Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Every once in a while I enjoy looking through a slideshow of the many many pictures that accumulate in my computer. I usually pick a few folders, arrange the slideshow so that i get three or four pictures zooming in and out of the frame every 5 seconds or so and I listen to some beautiful violin or piano in the background and I let my mind go.

It dawned on me as I was looking at the faces of the people in each shot that these pictures were only telling half stories; they only told the surface. We see the happiness that was captured when someone said "smile". But, what if that's not what they wanted to be doing at that point in their lives. If we were to put a word to the emotion they were really feeling and express it to them as we shot the picture what would we say?, "frown", "yell", "hide", "jump", "run", "pretend", "despair", "cut", "fear", "hit"? If we were to put our lives on a slideshow on our computers, three to four pictures per frame, going through every 5 seconds or so, what images would we collect? Let's cut the crap that we would have nothing but smiling, fashion model shots on the beach with our hair being blown back (for you women) or blue-steeling it up (for you men).

What would your slideshow reveal? Mine would hold shots of pain, some of joy, fear, doubt, insecurity, self-fulfillment, self-loathing, jealousy, pride, Godly deeds, tears, and success. I would have shots of destitute, ones of me shot sitting in the background as life and people passed me by, not really seeing that I was even there. There would be shots of me with my foot on someones head, fist raised high as I judged others, face contorted in evil as I burned them with the "Christian" morals. I would have shots of me reaching down to the lost child, sincere love on my face. There would be images of hate as I viciously clawed at the open back of a friend or a family member as they tried to walk out of my life. And in some I would be placed on a pedestal, feeling the benefits of the limelight from my peers. And that's just a few.

As you compile your slideshow, don't sugar coat your life. Don't leave out the things that you're not proud of. This is the slideshow you'll be giving to God at His Throne in the End, you think He hasn't seen it already? He was the photographer! Play this slideshow, but then I want you to remember who Christ is in your life, and the role He gets to play in this slideshow. He's that last shot where the sun is aglow, the water is spewing perfectly into the air, with grace and power. He's that shot of hope.

"For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! " Romans 5:15. 

And if you don't know Christ yet in your slideshow, I encourage you to read through Matthew 26-28 to find out who He is. Ask  a local pastor or a friend you know is a Christian. Trust me on this one, He makes the Ultimate Pull on the review of your slideshow by the Ultimate Critic.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Life as we know it.

So recently, instead of studying I've been watching Grey's Anatomy (thanks for another addiction to fight Taylor Vega. :p ) and I would just like to mark down some of the things that this woman goes through just in her like 1 to 2 years as a surgeon.

She watches as her Alzheimer's mother goes all crazy-beserk on her, first having to keep it a secret because that's what she wanted. Then she falls in love with her attending only to find out that he's married. She nearly drowns in the ocean trying to save a wounded man, and she literally "dies" and comes back. She grabs an active bomb out of a patient and then watches as it explodes, killing the bomb squad dude in the hall right in front of her. Her mother dies while she's in hypothermia from the near-drowning experience. She watches her husband get shot and nearly die. She herself almost dies because she tells the shooter to kill her when he tries to kill her best friend Christina as she operates on Derek's gunshot wound. She has to watch as her good friend Izzy is dying of cancer and her other good friend George dies after getting hit and dragged by a bus. Her father has a new family and every time Meredith talks to him she feels the pains of him leaving her behind. Christina turns on her after the drama of the mass murders and will no longer talk to her, blaming her for what happened (her trauma). Her step-mother dies and her father blames it on her, resorting to violence as he slaps her and casts her out of his life again. Meredith has a miscarriage with her then husband's baby the very same day that Derek was shot in the mass murder.

Now, how could all that happen in a person's life and they still function on a normal emotional level? More importantly why do we seem to be enthralled by her life and even rise to levels of envy at times? We become so obsessed with action and excitement that we forget what real life feels like. Real life does not give us the opportunities to almost die to appreciate life. Real life doesn't always force us to make decisions that are life-altering; therefore life in our world is unclear, hazy, and confusing. Now don't you find it interesting that some of us would rather have our lives be ridden full of pain and grief if we could just have those decisions that define us be spelled out in the air?

It's time to embrace our world and understand that life here is confusing and we cannot wait to die to live again, because we don't often have movie saves, and second-chances. We cannot be complacent waiting for our life to offer us excitement and force us into making a decision about what we believe. Most of us live in a lukewarm existence, not wanting to risk living until it is forced upon us. But, lukewarm is not an option, we are called to live in a passionate manner that glorifies Christ. "So because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth" Romans 3:16. We can wait no longer, we must live, and who do we look towards to inspire and strengthen us? LIVE for God, don't merely breathe for Him.

Life is not about the Mundane

Life is a movement through each day. We wake up, brush our teeth, put our clothes on and step out of the door into the outside world. Then we walk, walk to our cars, walk to our bikes, walk to our destination. We use muscles, breathe oxygen, balance our bodies, perceive our surroundings, and let thoughts shoot through our brain at a billion miles per hour. It's a daily thing, we don't think about it we just do it.

We have fear in our hearts, we compare our lives to others, we look in the mirror and pinch fat, flex muscles, and long for something else. We judge, we follow that cute boy or girl a little too long, letting our minds go too far. We say mean, pointed things, we sugar coat the truth, we lie to get our way, and we feel shame. These are daily things we often don't think about; we just do them.

We are not God, and we could never be good enough for Him. Our human nature sins and becomes complacent; we let our fire die, and we lose our passion. We don't glorify the Lord, we don't please Him. So, in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord we must be completely dependent on Him. We cannot seek freedom elsewhere cause we won't find it; we cannot control our own lives because we will fail, as is etched in all human future. We will never be good enough. So, cast burdens on Him, cry at His feet, cut people out of our lives, give everything you are to Him, because I guarantee that whatever you offer is not better then what He gives.

Life is a movement through each day. We can wake up, praise God, brush our teeth, and thank Him. We can put our clothes on and step out of the door into the outside world, ready to do His Will. We can walk to our destination, using our muscles, breathing the oxygen, balancing our bodies and perceiving our surroundings in full awareness that the Lord gave it all to us. We can let our thoughts shoot through our brain about the Lord and in conversation with Him. It can be our daily thing.

So, let us depend on Christ. Depend on His Words, His Promises, and His Faithfulness. Let us grow in His Name and not in our own.