Keepin’ it “Tight” with Jesus

This song came on shuffle today.

 

I wish my peers would be more excited for and participate in prayer meetings. It’s hard not to judge and be discouraged when brothers and sisters do not see corporate prayer as important — Doctors’ appointments are perpetually scheduled at the designated prayer time, or the “reason” for not praying is to “fellowship” with one another. “It’s not really my thing.” WHAT. There are many more things I am annoyed at, but I will refrain from further venting.

Instead, I hope and pray for revival. That one day people will recognize corporate prayer as essential for the church. That people will join together with expectation that mountains will move. Whether in sorrow or celebration, people will come in obedience.

We came here so we could rock the house
Blow it up and turn it out
Make you dance, make you dance
Party up and we be putting it down
Baby, maybe we can rock the house
Turn it up and blow it out
Make you dance, make you dance
[Insert your name] came to rock the house

 

Space and Faith

“In the car this morning on the radio, I heard this news about this 18-year-old girl being a candidate for a one-way ticket to Mars. That is such a crazy thing… to never see your family again after 18, or your friends, but by your own choice.”

My Journal, March 18, 2015

Every once in awhile, I like to look back in my journals to see where I was at this point last year. I didn’t write much on this date, but this (above) is one thing I jotted down.

Last weekend I finally got around to watching Interstellar. I did not like it. Not because it was a bad movie, but I’m realizing that I just don’t like Space. I should have figured this out when I watched Gravity earlier this year, but there were so many raves about both movies that I figured I should watch them to see what all the hype was about. Anyway (spoiler alert! and throughout the rest of this post), a good bulk of Interstellar takes place in space, and Matthew McConaughey’s character, Cooper has to make this tough decision to go on a space expedition to find a possible new world for humans to inhabit (since Earth is about to disappear). He’s not sure when he’ll return, but he holds hope that he will return (soon), to see his children, and especially his daughter. A few minutes pass in the movie, and suddenly his children on Earth are adults, the same age as him and getting older by the second (because of relativity of time in space, or something like that).

Interstellar stirred up a lot of emotions in me, especially fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of missing out, fear of being alone. I felt so distraught that Cooper missed out on so many milestones in his kids’ lives, and people that he loved passed away while he was gone. Equally as terrifying is being the one left on a dying Earth, not knowing if your dad (or loved one) is still alive since no transmissions have been received on Earth for YEARS. How do you hold out hope like that for so long?

All this fear and anxiety got me thinking about Christian faith, and how in an (imperfect) parallel, going to Space is kind of like missions work. There are a lot of mission trips that are relatively safe — we go to places and help with disaster relief or building infrastructure, or host VBS for a week, or teach English, etc. Things that aren’t really that dangerous or unknown, but may require us to get out of our everyday comforts. Then there are the “more bold” missions where you leave everything and everyone you know behind to go to a place that has extremely high crime, or a culture that is hostile to Christian faith, or into “jungles” and “wilderness” where the people you hope to reach have never interacted with people outside of their own tribes. There is no set end date, and you’re never entirely sure what you’ll encounter, but you go still, acting on faith and being obedient to the Great Commission.

I am not at that level. I would like to be one that drops everything and goes when Jesus says “follow me,” but there is a still a rich man setting up shop in my life. Too many attachments to people and places. Not that those are unimportant  (after all, God is community in himself, and likewise, we were made to be in community), but when we idolize those relationships, it becomes our downfall. Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…

Anyway, Interstellar has been haunting my thoughts for the past week. The idea of taking that same journey terrifies me. And, this is a topic post for another time, but I keep thinking about this one scene in the movie where Anne Hathaway’s character, Dr. Brand, is talking with Cooper about being in Space and how she believes that there’s no evil there… that is until Dr. Mann (Matt Damon’s character) turns on them. Humans screw things up everywhere they go; it’s our sinful nature.

Should I bother watching The Martian? I’m not sure I want to, especially after Matt Damon’s backstabbed everyone in Interstellar!

