Life. In Light Of Eternity.

Putting Life in Perspective…and writing stories

Archive for the category “Food for thought”

Just Quote’n – John MacArthur #1

[Mark 2:15]

…The Lord doesn’t want mass-produced disciples off an assembly line. He wants followers of all race, vocations, social classes, personality types, and interests. He wants variety in His kingdom because the human race reflects His creative range.

Perhaps you don’t fit the stereotypical mould of a Christ-follower (whatever that looks like). Good! Don’t change a thing, unless it’s immoral, unhealthy, or obnoxious. Whether you stand out in a crowd or blend in with the scenery, the Lord wants you with Him. And who knows? You may be surprised to discover how your uniqueness becomes an unexpected benefit for His kingdom.

-MacArthur in “From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary” devotional

Got Wisdom?

Do you, without looking it up all sneaky like. Know what the word wisdom means?

Does being wise mean the same thing as being smart or having knowledge? Am I wise if I am a smart guy that picks up on concepts quickly? Am I wise if I just know a lot of stuff, for example I know a good amount of computer related stuff, does that make me wise?

If you did look it up then you get this as a result.

wis·dom

noun

  1. the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

  1. the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

Now that might of gone over your head. So let me make this simple;

Wisdom is knowledge and experience in action in such away that it glorifies God.

Simple right? Now why do I say it that way? Let me break it down a little, If I have a whole lot of knowledge but don’t do anything with that knowledge or if I am really smart but decide not to use my God given smarts and just coast through things with no effort then I am being wasteful of my gifts and not beneficial to anyone. It would be foolish behavior. Wisdom is taking what we have, in terms of knowledge and smarts and…actually using it. Taking what we know and acting on it.

Let us consider a really smart criminal. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, he was really smart. Moriarty has knowledge of how things work but he takes that knowledge and applies it to the act of stealing other peoples money without getting caught. Maybe he takes 1 cent per day out of 1 million accounts, no one is going to notice such a small transaction but it adds up to a decent amount. Would that be wise? No. Because he would be sinning and displeasing God. Wisdom is not the same thing as merely gaining knowledge or being intelligent. Proverbs 3:7 actually speaks against the type of wisdom that is focused on intellect;

“Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

Read more…

Just Quote’n – J I Packer

Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.

-J I Packer in his book “Knowing God

Calvin vs Calvin

Cred: http://calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/

I have read some Calvin, the comics that is, not the Calvin that has contributed greatly to our understanding of biblical theology. And this made me think…What are we reading and does it really matter? First off I am going to acknowledge the irony that I am writing something because I hope someone out there will read it. I WANT you to read and even more so I want you to read MY stuff, and after all why wouldn’t you? It is fantastic stuff! So acknowledging the irony that I am writer who wants to be read I want to give you some food for thought on reading.

So like I was saying, I have read some Calvin, the one with the tiger that is. In fact I have read a good amount of comic’s and I check two sites almost weekly for new content and a good chuckle. XKCD and Dilbert are some of my favorites. Nothing wrong with that. But what I am trying to think through recently is what am I reading.

There are some areas that I am trying to wrestle with, the first of which is substance. When it comes to substance the question I am asking is. “Does what I am reading actually have substance to it or is it all superficial and fluffy?” Let’s face it, there is so much out there to read. So many of us (myself included) want you to gaze your eyes upon our words. We want to be read. We want you to be entertained and hooked into our words. So we need to learn to filter what we are consuming. What we consume matters. As we read I want to ask the question, how much of what I am reading actually matters? Did that article or story mean anything? Did the writer actually say anything of worth or was it just fluffy? What was the author trying to convey or teach? We can be, and we should be critical of what we are reading. The other question we should be asking is; “Am I reading more fluffy superficial stuff than I should? When was the last time I actually read something of substance?” Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying that you should only read things of substance. Substance is important, we should be reading things that teach us or stretch us. Superficial things matter likewise, our brains need some downtime from heavy reading. We need something to laugh at and enjoy. Our question is, “Does what I am reading have substance or is it all superficial?” The challenge for us is to be looking for substance and not to allow ourselves to just be consumed purely by fluff that will not grow us. Alongside this question I am also asking the question on content.

Read more…

Can you imagine?

