Adventure

I think part of the human drive at least for the male of the species is adventure.

As I go outside my door today to go to work, I go hoping for adventure. If there’s a kid missing in the store or someone possibly stealing something, I’m on it immediately. Most higher-ups don’t really understand. I think any guy would though. We want to be part of something great.

Maybe that’s why we don’t feel satisfied in our lives often. We want there to be something more. A guy like me wants to have a dragon to slay. I want to have a lost treasure to pursue. I want to have a princess to rescue.

Yeah. I’ve read Wild at Heart. I think it’s right on this one. I think of so many of the Final Fantasy games that I love where they often start with one ordinary guy just going about his day and before too long, he’s out saving the world.

Could it be this is something put in us by God? It goes along with the command to be fruitful and subdue the Earth. Explore it. Have fun. Love your wife! Be a man!

Aye. That’s something our culture doesn’t tell us enough of. We men are not told that we have the right to be men. Masculinity has been shunned by the culture and men are becoming increasingly feminized.

Femininity is a wonderful thing, but it is wonderful for females to have it. Masculinity is for us men and we need more men who are men instead of men who are cowards and living under the thumb of political correctness.

I say man is a warrior. Man is meant to fight. Man is meant to be the knight to slay the dragon, find the treasure, and ride off with the princess. The princess is to be a princess, but to win her, the knight must be a knight.

Yes. That drive for adventure is strong, and I think God’s kingdom needs more adventurers who are willing to face the dragons of false ideologies, search for the treasure of truth, and rescue the lost souls for the kingdom.

 Wanna fight?

Friends worth fighting for

Readers of my blog know that it’s been a hard week. I haven’t said the reason why, but it’s just been a hard week.  Things haven’t made much sense and it’s those times where you do a lot of soul searching and you don’t like a lot of the stuff that you see but you know you have to deal with it in some way but you don’t know how.

I was talking with a friend of mine last night and I realized I have a lot of anger for instance. I have anger towards some friends and anger towards some family and anger towards various other people. There’s anger towards myself as well and to be honest, there’s anger towards God.

I was talking to a friend of mine last night and talked about how it seems that I never stand up for myself. It seems that someone will say something to me and even if they don’t mean it in a bad way and are just joking, I feel lowered in the process, but yet I just seem to roll over and let them say it.

I was discussing this with a friend on how we’d stand up for each other. It seems that we’ll gladly stand up for each other, but we won’t stand up when it is ourselves under attack. I started thinking about this and as I was doing so, I was really thinking about the value of my friends.

<> I recently bought Final Fantasy VI Advance. I love the Final Fantasy series and I think I see the power of friendship in them. No one wants to go on in the party without the others. If a character in the story dies, it is an actual loss. The characters don’t go through saying “X is expendable.” No. They’ll all willingly risk themselves for everyone else that they meet.

People who role-play often know this. You don’t just play with characters. You play with friends. You’re all in it together. You don’t just have your warrior. You have your healer as well. You don’t just have your wizard. You have your character who can get in and out quickly also. The team stands together.

Are you willing to fight for your friends? Are you willing to come alongside them. It has been said “Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” The hardest battle is not against flesh and blood. Your friends are battling many times even if they don’t show it. Are you willing to fight with them.

<> If you’re willing to do this though, are you willing to do it for yourself? Are you willing to see that if your friends think you have value, that maybe they could be right? Remember, you are told to turn the other cheek. You are never told though to be anyone’s doormat, not even of the people you love.

<> You are an image-bearer of God. Treat yourself like one.

To the source

In my continuing quest through this week, I chose to read some C.S. Lewis last night. I have a book that takes some selections from him from various works. I read something that particularly moved me to the degree that after I got done with it, I went on and turned out the light.

<> Lewis mentions what we are so easy to forget and draws a great parallel from it.  He points out that if we wanted to be wet, we would be in water because water naturally conveys the property of being wet. If we wanted to be warm, we would get near fire because it naturally conveys the property of being warm.

<> Where do we go for happiness? For holiness? For masculinity and femininity and so many other things? I would say we go to the source. We go to God. The more we draw near to God, the more those attributes are conveyed upon us as well as is fitting our character. (Masculinity for males and femininity for females for instance.)

Yet in all of this, we are not destroyed. God is the ultimate purifier. For our lack of happiness, the more we draw near to him, the more unhappiness will disappear from us. The more we draw near to him, the more unholiness will disappear from us. We will slowly become the people God created us to be while still being who we are.

We are in his image after all.  We are to be in such a way that we perfectly reflect him and all that does not reflect his qualities will be destroyed. This does not mean we’ll be omnipotent or omniscient. It does mean though that he will not see anything in us that goes against him.

<> Lewis is right for all of us then. We need to draw near. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you.

