live. laugh. love. = what God wants for us

live, laugh, love is a pretty common catch phrase of today. Those kinds of things usually really bug me, but once i thought about it, it actually has some depth to it.

This poem sums up the idea of those three things are what you need in life. I fill in the blank of love to mean loving God, but most people probably don’t. The “live” means to live your life to the fullest. Of course this doesn’t mean going crazy partying it up or whatever, but instead enjoying the things in life that God has blessed you with. “Laugh” meaning… well laugh. Its good for you in every way. God has given Christians the ability to be completely happy and content in Him, and He commands us to be joyful always. So why not live, laugh, love?

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You found me

I was listening to the radio the other day and this really amazing song came on by the Fray. I don’t really care for the lead singer’s voice, but for some reason this song really struck me. I went home and looked up the lyrics and realized that it was actually about God.

The song starts out depressing, talking about an angry, sad man whose wife died. The man asks God where He’s been when he needed Him. The song says that God found him too late after his wife was gone. Many people feel the same way as the man in the song: God isn’t around when life gets hard, and that you get lost in whatever else God is doing.

Fortunately, God is always there. In the worst and best of times, He always knows what is happening to you and cares for you deeply. Unfortunately, we are often blinded by our sadness and anger to see God’s greater plan for us. It is not that God wants to see us broken and sad, but that He works through those things for His glory.

Life Story

Take a moment to view your life story. Do you think you your life has been good time waisted? or bad time spent? Our motivations are nintey percent attitude, ten percent determination. When you think about death, are you in fear of it? Do you pursue or run away from death? The bible says, depending on how we look at death, we can either save our lives, in a sense follow him, or waist it, spending your days aimlessly and selfishly. Dont waist your life saving it, find your life spending it for God. So where does your attitude stand?

Thanksgiving and Idolatry

Yes, you read that right. It is possible to be idolatrous in your thanksgiving. John Piper writes a thought provoking article on a statement by a well known man known as Jonathon Edwards. The statement is as follows:

“True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God’s own excellency.”

John Piper simplifies this statement by saying that a gratitude that is pleasing to God is not one of being grateful His gifts (though that is a part of being grateful) but rather it is an enjoyment of the Gift Giver. If we simply enjoyed the gift and even gave thanks to the Giver, but we had no love toward Him, the Giver becomes Santa Claus, only existing to give, give, and give.

Piper goes on to use James 4:3-4 as another comparison between our wrong view of giving thanks. In James 4:3-4, the writer rebukes the one who uses prayer to only receive things from God. He compares him to an adulteress, receiving money from her husband and going off and enjoying pleasure elsewhere. It is the same with us. If we don’t enjoy God, and only use prayer to receive things for our own selfish desires, we are no better than the adulterer.

This thanksgiving day, I hope you enjoy gathering with family. I hope you enjoy the great foods on your tables. But most of all, I hope you enjoy the God who gives all these things to you, so that you may be thankful for Him.
Happy thanksgiving.

What is a rainbow?

The article I read was written a bit awkwardly, but the message was good and I don’t think that I have ever heard about a double rainbow before.

 Rainbows are the colored stripes that appear in the sky from behind the clouds after rain. The scientific explanation for rainbows is light being reflected off of water droplets and then shows itself in different wavelengths of color.  At first glance that is all it seems to be, just a spectacle in the sky.  To those who know better, a rainbow means so much more.

Noah and the Flood is a well known biblical story; God promises that He will never again destroy the earth with water. That is all most people know, but what is important is how God expresses His promise. He tells Noah that every time it rains He will display a rainbow in the sky to remind us of His promise. The promise itself is not what speaks to me, but that every rainbow a personal message from God. This reminds me that no matter how much time has passed, God will never forget about us and the promises He has made.

God is like a Pizza

Stephen W. Simpson, Ph.D. writes his article on how God is like a pizza and the toppings are the differing religious doctrine and practice. He begins by explaining his fervent love for pizza then initiates his use of his analogies. God is the pizza, and the toppings are the differing religious doctrine and practice. Announcing his attendance in church all his life, Simpson makes a bold statement by saying no matter what denomination your church is, it’s still church. Pizza lovers become enemies because they cannot agree on which toppings they want. Toppings can be dunking versus sprinkling, infant versus adult baptism, predestination versus free will, etc; but that’s just it. These things are the toppings; they are not the pizza. He also claims that none of these change the fact that all Christians still follow Jesus Christ and his message of grace, love, and justice. “So what’s the big deal as long as we’re all eating pizza?” is the question Simpson profoundly asks. He also argues that what makes a pizza is in fact the pizza itself, but the toppings we choose just reflects our individual preferences. His overall claim is that the Church needs to find its center again in God. I found his article insightful and his analogies sort of cute and effective. In my opinion, he really does hit the nail on the head. A church should be continuing to strive to best glorify God instead of bickering over what they think is the right practice. As Christians, it’s important for our lives to surround and encourage the glory of Christ. Our salvation is not found in whether we believe that an infant should be baptized or not, it’s found in our faith in Christ. However, I think Simpson misses one thing. It is important to search for the truth. A church cannot dismiss any part of the Bible because this is God’s word. If the Bible says that predestination is real, then it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, that’s the truth. If the Bible states that a certain topping is indeed on top of the pizza, then that topping should forever stay on the pizza even if a church doesn’t like the way it tastes. Overall, Simpson does do an effective job with reminding us to not argue about the toppings on the pizza, but to enjoy the pizza itself united together. Philippians 4:20 “To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

God’s View of Marriage

God intended marriage to bond a man and a woman together, as one flesh, for the rest of their lives. He did this so that the love that occurs in a marriage could maybe give the tiniest glimpse of what our love for God should be like.This type of commitment is almost non-existent in today’s society. Marriage is seen as the next step from boyfriend and girlfriend, and if it doesn’t work, then there’s always divorce. Divorce is taken so lightly, it is considered normal for couples to separate. Marriage is so far distorted from what God meant for it to be.

“Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution”, as Mae West put it. Why is marriage seen as a morbid thing that only traps you? God said in Proverbs 5:15-19 that when a man finds his wife, she should be seen as a treasure. Marriage is not merely a cultural tradition that must be done at some point in a person’s life, but a blessing from God. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 speaks of the way husbands and wives should treat one another. Women should submit to their husbands out of reverance and respect for them. Husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the church, and God was Jesus’ greatest love! The love that you have for your spouse should be second only to your love for God.