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.


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.

The Epic Bomb

I really like spoofs. People who know me will just be amazed that I find it hilarious to see something that makes fun of stuff constantly. (I can see the eye rolls now) I loved watching Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I loved watching Spaceballs. I saw a lot of Mafia and I enjoyed that movie as well. Thus, a friend of mine and I decided we’d go see the Epic Movie today.

I’m wondering who I sue to get those two hours of my life back.

It was bad enough that there was probably only one minute of footage worth laughing at in that whole movie.  If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve seen some scenes that look funny. Unfortunately, when you get to those scenes, you’ve seen so much stupidity that you just groan at those.

What concerns me the most is the kind of movie it was. The movie was raunchy entirely. There was far too much profanity in it and it seems that in our culture, sex has replaced comedy. If you can make enough dirty references in a movie, well it’s going to have to be funny by default.

I worry about the generation growing up that sees this as hilarious. While sex is meant to be pleasurable, I fear our society is becoming one that sees its purpose solely as pleasure. Why shouldn’t they since that “horrible inconvenience” of having a kid can be taken care of via abortion?

Indeed, as I watched, I kept thinking that in our society, nothing is sacred. What does that mean when a society has no sacred ideal to follow? What does it mean when apparently pleasure becomes our chief good? Of course, pleasure is not bad, but pleasure as an end in itself?

This leaves a quandary for a person like myself, the Christian single wanting to remain faithful. We think so much about the pleasure of sex, but then we can feel guilty when we see it so prostituted everywhere. As soon as you think about it, it is almost as if you are somehow making a woman into an object.

The Epic Movie is an Epic Bomb, but I am more concerned about the bomb in our culture. I am concerned about people younger than I who are growing up with no idea of what pleasure is, of what sex is, and of what anything of value is. They are a generation that has lost the idea of the sacred. There is nothing beyond their universe but them, and they seek to please themselves as the highest good, and pity anyone else who gets in the way.

We need pleasure pointing to the pleasure of God. We need sex seen as an enjoyable and fascinating act to be enjoyed within marriage. We need to see childbirth as a wonderful event in the life of a family. We need to be drawn back to the God we left behind and realize that there are some things in this world sacred and worth dying for, nay, living for.

The Epic Bomb has gone off. I intend to take it as a wake-up call.

Something’s not right

Have you ever seen children at a store? They’ll cry as soon as they can’t get something they want. It amazes me how many times some of them will say “I want it,” as if that was justification for the parent to shell out all the money they can and make their child happy. The Veruca Salt syndrome has taken hold.

Yes. Many of them may be spoiled and many parents are doing a good job avoiding that, but I wonder if there could be a clue here. I wonder if even little children seem to know that there is something wrong with the world. They have these wants and desires and there doesn’t seem to be a way to fill them so many times and these foolish parents, in their eyes, just can’t see how essential to happiness fulfilling these desires is.

Yes. They need some self-control, but do we not all have many of those same desires at heart? How many of us pray to God with our requests and ultimately, the only reason we can think of is “I want it?”  Oh, we can think of many ways this could advance God’s kingdom, but isn’t it ultimately the same request? I think now of how many times I was at Thanksgiving dinner and hearing my family pray that the food would be used to nourish their bodies for the advance of the kingdom. I would sometimes wonder, “This is nice to say now, but I really think you’re just thankful to have Thanksgiving dinner at the moment.”

I’m not condemning it either. It seems so many times though we just want to act pious when really, we’re asking for something we just want. I don’t think that’s always wrong. In some cases, it could be, but I also remember that God gives us all things richly for our enjoyment and that what father when his son asks for an egg will give him a snake?

Perchance for many of us that child side has been killed by ourselves. I intend to keep mine alive. I think this gives us a zeal for life if we keep it going.  I hope everyone would. Imagine going to bed and telling God you want more of life each night. You want to know him more. You want to love him more. You want to be more devoted.

<> Maybe you honestly don’t want that yet. I can relate many times. If you pray it though, I can imagine it being a reality soon. You can more enjoy the adventure of life as life is to be lived in God.

Thus, I say to go out and seek more. God’s given us a whole world as a playground. Let’s enjoy it.

The end of wonder

At the dawn of the 20th century, mankind had yet to explore the inner systems of the cell or the last frontier of outer space. We have plunged ourselves farther into both of these fields. As a Christian, we look with wonder at the inner-workings of the cell and realize it is a living factory. We see the vastness of space and we remember that the Scriptures say “And he made the stars also.”

