Thursday, January 31, 2008

humility

in the past couple years God has been humbling me. no, not just teaching me humility but actually humbling me. teaching me humility would imply that i can learn humility. but no, he humbled me, broke down my high ideas about myself, showed me who i am, not merely teaching me humility but actually humbling me.

every day i'm seeing my limitations and imperfections, my sin, my inadequacy for any task at hand. in all this He has taught me not to throw the towel, give up, but to accept my limitations, me, and move on. He has taught me honesty. to do that He broke me.

He broke this dishonest person. i am dishonest mostly with myself and about myself. i don't like to accept who i am but pretend i was someone else, someone better, perfect. but His honesty is greater than my dishonesty and is conquering this land.

our God is an awesome God indeed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

longing for a substitute sufferer

everyone is longing for a substitute sufferer. people hate it when others are detached, not knowing suffering. people hate people who always have everything going according to plan. people hate the flanders in this world. on the other hand people like people who suffer. people like the simpsons. people like it when other people screw up or experience pain and this might not just be an evil desire, or schadenfreude. i think people like it when others suffer because we have an inherent desire for a substitute, somebody who suffers for us. we know we should suffer cause we're bad people but we inherently want somebody else to suffer instead.

that's why Jesus is so awesome. He didn't remove Himself in His own go-merry world. He came down and suffered, took beatings, took people's hatred and stuff. He suffered what we feel we should suffer. when seeing that we feel better cause we can let go of the feeling of condemnation. yes, we suck, but we don't need to suffer for it anymore.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"i'm a terrible person"

i don't think highly of God. i rather watch tv than read my bible or pray. i'm constantly needy. i get easily angry. i watch porn. i pretend i'm good. these all are indicators that i'm a terrible person. sin is in my life.

this is what God thinks of me. "the soul who sins shall die" (ezekiel 18). it's pretty hopeless. nothing i do can really make me better. i can try to make myself better but in me there's a growing cancer. i can try to cover it but in the end the cancer will even take over the cover and expose me. sooner or later. likely sooner than later.

then why even bother? we bother cause we're afraid of God's wrath. we know that His wrath is certain so we either try to be better (a hopeless endeavor since we can't ever change the past) or we simply give up and do what we want.

why would we even try then to please God if we really knew that God's wrath for sin is certain. we don't love Him. yes, He deserves love, but He didn't do a thing in our lives to make us love Him. He put us on this earth. He allowed sin to take over the human race. were it not for that we wouldn't be hopeless. so every attempt to please God is at best self-righteous non-sense and at worst just plain stupidity and hopelessness.

yeah, i know there's a lot of people who fake serving God and loving Him, but what about those who seem to find their happiness in loving God? those are weird. no, honestly, they don't seem to make any sense or do they? why would anyone love God?

cause He loved us while we were hating Him, while we were sinners. He loved us, became one of us, united Himself (a holy God) with us (a sinful, disgusting, terrible people) so He can take our punishment and we can get His righteousness. now, this doesn't make sense easily but let's go with me on this little excursion that hopefully makes things a little clearer.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (romans 5:8) He loved us, disgusting, sinful, terrible people. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (john 3:16) but how can he give us eternal life? we're sinful and no sin can be in God's presence. "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus" (1cor 1:30) God put us in Christ, us being the "whoever believes." but what does this mean? it means that if we were in Christ God had to punish Christ. we and all our sins were in Christ. God has to punish sin. so He must punish Christ, meaning that Christ has died for our sins, He became the sacrifice for our sins. but more than that. let's look at 1 cor 1:30 again: "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." Christ is our righteousness. because we are united to Him His righteousness is ours.

now that we are freed from sin and have His righteousness we may come to God and receive from Him whatever we need for our lives. He loves us and gives us the Spirit who helps us overcome sin. yes, there's still the flesh who wants to sin but we also have the Spirit who doesn't want to sin.

i don't know if this all makes sense. just a few thoughts. just trying to say that if we feel it's a burden to please God and if we don't love Him or if we think He hates us than we might not understand the Gospel and God well. then we should rather invest energy in getting to know God and His Word rather than waste energy trying to white-knuckle-please Him.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

From hope to frustration... again...

... but that story shall be confined to my personal blog (and those who are genuinely interested in knowing).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Things to do (possible dates but not necessarily)

Just wanna keep down a few things for possible dates here. Please comment for any suggestions. :)

  • Toronto Architecture: http://canada.archiseek.com/ontario/toronto/ (it'd be cool to be touristy and explore Toronto)
  • Snowmobilling (http://www.skidoorentals.com/ or http://www.ridethewilderness.com/snow.htm)
  • Skiing/Snowboarding (maybe with small group ppl)
  • Hiking (Bruce Trail around Webster's Falls, etc., http://www.brucetrail.org/explorethetrail.asp?id={459E67E1-7954-433E-B457-71C6BBDD2A5D})
  • Visit Carsten and Denise Link in Hamilton
  • Mini Golf
  • Visiting Galleries
  • Toronto Symphony
  • Musical
  • Opera (http://www.coc.ca/ or http://www.fourseasonscentre.ca/)
  • Play
  • AGO (when it's done?)
  • Toronto Film Board (John & Richmond) to watch some random movie/stuff/loiter
  • Spa (I'd have no clue about that, we'd have to do/research that together)
  • ...
  • Run around screaming (I don't know what this means... not my idea :P)
  • Skating at Mel Lastman, Nathan Phillips or Harbourfront and hot chocolate afterwards
  • Go to an Indie Concert (at El Mocambo, Silver Dollar, etc)
  • Take street people out for Dinner
  • Help at some street mission
  • Shopping in Buffalo
  • Fancy Dress/Suit shopping
  • Study a book of the Bible (would have to be something more regular)
  • Take time for friends who feel lonely and/or just need someone and hang out, do something fun, listen
  • Take ballroom dance classes
  • Take contemporary dance classes
  • Watch the moonrise/set over a lake (http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/moonrise.html)
  • Watch the sunrise/set over a lake (or a beautiful landscape)
  • Bruce Trail hiking
  • Hiking through Toronto (Don River Valley)
  • ...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Day 17

God's helped me since my last entry. My time off and at home was beneficial. It was good simply to get away from life, worries, busyness, temptations for a while and talk, read, make music. Things I mentioned in my last entry have improved as well. Yes, given, they're not where they should be but my thinking is better, my priorities are better, my lifestyle has improved. In general, my life is more in alignment with God and His Grace.

But temptations have come lately and they've been a reminder to trust Grace and not myself. Changes won't happen overnight and I shouldn't expect them to. It's also forced me to ask what am I counting when I'm counting days. I need a fixed line against which to measure this. So, even though I've thought about it before let me simply write this 'line' down here. What I am counting is how long I've gone without masturbating all the way (i.e. orgasm or wherever it stops naturally). This might include viewing pornography or not (viewing pornography would lead there unless I stop).

The reason I'm measuring progress at this level is that I want to teach myself grace and the ability to stop half-way (if the Spirit catches me) along the way. I'm doing this as an encouragement to progress and so I don't stop and give up as soon as I start giving in to temptation a little. At the same time having this measure will have an effect on viewing pornography and other areas as I realize that I do not hold up for long if I start giving in to porn.

Having said this Day 17 shows God's grace in my life. Were it not for Him I'd be at Day 1 again. There have been a few minor hickups on the way but nothing close to where I always went. No masturbation and no porn yet, by God's grace.