Posts tagged God
Posts tagged God
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
This verse is actually found two different places in Proverbs (14:12 and 16:25). The more prevalent way to think about it encourages the reader to be introspective and question whether or not that person is following the correct path. It can raise a level of uncertainty and frustration. ”You mean, the way I think is the right way to go really might not be the right way?” one might think after reading this verse.
The automatic response of a Bible studier would be to read the surrounding verses to provide a context. However, often Proverbs tends to be a collection of wise loosely related sayings, as it actually appears to be in these passages. ”So, I’m just left to second guess myself and hope I’m doing the right thing?” a slightly more frustrated person might say.
The thing about this verse is that in the end, we’re all heading on the way of death. ”It is appointed to a man to die once,” Hebrews 9:27. All of us start off with a conscience, but if you’ve asked God into your life, you have the Holy Spirit to help guide you. ”The heart of man plans his way, but God establishes his steps,” Proverbs 16:9.
Go, plan your way. Be sure of what you’re doing and where you’re going. Be strong and confident, and have faith that God will establish your steps.
So, my life is cluttered with personal stuff I don’t want to post here. So, no grand updates or stories outside of what happened today.
Church was awesome. We’re going through 1 Corinthians which happens to be one of my favorite new testament books. Lots of good stuff in there including the chapter about love (13). I could tell from how much Aaron (the lead pastor of Trader’s Point Christian Church) pulled out of verse 2 alone this would be a good series. It’s called “Cow Tipping” and it has to do with the “scared cows” Christians set up (that is to say, the things that make Christians close minded/judgmental and separatist). Part of the reason I’m so excited for this series is because it’s a series that will destroy comfort zones. I fully plan to download the podcasts and listen to them later.
After church, I talked to a few friends about some of their personal stuff and got interrupted to clean some sweepers out. Resumed conversations, mostly. I don’t know that I’ve been very helpful, but I’m trying, listening, and supporting. I’m kinda going through some of my own stuff right now too, so that sort of distraction doesn’t help.
After the conversations were over, I decided it would be nice to spend some time in the park enjoying the nice weather and writing. It was fantastic. I wrote 4 whole pages in 5 1/2 hours (this is a large manuscript book). Lots of people went by with animals and friends. There was a wedding and reception going on a little ways away. There was a fellow with these skates designed like skis and he had the poles to go with it. He wiped out going around the corner the first two time he passed by (it wasn’t the funny youtube type of wipe out so I didn’t laugh in case you were curious).
After writing, I went to my work meeting. Got bad news: I have to wear a tie and I can only be 5 minutes late. Ladies can wear solid color t-shirts, but I have to wear a tie (fair? I think not). Also, everybody is going to struggle with the 5 minute late thing. I can’t think of anybody that isn’t consistently at least 5 minutes late. Everybody has good days, but c’mon now; it wasn’t unheard of for our old boss used to be 20-30 minutes late. We have had our issues, but we get it taken care of like nobody else. It’ll be an interesting adjustment for sure.
After work, I had a nice talk with a co-worker/friend. I just feel stressed and confused and sad. I had a bunch of stuff typed out explaining why, but that’s not why I posted this update so I’m not going to share it publicly. Ask privately if you really want to know, but I hate talking about it because people are so judgmental about it. I spent an hour or two talking to a friend who thinks I’m in the wrong for choosing the direction I want my life to go rather than letting my parents choose that for me. I don’t even agree for a second; I just throw my hands up and say “I can’t win.”
Sorry to leave this on a depressing note. That’s just where I’m at right now. Can you know that everybody’s wrong about something and be right or does the majority always know best?
At my core, I am a terrible, wicked person. I have the capacity to do the worst things possible. I can destroy feelings, relationships, and things that are meant to be sacred. I am a sinner, corrupt and vile.
Jesus died on the cross and forgave me of what’s deep inside me. He loves me despite the darkness that lives inside of me, and He is helping me to overcome that. I still fail, but He is sovereign, gracious, forgiving, and merciful.
Am I awesome? No, but He is, and He chose to live in me. Anything good you see in me is only because He chose to redeem me from myself. I’m sorry if I fail you. I’m not perfect because I have forgiveness; I just keep trying to do the best I can. I won’t dwell on the negative; it’s time to move on.