Where Can You Go?

If you read my blog yesterday, you know I wasn’t in the best of moods. Well, it’s kind of continued. It’s an emotional roller coaster going up and down and I have never learned to gain control of my emotions. I tend to follow them whereever they lead so that if I feel something, I tend to think it is true.

<> That’s something I must work on. I don’t suspect I’m alone in this. Sadly in our day and age, we have given feelings a high position and I blame the church in many ways. Do you have any idea how sick I am of hearing people talk about feeling led to do X and to hear in a church service that “If you feel Christ calling you, come down and be saved.” I’m thinking, “Come down and be saved regardless of how you feel because the message is true!” There was even a lady I talked to once who wanted to be a missionary but never went because she never “felt the call.” ARGH! Well, I digress….

My point at this is where to go. Where do you go when all your feelings are in a mix and your thinking is being held hostage? Where do you go when it seems at times that your whole world has been torn upside down? Where do you go when you really don’t feel like you can trust those around you and in many cases, they’re the ones you’re angry with, and you don’t think anyone understands?

I say, go to the truth. Go to the one who holds all the statements. He knows all the truth about you because he knows all truth, and yet he loves you anyway. I pray that he will reveal not just himself to me, but reveal me to me. Let me see me the way that he sees me. Why would I want a view of myself contrary to the way God sees me?

Now some of us might be thinking that it will be a negative view. Well, it won’t be a perfect view, but if you have some true faults you can work on, don’t you want to know them? If you have some awesome stuff about you that’s true, don’t you want to know it also? The only one to go to is the one who knows for certain. Friends can be wrong. Family can be wrong. Opponents can be wrong. YOU can be wrong. I can be wrong. God cannot.

Where do I go to when my world is a tumble then? I go to the one who holds it all together. I invite you to do so also. He’s waiting.

Letting it out

It has been an unusual morning. I slept in til about 10 A.M. It could have been later as I remember turning on the light at 10:30 and I’m not sure if I fell asleep betwen then or not. I didn’t have to be at work until later, but it is still unusual, especially since I really didn’t feel like getting up and it wasn’t just because of the thought of going to work.

This morning, I’ve been angry about something. I don’t think all anger is a sin, but I don’t think my anger is entirely justified. I don’t really want to say what it’s about, at least not at this point yet, but it did have me upset.

 I’m still the type of person that can go about my day normally but inside, there’s just something stewing. I recall today having feelings of anger towards friends, family, myself, and my God as well.

The last one is the one I’ve chosen to blog about tonight. Do you ever have those times of anger towards God? I will be quite skeptical if you tell me no. I find it quite comforting at times to read passages in the Bible like Jeremiah’s complaints, Habakkuk’s questions, and Job’s diatribes. These people had the same kind of questions that I had.

The Psalms are filled with this kind of language. I think about this because people often say “Well we shouldn’t get angry with God,” or “We shouldn’t question God.” You know what? I think they have a point. Maybe we shouldn’t.

But we do.

So what do we do then? I recommend we be honest. What good does it do to hide your feelings from one who is omniscient? Do you honestly think you can put on a show before the throne that life is just great when inside, your soul is saying that it really isn’t so?

And so I do. I think bottling up the feelings just makes them come out later when they’re even more difficult to deal with. I say go on and let them out. This is done through prayer, talking with friends, enjoying an activity, and writing. I write poetry for instance. Different people can think of other things they do.

The main thing though is to be honest. If you can’t be honest with God, then that will show even less trust in him. He is the Counselor and a counselor is one you are to be able to trust all your feelings to, even the negative ones.

Go ahead. He already knows. He’s a big God. He can take it, and he can help you through it.

You can’t always get what you want

While at work on break yesterday, I was in the break room when a younger worker I’m a friend with came in. Myself and an older lady were in there. She’s double my age I found out from hearing her speak. We were talking about increasing the minimum wage and I said I was against it.

<> I gave my reasons why and the lady chimed in. She told me how she had had surgery and had been forced to live rather destitute surviving on leftovers from neighbors and charity. Many other such circumstances were spoken of, but she agreed with my conclusion. We started talking about how the government tends to pay for everything these days.

I was heading out and mentioned that government had paid for my college since I’m considered disabled, but I didn’t want any more of that. It was a help to my parents then, but when I go to seminary, I intend to pay every penny unless I get scholarships, which I believe are earned. She told me that God would bless me for that and I may not always get what I want, but God will make sure I get what I need.

I thought about that. It’s easy to take it as a way of thinking God will care for you when you trust him, but I thought of how much all that we have is that God sometimes does give us things we want and don’t necessarily need. I have so many cool items around my place here that I don’t “need”, but I sure want, and it’s my blessing to have them.

