November 16, 2012

A Thorough and Biblical Roast of "Christian Dating"

This article articulated many things for me that God has been stirring in my heart for the past few months.  I have been guilty of some of the destructive mindsets he mentions; both toward myself and others.  Props to the author, Brian Kammerzelt of

Read the Article.

It's worth it to read the whole thing, though it's long.  Took me two sittings.

Credit for finding it first goes to this gal.

November 11, 2012

Second Dose of (Another) Good Lesson

I had another paradigm shift during a sermon I was listening to in the car several months ago.  The sermon was by John Piper and it was regarding a theology of singleness; a look through the Bible at what it says about being unmarried.  As is a pattern with Dr. Piper, God used his ministry to bring some truths to bear that I needed to hear.  The short of his point is that marriage is a temporary institution, in the sense that it is an Earthly one.  Please check out the sermon (all the way at the bottom) to hear the point fleshed out and found in the Word.

I was reminded of this in a very powerful way by a short mini-documentary about the experiences of a young married couple whose names are Ian and Larissa.  It gave me a second dose of the perspective originally obtain several months ago that had worn off a bit once I made the move to Staunton.  I want to share this with you all, as it is an important point.  The documentary is below, followed by the sermon.

Ian & Larissa:

The sermon that God used to provide a shift in perspective for me:

Need the audio or text instead?  Click here.

New Season, More Lessons

I guess God has a pretty good sense of timing.

As I am now on my own* and in a completely new town trying to make arrangements for the marriage of my dreams and reality (it is taking them a while to warm up to each other) I find myself working more and making less than I used two.  I really don't mind this as I am actually taking steps forward in my career, but this has pushed my focus more toward my budget than my situation in the past had.  I had a great restaurant gig previously that paid the bills pretty well for someone right out of college, and now that's not there.

This has gotten me started worrying more about finances.  Not that I'll ever go hungry or without a roof over my head, but I have gotten very conscious of how every shift I have waiting tables (my second job) counts very much toward meeting the budget at the end of the month.  With more on the line (working hard for my dreams) and less guaranteed shifts emotions tend to run higher when things don't go my way.

A lesson I learned in the last season of life was that, as a waiter, neither the customers nor my boss are, in the end, who provides for me.  It's always God, as He's sovereign over everything; but that can be hard to actually remember in the heat of the moment, hard to use as a compass to tell my emotions that they are misinformed (they really need to do their research sometimes).

And in comes God's sense of timing.  This topic had been on my mind recently.  Then, after a frustrating situation the day before, I had a Saturday night shift (at the restaurant job) cancelled.  I got angry.

So I figured I had the evening to get my perspective back, but I did need to go by job #2 and talk to the powers that be about the now repeated schedule issues.  It was a good talk.

As I walked back through downtown to get in my car, reflecting on how God really is my provider and is God even over shift work, my phone rang.  One of the waitresses had a lot of homework that night and called out; I had a shift again.  And I made very good money that night.

It is a lesson I am still learning.  I am so thankful for a God that will slap me in the face (lovingly) with a educational experience that will draw me closer to Him and train me to keep my eyes focused on things above, instead of this earthly life.  When He speaks into your life, please listen.

Then blog about it.  I want to read it.

*While I am technically "on my own," I am still living with a loving family... just not the one that raised me.  Yes, I pay rent.

November 8, 2012

A Train of Thought, Beginning with Reactions to the Election

I have been trying to make sense of something.  Not the election results.  I don't feel the fear, dread or sadness that many (both Christian and the politically conservative) seem to, and at first I was averse to the comments and posts I saw by Christians who were doing the modern Facebook version of "putting on sackcloth and ashes."  I was averse because I see no reason to worry, even though President Obama and I differ quite a bit politically and several laws were passed that I wouldn't have voted for; and it seemed to me that people were discounting God's sovereignty in this situation.

And as I reflected even more, I realized that many of these people may be right in mourning for the lost and those whose lives will be further drawn away from Christ; but if God calls whom He will and is the Initiator (that line up with Calvin's and Arminian's view on predestination, by the way) is there really any Earthly influence that can even get close to wrecking someone's life whom God is going to call out?  No.

Still, there is something to be said for having a heart for the lost; that is indeed an important thing to have.  I just hope that some of the political comments came from hearts which were focused on this.

Now to my feelings.

Not worried.

Yes, things may "deteriorate."  In one sense of the word; that is, politically and economically.  Maybe.  If Conservative are right and times get tougher because of what Obama's doing, we'll deal with it.  If Obama does fix the country up a bit, I won't complain.  The bottom line is that nothing passes through God's hands without His letting it; He is able to use everything to His purposes, because nothing happens that He did not know about/plan/let happen (it's difficult to pick proper theological phrasing in this situation).

So what if Christians do become a disliked minority, and even my above referencing to certain recently passed laws gets to be viewed as "hateful propaganda?"  What if these stirring of "freedom of worship" and other limits on faith turn into serious concerns for USA Christians?  Oh no, that would just be so terrible!

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Lord. [Acts 5:41]

Whoops, just got interrupted by the Bible.  The living Word of God does that sometimes.

If we are to mimic the apostles of Jesus, what are we going to do if it all hits the fan?


In a strange way I look forward to that.  I realize that things will be tougher; there will be pain and separation, perhaps beyond what I could even consider possible at the moment.  But it will drive us together as a community of Christ and push us towards a radical walk with Him that is forged in the fire.  Just as the apostles, William Tynsdale, Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jim Elliot did.  And so many more.