I think if I were represented mathematically, I wouldn’t make sense. In some equations I’m constant; there are parts of me that just don’t and won’t change. In other equations I’m a variable; I could turn the entire equation around.
One of the things I find constant about myself is disappointment. Reflecting back on everyone I’ve known, I’ve disappointed everyone I’ve cared about at least once in one way or another.
I disappointed a lot of friends and family by moving out of my parents house a while back and pursuing a girl that none of them liked. I was a variable in that equation in part because no-one would have anticipated that I would up-and leave my family. I was constant in that (though frustrated beyond what I had ever imagined) I loved my family and sought to include them in my life.
I disappointed my ex-fiance when I broke off the engagement with her. I was variable in that, their family didn’t expect that I would do that; but I was constant in that I never stopped loving Ashley and hating the decision I had to face.
I’ve disappointed people that have looked up to me by not being perfect or even exceptionally gifted at making the obviously right choice; and in that, I remain pretty constant, which keeps me a variable in pretty much any equation.
Disappointment hurts both sides; it just means someone’s expectations weren’t met. God’s expectations for us weren’t met, but He has given us the option to accept His forgiveness. I’m glad to know that no matter how many people I disappoint on this earth, the one that really matters has already forgiven me. There’s not anything I can do to take away from that. So, if I disappoint you, I apologize for hurting your feelings, but let it serve as a reminder that we have all fallen short of someone’s expectations and we all need that redemption.
1. The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. An organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. Feminine character.
1. Zealous and aggressive patriotism or blind enthusiasm for military glory.
2. Biased devotion to any group, attitude, or cause.
1. Attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
2. Discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.
Hello, my name is Joshua Guynn. I am a man. I have never felt like anything else; I have never wanted to be anything else. I like and am physically attracted to women. I have two sisters whom I love very much, a mother whom I love very much, and a father whom I love very much. I do not degrade women any more than I degrade men, and I seek to degrade neither. I have a passion for people that doesn’t know gender, race, religion, or background. I believe that men and women were created equal, and in God’s image. I believe men and women are equally responsible for their character and the decisions they make. I believe women and men are equally responsible for how they treat each other. I believe that no one, neither man nor woman, is invincible, omnipotent, or, ubiquitous. I believe that women and men are to love each other as God loved human kind (undying, self sacrificing, overpowering).
You, female chauvinist, are disgusting to me. You are so proud of yourself and build rage at an unseen enemy. You fire angry comments and resentment blindly on men calling us sexist, rapists, prejudice. You look at us as though we all think we are superior and therefore seek your own for strength in the midst of women breeding more bitterness and resentment. You build an exclusive club considering yourselves the smartest creatures on the planet. Your pride and hatred merely prove how foolish you are. You have become just as filthy as the male chauvinists you hate. The evil in the world is a reflection of the evil in your hearts. One does not overcome evil with evil; one overcomes evil with love, with good, with God.
Though you would throw stones at me just like the rest of men, I must confess I still love you. You have occupied enough of my mind and heart to inspire a post to try to get your attention. If peace and equality are truly what you seek, then treat men peacefully and equally, and ask men treat you peacefully and equally. You’ll find no argument with me. I will treat you with the same dignity, respect, and affection I would hope to receive from you whether or not you ask me for it. I will agree that men and women, though different, are just as entitled to enjoy the same rights as each other. I will stand up for the defense of those under attack. Now please, let’s all just get along.
Diversity’s Symphony (by Emanate Media, Samson Varughese)
Here’s a great spoken word piece about diversity in the Christian church. Enjoy.
I want to start this post off with a Bible passage: Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now I’m going to tell you a story. I dated a girl for two years (maybe more like 2 and 1/2) and was engaged for a few months. The relationship itself was a lot of hard work and it cost a lot, but I enjoyed the relationship while it was there. It changed a lot about me and forced me to grow up a lot more and look at things through a larger perspective. As some of you know, her name is Ashley.