I thought of my dream of having a wife someday also. When you think about it, no one “needs” a spouse. No one will go to their grave for not having a spouse. However, the human race as a whole definitely needs marriage. (It helps keep the family in stock and this intercourse thing we’ve found out is pretty good at making the next generation.)

I hope God blesses me with what I desire, but it won’t be because of need. It will be because of desire. God’s a good God. He gives us more than what we need. We are blessed beyond measure. If you live in America as I do, you should really consider how much you are blessed.

I think it’s best to be careful asking how much you want. When I pray for a wife, I don’t try to be specific. (Let her be X tall with X color hair for instance) My prayer has simply been for a beautiful lady with a keen intellect who will love Jesus more than she loves me and who I can get to spend my life treasuring.

There are times God says no to our requests. Wouldn’t the world be chaos if he always said yes? Is it because God doesn’t care about what we desire? No. He made the things that we desire awesome. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. Sunsets don’t have to be beautiful, but by grace they are.

If there is one gift I do enjoy though, it’s the gift of learning. I find myself looking forward to time alone here where I’ll just read and absorb. When I get a wife, I pray she’ll be one that understands that no matter how much I love her, I still need my time to myself. Rest assured though, she will get plenty of my attention later on.

<> So I conclude with the thought that God is good. We do get what we need, but sometimes, we also get what we want.

Skin-deep

I was at work today with an older lady I work with on the register and we were talking. I was speaking at the time when a beautiful female walks in. She notices that my eyes seem to divert for a minute and I have to remember where I was and then keep going. My co-worker isn’t offended. They know my character and they also know that I’m a guy.

Later, I have to step away and come back and there’s another young lady being rung up by this co-worker. I go and stand beside my co-worker and watch as she rings this girl up and bags her stuff and such. This girl was not showy at all and yet as she walked away I said “She was cute.” My co-worker smiled again and said she was friendly as well and then said to me “I’m glad to see you’re looking for more than a sex bomb.” (Yes. Those were her words.)

Personally, I am. I’m not denying that anyone who is seen as supermodel status is automatically someone I don’t want to be with, but it is often those that are simple in their beauty that are the most attractive. I said, for instance, that this second lady wore glasses and I personally find that attractive. The real beauties are the ones that don’t show it I find.

<> I also stated that I’d have to have someone who is more than just physical appearance. That is important, but it is not everything. I like someone I can connect with on an intellectual level. By now, readers know that I love the Smallville series and I absolutely adore Chloe. (Allison Mack! If you ever read this, please respond!) As I think about it, it’s not just because of her physical beauty, which she has and Clark should really wake up to, but because she’s also got a dazzling intellect and is quite assertive with herself.

The physical is nice, but I am again reminded that it is merely a pointer. Each physical aspect of our universe points beyond itself and says to go beyond it. If we treat the physical beauty as the end as we often do, we will miss out on so much more. I find a strange correlation with guys.

<> There is no secret that men like myself think about sex. However, I often wonder where we get the idea that if we want it to be the best, we need to get the lady with the best physique. If there is a correlation, I’m not sure how it’d be discovered. I think it’ll be just as awesome simply because I’ll be with someone I love desiring to please her and she’s desiring to please me. Where do we men come up with these ideas? I don’t know.

<> <>That person I marry though will be the person I die being married to or I will be the one she dies being married to. That physical beauty that looks so great now can fade over time. It is the beauty of the soul that I find to be the strongest of all. The bonding not just of bodies together but of souls.

<><>It is said that beauty is skin-deep. No. Beauty goes way beyond the skin. It reaches to the innermost. That is something to treasure.

Work and Play

I really tire of my job. Why? Because I’m like most of you and I would rather be doing other things. I really don’t enjoy my work. (For the record, my current work is not in ministry, though I am preparing for such a work. I do enjoy my time spent whenever I am in ministry.) The songwriter is partially right in saying “Girls just wanna have fun.” I think we’re all like that.

I think back to the Garden of Eden to see how far we’ve fallen. I do not think Adam was bored there. He was to work, but I think he could literally whistle while he worked. It was his great pleasure to get to serve in the garden. I also remember his other command in the garden. He was to be fruitful and multiply. I am sure Eve was a true beauty and I seriously doubt that Adam felt the task of multiplying was a punishment. (Indeed, this is one command that we can say the human race has safely kept.)

<> Yet that act of pleasure was also part of Adam’s work.  His pleasure was work and his work was pleasure. Why are we the opposite? It could be that we see no purpose in our work, and indeed, in many cases, this might be so. It could be the way others above us or around us treat us. It could just be that this isn’t what brings us to life.

