one that has been in my head for about five, six years now. I’ve finally decided to pen it and follow a life long dream of mine to publish a novel. I’m very excited about it and very excited to share it, but when the time is right (you really don’t want to see the 1st draft chicken scratch haha).

I’m also thinking of a monthly series so at least you guys can get a glimpse of my writing and style, and I would get some stories out there. But writing one story along with the slue of other (some are more important) priorities, makes a monthly series very unlikely.

So I’ll be updating this blog when I can, because I really enjoy reading and posting, and hopefully I’ll have something to show soon.

Thanks for reading!

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.