I recently read the story of Blake Ross and how he discovered that he has aphantasia.

“What is that?”, you may be wondering. Well Blake recounts his story of discovery and explains his experience in the full (and lengthy) article here should you want to read it. If you don’t want to read it then here is the TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) version below.

Aphantasia is the absence of fantasy. Aphantasia is when the visual portion of a brain doesn’t function. This means that Blake is unable to project an image within his mind. He explains it like this;

If you tell me to imagine a beach, I ruminate on the “concept” of a beach. I know there’s sand. I know there’s water. I know there’s a sun, maybe a lifeguard. I know facts about beaches. I know a beach when I see it, and I can do verbal gymnastics with the word itself. But I cannot flash to beaches I’ve visited. I have no visual, audio, emotional or otherwise sensory experience. I have no capacity to create any kind of mental image of a beach, whether I close my eyes or open them, whether I’m reading the word in a book…
This blows my mind, the very act of reading the above triggers the visual portion of my mind. He mentions sand and I can immediately see it. I can recall and even ‘feel’ the texture. I can ‘see’, ‘hear’ and even ‘smell’ the water on a beach in my mind. Images fly into my mind with ease. But for Blake, there is nothing. He knows the facts, but that is all. The rest of the experience is completely foreign to him. Wow. He also says this about fiction;
I “imagine” scripts conceptually as described earlier. It’s easier to write for characters that have already been realized on the screen, especially when so many of them share my dry, sarcastic personality. If you reread the Silicon Valley script, you’ll find it’s heavy on ideas (what if a lawyer had a clock that counted money not time? what if Erlich compiled interview questions while stoned?) and light on descriptive language. Same with the Theranos parody. Overall, I find writing fiction torturous. All writers say this, obviously, but I’ve come to realize that they usually mean the “writing” part: They can’t stop daydreaming long enough to put it on the page. I love the writing and hate the imagining…
Now I know I am not a prolific writer but I could simply not fathom the concept of not creating fiction. Many of my stories die before they leave my mind but much of my dialogue is done with characters and situations I make up on the fly for humour. I honestly don’t know how I would function if I couldn’t picture those situations in my mind. Sure Blake got on fine for 30 years without the ability to picture things and he has accomplished a great deal (he was the co-founder of Mozilla Firefox) but there is a dimension in life that he will never experience. This makes me appreciate something that I took for granted all these years.
I have the ability to imagine and create crazy situations in my mind. I can randomly create a purple and blue spotted fuzzy monster with a bow on their left ear holding a sign that says ‘free hugs’.  I just did that, I just crafted that image on the fly in mind (and it is adorable by the way). This is a gift. I have been blessed with the ability to imagine and to create. Each of us with this ability should be thankful that the Lord has given this to us. As with all gifts, we should appreciate it and use it. Now that I know that this isn’t something I should be taking for granted. It changes my perspective. I must not waste this gift. This is gift that I need to use wisely. Write because we are blessed with the ease to do so. Write in such a way as to reflect the wondrous and supreme creator God. Sola Deo Gloria. Even in my writing.

Finding the question to the answer 42

So according to Douglas Adams and google the answer to “life the universe and everything” is 42. There is a whole bunch of interesting facts about this number, check them out here, be warned though, that video is pretty nerdy. But truth be told the answer is lacking, there is no real substance to the answer, and not knowing the question that goes with it leaves us still very confused. There may be a part of us that really wishes we could just accept the answer as 42 and move on with our lives. Personally I think that was part of Douglas Adams point. Pretty much as if he was saying;

“We don’t know the answer to the question but who cares? It doesn’t matter. Stop thinking about it!”

But try as we might, by virtue of the fact that so many over the years have asked the question speaks of something deeper within us. It is an echo of eternity within out hearts reminding us of something of far more importance than what the world is trying to sell. Truth be told, we ask this question because we are CREATED to do so. So allow me to introduce you to the REAL question and answer that literally changes lives…

Read more…

What does Jesus want this Christmas?

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” – John 17:24

What does Jesus want this Christmas?

We can see the answer in his prayers. What does he ask God for? His longest prayer is John 17. The climax of his desire is in verse 24.

Among all the undeserving sinners in the world, there are those whom God has “given to Jesus.”