Yet this could also be a clue. C.S. Lewis spoke about play being closer to the nature of Heaven than work. I believe he’s right. Work is done for an ends. Play is a means in itself. We will work so we can have the time to play later on. We do not play so we can have the time to work later on.

<> And maybe while we have so much to do it seems and strangely, so little time to do it, we should still take out time to play. It could help deal with our workaholics. Play helps us step outside of ourselves and see a world beyond us. In other words, play allows us to transcend the world around us.

Thus, in the words of a good friend of mine, “GO PLAY!”

Michael Shermer’s moral question

A number of skeptics have put this question from Michael Shermer to Christians on the nature of morality. “What would you do if there were no God? Would you commit robbery, rape, and murder, or would you continue to be a good and moral person? Either way, the question is a debate stopper.  If the answer is that you would soon turn to robbery, rape, or murder, then this is a moral indictment of your character, indicating that you are not to be trusted because if, for any reason, you were to turn from your beilef in God, your true immoral nature would emerge….if the answer is that you would continue being good and moral, then apparently you can be good without God. QED.” (Taken from Michael Shermer, “The Science of Good and Evil” pages 154-155.)

<> I fail to see how this is a debate stopper for a Christian theist. First off, Shermer has already smuggled in the categories of good, evil, moral, and immoral. Secondly, His question assumes that morality is a universal and objective absolute in that if you are not doing X, then you are being immoral.

<>What if God is the basis for morality? Well, you remove God and there is no morality. So you go out and rape and murder and such. “Wait! That’s immoral!” Really? Says who? Upon what will that be said if there is no moral basis. As soon as you remove the source of the categories, then the categories themselves go by by.

<>This also shows how built in our moral faculties are to us. I cannot imagine a world where rape is considered a good. Can you picture a world where it is honored to flee from battle?  Can you imagine a culture that valued dishonesty? (And you would have to assume they were being honest in telling you that.)

<>Now let’s suppose that he says that this shows us what a depraved person we are if we want to go out and sin without God. The answer is, that’s correct! That’s in fact what the gospel teaches! Our true nature is one in rebellion against God. Remove God and we are free to live as we want. The very fact we are like that is one reason we consider the gospel good news.

<>Now how would we live if there is no God? Would we be moral? Well what is morality without God? Why should anyone care? Is there such a thing as an ought in an accidental universe? Can you really say that I am being immoral if there is no such thing as a standard of morality that I am violating?

<>Shermer’s question is hardly a debate stopper. Now will he ask if I can be good without God? My answer is, absolutely not. Apart from him, we can do nothing as the Scriptures say. We are saved not by good works but we are saved unto good works. Do I need God to be good? You bet I do! Why? Because I am a sinner trapped by my own nature that needs the love of Christ to come out.

<>Remember friends. When someone tells you you’re differing from the measure, be sure to check their yardstick.

Putting them on the defensive

I’d like to suggest a technique I’ve been trying that seems to have amazing results. Too often, we have taken upon ourselves the assumption of modernity. This modern view cuts off the beliefs of the ancients and says that we must answer the knowledge (Though I’d say it’s what is falsely called knowledge) of today and if we believe God exists or morality is objective or miracles can happen, we’d better give a strong reason why.

My question is though, why should I take that assumption? Why should I take as it has been called “The Presumption of Atheism”? The action cuts us off from ancient times as if our time was the only time that ever knew anything. It is assumed that we know something that those ancients didn’t know that throws out the need for God.

<> What is that something?

<>That’s what I want to know.  What scientific discovery showed us that God doesn’t exist? What sociological fact did we discover that showed us that morality is relative? What experiment took place that finally disproved miracles for all time?

The last one is a particular favorite that shows the absurdity in trying to paint the ancients as idiots. Take the example that I’ve heard often of the virgin birth. We today do not buy into miraculous accounts of virgin births because we know better. We do? Got news for ya! So did the ancients!

Read Matthew. Joseph decided that he would divorce Mary in private. Why? Simple biology. Joseph knew what it took to make a baby and he knew he hadn’t done that with Mary so someone else had. Did Joseph know about chromosomes and DNA and such? No. He knew what it took though!

So to the skeptic of this, when did we discover what it took to make babies that they didn’t know? What about walking on water? When did we make this discovery? After Steve went under for the twelfth time and we just decided that maybe people don’t float naturally? What about the resurrection? Are we saying the family kept dead Uncle Bob in the living room in case he came back to life?

No friends. The ancients knew these were miracles as well as anyone else, and they were quite suspicious of miracles as well. Most of the time, people that chide the ancients as being uneducated and gullible are people who simply have not read the ancients. I would dare say that while we have more knowledge today, the ancients by and large were smarter than we are.

Thus, I say it’s time for the atheologian to answer some questions. I hope that you get a lack of answers as much as I have.