January 31, 2009

"I used to..." is the wrong attitude

me, I didn't care
about the people here and there
while sin encased my heart
I attempted to look smart

I acted dumbly
answered numbly
kept on stumbling
started crumbling

and now, where am I?
who am I? I'm changed and new
this flawed human is now
on the mend because of You

but can I analyze
my movements?
can I synthesize
my improvements?

I claim "I used to..." and assume
my actions are removed from blame
ha! it's false, misleading
aren't I still the same?

eternal life is mine I know,
but my sinful nature stays
so my view of past offenses
must be humble, full of praise

January 24, 2009

"Reclaiming culture through Christlike communication"

Hello! I returned from MASTERS yesterday, taking with me so much excitement and inspiration from the amazing forums, speakers, and workshops. I'm hoping to share some of this with you in the near future, so for now, here are my thoughts on the vision of CFC as it relates to Phase III of the Young Speakers Guild Training Series, which was unveiled at this conference.

Reading through Phase III is awe-inspiring. By the time I'm done with all the assignments, who will I be? I will have spoken of countless platforms, shared my faith, conversed about current events, thoughtfully and prayerfully prepared a presentation that could deeply influence my community, and inspired my fellow chapter members.

I've heard that speech and debate skills prepare us to do "the real thing" when we are older. Well, this is the real thing. Phase III contains all the components to help us get used to communicating like Christ.

The vision is so huge. YSG has the capacity to mobilize talented speakers, cultivate excellence, and draw its participants closer to God. It's not just a tool to qualify students for internship with CFC or to help us practice speaking. It qualifies us for living life now.

We become able to speak to and inspire others. It is so beautifully consistent with the whole vision of the Institute for Cultural Communicators (the parent organization that CFC belongs to) - it encourages us to truly communicate with the culture, to build ties to local organizations, to become a sought-after young speaker. We work inside our sphere of influence, using our speaking skills to act almost as missionaries. Right now, becoming an intern with CFC is a measure of being a skilled communicator. With YSG, I imagine it as if there will be hundreds of intern-worthy youth in America, together striving to advance the kingdom. It is epic.

Now, the task is to share this vision with our chapters. Then, across the nation, across the world, we can share Christ and reclaim the culture.

It started with a little phrase, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." It will continue as speakers learn what caring for culture looks like in real life. And it will end? Never.

January 10, 2009

God and time

So, recently I've been thinking about God and time, spurred on by the question "What is the meaning of history?"

To me, history is kind of complicated. It's a term we who live within the limits of time use to describe the progression of events. History is purposeful, ultimately and sovereignly controlled by God. But things get confusing when we bring in heaven. The hymn Our God Our Help in Ages Past describes it perfectly: "A thousand ages in your sight is like an evening gone."

But though the concept of time is waaaay different in heaven, history is immensely important to us now. God has indeed made time and space, and He called it good!

It's mind-boggling to think of how God comes into history. Our infinite God exists outside of time.

2 Peter 3:8: "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

Psalm 90:4: "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."

But he is able to enter into our dimensions and limits in the person of Jesus. Jesus became fully human, and acted inside of time. Galatians 4:4: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law."

"He is SO cool!" my friend Kaitlyn said when we were talking about Jesus a few days ago. Isn't he?

I was also thinking about how God is eternal, he exists for ever and ever. Yet that is different than the way our souls exist: they do exist forever, (either in heaven or hell) but we haven't existed since the beginning.

The difference is like the difference between a line and a line segment. God is like a line: eternal, with no beginning and no end, going on forever. Human souls are like rays: we have a definite beginning, but afterwards we go on indefinitely. Material things, plants, even the universe are like line segments. Though they may exist for a long time, they have a beginning and an end.

If you were asked "what is the meaning of history?" how would you answer?

January 3, 2009

Joy?

I feel blah. Cold. Dead. The kind of feeling where you just want to listen to depressing music to drown out the sadness. It is like the darkness is creeping around, taking you away.

It's illogical, of course. What I feel like, I mean. I had an amazing debate class, went to a ball yesterday, and had a delicious snack. But feelings aren't logical. (And I mean that not in a "crush your feelings! Don't trust the traitors!" way. I know you can't rely on feelings. But my relationship with God should touch every aspect of my being- heart, soul, and mind.)

Maybe it's because I just...can't write. Can't articulate ideas about "leading the escape" when I'm not even sure I know what that is.

I'm going to read some Psalms. Psalm 5: "Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray...For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Pslam 6: "Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony."

I want to be real and alive (honest, shaking off the pretenses of maturity or grace that I've constructed in my brighter moments)...I'm searching for joy. You know, to not just spew God-talk -"God is good" (of course He is) "He always loves me" (I know. But is knowing enough?)- but really be in His love.

His Love.

Psalm 5:11: "But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you."

Maybe I'm getting a glimpse of what leading the escape is about. Taking refuge in God's love leads the escape from sorrow into joy.

Darkness will not overwhelm me. His love carries me through.

January 1, 2009

a new look for the new year

My blog got a makeover- check it out!

Much thanks to eBlog Templates.

Happy 2009!