Ashley’s primary weakness was her age and the fact that she refused to accept her age for what it was. She constantly rushed over all of the things she needed to do (responsibility, maturity, growth, learning, etc) to own an older age. She got to the point of her life that included me and many things changed. I did everything in my ability to her her grow and develop and learn, but she held tightly onto that refusal to accept and act her age. She was 18-19 and wanted a family STAT (not good for someone without a high school diploma). In helping her grow, there came a point that she refused to go any farther. That coincided all too perfectly with the time I was moving back to Indianapolis. Though I make the break up sound brief and matter-of-fact, it actually slowly spanned the course of several months to the point that we were talking about the possibility of getting back together while she was (unknown to me) dating a guy who is now her husband.
Once I learned what exactly the situation was, I very quickly withdrew and bitterness set in. Before long, Ashley had moved in with her boyfriend and became pregnant. Shortly after that, she got her wish and became a wife and a mother. Most of the time, my bitterness did not get in the way of anything I was doing at the time. It was there lurking inside of me cutting me off from a certain level of intimacy with people. It caused me to get angry on occasion and made me judgmental. A few times in that time period, Ashley would send me a Facebook message and that would bring out the bitterness in full force. It became impossible to hold in my emotions when responding. This in part made me feel vindication and more secure because I was defending myself and releasing some of the bitterness. A part of me knew this was not the right way to respond, however, and so I started thinking about it.
Though my anger may have been justifiable, it was not liberating; it enslaved me. I wondered often how I could over come the bitterness, and I prayed about it often. Inevitably, Ashley sent me another message. I don’t know if it was the way she worded the message, or the fact that God was answering my prayers, but I knew what I needed to move on: an apology. It didn’t have to be anything insanely deep or academy award winning. Somewhere I had to know that my difficulty was understood by the person who was causing it and give her the opportunity to explain it. Perhaps it sounds strange, but I think that is one of the reasons our Father commands us to forgive our neighbors. Living with that burden was terrible, but seeking resolution was right. It took a year for both of us to be ready for the apology and forgiveness; but when I explained my case, she asked for forgiveness, and I forgave her.
Now the story isn’t completely over, though that chapter is certainly finished. The last I heard from Ashley she was happy, and that suited me just fine. I’m glad she was able to get what she wanted. Yesterday, I received an impromptu message from her sister, Amanda. To hear Amanda describe things, Ashley’s life is terrible: her husband (who is in the military) will not let Ashley and Amanda see each other, and has plans to take Ashley and their child out of the country. He also refuses to let Ashley be in Amanda’s wedding this coming September. Amanda mentioned that she planned her wedding while Ashley’s husband will be out of town which may afford Ashley the opportunity to be in the wedding if she wishes. The note also mentioned divorce.
Needless to say, that message did not make my heart happy. I can clearly see how Ashley put herself in a terrible position, but I could see that well ahead of time. I am terribly sad because of the predicament she is in; however, this problem is not mine, nor do I have any responsibility to try to fix it. Ashley must find the way out of the hole she dug herself into, and there is plenty of support to help her.
“Why are you posting all of this?” you might be asking yourself. Hang tight and will come full circle. In the same note Amanda invited me to her wedding (her fiance is one of my former roommates). I would like to (and have every intention to) go to her wedding. I think I will have a fun time, and I miss all of my old friends who will undoubtedly be there. The thought has even occurred to me to spend a weekend up there and see all of my old friends up in Michigan, but I need to keep my focus on what I am doing and plan that trip after I graduate. I had a conversation about this situation last night, and woke up with the Bible passage I shared at the top on my mind. Christ-like love passes all rational understanding. 1 Corinthians 13 goes more into depth about love and what it looks like, but the passage up above says that nothing can separate us from that love.
While I’ll admit, going to that wedding up in Michigan, putting myself in the position to see some of those people that held such a significant in my past, and considering spending a weekend up there does not make a whole lot of rational sense, neither does Christ-like love. The fact of the matter is, my friends are getting married. It would make more sense to me to put myself aside, and rejoice with them. There’s nothing God will give me above what He will enable me to handle.
The bulk of this post has been about a simple human relationship, but what I hope you are able to take away from this is love. Paul tells us that all the law boils down to love (Galatians 5:14). Keep that in mind when thinking about the people you knew, know, and have yet to know.
Atheist Billboard: WISH-TV News 8 reports (Indianapolis,IN)