These are those whom God has drawn to the Son (John 6:44,64). These are Christians – people who have “received” Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives (John 1:12;3:17;6:3510:11,17-18;20:28). Jesus says he wants them to be with him.

Sometimes we hear people say that God created man because he was lonely. So they say, “God created us so that we would be with him.” Does Jesus agree with this? Well, he does say that he really want us to be with him! Yes but why? Consider the rest of the verse. Why does Jesus want us to be with him?

“…to see my glory that you [Father] have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

That would be a strange way of expressing his loneliness. “I want them with me so they can see my glory.” In fact, it doesn’t expresses his concern for the satisfaction of our longing, not his loneliness.

Jesus is not lonely. He and the Father and the Spirit are profoundly satisfied in the fellowship of the Trinity. WE, no he, are starving for something. And what Jesus want for Christmas is for us to experience what we were really made for – seeing and savoring his glory.

Oh, that God would make this sink in to our souls!

Jesus made us (John 1:3) to see his glory.

Just before he goes to the cross he pleads his deepest desires with the Father: “Father, I desire [I desire!] that they … may be with me where I am, to see my glory.

But that is only half of what Jesus wants in these final, climatic verses of his prayer. I just said we were really made for seeing and savoring his glory. Is that what he wants – that we not only see his glory but savor it, relish it, delight in it, treasure it, love it?

Consider verse 26, the very last verse:

I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

That is the end of the prayer. What is Jesus’s final goal for us? Not that we simply see his glory, but that we love him with the same love that the Father has for him: “that the love with which you [Father] have loved me may be in them.”

Jesus’s longing and goal is that we see his glory and then that we be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for the Son. And he doesn’t mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for the Son. This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives:

Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit.

What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most – to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son.

Read more…

Can we be honest

I have had this terrible song stuck in my head recently. The song in itself is terrible, the lyrics are crude, thuggish and superficial. The part that is stuck in my head however, is the hook. Funny how the hook is the part that normally gets stuck. That part goes as follows.

“Let’s just be honest, let’s just be real. Let’s just be honest, we all know the deal. So let’s just be honest, let’s just be real.”

That part resonates with me, not because of the way it is sung (Although that is catchy). But because of those words. “Let just be honest, lets jut be real.” I won’t explain all that those words bring to my mind because…well…if I did this would be a very very long post.

But here is what my one basic thought is based on. We live in a world filled with pretense, the pretense that we have everything under control. That we don’t need help. That we are fine. We are strong and independent and we don’t need no man…the phrase goes something like that, right? So what is my one thought? It is this, can we just be honest? Can we just be real? The best kept secret we are keeping from each other is that we DON’T have everything figured out. Read more…

Just Quote’n – Expositor’s Bible Commentary

The below is in consideration of Proverbs 21:17

It is the desire of pleasure which is at the root of the mischief: “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man.” Men are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” The appetites which are natural to us hold undisputed sway, they are fleshly; the great spiritual appetites, which are supernatural, are quite feeble and inoperative. Men ask for that which is pleasant, and even when they become religious it is only to obtain pleasure, a greater and a more lasting pleasure; thus there is an intemperance, which we call fanaticism, even in religious beliefs and in religious practices. But what men need is that the desire of God, for His own sake, should be so inflamed in them as to burn up all other desires. And this desire can only be created by His Holy Spirit. The competing and manifold desires of pleasure can only be mastered and expelled when that great, absorbing, and embracing desire of God has been securely settled in the human heart by the Holy Spirit. – Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Just Quote’n -Charles Spurgeon #3

The below is once again from Charles Spurgeon’s devotional “Morning and Evening”

…The tendency in these days is to break down the holy barrier and to make the distinction between the church and the world merely nominal. Christians no longer keep a strict watch over their attitudes and action, questionable literature is read everywhere, frivolous pastimes are commonly indulged, and a general laxity threatens to deprive the Lord’s own people of the sacred singularity that separates them from sinners. It will be an evil day for the church and the world when the proposed unification is complete, and the ‘sons of God’ and the ‘daughter of men’ (Gen 8:2) are as one…Beloved reader , let it be your aim in hear, word, dress, and action to maintain the ‘broad wall’remembering that friendship with this world means enmity with God.

 

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