Beginning of Lent 2016

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season; a time for reflection and repentance, as we prepare for Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ victory over death.

Growing up in a Baptist church, Lent never seemed to be emphasized that much. To me, it was more associated with Catholic practices and those other “old-fashioned” Puritan-like churches. It wasn’t until late in high school, and throughout my college years that I started to take Lent a little more seriously. Yet even as I say “seriously,” I don’t adhere strictly to the typical fasts from meat/meals, or other penitential practices that I am not fully aware of. Instead, Lent has become more of a time to disconnect  and sign off from social media (not completely, but more limiting),  and to dedicate more time to face-to-face interaction and being more immersed in the Word. I’ve recently gotten around to reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster, (which was given to me several years ago), and am finding it quite helpful. I’m not through with it yet, but would highly recommend it if you are seeking to grow spiritually in Christian faith.

Anyway, I was sifting through my e-mail the other day, and came across a passage that I had copied down from one of my favorite “devotional” books, Leap Over A Wall by Eugene H. Peterson. On page 190, it reads:
Our sins aren’t that interesting; it’s God’s work that interesting. There’s nothing glamorous about sin, and it’s the devil’s work to make it look otherwise. Sin is diminishing, dehumanizing, and soon dull. After it’s been recognized and confessed, the less said about it the better. Psalm 51 does it right: there are only four different words used to name the sin, so it’s out in the open where it can be faced. These four sin-words are sufficient to adequately map the entire country of sin. But the central action is carried by nineteen different verbs used to invoke or declare God’s action of forgiveness and restoration. We have a finite number of ways to sin; God has an infinite number of ways to forgive. After observing the human conditions for a few years, we find that in regard to sin, we’re mostly watching reruns. After a while we find that people pretty much do the same old thing generation after generation. Sinning doesn’t take much imagination. But forgiveness and salvation? That’s a different story: every time it happens, it’s fresh, original, catching us by surprise. Sin isn’t creative work, and the more we’re around it, the duller it seems. Salvation, in contrast is “new every morning” (Lam. 3:23).
I’m not going to write a commentary on this excerpt. I just wanted to share it because I came across it again at such an appropriate time.

Shalom.

Eeyore

“One awesome thing about Eeyore is that even though he is basically clinically depressed, he still gets invited to participate in adventures and shenanigans with all of his friends. And they never expect him to pretend to feel happy, they just love him anyway, and they never leave him behind or ask him to change.”

A reminder.

Tori Kelly – “Daydream”

This song is really speaking to me right now. Graduation in less than 3 months, excited. Impending “real life,” anxious.

Hold on to anything just so you don’t crash
Fought off the empty lies that once ruled your past
Right when you think you’ve won jump three steps back
So now you find yourself stuck in your own trap
They try to dirty up your name
But it’s all a game
Baby you don’t have to know exactly who you are
Because figuring it all out could be the best part

Don’t quit your daydream
Don’t forget to breathe
Who you want to be is only up to you
Sometimes you may crawl
Let them think that you’re small
Cause it’s so worth the fall when you land where you want to

Tried almost everything still spinning around
But one thing you haven’t tried is erase every doubt
Keep both feet on the ground while your head’s in the clouds
And when you feel like giving up listen to these sounds
And make sure you

Don’t quit your daydream
Don’t forget to breathe
Who you want to be is only up to you
Sometimes you may crawl
Let them think that you’re small
Cause it’s so worth the fall when you land where you want to

You don’t have to know exactly
Who you are just let your heart lead
It’s so worth the trials that you’re going through
So just enjoy the fall and you’ll land right where you want to

Don’t quit your daydream (just take it slow)
Don’t forget to breathe
Who you want to be is only up to you
Sometimes you may crawl (and you’re gonna get back up again)
Let them think that you’re small
Cause it’s so worth the fall when you land where you want to

Baby don’t you ever quit it

Baby you don’t have to know exactly who you are
Because figuring it all out could be the best part