a tree has more hope
—more hope than me
for though it is cut down, it sprouts again
though its roots grow old
and its stump decays
at the scent of water
it buds and sprouts and grows!
a tree has more hope
more hope than me
for when I breathe my last
I am no more
I do not rise again
where do I go?
. . . can the dead live again?
. . . can the dead live again?
if so, I have more hope
—more hope than a tree
if the dead can live again
You would call me!
I would answer
—yes, answer the One who loves me
You would know my every move
. . . yet not look at my pride?
. . . You would take all my wrongs and seal them away?
. . . cover my guilt and broad, foolish foul plays?
if only the dead could rise again
then I would have more hope than a tree
I don’t know about you, but I never leave my house without both shoes on. Never. No matter how late I am for school, work, worship gatherings, events, etc., both shoes are on.
Continue reading Don’t Leave The House With One Shoe On
Who are we?
Are we merely physical bodies with conflicting thoughts?
Or a soul that can be taught?
If we make a good choice
Followed by three bad ones
Does it make us good?
Or if we make one bad choice
Followed by three good ones
Does it make us bad?
If bad choices are forgiven
Then why bother doing good?
Ah—in death sin was destroyed
We cannot live in something that has died
But the question is this:
Who are we?
Are we merely made of one choice
Or a myriad of actions?
If the latter, then are we consistently making the same decisions?
Are we consistent in what we teach?
That is who we are
What we repeatedly do.
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.” – Romans 7:21 NLT
My statement yesterday wasn’t entirely accurate, for I far too often relate with Paul, yearning to do what’s right but finding myself committing the opposite offense.
Continue reading I don’t always do what I truly want to do
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how actions line up with words. I keep saying I want to do so many things, yet I rarely do them.
But if I don’t do them, do I really want to do them?
For too long I’ve been telling myself I want to do x, y, and z, but things just get in the way or I find I’m not motivated or excuse this or excuse that.
I’m tired of that mantra.
So here’s what I’m telling myself now:
I’ll always do what I truly want to do.
In other words, I’m taking responsibility for my actions. If I say I want to study, then I’ll study. If I want to practice playing the guitar more, I’ll do it.
If I truly want to get back into writing, I’ll write daily on my blog for the month of February.
The belongers are new people
They shook hands with their old selves and said: “farewell, I’m with Him now”
This belonging—this new life—is wrapped in the finest paper, completely free
And what does it look like?
A sweet word: Reconciled
A spark, a light, a change for anyone to partake in
Trading our wickedness for His purity
A follow-my-lead experience
Warmly embraced by the One who calls us to share in this act of grace
For we are His mouth, shouting:
“Come back to Him Who Saves!”
“Come back to the blameless One who took your blame so you could live!”
To be made right with God through Christ
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT
To start this review off, I would first like to say how much I appreciate Alan Hirsch and the work he’s done to encourage believers into a more authentic, Jesus-centered life. I have never read one of his books without wanting to pursue Jesus more and more. Hirsch’s books, such as The Forgotten Ways and ReJesus, have shaped my views on Christianity significantly and I am grateful for his work. Continue reading Book Review – 5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ
“If the man does know he’s going to die and dies anyway, dies willingly, knowing he could stop it, then… I mean, isn’t that the type of man you want to keep alive?” ~ Kay Eiffel
In the past, I used to tell people being a Christian was more about a relationship with God than it had to do with religion. By religion, I meant following rules to strengthen oneself and become a “good” person. But inadvertently, my relationship with God was, well, about my relationship. It was self-focused and could exist outside of loving my neighbor. It was easy to make the two ends of the spectrum self-gratifying without knowing it, and, as a result, disregard religion as in-superior.
But thankfully, an early disciple of Jesus shed light to religion’s true definition:
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)
Christianity, then, is far more than just a relationship between me and the Father. It is a religion and relationship built on love for God and neighbor. In essence, it sums up the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:28-34).
And religion, then, is something far greater than self-gain or being good for the sake of being good. It encompasses a righteousness that takes care of those in distress. It entails justice and mercy that ultimately pleases the Father through Jesus.
I want to be more religious.
It’s been a while.
Tomorrow’s the 1st day of November, which is also the 1st day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
And guess what? I’m gonna do it. Even though I’m a full-time college student, part-time intern with a public policy organization, president of a school club, and senator for my school’s Student Government Association, I’m gonna do it.
By jolly, I’m going to write a novel in a month.
Follow along if you want to discover what it’s like to write “beyond the blog.”