However, as I ponder it, the atheistic worldview seems to seek to explain away wonder. This is not the hand of a designer fashioning out our system as it is. This is the hand of chaos. There is no guiding purpose and everything that seems to give wonder must somehow be dealt with.

<> We have seen the anthropic principle applied to our planet and how we are fine-tuned for life. What is the response? There must be another planet out there like ours. There has to be! Unfortunately, one has yet to be found and if the writers of the Privileged Planet are correct, there won’t be one.

What is next? We are a dot in the universe. We are just a small and insignificant planet. Since when did size determine the intrinsic value of something? Because we are small in comparison to the universe, we are not valuable? Need we also remind our friends that this is not a new discovery? The ancients knew how small the Earth was.

<> Let’s look at the small stuff now though. The cell is incredible in its structure. All it has and it’s able to reproduce itself. Yet what is the response? This is merely an accident. We are the ones who got lucky. I find it amazing that intelligent people work in a lab all their lives to try to prove that no intelligence was needed to begin with.

I believe wonder is anametha to the atheistic worldview. If there is wonder, there is something to be in awe of. It will either be God, or it will be chaos. I find it interesting that it seems chaos works so well and produces so much “good” on the natural level, but it is not applied on the moral level as well.

My advice? Appreciate the creation we have in the far reaches of the galaxy and in your own body. Never lose wonder.

Tears for the Beauty

We had a young couple come into my workplace today. They both work there and they were all dressed up for a Winter formal. The girl looked stunning. I have seen this couple several times, but there is something about them that saddens me. I know what’s going on. I know that they’re not married, and I know that they’re already sleeping together.

<> I got quite sad realizing that especially whenever the girl mentioned a hotel. My friend I work with asked me why I was so upset. Someone else even stopped and asked me if I was okay who worked there. I truly was saddened. It saddens me today how many beautiful women seem to give in so easily.

I don’t care about the statistics, though I hear they’re favorable. I don’t care about what’s popular. I care about what’s right. It sickens me that this is considered love. I don’t doubt that there is some real love, but I fear love is being overpowered by lust as I always see pre-marital sex as partially a lack of trust.

<> Of course, if a girl buys condoms, doesn’t that show she doesn’t trust already? Why go into the most ultimate form of vulnerability and at the same time, go through with protection from the one you’re making yourself vulnerable to? It’s such a contradiction. I am amazed at how many young people just miss it.

<> Am I saddened? Yeah. Some people could say part of it is longing for what I lack, and in some levels, that is so, but I also think of what Paul said about who is  led into sin and I am not saddened? It especially saddens me that it’s several beautiful young ladies. Yes. I know women seduce men just as well and are at fault many times as well, but my heart just beats harder for the ladies I suppose.

<> Young ladies. Please save yourself. You don’t want to risk going into your honeymoon night with regrets.


Yeah. I know I wrote about Smallville yesterday. After the episode I saw last night though, I had to write again. My Dad and I were having our normal Thursday night viewing of the new episode that was called Labyrinth. It starts with Clark in his barn and his dog starts barking. He goes up to the loft and something knocks him to the ground. He wakes up in white clothes and people all around laughing and calling him Kal-El and talking about his “super speed” and a Dr. Hudson informs him that he has been having breaks from reality where he imagines that he’s an alien with super powers.

<> At one point, Lana is with him in the vision and he’s told that he’ll be cured of the delusion if he undergoes a final treatment. Lana says she has been told she can be there with him for it and asks a poignant question. “Even if this was an illusion, would you want it to end? In your supposed world, I’m engaged to your worst enemy and you have to hide yourself from me and everyone else. In this one, you and I are in love and I’ve always loved you and always will.” This isn’t a verbatim quote. It gets the gist of it though.

This leads to an important question. Imagine you creating your dream world. It has the person you’ve always loved committed to you. It has you living the life you’ve always wanted. You don’t have the pain that you carry in this world. There’s just one problem. It’s not real. Would you choose it?

<> For me, I’d have to say no, and I did think about ladies I’d loved to have married and problems I’d love to be free of. However, why go for it? Would it not be best to learn and grow in reality than an illusion that will merely crumble to ash in the end?

<> What does this teach us? The value of suffering. We could live in an easy world, but we’d prefer to live in the real world.  Why? We know that that experience will make us stronger. We’re better for the real world. The dream world is nice, but it’s meant to be held up as a real hope. It’s not meant to be lived in replacement of the real world.

Fortunately, Clark does break out of it. Sure, he could have had everything he wanted, but it would not be real. The real world needs him. You and I can help in the real world as well. Will we?